|Eastern Air Defense Sector|
Eastern Air Defense Sector Emblem
|Branch||United States Air Force|
|Decorations||Air Force Organizational Excellence Award|
The Eastern Air Defense Sector is one of two Sectors responsible to the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and the Continental NORAD Region for peacetime air sovereignty, strategic air defense, and airborne counter-drug operations in the continental United States. The other sector is the Western Air Defense Sector (WADS).
It operates a Sector Operations Control Center (SOCC) at Rome, New York, as part of the Joint Surveillance System (JSS) which had replaced SAGE in 1983. This system enjoins state-of-the-art air defense systems and cutting-edge computer technology to significantly increase surveillance and identification capabilities, and better protect the nation's airways from intrusion and attack. It relies on digitized radar inputs from Air Route Surveillance Radar (ARSR) sites jointly operated by the Federal Aviation Administration and the Air Force, and Tethered Aerostat Radar System balloons. It is fully integrated with the E-3A Airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) system and the Joint Surveillance Target Attack Radar System (E-8 Joint STARS).
The SOCC employs 27 NORAD contingency suites, and 31 Battle Control System-Fixed (BCS-F) displays. A next-generation air sovereignty system, BCS-F fuses data from airborne, ground and naval elements and civil air traffic sensors into an integrated air picture. This allows commanders to surveil and monitor the airspace above, beyond and within U.S. and Canadian borders, providing a major component for homeland defense.
It also incorporates a newly developed situational awareness system that gives EADS unprecedented tools and technology to assist state and local responders in dealing with natural disasters. It has the redundant capability to cover the WADS if the call arises.
EADS is a New York Air National Guard unit which reports directly to First Air Force (Air Forces Northern) at Tyndall AFB, Florida. The Sector reports to Air Combat Command (ACC) and to NORAD headquarters, in Colorado Springs, Colorado in its federal role. NORAD is a bi-national United States and Canadian organization charged with the missions of aerospace warning and aerospace control for North America.
Other NORAD air defense organizations include the Western Air Defense Sector (WADS), the Hawaii Region Air Operations Center (HIRAOC), the Alaska Region Air Operations Center (AKRAOC) and the Canada Air Defense Sector (CADS).
The Sector’s primary mission is Guarding America’s Skies. This 24/7 guardian role involves the use of radar and communications systems to monitor air traffic from the Mississippi River east to the Atlantic Ocean, and from the Canadian border south to the Gulf of Mexico.
The EADS air sovereignty and executes counter-air operations over the eastern United States. Directs the employment of 178 sensors, 8 fighter alert locations, AWACS aircraft, a Battle Control Center (BCC), and joint air defense artillery assets to defend one million square miles, 16 major cities, and adjacent seas. Supports NORAD's Integrated Tactical Warning and Attack Assessment, NORTHCOM Homeland Defense Mission. It works closely with other federal agencies including the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Secret Service and U.S. Customs Service as well as its sister military services – the U.S. Navy, U.S. Army and U.S. Coast Guard.
As part of the New York Air National Guard, EADS reports to the Governor through the New York National Guard offices when directed by state authorities. It provides protection of life and property, and preserves peace, order and public safety. State missions, which are funded by the state, include disaster relief in times of earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and forest fires; search and rescue; protection of vital public services; and support to civil defense.
The sector's history begins on 1 April 1956 when the 4621st Air Defense Wing was organized. The sector's predecessors, the 4709th Defense Wing (later 4709th Air Defense Wing) and the 52d Fighter-Interceptor Wing had performed the air defense mission at McGuire AFB, New Jersey since 1949.
The wing operated a Manual Air Direction Center (MDC) at Roslyn AFS, New York. It was redesignated as the New York Air Defense Sector (NYADS) on 1 October. The sector's mission was to train and maintain tactical flying units in state of readiness in order to defend Northeast United States while initially continuing to operate the MDC.
The organization was in large part responsible for one of the foundational projects of the computer era: the development of the SAGE (Semi-Automatic Ground Environment) air defense system, from its first test at Bedford, Massachusetts, in 1951, to the installation of the first unit of the New York Air Defense Sector of the SAGE system, in 1958.
The idea for SAGE grew out of Project Whirlwind, a World War II computer development effort, when the War Department realized that the Whirlwind computer might anchor a continent-wide advance warning system. Developed during the 1950s by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Lincoln Laboratories engineers and scientists for the U.S. Air Force, SAGE monitored North American skies for possible attack by manned aircraft and missiles for twenty-five years. Aside from its strategic importance, SAGE set the foundation for mass data-processing systems and foreshadowed many computer developments of the 1960s. The heart of the system, the IBM AN/FSQ-7 computer, was the first computer to have an internal memory composed of "magnetic cores," thousands of tiny ferrite rings that served as reversible electromagnets. SAGE also introduced computer-driven graphic displays, online keyboard terminals, time sharing, high-availability computation with a redundant AN/FSQ-7 to fail over if the primary system went down, digital signal processing, digital transmission over leased telephone lines, digital track-while-scan, digital simulation, computer networking, and duplex computing.
The SAGE Direction Center DC-01 General Curtis E. LeMay was the guest speaker. He described SAGE as, "A system centralizing many air defense functions, minimizing manual tasks and allowing electronic devices to perform hundreds of complex computations accurately and simultaneously to improve air defense capability."was activated on 1 July 1958, the first sector to achieve this status. In a ceremony marking this achievement,
On 1 April 1966, the NYADS was inactivated, as were the other 22 sectors in the country. The SAGE system remained active until replaced in 1983 by newer technology Joint Surveillance System (JSS). The 3-story DC-01 SAGE building, with reinforced 3' concrete walls and roof now hosts the Headquarters, 21st Expeditionary Mobility Task Force, Air Mobility Command at McGuire AFB.
On 1 July 1987, four of the previous ADCOM Air Defense sectors were reactivated, redesignated, assigned and colocated with the four remaining air divisions.
The ADTAC Air Divisions were inactivated.
On 1 November 2005, the NEADS and SEADS consolidated, giving the Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) the responsibility of providing detection and air defense for the entire eastern half of the United States. NEADS was officially redesignated the Eastern Air Defense Sector (EADS) on 15 July 2009.