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STS-116 Launch Contingency Support


*NORAD Launch Support*
Six F-15s from the U.S. Air Force, enforcing FAA established TFR with 
center point being NASA KSC 39B

    Launch Contingency Support

USNORTHCOM provides a variety of support throughout launch, on-orbit and 
landing. In cooperation with NASA, U.S. Strategic Command and the DoD 
Manned Space Flight Support Office (DDMS), USNORTHCOM has developed 
plans to locate and retrieve the astronauts if they have a pad or launch 
emergency, are forced to bailout of the shuttle, or have to return for 
landing. Numerous Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard 
aircraft and Coast Guard ships are pre-positioned or on standby to 
quickly launch to conduct search and rescue operations. For STS-116, the 
following DOD and DHS assets are supporting the mission:

20 US Air Force/Air National Guard Para rescue personnel (308th Rescue 
Squadron (RQS), Moody Air Force Base, Ga.; 103rd RQS, Gabreski, NY)
4 HH-60s (301st RQS, Patrick AFB)
1 US Air Force Reserve/US Air National Guard HC-130 (39th RQS (AFRC), 
Patrick Air Force Base, Fla.; and 1 Air National Guard HC-130 (102nd 
RQS, F.S. Gabreski Airport N.Y.)
1 KC-130 (Marine Corps Air Group 49, Stewart ANGB, N.Y.)
6 Army HH-60s (Fort Irwin, CA)
5 Air Force UH-1/OH58s (White Sands Missile Range, NM)

*/The United States Navy’s Fleet Area Control and Surveillance Center at 
Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Fla., and Naval Meteorology and 
Oceanography Center and Naval Air Station Norfolk, Va., and the United 
States Air Force’s Rescue Coordination Center will also be in direct 
support to Commander, U.S. Northern Command./*

*Launch Abort Sites (LAS) and East Coast Launch Abort Landing Sites 
Additionally U.S. military units at the following Shuttle Launch Abort 
Sites are on alert to support an emergency landing during the launch 
phase for STS-116. These bases lie near the intended flight path for 

Atlantic City International Airport, N.J. Oceana Naval Air Station, Va.
Dover Air Force Base, Del. Otis Air National Guard Base, Mass.
F. S. Gabreski Airport, N.Y. Pease Air National Guard Base, N.H.
Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C.

*DOD Augmented/Emergency Landing Sites *
If the shuttle experiences an on-orbit emergency and has to land 
immediately, NASA has established several civilian and military landing 
sites around the world. US military personnel at the following locations 
are prepared to support an emergency landing of the shuttle:

*Augmented Sites:* While the Primary Landing Site is Kennedy Space 
Center, Fla., alternate DoD Augmented Landing Sites Edwards AFB, Calif., 
Holloman AFB and White Sands Space Harbor, N.M., can be quickly readied 
to support a shuttle landing with an on-scene commander, 
fire/crash/rescue forces, and medical evacuation capabilities.

*Emergency Landing Sites*: These locations are strategically located 
around the world in the flight path of STS-116. They have runways long 
enough for the shuttle and have compatible navigation aids. The 
following Emergency Landing Sites are located within the United States:

Atlantic City International Airport, N.J. (ECALS) MCAS Cherry Point, 
Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla. McDill Air Force Base, Fla.
China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station, Calif. Mountain Home Air Force 
Base, Idaho
Dover Air Force Base, Del. (ECALS) Oceana Naval Air Station, Va. (ECALS)
Dyess Air Force Base, Texas Otis Air National Guard Base, Mass. (ECALS)
Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D. Pease Air National Guard Base, N.H. (ECALS)
Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.
F.S. Gabreski Airport, N.Y. (ECALS)

The emergency recovery sites only have the minimum number of people 
needed to assist the astronauts, and will respond to a shuttle landing 
as they would for any large aircraft emergency landing.

*Alternate Landing Sites*
The shuttle is expected to return to Kennedy Space Center on or about 12 
days after launch and DoD support will be provided from Patrick AFB, 
Fla., Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., Kennedy Space Center, Fla. 
and USNORTHCOM Headquarters at Peterson AFB, Colo. However, alternate 
landing sites at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., and Holloman AFB/White 
Sands Space Harbor, N.M., can be quickly readied to support a shuttle 

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