By Associated Press - Friday, December 5, 2014

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — The two military operations responsible for protecting North America have a new commander.

Navy Adm. Bill Gortney formally took charge of the North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command on Friday.

He succeeds Army Gen. Charles Jacoby Jr.

NORAD is a joint U.S.-Canada command that defends the skies over both nations and monitors sea approaches. Northern Command is responsible for defending U.S. territory from attack and helping civilian authorities.

Both are based at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs.

Gortney is a naval aviator with almost 5,400 flight hours.

He was previously commander of U.S. Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk, Virginia.

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