Defense Support of Civil Authorities Course

Thursday November 29, 2012

What is it?

The Department of Defense (DOD) Support of Civil Authorities Course trains military forces, DOD civilians, contract personnel, and partner federal agency members, to successfully plan, coordinate, execute and support DSCA operations. The target audience is senior military and civilian leaders and staff members with DSCA responsibilities. The course is chartered by the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Homeland Defense and Americas' Security Affairs), sponsored by U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) and conducted by U.S. Army North (ARNORTH).

The course consists of three phases of instruction. Phase I, eight hours of on-line learning focused on the National Response Framework and how DOD supports; Phase II, 30 hours resident instruction and practical exercises designed to put the operational principles into action; Phase III, continuing education through course alumni updates.

What has the Army done?

ARNORTH developed the DSCA course to meet the need for DOD leaders and staff to better support Civil Authorities in the homeland. The DSCA course is required training for virtually all USNORTHCOM and Component Command members. 6,800 personnel have completed the course since its inception in April of 2006. ARNORTH conducts the resident course by a mobile training team throughout the USNORTHCOM and U.S. Pacific Command areas of focus. A typical resident course consists of 60 students from all services; active and reserve components as well as other federal agencies.

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

ARNORTH continues to maintain course relevancy through the application of lessons learned from recent operations and feedback from current students as well as graduates. ARNORTH is in a unique position as a Joint Force Land Component Command to leverage the observations and first hand operational experiences into the classroom. ARNORTH also plans to expand the outreach of the course through the addition of networked seminars conducted throughout the USNORTHCOM and USPACOM areas of focus.

Why is this important to the Army?

As evidenced by the recent DOD involvement with the response to Hurricane Sandy, all members of the Army must understand the unique requirements associated with operations in the homeland. The American people are reassured by the presence of the military in times of disaster. However, we must maintain that trust and confidence by ensuring that the Army is trained and ready to rapidly save lives and prevent human suffering in the homeland.


Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA) Course
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