United States Northern Command

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United States Northern Command
Seal of the United States Northern Command.png
Emblem of United States Northern Command
Founded1 October 2002
(20 years, 1 month)
[1]
CountryFlag of the United States.svg  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." [2]
Part of US Department of Defense seal.svg Department of Defense
Headquarters Emblem of the Peterson-Schriever Garrison.svg Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado Springs, Colorado, U.S.
Motto(s)"We have the watch" [2]
Decorations Streamer JMUA.PNG
Joint Meritorious Unit Award
Website www.northcom.mil
Commanders
CommanderFlag of a United States Air Force general.svg Gen Glen D. VanHerck, USAF
Deputy CommanderFlag of a United States Army lieutenant general.svg LTG A. C. Roper, USA [3]
Command Senior Enlisted Leader USMC-E9-SGM (Service).svg SgtMaj James K. Porterfield, USMC [4]
Insignia
NATO Map Symbol [5] [6] NATO Map Symbol - Unit Size - Region or Front.svg
Military Symbol - Friendly Unit (Solid Light 1.5x1 Frame)- AA - Northern Command (FM 1-02, 2004 September 21).svg
NORTHCOM Area of Responsibility (in blue) GCCMAP.png
NORTHCOM Area of Responsibility (in blue)

United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) [7] 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.

Contents

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.

Creation

USNORTHCOM was established on 25 April 2002 when President George W. Bush approved a new Unified Command Plan, [8] [9] and attained initial operating capability on 1 October 2002. [10]

Mission

According to the UCP, Northern Command's mission is to: [11]

Area of responsibility

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. [12] The commander of USNORTHCOM is responsible for theater security cooperation with Canada, Mexico, and The Bahamas. [13] In May 2011, NORTHCOM was mobilized in the wake of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico [14] to provide air, ground, and logistical support. [15] In October 2014, NORTHCOM took administrative control of Alaskan Command. [16]

Organizational structure

Headquarters

NORAD-USNORTHCOM headquarters at the Eberhart-Findley Building on Peterson Space Force Base 210114-D-BN624-0138 (50836841477).jpg
NORAD-USNORTHCOM headquarters at the Eberhart-Findley Building on Peterson Space Force Base

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. [17] General Ralph Eberhart was the first CDRUSNORTHCOM. [18]

USNORTHCOM headquarters has approximately 1,200 uniformed and civilian staff. [19] 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. [20]

Component Commands

EmblemCommandAcronymCommanderEstablishedHeadquartersSubordinate Commands
United States Army North CSIB.svg ARNORTH Lt General John R. Evans Jr. 11 June 1946 JBSA-Fort Sam Houston, Texas
Marine Corps Forces Northern Command.jpg MARFORNORTHLt General Brian W. Cavanaugh December 1933 Naval Station Norfolk, Virginia
Seal of the Commander of the United States Fleet Forces Command.png NAVNORTH Admiral Daryl L. Caudle 1 January 1906 Naval Support Activity Hampton Roads, Virginia
1st Air Force.png USAF - Con AF North.png 1 AF (AFNORTH)Lt General Kirk S. Pierce 1 November 2007 Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida

Subordinate unified commands

EmblemCommandAcronymCommanderEstablishedHeadquartersSubordinate Commands
Alcom-1 logo.png Alaskan Command [26] 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.

SOCNORTH Emblem.jpg Special Operations Command North [27] SOCNORTH Brigadier General Shawn R. Satterfield, ARNG 5 November 2013 Peterson Space Force Base, Colorado

Standing joint task force

EmblemCommandAcronymCommanderEstablishedHeadquarters
JointForceHeadquartersNationalCapitalRegionLogo.jpg 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 emblem.jpg Joint Task Force – Civil Support JTF-CSMajor General Jeffrey P. Van, ARNG October 1999 Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia
Joint Task Force North.jpg Joint Task Force North JTF-NorthMajor General Randall V. Simmons Jr., ARNG November 1989 Fort Bliss, Texas

Commanders

Attendees pays respects during the playing of the American national anthem at the NORAD-USNORTHCOM change of command ceremony on 23 May 2018. NORAD & USNORTHCOM Change of Command 2018 180524-F-SD165-1055.jpg
Attendees pays respects during the playing of the American national anthem at the NORAD-USNORTHCOM change of command ceremony on 23 May 2018.

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. [28] [29]

No.CommanderTermService branch
PortraitNameTook officeLeft officeTerm length
1
Eberhart re.jpg
Eberhart, Ralph E.General
Ralph E. Eberhart
(born 1946)
22 October 20025 November 20042 years, 14 days Military service mark of the United States Air Force.svg
U.S. Air Force
2
US Navy 041105-D-0000X-001 Adm. Timothy J. Keating.jpg
Keating, Timothy J.Admiral
Timothy J. Keating
(born 1948)
5 November 200423 March 20072 years, 138 days Emblem of the United States Navy.svg
U.S. Navy
3
Victor E. Renuart Jr. 2010.jpg
Renuart, Victor E. Jr.General
Victor E. Renuart Jr.
(born 1949)
23 March 200719 May 20103 years, 57 days Military service mark of the United States Air Force.svg
U.S. Air Force
4
Winnefeld 2010 2.jpg
Winnefeld, James A. Jr.Admiral
James A. Winnefeld Jr.
(born 1956)
19 May 20103 August 20111 year, 76 days Emblem of the United States Navy.svg
U.S. Navy
5
Jacoby 2013.jpg
Jacoby, Charles H. Jr.General
Charles H. Jacoby Jr.
(born 1954)
3 August 20115 December 20143 years, 124 days Military service mark of the United States Army.svg
U.S. Army
6
Gortney2014.jpg
Gortney, William E.Admiral
William E. Gortney
(born 1955)
5 December 201413 May 20161 year, 160 days Emblem of the United States Navy.svg
U.S. Navy
7
Gen Lori J. Robinson (2).jpg
Robinson, Lori J.General
Lori J. Robinson
(born 1958/1959)
13 May 201624 May 20182 years, 11 days Military service mark of the United States Air Force.svg
U.S. Air Force
8
Terrence J. O'Shaughnessy NORAD.jpg
O'Shaughnessy, Terrence J.General
Terrence J. O'Shaughnessy
(born 1964/1965)
24 May 201820 August 20202 years, 73 days Military service mark of the United States Air Force.svg
U.S. Air Force
9
Gen Glen D. VanHerck.jpg
VanHerck, Glen D.General
Glen D. VanHerck
(born 1962)
20 August 2020Incumbent2 years, 99 days Military service mark of the United States Air Force.svg
U.S. Air Force

Planning and strategy

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. [30]

However the GAO found that the national strategy to defend the United States is several years out of date. [31]

Domestic operations and training

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. [32] The total of 14 agencies with representatives at NORTHCOM in December 2002 included the State Department, NASA, and the Federal Aviation Administration. [33]

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). [34]

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". [34]

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 Act [35] when 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. [36]

See also

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References

  1. "NORTHCOM History" (PDF). NORTHCOM. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 March 2022.
  2. 1 2 "USNORTHCOM Vision". Archived from the original on 7 November 2017. Retrieved 31 October 2017.
  3. "Lieutenant General A.C. Roper (USAR)" . Retrieved 8 May 2021.
  4. "NORAD and U.S. Northern Command Hosts Command Senior Enlisted Leader Change of Responsibility Ceremony". DVIDS. Retrieved 29 June 2021.
  5. FM 1-02 Operational Terms and Graphics (PDF). US Army. 21 September 2004. pp. 5–37.
  6. ADP 1-02 Terms and Military Symbols (PDF). US Army. 14 August 2018. pp. 4–8.
  7. Informally known simply as "NORTHCOM" or "Northern Command")
  8. Whitley, Joe D.; et al., eds. (2009). "Unified Combatant Commands and USNORTHCOM". Homeland security: legal and policy issues. American Bar Association. ISBN   978-1-60442-462-1.
  9. Bolkcom, Christopher; et al. (2005). "Homeland Security: Establishment and Implementation of Northern Command". In Thaler, William M.; Bea, Keith (eds.). Emerging issues in homeland security. Nova Publishers. p. 107. ISBN   978-1-59454-139-1.
  10. Cecchine, Gary, ed. (2004). Triage for civil support: using military medical assets to respond to terrorist attacks. RAND Corporation. p. 25. ISBN   978-0-8330-3661-2.
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  13. U.S. Northern Command Public Affairs (22 October 2009). "About USNORTHCOM". USNORTHCOM website. Peterson Air Force Base, CO: U.S. Northern Command. Archived from the original on 16 August 2009. Retrieved 28 July 2010.
  14. "USNORTHCOM responds to Deepwater Horizon oil spill". Northcom.mil. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
  15. "Deepwater Horizon airspace activity now coordinated at 601st AOC". Northcom.mil. 13 July 2010. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
  16. "NORTHCOM assumes oversight of Alaskan Command - Stripes".
  17. Cutler, Thomas (2011). Navcivguide. Naval Institute Press. p. 59. ISBN   978-1-61251-019-4.
  18. "U.S. Northern Command History" . Retrieved 11 February 2013.
  19. "U.S. Northern Command". Archived from the original on 16 August 2009. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
  20. "New military command seeks civilian managers".
  21. "ARNORTH Organization".
  22. "MARFORCOM Units".
  23. https://www.marforcom.marines.mil/
  24. "US Navy Fleet Forces Command".
  25. "1st Air Force Units".
  26. "Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson > Units > Alaskan Command".
  27. "Special Operations Command North (SOCNORTH)".
  28. http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?tab=main&bill=h110-4986 Pub.L. 110-181: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008
  29. http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h110-4986 Pub.L. 110-181: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 full text
  30. Wormuth, Christine E. & Witkowsky, Anne (2008). Managing the next domestic catastrophe: ready (or not)? : a beyond Goldwater-Nichols phase 4 report. CSIS. p. 47. ISBN   978-0-89206-534-9.
  31. "DOD Needs to Address Gaps in Homeland Defense and Civil Support Guidance GAO-13-128, Oct 24, 2012."
  32. Miller, Russell A. (2008). US national security, intelligence and democracy: from the Church Committee to the War on Terror. Taylor & Francis. p. 172. ISBN   978-0-415-44646-4.
  33. Shenon and Schmitt NYT 2002.
  34. 1 2 Head, Michael & Mann, Scott (2009). Domestic deployment of the armed forces: military powers, law and human rights. Ashgate Publishing. p. 60. ISBN   978-0-7546-7346-0.
  35. "Bush Moves Towards Martial Law, 26 October 2006". Towardfreedom.com. 26 October 2006. Retrieved 19 May 2011.
  36. "Brigade homeland tours start 1 Oct". Army Times. 30 September 2008. Retrieved 19 May 2011.

Further reading