NORAD: 60 Years of Keeping North America Safe, Vice Chairman Says


The legacy of the North American Aerospace Defense Command began 60 years ago when the threat of nuclear attack was real. The threat of attack from Soviet bombers and missiles was what citizens experienced every day, said Air Force Gen. Paul J. Selva, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at NORAD’s 60th anniversary, today.

Speaking at Peterson Air Force Base Museum in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the vice chairman said it was the development of NORAD — a joint and binational command that conducts aerospace warning, aerospace control and maritime warning in the defense of North America — that helped alleviate that fear.

“It helped build one of the building blocks of deterrence that has served us since that day,” he said.

During that time period, Selva said, a group of staff officers from the U.S. Continental Air Defense Command and the Royal Canadian Air Force met and decided that the two nations were more powerful together than they were separately.

U.S., Canada Combining Forces

“The outcome of that meeting was a recommendation to the United States and Canada that we could counter that threat more effectively if we combined our forces and formed an integrated binational command completely unique, but built for purpose,” the vice chairman said, adding the leaders of both nations obviously agreed.

Selva said it would…

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