"These Soldiers are out here watching the entrance to our neighborhood, making sure no one comes in that doesn't live here. I can't even say how much I appreciate their presence."
- A tornado victim, speaking about the presence of Missouri National Guard Soldiers
Missouri Guard Soldiers aid tornado victims
Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA)
What is it?
The Army provides support to civil authorities as directed by the secretary of defense. DSCA includes activities of all Department of Defense components that provide military support to the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and U.S. territories and possessions in response to requests for assistance during domestic incidents including terrorist threats or attacks, major disasters and other emergencies.
What has the Army done?
In preparation for the 2008 hurricane season, the Army worked to identify units and equipment to ensure appropriate response readiness in the event of a DSCA mission. United States Army North's 10 defense coordinating officers and elements (DCO/E) 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 2007-2008, DCO/E teams deployed throughout the United States to support disaster response efforts including severe weather in Eagle Pass, Texas, and Greensburg, Kan.; flooding from Tropical Storm Erin, Hurricane Dean and Tropical Depression 10; southern California wildfires; and the Minneapolis bridge collapse.
In addition, 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 2,500 National Guard Soldiers currently assist the U.S. Border Patrol in this crucial homeland defense mission across four Southwest border states (California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas).
What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?
Providing timely and appropriate response to an incident remains one of the Army's key operational concepts. The Army has begun producing a yearly standing DSCA execute order to cover natural and man-made disasters. The Army has identified organizations to provide support outlined in the order.
Why is this important to the Army?
Army DSCA contributes to national security and 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.
- 2008 Strategic Communication Guide - Read the 2008 Army Strategic Communication Guide for key messages and updates
- Strategic Communication Coordination Group (SCCG) Workspace
- Army Public Affairs Portal
- Stories of Valor