New Commander Takes Charge at Eastern Air Defense Sector on Friday July 11.

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Col. Michael J. Norton

ROME, NY (07/10/2014)(readMedia)-- Col. Michael Norton assumes command of the Eastern Air Defense Sector during a Friday morning ceremony at EADS headquarters in the Griffiss Busines and Technology Park.

WHO: Col. Michael J. Norton, incoming commander of the Eastern Air Defense Sector; Lt. Gen. William H. Etter, Commander of the Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region – 1st Air Force (Air Forces Northern) and the men and women of EADS.

WHAT: Col. Michael J. Norton will assume command of the Eastern Air Defense Sector. Lt. Gen. William H. Etter, Commander, Continental U.S. North American Aerospace Defense Command Region – 1st Air Force (Air Forces Northern) will serve as the ceremony's presiding officer.

WHEN: The assumption of command will start at 11 a.m. and will last approximately 30 minutes. Media should plan to be in position in the auditorium 10 minutes prior to the beginning of the ceremony.

WHERE: Air Force Research Laboratory, Building 106, 26 Electronics Parkway (Hangar Road)

Griffiss Business and Technology Park ,Rome, NY 13441

Escorts are required in the facility. Media planning to attend must contact Tim Jones at 315-334-6055/6536 or cell 315-338-3593 before 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 10. Signs will direct media and other attendees to the parking area off Hangar Road. Please do not enter through the Air Force Research Laboratory gate on Otis Street.


Col. Michael J. Norton

Norton graduated from Duke University in 1990, where he earned a B.A. in political science and was the Air Force ROTC Distinguished Graduate. An F-16 pilot, Norton underwent his initial training at the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot course at Sheppard Air Force Base, Texas. For the next 14 years, he served as a combat mission-ready pilot, mission commander and instructor.

Norton has flown over 300 combat hours in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom, Allied Force, Southern Watch and Northern Watch. He also served as the operational planner for the air campaign that initiated Iraqi Freedom and in several staff positions.

Prior to assuming command at EADS, Norton was Chief, National Guard Bureau (NGB) International Affairs Division, Strategic Plans, Policy and International Affairs Directorate in Washington, D.C. Responsible for the development and management of National Guard security cooperation programs, including the State Partnership Program, he led cooperative efforts with partner nation military forces, interagency partners and non-governmental organizations at the federal, state and local levels.

Norton came to the International Affairs post after serving as Chief of the Programs Division in the Air National Guard Plans and Programs Directorate. In this capacity, he represented the Air National Guard in Air Force and Department of Defense strategic programming and planning. Responsible for the annual preparation and defense of the $50 billion Future Years Defense Program, Norton provided critical strategic and operational advice to Defense Department and Congressional decision-makers about Air National Guard capabilities and organizations.

A graduate of the Squadron Officer School, Air Command and Staff College and Air War College, Norton holds a master's degree in international public policy from Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies.

Norton's awards include the Meritorious Service Medal, Air Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal.

Eastern Air Defense Sector

A North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) sector headquarters, the Eastern Air Defense Sector is manned by New York Air National Guardsmen, a Canadian Forces detachment and liaison officers from the U.S. Army, Navy and Coast Guard. Responsible for the air defense of 1 million square miles east of the Mississippi River, the unit reports to CONR- 1AF (AFNORTH), which is located at Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla.