Top Defense Department officials are in Colorado Springs for the change of command ceremony for NORAD.
Thursday, Air Force General Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy will assume command of the North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command. O’Shaughnessy will take command during a ceremony Thursday morning at Peterson Air Force base.
General O’Shaughnessy was previously the commander of the Pacific Air Forces and takes the reigns from General Lori Robinson, who is retiring after 36 years of service.
Guests of honor at the change of command ceremony include, the U.S. Secretary of Defense,Jim Mattis, Canadian Minister of National Defense, Harjit S. Sajjan, U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., and Canadian Armed Forces Chief of the Defense Staff Gen. Jonathan H. Vance.
General Mattis and General Vance will preside over the ceremony.
NORAD is a bi-national command between the U.S. and Canada charged with the missions of aerospace warning and aerospace control for North America, while USNORTHCOM partners to conduct homeland defense, civil support, and security cooperation to defend and secure the U.S. and its interests. The two command have complementary missions and are co-located together on Peterson AFB in Colorado Springs. NORAD recently celebrated 60 years of ongoing partnership between the U.S. and Canada.