|United States Northern Command|
|Founded||1 October 2002|
(20 years, 1 month)
|Country||United States of America|
|Type||Unified Combatant Command|
|Role||"USNORTHCOM partners to conduct Homeland Defense and Civil Support operations within the assigned area of responsibility to defend, protect, and secure the United States and its interests."|
|Part of||Department of Defense|
|Headquarters||Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado Springs, Colorado, U.S.|
|Motto(s)||"We have the watch"|
Joint Meritorious Unit Award
|Commander||Gen Glen D. VanHerck, USAF|
|Deputy Commander||LTG A. C. Roper, USA|
|Command Senior Enlisted Leader||SgtMaj James K. Porterfield, USMC|
|NATO Map Symbol|| |
| United States|
|Military service branches|
United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM)is one of eleven unified combatant commands of the United States Department of Defense. The command is tasked with providing military support for non-military authorities in the U.S., and protecting the territory and national interests of the United States within the continental United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico, The Bahamas, and the air, land and sea approaches to these areas. It is the U.S. military command which, if applicable, would be the primary defender against an invasion of the U.S.
USNORTHCOM was created on 25 April 2002 when President George W. Bush approved a new Unified Command Plan, following the September 11 attacks. USNORTHCOM went operational on 1 October 2002.
USNORTHCOM was established on 25 April 2002 when President George W. Bush approved a new Unified Command Plan,and attained initial operating capability on 1 October 2002.
According to the UCP, Northern Command's mission is to:
USNORTHCOM's Area of Responsibility (AOR) includes air, land and sea approaches and encompasses the continental United States, Canada, Mexico and the surrounding water out to approximately 500 nautical miles (930 km). It also includes the Gulf of Mexico, the Straits of Florida, portions of the Caribbean region to include The Bahamas, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the British Virgin Islands, Bermuda, and the Turks and Caicos Islands. The commander of USNORTHCOM is responsible for theater security cooperation with Canada, Mexico, and The Bahamas. In May 2011, NORTHCOM was mobilized in the wake of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to provide air, ground, and logistical support. In October 2014, NORTHCOM took administrative control of Alaskan Command.
Commander, U.S. Northern Command is concurrently Commander of the U.S.-Canadian North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). The two are co-located at Peterson Space Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colorado.General Ralph Eberhart was the first CDRUSNORTHCOM.
USNORTHCOM headquarters has approximately 1,200 uniformed and civilian staff.In its first period of organising in 2002–03, one priority was to hire civilian staff which could help respond to a Weapons of Mass Destruction attack and to coordinate disaster recovery.
|ARNORTH||Lt General John R. Evans Jr.||11 June 1946||JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, Texas|
|MARFORNORTH||Lt General Brian W. Cavanaugh||December 1933||Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia|
|NAVNORTH||Admiral Daryl L. Caudle||1 January 1906||Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads, Virginia|
|1 AF (AFNORTH)||Lt General Kirk S. Pierce||1 November 2007||Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida|
|Alaskan Command||ALCOM||Lt General David S. Nahom, USAF||15 November 1945||Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska|
*The USCG works closely with ALCOM and de facto acts as a Maritime Component. The US Navy does not maintain an ALCOM component.
|Special Operations Command North||SOCNORTH||Brigadier General Shawn R. Satterfield, ARNG||5 November 2013||Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado|
|Joint Force Headquarters National Capital Region||JTHQ-NCR||Major General Allan M. Pepin, USA||22 September 2004||Fort Lesley J. McNair, Washington D.C.|
|Joint Task Force – Civil Support||JTF-CS||Major General Jeffrey P. Van, ARNG||October 1999||Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia|
|Joint Task Force North||JTF-North||Major General Randall V. Simmons Jr., ARNG||November 1989||Fort Bliss, Texas|
The commander of United States Northern Command is a four-star general or admiral in the United States Armed Forces who serves as the head of all U.S. military forces within the command's geographical area of responsibility. The commander of U.S. Northern Command concurrently serves as the commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and is the head of all United States and Canadian joint aerospace military operational forces, stationed within the Northern American territories. The commander of U.S. Northern Command is nominated for appointment by the President of the United States and must be confirmed by the United States Senate. The commander of U.S. Northern Command typically serves for two years.
Note: The National Defense Authorization Act of 2008 stipulates that at least one deputy commander of USNORTHCOM be a National Guard general officer unless the commander is already such an officer.
|Portrait||Name||Took office||Left office||Term length|
Ralph E. Eberhart
|22 October 2002||5 November 2004||2 years, 14 days|| |
U.S. Air Force
Timothy J. Keating
|5 November 2004||23 March 2007||2 years, 138 days|| |
Victor E. Renuart Jr.
|23 March 2007||19 May 2010||3 years, 57 days|| |
U.S. Air Force
James A. Winnefeld Jr.
|19 May 2010||3 August 2011||1 year, 76 days|| |
Charles H. Jacoby Jr.
|3 August 2011||5 December 2014||3 years, 124 days|| |
William E. Gortney
|5 December 2014||13 May 2016||1 year, 160 days|| |
Lori J. Robinson
|13 May 2016||24 May 2018||2 years, 11 days|| |
U.S. Air Force
Terrence J. O'Shaughnessy
|24 May 2018||20 August 2020||2 years, 73 days|| |
U.S. Air Force
Glen D. VanHerck
|20 August 2020||Incumbent||2 years, 99 days|| |
U.S. Air Force
Northern Command has created several classified "concept plans" (e.g. "Defense Support of Civil Authorities") that are intended to address the 15 National Planning Scenarios that NORTHCOM must be prepared to respond to.
However the GAO found that the national strategy to defend the United States is several years out of date.
NORTHCOM operates extensive domestic intelligence operations which both share and receive information from local, state and federal law enforcement agencies. Employees of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and other agencies maintain offices at NORTHCOM and receive daily intelligence briefings.The total of 14 agencies with representatives at NORTHCOM in December 2002 included the State Department, NASA, and the Federal Aviation Administration.
Northern Command has completed several joint training exercises with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
In Exercise Vigilant Shield 2008, Northern Command, Pacific Command, the Department of Homeland Security, and numerous law enforcement agencies across the U.S. conducted exercises to test their "response abilities against a variety of potential threats".
The Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 and subsequent Department of Defense policy constrains any member of the United States Army, Air Force, Navy, or Marine Corps, and the National Guard under federal authority from domestically intervening in a law enforcement capacity on United States soil. Several exceptions to the law have been used in the past, including protecting the citizens' constitutional rights in the absence of state and/or local assistance, such as protecting the Little Rock Nine students in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1957, and using the Insurrection Act to quell civil disorders, such as the 1992 Los Angeles riots.
The Military Commissions Act of 2006 lifted many restrictions placed on the military to support non-military authorities by the Posse Comitatus Act, however the United States Supreme Court ruled in June 2008 that significant portions of the MCA were unconstitutional. The "John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007" H.R. 5122 (2006) effectively nullified the limits of the Insurrection Actwhen it was passed; however, the bill was amended in 2008.
On 1 October 2008, the 3rd Infantry Division's 1st Brigade Combat Team was assigned to U.S. Northern Command, marking the first time an active unit had been given a dedicated assignment to Northern Command. The force will be known for the first year as a CBRNE Consequence Management Response Force, and will serve as an on-call federal response force for terrorist attacks and other natural or manmade emergencies and disasters.
North American Aerospace Defense Command, known until March 1981 as the North American Air Defense Command, is a combined organization of the United States and Canada that provides aerospace warning, air sovereignty, and protection for Canada and the continental United States. Headquarters for NORAD and the NORAD/United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) center are located at Peterson Space Force Base in El Paso County, near Colorado Springs, Colorado. The nearby Cheyenne Mountain Complex has the Alternate Command Center. The NORAD commander and deputy commander (CINCNORAD) are, respectively, a United States four-star general or equivalent and a Canadian Lieutenant-general or equivalent.
The Posse Comitatus Act is a United States federal law signed on June 18, 1878, by President Rutherford B. Hayes which limits the powers of the federal government in the use of federal military personnel to enforce domestic policies within the United States. The Act was passed as an amendment to an army appropriation bill following the end of Reconstruction and was updated in 1956 and 1981.
The Cheyenne Mountain Complex is a Space Force installation and defensive bunker located in unincorporated El Paso County, Colorado, next to the city of Colorado Springs, at the Cheyenne Mountain Space Force Station, which hosts the activities of several tenant units. Also located in Colorado Springs is Peterson Space Force Base, where the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) headquarters are located.
Operation Noble Eagle (ONE) is the United States and Canadian military operation related to homeland security and support to federal, state, and local agencies. The operation began 11 September 2001, in response to the September 11 attacks.
United States Indo-Pacific Command (USINDOPACOM) is a unified combatant command of the United States Armed Forces responsible for the Indo-Pacific region.
The Department of Defense Civil Disturbance Plan, also known by its cryptonym GARDEN PLOT, was a general US Army and National Guard plan to respond to major domestic civil disturbances within the United States. The plan was developed in response to the civil disorders of the 1960s and fell under the control of the U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM). It provided Federal military and law enforcement assistance to local governments during times of major civil disturbances.
Joint Force Headquarters National Capital Region (JFHQ-NCR) is directly responsible for the homeland security and defense of the Washington D.C. area as well as surrounding counties in Virginia and Maryland. Primarily made up of joint military units within the National Capital Region, the JFHQ-NCR assists federal and local civilian agencies and disaster response teams in the event that the capital area's security is or possibly could be breached by acts of terrorism. Officially activated on September 22, 2004, JFHQ-NCR is part of United States Northern Command.
Lieutenant General Joseph Richard Inge is a retired officer of the United States Army. He served as Deputy Commander, United States Northern Command, and Vice Commander, United States Element, North American Aerospace Defense Command, headquartered at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado in 2007. He retired in 2007, after a 38-year career.
The United States Department of Defense is an executive branch department of the federal government charged with coordinating and supervising all agencies and functions of the government directly related to national security and the United States Armed Forces. The DoD is the largest employer in the world, with over 1.34 million active-duty service members as of June 2022. The DoD also maintains over 778,000 National Guard and reservists, and over 747,000 civilians bringing the total to over 2.87 million employees. Headquartered at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C., the DoD's stated mission is to provide "the military forces needed to deter war and ensure our nation's security".
The Continental U.S. NORAD Region (CONR) is a component of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) that provides airspace surveillance and control and directs air sovereignty activities for the continental United States (CONUS). CONR is one of three NORAD regions. The two other Regions are the Canadian NORAD Region (CANR) and the Alaskan NORAD Region (ANR).
Daniel B. Lloyd is a retired United States Coast Guard Rear Admiral. His last tour of duty in 2011, was as the Director of Joint Interagency Task Force South. Lloyd assumed the duties of Military Advisor to the Secretary, United States Department of Homeland Security, in June 2006. In this role, he was responsible for advising the Secretary on matters involving coordination between the Department of Homeland Security and all branches of the military.
Joint Task Force Civil Support (JTF-CS) is a subordinate command of United States Northern Command headquartered at Fort Eustis. Its mission is to provide command and control for Department of Defense forces deployed in support of the National Response Plan, specifically, managing the consequences of a domestic chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or high-yield explosive (CBRNE) incident. JTFCS consists of discrete units of specialized consequence management troops from all services called the DOD CBRN Response Forces (DCRF), as well as civilian subject matter experts, assigned from various agencies. JTF-CS is able to respond anywhere in North America within 12 hours to lead technical and non-technical search and rescue, security, hazard analysis, evidence collection, mission command, logistics support, aviation support, and medical support after an actual or threatened CBRNE incident. JTF-CS is also a collaborative partner in planning for and responding to identified National Special Security Events (NSSE) around the United States.
Lori Jean Robinson is a retired United States Air Force general who served as commander of the United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) and commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) from May 2016 to May 2018. She was the first female officer in the history of the United States Armed Forces to command a major Unified Combatant Command.
The Florida Air National Guard is the aerial militia of the State of Florida. It is, along with the Florida Army National Guard, an element of the Florida National Guard. It is also an element of the Air National Guard (ANG) at the national level, falling in with the Army National Guard (ARNG) as part of the greater United States National Guard under the National Guard Bureau (NGB).
Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA) is the process by which United States military assets and personnel can be used to assist in missions normally carried out by civil authorities. These missions have included: responses to natural and man-made disasters, law enforcement support, special events, and other domestic activities. A recent example of the use of DSCA is the military response to Hurricane Katrina. DSCA is the overarching guidance of how the United States military can be requested by a federal agency and the procedures that govern the actions of the military during employment.
United States Cyber Command (USCYBERCOM) is one of the eleven unified combatant commands of the United States Department of Defense (DoD). It unifies the direction of cyberspace operations, strengthens DoD cyberspace capabilities, and integrates and bolsters DoD's cyber expertise.
Charles Hemming Jacoby Jr. is a retired United States Army general who served as the fifth Commander of United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) and the 22nd Commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). Jacoby was the first army officer to assume command of Northern Command. He previously served as the Director for Strategic Plans and Policy, The Joint Staff. He assumed command of USNORTHCOM and NORAD on August 3, 2011, and was succeeded by Admiral William E. Gortney on December 5, 2014. Jacoby is notable as the first non-command pilot to serve as commander of either NORAD/USNORTHCOM, as both commands have traditionally been dominated by Air Force officers and NORAD carries a heavy air interdiction mission.
The United States Department of Defense (DoD) has a complex organizational structure. It includes the Army, Navy, the Marine Corps, Air Force, Space Force, the Unified combatant commands, U.S. elements of multinational commands, as well as non-combat agencies such as the Defense Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency. The DoD's annual budget was roughly US$496.1 billion in 2015. This figure is the base amount and does not include the $64.3 billion spent on "War/Non-War Supplementals". Including those items brings the total to $560.6 billion for 2015.
The 601st Air Operations Center is an active unit of the United States Air Force, assigned to the First Air Force and stationed at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. The unit plans, directs, and assesses air operations for the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), and the United States Northern Command (NORTHCOM), as the operations hub for First Air Force. It provides aerospace warning and control for NORAD Defensive Counter Air (DCA) activities. It also directs Air Force activities in support of NORTHCOM homeland security and civil support missions. The 601 AOC directs all air sovereignty activities for the continental United States.
This is a list of all commanders, deputy commanders, senior enlisted leaders, and chiefs of staff of the United States Northern Command.