MTANG's jets protect President Obama during holidays

  • Published
  • By Maj. Rick Anderson
  • 120th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
The Montana Air National Guard's F-15s, pilots and maintainers provided secure skies for President Barack Obama and his family while they vacationed in Hawaii during the holidays. Air Sovereignty Alert Combat Air Patrol missions, or ASA-CAPs, were flown for the duration of the president's visit.

"The work the Montana Air National Guard performed over the Christmas and New Year's holiday were essential to protecting the interest and people the American public hold dear," said the 120th Operations Group Commander, Col. Shane Sanders.

"Numerous pilots and aircraft maintainers volunteered to perform this short-notice tasking, willingly giving up their holiday break, in exchange for long days of work and strife. By doing so, they embodied an element of what makes our country great; a democracy where people sacrifice their own comforts for the good of others."

ASA-CAPs provide protection over a combat zone, an air defense area or an object area for the purpose of intercepting and destroying hostile aircraft before they reach their target. The patrols demand that F-15s fly a tactical pattern around a defended target while looking for incoming attackers.

The Federal Aviation Administration restricted a large area over Hawaii prior to President Obama's visit to the area.