NORAD – North American Aerospace Defense Command Overview


What is NORAD – North American Aerospace Defense Command?

North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD is a joint military organization of the United States and Canada government that provides aerospace warning, air sovereignty, and defense for the two countries.

Responsibilities and Base Locations

NORAD was founded on May 12, 1958 as a joint command center between the governments of Canada and the United States, as the North American Air Defense Command. NORAD’s main technical facility is the Cheyenne Mountain Directorate, formerly known as the Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center, of the Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, located in Colorado. As a result, NORAD is sometimes referred to as Cheyenne Mountain.

In addition, the Canada East and Canada West Sector Air Operations Control Centers are located in the underground complex at Canadian Forces Base North Bay in Ontario, Canada.

The government organization’s headquarters facilities in Colorado are administered by the United States Air Force under the command of the 721st Mission Support Group, which is part of the 21st Space Wing, headquartered at Peterson Air Force Base. The organization’s forces consist of the Alaskan NORAD Region’s Eleventh Air Force, Canadian NORAD Region, and Continental NORAD Region.

Additional Resources

NORAD Official Website – The website provides a wealth of information including news headlines, historical information, Department of Homeland Security Warning Levels, Base information, photographs, and much more.

United States Northern Command Website – U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) was established October 1, 2002 to provide command and control of Department of Defense (DOD) homeland defense efforts and to coordinate defense support of civil authorities. USNORTHCOM is responsible for providing protection for America’s homeland, protecting the United State’s citizens, national power, and freedom of action. USNORTHCOM anticipates and conducts Homeland Defense and Civil Support operations within the assigned area of responsibility to defend, protect, and secure the United States and its interests.

USNORTHCOM’s includes air, land and sea approaches and encompasses the continental United States, Alaska, Canada, Mexico and the surrounding water out to approximately 500 nautical miles. It also includes the Gulf of Mexico, the Straits of Florida, portions of the Caribbean region to include The Bahamas, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The commander of USNORTHCOM is responsible for theater security cooperation with Canada, Mexico, and The Bahamas.


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