ILW CMF (Homeland Defense): Defense Partnerships and Security of North America

ILW CMF (Homeland Defense): Defense Partnerships and Security of North America

Tuesday, October 10, 2017 to Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Ronald D. Vitiello

Ronald Vitiello

Acting Deputy Commissioner, U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Ronald D. Vitiello became the Acting Deputy Commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on April 25, 2017.

Since February 1, 2017, he has been the Chief of the U.S. Border Patrol. As its chief operating officer, he was responsible for the daily operations of the U.S. Border Patrol and reported to the Commissioner of CBP, assisting in planning and directing nationwide enforcement and administrative operations.

Chief Vitiello entered on duty with the Border Patrol in 1985 as a member of Class 174. His first duty assignment as a Border Patrol agent was at the Laredo Station in the Laredo Sector, where he also served as a Supervisory Border Patrol Agent. As an agent and supervisor, he participated in Special Response Team operations and was instrumental in the formation of the Laredo Sector Criminal Alien Program.

In June 1997, he served as a Deputy Assistant Regional Director for the Border Patrol at the Central Region Office in Dallas, Texas, where he oversaw the regional implementation of Operation Rio Grande. In June 2000, he was selected as a Special Operations Supervisor at the Nogales Station in the Tucson Sector. During his time in Arizona, Chief Vitiello worked extensively in the Tucson Sector Community Relations Office. He was later promoted to Assistant Patrol Agent in Charge of the Nogales Station.

In November 2002, he was selected as an Assistant Chief at U.S. Border Patrol Headquarters. While at Headquarters, Chief Vitiello was one of the key contributors in the unification of CBP and the creation of the Department of Homeland Security.

In January 2005, he was promoted to Chief Patrol Agent of the Swanton Sector in Vermont and held that position until July 2007, when he was selected as a member of the Senior Executive Service and promoted to Chief Patrol Agent of the Rio Grande Valley Sector in Texas. There, Chief Vitiello was appointed as the Lead U.S. CBP Hurricane Preparedness Coordinator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Region VI. He was responsible for deploying personnel and resources to a national domestic incident site, representing the CBP Commissioner as the Lead Field Coordinator, and leading more than 12,000 CBP employees in Texas, New Mexico, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana.

In 2010, he was assigned as the Deputy Chief of the U.S. Border Patrol until July 2016, when he was promoted to the Executive Assistant Commissioner of Operations Support.

Ronald D. Vitiello is 53 years old, married with two children, and a native of Chicago, Illinois.

LTG Reynold N. Hoover

LTG Reynold Hoover US Army Northcom

Deputy Commander, USNORTHCOM

Lieutenant General Reynold N. Hoover is the Deputy Commander, U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) and Vice Commander, U.S. Element, North American Aerospace Defense Command at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. As Deputy Commander, General Hoover assists the Combatant Commander in anticipating, preparing and responding to threats against North America and within Northern Command’s assigned area of responsibility. Additionally, he provides oversight of USNORTHCOM’s Defense Support to Civil Authorities.

General Hoover graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1983 and was commissioned as a Military Police officer. After service as a platoon leader and company executive officer, he transferred to the Ordnance Corps and was trained as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Officer. In 1988, he joined the Alabama Army National Guard where he subsequently commanded at the detachment, battalion, task force and group levels. General Hoover deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom from 2009–2010; while there, he commanded the Joint Sustainment Command in Kandahar. Most recently, he commanded the 167th Theater Sustainment Command from 2011–2014.

From 2002–2003, General Hoover served as Chief of Staff for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). In this role, he was responsible for coordinating the day-to-day operations of FEMA and synchronizing emergency management functions across the interagency. Subsequently, he led FEMA’s Office of National Security Coordination from 2003–2005. In 2005, he was appointed as Special Assistant to the President for Homeland Security. In addition to his role as Special Assistant, he also served as the Senior Director for Nuclear Defense and Continuity Policy on the Homeland Security Council. In this capacity, General Hoover was responsible for developing domestic nuclear defense policy recommendations and coordinating national continuity of government programs and policies.

From 2014–2016, he served as the National Guard Bureau’s Director of Intelligence and Director of Command, Control, Communications and Computers (C4). In this dual capacity, he provided strategic guidance on intelligence and C4 policy to the Chief of the National Guard Bureau and the Joint Staff. He also ensured coordination of intelligence and C4-related matters across the Department of Defense. Prior to his current position, he served as Mobilization Assistant to the Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.

General Hoover holds a BS from the United States Military Academy, an MA in Public-Private Management from Birmingham-Southern College, and an MA in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College. He also holds a Juris Doctorate from The Catholic University of America’s Columbus Law School and is a graduate of Harvard University’s National and International Security Seminar. His awards and decorations include the Defense Superior Service Medal; the Legion of Merit; the Bronze Star; the Meritorious Service Medal; the Humanitarian Service Medal; and the Master Explosive Ordnance Disposal Badge.



LTG Jeffrey S. Buchanan

LTG Jeffrey S. Buchanan

Commanding General, United States Army North/Fifth United States Army

Lieutenant General Jeff Buchanan assumed command of United States Army North (Fifth Army) on 26 August 2016.

He was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Infantry in May 1982 after graduating from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife Ecology. He also holds a Master of Arts in Leadership Development from the United States Military Academy. Lieutenant General Buchanan’s military education includes the Infantry Officer Basic and Advanced Courses at Fort Benning, GA; the United States Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, KS; and a Senior Service College Fellowship in Geneva, Switzerland.

Lieutenant General Buchanan’s duty assignments include command and staff positions within the 82nd Airborne Division, 25th Infantry Division, 101st Airborne Division, and 10th Mountain Division. He also served as a Company and Battalion Tactical Officer at the U.S. Military Academy, the Director for Operations (J3) of Joint Task Force Full Accounting, and the Senior Light Infantry Task Force Trainer at the National Training Center.

Lieutenant General Buchanan served four tours in Iraq and one tour in Afghanistan. In 2003-2004 he was the Director of Operations (C3), Coalition Military Assistance Training Team. Between 2004 and 2006, he commanded the 2nd Brigade, 75th Division (TSB) and deployed a second time to Iraq to serve as an advisor to the Iraqi Special Police Commando Division. Upon his return, he served as the Director of Operations for U.S. Army North (Fifth Army) at Fort Sam Houston, TX until November of 2007. From 2007 through 2009, he served as Deputy Commanding General for the 10th Mountain Division including a deployment to Iraq as the Multi-National Division-South. Following an assignment as the G-3/5/7 for the United States Army Reserve Command, he returned to Iraq for his fourth tour there as the Director of Strategic Effects (J9), U.S. Forces Iraq, from July 2010 to December 2011.

Lieutenant General Buchanan served as the Deputy Commanding General, I Corps from 2012-2013, and then commanded the US Army Military District of Washington/Joint Force Headquarters-National Capitol Region from 2013-2015. He most recently served as the Resolute Support DCOS-Operations/Deputy Commander (Operations) for US Forces-Afghanistan in 2015-2016.

He and his wife Laura have three adult children (all three are married) and three grandchildren.

Sergio de la Peña

Sergio de la Pena

Sergio de la Peña is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Western Hemisphere Affairs.  He is responsible for security, defense, and policy issues in the region, as well as overseeing the funding of defense cooperation programs for U.S. Northern Command and U.S. Southern Command.

Prior to joining OSD Policy, Mr. de la Peña was an independent consultant and defense contractor focused on business development in the Americas, an instructor of defense, security, and leadership courses to government officials, and a frequent commentator on Spanish-speaking national and international news media.

Mr. de la Peña, a retired U.S. Army officer, served for 30 years as an Air Defense and Foreign Area officer in a variety of staff and leadership positions.  In his last assignment, he served as the U.S. Northern Command J59, Chief of the International Affairs Division, responsible for developing the command’s theater engagement strategy that provided military to military guidance for training, exchanges, exercises, and sales with Canada and Mexico.  As Commander, U.S. Military Observer Group-Washington, Colonel de la Peña recruited, trained, and deployed U.S. armed service personnel to U.N. observer missions in trouble spots on four continents.  In Chile, he served as U.S. Army Section Chief, strengthening military ties by significantly increasing training and exchange events, as well as being instrumental in the sales of $750 million in military hardware.  He also served as the U.S. Army Attaché in Venezuela, as a test officer who developed, tested, and fielded a low intensity conflict simulation project focused on the Western Hemisphere, and as the program manager who initiated the U.S.-Spanish Army staff talks. 

As an Air Defense officer, he served in short to high range altitude units that included Chaparral, HAWK, and Patriot systems.  He earned his airborne wings and ranger tab as a cadet.

Mr. de la Peña was born in Chihuahua, Chihuahua, Mexico and raised near Roswell, New Mexico.  He was an ROTC graduate from the University of Iowa, where he earned a B.S. in psychology.  While attending the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College he earned a Master of Military Art and Science degree.  He attended the Inter-American Defense College with Class of 42 – “¡La mejor!”


LTG Jeffrey S. Buchanan

Commanding General

United States Army North/Fifth United States Army



Sergio de la Peña

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Western Hemisphere Affairs

United States Department of Defense


LTG Reynold N. Hoover

Deputy Commander

United States Northern Command


LGen Stephen Bowes


Canadian Joint Operations Command

Canadian Armed Forces


LtGen Roble Arturo Granados Gallardo

Chief of Staff, National Defense

Mexican Military


Ronald Vitiello

Acting Deputy Commissioner

United States Customs and Border Protection

United States Department of Homeland Security