NORAD Denies Reports Of Lack Of Security

By: Stephanie Ross Email
By: Stephanie Ross Email

A leak from the Government Accountability Office shows concern over security at NORAD. The military says documents are "incomplete and inaccurate."

According to an article in The Gazette, they have obtained a document from the Government Accountability Office that says that there are "several physical security problems" with the new location of NORAD at Peterson Air Force Base.

The article says that the document includes information that the Pentagon misled Congress about security issues at Peterson and that the current security system would leave NORAD vulnerable to even a low-level threat.

According to Michael Kucharek with NORAD and USNORTHCOM, "the article in the Gazette is incomplete and inaccurate and is based on a preliminary document that is classified..." Their statement also says; "the new command center at Peterson AFB significantly enhances our ability to respond to the full spectrum (air, land, maritime, space and cyber) of security threats to North America."

Below is the response from NORAD to The Gazette article:

Please attribute to Michael Kucharek, NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs:

The article in The (Colorado Springs) Gazette is incomplete and inaccurate and is based on a preliminary document that is classified, titled ”Statement of Facts.”

News reports do not contain the GAO’s final (classified) analysis and their recommendations for NORAD and USNORTHCOM action. Also missing are the commands' responses to the GAO's recommendations, which are classified.

The sensationalized accusation that military officials somehow misled Congress is false. The GAO draft report does not draw this conclusion and it is unfortunate that news reports have indicated otherwise. We have conducted extensive classified and unclassified informational briefings, tours and meetings with appropriate Congressional leaders.

Again, press reporting on this story is based on only one element of the GAO’s analysis. In fact, the commands’ have already implemented and are in the process of implementing appropriate security and protection measures.

This report is still in draft and we will submit official comments to the GAO as required.

The bottom line: The new command center at Peterson AFB significantly enhances our ability to respond to the full spectrum (air, land, maritime, space and cyber) of security threats to North America.

Below is the statement sent to Peterson Air Force Base from NORAD regarding the breach of report:

“NORAD and U.S. Northern Command have a draft of a classified GAO "Statement of Facts" regarding Cheyenne Mountain as part of the GAO process of allowing the commands to provide comments as part of the final version of the report to Congress. Releasing any classified part of the Statement of Facts would be an unauthorized disclosure of classified information. The commander of NORAD and USNORTHCOM will submit official comments directly to the GAO for the final version of the report, which will stand as NORAD and USNORTHCOM's official comments on the issue. We have nothing further to add at this time”.

Below is the statement from Peterson Air Force Base:

According to Air Force instructions, measures associated with protection levels assets, to include the precedence associated with protection-levels, is classified “For Official Use Only” and cannot be publicly released due to operational security concerns. These security measures are in place to safeguard our national resources at the appropriate level and prevent our adversaries from obtaining an advantage.

The GAO is supposed to release a final report to Congress on July 3.


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