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Swamp Fox Alert is inspection ready, mission ready

U.S. Air Force fighter pilots, Maj. Madison Woo and Maj. Stephen Kaminski with the 157th Fighter Squadron at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, South Carolina Air National Guard, rush to launch F-16 Fighting Flacon fighter jets at the Aerospace Control Alert facility during a practice launch, Jan. 22, 2014. The 169th Fighter Wing is home to one of the homeland defense missions, Operation Noble Eagle.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Edward Snyder/Released)

U.S. Air Force fighter pilots, Maj. Madison Woo and Maj. Stephen Kaminski with the 157th Fighter Squadron at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, South Carolina Air National Guard, rush to launch F-16 Fighting Flacon fighter jets at the Aerospace Control Alert facility during a practice launch, Jan. 22, 2014. The 169th Fighter Wing is home to one of the homeland defense missions, Operation Noble Eagle. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Edward Snyder/Released)

U.S. Air Force fighter pilot, Maj. Madison Woo with the 157th Fighter Squadron at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, South Carolina Air National Guard, rushes to launch an F-16 Fighting Flacon fighter jet at the Aerospace Control Alert facility during a practice launch, Jan. 22, 2014. The 169th Fighter Wing is home to one of the homeland defense missions, Operation Noble Eagle.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Edward Snyder/Released)

U.S. Air Force fighter pilot, Maj. Madison Woo with the 157th Fighter Squadron at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, South Carolina Air National Guard, rushes to launch an F-16 Fighting Flacon fighter jet at the Aerospace Control Alert facility during a practice launch, Jan. 22, 2014. The 169th Fighter Wing is home to one of the homeland defense missions, Operation Noble Eagle. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Edward Snyder/Released)

U.S. Air Force fighter pilot, Maj. Madison Woo with the 157th Fighter Squadron at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, South Carolina Air National Guard, rushes to launch an F-16 Fighting Flacon fighter jet at the Aerospace Control Alert facility during a practice launch, Jan. 22, 2014. The 169th Fighter Wing is home to one of the homeland defense missions, Operation Noble Eagle.  (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Edward Snyder/Released)

U.S. Air Force fighter pilot, Maj. Madison Woo with the 157th Fighter Squadron at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, South Carolina Air National Guard, rushes to launch an F-16 Fighting Flacon fighter jet at the Aerospace Control Alert facility during a practice launch, Jan. 22, 2014. The 169th Fighter Wing is home to one of the homeland defense missions, Operation Noble Eagle. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Master Sgt. Edward Snyder/Released)

MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. -- Whether it's responding to a national emergency or impressing a team of inspectors, the South Carolina Air National Guard's Aerospace Control Alert crews are always prepared to show their might.

A 1st Air Force inspection team from Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., recently conducted an Alert Force Operational Assessment (AFOA) of the ACA mission at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, S.C. The purpose of the AFOA is to thoroughly assess the procedures and execution of the Swamp Fox alert mission, ensuring they are prepared to perform the mission every day. The 1st AF assessment team has deemed them ready.

"You guys did a great job," said Maj. Matthew Edson, 1st AF team chief for the AFOA. "Overall, the ACA mission out at McEntire is, as far as I'm concerned, full up. They're doing a great job."

During the out brief with the 169th Fighter Wing's leadership, Edson associated each operational piece of the ACA mission with words like "flawless" when commenting on the roles of command post, security forces, maintenance and operations.

This validation is also the milestone that opens the inspection window for the North American Aerospace Defense Inspector General to conduct their Fighter Alert Force Evaluation.

"Now that [1st AF has] given us the review and certified that we are doing things to Swamp Fox standards and we're in good shape, we can expect a no-notice evaluation from NORAD any time," said Lt. Col. Brent Allen, 169th FW ACA director of operations. "We'll know it's happening when they show up."

Edson also briefed that his inspection team has no reservations about bringing the NORAD IG team in tomorrow. "Those guys would do a phenomenal job," he said referring to Swamp Fox ACA.

"It's a very lean way to inspect," said Allen. "A validation of a normal scramble operation to show we are doing things the way we're supposed to, to contribute to Homeland Defense."