Key NORAD appointments announced

1 June 2023

Two new appointees to the top command positions at North American Aerospace Defence Command headquarters in Colorado were announced today, bring different but complementary skillsets to the 65-year-old partnership.

In Ottawa, the promotion of Major-General B.F. Frawley to Lieutenant-General and his assignment as NORAD’s deputy was announced by the Chief of the Defence Staff, General Wayne Eyre. In Washington, President Joe Biden announced his nomination of Lieutenant General Gregory Guillot as a two-star Major-General in overall command, subject to Senate ratification.

Frawley joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1985 and eventually was posted to 425 Squadron at 3 Wing Bagotville, Quebec as a CF-188 Hornet pilot, flying two operational tours. He flew combat missions over Yugoslavia and Kosovo in support of Operation Allied Force before he was assigned as the Executive Officer of the Task Force Aviano National Command Element in Italy and the Air Mobility Division Deputy Director at the U.S.-led 609th Combined Air and Space Operations Centre in Qatar.

Accumulating more than 3,000 hours in the McDonnell-Douglas/Boeing fighter, he also flew Hornets on exchange with the U.S. Marine Corps in California and did three instructor tours at 410 Squadron at 4 Wing Cold Lake, Alberta, where he was Commanding Officer of 410 Tactical Fighter/Operational Training Squadron. A transfer to Winnipeg saw him taking command of 17 Wing and the RCAF training centre before he was selected as Combined Force Air Component Commander of the 2016 multinational Exercise Rim of the Pacific.

In addition to senior staff positions at 3 Wing operations and at the Directorate of Aerospace Requirements in Ottawa, Frawley has been Commander of 1 Canadian Air Division and RCAF Director General (Space). In March 2021, the former RCAF Deputy Commander became Deputy Vice Chief of the Defence Staff until his current promotion in May.

In contrast, Guillot’s expertise in the U.S. Air Force has been in battle management and until Biden’s latest announcement, had been Deputy Commander of U.S. Central Command where was instrumental in instrumental in integrating air, missile and drone defences across the Middle East.

He would assume NORAD command at a critical point in its evolution, which would more over-the-horizon surveillance capabilities and warnings about potential gaps in domain awareness. One of those gaps permitted high-altitude balloons to enter North American airspace earlier this year before they were shot down and it was disclosed that other incursions had gone unchallenged.

“As NORAD commander, it’s my responsibility to detect threats to North America,” Guillot’s predecessor said at the time. “I will tell you that we did not detect those threats, said General Glen VanHerck. “That’s a domain awareness gap that we have to figure out.”

Guillot’s prior assignments include a stint as operations director at U.S. North Command, which oversees not only the U.S. and Canada but also the Caribbean and Bermuda. Other assignments have included command of the 552nd Air Control Wing at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma, flies 707-based Boeing E-3 Sentry surveillance aircraft, and the 55th Wing at Offutt AFB in Nebraska, another surveillance centre.