New NORAD commander

News Article / May 28, 2018

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By Master Sergeant John Gordinier, NORAD and USNORTHCOM public affairs

United States Air Force General Terrence J. O'Shaughnessy assumed command of the North American Aerospace Defense Command and United States Northern Command from General Lori Robinson during a ceremony held at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado on May 24, 2018.

The change of command was presided over by U.S. Secretary of Defense, Jim Mattis. Canadians General Jonathan H. Vance, chief of the defence staff, and Defence Minister Harijit Sajjan were present for the ceremony.

“We look forward to the next 60 years of NORAD and we know the command will evolve. Threats to North America have changed and we need to change along with it,” said Minister Sajjan. “To be effective in the 21st century we have to continue to work together to modernize NORAD in support of our strategic commands. As part of Canada’s new defence policy—Strong, Secure, Engaged—we are committed to our working partnership. For decades to come, we will continue to collaborate in innovative ways to keep North America safe.”

General O'Shaughnessy said the strength of NORAD and USNORTHCOM comes from the sustained and continuous partnerships with joint, interagency and multinational organizations.

“There is no doubt that I am joining a combined team that has safeguarded our nations amidst one of the most diverse and challenging security atmospheres in our history,” he said. “Thank you for your selfless service and preservation of our sacred responsibility.”

General Robinson thanked the combatant commands, partners, leaders and staff of NORAD and USNORTHCOM, along with the Colorado Springs community.

“I will miss the warriors and friends who’ve shared the last two years of my career,” she said. “But I take great pleasure in knowing you’ll be there for General O’Shaughnessy and his family . . . there is no greater sacred responsibility than the defense of our homeland.  I’ll never forget the great honor and privilege of this responsibility.”

General Robinson took command of NORAD and USNORTHCOM in May 2016 and is scheduled to retire after more than 37 years of service.

NORAD is a binational command between the U.S. and Canada, charged with the missions of aerospace warning and aerospace control for North America while USNORTHCOM partners to conduct homeland defense, civil support and security cooperation to defend and secure the U.S. and its interests.

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