By Captain Cameron Hillier, NORAD Public Affairs –
North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is now represented at National Defence Headquarters (Pearkes) in Ottawa. The first-ever NORAD Forward Element (Ottawa) was stood up this past summer, with a focus on developing and maintaining partnerships between NORAD Headquarters in Colorado and National Defence Headquarters, the wider Department of National Defence, and other Government of Canada stakeholders.
The initial focus of the organization in the near term is to help realize commitment number 111 of Strong, Secure, Engaged – “Modernize NORAD to meet existing challenges and evolving threats to North America.”
“Our defence of North America requires an integrated approach,” said General Terrence O’Shaughnessy, Commander NORAD. “Having NORAD’s forward element in Ottawa is critical to developing and enhancing new and existing relationships, improving the flow of information with our bi-national partners and peer organizations, minimizing vulnerabilities, creating opportunities and overcoming challenges.”
NORAD is re-evaluating its strategic requirements and how current and planned efforts measure up against the changing global security environment.
“Our adversaries are constantly adapting, and in order to maintain an effective deterrent posture we need to liaise and work with others, be intentional, agile and efficient in our solutions,” said Lieutenant-General Christopher Coates, Deputy Commander NORAD. “We are looking to have solution-oriented conversations that enable the NORAD mission and adapt to the defense environment.”
The NORAD Forward Element (Ottawa) office is responsible for advancing force development, operations, and plans with NORAD equities within Canada. NORAD is continually evaluating evolving threats that affect its mission in the defence of North America. With the advent of hypersonic cruise missiles, cyber warfare, drone proliferation and other threats, NORAD relies on material and non-material solutions as it evolves to address these emerging issues.
“Our initial focus will be to engage Canadian Armed Forces and Department of National Defence organizations to discuss emerging continental defence policies that may impact NORAD operations and facilitate relationships between our partners in Canada and our command in Colorado,” said Colonel Michael Ward, Director NORAD Forward Element (Ottawa).
Col Ward and his team have direct liaison with all NORAD Directors and their staffs to work specific issues while keeping the NORAD command teams informed of ongoing issues.
Photo: CFSU(O) IMAGING SERVICES/Private Jonathan King
This post is also available in: Français (French)