Colorado governor visits NORAD, USNORTHCOM

By Staff Sgt. Thomas J. Doscher | February 10, 2011

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. - Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper made his first visit to the headquarters of the North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command on Peterson Air Force Base Feb. 10.

The Governor, elected in 2010, also visited Fort Carson and Air Force Space Command.

During his visit to the commands, Hickenlooper met with NORAD Deputy Commander Canadian Lt.-Gen. Marcel Duval and USNORTHCOM Deputy Commander Lt. Gen. Frank Grass. The governor was briefed on the commands’ missions, make-up and received a tour of the NORAD and USNORTHCOM Command Center.

Hickenlooper said the tour has given him a better sense of what the commands do and how they work together.

“I think it’s brilliant,” he said. “It makes you feel more secure. Having NORTHCOM tied in with NORAD together here provides a much larger capacity to address tragedies and allows them to do so much more.”

The Governor said he wants to see a “pro-military” Colorado, pointing out the mutual benefits of having military installations like Peterson and Fort Carson in the state.

“If the state becomes more pro-military, finds more ways to make this an attractive place to train our uniformed first responders, our Air Force, our Army, there’s a real economic impact to that,” he said.

Hickenlooper said he’s pleased with the relationship Colorado has with the military and would like to build further upon that relationship.

“I certainly think there’s opportunity to build the relationship from both sides,” he said. “One of the things that’s been very gratifying to me is that at every level I’ve encountered on the military side there’s been a willingness to improve the relationship, to open stronger lines of communication. ‘What are those avenues where we can help the state of Colorado?’ I think the response to that question should be, ‘we’ll open those avenues of conversation, but how can we help you? How can we make Colorado the place that does the best job of training our military personnel on earth?’”