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Newsletter 10-16
December 2009

Army Posture Statement 2009 Extracts

Defense Support to Civil Authorities (DSCA)

What is it?

The Army provides support to civil authorities as directed by the Secretary of Defense. The DSCA is formally defined in the National Response Framework published by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The DSCA includes activities of all Department of Defense (DoD) components that provide military support to the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and U.S. territories and possessions. It does not apply to foreign disasters covered by DoD Directive 5100.46. The focus of DoD support and response is assignment and allocation of DoD resources to support civil authorities during civil emergencies arising during peace, war, or transition to war. Federal law restricts use of Title X forces to support civil law enforcement. The DoD provides federal military forces, DoD civilians, contract personnel, and DoD agencies and components in response to requests for assistance during domestic incidents. These incidents include terrorist threats or attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies.

What has the Army done?

Owing to unprecedented requirements for DoD support in the last three years, the Army published an order governing routine provisions of DSCA. In preparation for the 2008 hurricane season (June-November), the Department of the Army (DA) held a hurricane response exercise in conjuntion with Army commands, Army Service Component Commands (ASCC), and direct reporting units to ensure appropriate response US. Army readiness in the event of a federal response to a DSCA mission. The DA, in coordination with the U.S. Army Forces Command, Army Materiel Command, Army National Guard (ARNG), U.S. Army Reserve Command, and U.S. Army Pacific Command, developed an equipping plan that supports the Army's response to a specified DSCA mission and provides assistance during ARNG response to a governor's request for support. The U.S. Army North (USARNORTH) serves as the ASCC to U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM). The USARNORTH provides USNORTHCOM a robust and flexible Army capability to USNORTHCOM operations, a single service point of contact for Army service related issues, and helps to establish and sustain relationships with appropriate coalition, federal, state, local and tribal, and federal agencies to facilitate emergency preparedness coordination in the case of Presidential-declared disasters. The USARNORTH continues to develop relationships with Canada and Mexico for DSCA using all available agreements.

Defense Coordinating Officers and Defense Coordinating Elements (DCO/Es) serve as DoD first responders to a natural or man-made disaster. The Army maintains a permanently assigned DCO/E in each Federal Emergency Management Agency region to plan, coordinate, and integrate DSCA with local, state, tribal, and federal agencies. During 2008, a DCO/E representative deployed to the National Interagency Fire Center during wild-land firefighting operations. The DCO/E teams deployed to areas throughout the United States to support disaster response and recovery efforts, to include severe weather including tornados in Indiana, and Oklahoma; flooding in the Midwest (Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Missouri, and Kansas; wildland fire fighting in California, Colorado, and North Carolina. Finally, DCO/Es deployed and supported hurricane response operations throughout the hurricane season.

In 2008, the Army provided ceremonial K-9, medical, personnel, security, and logistics support to numerous national security special events and public recognition events, including:

  • The 2008 State of the Union Address in January. The Army provided support to the U. S. Secret Service and U. S. Capitol Police which included: Military District of Washington for command and control; the Old Guard; the 12th Aviation Battalion; a collapsed-building search-and-rescue unit; military police detachments from Forts Meade, Myer, and Belvoir; and a Veterinary Medical Support Unit.
  • Super Bowl XLII (February)
  • The Army provided Department of Defense (DoD) Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) and explosive detection dog (EDD) support to Pope Benedict XVI's first visit to the U.S. in April. The visit began in Washington D.C. and concluded in New York City.
  • In May, the DoD sponsored the Public Service Recognition Week on the National Mall to recognize contributions of individuals dedicated to public service to our country.
  • The DoD also sponsored the Joint Services Open House in May at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland to display capabilities of the Armed Forces.
  • In August, the Army supported the Democratic National Convention and the Republican National Convention in September
  • During September, the Army deployed personnel to support any potential DSCA response during the 9-11 Memorial Ceremony in Washington, DC.
  • September through October, the Army provided DoD EOD and EDD support to the United Nations General Assembly in New York City
  • The Army supported the G20 Financial Summit in November.

The President authorized the Secretary of Defense to provide DoD capabilities, primarily state National Guard, to support the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Under Operation Jump Start, approximately 1,884 Army National Guardsmen assisted the U.S. Border Patrol in this crucial homeland defense mission across four Southwest border states (California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas). During 2008, operational successes supported by the National Guard included aid in more than 176,600 alien apprehensions, the seizure of 316,397 pounds of marijuana, and 5,224 pounds of cocaine. Additionally, the National Guard assisted in the rescue of 100 aliens and the seizure of more than $80,698 in currency.

The Army provided static displays on the following topics: mines and mine defenses, EOD, the Army Material Command, the Army Intelligence and Security Command, Counter Drug, and the Military District of Washington. The Army also provided a vast array of Army combat and combat support systems including the following: M-1A2 Abrams Main Battle Tank, M-2A3 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle, Howitzer, Patriot Missile Launcher, Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicle, Avenger Air Defense Artillery, Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Unit, Tactical Fire Truck, Smoke Generator, Dry Support Bridge Launcher, Common Bridge Transporter w/boat and crane, and the Army Marksmanship Trainer. Additional exhibits included: Operation Tribute to Freedom, Freedom Team Salute, the Army Adventure Van, the Army National Hot Rod Association car, the Weapons of Mass Destruction Unified Command Suite, and the Mobile Analytical Lab System. Completing the Army's contribution were orientation teams from the National Guard, Army Reserve, 3rd Infantry (Mechanized), 10th Mountain, 82nd Airborne, and 101st Airborne (Air Assault) Divisions, and a Golden Knights Parachute Team demonstration.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

The Army will continue providing support to civil authorities when requested. Army agencies will continue providing displays and personnel at special events. In the future, the Army will identify ways to streamline support provided to civil authorities understanding rules and regulations established by the DoD. One initiative is producing a yearly standing DSCA execute order, which will cover natural and man-made disasters. The Army has identified organizations to provide support outlined in the order. Providing timely and appropriate response to an incident remains one of the Army's key operational concepts.

Why is this important to the Army?

Army DSCA contributes to relief efforts supporting President-declared disasters. Supporting civil authorities enhances working relationships and mutual support between the Army and tribal, local, state, and federal agencies. It also contributes to national security. The DoD has a long tradition of supporting civil authorities, while maintaining its primary mission of fighting and winning the Nation's wars. The Army will remain the DoD's premiere land-based homeland defense response force. It stands ready to provide teams of highly skilled professionals with state-of-the-art equipment for integration and collaboration with federal, state, tribal, and local partners.

Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA) - Defense Coordinating Officer

What is it?

Each year, the Army provides support to civil authorities as directed by the Secretary of Defense (SecDef). The DSCA includes activities of all Department of Defense (DoD) components that provide military support to the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and U.S. territories and possessions. The DoD provides federal military forces, DoD Civilians and contract personnel, and DoD agencies and components in response to requests for assistance during domestic incidents. These incidents include terrorist threats or attacks, major disasters, and other emergencies. The DSCA support is generally coordinated through the Defense Coordinating Officer (DCO)/Defense Coordinating Element (DCE). The DCO/DCEs serve as DoD first responders to a natural or man-made disaster. The Army maintains a permanently assigned DCO/DCE in each Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) region to plan, coordinate, and integrate DSCA with local, state, tribal, and federal agencies. Each DCO/DCE has a permanent staff of seven personnel with planning and operations expertise. The DCO, as the Joint Force Commander, assumes operational or tactical control of all assigned Title X forces and DoD resources in the mission area.

What has the Army done?

The Army has placed a principle DoD representative co-located with the FEMA regional director. The DoD representative is responsible for planning, coordinating, and integrating DoD's homeland defense and DSCA support with local, tribal, state, and federal agencies throughout the region. They maintain a high state of readiness within the DCE by ensuring that all assigned personnel are trained and prepared to deploy in response to both natural and man-made disasters. They also direct operational activities and evaluate the performance of appropriate regional and Army Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officers (EPLO's) and integrates additional multi-service EPLO's into operations. The representative develops and promotes critical relationships with military, civil, and interagency organizations.

Specific responsibilities include:

  • DoD representative in the disaster area.
  • Link between lead federal agency representative and DoD.
  • Liaison to state, local and other federal agencies.
  • Coordinates requirements with emergency operations center(s).
  • Validates action request form and accepts mission assignments (MA) from the federal coordinating officer.
  • Assists with receiving, staging, onward movement, and integration (RSOI) of units/personnel.
  • Determines best military resource(s) to meet MA requirements and forwards a recommended force with MA through the combatant commander, the Joint staff, and ultimately to the SecDef.
  • Provides link to base support installation for facility support
  • Coordinates administrative and logistical support of deployed military forces. Controls DoD resources in the disaster area operational control (OPCON) of forces for MA, and tactical control (TACON) for non-MA forces.
  • Maintains accounting records for reimbursement.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

The Army will continue providing support to civil authorities through U.S. Army North when requested. In the future, the Army will identify ways to streamline support provided to civil authorities understanding rules and regulations established by the DoD. Providing timely and appropriate response to an incident remains one of the Army's key operational concepts. The DCO/DCEs will continue to provide support as the Army's Service Component Command to the U.S. Army Northern Command.

Why is this important to the Army?

The Army's DSCA support contributes to relief efforts in the case of President-declared disasters. Supporting civil authorities enhances working relationships and mutual support between the Army and tribal, local, state, and federal agencies. The DCO/DCE is the key Army element coordinating DoD support to, and liaison with, these agencies. The Army continues to lend necessary assistance to civil authorities when requested by the DoD. The Army will remain DoD's premiere land-based homeland defense response force. It stands ready to provide teams of highly skilled professionals, integrated and interoperable with federal, state, tribal, and local partners, for any and all actions relevant to America's security and civil support challenges in the 21st Century


 

 
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