Accession Number:



Defense Support of Civil Authorities: Decision Points for the Employment of Forces in the Domestic Operational Environment

Descriptive Note:

[Technical Report, Monograph]

Corporate Author:

U.S. Army School for Advanced Military Studies

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



Although Defense Support of Civil Authorities continues to be considered a mission essential task for many Army units, there is very little emphasis on the proper employment of forces in the domestic environment. The Global War on Terrorism has forced most operational-level planning to focus on deploying forces outside of the continental United States. This has created a gap in the understanding of how to integrate and employ forces within the constraints of a multi-state, domestic operational environment. This study examined the operational constraints founded in law and national policy that planners must consider. This study assessed the key decisions of joint task force commanders, their integration of Title 10 and Title 32 forces, and the impacts those decisions made during the Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy responses. These large-scale natural disaster response cases illuminate the range of decisions required to employ an operational force in the domestic environment. The findings of this study extend beyond a hurricane response, and are applicable to similar large-scale domestic events such as earthquakes, pandemics, and terrorist attacks.


Subject Categories:

  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
  • Civil Defense

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]