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Words by Wes O'Donnell
The expected 82,566 guests along with over 100 million viewers for this Sunday's Super Bowl will have the benefit of not only the military's added security but also their ceremonial entertainment. Military will be in full force at The MetLife stadium in New Jersey to assist with the already tight security and provide various forms of entertainment throughout the game.
As far as security goes the military will be taking several position to help provide the safest environment possible. Since early last week members of the National Guard and the North American Aerospace Defense Command have provided security and logistical assistance. The Department of Homeland Security has made arrangements with NORAD for the Operation Noble Eagle to perform air patrols around the MetLife stadium to ensure the FAA's temporary flight restrictions of that airspace are maintained. In addition state and federal official security teams, numbering approximately 4000, will also have at their assistance approximately 400 National Guard members who have been put on active duty for this occasion.
Even though there are currently no indicated threats, a mass bombing, similar to the one recently in Russia, is of high concern to security officials. Precautions such as limiting the size of bags being brought into the stadium and requiring them to be transparent in nature, along with limiting the size of women's purses will be taken. One added security obstacle will be the Super Bowl Blvd street fair that could be occupied by up to 1 million patrons wishing to participate in the entertainment and attractions. Police and security will be out in full force and precautions such as removing trash receptacles and replacing them with clear plastic bag are being done to prevent bombings similar to those that occurred previously in Boston.
As for the skies, the continental United States North American Aerospace Defense Command Region, or CONR, has been running exercise training flights in coordination with other agencies such as the FAA, FBI, Customs and Border Protection, Civil Air Patrol and the 601st Air and Space Operation Center in order to ensure proper communication that is essential in providing the highest degree of security coverage.
Security is not the sole purpose of the military at this year's Super Bowl. Members of the military will also be providing entertainment in a variety of ways throughout the evening. The national anthem singer Renée Fleming will be accompanied by a local military chorus and two percussionist will be featured from the Armed Forces Color Guard. In addition there will be a flyover complements of US Army rotary wing aircrafts as well as service numbers greetings from overseas. Those service men and women deployed overseas will not be forgotten. Troops stationed in over 200 locations in Afghanistan will get to relax and watch the big game while enjoying a large variety of American-style appetizers and finger food along with nonalcoholic beer as a thank you for all their efforts.