The United States has various organizations to defend its territory. The Navy, Army, Air Force and Marines are the military factions, but in cooperation with Canada, the U.S. also has the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) to “deter, detect, and defend” the United States and Canada.
The Birth of NORAD
In the late 1950s the Cold War was at its peak and the United States and Canada had grave concerns about the security of their territories. Attacks from the Atlantic or Pacific could be detected by Navy ships, Air Force aircraft, or radar platforms, but the Arctic region was under
In 1957 the two countries announced a joint effort to build a control and command center to defend North America. The agreement was formalized in May of 1958 and included eleven principles governing the operation and governing of the organization; and also required a renewal every ten years. An Army Corps of Engineers supervised excavating Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado Springs, Colorado. On June 16
As threats to the countries’ security changes, the role of the Command Center has adjusted its structure and its role. On July 28, 2006 NORAD and US Northern Command
The Cheyenne Mountain Complex, now called the Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station is owned and operated by the Air Force Space Command. NORAD and USNORTHCOM only use just short of 30% of the floor space of the complex. The daily operations of the North American Aerospace Defense Command are conducted at Peterson Air Force Base.
What is NORAD
In addition, there are three subordinate regional headquarters. Region one is located at Elmendorf Air Force Bade in Alaska; region two is located at Canadian Forces Base in Winnipeg, Manitoba; and the third region is located at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida. Each of these regional Command Centers is directed by the commander and control air operations of their respective regions.
The Current Role of NORAD
In 1981 the Center changed its name to North American Aerospace Defense Command to reflect its increasing role in monitoring space worldwide. The renewal of 1996 reflected the change in mission to redefine it as an aerospace warning and control for North America. To monitor aerospace, NORAD uses satellites, airborne radar and fighters and ground-based
As part of the aerospace the role of the Command Center, it assists in detecting and monitoring suspected drug trafficking aircraft and passing on the information to civil law enforcement authorities. After the attacks on September 11, 2001, NORAD’s mission included monitoring all aircraft in the airspace of the interior of the United States. Aerospace control includes the capability to intercept, escort, divert and if necessary destroy any airborne object. The renewal of 2006 added a maritime warning mission to the command’s role.
NORAD Santa Tracking
NORAD tracking includes a yearly monitor of a famous entity. Santa tracking began with the opening of the Command Center. It started quite by accident. In 1955 on Christmas Eve, a local girl in Colorado Springs followed an ad in the local newspaper directing kids to call Santa directly. However, the number was printed incorrectly and was actually the number into the
Every Christmas Eve, thousands of volunteers man the telephones and computers to report Santa’s whereabouts to eager children from around the world. A website was set up to provide live updates in seven languages. NORAD Tracks Santa Web site claims to receive almost nine million visitors from more than 200 countries and territories around the world. Using satellites, radars and jet fighters, NORAD keeps children (and adults) up to date on Santa’s progress. Each year the Public Affairs office puts out a new logo for tracking Santa.
The copyright of the article The History of NORAD is owned by Cheryl Weldon and permission to republish in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.
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