Posted by U.S. Northern Command on Friday, June 12, 2020

Homeland Defense Academic Symposium

The inaugural Homeland Defense Academic Symposium will be held virtually from Dec. 1-3, 2020. It will feature briefings, panel discussions, moderated paper presentations, keynote speakers, and a tabletop exercise focused on homeland defense issues at the unclassified level.   

Academic and industry representatives from the United States and Canada are invited to attend. Registration is open, and will remain open until Nov. 24. Participants will gain insight into the NORAD and USNORTHCOM unique missions, capabilities and requirements, and be able to incorporate the most up-to-date information about the commands into their curriculums as appropriate. Symposium content includes research submissions from the 2019 call for proposals or abstracts from North American academics (United States and Canada) in subject areas relevant to NORAD and USNORTHCOM missions, operations and procedures. 


Dates and Deadlines

Oct. 13 — Registration Opens

Nov. 24 — Registration Closes

Dec. 1-3 — Academic Symposium


Register now for the 2020 Homeland Defense Academic Symposium.



North American Defense and Security Academic Alliance

The NORAD and USNORTHCOM North American Defense and Security Academic Alliance (NADSAA) exists as a collaborative information-based enterprise dedicated to strengthening and normalizing relationships between the two Commands and academic institutions. This relationship stimulates and develops new thinking, examines cross-organizational solutions, and helps cultivate future generations of Defense and Security practitioners.

Learn More

Call for Papers / Proposals


Today’s increasingly complex security environment is defined by increased inter-state competition, the changing nature of conflict, rapid technological change, and challenges from adversaries in every operating domain. Adversaries have methodically formulated doctrine and developed the capability to support it, specifically aimed at threatening our countries with conflict below the nuclear threshold.  

To meet the demand of the emerging security environment, the U.S. National Defense Strategy establishes “Defending the Homeland” as defense objective number one. The Canadian defence policy also stresses the significance of defense as part of its core missions, “Detect, deter, and defend against threats to or attacks on North America.”

In January 2019, former NORAD and USNORTHCOM commander, Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, provided a call to action to the NORAD and USNORTHCOM staff, “…to inspire a command-wide transformation of our approach to the homeland defense mission in order to recapture the competitive advantage required to protect our citizens and way of life.”

The combatant commander’s call is to rethink how we think about homeland defense, no longer depending on 20th century thinking to fight 21st century adversaries. To assist in this transformation, the 2020 Homeland Defense Academic Symposium enlists the assistance of academia to seek new ways to shape the security environment and enhance the United States and Canadian defense capabilities.  

Call to Action

The NORAD and USNORTHCOM commander further stated, “In recognizing our vulnerabilities, we must create a culture of experimentation and exploration to connect the dots in new ways, uncovering undiscovered opportunities and illuminating blind spots.” 

To assist in illuminating these blind spots, the 2020 Homeland Defense Academic Symposium seeks to address the commander’s call to action, focusing on five current challenges:

  • Conventional Deterrence
  • Improving Arctic Capabilities
  • Leveraging Commercial Technology
  • Establishing a Homeland Defense Ecosystem
  • Increasing Globally-Integrated Planning and Operations

American and Canadian academics were invited to research and write on a topic within the NORAD and USNORTHCOM purview. Participating researchers were requested to submit abstracts to the North American Defense and Security Academic Alliance (NADSAA), with the top submissions receiving an invitation and funding to present their research at the 2020 Homeland Defense Academic Symposium.

Each of the selected papers were peer reviewed by fellow academics within the homeland defense academic community as well as by a team of NORAD and USNORTHCOM subject matter experts. Following the review, each approved paper was submitted for publishing within the symposium’s journal.

Research Topics

Researchers were invited to select, but not limited to, a research topic from the following categorized list:

1. Conventional Deterrence 

  • Deterrence in the Homelands
    • How can our commands better pursue a deterrence by denial strategy in homeland defense? 
    • How can a conventional deterrence strategy (focused below the nuclear threshold) be employed to counter the rise of peer and near-peer adversaries? What would constitute a credible conventional deterrence architecture?  
    • Explore the interdependencies between deterrence by denial and deterrence by punishment. Given the capabilities of near-peer adversaries and their ability to defend against counterattacks, as well as their ability to hold critical infrastructure in the homelands at risk, how does the ability or inability to defend critical infrastructure impact the ability to inflict punishment and ultimately deter?
    • How has conventional (non-nuclear) deterrence succeeded? Under what conditions has conventional strategic deterrence succeeded in the past and elsewhere? What changes to these conditions led to failure? What insights and lessons can or should be drawn from the nearly seven decades of successful nuclear deterrence?
    • What are the strategic objectives of Russia and China? How do they align and diverge? Given that, how should the West deter Russia and China from considering/taking action?

2. Improving Arctic Capabilities

  • Arctic Communications
    • The Arctic poses significant challenges to our ability to command and control and communicate within the region. What capability and capacity is available now and will be available in the future to improve communication in the Arctic? Determine which combination of communications provides assured communications to bases and mobile platforms. (e.g., High Frequency, Ultra High Frequency, Very High Frequency, Line of Sight, Satellite Communications)
  • Arctic Infrastructure and Basing
    • Is there an optimal infrastructure to satisfy operational and defense requirements? Consider near-term and persistent basing solutions that meet uncertain future demands and meets the extreme environmental conditions.
  • Mitigating Threats in the Arctic by Creating an Arctic Joint Task Force (JTF)
    • Given the strategic significance the Arctic plays in NORAD and USNORTHCOM’s homeland defense posture within the northern hemisphere, we must increase our operational capacity in the region. Would the creation of an Arctic JTF serve as an effective means of mitigating the threats and challenges of the evolving Arctic?

3. Leveraging Commercial Technology

  • Cyber Defense of Canada and the United States and Critical Infrastructure Protection
    • How can the U.S. acquisition process be reformed to meet the speed of relevancy for 21st century security challenges and at the same time encourage industry's "buy-in?"
    • How can NORAD and USNORTHCOM maximize the potential or increase the shared value of commercial and industry integration in developing homeland defense technological solutions?
  • Cyber Security: Energy Sector
    • Align recommendations from the research on non-Department of Defense / Department of National Defence energy sector critical infrastructure and key resources with defense critical infrastructure nodes that may rely upon them.

4. Establishing an HD Ecosystem

  • Domain Awareness 
    • How can NORAD and USNORTHCOM optimize detection capability in an era of trans-regional, all-domain, multi-functional threats?
    • How do NORAD and USNORTHCOM maintain all-domain awareness as adversaries field advanced weapons (e.g., hyper-glide vehicles, hypersonic cruise missiles)
    • What is the optimal combination of new and emerging technology that can produce an intuitive, layered sensing grid to enable all-domain awareness?
  • Joint, All-Domain Command and Control
    • What is the optimal architecture that would enable Joint All-Domain command and control (C2)?
    • How do we design and implement an operationally-relevant C2 structure that maximizes the elements below to improve our ability to predict, detect, correlate, and track any threat to North America?
      • Big Data Analytics
      • Edge Computing
      • Machine Learning
      • Artificial Intelligence
  • Advanced Defeat Mechanisms
    • How do we collectively meet the current demands of the ballistic and cruise missile threat, while also preparing for the future threat of supersonic and hypersonic weapons? 
    • What type of technology investments will enable a defeat capability against new and evolving threats? How can we flip the cost-curve on missile defense?

5. Increasing Globally-Integrated Planning and Operations

  • Given the complementary nature of homeland defense and the “fight forward,” how can we improve our integration in every stage of planning and operations?
  • Considering the USNORTHCOM requirement to preserve power projection capability, how can we improve integration of homeland defense objectives into other combatant commands priorities and decision-making processes? 
  • Cross-Area of Responsibility (AOR) avenues of approach, cross-domain capabilities, and significantly increased weapon ranges eliminate the ability to contain a regional conflict. Any regional conflict will have global implications. How will that effect our approach to globally-integrated operations?

Writing Award

Each of the selected papers will compete for the Homeland Defense Academic Symposium writing award. The winning author in each category will be recognized with an award at the 2020 Homeland Defense Academic Symposium.

Submissions will be evaluated in two categories:

  • Senior Researcher (college/university faculty, senior professionals and war college students)
  • Junior Researcher (graduate-level students)


Casey Babb
Associate Fellow, Royal United Services Institute
Senior Analyst, Public Safety Canada
Babb is a Ph.D. candidate at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University in Ottawa. His doctoral research focuses on the ways in which different authoritarian regimes vary in their use of cyber attacks. Over the last number of years, he has also undertaken extensive research on the nexus between artificial intelligence and national security, cyber conflict, weaponising outer space, and the impact emerging technologies are having on great power competition and warfare. He holds degrees in political science and international development (B.A.) from Saint Mary’s University, as well as in international relations (M.A.) from York University.

John Comiskey, Ed.D.
Associate Professor, Homeland Security, Monmouth University
Comiskey teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in homeland security, intelligence, terrorism, climate security, and mass shootings. His research interests include homeland security intelligence, cyber security, mass shootings, and climate security. He is the co-editor of Theoretical Foundations of Homeland Security and has published peer-reviewed journal articles in the Homeland Security Affairs, Journal of Homeland Security Education, Journal of Human Security and Resilience, Disaster Journal, and Behavioral & Social Science Librarian journals as well as several U.S. government white papers. He is also the editor of the Journal of Security, Intelligence, and Preparedness Education. Comiskey is a retired New York City Police lieutenant and a retired U.S. Coast Guard Reserve senior chief petty officer. His professional experiences include law enforcement, intelligence, counterterrorism, and event and crisis management. Comiskey was a first-responder to both the 1993 and 2001 World Trade Center bombings and returned to active duty during Operation Iraqi Freedom. 
Topic: Climate Security: A Pre-Mortem Scenario Planning Approach to Homeland Defense

Michael Larranaga
President, R.E.M. Risk Consultants
Larranaga is an expert in risk management, business continuity, operational excellence, and process safety. He serves as an appointed member of the Scientific/Technical Advisory Committee of the World Trade Center Health Program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Opioid Working Group. He previously served as an appointed public member on the Board of Scientific Counselors for the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the DHS First Responders Group.
Topic: Climate Security: A Pre-Mortem Scenario Planning Approach to Homeland Defense

Cameron Carlson, Ph.D., PMP
Program Director, Homeland Security and Emergency Management, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Director, Center for Arctic Security and Resilience, University of Alaska Fairbanks
As the director of the Homeland Security and Emergency Management program for the past ten years, Carlson has focused on redefining homeland defense, security and emergency management education and in developing collaborative working relationships with other programs within the United States and abroad to better meet the needs of the diverse student populations across the spectrum of these fields. He currently serves as the project lead and principle investigator for the Arctic Defense Security Orientation project for USNORTHCOM and U.S. Alaska Command and is working to integrate interdisciplinary research and academic activities to focus on areas such as geospatial intelligence integration, climate security and resilience and human security within the Arctic region. 
Topic 1: Climate Security: A Pre-Mortem Scenario Planning Approach to Homeland Defense
Topic 2: Command and Control of Northern Maritime Forces: The Concept and Rationale in Support of a JFMCC-Arctic

Richard Berkebile, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Joint, Interagency and Multinational Operations, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College
Berkebile's professional interests include homeland defense and security, protection, terrorism, and civil war. Berkebile is a retired Air Force officer and served in a variety of assignments in the United States, Germany, and Korea. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Missouri, a M.S. in International Relations from Troy University, and a B.S. in International Affairs from the U.S. Air Force Academy.
Topic: 21st Century Deterrence 

Andrea Charron, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, University of Manitoba
Director, Centre for Defence and Security Studies, University of Manitoba
Charron holds a Ph.D. from the Royal Military College of Canada. She obtained an M.A. in International Relations from Webster University, Leiden, The Netherlands, an M.P.A. from Dalhousie University and a B.S. (Honours) from Queen's University. Charron worked for various federal departments including the Privy Council Office in the Security and Intelligence Secretariat. She completed her post doctorate at Carleton's Norman Paterson School of International Affairs. Charron has written extensively on the Arctic, NORAD, Canadian defence policy and the Security Council. She is a member of the Department of National Defence’s Advisory Board and is asked regularly to provide guest lectures at Canadian Forces College and to provide testimony to Senate and House of Commons' committees.

James Fergusson, Ph.D.
Professor, Political Studies, University of Manitoba
Deputy Director, Centre for Defense and Security Studies, University of Manitoba
Fergusson received his B.A. (Honours) and M.A. degrees from the University of Manitoba, and his Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia. He teaches a range of courses in the areas of international relations, foreign and defence policy, and strategic studies. He has published numerous articles on strategic studies, non-proliferation and arms control, the defenceindustry, and Canadian foreign and defence policy.

Nancy Teeple, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Fellow, National Defence MINDS, North American and Arctic Defence and Security Network
Adjunct Assistant Professor and Research Associate, Royal Military College of Canada
Teeple's research areas are nuclear strategy and deterrence, missile defence, arms control, and Arctic security. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Simon Fraser University, an M.A. in War Studies from Royal Military College, a M.L.I.S. from the University of Western Ontario, an M.A. in Ancient Studies from the University of Toronto, and a B.A. (Honours) in Classical Studies from the University of Ottawa. Teeple recently held the 2019-2020 Fulbright Canada Research Chair in Peace and War Studies at Norwich University in Vermont where she explored the causal processes in the formulation of U.S. Arctic security and defence policy, within the context of the Canada-U.S. continental defence relationship.
Topic: The Future of Canadian Participation in Missile Defense

Ali Omur, Lt. Col., U.S. Army
Staff Group Advisor and Instructor, Joint, International and Multinational Operations, U.S. Army Command and General Staff School
Omur is a graduate of Florida State University and was commissioned in the Quartermaster Corps in 1994. He served as a supply platoon leader and later was deployed to serve as a liaison officer in Zenica, Bosnia-Herzegovina in support of Implementation Force Mission to Bosnia. In 1999 he was promoted to captain and served as a marine terminal transportation officer. He deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom both to Turkey and Kuwait and served as an assistant brigade S-3. Later he served as a basic combat training company commander and in 2005 he was promoted to major and reassigned as the battalion S-3. In 2007 he was assigned as the military assistant to the corps chief of staff, NATO Rapid Deployable Corps, Istanbul, Turkey. In 2008 he attended Command and General Staff College and then worked as a foreign liaison officer until 2010. He then deployed to Afghanistan and was assigned as the International Stabilization Force Headquarters liaison officer to Regional Command – Capital. During this deployment, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel.
In 2011, Omur was assigned as the Eastern Europe and Eurasia branch chief, Security Cooperation Division, G-3, U.S. Army Europe Headquarters in Heidelberg, Germany. He then deployed again for his second Afghanistan tour as an AfPak Hand in 2013 to Kabul, Afghanistan to serve as a strategic advisor to Commander of International Security Assistance Force, Commander’s Action Group, International Security Assistance Force Headquarters. After redeploying to Germany he served as the Security Cooperation Division, G-3, U.S. Army Europe Headquarters acting deputy division chief. From 2014 to 2016, he attended Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, D.C., earning a M.I.P.P .degree. From 2016 to 2019, he served as the U.S. Army Attaché to the Kingdom of Denmark in Copenhagen. In 2019, he was assigned to the U.S. Army Command and General Staff School, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
Topic: Greenland’s Critical Role in North American: The U.S Way Ahead 

Troy Bouffard, Master Sgt. (Ret.), U.S. Army
Assistant Director, Center for Arctic Security and Resilience, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Bouffard has a B.A. in Political Science and M.A. in Arctic Policy. He is currently working on a Ph.D. with a focus on Russian Arctic defense strategy and international law. As a defense contractor, he is co-principle investigator of the DoD Arctic Defense and Security Orientation program with USNORTHCOM and Alaska Command, which started seven years ago. Within the University of Alaska Fairbanks Homeland Security and Emergency Management program, Bouffard’s portfolio includes development and delivery of an Arctic Security graduate concentration and certificate. He is a network coordinator for the North American and Arctic Defence and Security Network and a non-resident research fellow with the Centre for Defence and Security Studies at the University of Manitoba. He has co-authored numerous articles, most recently with the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, Vanguard Magazine, and the Canadian Naval Review. Among his other academic activities, he recently served as a contracted supervisor and chief editor for a NATO Arctic research project. Other activities include delegate experience with the Arctic Council, panel and conference presentations, and conduct of many inter/national Arctic events.
Topic: Command and Control of Northern Maritime Forces: The Concept and Rationale in Support of a JFMCC-Arctic

Glenn Jones, Ph.D.
Senior Team Leader, Joint and Combined Warfighting School, Joint Forces Staff College, National Defense University. 
Jones graduated from Christopher Newport College in 1983 with a B.A. in History and Political Science. A distinguished military graduate, he served in the Army for 25 years, retiring in 2008 as a Lieutenant Colonel. His assignments include: Fort Bragg North Carolina, U.S. Atlantic Command, Camp Casey Korea, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Fort Carson, Colorado, and U.S. Central Command. 
He joined the faculty at Joint Forces Staff College in 2003 and has taught in the Joint and Combined Warfighting School (2003 to 2009), the Homeland Security Planner’s Course (2009 to 2014), and served as the associate dean of academics (2014 to 2017) before returning to the classroom. A 2008 recipient of the Recognition of Excellence Award and designated as "master faculty," he received an M.A. in National Security and Strategic Studies from the Naval War College, and subsequently completed his Ph.D. in Public Safety with a specialization in Emergency Management and a Homeland Security concentration in 2016. 
Topic: The Need for an Integrated Strategy: Denial, Deterrence and Relentless Resilience

James Redick
Director, Emergency Preparedness & Response, City of Norfolk, Virginia
Redick is a certified emergency manager with the International Association of Emergency Managers. His accomplishments include the 2012 Virginia Emergency Management Professional of the Year, the 2016 International Association of Emergency Manager's Clayton R. Christopher Award for unselfish devotion and outstanding contributions to the profession, and the 2017 Virginia Stanley Everett Crigger Humanitarian Achievement Award. Among the numerous committees on which he serves, Redick chairs the Team Norfolk Emergency Operations -- a group of community partners spanning public, private, nonprofit, higher education, military and houses of worship -- with a focus on unity of effort in mitigation and prevention, preparedness, response and recovery.  He was appointed to a third consecutive term on the Virginia Governor's Secure and Resilient Commonwealth Panel where he co-chaired with Senator John Watkins a sub-panel focused on the high probability and impact threat of recurrent flooding and sea level rise. He was also selected to serve on the Governor's Task Force on Public Safety Preparedness and Response to Civil Unrest following the Aug. 28, 2017 Unite the Right incident in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Redick is a graduate of FEMA's Advanced Academy and the Naval Postgraduate School's Center of Homeland Defense and Security Executive Leadership Program. He holds a B.A. in Organizational Leadership and Management from Regent University and a M.P.A. from Old Dominion University.
Topic: The Need for an Integrated Strategy: Denial, Deterrence and Relentless Resilience

Dongwon Lee, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Penn State University
Lee has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from University of California, Los Angeles and is distinguished member of the Association for Computer Machinery, being elected in 2019. Prior to starting at Penn State, he has worked at AT&T Bell Labs.. From 2015 to 2017, he has served as a program director at the National Science Foundation, co-managing cybersecurity programs with a yearly budget of $55 million. In general, he researches the problems in the areas of data science, machine learning, and cybersecurity. Since 2016, in particular, he has led a project at Penn State, investigating computational means to better understand and combat fake news.
Topic: Fake News 2.0: Combatting Neural False Information

Eliana Taylor

2020 Graduate, Texas A&M

Taylor has a Masters of International Affairs from the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University. Her research passion is for Arctic and the intersectionality between international policy and United States national security in the region. She is currently pursuing a career as an independent business owner, while pursuing opportunities to further explore the Arctic and promote the growing research in the region.
Topic: An Arctic Joint Task Force as the First Step Towards Security in the Arctic Circle

Petro Voyatzakis
Graduate Student, Concordia University  
Voyatzakis is a graduate student majoring in public policy and public administration at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. His research interests include the intersection between Canadian strategic objectives and public policy making.
Topic: Institution Building and Cyberwarfare Capabilities in China: A Study of Doctrine and Civil Military Relations


Attila Arslaner
Undergraduate Student, Concordia University 
Arslaner is an undergraduate student majoring in political science at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. His research interests revolve around the impact of emerging technologies to the security environment, and in particular to arms control. 
Topic: Institution Building and Cyberwarfare Capabilities in China: A Study of Doctrine and Civil Military Relations

Disclaimer: Material and external links contained herein are made available for the purpose of peer review and discussion.The thoughts and opinions expressed in the papers are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of NORAD and USNORTHCOM, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. Government.