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News | May 24, 2018

Gen. O’Shaughnessy assumes command of NORAD, USNORTHCOM

By Master Sgt. John Gordinier NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs

Air Force Gen. Terrence J. O'Shaughnessy assumed command of the North American Aerospace Defense Command and United States Northern Command from Air Force Gen. Lori Robinson during a ceremony held at Peterson Air Force Base today.

The change of command was presided over by U.S. Secretary of Defense, Jim Mattis, and Canadian Armed Forces Chief of the Defence Staff, Gen. Jonathan H. Vance. Also in attendance were Canadian Minister of National Defence, Harijit S. Sajjan, and U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr.


Mattis praised Robinson for her command of NORAD and USNORTHCOM and welcomed O'Shaughnessy to his new assignment.


“General Robinson, you created and rewarded a climate of trusted teamwork with neighboring countries as well as across two commands,” said Mattis. “General O’Shaughnessy, our nation is counting on you and you have my full confidence in your abilities. Now you have the watch.”


Sajjan expressed the importance of NORAD and the partnership between the U.S. and Canada.


“We look forward to the next 60 years of NORAD and we know the command will evolve. Threats to North America have changed and we need to change along with it,” said Sajjan. “To be effective in the 21st century we have to continue to work together to modernize NORAD in support of our strategic commands. As part of Canada’s new defense policy, Strong, Secure, Engaged, we are committed to our working partnership. For decades to come we will continue to collaborate in innovative ways to keep North America safe.”


O'Shaughnessy said the strength of NORAD and USNORTHCOM comes from the sustained and continuous partnerships with joint, interagency and multinational organizations.


“There is no doubt that I am joining a combined team that has safeguarded our nations amidst one of the most diverse and challenging security atmospheres in our history,” said O'Shaughnessy. “Thank you for your selfless service and preservation of our sacred responsibility.”


O'Shaughnessy most recently served as the Pacific Air Forces commander, Air Component commander for U.S. Pacific Command and Pacific Air Combat Operations Staff executive director at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii. (


Robinson thanked the combatant commands, partners, leaders and staff of NORAD and USNORTHCOM, along with the Colorado Springs community.


“I will miss the warriors and friends who’ve shared the last two years of my career,” said Robinson. “But I take great pleasure in knowing you’ll be there for Gen. O’Shaughnessy and his family…there is no greater sacred responsibility than the defense of our homeland.  I’ll never forget the great honor and privilege of this responsibility.”


Robinson took command of NORAD and USNORTHCOM in May 2016 and is scheduled to retire after more than 37 years of service.


NORAD is a binational command between the U.S. and Canada, charged with the missions of aerospace warning and aerospace control for North America while USNORTHCOM partners to conduct homeland defense, civil support and security cooperation to defend and secure the U.S. and its interests. The two commands have complementary missions and are co-located together on Peterson AFB.