Jacoby: Relationships Drive Northcom, NORAD Missions

WASHINGTON, July 28, 2011 — The job of com­mand­ing the U.S. North­ern Com­mand and the North Amer­i­can Aero­space Defense Com­mand will require build­ing con­fi­dence and trust among the many part­ners involved in both mis­sions, Army Lt. Gen. Charles H. Jaco­by Jr. said today.

Jaco­by, now direc­tor for strate­gic plans and pol­i­cy for the Joint Staff, tes­ti­fied before the Sen­ate Armed Ser­vices Com­mit­tee here dur­ing a con­fir­ma­tion hear­ing for his nom­i­na­tion to receive his fourth star and become the next North­com and NORAD commander. 

If con­firmed, Jaco­by will suc­ceed Navy Adm. James A. Win­nefeld Jr., who is nom­i­nat­ed to become the next vice chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. 

As I look across the port­fo­lio of the North­com com­man­der, it con­sists of three group­ings,” Jaco­by told the sen­a­tors. “Defense sup­port for civ­il author­i­ties in case of nat­ur­al and man­made dis­as­ters, defense of the home­land, and secu­ri­ty coop­er­a­tion with our neighbors.” 

In all those mis­sion areas, he said, “com­plex rela­tion­ships are the key to effectiveness.” 

Build­ing such part­ner­ships ahead of a prob­lem “will allow North­com to play its crit­i­cal sup­port­ing role in most of those activ­i­ties,” the gen­er­al said. 

As com­man­der of North Amer­i­can Aero­space Defense Com­mand, Jaco­by would be respon­si­ble for home­land defense, mil­i­tary sup­port to civ­il author­i­ties for domes­tic emer­gen­cies, and aero­space warn­ing and con­trol for North Amer­i­ca. As com­man­der of U.S. North­ern Com­mand, he would be respon­si­ble for the ground-based mid­course mis­sile defense sys­tem, an ele­ment of the bal­lis­tic mis­sile defense sys­tem that allows com­bat­ant com­man­ders to engage and destroy lim­it­ed inter­me­di­ate- and long-range bal­lis­tic missiles. 

As a leader who has devot­ed much of his ser­vice life to com­bat­ing threats out­side of the Unit­ed States,” Jaco­by said, “I can think of no greater respon­si­bil­i­ty now than lead­ing our mil­i­tary in defense of the home­land, while pro­vid­ing sup­port to our cit­i­zens at the fed­er­al, state and local lev­els in times of their great­est needs.” 

The gen­er­al added, “I view the North­com and NORAD mis­sions sim­ply as a sacred trust.” 

The sen­a­tors out­lined chal­lenges that Jaco­by will face in his respon­si­bil­i­ties to both mis­sions. These include work­ing with the Mex­i­can mil­i­tary to help it defeat transna­tion­al crim­i­nal orga­ni­za­tions that are caus­ing high lev­els of vio­lence in Mex­i­co and that pose a threat with­in Mex­i­co and to the secu­ri­ty of the U.S. south­ern border. 

As part of the mis­sion of pro­vid­ing defense sup­port to civ­il author­i­ties, North­ern Com­mand must work close­ly with oth­er fed­er­al agen­cies and with all states on plans for emer­gency response to domes­tic disasters. 

Jaco­by must also work with state gov­er­nors and Nation­al Guard and Reserve forces, the sen­a­tors observed, to improve the capa­bil­i­ties of state and fed­er­al mil­i­tary forces to work togeth­er to sup­port states’ dis­as­ter-assis­tance needs. 

In response to ques­tions from the sen­a­tors, Jaco­by char­ac­ter­ized some aspects of U.S. rela­tions with one of its clos­est neigh­bors, Mex­i­co, and with the Russ­ian Federation. 

The Mex­i­can gov­ern­ment and secu­ri­ty forces have made coura­geous polit­i­cal, moral and phys­i­cal com­mit­ments to coun­ter­ing the transna­tion­al crim­i­nal orga­ni­za­tions,” the gen­er­al said. 

I know that we have made progress, [and] I know there’s much more work to do,” he said, not­ing that on July 25, Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma signed an exec­u­tive order declar­ing a nation­al emer­gency regard­ing the threat of transna­tion­al crim­i­nal organizations. 

The order high­light­ed such orga­ni­za­tions, Jaco­by said, as an unusu­al and extra­or­di­nary threat to U.S. for­eign pol­i­cy, the econ­o­my and nation­al security. 

I think that that accu­rate­ly describes the seri­ous­ness of the threat,” he added. 

In 2010, NORAD con­duct­ed the first annu­al exer­cise with the Russ­ian Federation. 

Dur­ing exer­cise Vig­i­lant Eagle, both coun­tries prac­ticed pass­ing con­trol of mon­i­tor­ing and escort­ing a sim­u­lat­ed hijacked air­craft into each other’s airspace. 

Jaco­by said such prac­ti­cal coop­er­a­tive exer­cis­es enhance U.S. secu­ri­ty and pro­mote under­stand­ing in the area of mis­sile defense with Russia. 

With the Russ­ian Fed­er­a­tion, of course, we work with our eyes wide open, but there are areas of coop­er­a­tion that are mutu­al­ly ben­e­fi­cial,” the gen­er­al said. 

Find­ing places and venues and capa­bil­i­ties where we can coop­er­ate with the Russ­ian Fed­er­a­tion,” he added, “can con­tribute not just to both nations’ mutu­al secu­ri­ty needs but region­al secu­ri­ty needs as well.” 

If Jaco­by is con­firmed in his new role, hav­ing respon­si­bil­i­ty for defense of the home­land will make the issue of cyber­se­cu­ri­ty an impor­tant concern. 

Like mem­bers of this com­mit­tee and senior lead­ers across the mil­i­tary,” the gen­er­al said, “we are rec­og­niz­ing the cyber domain as crit­i­cal to our nation­al security.” 

In the Defense Depart­ment, he added, “we rely heav­i­ly on the cyber domain for some­thing as sig­nif­i­cant and fun­da­men­tal as com­mand and con­trol but also for the … infra­struc­ture that makes the depart­ment run in sup­port of our nation­al secu­ri­ty interests.” 

The Pen­ta­gon has an “absolute require­ment” to become effec­tive in that domain, he said, with the right strate­gies, poli­cies and author­i­ties “to con­duct the full range of activ­i­ties required in the cyber domain for now and in the future.” 

The tech­ni­cal side of the cyber­se­cu­ri­ty issue is a com­pre­hen­sive issue with the Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty in the lead and work­ing in part­ner­ship with U.S. Cyber Com­mand and U.S. Strate­gic Com­mand, the gen­er­al said. 

North­com cyber-relat­ed respon­si­bil­i­ties reside pri­mar­i­ly in the phys­i­cal domain, Jaco­by said, pro­tect­ing phys­i­cal crit­i­cal infra­struc­ture inside and out­side the Defense Depart­ment if so request­ed by local and state authorities. 

In event of an inci­dent that would cer­tain­ly have phys­i­cal con­se­quences,” he said, North­com would act as a sup­port­ing ele­ment pro­vid­ing Defense Depart­ment resources in sup­port of civ­il authorities. 

I think that all of us can imag­ine pret­ty sig­nif­i­cant con­se­quences as a result of a delib­er­ate cyber attack,” Jaco­by said. 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

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