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NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC INST FOR NATIONAL STRATEGIC STUDIES
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At this writing, a tropical storm floods south Texas. A major hurricane churns west across the Caribbean with a potential landfall along the Texas coast. Wildfires in the Western United States consume nearly 75,000 acres. U.S. Navy divers assist in the recovery of victims of a bridge collapse in Minneapolis. The space shuttle is aloft with a worrisome gouge in its protective tiles. Russian long-range bombers have resumed patrols that in the past have probed American and Canadian air defense identification zones. Vessels of interest approach American ports with suspicious persons on board. Each of these events could require the North American Aerospace Defense Command NORAD or U.S. Northern Command USNORTHCOM to respond to defend the homeland or support U.S. civil authorities in their response to various threats. These are the mission essential tasks of the dual commands at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs. Many organizations see themselves as unique, and we are no different. Our claim to that status flows from our area of responsibility for USNORTHCOM and our area of operations for NORAD the North American continent.
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