Monday, January 30, 2012
By Paul Martin

By NWV News Writer Jim Kouri
January 30, 2012

In the name of mutual cooperation, the United States and Canada expanded their security relationship this week by entering into two new agreements and renewing another that promotes closer cross-border cooperation and lays out both countries’ roles and responsibilities in the event of a man-made or natural disaster or an attack.

Army Gen. Charles Jacoby Jr., commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, joined Lt. Gen. Walter Semianiw of the Canadian army, commander of Canada Command, during defense meetings in the Canadian capital of Ottawa to sign three key documents that strengthen the combined defense and security of the United States and Canada, Northcom officials reported.

The new Combined Defense Plan establishes a planning framework to enhance defense cooperation between the two countries in the event their governments need each other’s assistance, such as during a natural disaster or attack, officials explained.

Jacoby and Semianiw also renewed for the next two years the Civil Assistance Plan that allows the military from one nation to support the armed forces of the other nation during a civil emergency.

That agreement, in effect since 2008, recognizes the role of each nation’s lead federal agency for emergency preparedness, but facilitates military support of civil authorities once government authorities have agreed on an appropriate response, officials said.

In the United States, the Homeland Security Department would be the lead agency. In Canada, it would be Public Safety Canada.

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