- ISIL creates all-female brigade to terrorize women into following Sharia law
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- Obama to Latin leaders: Help with border
- Military bans troops from Baptist church event honoring ‘God’s Rescue Squad’
- ‘Pocket drones’: U.S. Army developing tiny surveillance tools for the next big war
- Belgian cafe posts sign: Dogs allowed, but Jews stay out
- Gen. Dempsey: Pentagon studying Russian readiness plans not viewed ‘for 20 years’
- John McCain: Botched, two-hour execution of murderer is ‘torture’
- House GOP ready to move border bill
- Bomb squad called after live WWII artillery washes on Cape Cod beach
NORAD move raises security concerns
Question of the Day
COLORADO SPRINGS | NORAD, the high-tech facility responsible for monitoring the skies over North America, faces continuing security problems at its new location inside an office building on an air base here.
An internal document summarizing a recent security evaluation "recommends implementing difficult and costly retrofits and new construction to correct numerous physical vulnerabilities" to the building on Peterson Air Force Base. The building houses the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD).
Last year, the military completed a move of NORAD from a nuclear-hardened bunker burrowed into nearby Cheyenne Mountain to the basement of Building No. 2 at Peterson.
The building was "not designed to house" NORAD, says a summary of a security evaluation by the Pentagon's Defense Threat Reduction Agency that was obtained by The Washington Times.
The document says its recommendations "do not eliminate risks associated with Command Center proximity to runway (aerial threat) and base boundary (VBIED threat)" - the latter a military acronym for a bomb in a car or truck.
NORAD's mission is to scour the skies for nuclear or terrorist threats, providing the president with timely and accurate assessments during an attack. It also can help monitor natural disasters, such as hurricanes.
Similar concerns over the NORAD move to Peterson were raised last year in a report by Congress' investigative arm, the Government Accountability Office, and reported by The Times.
James W. Graybeal, a spokesman for NORAD/Northern Command, declined to discuss the document, calling it "pre-decisional" in nature.
"We are committed to improving our security posture to protect our command center, which led to the decision to exceed the base-line security requirements at our headquarters by implementing enhanced force protection measures," Mr. Graybeal said.
He added that NORAD's consolidation with Northern Command's operations at Peterson "significantly enhances our ability to respond to the full spectrum" of threats to North America in the air, land, sea, space and cyberspace.
Cheyenne Mountain will remain an alternate command facility, and operations and systems are constructed so that "there is no single point of failure in our mission responsibilities," Mr. Graybeal said.
In a statement, Sen. Mark Udall, Colorado Democrat, said Air Force Gen. Victor E. Renuart Jr., the commander of NORAD/Northern Command, personally assured him that "redundant capabilities would be maintained in the mountain for the foreseeable future."
Rep. Doug Lamborn, Colorado Republican, asked Gen. Renuart for a security update during a congressional hearing earlier this month.
Gen. Renuart said up to $5 million worth of projects have been completed at Peterson, including more security at the base's points of entry.
He also said NORAD is taking steps to harden the facility against electromagnetic pulses. Such pulses, generated by a high-altitude nuclear explosion, can disable computers and other electronic equipment for thousands of miles.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
President wants everyone but himself to pay more
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- 'Pocket drones': U.S. Army developing tiny spies for the next big war
- ISTOOK: Obama wants to be impeached
- Ted Nugent loses second casino gig for 'racist remarks'
- Michelle Obama says money in politics is bad, asks donors for 'big, fat check'
- Ohio university quiz implies atheists are naturally smarter than Christians
- Russia shipping sophisticated weapons systems to Ukraine separatists
- EDITORIAL: Detroit's water 'spigot bigots'
- 'Straight White Guy Festival' supposedly set for Ohio park
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq