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Climbing Toward 50,000

April 9, 2008—The total number of sorties flown for Operation Noble Eagle since Sept. 11, 2001, has climbed to nearly 49,000, as of April 1. The 1st Air Force/Air Forces Northern-led operation has fighters, tankers, and reconnaissance aircraft on alert and on call around the nation and often calls upon the Civil Air Patrol, the one-and-only US Air Force auxiliary. In March, air reserve components once again flew the bulk of the sorties, both fighter and tanker, in the Air National Guard-led operation.