NORAD NEWS

NORAD and USNORTHCOM official response to final GAO Report on the Integrated Command Center

By NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs | September 18, 2008

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – The commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, Gen. Gene Renuart, made the following public statement today:

“Today, I provided an update to the House Armed Services Committee in a closed-door session about the NORAD and USNORTHCOM Command Center consolidation located at Peterson Air Force Base.

It’s important for the public to know that we in the military are good stewards of taxpayer dollars and that our decisions, ultimately, make this nation safer. My entire team and I are dedicated to the defense of this nation and its citizens, and that defense begins with the operational effectiveness and the security of our missions in the NORAD and USNORTHCOM Command Center.

I am committed to improving our security posture to protect our command center, which led to my decision to exceed the baseline security requirements at our headquarters by implementing enhanced force protection measures. We are additionally protecting mission accomplishment through multiple nodes of command and control. Redundant and distributed nodes provide the guarantee that there is no single point of failure in our mission responsibilities.

The consolidated NORAD and USNORTHCOM Command Center has provided unprecedented command and coordination capability and agility in supporting our federal and state partners during pre- and post-landfall operations for Hurricanes Gustav, Hanna and Ike. At the same time, we have continued to monitor Long Range Aviation in our NORAD mission, as well as support security efforts at the Democratic and Republican National Conventions. These multiple and near-simultaneous operations, which in the past would have caused impediments in our unity of effort and time-sensitive decision making, were improved because of the new consolidated command center.

I believe that the consolidation of our command centers is the right thing to do to ensure we keep our nations safe. The operational advantages of this effort are numerous and unmistakable.”

NORAD is the bi-national Canadian and American command responsible for the air defense of North America and maritime warning for Canada and the United States.

U.S. Northern Command was established on Oct. 1, 2002, to anticipate and conduct homeland defense and civil support operations within the assigned area of responsibility to defend, protect, and secure the United States and its interests. See http://www.norad.mil/ and http://www.northcom.mil/ for more information.