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Mulling NORAD Next: US and Canadian defense officials met to discuss the capabilities that NORAD will need to confront emerging challenges and threats. These talks took place last month in Colorado Springs, Colo., during the meeting of the Permanent Joint Board of Defense, the highest level defense and security forum between the two nations, according to a Jan. 7. Pentagon release. Officials are mulling the next big step in NORAD's evolution to stay ahead of threats in the 2025-to-2030 timeframe, referring to this as the "NORAD Next" concept, states the release. "We need to think about what is beyond 2015, what the strategic environment will be, and what we need to be doing to move the command into that future," said Royal Canadian Air Force Brig. Gen. A.D. Meinzinger, NORAD's deputy director of strategy. "NORAD Next will ensure that NORAD remains forever relevant and ever evolving," added RCAF Lt. Gen. Alain Parent, NORAD's deputy commander. "The important thing," he continued, "is that we maintain relevancy and don't get surprises. The stakes are too big for our two counties to get surprised." (AFPS report by Donna Miles)