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Defense Support of Civil Authorities

Friday, July 17, 2020

What is it?

The U.S. Army’s Defense Support of Civil Authorities effort responds to domestic emergencies, to include homeland defense, homeland security, terrorist attacks, natural and man-made disasters and other events. The DSCA mission supports other federal agencies and helps communities in need, even while continuing to support the Army’s vital mission of defending the homeland against all threats.

DSCA is a total force effort by all federal military forces - active, guard and reserve military forces, Department of Defense civilians, and contract personnel. The 2018 National Defense Strategy codifies DSCA as a primary mission of the Department of Defense.

What are the current and past efforts of the Army?

U.S. Army North, as U.S. Northern Command’s Joint Force Land Component Command, works with FEMA to provide command and control for DSCA missions. Army North matches federal military support to mission assignments, which are validated requests for assistance. In collaboration with active, guard, and reserve forces and the Army Corps of Engineers, Army North:

  • Rapidly mobilizes and coordinates requests for federal military assistance from federal, state, local, tribal and territorial partners.
  • Matches federal military support to mission assignments, which are validated requests for assistance
  • Remains ready to respond and to rapidly deploy personnel in support of civil authorities for emergencies and planned events such as:
  • list:
    • Pandemics
    • Hurricanes
    • Wildland Fires
    • National Special Security events (United Nations General Assembly, the Super
    • Bowl, the State of the Union Address, and the Democratic and Republican National Conventions)
    • DOD Southwest Border Support Mission

What continued efforts does the Army have planned?

Army North will continue to provide lifesaving and life-sustaining capabilities in support of federal, state, local, tribal and territorial partners. Army North plans and trains, with partners year-round to be ready to support a broad range of disaster and emergency response requests, in exercises such as:

  • Ardent Sentry
  • Vibrant Response
  • Fuerzas Amigas
  • Civil Support Training
  • Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive Response Enterprise
  • Validation and Training

Why is this important to the Army?

DSCA enhances overall mission readiness. Even as U.S. Army North conducts its primary mission of homeland defense, the forces are prepared to deploy at the “speed of need” to provide DSCA for natural or manmade disasters. Army North remains committed to protecting the American people.


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July 2020

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