Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld today announced that U.S. military commanders are being provided additional authorities to defend the United States homeland, its states, territories, trusts and commonwealths.
As previously announced, Secretary of the Army Thomas White is DoD's executive agent for Homeland Defense and will coordinate the department's efforts with the White House's Office of Homeland Security. The commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command in Norfolk, Va., has been placed in charge of the land and maritime defense of the continental United States, as well as providing military assistance to civil authorities. The commander of the North American Aerospace Defense command (NORAD), in Colorado Springs, Co., has been placed in charge of aerospace defense. U.S. Space Command in Colorado Springs, Co., will provide support in the area of computer network operations while U.S. Pacific Command, Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii, and U.S. Southern Command in Miami, Fla., are responsible for their respective geographic areas of responsibility.
The Department of Defense will continue to support local and state officials, as well as federal agencies, to combat terrorism in our country. Today's decision allows additional detailed planning and training to occur that will increase our military's ability to respond more effectively and quickly to requests from civil authorities.