The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is a bi-national effort between the United States and Canadian that handles aerospace warnings and control over North America. NORAD monitors man-made objects in space, as well as the detection, validation and warnings of missile and aircraft attack.
NORAD ensures there is air sovereignty and defense in the United States and Canada. By 2006, there was also a maritime warning added to the contract, which means that there will be shared understanding and awareness of the United States and Canada’s maritime approaches, as well as underlying areas and inlands too.
The structure of NORAD is continually updated and changed to meet worldly changes. The commander of NORAD that is appointed is responsible to the president of the United States and the Canadian prime minister. The commander’s headquarters are in Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado and NORAD, with other central locations and facilities worldwide to coordinate accurate information about aerospace threats. There are three other locations, which are Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska, Canadian Air Force Base in Winnipeg, Manitoba and Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida which also receive direct information from the commander and operations.
The commander of NORAD uses tactical warning and attack assessment to the United States and Canadian governments. There comprises of a network of satellites, radars and fighters that detect, intercept and when necessary engage in any threats against North America. NORAD also assists in the detection and monitoring of aircraft that could be used for illegal drug trafficking too. This information, however is given to civilian law enforcement agencies to handle.
NORAD has become effective in watching, warning and responding to any possible threats to North America. It is an important player in the defense of the United States and Canada, as it evolves to meet any new threats that could occur. NORAD is able to use military authority to counter any possible domestic airspace threats as it has become a vital part of homeland defense for both the United States and Canada.