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NORAD & NORTHCOM Academic Symposium 2017

Lieutenant-General Pierre St-Amand, Deputy Commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), addresses the NORAD and USNORTHCOM Academic Symposium attendees in Colorado Springs, Colorado. (Photo credit: TSgt Joe Laws, USAF, NORAD and USNORTHCOM PA)

(Left to right) Lieutenant-General Pierre St-Amand, Deputy Commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command, General Lori J. Robinson, Commander, NORAD and United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) and Lieutenant General Reynold N. Hoover, Deputy Commander USNORTHCOM address the NORAD and USNORTHCOM Academic Symposium attendees in Colorado Springs, Colorado. (Photo credit: Tech. Sgt. Joe Laws, USAF, NORAD and USNORTHCOM PA)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) hosted its second annual two-day Academic Symposium Dec. 4-5 in Colorado Springs, Colo.

More than 80 participants took part in the event, sponsored in conjunction with the Canadian Defence Engagement Program and the Royal Military College of Canada.

This year’s attendees said they felt fortunate to have the reflections and insights of senior leaders and mentors that included the Commander of NORAD and USNORTHCOM, Gen. Lori Robinson; the Deputy Commander of NORAD, LGen Pierre St-Amand; former NORAD & USNORTHCOM Commanders, Gen. (Ret) Charles Jacoby and Gen. (Ret) Gene Renuart; former Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. (Ret) Tom Lawson; and Lt. Gen. (Ret) Stuart Beare, former commander of Canadian Joint Operations Command.

The event engaged a new generation of Canadian and American scholars to deliberate academically with their uniformed counterparts over matters such as the nuances of Canadian and U.S. defense relations, defense policy, and NORAD’s functions and future transformation.

“While challenging us through the lens of academia….the academic community can help educate the public, through sessions like this, on the importance the role that NORAD & USNORTHCOM play in the defense of North America,” said Lt. Gen. Reynold Hoover, deputy commander of USNORTHCOM, summarizing the day’s events during an open question period involving NORAD & NORTHCOM senior leadership.

During panel-group discussions the Symposium focused deliberations on the future evolution of NORAD, U.S. and Canadian defense policy, new national and international security threats to North America, and the trilateral relationship between Canada, the United States, and Mexico.

As Commodore Angus Topshee, NORAD & NORTHCOM deputy director of strategy, policy and plans stated, “I thought that the Academic Symposium was an excellent opportunity to interact with academics who bring a different perspective to the issues we face today. Establishing closer links with the academic community is essential to building the knowledge that we will need, inside the Department of National Defense/Canadian government and in the broader public, to confront the complex security situation of the 21st century”.

Dr. Kathryn Fisher, associate professor of International Security Studies at the National Defense University, concluded that “to bridge the theoretical and practical application, there was great value in bringing together practitioners and researchers to discuss issues of transformation and the future evolution of NORAD…a great success”.

NORAD is the bi-national Canadian and American command that provides aerospace warning, aerospace control and maritime warning for Canada and the United States. The command has three subordinate regional headquarters: the Alaskan NORAD Region at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska; the Canadian NORAD Region at Canadian Forces Base Winnipeg, Manitoba; and the Continental NORAD Region at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida.

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