Last month, President Obama nominated Air Force Gen. Lori J. Robinson to head US Northern Command (NORTHCOM) and North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). If confirmed, she will be the first woman to head one of the nine unified combatant commands.
Robinson told the Senate Armed Services Committee during her nomination hearing on April 21, 2016 that “Defense of the homeland is a sacred responsibility and the number one mission of the Department of Defense.”
Robinson, who commands Pacific Air Forces and is air component commander for US Pacific Command said the United States faces a number of rapidly evolving threats that significantly affect the security of our homeland.
“Our country faces many challenging threats from within and abroad, ranging from threats such as home-grown violent extremist, cyberattacks [and] trafficking of drugs and other illicit products by transnational criminal organizations — two threats posed by nation states such as Russia, North Korea and Iran,” Robinson said.
“In my experiences as the Pacific Air Forces commander and the air component for [US Pacific Command Commander Navy Adm. Harry] Harris,” the general said, “I’m intimately aware of the tenuous situation on the [Korean] peninsula and throughout the region, and understand the potential threats posed to the security of our homeland.”
Robinson is committed to ensuring that the commands remain vigilant and postured to outpace any potential threat. If confirmed, Robinson told the panel she will continue to develop strong relationships with US homeland partners, including Canada, and help to strengthen the nation’s partnerships with Mexico and the Bahamas.
Shortly after President Obama nominated Robinson to head NORTHCOM and NORAD, Defense Secretary Ash Carter released a statement that said Robinson has excelled in an array of leadership positions where training, force structure, and readiness are integral.
“Her deep operational experience,” the secretary said, “will enable the men and women of NORAD and NORTHCOM continue building upon the excellence they have demonstrated under Adm. William Gortney’s strong and steady leadership in this critical command.”