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SAC-NORAD is an acronym for Strategic Air Command-NORth American Aerospace Defense Command. It is a fictional combination of two separate North American Defense Agencies (of which SAC is no longer in existence). However, in high security situations (DEFCON 2 and above), the two agencies would join forces to strengthen the defense of the entire North American continent.
The Strategic Air Command (SAC) was both a major command and a "specified command" in the U.S. Air Force and was the operational establishment in charge of America's land-based bomber aircraft and land-based ballistic missile strategic nuclear arsenal from 1946 to 1992. SAC also controlled the infrastructure necessary to support the strategic bomber and ICBM operations, such as tanker aircraft to refuel the bombers in flight, strategic reconnaissance and command post aircraft, and, until 1957, fighter escorts. Following the fall of the Soviet Union, SAC was succeeded on 1 June 1992 by the Air Combat Command.
North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) is a joint organization of Canada and the United States that provides aerospace warning, air sovereignty and defense for North America. It was founded on May 12, 1958, as the North American Air Defense Command. Its main technical facility has been the Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center in Colorado, and for this reason NORAD is sometimes unofficially referred to as Cheyenne Mountain.
NORAD's headquarters facilities in Colorado are administered by the U.S. Air Force under the command of the 721st Mission Support Group, part of the 21st Space Wing, headquartered at Peterson Air Force Base. NORAD's forces consist of the Alaskan NORAD Region/Eleventh Air Force, Canadian NORAD Region, and Continental NORAD Region.
The two organizations are joined as SAC-NORAD and are responsible for implementing Skynet. Though the actual creator of Skynet has changed with the different timelines, the recipient of the technology has remained SAC-NORAD or some similar organization, depending on which sub-franchise. In Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Cheyenne Mountain (NORAD's nickname) is called Crystal Peak, also in California instead of Colorado.
- ↑ The lower the number, the higher the risk. Defcon 2 represents increased threat. Defcon 1 represents actual imminent attack.