NORAD, USNORTHCOM host Netherlands defense leader
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. –
Lt. Gen. Hans Sonneveld, Vice Chief of Defense of the Netherlands Armed Forces, visited NORAD and USNORTHCOM headquarters Sept. 4-5 “to talk to our American allies and to talk about this very issue with Adm. Keating and get a better understanding of the NORTHCOM mission."
Adm. Timothy J. Keating, NORAD-USNORTHCOM commander, greeted Sonneveld on the first stop of the general’s visit to the United States. After his day-long orientation of the NORAD and USNORTHCOM commands, Sonneveld traveled to Washington, D.C., to visit with Adm. Edmund P. Giambastiani Jr., Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Sonneveld said he was interested in USNORTHCOM’s mission, not only for information he could take back to aid in homeland defense of his own country, but also to understand the relationship between civil authorities and the military in times of crisis.
“That is ... the same problem that I wrestle with,” Sonneveld said. “I found it very interesting to see how things work here and how we can do this.
“In a large event, people start from the assumption that you always take the telephone and talk to one another,” Sonneveld said. But communication is a challenge in a large disaster when it comes to deploying troops and assets. “It made me think about how we should do that, and I’ll take that with me as useful,” he said.
“I’m glad to pay my respects to Adm. Keating, who received me very well,” Sonneveld said. “I feel spoiled in the way he has treated me in these headquarters.
“I would not leave you without making my compliments to the people who work here and do a good job,” Sonneveld concluded. “I have respect for this, and know that (the job) is about to do the things good, and to do the good things. I think that both of these aspects are being performed here very well.”