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NORAD may take Duluth fighter squadron off 24-hour alert

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The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is mulling a change that would take fighter squadrons in Duluth and the state of Virginia off of 24-hour alert, reports The Associated Press.

The move will reportedly save millions of dollars while not compromising NORAD's ability to defend North America against 9/11 attacks.

Currently, there are 18 Air Force sites are on 24-hour alert.

Minnesota Public Radio reports that the information was released in a Government Accountability Office report on Thursday.

The change could save $73 million over five years if the Duluth and Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., sites are converted to part-time.

MPR says the 148th Fighter Wing in Duluth employs 1,044 Minnesota National Guard members.

The possible move is not related to the federal budget sequester that went into effect Friday.

A NORAD spokesman said a decision has not been made, and the Duluth and Virginia sites remain on 24-hour alert, The AP reports.

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