In my capacity as Commander of U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM), I am also Commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and the counterpart to the Commander of Canada Command (Canada COM), our partner to the north. These three organizations have complementary missions in protecting our homelands, and they work together closely.
NORAD—a more than 51-year-old bi-national U.S.-Canadian command governed by the NORAD Agreement—is responsible for aerospace warning and control and the relatively new and developing mission of maritime warning for the two countries. NORAD ensures U.S. and Canadian air sovereignty through a network of alert fighters, tankers, airborne-early-warning aircraft, and ground-based air-defense assets cued by interagency and defense surveillance systems.
USNORTHCOM, a unified combatant command established on 1 October 2002, has the joint missions of homeland defense-incorporating maritime defense, plus missile defense of the homeland—and defense support of civil authorities (DSCA).