Homeland Security: Roles and Missions for United States Northern Command [January 28, 2008]   [open pdf - 97KB]

"In 2002, President Bush signed a new Unified Command Plan (UCP) establishing United States Northern Command (NORTHCOM) to provide command and control of the Department of Defense's (DOD's) homeland defense efforts and to coordinate military support to civil authorities. As a geographical combatant command, NORTHCOM has an area of responsibility that includes the continental United States, Alaska, Canada, Mexico, and surrounding waters out to approximately 500 nautical miles, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Straits of Florida. The NORTHCOM Commander also commands North American Aerospace Defense Command. NORTHCOM, headquartered at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, employs approximately 1,200 DOD civilians, contractors, and service members from each service component. The Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps have service components assigned to NORTHCOM, while Navy Fleet Forces Command is a supporting component. Additionally, NORTHCOM maintains five subordinate joint headquarters to carry out assigned missions. One of NORTHCOM's key charters is to build ongoing relationships with government agencies that play a role in homeland security and defense. To ensure integration of homeland security and defense efforts, NORTHCOM participates in the Joint Interagency Coordination Group while also working closely with both the Department of Homeland Security and the National Guard Bureau. As a geographical combatant command, NORTHCOM also plays a key role in facilitating cooperation with both Canada and Mexico."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL34342
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