Information Papers

U.S. Army North/Fifth U.S. Army

What is it?
U.S. Army North (USARNORTH) conducts homeland defense, civil support operations, and theater security cooperation activities as the Army service component command to the U.S. Army Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) in order to protect the American people and their way of life. When tasked, USARNORTH commands and controls deployed forces as a Joint Task Force or Joint Force Land Component Command. Headquarters maintains the capability of deploying two operational command posts, each commanded by a major general. The operational command post can quickly receive augmentation and assume the role of a Joint Task Force. USARNORTH is responsible for executing and administering the Department of Defense’s (DoD’s) Defense Support to Civil Authorities (DSCA) Course to educate appropriate personnel on DSCA fundamentals. The Department of the Army has developed and implemented an executive DSCA Course for senior leaders. USARNORTH maintains the readiness of regional defense coordinating officers and supporting staff and has assumed tactical control for force protection of Army assets in the USNORTHCOM area of responsibility. USARNORTH provides training and readiness oversight of 55 of the Nation’s 57 authorized National Guard Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Teams (WMD-CSTs) and training of the 17 chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and high-explosive (CBRNE) Enhanced Response Force Packages (CERFP). Civil support teams and CERFPs assist state and regional authorities in the event of a WMD attack on the American homeland. Civil support teams support civil authorities at a domestic CBRNE incident site by identifying CBRNE agents and substances, assessing current and projected consequences, advising on response measures, and assisting with appropriate requests for state support. CERFPs provide states with a regional task force capable of performing mass casualty decontamination, triage, and emergency medical treatment, and of locating and extracting victims from the hot zone to support civil first responders or military authorities. USARNORTH is responsible for administrative control (Title 10) of all conventional Army forces assigned or attached to USNORTHCOM in response to homeland defense or DSCA operations and for establishing habitual coordination and training relationships with theater-aligned support commands (63rd TAB, 263rd AAMDC and the 167th TSC). USARNORTH also has operational control of all Army emergency preparedness liaison officers and is responsible for Army emergency preparedness liaison officer program management. The Department of the Army is responsible for identifying DoD installations that may serve as mobilization centers or operational staging areas to support nonmilitary organizations and personnel, and for identifying DoD installations that are likely to serve as base support installations for military personnel in homeland defense or DSCA missions.

What has the Army done?
On Oct. 16, 2006, the Secretary of the Army designated USARNORTH as the Army service component command to USNORTHCOM, reporting directly to Headquarters, Department of the Army. USARNORTH exercises administrative control authority and responsibility on behalf of the Secretary of the Army and exercises operational control over Army forces as delegated by the commander, USNORTHCOM, throughout the USNORTHCOM area of responsibility. The Army Campaign Plan addresses capability issues that will allow USARNORTH to rapidly provide robust support to USNORTHCOM with necessary theater enabler organizations.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
USARNORTH will continue to provide robust homeland defense and DSCA support and fulfill responsibilities in the USNORTHCOM area of responsibility. To achieve this, current USARNORTH strategic objectives include the following:

Why is this important to the Army?
It establishes an Army service component command to provide direct support to USNORTHCOM, institutes the USARNORTH as USNORTHCOM’s single-service point of contact for service-related issues, and allows for a direct line of communication between the Army service component command and Headquarters, Department of the Army. USNORTHCOM responsibilities include anticipating and conducting homeland defense and civil support operations within the assigned area of responsibility in order to defend, protect, and secure the United States and its interests. USARNORTH supports the number-one DoD priority: defending the homeland. USARNORTH establishes relationships with appropriate federal agency and installation officials to facilitate emergency preparedness coordination.