Sept. 8, 2005 —
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – U.S. Northern Command is prepared to respond to threats of terrorism, even with thousands of military personnel mobilized to the Gulf Coast assisting in Hurricane Katrina relief and recovery operations, according to USNORTHCOM officials.
According to U.S. Navy Adm. Timothy J. Keating, commander of USNORTHCOM and the North America Aerospace Defense Command, “We’re watching the terrorist situation . . . very, very carefully.”
At a Defense Department briefing Sept. 5, Adm. Keating responded to questions about the readiness of the force to respond to threats of terrorism in addition to supporting relied operations along the Gulf Coast. “One of our jobs in Northern Command is to defeat any and all attacks on the United States,” he said.
The U.S military remains vigilant against potential terrorist threats while military forces are responding to the hurricane’s aftermath.
“We are prepared to respond to any threat to our homeland,” said U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Joseph R. Inge, USNORTHCOM deputy commander. Lt. Gen. Inge spoke to members of the press today at a Defense Department special briefing on the Pentagon’s Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.
Michael B. Perini, director of U.S. Northern Command and NORAD Public Affairs, said, “Although for the moment some of our military forces are focused on Hurricane Katrina relief and recovery operations, we never waiver from our primary mission of protecting the homeland.”
Lt. Gen. Inge ended his briefing today by saying, “And we stand ready to react to any threat against our homeland as we speak.”
As directed by the Secretary of Defense and in accordance with the National Response Plan, U.S. Northern Command is supporting the Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The Department of Defense is fully engaged in supporting the massive interagency effort to save lives, reduce suffering and protect the infrastructure of the homeland.