NORTHCOM Nominee Supports US-Russia Exchange

Fostering military-to-military cooperation with Russia in areas like air defense and ballistic missile defense has merit and is worth pursuing, said Army Lt. Gen. Charles Jacoby, President Obama’s nominee to head NORAD and US Northern Command. “Finding places and venues and capabilities where we can cooperate with the Russian Federation can contribute not just to both nations’ mutual security needs, but regional security needs as well,” Jacoby told the Senate Armed Services Committee during his confirmation hearing last week. Last August, the United States and Russia staged the first-ever Vigilant Eagle exercise, during which US and Russian fighters passed control of a mock hijacked airliner to one another over the Pacific Ocean near Alaska and the Russian Far East. “I believe Vigilant Eagle was a success,” said Jacoby. “There really was benefit in that transparency that took place in the hand off of a hijacked aircraft that really builds trust and confidence in a relationship and contributes to US national security interests.” (See also Jacoby’s responses to advance questions.)