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News | Aug. 17, 2016

NORAD Commander Visits Canadian Armed Forces

General Lori Robinson, Commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, visited 4 Wing and Canadian Forces Base Cold Lake, Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada, August 15, 2016, alongside Major-General Christian Drouin, Commander 1 Canadian Air Division and the Canadian NORAD Region.

Robinson, who took command of NORAD in May, wanted to familiarize herself with the Canadian NORAD Region facilities and capabilities at 4 Wing and CFB Cold Lake, as well as meet the people there.  

“NORAD is a team made up of forces from both Canada and the United States, which includes our colleagues at 4 Wing Cold Lake,” Robinson said.  “It is a privilege to be able to meet the men and women on the front line of the NORAD mission here at 4 Wing; they have the watch, and there is absolutely no doubt that they are ready to get the job done when needed.” 

NORAD, which is the only bi-national command in the world, is a formal military agreement between the U.S. and Canada established in 1958. 

“The relationship we share with our American Allies through NORAD is unique in the world,” said Drouin, “and it is a pleasure to host General Robinson at one of our premier NORAD facilities to demonstrate to her how capable the men and women of the Royal Canadian Air Force are. 

During the visit, Drouin presented 4 Wing with the Royal Canadian Air Force Commander’s Unit Commendation for its exceptional responsiveness to and effectiveness in supporting the NORAD mission 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

"For decades, the personnel at 4 Wing and CFB Cold Lake have been standing guard to defend North America, a posture they have been proud to maintain and will continue to maintain well into the future,” Drouin said. 

Following the visit to 4 Wing, Robinson and Drouin also visited the NORAD Forward Operating Location in Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Canada.

Collaboration between Canada and the United States through NORAD remains a powerful example of the trust between the nations. Initially tasked to monitor and defend North American airspace by tracking man-made objects, such as satellites and missiles, and warning of external attacks against the continent by aircraft or missiles, NORAD has evolved in response to new threats, both internal and external, and now conducts aerospace warning and aerospace control as well as maritime warning in the defence of North America.

Quick facts

Canada considers the United States their most important ally and defence partner.
The long history of the Canada-United States partnership on defence is based on shared interests and values and a joint commitment to the defence of North America.
For more than 50 years, Canada and the United States have cooperated closely through NORAD, making it a critical element of North American defence and an effective and unique binational command.
Canada and the United States share a land border close to 9,000 kilometres (over 5,500 miles) in length.
Canadians and Americans under NORAD command were the first military responders to the attacks on September 11, 2001.