By Debbie Gregory.
For 58 years, North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) partners Canada and the United States have worked together to defend North America from threats, whether by aircraft, missiles, or space vehicles. Recently, Navy Adm. William E. Gortney, commander of U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command, outlined the added security measures that the U.S. Northern Command provides to NORAD.
Gortney described homeland partnerships as a “center of gravity,” a dual resource and law enforcement presence. Working with governors, the Army and Air National Guards, and the functional and geographic combatant commands, Gortney said that these departments work together to close any seams that an enemy could try to permeate to threaten our security.
NORAD and U.S. Northcom operate within a common security environment and share common values, understanding the urgency and importance of duties in light of very real and present dangers. The commands’ responsibilities also include homeland ballistic missile defense and countering transnational criminal networks.
In his recent brief at the Pentagon, Gortney acknowledged that the unified command plan emphasizes partnerships with Canada, the Bahamas and Mexico. The countries will work together to assess and solve shared problems. The overlap of commands heighten homeland security, and best informs the DoD to proceed specific to that region or instance.
In the 2015 NORAD and U.S. Northcom’s Posture Statement, Gorney said, “U.S. Northcom was born out of the tragic events of September 11th, 2001 and each day when we arrive for duty at our headquarters in Colorado Springs, we walk past a girder salvaged from the site of the World Trade Center. The events of that fateful day are never far from our thoughts. In the twelve years since U.S. Northcom was established, we understand now more than ever that we are entrusted with the supreme responsibility of protecting our homeland. This is a deeply personal commitment for us; it is our families, our friends, our shared values, and our way of life we protect.
Gorney said that the two commands complement each other, as evidenced by the integration across nearly all of the headquarter functions.
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Military Connection: NORAD Strengthens Homeland Defense: By Debbie Gregory