Oct. 4, 2007 —
General Gene Renuart, commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command addressed representatives from the U.S. and foreign militaries, government agencies and the private sector at the National Homeland Defense Symposium V in Colorado Springs, Colo., today.
Renuart said that the symposium was an excellent opportunity for defense professionals to learn from one another and share each other’s thoughts on homeland defense.
“This is a great opportunity to share ideas and to work toward a common cause,” said Renuart. “We bring in professionals from industry, we bring in professionals from the education world, we bring in professionals from the … ‘core competency’ areas of homeland defense and homeland security.
“These ‘global get-togethers’ are important for our nation’s defense, but equally, they are important for the defense of all of our friends,” Renuart said.
Renuart said that no problem, whether security or disaster related, knows borders.
“[Problems] all cross borders; in many cases, they come with little or no warning and in the case of a man-made event, they come with very little regard to the laws that we place on our country.”
Renuart said that it is important to create “seamless” communication across international, governmental and civilian organizations in order to help ensure that no potential threat or resource that could be used to help in response to a disaster goes un-noticed. He emphasized the importance of creating cooperative relationships before a disaster occurs. He said it is easier to coordinate a response effort if the parties involved already know each other and each others’ capabilities.
Renuart touched on a variety of subjects regarding homeland defense, but emphasized that much progress has been made in the way USNORTHCOM and federal, state and local agencies work together to respond to a disaster, whether manmade or natural.
“We are so much farther ahead (today) of where we were on 9/11 and even where we were after Katrina,” said Renuart. “It’s because we’ve integrated our training and our planning capacities and most importantly, we’ve built the relationships (with other agencies).”
The Homeland Defense Symposium covered a variety of subjects related to defense and defense support of civil authorities, providing opportunities for interaction with officials from throughout the spectrum of defense and civil agencies as well as the private sector.