Four Thousand Scrambles and Counting

F-16s from the District of Columbia’s Air National Guard earlier this month scrambled for the 4,000th time since September 2001 in response to a potential airborne threat to the nation’s capital, announced Air Forces Northern officials. Lt. Col. Christopher Hardgrave, who commands the district’s 113th Wing air control alert detachment at JB Andrews, Md., said in AFNORTH’s Jan. 24 release he is “extremely proud of the accomplishments of the men and women” of the detachment for hitting this alert milestone, which they reached on Jan. 9. “It is a testament to the dedication, professionalism, and daily sacrifice of our folks who have done the alert mission day-in and day-out for over 11 years,” he added. The detachment is the busiest NORAD alert unit, responding to more alert events—whether rushing pilots to cockpit standby or launching to intercept a threat—than all of the other ACA units across the nation, according to the release. (Andrews report by MSgt. Jerry Harlan) (See also Capital Defenders from Air Force Magazine’s December 2012 issue.)