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Arctic Policy Forum on NORAD

SIX REASONS NORAD MATTERS

Learn What NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) Does the 364 Days of the Year It Isn’t Tracking Santa

For Immediate Release:  February 10, 2012

Anchorage, Alaska—Every Christmas Eve, through satellite systems, high-powered radars and jet fighters, NORAD tracks Santa Claus as he makes his journey around the world. Each year, the NORAD Tracks Santa Web Site receives nearly nine million unique visitors from more than 200 countries and territories around the world. Thousands of volunteers answer more than 12,000 e-mails and more than 70,000 calls to the NORAD Tracks Santa hotline.

But tracking Santa is only an auxiliary task for the men and women of NORAD. The Canadian and U.S. governments formalized the “North American Air Defense Command” in 1958 to centralize operational control of continental air defenses against the threat of Soviet bombers.

Find out more next Wednesday, February 15 at 5pm as the Institute of the North hosts its Arctic Policy Forum highlighting NORAD. Sponsored by the Government of Canada, the program will provide a compelling panel discussion of the history, current issues, and future plans of NORAD in Alaska.  Featured topics will include: the 50-year US-Canadian partnership and cross-border collaboration; Arctic governance and sovereignty; public safety and search and rescue; maritime and aviation issues in the Arctic environment. Moderated by Consul Peter Taylor (Canada), the evening will include presentations by:

-          Dr. Adam Chapnick, Canadian Forces College

-          Colonel Daniel Constable, Deputy Commander Alaska Region NORAD HQ

-          Colonel Trey Fuller, JBER

-          Captain Joel Jungemann, U.S. Navy

Immediately following the panel presentation, guests will be invited to a reception, from 7:00 to 8:00pm, where they will have the opportunity to connect with one another and with the featured speakers in an informal setting. The Arctic Policy Forum will take place at Voth Hall, in the Alaska Center for Performing Arts.

Attendees can register at https://institutenorth.org/calendar/events/arctic-policy-forum.

Why should Alaskans care about NORAD?

1)      NORAD is the bi-national Canada-US command that continuously provides worldwide detection, validation and warning of a ballistic missile attack on North America and maintains aerospace control of air-breathing threats to North America, to include peacetime alert levels and appropriate aerospace defense measures to respond to hostile actions.

2)      NORAD conducts aerospace warning, aerospace control and maritime warning in the defense of North America. Aerospace control requires capabilities to intercept, shadow, escort, divert, direct landings, and if necessary, use force up to and including the destruction of airborne objects.

3)      NORAD assets are positioned strategically throughout Canada and the U.S. and can respond to any air sovereignty threat in a matter of minutes. CANR CF-18 Hornet fighter aircraft are on continuous alert to respond to any potential aerial threat to the safety of Canada and Canadians.

4)      With its headquarters located at Elmendorf Air Force Base, the Alaskan NORAD Region (ANR) maintains surveillance of Canadian and U.S. airspace, ANR is able to determine what goes on in and near North American airspace 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

5)      ANR is one of three North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) regions. The other two subordinate regional headquarters are located at Canadian Forces Base, Winnipeg, Manitoba, and Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida.

6)      Both active duty and Air National Guard units support ANR. Both 11th AF and the Canadian Forces provide active duty forces to the Alaskan Air and Space Operations Center. National Guard forces provide manning for the Alaskan Air Defense Sector to maintain continuous surveillance of Alaskan airspace with Alaskan Radar System long and short-range radars.

Institute of the North

The Institute of the North develops initiatives that cross sectors, Alaska and the circumpolar North to empower northern peoples by increasing knowledge of northern issues, at a local, national and global level and strengthening Alaskans’ voices in northern decision-making.

For more information or assistance at the event, please contact Institute of the North Managing Director Nils Andreassen by email at nandreassen@institutenorth.org or by phone at 907.771.2448 or 907.351.4982.

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