The Gazette
February 17, 2008

The United States and Canada have inked an agreement to help one another during civil emergencies.

Air Force Gen. Gene Renuart, commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command and Northern Command based at Peterson Air Force Base, and Canadian Air Force Lt. Gen. Marc Dumais, Canada Command commander, signed the pact last week.

The Civil Assistance Plan allows the military from one nation to support the armed forces of the other nation.

“This document is a unique, bilateral military plan to align our respective national military plans to respond quickly to the other nation’s requests for military support of civil authorities,” Renuart said in a statement.

The agreement allows mutual assistance during floods, forest fires, hurricanes, earthquakes and effects of a terrorist attack.

Dumais said the plan underscores the two nations’ existing working relationship, evidenced by the joint command NORAD.

The plan recognizes the role of each nation’s lead federal agency for emergency preparedness. For the United States, it’s the Department of Homeland Security, and in Canada, Public Safety Canada.

The plan facilitates the military-to-military support of civil authorities after government authorities agree on a response.

NorthCom was established on Oct. 1, 2002. Canada Command was set up on Feb. 1, 2006.

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