March 2020 - North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD)

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Biographies - NORAD Leadership

General O’Shaughnessy, Commander NORAD & US Northern Command

  • Pilot with Squadron, Group, Wing & Combatant Command experience
  • Operational and strategic policy experience

Lieutenant-General Coates, NORAD Deputy Commander

  • Pilot with Squadron, Group, & Wing Command experience
  • Domestic and expeditionary command experience


  • Deter, detect and defeat air threats to Canada and the United States
    • NORAD is a bi-national command that provides:
    • Aerospace control through surveillance and exercising operational control of airspace over Canada and the United States
    • Aerospace warning of attack by aircraft, missiles or space vehicles
    • Maritime warning
  • Air defence operations including:
    • Coordinating with Canadian, US, and International partners
    • Coordinating cyber and info ops
    • Developing recommendations on future requirements

Key facts

Total Employees:

  • 4,842 (Canada 1,091, USA 3,751)


  • Unique bi-national combatant command leveraging Canadian and US Services as a Force Employer

Primary location(s):

  • NORAD Headquarters: Colorado Springs, CO
  • 3 Regions:
    • Canadian - Winnipeg, MB;
    • Continental US - Panama City, FL;
    • Alaskan - Anchorage, AK
  • 4 Air Defence Sectors:
    • North Bay, ON;
    • Anchorage, AK;
    • Rome, NY;
    • Tacoma, WA;
  • 17 Fighter Alert Locations including Bagotville, QC and Cold Lake, AB
  • 3 Forward Operating Locations:
    • Yellowknife, NT;
    • Inuvik, NT; and
    • Iqaluit, NU

Key Partners


  • Canada:
    • Strategic Joint Staff
    • Vice Chief of Defence Staff
    • Canadian Joint Operations Command
    • Royal Canadian Air Force
  • United States:
    • Department of Defense
    • Joint Staff
    • US Northern Command
    • US Air Force


  • Canada:
    • Public Safety Canada
    • Transport Canada
  • United States:
    • Department of Homeland Security
    • Federal Aviation Administration

Top issues for North American Aerospace Defense Command



Initiatives with NORAD Nexus

  • Future Fighter
  • Air-to-air Refueling
  • Upgrade to North Warning System


NORAD Modernizaton will be informed by new Science & Technology, Northern Approaches Surveillance Analysis of Alternatives and All Domain Situational Awareness studies.

Whole of Government

  • Homeland defence of Canada and the US is the number one, no-fail, non-discretionary mission assigned to our military forces
  • Threats are varied and can occur in any environment (air, land, sea etc.)


  • NORAD’s raison d’être is to deter aggression

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