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Starting Tuesday morning, Air Force General Ralph Eberhart will be in charge of the newly operational Northern Command.

Based at Peterson Air Force Base, the unified military command was long under consideration. But it sped to completion after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. NORTHCOM will be responsible for defending territory including the United States, Canada, Mexico and parts of the Caribbean.

General Eberhart was most recently commander of the North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Space Command. He was appointed by President Bush and confirmed by the Senate in June.