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American Forces Press Service

Keating Recaps Tenure at NORTHCOM, NORAD

By Petty Officer 1st Class Joaquin Juatai, USN
Special to American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 23, 2007 – The outgoing commander of U.S. Northern Command and North American Aerospace Defense Command reflected on his tenure at a news conference here yesterday.

Navy Adm. Timothy J. Keating, who will take command of U.S. Pacific Command, noted that NORTHCOM was created to bolster homeland defense in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.

“I think NORTHCOM represents a significant improvement in our nation’s ability to defend itself,” Keating said. “We are better prepared today by far to defend our homeland because of the existence of Northern Command.”

During Keating’s two-and-a-half-year tenure as commander of NORAD and NORTHCOM, many improvements and upgrades to the way both commands perform their missions were enacted, including realignment to the Cheyenne Mountain Directorate, the traditional command center of NORAD.

“It is beneficial to improved combat efficiency and effectiveness,” Keating said. “It will provide increased combat effectiveness for NORAD and USNORTHCOM.”

Keating praised the personnel assigned to NORAD and NORTHCOM, stating that the United States and Canada have provided both commands with the “quality personnel and first-rate equipment” required to fulfill their respective missions.

“I am confident that we have the systems in place that will continue to deter those who would seek to attack us,” Keating said. “I think the fact that there hasn’t been an attack for five and a half years now is not accidental.”

NORAD is a binational U.S. and Canadian command charged with aerospace and maritime warning for North America. NORTHCOM is responsible for homeland defense and defense support of civil authorities.

Air Force Gen. Victor E. Renuart will accept command from Keating in a ceremony here today.

(Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Joaquin Juatai is assigned to NORAD and NORTHCOM Public Affairs.)

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