RealNews

Early-warning planes join patrol in Northeast

Sophisticated radar planes that are capable of spotting aircraft up to 250 miles away are patrolling the nation’s northern border from Wisconsin to Maine to protect against terrorist attacks, the Department of Homeland Security announced Wednesday. Since the start of the war with Iraq, P-3B Airborne Early Warning planes have joined Black Hawk helicopters and other patrol craft, such as Cessna Citations, in 24-hour patrols to detect and intercept aircraft that stray into unauthorized flight areas or don’t identify themselves. ”The presence of these sophisticated aircraft in the skies above our cities gives us one more layer of protection against potential terrorist attacks,” said Michael Garcia, acting assistant secretary for the federal Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The bureau launched the patrols as part of the Department of Homeland Security’s Operation Liberty Shield. The radar planes are part of an unarmed airborne security network that began in January with patrols over Washington, D.C. The P-3Bs have distinctive radar domes atop their fuselages. Their eight-member crews spend up to 10 hours aloft at 20,000 feet to probe the skies for suspicious aircraft. Full Story

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