The U.S. Senate has confirmed the nomination of Gen. Ed Eberhard to lead the newly established Northern Command, based in Colorado Springs.
The nomination came on the heels of an announcement by U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld that the U.S. Space Command, which Eberhard also commanded, was leaving Peterson Air Force Base for Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, Nebraska.
Additionally, investigators said an environmental assessment of Peterson AFB found nothing that would stand in the way of Colorado Springs becoming NorthCom headquarters.
The 55-year-old Eberhard, a graduate of the Air Force Academy, also commands NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command).
NorthCom is part of the U.S. Homeland Defense initiative, established following the terrorist attacks on New York City and the Pentagon last September. It is responsible for defending America’s borders from terrorist attack.
It is expected NorthCom will be at least partially operational by October. NorthCom is expected to generate between 300 and 700 jobs for the area, canceling out the loss of a similar number with the exit of U.S. Space Command.