May 13, 2015 – Adm. Bill Gortney, commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and U.S. Northern Command, cut a cake with Canadian forces members Lt. Gen. Alain Parent, NORAD deputy commander, Cpl. Brandi Muldoon and Maj. Randall Smyth, during NORAD’s 57th birthday celebration at Peterson Air force Base May 12.
The tradition of celebrating NORAD’s anniversary dates back to the original signing of the NORAD agreement May 12, 1958. The command traditionally celebrates with a cutting by the most senior and junior members.
Although NORAD originally stood up at Ent Air Force Base in Colorado Springs Sept. 12, 1957, the official NORAD agreement between the governments of Canada and the United States was signed May 12, 1958. On that date, the governments of Canada and the United States formally acknowledged their mutual commitment to defending their citizens from aerospace attacks.
Responsibilities for leadership and policy for the binational command is shared between the two sovereign nations. NORAD is the binational command responsible for aerospace warning and defense as well as maritime detection and warning for the United States and Canada.
The headquarters for NORAD and the NORAD/United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) center are located at Peterson Air Force Base near Colorado Springs, Colorado.