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News | Oct. 20, 2011

First combatant command academic chair established at National Defense University

By NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- The North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, with the National Defense University, recently established the first-ever combatant command academic chair at NDU.

The NORAD and USNORTHCOM Academic Chair will provide guidance in the development of new courses, studies, workshops, research, programs and seminars for the commands' various missions. The chair will represent the commands at meetings and events where a combatant command voice is needed.

"NDU provides intellectual capability from many of its centers and colleges for challenging problems at NORAD and USNORTHCOM," said Dr. Alenka Brown-VanHoozer, Senior Research Fellow at NDU's Center for Technology and National Security Policy and the person who will serve as the chair. "The chair is a venue that NORAD and USNORTHCOM see as a reach-back support to their many missions."

The chair will communicate the commands' priorities and challenges to the university's colleges and research centers or "think tanks," who, in turn, reach out to other institutional research centers.

"This partnership between the commands and NDU allows us to optimize government research efforts and better use government resources to meet our country's needs," Brown-VanHoozer said, "especially during tough economic times."

NDU is considered the premier center for joint professional military education and is under the direction of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The university is dedicated to providing an educational and research environment to prepare future leaders of the U.S. military, Department of Defense, other U.S. government agencies, and foreign nations for senior-level policy, command and staff responsibilities.

Brown-VanHoozer is the program lead for the Human Interoperability Enterprise and the assistant chair for Energy and Environmental Security Policy for CTNSP. She serves as a senior mentor for NORAD and USNORTHCOM in various capacities. She is senior director for Human System Development and part of the Distinguished R&D Staff, detailed to NDU on an Intergovernmental Personnel Assignmentfrom the Oak Ridge National Laboratory of the Department of Energy. Brown-VanHoozer earned a Ph.D. in Human Factors Engineering, a M.S. in Electrical Engineering, and a B.S. in Computer Science.

NORAD is the bi-national command which conducts aerospace warning, aerospace control, and maritime warning in defense of North America. Since Sept. 11, 2001, Continental U.S. NORAD Region fighters have responded to more than 3,400 possible air threats in the U.S. and have flown more than 59,000 sorties in support of Operation Noble Eagle.

USNORTHCOM is the joint combatant command formed in the wake of the Sept.11, 2001 terrorist attacks to provide homeland defense, defense support of civil authorities, and security cooperation to defend the United States and its interests.