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News | Aug. 24, 2021

NATO Air Policing meets NORAD - Collective Defence on a Global Scale

By Allied Air Command Public Affairs Office

On Aug 23, Major General Karsten Stoye, German Air Force, Chief of Staff of NATO's Allied Air Command at Ramstein Air Base, visited the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) to meet with NORAD Deputy Commander Lieutenant-General Alain Pelletier, Royal Canadian Air Force.

"Allied Air Command is closely working with the Allies in Europe to safeguard the airspace in a collective effort," said Major General Stoye during his visit. "The U.S. Air Force and the Royal Canadian Air Force are doing the exact same thing here for the North American airspace. My visit is an excellent opportunity to compare notes with the NORAD leadership, specifically General Pelletier and to learn from each other. Together we protect the airspace of almost one billion inhabitants in the 30 NATO member nations - a lot of common ground which we are continuing to explore together," he added.

During the visit, General Pelletier and his team gave General Stoye an overview of the NORAD roles and responsibilities, and informed their guest of the path NORAD and NORTHCOM are taking to achieve effective deterrence through information dominance tools and agile defence design.

"NORAD and USNORTHCOM were honoured to host Major General Stoye and support our global defence interests in an increasingly complex operating environment," said Lieutenant-General Alain Pelletier, Royal Canadian Air Force, Deputy Commander, NORAD. "Enhancing our commands' ability to integrate with allies and security partners on a global scale provides us the all-domain awareness and information dominance capabilities required to generate effective response options to our strategic competitors, therefore creating decision space for our leaders," he added.

While NATO Air Policing began in 1961 - exactly 60 years ago - NORAD started their mission three years earlier, in 1958. NORAD covers both the continental United States and Canada. It has three regional headquarters: the Canadian NORAD Region headquartered at 1 Canadian Air Division, Winnipeg, Manitoba; and the two US regions - Alaska NORAD Region and Continental U.S. NORAD Region - headquartered at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Anchorage, Alaska, and Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, respectively.

"Safeguarding the airspace on both sides of the Atlantic epitomises NATO's transatlantic link," said MG Stoye. "The Arctic region and the High North is a shared area of interest which is of great importance to NATO. Our Allied controllers, radar operators and fighter pilots ensure 24/7 vigilance and readiness providing deterrence and defence across the Euro-Atlantic area," he added.

NORAD is a bi-national United States and Canadian organization, charged with the missions of aerospace warning and aerospace control for North America. Aerospace warning includes the monitoring of man-made objects in space, and the detection, validation, and warning of attack against North America whether by aircraft, missiles, or space vehicles, through mutual support arrangements with other commands. Aerospace control includes ensuring air sovereignty and air defence of the airspace of Canada and the United States. The May 2006 NORAD Agreement renewal added a maritime warning mission, which entails a shared awareness and understanding of the activities conducted in U.S. and Canadian maritime approaches, maritime areas and inland waterways.