Changes Made to Unified Command Plan
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Richard B. Myers today announced changes to the Unified Command Plan (UCP), that establishes the missions and responsibilities for combatant commanders.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and U.S. Space Command (USSPACECOM) in Colorado Springs continue to accomplish their traditional missions and to carry out well-established actions in support of Operations Noble Eagle and Enduring Freedom and other U.S. military operations around the globe. The men and women of NORAD -- both American and Canadian --and USSPACECOM are committed to performing their missions professionally, now and in the future.
UCP 2002 does not contain new mission requirements for either command. It doesestablish a new unified command, U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) responsible for U.S. homeland defense and support to civil authorities. The establishment of USNORTHCOM does present future organizational implications for both NORAD and USSPACECOM, primary among them being the separation of NORAD and USSPACECOM with NORAD aligning with USNORTHCOM later this year. Both existing commands will achieve the transition with no loss in mission capability.
Any future changes to NORAD missions require the agreement of the governments of Canada and the United States.
In collaboration with U.S. Joint Forces Command, NORAD is assisting in designing the functional architecture and implementation plan for USNORTHCOM. Until USNORTHCOM achieves Initial Operating Capability on October 1, 2002, NORAD continues to oversee the air defense aspects of homeland security. In accordance with UCP 2002, USSPACECOM will continue to oversee DOD Computer Network Defense operations associated with homeland security, as well as its traditional missions of space operations and computer network operations.
The Department of Defense?s preferred location for the USNORTHCOM headquarters is Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. A final decision will not be made until the Department of Defense reviews environmental assessments of each site being considered. The decision will come within 30 to 90 days.