Noble Eagle Ramps Up for Shuttle:

The Air National Guard-led 1st Air Force, in its US Continental NORAD Region role, has increased Operation Noble Eagle air patrols over central Florida as NASA gears up for the projected Aug. 7 launch of the shuttle Endeavor. CONR has tasked two active duty fighter wings—33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin AFB, Fla., and 388th FW at Hill AFB, Utah—to provide F-15s and F-16s, respectively, to support the launch window coverage. On Aug. 4, the coverage includes air defense deterrence missions flown by the 388th FW’s Vipers, which will make low passes over area tourist attractions, airports, and the Kennedy Space Center. ANG Maj. Gen. Hank Morrow, 1st Air Force boss, said there’s been no “specific threat,” but Americans should view the ADDMs “as a prudent measure as we work around the clock for their continued protection. (Read more about “The Years of Noble Eagle.”)