In the days since July 20, Lieutenant-General Christopher Coates settled in and seamlessly assumed the duties as the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) Deputy Commander.
“I am both honoured and grateful to have been given the opportunity to continue NORAD’s mission as the Deputy Commander and I look forward to continue to build upon our strong bi-national partnership which is essential in the defence of North America,” said Lt.-Gen. Coates in a press release issued July 20.
Lt.-Gen. Coates has vast experience supporting NORAD operations. He served as the director of the Combined Aerospace Operations Centre at 1 Canadian Air Division/Canadian NORAD Region. Also, as the Deputy Commander for the Continental NORAD Region at Tyndall Air Force Base (AFB), Florida. Most recently he served as the Director of Operations at NORAD Headquarters, where he remained for the last three years.
The role was passed down from Lieutenant-General Pierre St-Amand during a ceremony held at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs.
“I have been privileged to spend the past three years here in Colorado Springs as the NORAD Deputy Commander. I would like to thank the local community for being such gracious hosts to our Canadian members and their families,” said Lt.-Gen. St-Amand in a press release issued July 20. “I have no doubt that Lieutenant-General Coates is the best choice to assume these duties and I thank all the Canadian and American men and women for their tireless dedication to the mission of protecting North American airspace from any and all threats.”
Lt.-Gen. St-Amand will retire after 37 years of service.
The ceremony was presided over by General Jonathan Vance, Chief of the Defence Staff, and General Terrence O’Shaughnessy, Commander of NORAD and U.S. Northern Command (U.S. NORTHCOM).
“It is my great honour and privilege to preside over the promotion and appointment of Lieutenant-General Coates,” said Gen. Vance in a press release issued July 20. “Having worked with Christopher multiple times throughout his career in his role as NORAD Operations Director and as a Deputy Commander at Canadian Joint Operations Command, I know that he will continue the great work of his predecessor and that Canada will remain well represented in NORAD under his leadership.”
Gen. O’Shaughnessy added, “As my NORAD Director of Operations, Lieutenant-General Coates has been a strong and dedicated leader. He is immensely qualified to assume duties as my NORAD Deputy, has my complete trust and confidence, and I look forward to his continued leadership to this important bi-national command.”
NORAD is the bi-national Canadian and American command, providing aerospace warning, aerospace control, and maritime warning for Canada and the United States. The command has three subordinate regional headquarters: the Alaskan NORAD Region at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska; the Canadian NORAD Region at Canadian Forces Base Winnipeg, Manitoba; and the Continental NORAD Region at Tyndall AFB, Florida.