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News | Jan. 24, 2012

NORAD, USNORTHCOM commander endorses bilateral agreements

By NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. - Army Gen. Charles Jacoby, Jr., commander of NORAD and U.S. Northern Command, joined Lt.-Gen. Walter Semianiw, Canada Command commander, in Ottawa today to sign three key bilateral documents that further develop the combined defense and security of Canada and the U.S.

Both commanders were in Ottawa to attend the meetings at the Permanent Joint Board on Defense (PJBD).

The documents signed by the two commanders during the meeting include the Civil Assistance Plan (CAP), the Combined Defense Plan (CDP) and an Information Sharing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The CAP, which was first signed on February 14, 2008, was renewed for two years, while the CDP establishes a planning framework between Canada Command, U.S. Northern Command, and NORAD for enhanced defence cooperation between Canada and the U.S. should governments require each other’s assistance. These arrangements are not unlike Requests for Assistance in response to natural disasters or in the event of a defence emergency. The Information Sharing MOU updates and formalizes existing arrangements between NORAD, USNORTHCOM and Canada Command that help identify and provide for ease of sharing information amongst the three organizations.

“Canada and the United States are great security partners who have worked together for over half a century. These three documents provide us with the necessary means to better coordinate our combined military resources to help our fellow Americans and Canadians during emergencies,” said General Jacoby. “They also help us be better prepared to defend the interests of our two great countries.”

The keynote address at the PJBD forum was delivered by the Honourable Peter McKay, Canadian Minister of National Defense. Minister McKay spoke about the importance of the PJBD for Canada’s defense and security relations with the United States. “The United States is Canada's most important ally and defence partner, and strategic discussion entrench our defence relationship at a critical time,” said Minister McKay.

The agenda for the 228th PJBD meeting included topics such as continental defense and security cooperation, regional engagement and the Arctic.

The PJBD has been in existence for over 70 years and is the highest level bilateral defense forum between Canada and the U.S. The Board meets semiannually, with hosting duties rotating between the two countries. This year, the event took place on January 24 and 25.