OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - May 9, 2013) - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, issued the following statement today regarding the 55th anniversary of the establishment of North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD):
"Fifty-five years ago the NORAD Agreement was first signed by the governments of Canada and the United States. NORAD has since served the citizens of both countries as the first line of defence against air attack on their homelands.
"NORAD has proven itself highly effective in its roles of deterring, detecting and defending against potential threats by monitoring and tracking man-made objects in space including aircrafts, missiles, satellites and space debris.
"The events of September 11, 2001 underscored NORAD's relevance in today's security environment. Traditionally focused on aerospace warning and aerospace control, NORAD's mission was enhanced in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001, when its ability to monitor and respond to threats from within North America was established.
"In 2006, Canada and the U.S. agreed to renew the NORAD Agreement in perpetuity, and NORAD was assigned a new maritime warning mission. Since this renewal, NORAD has the mandate to warn of potential maritime threats to respective national authorities, principally U.S. Northern Command and the Canadian Joint Operations Command, both organizations are responsible for assigning forces to respond.
"Canada's strong defence relationship with the U.S. is extremely important, and through mutual partnerships such as NORAD Canada receives enhanced protection from direct military attack by sharing responsibility for the defence of North America.
"In the future, NORAD will continue to play an important role in the defence of North America, adapting to new challenges and acting as a clear deterrent to any aggressor. Despite 55 years of successful operation, NORAD continuously seeks innovative ways to better protect Canadians and Americans.
"Please join me in thanking the NORAD team, whose number one priority has been keeping Canadians and Americans safe by keeping watch 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for 55 years."
To obtain more information on North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD) please access the following link: http://www.norad.mil/