The North American Aerospace Defense Command held a 60th Anniversary Ceremony on Peterson Air Force Base Colorado, May 12, 2018.
The ceremony and static display of various NORAD aircraft was the culmination of a three-day event, which included a media tour of Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, the dedication of a cairn outside the commands’ headquarters building memorializing the Canadians who have passed away while serving NORAD, and a fly over in missing-man formation performed by the Royal Canadian Air Force’s Snowbirds aerial demonstration team.
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, CO, UNITED STATES
Photos by Staff Sgt. Emily Kenney
On its 60th anniversary, NORAD has shed its Cold War image and has evolved to guard against modern military threats
NORAD jumped into action Wednesday over missile launches toward Israel, unruly Canadian airline passenger
Almost simultaneously Wednesday night, Iranian missiles were launched toward Israel and an unruly passenger on a Canadian airliner forced it to divert from its flight path. And that caused the phones inside NORAD’s command center at Peterson Air Force Base to light up, as officials quickly assessed whether either situation was a threat to the United States or Canada.
Neither event was.
But the situation is an example of how the North American Air Defense Command has evolved beyond the Cold War.
Sixty years after it was formed in a partnership between the United States and Canada, NORAD continues to monitor the world’s airspace, waters and land.
It watches for terrorist attacks in rogue airplanes, foreign submarines creeping toward the North American coast, drug runners crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, hurricanes brewing in the ocean and North Korean missile tests — even as it tracks Santa Claus circling the globe on Christmas.
And, yes, it still pays attention to Russia.
“There’s a preconception out there that Cheyenne Mountain is closed. It’s a Cold War relic,” said Steve Rose, deputy director of Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station. “But we are very busy…..”