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Military Personnel
    (May 12, 1958- )
    Full name is North American Aerospace Defense Command (as of 1981)
    Jointly controlled by the United States Air Force and Canadian Forces Air Command
    Main purpose is to detect and respond to aerospace threats to North America
    Headquarters located at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado Springs, Colorado
    Command and controls formerly located at the Cheyenne Mountain Operation Center
    Much of the technical operations relocated to the Peterson Air Force Base (2006)
    Canadian counterpart located at the Canadian Forces Base in North Bay, Ontario
    Some see it as an expensive cold war relic.
    It is sometimes simply called ‘Cheyenne Mountain.’
    Prime Minister John Diefenbaker's decision to join NORAD was attacked by his political opponents (1957).
    Its allegedly slow response to the September 11 hijackings was much criticized and led to conspiracy theories.
    A false alarm could trigger a worldwide nuclear war.
    Soviet developments with ballistic missiles eventually forced NORAD to extend its operations into space.
    It is one of the world’s most extensive and enduring defense organizations.
    It began as an integrated replacement of several separate and hard-to-oversee early warning systems.
    The Commander is required to be American and the Deputy Commander Canadian.
    The Cheyenne Mountain Operation Center was designed to withstand a multi-megaton explosion.
    It has improved its ability to respond to threats originating in North America since 9/11.
    In recent years it has monitored aircraft suspected of being used in drug trafficking.
    It has tracked Santa Claus' progress around the world every Christmas since 1955.

Credit: Georgina

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