USNORTHCOM’s official response to Commission on National Guard and Reserves Final Report

By NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs | February 01, 2008

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- U.S. Northern Command’s primary mission is Homeland Defense, and the command stands ready to respond to any homeland defense or civil support mission requirement.

“The U.S. military absolutely has the capacity to respond to potential threats within our nation today. It will get better in this coming year and continue to improve beyond that,” said Gen. Gene Renuart, USNORTHCOM commander.

Established in 2002 as a result of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, USNORTHCOM has dramatically expanded DoD’s focus on all aspects of Homeland Defense, including planning and exercising, as well as organizing new headquarters and units that are specifically tailored for domestic response.

USNORTHCOM has prepared detailed plans for responding to situations that range from pandemic influenza to Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear events, and the command has redefined its readiness capabilities since Hurricane Katrina.

When it comes to providing forces in response to incidents, the command has nearly 50 National Guard officers fully integrated within its operations, in addition to National Guard Civil Support Teams located within every U.S. state and territory, and 17 regional consequence response units.

USNORTHCOM also utilizes an active-duty military response unit of nearly 450 Marines who are the “gold standard” for responding to weapons of mass destruction attacks. In addition, there are pre-identified active-duty and Reserve components (4,000 members each) on a short string to provide additional muscle to initial response teams.

USNORTHCOM’s primary mission remains defending the homeland, and Americans can be assured the U.S. military is ready and capable of responding to attacks within the United States. H