Figure 4-A.



Most domestic support operations are logistical in nature. Support is based on actual requests or requirements, rather than on standard support packages. In planning for support of national objectives amid growing complexities, military planners face ambiguities about how to prepare for and predict types of contingencies our forces will confront. However, certain support functions always apply, whether for combat forces or civil authorities. To avoid duplication, support planners must consider military and civil requirements and capabilities concurrently. This chapter addresses support common to all domestic operations, as well as specifics for tailoring a support force for particular purposes.


Most domestic support operations are logistical in nature.

In most crises, ARNG units under the control of the respective state governments will be the first military units to provide support. Although the military commander retains command and control of Army forces, a federal, state, or local official may control the overall operation. Detailed planning and familiarization with the various levels of federal, state, and local government will help synchronize assistance efforts. Coordination and synchronization will avoid confusion and duplication of effort. A knowledge of other agencies' capabilities will help to avert adversarial situations.

Logistics assessment personnel should carefully identify requirements before US Army support assets are deployed. Before deployment, logistics commanders can form emergency response teams to react immediately to emergency situations. These teams would arrive on the scene early to assess the impact and severity of a crisis before commitment of operational forces.

Commanders must ensure that support to troops and to civil authorities is planned for and executed simultaneously. They must also ensure that--


The four primary sources of logistical support are contracting, negotiated support, military support, and support from other federal agencies. See Figure 4-1.


Contracting--purchasing, renting, or leasing supplies or services from nonfederal sources--is a highly effective and efficient way to provide rapid support in a crisis. Included are all classes of supply, labor, mortuary affairs, laundry, showers, food service, sanitation, billeting, transportation, maintenance and repair, access to communications networks, temporary real property leasing, and limited minor construction.

Contracting can augment organic military unit support capabilities and provide new sources of critically required supplies, services, and real estate. It can also bridge gaps that may occur before the deployment of sufficient Army support. Contracting should always be the preferred method of support, beginning as soon as requirements are known.

Decentralized contracting provides a means to respond rapidly to immediate demands. As operations stabilize, centralized contracting becomes more important, allowing Army units to gradually diminish support, to transfer functions to civil agencies, and to disengage and redeploy.

Warranted contracting officers will be needed early in domestic support operations.

During the initial stages of a crisis operation, warranted contracting officers will be needed immediately to procure validated emergency supplies and services. Contracting officers may be brought in with federal forces or they may be provided by the ARNG from its property and fiscal offices, by the designated support installation, the USACE, or by a civil agency.


In some cases, civil authorities may have enough logistical resources to support not only themselves but also the Army personnel providing assistance. For example, civil authorities may provide housing, food, and fuel to troops assisting in a counterdrug or firefighting operation. Such support is negotiated on a case-by-case basis with the appropriate civil authorities.


Whenever possible, installations will continue habitual support to units tasked to conduct domestic support operations. Installations may also have to support personnel with whom they have no established support relationship. These personnel may include civil authorities, elements from other services, and Army elements from other stations.

If an installation or one of the other sources discussed below cannot provide required support directly, planners will tailor a support force for that purpose. Most considerations for tailoring a support force are the same as they arc for any operation: requirements, available resources, estimated length of the operation, and so on.


The GSA also provides support to civil authorities. GSA provides general supplies and services that are common to more than one department of the federal government. GSA can provide an extensive amount of support to DOD for such commonly used items as office furniture and supplies, machine and hand tools, photo supplies and other items. Other federal agencies and organizations may be able to provide assistance depending on the nature, scope, and duration of the operation.


Logistics command and control cells are critical to successful support operations. A materiel management center (MMC) can operate in a split-based mode. This concept provides for pan of the MMC to remain in a secure location (out of harm's way), while a force projection MMC element deploys with the force it is supporting. The forward deployed MMC element would provide a conduit for the electronic transmission of logistics data, messages, and voice communications traffic, resulting in inventory asset visibility. Such visibility is vital to logistics support operations.

Logistics command and control cells must arrive early in domestic disaster operations.

Combat service support units must continue to support units awaiting redeployment. Resource accountability remains critical during this phase to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse. At or near the completion of domestic operations, redeployment will be phased to allow for continued and uninterrupted support to civil authorities. Military support should not be curtailed before civil authorities assume the function. When state-activated ARNG units remain on site, special efforts should be undertaken to assist them. Transportation must be arranged through the appropriate movement control organization in accordance with established priorities.

Figure 4-1. Sources of Support

In the past three years (1989-92), US military forces have responded to three hurricanes and two typhoons that struck densely populated areas. After the most recent storms, Hurricane Andrew in Florida and Louisiana and Hurricane Iniki in Hawaii, Army soldiers provided relief services, prepared meals, cleared and hauled debris, produced and distributed water, restored power, and constructed life support centers. These missions provided important lessons in preparedness, leadership, organization, equipment, and safety.


The commander is responsible for maintaining the readiness of the command to execute missions and operations. Any unprogrammed requirement may result in spending resources intended for other use. To request reimbursement for lost resources, the commander must be able to account for them. Equipment and supplies misused, improperly maintained, damaged, lost, or issued to others will adversely affect future readiness and timely deployment.

Judicious management and accountability should be an early and constant focus. When possible, resource management analysis should precede key operational and logistics decisions and actions. Army resource managers should seek early guidance as to reimbursement. For example, will the operation be reimbursable from civilian sources, should specific Army accounting codes be used for the operation, and so forth. Project codes for use in accumulating costs should be requested at the onset of a disaster relief effort. Designating logistics organizations, for example, US Army Materiel Command corps support command (COSCOM), divisional support command (DISCOM), to receive, store, issue, and account for DOD material must also be considered.

Judicious management and accountability should be an early and constant focus.

State, local, or federal agencies; DOD; or other military services will normally reimburse the Army for assistance. The reimbursement process requires accurate billing for legitimate costs. Discrepancies must be resolved with the supported and/or reimbursing agency. Supported agencies should keep records of services and support received from the Army. To distinguish costs from those related to training or normal operating expenses, Army resource managers must maintain accountability throughout an operation for costs of equipment and supplies dedicated to operational support.

Commanders and managers should fully integrate resource management into all phases of the operation. Establishment of a resource management element to review procedures and advise the commander is also required. Positive resource management calls for planning to account for the expenditure of all resources supporting an operation with the expectation of being audited. By requesting early on-site involvement and advice from external functional experts, for example, Army Audit Agency (AAA) and General Accounting Office (GAO), resource managers can head off major accounting problems that could occur later in the support operations.


Supplies and services are critical to the lifethreatening needs of some types of civil emergencies and to the sustainment of operations in others. Basic guidelines for support are to tailor the package for the mission, to contract for services early on, and to utilize local resources when possible.


The DLA may provide common supplies and services used by the military services when supporting domestic operations. The agency's mission is to provide effective logistics support to the operating forces of all military services and to federal civil agencies as assigned. DLA provides support at the lowest feasible cost to the taxpayer. It provides contract administration services in support of the military departments, other DOD components, and other government agencies upon request. The DLA organization is shown in Figure 4-2. Its defense distribution depots are shown in Figure 4-3.


QM supply and field service units, which should be among the first logistics elements deployed, will satisfy immediate needs and establish receipt, storage, and distribution of incoming supplies. QM units can make food, water, clothing, and shelter available and coordinate required contractual services. The Army's field service companies provide personal hygiene services such as showers, laundry, and, if required, delousing.

The Army has various options for feeding people, even though no unit is specifically designed for mass feeding. Options range from distributing meals, ready-to-eat (MRE) to preparing and providing hot meals in a climate-controlled dining facility. Under certain conditions, contract feeding may be a viable means of support. However, local circumstances will dictate the method chosen to feed both supporting military personnel and the supported civilian population. To the extent available, QM units should use established structures suitable for feeding.

Figure 4-2. Defense Logistics Agency


Because disasters usually occur without warning, they create considerable confusion, as well as a shortage of personnel to handle the sensitive, unpleasant task of caring for the dead--a job that must be done quickly and efficiently. At such times, Army mortuary affairs forces can provide valuable assistance. When the requirement for such services exceeds a community's capabilities, Army mortuary affairs units can provide search, recovery, evacuation, and identification services.


The Army's Force Provider Unit is specifically designed to provide logistical support in a consolidated location. It is also ideally suited for supporting disaster and humanitarian aid operations. This system, which can provide support for 3300 people, is designed in modules. Each module is capable of independent operations. The unit includes billeting facilities with heating/cooling, kitchens, latrines, showers, laundries, power generation, and water purification. It also includes facilities and equipment and material for religious support as well as morale, welfare, and recreation (MWR). Figure 4-4 shows a 550-person Force Provider module.

Figure 4-3. Defense Distribution Depots


Depending on the magnitude of need and the flow of supplies, Army units may require an extensive storage complex.

In emergencies, large quantities of goods are routinely contributed to the affected populace. Normally, civil agencies handle these donated goods; however, they may request that Army forces do the job. Commanders must recognize the requirement for supply accountability and reimbursement for goods and services in accordance with applicable Army regulations. Likewise, they must honor their responsibility to provide designated common supplies to other services in accordance with regulatory guidance. Such efforts apply equally to US civil authorities and traditional military operations.

Real Property

Civil emergency service organizations and the NG should jointly coordinate the use of real property. Facilities should be selected based on their potential for support and the anticipated scale of assistance operations. Vacant warehouses, parking lots, potential staging areas, and other facilities that could be used for supply activities should be acquired to enable receipt, storage, and distribution operations.

Facilities must be identified to accommodate the receipt, storage, and transshipment of supplies to an impacted area.


The nature of the emergency and prevailing conditions will determine the proper mix of equipment needed. In many cases, military equipment is well-suited for domestic support operations. However, additional equipment may be required, either temporary loans from other units or civilian equipment. When civilian equipment is needed, the commander must convey the requirement to higher headquarters. The supporting contracting element (SCE) determines market availability and processes local purchases or hires. In some cases, unit commanders will have the authority to commit funds.

Figure 4-4. 550-Soldier Force Provider Module

Army equipment may be loaned between active and reserve units, to other services, or to federal government and law enforcement agencies to supplement their capabilities. With proper authorization, loans may be made to nonfederal agencies; state, county, local civil authorities; or private agencies. Normally, consumable supplies and repair parts are not loaned.

As a result of Hurricane Andrew, the 16th Field Supply Co (FSC), 240th QM Battalion, was deployed to provide support. The 16th FSC mission provided laundry, bath, and light textile renovation support to disaster victims and deployed forces. Overall, the 16th FSC processed 5000 bundles of laundry and provided showers for more than 22,000 soldiers and civilians.

The borrower must sign a statement assuming liability for equipment during the period of the loan, to include care, custody, security and safeguarding, proper use and maintenance, and responsibility for all incremental costs accrued to the Army. Prior to issue, the Army should clearly define condition standards for return.

Requests from nonfederal agencies must state that a commercial source for an item is not reasonably available. Loan of firearms, weapons, combat or tactical vehicles, water vessels, and aircraft must be approved by the Assistant Secretary of the Army.


The number and type of maintenance units deployed will depend on the operational requirements of the crisis. Military maintenance personnel will remain under military command and control throughout the assistance operation. Whenever possible, the normal planning and execution chain of command should remain in place.

Maintenance commanders should identify supporting vendors; organize maintenance elements; and organize assets from other agencies, contractors, and local maintenance resources. Commanders must consider not only support of their own equipment but support of diverse civilian equipment such as buses, trucks, ambulances, power generation equipment, and so forth.

Commanders must plan on maintenance being performed under field conditions. Disaster relief vehicles such as ambulances, firefighting equipment, buses, power generation and construction equipment will receive priority. As facilities are reactivated following a disaster, maintenance of local infrastructure equipment might be conducted in fixed facilities on an ever-increasing scale.

The types and quantities of Class III and Class IX supplies to be carried or constructed for support of local infrastructure equipment will depend largely on the type of disaster and the equipment being supported. Standard prescribed load lists (PLLs) and authorized stockage lists (ASLs) should be adequate for unit military type equipment committed to domestic support operations. However, this may need to be tailored to support equipment for units in attached or under operational control (OPCON) status.

A priority consideration is the early reestablishment of the local government's infrastructure. Maintenance units are particularly adept at providing this support, whether repairing the local television and radio stations or emergency vehicles. Emergency or quick-fix type repairs similar to the Army's Battle Damage Assessment and Repair (BDAR) System may be required in the early stages of disaster relief, allowing time for repair parts procurement and establishment of a maintenance program.


Early assessment of transportation requirements is essential. Transportation support will be tailored to both the deployed military force and civil authorities under centralized control. The Army can provide numerous capabilities depending upon the mission. Transportation planners should be deployed early as part of the logistical assessment element.

Movement control units plan, schedule, and control Army movements into, within, and out of an area of operations. They also support joint joint force movement control requirements and coordinate support with civil authorities. In this capacity, an Army movement control unit can provide the nucleus of a joint movement center (JMC) and effectively meet all requirements. The JMC is a proven concept and can be tailored to meet the operational transportation requirements. A notional JMC is depicted in Figure 4-5.

The JMC is a proven concept and can be tailored to meet operational requirements.

Transportation units may be organized under a multifunctional or pure transportation headquarters depending upon the tailored support package. Truck companies can distribute large quantities of essential cargoes over terrain normally impassable to most civilian trucking. Cargo transfer companies prepare cargo for transshipment at distribution centers. Terminal service companies operate water ports, load and offload ships, or assist civilian port operators. Watercraft companies move units, supplies, and equipment along intracoastal or inland waterways.

Asked to provide a JMC during Hurricane Andrew, the US Army Transportation Center deployed a JMC nucleus to the JTF headquarters. With augmentation, the JMC succeeded in providing a combination of air, land, and sea transportation to DOD forces, disaster victims, and relief workers.


Deployment to the area of operations will normally be under the centralized control of the US Transportation Command (USTRANSCOM) and will often be conducted under crisis action procedures. Units will deploy according to port-call instructions using military and commercial transportation. Deploying units or teams follow existing policies, procedures, and regulations. When deployment control is not centralized under USTRANSCOM, the servicing installation arranges transportation to final destination.


Military convoys are coordinated between the deploying unit's installation and the defense movement coordinators (DMCs) in states where the convoys originate. The DMC coordinates military movements with his state transportation, civil defense, and law enforcement officials. During domestic support operations, the DMC should provide liaison to the senior movement control organization in the joint force.


Redeployment will be centrally controlled to provide for orderly movement out of the area in compliance with approved termination standards. The deployed force must be prepared to redeploy on commercial transportation since redeployment normally carries a lower priority for military lift than does deployment. The servicing installation transportation office (ITO) in the area of operations will procure the commercial transportation, prepare and issue shipping documentation, and monitor carrier performance. If an ITO is unavailable to service the area, a joint transportation office (JTO) must be organized to provide this support.


Army aviation support to domestic operations includes air movement support of logistics and transportation operations; command and control support to federal, state, and local authorities; and reconnaissance and surveillance support of law enforcement operations. Active duty and National Guard aviation units provide support to civil authorities for counterdrug programs, civil disturbances, and border surveillance operations.

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have tremendous potential in surveillance and reconnaissance operations of US border areas. Army aviation's inherent flexibility and responsiveness are ideally suited to support military and civil authorities.

Aviation support during disaster assistance operations will concentrate on air movement, aeromedical evacuation, and command and control. Disasters may temporarily close ground lines of communication due to debris or higher priority traffic. Large metropolitan areas will experience traffic gridlock. Aviation units should include medium lift assets in the initial response to enhance distribution of critical personnel, supplies, and equipment over these obstacles. Early aerial reconnaissance of the disaster area by federal, state, and local authorities will help to assess relief priorities.

Aviation operations in a particular area will include various DOD aviation assets and many civilian and public aircraft. Coordination with the FAA and DOD representatives is imperative to delineate disaster area airspace procedures, management, and safety. Recent aviation operations in support of civil authorities point out the critical need to form airspace management cells and an aviation liaison cell within the first 24 hours. Relationships among military services and the FAA air traffic services (ATS) must be succinctly addressed. The development of an aviation procedure guide (APG) will assist airspace management. These guidelines must extend to all prospective airspace users. Planners should provide guidance on flying civilians (law enforcement and government officials, Red Cross, news media, and non-DOD relief workers) and allocating critical aviation assets at the very beginning of the operation.


Engineer assistance to civil authorities will vary with each type of operation. Engineers may become involved in these operations as individuals, teams, or complete units. Individuals may technically assist in assessing damage or estimating engineer work. They may provide specialized support such as power supply and distribution or utilities repair and reconstruction.

Figure 4-5. Typical Joint Movement Center Organization

The USACE provides expertise through its engineer districts and divisions. Support can include damage survey and assessment teams, contracting support, and technical advice. The US Army Engineering and Housing Support Center (USAEHSC), a field operating agency of USACE, provides prime power teams and equipment. These power teams restore temporary electrical power to key locations. Planners must resolve funding issues with USACE early in the assistance process.

Army engineer units provide a wide variety of skills and capabilities, including limited construction, structure repair, clearing and hauling debris, limited temporary electrical and plumbing facilities, and construction of life support centers. Engineer units possess heavy construction equipment, exterior lighting capability, and generators for temporary electrical power. Soldiers in engineer units are skilled in a variety of tasks useful during the response to and the recovery from natural disasters.


In domestic support operations, map coverage is critical to provide a common frame of reference for all military and civil agencies. Paper maps, image-based substitute products, Geographic Information System (GIS) data bases, or a combination that provides total coverage is acceptable. Common maps and GIS data bases should be provided to all agencies and headquarters that are operationally involved. All controlling headquarters should operate from the same geographic frame of reference to coordinate support.

When locally produced products are available on a larger scale, they should be used. Maps or charts at a scale of 1:10,000 or 1:5,000 are extremely useful in assisting civil authorities. Products at these scales are better able to portray street names, local landmarks, and other commonly used reference points that are not usually portrayed on Defense Mapping Agency (DMA) or US Geological Survey (USGS) maps at smaller scales. Local planning agencies, realtor associations, travel agencies, or utility company records may be able to provide such detailed map coverage. US Army topographic engineer units, federal mapping agencies, or local activities may be able to reproduce these products as required.

If map coverage does not exist over the area of operations, agencies can request image-based products, which can be produced in a relatively short time using unique imagery capabilities. US Army Engineer channels handle requests for such products.


The importance of timely, focused information cannot be overstated. Military intelligence offers a disciplined and trained cadre of specialists who can quickly collect, integrate, analyze, and disseminate information that decision makers need to respond immediately to a situation. The first step is to sensitize military planners and operators to crucial needs of civilian authorities. Concurrently, they must keep in mind the distinction between the employment of military intelligence assets outside the US and the application of legal guidelines within the US. The best use of intelligence capabilities is through the skills and techniques employed in the IPB and liaison with law enforcement agencies.


Military police have special expertise in counterdrug, terrorism, and civil disturbance operations. They are highly mobile and capable of providing search, rescue, and evacuation support; physical and area security; and traffic circulation control. Due to their decentralized operations and density of communications equipment, they are also valuable for notification and area damage control.


Commanders may use medical forces and resources in domestic support operations when directed by the NCA. They may provide medical personnel and resources to support interregional military medical plan (IRMMP) missions before any NCA allocation decisions. Commanders may withdraw this support, which is temporary, to meet higher priority military missions if they occur. The health services' goal in disaster operations is to assist the local and state health services organization return to normal. Figure 4-6 depicts levels of effort.

Medical support can range from local domestic support to a full-scale regional disaster. Guidance for DOD medical support for domestic operations will normally be based on priorities established by the DHHS at both regional and national levels.


When civilian authorities are unable to provide or are required to request medical support, the NCA can direct the deployment of medical teams. These task-organized teams will enter the affected area to assess the medical situation, determine treatment and evacuation requirements, establish treatment elements, and facilitate evacuation.

In situations where civil medical services are not available, for example in isolated areas, assistance includes, but is not limited to, personal hygiene, immunizations, chemical prophylaxis, pest management, nutritional programs, and epidemiological surveys. HSS encompasses several functional areas that call for immediate and sustained assessment of the public health status and local medical infrastructure.


After the initial response, a mission analysis is conducted so that the HSS response can be tailored to meet the needs of the community in both the short and long term. Domestic emergency experience has shown that the senior US Army medical commander must locate his headquarters near the FCO's offices. Coordination between these two organizations is essential to unity of effort. Both should also centralize the location of HSS specific supply items from multiple sources (private and government). A medical logistics unit can provide assistance to non-DOD federal and civilian agencies in dispensing materiel.


The NDMS was jointly developed by the DOD, the FEMA, the DHHS, and the VA to serve as a backup for the VA/DOD Contingency Hospital System for military casualties. NDMS is also the primary recipient of casualties in the event of a catastrophic national disaster.

Depending upon the magnitude of the disaster, the local civilian hospitalization system and resources may become saturated, and NDMS may be activated. DHHS is responsible for ensuring sufficient available hospitalization capability. It considers a number of options to meet this requirement. First, the Army could deploy hospital resources such as a combat support hospital (CSH) or a mobile army surgical hospital (MASH) to the immediate disaster area. Second, the Army could coordinate the evacuation of patients to Army Medical Department Activities (MEDDACs) community hospitals or medical centers throughout the US. Third, Army medical units can use hospitalization resources from the other services.

During domestic national emergencies, the NDMS also depends on existing resources that will remain under the control of parent agencies. One of these is a nationwide network of more than 100,000 standby nonfederal acute care hospital beds. The NDMS depends on other in-place resources, including communication networks, transportation, and medical regulation systems to evacuate casualties to receiving hospitals. The national medical mutual aid response network provides patient clearing and staging services. It uses disaster medical assistance teams (DMATs), available military medical units, and supplementary medical supplies and equipment to carry out its functional support.


The system may be activated in two ways. In the event of a domestic disaster, the governor of the affected state may request federal assistance under the authority of The Disaster Relief Act of 1974. This may result in the activation of NDMS. A state health officer may request that the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) activate the NDMS in situations where the President has not declared a disaster.

In a civil emergency, the principal interface will be through FEMA and HHS regional coordinators to the state disaster medical and health coordinator. If the system is activated, the lead agency will be the DHHS; in a national security emergency, the lead agency will be the DOD. Each agency will be responsible for managing its own resources in accordance with general policy.


Personnel units and soldiers will primarily be used to support soldiers conducting the domestic support operation. While this personnel support is provided during any operation, a domestic support operation may require additional planning and preparation. For example, maintaining accurate strength accountability may be more demanding due to unusual tailoring of units to fit the particular mission. In addition, personnel soldiers may support military and family members who are victims or are otherwise affected by the operation.

Personnel units and soldiers may be brought into an operation to assist civil authorities in accomplishing their mission using civilian agency systems. Assistance in personnel identification, classification, and accounting may be needed. Personnel soldiers may also assist in receiving and interviewing civilians to collect information and identify unique skills. They may account for casualties. Military personnel services units also assist civil personnel in recognizing outstanding contributions from members of the supported population. Assistance is provided to the US Postal Service if it is not able to conduct essential mail operations. Morale, welfare, and recreation services are provided in limited scope or as part of a force provider package.

Figure 4-6. Military Medical Relief Support


The finance mission is to sustain operations by providing timely commercial vendor and contractual payments, various pay and disbursing services, and all essential accounting. Organizational support is provided to organization units as required. It includes payment for local procurement of supplies and services, legal claims, and so forth. Finance units must provide accurate cost descriptions for initial input into the accounting system for all transactions.

Procurement support, the most critical finance mission, covers two areas. Contracting support involves the payment of commercial accounts for goods and services obtained through formal contracting procedures. Finance units can disburse currency and checks, which can alleviate shortages and delays in the procurement of various supplies and services. Commercial vendor services (CVS) meet immediate needs that cannot reasonably be met by normal logistics. Imprest fund cashiers, finance support teams (FST), and Class A agents may pay CVS in cash. Units must appoint Class A agent officers to make cash payments when they will be delayed.

The 312th Army Reserve Band from Lawrence, Kansas, developed a counterdrug program for school kids. During their summer 1992 annual training (AT), band members designed a mixed program of music, dance, and testimonials That told the children, in terms they could understand, that drug use is wrong and leads nowhere. The band expanded its AT effort and now regularly visits local schools, playing for and talking to young students.


The Army also provides band support. Bands contribute effectively to commanders' community relations programs. Patriotic and popular music instill feelings of well-being and pride and provide respite from worries and problems. The band stationed nearest the involved area should be the one tasked to support civil authorities with musical programs.


Judge advocates provide advice and assistance in the functional areas of the law, including administrative, contract, international, and operational law, as well as claims, legal assistance, and military justice. Historically during military operations, the duties of the judge advocate have concentrated on the military justice system. During support operations to US civilian authorities, this military justice mission may take a secondary role to the mission of providing advice on the laws dealing with military and civilian relationships. Questions concerning the scope and source of the commander's authority, liability of soldiers, and contingency contracting may come to the forefront. For example, after-action reports from Hurricane Andrew identified a greater need for judge advocate support for claims and contingency contracting.


When federal units are called in, a high probability exists that a significant amount of devastation and trauma will be associated with the emergency. Early deployment of unit ministry teams (UMTs), which consist of one chaplain and one chaplain's assistant, will put care givers on the scene to deal with trauma.

Particularly at risk are soldiers who are confronted with the emotional impact of the disaster as they arrive on the scene. The chaplain's key role is to provide spiritual care and perspective to enable the soldiers to deal with the situation as they find it.

Early deployment is particularly critical when civilian care givers, such as pastors and social workers, are themselves traumatized victims of the disaster. During the initial response phase, these people will be extremely limited in their ability to provide care. Although the UMTs may not provide direct care to affected people, they can identify those in need of care and refer them to those who can help. Through consultation with local civilian religious leaders, faith groups, and organizations, the senior chaplain of the response force will assess physical and spiritual needs and determine ways to meet both.

During the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew, UMTs provided religious support to military personnel who were providing food, water, shelter, and medical care to civilian victims. They also talked with victims, distributed food, counseled children, picked up debris alongside other relief workers, and visited the elderly. As they met civilians in the affected area, UMTs provided religious support. They also coordinated with civilian clergy to provide religious services for civilians remaining in the life support centers. UMTs became key coordinators with local religious organizations.


Public affairs is a critical consideration in Army domestic support operations, where commanders must operate in an environment of complex information demands. Domestic support operations impart a lasting impression relative to the commitment of the civil-military teams. Ultimately, the impression of the assistance effort depends to a great extent on the media. The public's perception will also be influenced by the cooperation and coordination between commanders and civilian leaders and the efforts of the public affairs personnel.

Commanders must be prepared to operate in an environment of complex information demands.

The news media will have unrestricted access to domestic support operations. Army public affairs officers (PAOs) must operate under any constraints imposed by the government agency that has jurisdiction. The lead agency will have release authority. The Army must coordinate all PA activities with the lead agency and comply with public affairs guidance. Public affairs officers must establish an Army information bureau to work with the Joint Information Center (JIC).

The PAO advises the commander on the information demands that he can anticipate, the information strategies available, and the effect of the communication effort. It is sometimes necessary to create an ad hoc PA organization to support the operation. Regardless of how Army units provide PA support, it is critical that leaders involve their PA personnel in planning and decision making.

Commanders should be prepared to provide timely and pertinent information to the media on developing issues and changing perceptions. They must be prepared to appear on camera, answer questions, and provide explanations in order to tell the story as completely, accurately, honestly, and openly as possible.

Commanders must also fill the information needs of their soldiers. Providing effective command information is a critical element in maintaining soldier morale and unit esprit. Soldiers need information about the environment in which they are operating. They need to know that their work is valid, moral, and supported by the American people.


Army special operations forces are particularly suited to domestic support missions. They are trained and experienced in operating in austere environments. Many are cross-trained in various disciplines. Three types of SOF units are especially well-suited to domestic support missions: civil affairs (CA), psychological operations (PSYOP), and special forces (SF).


CA units are specifically organized to use the civil sector functions and skills and to provide support to various levels of government in 20 specific functional areas. This working knowledge is especially useful in disasters. The units will tailor their capabilities to particular situations. CA units should be employed to advise the military commander on the impact of military activities on the civil sector. They assess damage to the civil infrastructure, assist in the operation of temporary shelters, and manage a civil-military operations center (CMOC). CA units may also serve as liaison between the military and the various civil organizations.


The rapid production and dissemination of accurate information to the population in crisis situations are important. This information may include safety and health messages, location of water or food distribution points, and designation of restricted areas and temporary shelters. Since the normal civilian facilities may be disrupted, these units may have to employ alternative methods. Equipment assets of PSYOP units (portable printing presses, loudspeakers, and radio broadcasting stations) have often been needed in disaster operations. PSYOP personnel can provide a commander with real-time analysis of the perceptions and attitudes of the civilian population and the effectiveness of the information being disseminated.


The SF team's organization, training, capability, and adaptability allow them to operate effectively in remote and urban areas isolated by disaster events. They may be able to provide detailed reports and assessments on conditions in the area. The teams are rapidly deployable, have excellent radio communications capabilities, and are suited to working with culturally dissimilar ethnic groups.


Forces deployed in domestic support operations must carefully plan their communications packages. Communications objectives must be determined, responsibilities defined, and types of support identified. The level of information mission area (IMA) support required depends on the nature of the assigned mission. In all likelihood, a combination of military and commercial communications support will be required. A major concern for the signal planner will be the interface between military and commercial communications and information systems and networks.

If the commercial communication infrastructure is incapable of supporting civil and military communication requirements, the Army signal planner must coordinate with his civilian counterpart to determine what communication capabilities are required. This information is essential to tailoring the signal support package.

Most civil and military communications systems are incompatible for various reasons, for example, equipment, frequency allocation, and usage. Though possible, it is highly unlikely that either element will have sufficient assets on hand to equip both with compatible communications equipment. For these reasons, military and civil communication planners must exchange knowledgeable communication support personnel and compatible equipment to ensure connectivity is maintained between military and civilian operation centers. This exchange of personnel and equipment can occur at any level and should be implemented and modified as the situation dictates.


Army chemical units are trained and equipped to provide support in many technological accident or incident situations. Although the current focus is on chemical or nuclear accidents or incidents, the present technologies and doctrine allow for greater flexibility in responding to any mission associated with the FRP. Chemical units can support domestic support operations as individuals, teams, or units.

Chemical units can support domestic support operations as individuals, teams, or units.

The Army Technical Escort Unit (TEU), as a DOD executive agent, has the primary mission of responding to incidents that include hazardous and toxic substances. TEU and associated explosive ordnance disposal, security, and command and control elements routinely deploy to support the movement and demilitarization of toxic chemical munitions and substances. Nuclear accident/incident (NAI) and chemical accident/incident (CAI) during domestic support operations require coordinated efforts through DOD, and with the DOE, EPA, and LEAs. DOD and FEMA have established joint policy for a coordinated response to a nuclear material accident. Army policy and the Federal Radiological Emergency Response Plan describe duties of these agencies and organizations.

A chemical battalion headquarters can provide command, control, and communications resources, as well as training support, for any technological and consultative operation involving nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) defense and operations. Chemical reconnaissance units are equipped to conduct surveys and determine the type and extent of toxic contamination with mobile spectral analysis. Chemical decontamination units can deploy with high-mobility vehicles allowing off-road employment of a wide range of equipment and capabilities. Both reconnaissance and decontamination unit capabilities allow for chemical and nuclear hazard surveying, detection, identification, monitoring, and personnel and equipment decontamination. Additional capabilities provide local security, vector control, and limited water transfer, spray, and storage, allowing a limited personnel shower and a firefighting capacity. Chemical smoke units also possess high-mobility capabilities as well as equipment for the employment of smoke and obscurants.

Technical support available to other agencies includes surveying radiological and hazardous material, monitoring, determining downwind contamination hazards, and assessing vulnerability and area damage as may be required for environmental missions or for disaster assistance operations. Training and consultation in NBC defense and operations, including the use of defoliants, the employment of riot control agents, and the construction and employment of flame field expedient devices, are also available for civil preparedness. Chemical units are capable of providing NBC defense training in law enforcement and counterdrug operations.

If chemical units deploy as self-sustaining entities, they are capable of at least 72 hours of operations without additional support. Follow-on support requires coordination for resupply of chemical defense equipment and material and life support. Military, federal, or contracted logistics support can provide the required resources.


Installation or unit safety professionals may be required to provide safety services to a community in support of assistance operations. Whereas military support is intended to provide aid and comfort, the potential for a catastrophic accident is greatly increased if equipment designed for combat is used for disaster assistance. If, due to expediency, soldiers are tasked to perform services in which they have little or no formal training, for example, civil disturbances, flood control, or firefighting, the result could be the loss of soldiers or military equipment and additional damage to the community the soldiers are trying to support. Army safety services must be focused toward both the Army unit providing the support and the civilian community receiving it.

The Army commander's primary responsibility is to accomplish the assigned mission and to provide for force protection. He accomplishes this through the systematic use of risk management techniques and the total integration of safety throughout all aspects of the operation. He must use the same philosophy and techniques to ensure that Army services provided to the civilian community are free of unnecessary risk. The safety (risk management) staff officer advises the commander and his staff on all applications of the risk management process and recommends how to integrate the safety function. He also maintains liaison with, and provides assistance to, other Army, joint, or combined elements as required or directed by the commander.


Most domestic support operations are logistical in nature. Leaders and managers must understand the basic considerations and concerns necessary to accomplish those missions. Basic guidelines are to make a careful assessment of the mission, tailor the force for the mission, maintain accountability for resources expended, contract for support at the earliest opportunity, and transition support operations to local authorities as soon as possible. Force protection is a primary consideration and is implemented by identifying and eliminating unnecessary risks to the force and public.