NORAD may shed 24-hour alert at Langley-Eustis

NORAD may shed 24-hour alert at Langley-Eustis

Credit: Getty Images

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, CO - DECEMBER 9: Around-the-clock crews monitor U.S. skies from the command center of the Northern Command December 9, 2002 located deep within Cheyenne Mountain at the foot of the Rocky Mountains near Colorado Springs, Colorado. The Cold War-era station now monitors homeland security as well as foreign nuclear threats. Every commercial plane in U.S. air space is monitored from the center. Crews reporting unruly passengers or planes that drop from radio contact are given special attention since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. (Photo by Kevin Moloney/Getty Images)

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Associated Press

Posted on March 1, 2013 at 3:22 PM

Updated Saturday, Oct 26 at 7:21 AM

DENVER (AP) -- NORAD is considering taking two of its 18 Air Force sites off 24-hour alert, saying it will save millions of dollars without compromising its ability to defend against 9/11-style attacks.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command confirmed late Thursday it might take fighter squadrons in Duluth, Minn., and at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., off 24-hour alert.

A NORAD spokesman says no decision has been made and both sites remain on alert.

NORAD, based in Colorado, told the Government Accountability Office the move wouldn't hurt its ability to scramble fighters to intercept hostile or hijacked aircraft. NORAD said it used computer models and other analyses.

The Air Force says the move would save $73.1 million over five years. It appears to be unrelated to mandatory budget cuts taking effect Friday.

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