Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress Washington United States
The U.S. military has a long history of providing support to civil authorities, particularly in response to disasters or emergencies examples include responding to yellow fever epidemics in 1873 and 1878. The Department of Defense DOD defines defense support of civil authorities as Support provided by U.S. Federal military forces, DOD civilians, DOD contract personnel, DOD Component assets, and National Guard forces when the Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Governors of the affected States, elects and requests to use those forces in Title 32, U.S.C., status in response to requests for assistance from civil authorities for domestic emergencies, law enforcement support, and other domestic activities, or from qualifying entities for special events. DOD Directive 3025.18, 18.Defense support of civil authorities for major incidents is typically carried out in accordance with the National Response Framework NRF, which is a guide to how the Nation responds to all types of disasters and emergencies. NRF, p. 2 Among other things, it establishes broad lines of authority for federal government agencies to prepare for and respond to any terrorist attack, major disaster, or other emergency.