Homeland Defense

Dear readers,

Welcome to the second edition of The Watch, a homeland defense magazine published by U.S. Northern Command. In this edition, we highlight the value of local, regional and international defense partnerships. From the Five Eyes alliance involving Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States to trilateral patrols in Southeast Asia, military partnerships and intelligence-sharing pacts are cornerstones of homeland defense. They have uncovered spy rings, led to the apprehension of suspected terrorists and allowed friendly nations to help each other stay safe.

For these alliances to succeed, defense partners must embrace emerging technology to counter increasingly sophisticated threats. One article details how the U.S. military is testing new technology that speeds up its response to a cruise missile threat. The Advanced Battle Management System leverages artificial intelligence and machine learning to more seamlessly produce a coordinated response to a cruise missile attack.

We also explore the changing nature of homeland defense. In our key leader profile, Brig. Gen. Pete M. Fesler, deputy director of operations for the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), examines how the U.S. and its partners are investing in cutting-edge technology to meet new threats. Potential adversaries are fielding systems that would allow them to conduct conventional strikes against the U.S. homeland, Fesler explained, requiring the U.S. and its partners to be capable of conducting joint and combined operations in all domains.

All of these homeland defense efforts require sound military logistics, so this edition explores the science of getting military cargo and personnel to the fight in a technologically sophisticated environment. As military strategists throughout history have concluded, logistics success often makes the difference on the battlefield.

The battlefields of today include the crowded landscape of space, where scientists are tracking 8,800 metric tons of debris orbiting Earth. Although space junk threatens satellites and the International Space Station, the challenge of neutralizing it is stimulating partner nations to discover scientific solutions.

Finally, The Watch devotes part of this edition to the history and mission of NORAD, a partnership between Canada and the United States that has protected North America since the beginning of the Cold War. From patrolling the skies over major events to intercepting military aircraft as they approach North America, NORAD aviators defend the homeland every day. 

We hope The Watch continues to spark dialogue about homeland defense, and we invite you to contact us at n-nc.peterson.nncj3.mbx.the-watch@mail.mil with your perspectives.