NorthCom, Homeland Security Refine Relationship
By Army Sgt. 1st Class Gail Braymen
Special to American Forces Press Service
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo., April 10, 2008 The Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Northern Command plan to refine their existing intelligence relationship, a top DHS intelligence official said during a recent visit to NorthCom’s headquarters here.
“We have a number of areas where we’ve already agreed that we will begin new initiatives together, where we will do joint projects together, where we will do intelligence analysis together, where we will work to understand what NorthCom is doing in exercises and training,” Charles Allen, DHS undersecretary for intelligence and analysis, said.
The DHS and NorthCom intelligence divisions are “extraordinarily compatible,” Allen said, and the organizations have the same goals: to keep the country safe, to keep the country from harm, to keep the country from damage.
Strengthening the relationship between the DHS and NorthCom intelligence offices will promote more efficient and effective information sharing, Allen said, and the American public benefits because the intelligence community at the federal level is working together in new and different ways.
“We have common objectives on the intelligence side: information sharing, which deals with secure borders, … with protecting the United States’ critical infrastructures, [and] with trying to prevent dangerous materials from crossing our borders -- chemical, radiological, nuclear, biological,” Allen said. “And we worry over extremism -- global, violent extremism as represented by al-Qaida. And we also worry about the movement of large groups of people -- migration trends and patterns.”
There are global elements, he added, that are trying not only to damage U.S. interests overseas, but also to strike the U.S. homeland. “So we have to have a global understanding of what’s occurring,” he said.
Allen said he and Air Force Gen. Victor E. Renuart, NorthCom commander, have to understand the global picture so they can work together, along with federal, state and local partners, to keep the country safe.
U.S. Northern Command was established Oct. 1, 2002, to anticipate and conduct homeland defense and civil support operations to defend, protect, and secure the United States and its interests.
(Army Sgt. 1st Class Gail Braymen serves with U.S. Northern Command Public Affairs.)