Russian general visits NORAD
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- It was an event that would have been unthinkable when the North American Aerospace Defense Command was created in 1958.
This month, the Russian general in command of the very threat NORAD was created to defend against became the command's honored guest. It's a sign of how the world has changed since the end of the Cold War in 1991.
General-Lieutenant Igor Khvorov, commander of the Russian Federation Air Forces' 37th Strategic Air Army, came to Colorado at the invitation of NORAD Commander Adm. Timothy J. Keating to discuss the possibility of future NORAD-Russian training exercises. Ironically, the 37th SAA is an intercontinental nuclear strike force with the capability of delivering nuclear warheads, including bombs, cruise missiles and air-to-surface missiles.
"Visits of this nature are very important for building stronger relationships between us and our allies," Keating said. "They give us an opportunity to gain a better understanding of each others' concerns and issues common to both our commands."
After attending briefings at NORAD headquarters at Peterson Air Force Base, Khvorov toured Cheyenne Mountain and visited Fort Carson and the United States Air Force Academy. He then visited the Alaska NORAD Region in Anchorage.
This visit, and others like it, are opportunities to help put an end to residual Cold War-legacy notions and issues, Keating said, and to improve our mutual understanding of each other's goals and objectives to enhance our cooperative efforts in the ongoing Global War on Terror.
NORAD is a combined, bi-national military command established by an agreement in 1958 between Canada and the United States to monitor and defend North American aerospace. The commander of NORAD is appointed by, and is responsible to, both the Canadian and U.S. governments through the Chief of the Defence Staff of Canada and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States.