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Montgomery Air Defense Sector


Montgomery Air Defense Sector

Southeast Air Defense Sector

Southeast Air Defense Sector Emblem
Active 1987 - 2006
Country United States
Branch United States Air Force
Role Air Defense

The Southeast Air Defense Sector (SEADS), was a unit of the US Air Force located at Tyndall Air Force Base near Panama City, Florida. It provided air defense and surveillance of the southeastern region of the US. SEADS closed in winter 2006, giving up surveillance and control of their airspace to the Eastern Air Defense Sector (EADS) and the former Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS).


Cold War

The origins of the Southeast Air Defense Sector (SEADS) are in September 1957 with the formation of its predecessor organization, the Montgomery Air Defense Sector (MoADS) by Air Defense Command (ADC). It was established in September 1957 with a mission to train and maintain tactical flying units in state of readiness in order to defend the Southeastern United States, assuming control of former ADC Central Air Defense Force units. Its original region consisted of ADC atmospheric forces (fighter-interceptor and radar units) located east of the Mississippi River, south of the 34th parallel north and east to a designated line west of the 86th meridian west, southeast to the southernmost point of Key Largo Island, Florida.

It was consolidated on 1 January 1959 with the Shreveport and Miami Air Defense Sectors, defining a region south of 34th parallel north, bordering on the east along the intersection of the parallel southeast along the Georgia–South Carolina border to the Atlantic coastline. In the west, the sector was responsible for most of Eastern Texas south of the 34th parallel north, including the state of Louisiana, eastwards. It operated a Manual Air Direction Center (MDC) at Dobbins AFB, Georgia. The sector's mission was to train and maintain tactical flying units in state of readiness in order to defend the northeast United States while initially continuing to operate the MDC.

Beginning on 1 July 1958, it began operations of a SAGE (Semi-Automatic Ground Environment) Direction Center DC-09 32°45′15″N 086°14′29″W / 32.75417°N 86.24139°W / 32.75417; -86.24139 (MOADS-SAGE DC-09) at Gunter AFB, Alabama.

On 1 April 1966, MoADS was inactivated, as were the other 22 sectors in the country. Most of its assets were assumed by the 32d Air Division; the 33d Air Division assumed assets in eastern North and South Carolina. The DC-09 SAGE Direction Center was assigned to the 32d Air Division, remaining in operation until 31 December 1969. Today it is used as offices by Air University, Air Education and Training Command at Gunter AFB.

Modern era

On 1 July 1987, the Montgomery Air Defense Sector (MOADS) was reactivated, and co-located with the 23d Air Division. The 23d Air Division was inactivated and all atmospheric defense assets of the Division were transferred to the MOADS, re-designated the Southeast Air Defense Sector (SEADS).

SEADS was responsible for the atmospheric defense of approximately 1,000,000 square miles (2,600,000 km2) of airspace and 3,000 miles (4,800 km) of coastline extending from Virginia to Texas. It was the busiest of the air defense sectors comprising the NORAD Continental United States North American Aerospace Defense Command Region. It operated a Sector Operations Control Center (SOCC) at Tyndall AFB, part of the Joint Surveillance System (JSS) which had replaced SAGE in 1983. This system, using the latest advances in computerized airspace control, relied on digitized radar inputs from Air Route Surveillance Radar (ARSR) sites jointly operated by the Federal Aviation Administration and the Air Force, and tethered aerostat radar balloons. More than 2,000 aircraft were detected and identified each day by SEADS technicians and operators.

On 1 October 1995, the Southeast Air Defense Sector was reassigned to the Florida Air National Guard; SEADS re-designated Southeast Air Defense Sector (ANG). It came under the Continental NORAD Region (CONR) Headquarters at Tyndall AFB, Florida.

On 1 November 2005, SEADS ceased air defense operations and its duties were absorbed into the Northeast Air Defense Sector which is now known as the Eastern Air Defense Sector. The SEADS transformed into the 601st Air and Space Operations Center and currently performs the duties as the Air Operations Center for AFNORTH.

Known Air National Guard units with an air defense mission under EADS were:


  • Established as: Montgomery Air Defense Sector on 8 September 1957
Inactivated on 1 April 1966; redesignated as 32d Air Division
  • Re-designated as Southeast Air Defense Sector (SEADS) and activated, 1 July 1987
Inactivated 1 November 2005, assets transferred to Northeast Air Defense Sector



  • Gunter AFB, Alabama, 8 September 1957-31 December 1969
  • Tyndall AFB, Florida, 1 July 1987-1 November 2005



  • 4751st Air Defense Wing (Missile)
Eglin AFB Auxiliary Field #9, Florida, 1 October 1959-1 July 1962

Interceptor Squadrons

Langley AFB, Virginia, 1987-1991
Homestead AFB, Florida, 1 March 1963-1 December 1969
Seymour-Johnson AFB, North Carolina, 1 July 1965-30 June 1969

Missile Squadron

  • 4751st Air Defense Squadron (Missile)
Eglin AFB Auxiliary Field #9, Florida, 1 July 1962-1 July 1963

Radar Squadrons

See also


  • A Handbook of Aerospace Defense Organization 1946 - 1980, by Lloyd H. Cornett and Mildred W. Johnson, Office of History, Aerospace Defense Center, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado
  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
  • Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories 1947-1977. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-12-9.
  • Montgomery Air Defense Sector
  • First Air Force Units

External links

  • Photos of Montgomery Air Defense Sector SAGE facilities
  • History of Tyndall AFB
  • Air Force Historical Research Agency
  • SEADS mission overview
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