CCMRF and Use of Federal Armed Forces in Civil Support Operations

By Jacobs, Jeffrey A. | Army, July 2009 | Go to article overview

CCMRF and Use of Federal Armed Forces in Civil Support Operations


Jacobs, Jeffrey A., Army


Last year, the Secretary of Defense assigned the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, to U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) as part of the first dedicated chemical, biological, radiological and high-yield explosive (CBRNE) consequence man- agement response force (CCMRF). The Internet sprang to life with dire warnings of armed soldiers in full combat gear routinely patrolling our nation's streets. Alarmist predictions ran wild: Steely-eyed infantrymen, just off the plane from Iraq and Afghanistan, not only would be en- forcing domestic law but would slide rapidly down the slippery slope to the oppression of American citizens at the behest of an unchecked executive branch of government.

The cyber hue and cry illustrates the depth of the public's misunderstanding and the abundance of misinformation surrounding the federal military role in domestic civil support operations. Misunderstanding and misinformation about defense support of civil authorities (DSCA) in general, of CCMRF in particular, and of the legal authorities governing the domestic use of federal forces exist even within our Army, as illustrated in COL Craig Trebilcock's article "Resurrecting Posse Comitatus in the Post-9/11 World" in the May issue. Clearly, however, Posse Comitatus is quite alive and well, and reports of its impending demise are greatly exaggerated.

Support of Civil Authorities

In a revolutionary doctrinal change, Field Manual 3-0 Full Spectrum Operations incorporates civil support as an integral part of the Army's operational concept. Just as soldiers and leaders must understand offensive and defensive operations, an understanding of civil support operations is now imperative. We must eliminate the wrong perceptions of civil support operations, both in the public eye and within our own institution.

Our armed forces have a long history of supporting civil authorities. In the recent past, the Army conducted postal operations during the 1970 postal strike. In 1981, Army air traffic controllers staffed civilian control towers during the air traffic controllers' walkout. Federal forces supported state and local authorities during Hurricanes Andrew in 1992 and Katrina in 2005, and in many other natural disasters in the last decade. Navy divers assisted local, state and federal authorities during the Minnesota bridge collapse of 2007. Just last year, U.S. Army North (ARNORTH), NORTHCOM's joint force land component command, deployed a two-star task force to command and control federal military forces in support of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the state of Texas during Hurricane Ike.

NORTHCOM is the combatant command whose area of responsibility includes U.S. soil. Civil support is one of NORTHCOM's two major missions; homeland defense is the other. Although interrelated, the two missions are separate, and, unfortunately, the uninformed tend to confuse them.

Two seminal events, 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, have heightened the importance of defense support of civil authorities and have underscored the requirement for the Department of Defense to be ready and able to support civil authorities. The establishment of NORTHCOM has greatly improved our ability to respond to domestic emergencies of all kinds, not only as a joint military force but as a nation. Civil support is no longer just an additional duty for the armed forces; it is now a critical continuous endeavor. For example, 10 full-time defense coordinating officers - active Army colonels assigned to ARNORTH - work daily with each of the 10 FEMA regions and coordinate regularly with other federal agencies, state emergency management officials and National Guard leaders.

The Legal/Policy Framework

The role of the federal military in DSCA is carefully defined and deliberately circumscribed by the Constitution, statutes and policy. As many have noted, one of the laws that limits the role of the federal military is the Posse Comitatus Act. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

CCMRF and Use of Federal Armed Forces in Civil Support Operations
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.