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Accession Number PB2013-104957
Title Homeland Defense: DOD's Aerospace Control Alert Basing Decision Was Informed by Various Analyses.
Publication Date Feb 2013
Media Count 12p
Personal Author N/A
Abstract Since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the federal government has undertaken extensive efforts to protect U.S. airspace. As a part of the federal government's overall efforts to protect U.S. airspace, the Department of Defense (DOD) performs Operation Noble Eagle, which consists of several missions, including aerospace control alert (ACA). The ACA mission includes aerospace control forces arrayed in a rapid response posture to conduct both air sovereignty and air defense operations against airborne threats. Among other things, this includes fighter aircraft and trained personnel on alert 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, at 16 alert basing locations across the contiguous United States and one each in Alaska and Hawaii to deter, respond to, and if necessary defeat airborne threats over the United States and Canada. These fighter aircraft and trained personnel can be the last line of multiple layers of the air defense of the United States. GAO's prior work has highlighted improvements and challenges in the planning and management of the ACA operation, including challenges related to the North American Aerospace Defense Command's (NORAD) and DOD's ability to balance risks, costs, and benefits when making decisions about the ACA operation. Specifically, in January 2009 GAO reported on shortcomings in DOD's management approach to the ACA operation. Among other things, GAO reported that NORAD faced difficulty determining the appropriate levels and types of units, personnel, and aircraft for the ACA operation. GAO made five recommendations to DOD to improve management of the ACA operation, including conducting routine risk assessments as part of a risk-based management approach. DOD fully or partially agreed with all our recommendations. In January 2012, GAO reported that the Air Force had taken steps to implement one recommendation and partially implement the other four recommendations. GAO also reported on strengths and limitations of the computer model NORAD used for assessing domestic air defense operations, and we reported that NORAD had not considered cost in its analysis of the ACA basing strategy. NORAD and DOD had taken some action to improve their risk-based management approach; however, GAO made seven additional recommendations in January 2012 for NORAD and DOD to implement a more complete risk-based management approach that balances risk and cost for the ACA operation.
Keywords Air space
Aviation personnel
Control systems
Decision making
Defense systems
Fighter aircraft
Homeland security
Management planning and control

Source Agency General Accounting Office
NTIS Subject Category 51C - Aircraft
85A - Air Transportation
74 - Military Sciences
91I - Emergency Services & Planning
Corporate Author Government Accountability Office, Washington, DC.
Document Type Technical report
Title Note N/A
NTIS Issue Number 1312
Contract Number N/A

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