March 21, 2007 —
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — The commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command gave "state of the commands" testimony today in Washington, D.C., to the House Armed Services Committee.
Adm. Timothy J. Keating answered committee members' questions, one of which concerned USNORTHCOM's relationship with the Department of Homeland Security.
"It is one that is based upon a common goal of providing security and support for the citizens of the United States," Keating said. "It's exercising frequently; it's sharing plans; it's sharing officers and staff workers."
USNORTHCOM and DHS engage in "comprehensive activitities ... to ensure that we are not again attacked and that, in the event of catastrophe, whether natural or manmade, we are directed by the president to operate closely with the Department of Homeland Security to mitigate suffering and save human lives."
USNORTHCOM was established Oct. 1, 2002, to provide command and control of Department of Defense homeland defense efforts and to coordinate defense support of civil authorities.
NORAD is a bi-national United States and Canadian organization charged with the missions of aerospace warning and aerospace control for North America.
Keating will relinquish command of NORAD and USNORTHCOM in a change-of-command ceremony Friday at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo. His next assignment will be commander of U.S. Pacific Command. Lt. Gen. Victor E. Renuart Jr. will assume leadership of NORAD and USNORTHCOM and also receive his fourth star Friday.