The Western Air Defense Sector (WADS) is one of two sectors responsible to NORAD’s aerospace warning and control mission. The Western Air Defense Sector is part of the Continental U.S. NORAD region. There are also Canadian and Alaskan NORAD regions.
We guard America’s skies every day, 24 hours a day. The men and women of the Western Air Defense Sector detect, identify, track and can scramble fighters to intercept unknown or threatening airborne objects.
Our team is a bi-national and joint service unit. Soldiers, sailors, airmen, Canadian Forces personnel, DoD civilians, and government contractors all comprise the WADS team. About 20% of the Western Air Defense Sector team are traditional Air Guardsmen who serve one weekend per month and two weeks a year. They typically have civilian professions, but can and have been called to active duty by the President. full-time occupations. In accordance with a Presidential order, the Sector Commander can mobilize all of our traditional Guard members as he would during any crisis or contingency.
The Western Air Defense Sector receives radar data feeds from joint use Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ground-based radars, mobile radars, Airborne Warning and Control Systems (AWACS) aircraft and the U.S. Navy.
We have enhanced our radar picture of the interior since Sept. 11, 2001 in part by positioning mobile radars in the interior and coastal areas of the U.S. as well as through technical enhancements linking us to interior FAA radars.