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NORAD Cutting 79 Positions

02/23/11 05:10 PM ET   AP

Norad

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — NORAD and the U.S. Northern Command are cutting 79 staff positions amid Defense Department budget cuts, officials said Wednesday.

Commanders said 40 of the positions will be military and 39 will be civilian. Offices most directly affected include chaplains, history, surgeon general and control systems.

The North American Aerospace Defense Command and Northern Command combined have about 1,600 U.S. military and U.S. civilian employees in Colorado Springs, home of Peterson Air Force Base, headquarters of both commands.

That doesn't include Canadians assigned to NORAD, a joint U.S.-Canada command responsible for defending both nations from air attack and for monitoring potential maritime threats.

Northern Command is responsible for the military defense of U.S. soil and supporting civilian agencies in natural or human-caused disasters.

Both operations fall under the same commander.

It's the first cutback since Northern Command was formed in response to the 2001 terrorist attacks.

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Filed by Ethan Axelrod  |