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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
May 16, 2002

Statement by the President
Completion of the NATO AWACS Mission in the United States

I thank NATO for the steadfast support and cooperation after the attacks on September 11. Today marks the end of NATO aircraft and crews patrolling American skies as part of Operation Noble Eagle. These aircrews began their deployment soon after the terrorist attacks of September 11th. This deployment, coupled with the declaration that the attacks on the United States were attacks on all NATO members, affirmed NATO's commitment to collective defense.

For 220 days, NATO aircrews from 12 nations, based at Tinker AFB in Oklahoma, flew missions over the United States. On behalf of the American people, I thank them for their important contribution to the defense of this Nation.

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