Defense Support of Civil Authorities

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

What is it?

Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA) is a total force effort with Soldiers who are trained, equipped and organized to perform a wide spectrum of operations, including homeland defense, homeland security, and civil support (e.g., critical infrastructure protection and hurricane and wildfire response).

The National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 enabled the Army Reserve to support lead agencies involved in DSCA, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, using its extensive combat service and combat service support capabilities to help save lives, prevent human suffering and mitigate extensive property damage.

What has the Army done?

The Army Reserve maintains a variety of readily available capabilities, including aviation, civil affairs, engineering, medical, supply and logistics, which can be committed to DSCA missions. Units support the National Response Framework by leveraging them toward its 15 Emergency Support Functions, which were established to expedite the delivery of support to disaster areas.

Other assets include the more than 1,100 Army Reserve facilities located throughout the nation and territories that are capable of providing temporary locations to support DCSA operations.

Assistance may be requested by governors through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Civil authorities facing imminently serious conditions may request temporary support from Army Reserve assets through Immediate Response Authority.

What continued efforts are planned for the future?

As the DSCA operational environment evolves, the Army Reserve will continue to develop policies for implementing new authorities while training for possible missions to support a variety of incidents. These incidents comprise a wide array of disasters resulting from either natural or intentional behavior (terrorist attacks or cyberattacks).

Why is this important to the Army?

The Army is part of the synchronized Federal emergency response system for immediate assistance. Providing timely and appropriate response to an incident remains one of the Army’s key operational concepts.

The Army Reserve’s community-based force delivers the support and sustainment capabilities necessary to save lives as well as prevent human suffering and extensive property damage. Army Reserve’s Defense Support of Civil Authorities enhances overall mission readiness.

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