Defense Support to Civil Authorities - Hurricane Katrina Response

What is it?  The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requested Department of Defense support to conduct search and rescue operations, infrastructure support and help to provide stability to the region and hope to the many displaced persons as part of a government-wide response to Hurricane Katrina.

What did the Army do?  The Army conducted one of the largest peacetime deployments of personnel and equipment within the United States in support of Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.  The total Army commitment to this effort was nearly 51,000 Soldiers, civilians, and contractors (7,319 active component; 42,203 National Guard; 324 Army Reserve; more than 3,500 Army Corps of Engineers personnel (Soldiers, Army Civilians, and contractors).  Additionally, the Army provided 233 helicopters and 50 fixed wing aircraft from all components. The following commands provided support as indicated:

What efforts does the Army plan to continue in the future?  The Army will continue to provide support to hurricane disaster relief as requested by FEMA and in accordance with applicable law when directed by the Secretary of Defense.

Why is this important to the Army?  This operation displayed the Army’s resolve to respond to emergencies and support Americans affected by natural disasters and creates a very positive image in the eyes of the American public. It also demonstrates the Army’s capability to provide domestic support while maintaining global commitments and fighting the Global War on Terror.