Orlando, February 18, 2010—NORAD/US Northern Command boss, Gen. Gene Renuart, says a lot of hours and effort are going into expansion of US airspace situational awareness. Command officials recently met with Homeland Security to work on a concept called the “air domain intelligence integration cell”—a concept similar to an Air Force air operations center, but it would fuse data from civilian and law enforcement agencies together with military air operations to form a more coherent picture of air activity for the continental US. He said this data would show the diversity of daily US air traffic and help tie it to intelligence streams that are used to find “tracks of interest” that might pose a threat. The Pentagon and the various intelligence agencies are developing the initiative and will house the cell at NORTHCOM headquarters to get “better vision” into threats from the air domain.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.