Air Force wants to stop patrols
Saturday, February 23, 2002
TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- The Air Force's civilian leader wants to end the post-Sept. 11 practice of continuous fighter jet patrols over U.S. cities and instead leave fighters on "strip alert" at airfields, ready to launch in case of emergency.
In an interview Friday, Air Force Secretary James Roche said the Air Force is consulting with North American Aerospace Defense Command and with the White House's Office of Homeland Security to determine what level of air defense is required in the long run.
The air patrols are tying up about 265 airplanes and about 12,000 airmen, Roche said.