U.S. Army Support to Humanitarian Assistance and Relief Operations

Tuesday January 3, 2012

What is it?

In support of humanitarian assistance and relief operations, U.S. Army provides critical assistance to civil authorities, foreign governments and victims of wildfires, hurricanes, snow storms, tornados, earthquakes, tsunamis, floods and other natural and man-made disasters.

What has the Army done?

In 2011, the U.S. Army provided assistance with Operation Tomadachi in and around Japan following the 8.9 magnitude earthquake and resulting tsunami in March. In August, the U.S. Army assisted in flood relief efforts in the eastern U.S. after Hurricane Irene. The U.S. Army also offered assistance in Pakistan and Tajikistan, after relentless monsoons. Soldiers fed the hungry, treated the injured and cleared wreckage to help thousands affected return to their normal lives as soon as possible.

What efforts does the Army plan to continue in the future?

The U.S. Army will maintain the capability to appropriately respond before, during, and in the aftermath of natural and man-made disasters - at home and abroad - in support of combatant commanders and civil authorities. When requested by domestic civil authorities, or by foreign nations working through the U.S. Department of State and the associated combatant command, the U.S. Army will provide trained and ready forces to answer the call, put "boots on the ground" and accomplish the mission.

Why is this important to the Army?

Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Raymond T. Odierno states that the Army must provide depth and versatility to the Joint Force, be effective when employed, and provide an array of options to the national leaders. The Army is - and must remain - the force of decisive action for the nation. To be this force, the Army has to be decisive in a wide range of missions including regular and irregular warfare against conventional and hybrid threats; providing humanitarian assistance, both home and abroad; engaging with the allies while building partner capacity; and supporting civil authorities. The U.S. Army enables the Joint Force with decisive and sustainable land power, while being responsive to the combatant commanders and above all, maintains trust with the American people.


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