An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Fact Sheet Article View

FACTSHEET | April 26, 2013

NORAD Agreement

The common defense of North America traces its history back to 1940 when Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King and U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt met to discuss the war in Europe and mutual defense concerns. In September 1957, the two nations agreed to create the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD) as a bi-national command, headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado, to centralize operational control of continental air defenses against the threat of Soviet bombers.  

On May 12, 1958, Canada and the United States formally established NORAD. The command was responsible for the shared monitoring and defense of North American aerospace, and the original NORAD agreement included 11 principles governing the organization and operation of NORAD and called for a renewal 10 years later. The first renewal of the agreement came in March 1968.  

The NORAD Agreement has been reviewed, revised, renewed or extended several times since then: May 1973; May 1975; May 1980; March 1981 (when the name changed to “North American Aerospace Defense Command”); March 1986; April 1991; March 1996; June 2000; and May 2006. 

The March 1996 renewal redefined NORAD missions as aerospace warning and aerospace control for North America. The new agreement also included a consultative mechanism for issues concerning aerospace defense cooperation and a provision for the review and management of environmental practices related to NORAD operations. The May 2006 renewal, which is still current in 2022, added a maritime warning mission to the command's existing missions. 

The on-going adaptation of NORAD mission and capabilities to meet the challenges posed by ever-changing threats testifies to the strength of the NORAD Agreement and the close cooperation between Canada and the United States. Today, NORAD remains the model of a successful defense partnership. NORAD continues to evolve to keep North America safe from modern aerospace and maritime threats and, with additional investments for NORAD modernization announced by the Government of Canada in 2022, will continue to uphold its mandate into the future. 

NORAD Agreement (April 28, 2006) 

Current a/o Sept. 7, 2023