NORAD and USNORTHCOM train in Novel Strain
Jan. 21, 2010
By Capt. Angela Young,
NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command put their skills into practice during a pandemic exercise, which ran Jan. 11-14.
Exercise NOVEL STRAIN is a USNORTHCOM Commander directed Tier 1 command post exercise focused on operations in a Pandemic Influenza environment. PI is a relatively new mission assigned to combatant commands and services, and as such, NORAD and USNORTHCOM created a phased approach to train and exercise PI contingency plans and directives.
NOVEL STRAIN is the first Pandemic Influenza command post exercise conducted by NORAD and USNORTHCOM. It was preceded by two PI table top exercises that helped develop the commands’ understanding of Pandemic Influenza. NOVEL STRAIN will further validate the commands’ ability to operate in a Pandemic Influenza environment.
Col. Jay Neubauer, Command Surgeon for NORAD and USNORTHCOM, said that his directorate provides advice and guidance to the commander on medical issues, as well as planning for and sourcing medical assets that establish medical capabilities needed in the field to support homeland defense operations or defense support to civil authorities. In regard to NOVEL STRAIN, he says, “we are focused, in large part, on what we would do internally to maintain capability and capacity.”
The exercise is designed to train NORAD and USNORTHCOM Headquarters directorates, Special Staff, Components, Subordinates, NORAD Regions, the five Pandemic Influenza Regional Joint Task Forces and other exercise participants. In accordance with the commander’s direction, NOVEL STRAIN emphasizes real-world operations and mission critical functions and tasks, while operating in a degraded environment due to the effects and impact of a Pandemic Influenza outbreak.
U.S. Northern Command was established to provide command and control of Department of Defense homeland defense efforts and to coordinate defense support of civil authorities. NORAD is a bi-national United States and Canadian organization charged with the missions of aerospace warning and aerospace control for North America. For more information on the commands, please visit www.northcom.mil or www.norad.mil.