Defense Support to Civil Authorities: Critical Capability or Vulnerability? Optimizing DOD's Domestic Range Of Military Operations
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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Our vulnerability as a nation was exposed by the tragic events of September 11th 2001. The enduring and varied nature of this vulnerability was again highlighted in August 2005 by the failings of the Hurricane Katrina response, bringing the necessity of effective crisis response into the national spotlight. The lack of interagency coordination was subsequently identified as the overarching failure behind the Hurricane Katrina debacle. Sadly, while issues were being worked out at the operational level, the needs of the people on the ground were not met. The management of this phenomenon has thus emerged as the focal point for transforming this critical vulnerability into a critical capability. The bright spot, however, was the ability of the DOD, National Guard, and USCG to make a prompt impact on the recovery efforts - once deployed. This paper provides a brief synopsis of the Defense Support to Civil Authorities DSCA lessons from Hurricane Katrina, as well as a summary of the on-going changes to the National Response Plan NRP. While these changes are a step in the right direction, they dont address the heart of past failings poor interagency coordination. Using Joint Interagency Task Force South JIATF-S as a model, the formation of a standing JIATF for Crisis Response JIATF-CR is proposed as a possible remedy to the barriers of interagency coordination inherent in crisis response.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics