Humanitarian assistance and disaster relief operations are not new to the Army and the Department of Defense (DOD). We gained experience from Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the 2010 Haiti earthquake. In the response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, President Barack Obama announced Operation United Assistance in September 2014, allowing the military to support the United States Agency for International Development. This was the largest role the military had assumed in combating the spread of a disease or virus. The fight against Ebola was on.
The United States Corps of Engineers (USACE) Overseas Contingency Operations Playbook provides lessons learned from more than 10 years serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. The playbook's purpose is to capture leaders' significant experiences, observations, issues and perceptions; to share and institutionalize these insights within USACE, the Engineer Regiment, and the Department of the Army to provide a tool for operating effectively in future contingency operations.
In June 2014, CENTCOM instructed the US Army Central Headquarters to form the core of a Joint Forces Land Component Command (JFLCC), and with the addition of coalition forces, to a Coalition Forces Land Component Command (CFLCC) to conduct limited operation against Daesh (aka ISIL). As the operations against Daesh required full joint integration, CENTCOM ordered the transition of the CFLCC a CJTF, eventually becoming the Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR).