March tankers ready 24/7 to support

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U.S. Air Force photo/Linda Welz

Team March personnel are ready 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year to support Operation NOBLE EAGLE (ONE),  which is air-sovereignty operations related to homeland defense and support to federal, state, and local agencies. This support can sometimes be for special events, like the Super Bowl.

The Continental U.S. NORAD Region (CONR) is conducting ONE missions supporting Super Bowl 50 in coordination with the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, Customs and Border Protection and local law enforcement. The CONR’s primary responsibility is to employ forces to deter, detect, and if necessary, defeat any airborne threat to the Super Bowl or other such special events.

Team March

Training with the California Air National Guard, a 452nd Air Mobility Wing KC-135 Stratotanker and its crew took to the skies over central California, January 26, to refuel an F-15 Eagle from the 144th Fighter Wing, located in Fresno. The mission was nothing out of the ordinary, nor has March been specifically tasked with supporting the Super Bowl 50 security detail with its refueling capabilities. But readiness is always maintained.

Like a football franchise, this is a total team effort. The teams playing in the upcoming Super Bowl have practiced and practiced, working together as a team to accomplish a single goal. Like them, the interagency teams came together to accomplish a single goal, to provide the air defense shield for this year’s big game.

Come Super Bowl Sunday, the FAA will institute a temporary-flight restriction (TFR) zone above Levi’s Stadium, location for this year’s game. The CONR’s air defenders enforce that TFR with air-defense assets. A tanker and its crew will be available to fuel the airborne defenders as needed. Other national and local assets provide air security for law enforcement purposes.

The Air Force mission is bigger than what you see for such events. As part of the air component representing the U.S. Air Force, behind the scenes there are maintainers, weapons loaders, controllers, aerial port personnel, and many others, representing more than just the ANG and Air Force Reserve. They also represent The North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, while conducting national air defense operations. It’s a total-force effort, of which Team March is proudly a part.