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Chapter 2

Civil Affairs Missions

CA forces augment CMO staffs of geographic, theater Army component, and maneuver commanders, down to battalion level. They augment U.S. Embassy country teams, other government agencies, and multinational forces as well. CA forces accomplish the mission by assisting in the planning, coordination, and supervision of CA activities in support of CMO. The specific activities are mission dependent and determined after applying the Special Operations Mission Evaluation Criteria and the Military Decision-Making Process. CA commanders tailor their forces to meet mission requirements, ensuring the proper mix and timely employment of strategic-, operational-, and tactical-level forces, as well as functional specialists. Key to this effort is the early deployment of planning teams, without which relevant CA input to OPLANs, functional plans, and CONPLANs cannot be achieved.


2-1. All CA activities (Figure 2-1) support CMO. They embrace the relationship of military forces with civil authorities, NGOs, IOs, and populations in areas where military forces are present. CA activities may also involve the application of CA functional specialty skills in areas normally the responsibility of the civilian government. NOTE: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the UN modified U.S. CMO concepts and refer to them as civil-military cooperation (CIMIC).

Figure 2-1. CA Activities in Support of CMO

2-2. CA activities supporting the commander's missions include operations that--

  • Fulfill responsibilities of the military under U.S. domestic and international laws relevant to civilian populations.
  • Minimize civilian interference with military operations and the impact of military operations on the civilian populace.
  • Coordinate military operations with civilian agencies of the U.S. Government, civilian agencies of other governments, and NGOs.
  • Exercise military control of the civilian populace in occupied or liberated areas until control can be returned to civilian or non-U.S. military authority.
  • Provide assistance to meet the life-sustaining needs of the civilian population.
  • Provide expertise in civil-sector functions normally the responsibility of civilian authorities. That expertise is applied to implement U.S. policy to advise or assist in rehabilitating or restoring civil-sector functions.


2-3. FNS is the identification, coordination, and acquisition of FN resources--such as supplies, materiel, and labor--to support U.S. forces and operations. The preferred means of fulfilling combat service support (CSS) requirements is to get appropriate goods and services locally through FNS.

2-4. In some theaters, specific terms describe categories of FNS. Host nation support (HNS) is support provided by a friendly country for U.S. military operations conducted within its borders, based on mutually concluded agreements. HNS includes the planning, negotiations for, and acquisition of such support. Friendly or allied nation support (FANS) is support within the Pacific theater. CIMIC is support within NATO. FNS may, however, also include support from countries that have no mutual agreements.


2-5. In sustained warfare, CSS capabilities seldom meet supply and service requirements. Through an intermediary role, CA personnel identify and help acquire FN goods and services to support U.S. forces and operations while outside the continental United States (OCONUS). FNS helps the commander fulfill his wartime mission. It also promotes trade and employment opportunities for the local populace. Some FNS methods may not be universally applicable. FNS also differs based on the politico-military situation. Factors that influence the politico-military situation include the--

  • Type and intensity of the conflict.
  • Existence of agreements to provide support.
  • FN's capability and willingness to provide support and its degree of control over the civilian populace.

2-6. When CA personnel and CSS elements deploy early, support procured
from FNs shortens the logistics distribution network by minimizing the time between the user's request to final delivery. Acquisition of FNS requires--

  • Logistics planners to identify projected shortfalls.
  • CA planners to determine available goods and services within the theater.
  • Negotiations for such support.

2-7. Depending on the level of support available, CA responsibilities include identifying resources, assisting other staff agencies with their ad hoc requests (such as S4 and property book), and activating preplanned requests for wartime host nation support (WHNS). NOTE: WHNS is only in Korea.

2-8. In many countries, CA personnel contact businesses and government agencies directly to establish a working relationship to obtain support. In countries with territorial forces structured to support allied troops on their sovereign territory, CA personnel work through the territorial forces. Procurement of goods and services is through--

  • Civilian or military agencies in the country that requested U.S. troops.
  • Civilian sources in an occupied area (with proper compensation).
  • Capture of enemy government-owned materiel.
  • A third country that can provide such support more readily than through supply channels back to the continental United States (CONUS).


2-9. In the execution of FNS procurement arrangements, a distinction exists between support procured by predeployment agreements and support obtained on an ad hoc arrangement. Most FNS is obtained by agreement, but HNS is usually obtained before forces arrive in theater--for example, when an operation is under NATO, standardization agreements (STANAGs) may exist. (See the bibliography to this publication for recommended readings of STANAGs.)

Host Nation Support

2-10. A host nation (HN) is a nation in which representatives or organizations of another nation are present because of government invitation or international agreement. The term primarily refers to a nation receiving assistance relevant to its national security. The United States views an HN as a friendly nation that has invited U.S. forces to its territory. HNS includes all civil and military support a nation provides to allied forces in their sovereign territories, during peace or war. HNS occurs under agreements that commit the HN to provide specific support according to prescribed conditions. HNS occurs at various levels--from nation to nation, between component commanders, between major commands, and at lower command levels.

2-11. Support arrangements during peace are viable sources of HNS when authorized by formal agreement. Although preferred, a formal agreement is not necessary in obtaining HNS. The United States negotiates bilateral agreements with HNs to procure these services to support stationing and combined exercises during peace and to prepare for CSS in time of conflict. The HN provides the types and volume of support in accordance with these bilateral agreements and the laws of the HN, based on its capability to provide such support. The United States and the HN agree on reimbursement for support during the negotiation process.

Civil-Military Cooperation

2-12. CIMIC includes all actions and measures taken by UN, NATO, and national commands or headquarters and HN civil authorities during peace, crisis, or conflict. It also includes the relationship between allied forces and the government authorities of the respective nations on whose territory armed forces are stationed and will be employed.

2-13. CIMIC stems from the need to uphold and respect the sovereignty of the NATO nations and from constraints in the forward basing of units from the United States and other countries. CIMIC missions vary according to the location of forces.

2-14. In NATO, logistics remain a national responsibility. During war, the acquisition of HNS under CIMIC consists of two types of support--preplanned and ad hoc. Preplanned HNS is negotiated during peace and culminates in a formal, signed document. It outlines the support agreed to by the HN as "reasonably assured" during war. Ad hoc requests are requests outside the signed agreement. Normally, these requests are presented to the HN during war, but the support cannot be "reasonably assured."

Friendly and Allied Nation Support

2-15. USPACOM CA assets developed a database system for FANS. The system assesses all types of support potentially available for acquisition by U.S. forces deployed anywhere in USPACOM. The system is transportable and user friendly. FANS can meet joint service requirements as easily as U.S. Army requirements. The successful FANS program integrates all supply and materiel codes used within the supply system. If the user has a valid supply number, he can access the information requested. FANS requires ongoing resource surveys for each country within USPACOM. CA elements provide continuous updates to this database through ongoing infrastructure assessments.

Planning Requirements

2-16. The priority of the warfighting commander is his combat force. Sustaining combat operations on foreign soil generally requires additional resources. To reduce logistics distribution networking and to meet the need for U.S. personnel and materiel better, senior Army commanders must--

  • Determine specific combat support (CS), CSS, and rear operations needs that can be met through foreign resources.
  • Assess and identify available assets for use during operations.
  • Integrate this support into the overall command and control (C2) systems.
  • Designate points of contact (POCs) at each required command level to coordinate the acquisition of resources during peace, during mobilization stages (transition to war), and during war.

2-17. For all levels of conflict, the commander's logistics staff determines any shortfalls in CSS capabilities. The CMO staff analyzes the local environment and recommends suitable FNS functions and tasks for local sources. The CMO estimate in Appendix C provides CMO planners with a comprehensive format for FNS information. In a developed theater, CA may follow regional guidance and established FNS agreements to devise a set of preplanned FNS requests. In such high-troop density environments, CA teams routinely coordinate with proper FN agencies for the acquisition and delivery of supplies. FNS arrangements may range from an absence of any agreement to preplanned requests for specific services and supply quantities. The less developed the agreement, the more CA must assess and identify the resources.

2-18. For contingency operations, the commander has limited previous information to determine suitable and desirable FNS. Because a total lack of usable local resources rarely exists, imaginative use of available FNS assets increases the commander's logistical support without unduly depriving the local populace. Airlift constraints and the local infrastructure influence the degree of reliance that can be placed on local support. Similarly, if the projection of U.S. force proceeds in stages, the demands on CA support for acquisition of FNS also differ. The role of the Assistant Chief of Staff, Civil Affairs (G5) or the civil-military operations officer (S5) is to identify and coordinate acquisition of support from foreign resources. CA personnel in a friendly country aid the FNS process by providing liaison with local authorities or military forces. In a developed theater, CA provide the single POC between U.S. forces and the foreign source of goods and services or a government representative responsible for such support. In less-developed theaters, CA identify FN resources and act as an intermediary to introduce logistics personnel to providers of goods and services. In areas with no CA presence, CA area studies include an assessment of the availability of personnel and resources to support U.S. operations. Without a bilateral agreement by which an FN provides support to U.S. forces, the area assessment becomes a primary source of information on available foreign support.

2-19. The CMO staff must analyze the overall situation to determine what FNS is appropriate. Before using FNS resources for specific missions, the CMO staff must evaluate or consider the following factors:

  • Capability, dependability, and willingness of the nation to provide and sustain identified resource needs.
  • Shortfalls in U.S. force structure, as well as areas where the need for CSS units can be reduced using FNS.
  • Effect of FNS on the morale of U.S. soldiers and on the psychological condition of the local populace.
  • Operations security (OPSEC) and reliability.
  • Capability of U.S. forces to accept and manage FNS resources.
  • Inherent risk that FNS may be unavailable in the type and quantity needed during war.

2-20. FNS in contingencies requires broad planning. Various situations may arise, and several countries may become involved as coalition partners or as sources of support. Some nations may consider support agreements that are not in their best interests and may, therefore, be incapable of administering those agreements. In such instances, peacetime planning for local resources may still be necessary to accomplish missions assigned to U.S. forces. The risk that FNS will be unavailable is a significant factor in planning for such support.

2-21. Contingency planners identify areas in which conflicts are likely to occur. When the planners have identified those areas and nations, they request CA area studies. Department of State (DOS), Department of Defense (DOD), USAID, and other agencies can provide studies to analyze a country's capability to provide FNS as well.

2-22. Contingency plans for countries that have neither FNS plans nor agreements should provide for CA personnel to be among the first to arrive. They must rapidly identify locally available support and then help coordinate and integrate FNS into the logistics plan. Once FNS agreements have been concluded, CA personnel continue to serve as the link between the local activity and the supported units.


2-23. After resource shortfalls and requirements are determined, CMO staff officers identify sources that can fill the requirements. FN sources include various government agencies and private citizens in the theater of operations.

Government Agency Support

2-24. Local government agencies build, operate, and maintain facilities and systems that can support U.S. requirements. Examples of such systems include utilities and telephone networks. Police, emergency services, and border patrols may also be available to support U.S. forces.

Civilian Contractors

2-25. Local, national, third-country, or U.S. contractors employing indigenous or third-country personnel may provide supplies and services, such as laundry, bath, transportation, labor, and construction.

Local Civilians

2-26. U.S. manpower needs range from laborers, stevedores, truck drivers, and supply handlers to more highly skilled equipment operators, mechanics, computer operators, and managers. The foreign national labor pool may provide personnel with those skills.

Special U.S. Units

2-27. Special U.S. units consist of HN military personnel and may be assigned to help perform FNS-type functions. They are configured to conserve U.S. manpower by substituting non-U.S. personnel in specified positions of selected units. An example of this configuration is the Korean Augmentation to the United States Army (KATUSA) program in Korea, which is part of an FNS agreement.

Indigenous Military Units

2-28. During war, indigenous military or paramilitary units may support U.S. needs in traffic control, convoy escort, installation security, cargo and troop transport, and logistics area operations.

Local Facilities

2-29. U.S. forces may use local buildings, airports, seaports, or other facilities to serve as hospitals, headquarters buildings, billets, maintenance shops, or supply facilities. These facilities may be nationalized, come under local government control, or be provided by contractual agreement.

Area Support

2-30. A nation performs specific functions in a designated area or for a particular organization within its boundaries. Some examples are rail operations; convoy scheduling; air traffic control; smoke, decontamination, and nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) reconnaissance; and harbor pilot services. These services normally operate under government control by authority of national power acts.


2-31. The senior U.S. Army headquarters normally supervises the employment of FNS through its subordinate headquarters. The degree of authority that U.S. forces exercise over FNS depends on the type of FNS, the location, the tactical situation, the political environment, and the provisions of technical agreements. Some local military personnel, rather than civilians, may perform FNS functions because of the proximity of combat operations.


2-32. Some activities cannot be accomplished through FNS. For security reasons and the need for U.S. national control, only U.S. assets may perform the following services and functions:

  • C2 of medical supply, service, maintenance, replacements, and communications.
  • Triage of casualties for evacuation.
  • Veterinary subsistence inspection.
  • Law and order operations over U.S. forces.
  • Control and maintenance of U.S. nuclear and chemical ammunition.
  • U.S. military prisoner confinement operations.
  • Accountability for and security of enemy prisoners of war (EPWs) retained in U.S. custody.
  • Identification and burial of U.S. dead.
  • Repair of U.S. nuclear weapons delivery sites.
  • U.S. patient administration.


2-33. U.S. personnel, particularly CA personnel, must have training in FNS procedures. Foreign language expertise for personnel performing FNS may be a requirement as well. U.S. personnel must also be familiar with status of forces agreements (SOFAs), various other agreements, and command directives on behavior and relationships in the HN. U.S. personnel performing FNS must be aware that their actions can enhance and promote FNS. They should refrain from any behavior that detracts from a positive FN relationship.


2-34. Civilian and military authorities exercise populace and resources control (PRC). Operations in PRC provide security for the populace, deny personnel and materiel to the enemy, mobilize population and materiel resources, and detect and reduce the effectiveness of enemy agents. Populace controls include curfews, movement restrictions, travel permits, registration cards, and resettlement of villagers. Resources control measures include licensing, regulations or guidelines, checkpoints (for example, roadblocks), ration controls, amnesty programs, and inspection of facilities. Most military operations employ some type of PRC measures. Although the services and other government agencies may employ PRC measures, CA personnel are also trained to support these agencies in PRC. Two subdivisions of PRC operations are DC operations and noncombatant evacuation operations (NEOs).


2-35. DC operations are a special category of PRC. Planning and conducting DC operations is the most basic collective task performed by CA personnel. As a CS task, the goal is to minimize civilian interference with military operations and to protect civilians from combat operations. The availability of military resources is normally minimal; therefore, additional agencies, such as nonmilitary international aid organizations, may help CA personnel in DC operations. The use of multinational and voluntary organizations lessens the need for military resources.


2-36. The control of civilians is essential during military operations. Commanders must segregate civilians from EPWs and civilian internees (CIs) to protect them, as required by international law. Uncontrolled masses of people can seriously impair the military mission. According to U.S. policy, the area population, including DCs, is the responsibility of the civilian government of the country in which they are found.

Legal Obligations

2-37. All commanders are under the legal obligations imposed by international law, including the Geneva Conventions of 1949. In accordance with international law, commanders must establish law and order, protect private property within geographic areas of responsibility, and provide a minimum standard of humane care and treatment for all civilians. FM 27-10, The Law of Land Warfare, and the Staff Judge Advocate (SJA) can provide additional information.

Categories of Civilians

2-38. During military operations, U.S. forces must consider two distinct categories of civilians--those who remained in place and those who are dislocated. The first category includes the civilians who are indigenous to the area and the local populace, including civilians from other countries. The civilians within this category may or may not need help. If they can take care of themselves, they should continue to remain in place.

2-39. DCs are civilians who left their homes for various reasons. Their movement and physical presence can hinder military operations. They most likely require some degree of aid, such as medicine, food, shelter, clothing, and similar items. DCs may not be native to the area (local populace) or to the country in which they reside. DC is a generic term that is further subdivided into five categories. These subcategories are defined by legal and political considerations as follows:

  • Displaced person -- A civilian who is involuntarily outside the national boundary of his country in time of war.
  • Refugee -- A civilian who has left home to seek safety because of real or imagined danger.
  • Evacuee -- A civilian removed from his place of residence by local or national military order.
  • Stateless person -- A civilian who has been denationalized or whose country of origin cannot be determined or who cannot establish his right to the nationality claimed.
  • War victim -- A classification created during the Vietnam era to describe civilians suffering injuries, loss of a family member, or damage to or destruction of their homes as a result of war. War victims may be eligible for a claim against the United States under the Foreign Claims Act.

2-40. The theater commander--in coordination with the DOS, UN, allies, and the HN--defines the subcategories of DCs. Subordinate commanders must make sure civilians within the AO are not erroneously treated as EPWs.

2-41. Military police (MP) units have the responsibility of establishing routes, camps, and services for EPWs and CIs. CIs are individuals who are security risks or who need protection because they committed an offense against the detaining power (for example, insurgents, criminals, and other persons). CA units must coordinate with the MP units to make sure separation of DCs from EPWs and CIs is in accordance with provisions of the Geneva Conventions.

Objectives and Principles of DC Operations

2-42. The primary purpose of DC operations is to minimize civilian interference with military operations. DC operations are also designed to--

  • Protect civilians from combat operations.
  • Prevent and control the outbreak of disease among DCs, which could threaten the health of military forces.
  • Relieve, as far as is practicable, human suffering.
  • Centralize the masses of DCs.

2-43. Although the G5 or S5 is the primary planner of DC operations, all military planners must consider DC operations in their planning. The following are principles of DC operations:

  • The G5 or S5 must assess the needs of DCs to make sure the DCs receive adequate and proper help. The G5 or S5 must also consider the cultural background of the DCs, as well as the cultural background of the country in which they are located.
  • All commands and national and international agencies involved in DC operations must have clearly defined responsibilities within a single overall program.
  • The planning of DC operations differs with each level of command.
  • Coordination should be made with DOS, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (UNOCHA), and FN civil and military authorities to determine the appropriate levels and types of aid required and available.
  • Outside contributions to meet basic needs should be minimized as the DCs become more self-sufficient. DCs must be encouraged to become as independent as possible.
  • The G5 or S5 must constantly review the effectiveness of the humanitarian response and adjust relief activities as necessary. CA personnel must make maximum use of the many U.S., HN, international, and third nation organizations, such as United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and CARE. Their use not only capitalizes on their experience but also reduces requirements placed on U.S. military forces in meeting the commander's legal obligations.
  • Under international law, DCs have the right to freedom of movement, but in the case of mass influx, security considerations and the rights of the local population may require restrictions.


2-44. The policy of the U.S. Government is to protect U.S. citizens from the risk of death, injury, or capture when the host government is no longer able to provide adequate protection. In addition, the United States attempts to protect and evacuate certain designated aliens. The United States employs military assets in an evacuation only when civilian resources are inadequate. NEOs remove threatened civilians from locations in an FN or an HN to safe areas or to the United States. Such operations are conducted under the direction of the DOS. The DOS may request help in conducting evacuations to--

  • Protect U.S. citizens abroad.
  • Reduce to a minimum the number of U.S. citizens at risk.
  • Reduce to a minimum the number of U.S. citizens in combat areas to avoid impairing the combat effectiveness of military forces.

2-45. Evacuation is the order for authorized departure of noncombatants from a specific area by the DOS, DOD, or the appropriate U.S. military commander. Although normally considered in connection with combat, evacuation may also be conducted in anticipation of, or in response to, any natural or man-made disaster.

2-46. CA forces--by the nature of their mission--are well suited for planning and coordinating NEOs. Military support of a NEO involves contact with civilians, domestic and foreign. CA activities in support of a NEO include--

  • Advising the commander of the CA aspects and implications of current and proposed NEO plans, including writing the CA annex to the U.S. Embassy NEO plan and respective theater plans.
  • Supporting operation of evacuation sites, holding areas for non-U.S. nationals denied evacuation, and reception or processing stations.
  • Assisting in the identification of U.S. citizens and others to be evacuated.
  • Screening and briefing evacuees.
  • Performing liaison with the embassy, to include acting as a communications link with U.S. forces in the operational area.
  • Recommending actions to the commander to minimize population interference with current and proposed military operations.
  • Assisting in safe haven activities.


2-47. Support of a NEO involves coordination with government agencies. The roles of these agencies are significant to the overall evacuation effort.

Department of State

2-48. DOS is the lead agency for planning and conducting NEOs. The Chief of Mission (COM), normally the U.S. Ambassador or other principal DOS officer-in-charge, has the primary responsibility for conducting evacuation operations. Every U.S. Embassy must maintain a NEO plan. DOS in Washington, DC, maintains a copy of these plans. The Washington Liaison Group coordinates evacuation planning between DOS, DOD, and other affected agencies.

Department of Defense

2-49. A request to commit U.S. forces to conduct a NEO is routed from the ambassador or COM to the President. The senior DOS official in country is in charge of the evacuation.

Department of Health and Human Services

2-50. Under emergency conditions, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) is the lead federal agency for the reception and onward movement of all U.S. evacuees. Under less-than-emergency conditions or by request of DOS, DHHS provides support for non-DOD evacuees.


2-51. DOD defines noncombatants as U.S. citizens who may be ordered by competent authority to evacuate. Noncombatants include--

  • Military personnel of the U.S. Armed Forces specifically designated for evacuation as noncombatants.
  • Dependents of members of the U.S. Armed Forces.
  • Civilian employees of all agencies of the U.S. Government and their dependents, except as noted in the second bullet of paragraph 2-52.

2-52. Also classified as noncombatants are U.S. (and non-U.S.) citizens who may be authorized or assisted in evacuation (but not necessarily ordered to evacuate) by competent authority. This classification of noncombatant includes--

  • Private U.S. citizens and their dependents.
  • Civilian employees of U.S. Government agencies and their dependents who, on their own volition, are residents in the concerned country but express the willingness to be evacuated.

2-53. DOS prescribes other classifications of noncombatants, including personnel of the U.S. Armed Forces, military dependents, and designated aliens.


2-54. NEOs may be ordered for implementation in any of the following environments:

  • Permissive -- NEOs are conducted with the full help and cooperation of the affected nation. Evacuation of noncombatants is mutually beneficial to friends and allies. The political stability of nations granting authority to evacuate noncombatants is secure. An example of a permissive NEO was the evacuation of Subic Bay and Clark Air Base in the Philippines after the eruption of Pinatubo Volcano.
  • Uncertain -- NEOs are conducted where overt or covert opposition to the evacuation exists. The opposition may come from the "host" government, from opposition forces, from outside forces, or from all three. Usually, show of force (military) is sufficient to maintain control of the situation.
  • Hostile -- Operations to prevent or destroy the NEO are occurring or can be expected to occur. Forced entry by military forces into the AO may be required, and as a minimum, combat operations to secure some evacuees can be anticipated. A good example of a hostile evacuation is the evacuation of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, Socialist Republic of Vietnam, in 1975.


2-55. NEOs are a political last step because they send a signal to the world that the United States has lost faith in the ability of the foreign government to protect U.S. personnel. The U.S. military plays only a supporting role in the implementation of a NEO. Military commanders have primary responsibility for the military involvement of the operation. This involvement could include support during all phases of a NEO. Military planners must, therefore, include elements of intelligence on terrain, weather, hydrography, designation and number of evacuees, and other facts on the infrastructure of the area, including dissidents. CMO planners should play a major role in the planning process, starting with the preparation or review of existing evacuation plans and continuing through implementation. CA activities can enhance the military efforts in support of a NEO. NEOs resemble DC operations, and the same planning principles apply. The major difference is that in NEOs the DCs are U.S. citizens to be accounted for, protected, and evacuated to CONUS or other designated safe areas.


2-56. HA encompasses short-range programs aimed at ending or alleviating human suffering. HA is usually conducted in response to natural or man-made disasters, including combat. HA is designed to supplement or complement the efforts of the HN civil authorities or agencies that have primary responsibilities for providing relief. This type of assistance must not duplicate other forms of assistance provided by the U.S. Government.

2-57. In foreign HA operations, military forces provide a secure environment for humanitarian relief efforts to progress. As such, HA missions may cover a broad range of taskings. In every case, the specific requirements placed on U.S. forces are situation-dependent. HA has different meanings to different people, based on perspective. HA operations can encompass reactive programs, such as disaster relief, and proactive programs, such as humanitarian and civic assistance (H/CA).


2-58. Disaster relief operations can be conducted across the entire range of military operations, from domestic natural disasters to the aftermath of foreign conflicts. HA missions in the area of disaster relief include efforts to mitigate the results of natural or man-made disasters. Examples of disasters include hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, oil spills, famine, and civil conflicts. Potential roles for U.S. forces include providing food and medical care, constructing basic sanitation facilities, repairing public facilities, constructing shelters, and responding quickly to relieve suffering, prevent loss of life, and protect property.


2-59. Refugee assistance operations are specific operations that support the resettlement of refugees and displaced persons. (See the Glossary in this manual for official definitions.) The UN definition of people in these two categories is important because of certain legal ramifications and sanctions associated with these designations. The UN coordinates programs for international refugees and displaced people as directed by the secretary general of the UN.

2-60. Refugee assistance operations include--

  • Care (food, supplies, medical care, and protection).
  • Placement (movement or relocation to other countries, camps, and locations).
  • Administration of camps.


2-61. The U.S. force commander, in collaboration with other responding organizations, assesses the environment in which U.S. forces will conduct HA operations. The operational environment includes the political situation, physical boundaries, potential threat to forces, global visibility, and media interest climate for HA operations.

2-62. Once the operational environment is confirmed, the U.S. force commander determines the types and numbers of forces required to meet the mission. The operational environment also determines the rules of engagement (ROE) to be used within the AO. For HA, the more permissive the environment, the more predictable the outcome of the mission. Operational environments are categorized as permissive, uncertain, or hostile.

2-63. The distinction between HA conducted in a permissive environment versus a hostile environment must be clear. Failure to make this distinction results in inadequate planning and unrealistic expectations. HA operations in a permissive environment are characterized by--

  • Commonality of purpose for all parties.
  • A quantifiable problem, often a single, natural disaster.
  • Clear objectives, provision of support until normalcy returns.
  • HN cooperation.

Permissive Environment

2-64. A permissive environment is normally associated with pure relief operations following a natural disaster or economic collapse, with assistance provided at the request of the host government. A permissive environment is conducive to HA operations. Little or no opposition or resistance to military forces is expected. Nonhostile, anti-U.S. interests may attempt to disrupt U.S. military activities. The physical security environment may be permissive; however, other nonthreatening means, such as demonstrations, may be employed to impair credibility or to reduce the effectiveness of U.S. military activities.

Uncertain Environment

2-65. An uncertain environment is an operational environment in which the FN does not have effective control of its territory and population.

Hostile Environment

2-66. A hostile environment includes conditions, circumstances, and influences in the operational environment ranging from civil disorder or terrorist actions to full-scale combat. Forces conducting HA must be prepared for a full range of contingencies. Commanders can employ their forces to safeguard the populace, defend the perimeter, provide escort convoys, screen the local populace, and assist in personnel recovery operations. HA operations in a hostile environment are characterized by--

  • Multiple conflicting parties.
  • Imminent danger to all parties.
  • Relief as a weapon manipulated by combatants for political gain.

2-67. The more hostile the environment, the less predictable the outcome. HA forces must be prepared not only to counter actions by hostile forces attempting to disrupt the HA mission but also to counter actions by a previously friendly populace. Commanders should not depend on their humanitarian mission to shield them from hostile acts. JFCs, in conjunction with higher authorities, must determine the appropriateness of the use of force. The effects of the environment on humanitarian activities are depicted in Figure 2-2. As the environment becomes progressively more hostile, the corresponding requirement for security increases, while the capability for humanitarian activities, such as food distribution and medical assistance, decreases. For more detail, see FM 100-23-1, Multiservice Procedures for Humanitarian Assistance Operations.

Figure 2-2. Humanitarian Assistance Environment


2-68. The development of ROE for the forces participating in HA operation is essential to the success of the mission. ROE for HA operations are characterized by restraint. The levels of force, tactics, and weaponry must be evaluated and addressed.

2-69. The sensitive political and international nature of HA operations means that the CINC must coordinate the details of HA ROE with the JFC, which may change as the operation evolves. Under normal circumstances, JCS peacetime ROE apply to all military operations. The CINC, in coordination with the JFC, must request supplemental measures to deal with specifics of the mission. Actual ROE established for each HA mission depend on the individual situation and operational environment.

2-70. For multinational operations, all participating military forces should establish common HA ROE to provide consistency within the force. Individual nations using separate national ROE respond differently to the same situation. The following precepts are essential to the concept of ROE for U.S. military forces:

  • The right of self-defense will never be prohibited.
  • A unit commander will defend against a hostile act or hostile intent.

2-71. The two elements of self-defense are necessity and proportionality. In necessity, a hostile act must occur or a hostile intent must be apparent. Proportionality--the use of force--must be reasonable in intensity, duration, and magnitude to ensure the safety of forces.

2-72. The Office of Humanitarian Assistance, under the Office of the Secretary of Defense, executes a number of humanitarian and relief programs. Some forms of HA may not extend to individuals or groups engaged in military or paramilitary activities. HA is directed from the strategic level, coordinated and managed at the operational level, and conducted at a tactical level. HA programs may be in support of MCA projects. CA teams can assume the lead in initiating and coordinating these programs or assume the role of facilitator. The U.S. military and the CA community can play an important role toward enhancing U.S. national security while improving international relations through DOD programs, such as those described in the following paragraphs.


2-73. Title 10, Chapter 20, USC, is the permanent authority for providing HA. In the past, the General Accounting Office (GAO) reported to Congress that some HA conducted by the military was outside the authority of the law. As a result, the Stevens Amendment, enacted in 1985, clarified the conduct of HA as incidental to JCS-directed military exercises. Congress lifted some of the restrictions imposed by the Stevens Amendment in 1986. Title 10 now authorizes HA in conjunction with U.S. military operations, whereas the Stevens Amendment is still restricted to JCS-directed exercises.

2-74. The objectives of HA programs are to serve the basic economic and social needs of the people and simultaneously promote support of the civilian leadership. To help achieve these objectives, CMO planners must make sure the nominated programs have a benefit for a wide spectrum of the country in which the activity occurs and are self-sustaining or supportable by HN civilian or military. HA projects can help eliminate some of the causes of civilian unrest by providing needed health care; by constructing or repairing schools, clinics, or community buildings; or by building roads that permit farmers to get their products to market.

2-75. The geographic CINCs, with coordination and approval authority vested in the Office of Humanitarian Assistance, administer the Title 10 HA program. HA project nominations originate in several ways. U.S. military engineers or medical and CA personnel can nominate them or the HN via the country team can generate them. Nominations are forwarded to the theater Title 10 HA representative for review and management control. Project nominations are consolidated at the theater level and forwarded to the Secretary of Defense (SecDef) for approval. Title 10 HA projects require formal nomination and approval before implementation. The HN and USAID must review nominated projects. Both must certify that the project complements and does not duplicate other forms of social or economic assistance. See Appendix D for details on relevant Title 10 HA programs.

Civil Affairs liaison teams (CALTs) in Cambodia and Laos, working directly for the respective U.S. Ambassadors, coordinated the HA efforts for the country team. In Cambodia, the CALT gained access to and delivered tons of humanitarian daily rations (HDRs) to defecting Khmer Rouge fighters. In Laos, the CALT coordinated numerous medical and engineer civic-action projects to bring much-needed relief to rural areas. This assistance included coordinating Denton Program shipments of U.S. Military Excess Property hospital equipment to free clinics run by NGOs.

AAR, 96th Civil Affairs Battalion (Airborne).


2-76. The Stevens Amendment provides specific authority to use operation and maintenance (O&M) funds to conduct H/CA only during overseas exercises directed or coordinated by the JCS. Fuerzas Unidas Panama 90--during which U.S. forces conducted medical civic-action projects using organic medical personnel, equipment, and supplies--is a prime example of an approved JCS exercise that received funding through enactment of the Stevens Amendment.


2-77. The Denton Amendment is the only legal means for U.S. military aircraft to transport private cargo at no cost. This program is under Title 10, USC, Section 402. It authorizes DOD to provide transportation throughout the world, as space is available, of goods and supplies donated by a nongovernment source intended for HA. Specifically excluded are supplies furnished to any group, individual, or organization engaged in military or paramilitary activities. The law has been interpreted to apply only to U.S. donors. The USAID Office of Private Voluntary Cooperation administers this program.


2-78. The McCollum Amendment authorizes the transportation and distribution of humanitarian relief for displaced persons or refugees. Section 2547 of Title 10, USC, and the DOD Appropriation Act give DOD the authority and funding to donate and transport humanitarian relief supplies on a worldwide basis. The Office of Humanitarian Assistance, while often formulating its own programs, responds to, and must coordinate with, the DOS to gain its formal tasking for all shipments. Initial inquiries on the applicability of transportation funds should be made to the Office of Humanitarian Assistance. These inquiries include information on--

  • Requirements identified by the U.S. COM.
  • Damage and disruption suffered by the economy and institutions of the area.
  • General welfare of the people.

2-79. The level of support rendered is tailored to meet the needs of the existing situation. In no case will the support exceed--

  • The FN's request for help.
  • Applicable international treaties and agreements.
  • Limitations imposed by the law of land warfare.


2-80. Congress gave the SecDef authority to donate nonlethal DOD excess property to foreign governments for humanitarian purposes. This program is basically supply driven--what is in the supply system limits what is donated. All property is initially consigned to the DOS upon arrival. Such items as clothing, tents, medical equipment and supplies, heavy equipment, trucks, and food are available through this program.


2-81. De minimus or the "lowest level" funding provides authority to use unit operational monies to support local civic need when operating in the field. De minimus activities have no specific dollar ceiling. A unit doctor, for example, could examine villagers for a few hours or administer several shots and some medicines; however, operations would not include dispatch of a medical team for mass inoculations.


2-82. Regardless of the circumstances under which U.S. forces are employed, international law obligates the commander with respect to civilians, governments, and economics. Agreements or the law of land warfare usually specify the requirements. The Hague Conventions of 1907, the four Geneva Conventions of 1949, and other similar documents set forth treaty obligations. FM 27-10 and other service publications explain the commander's legal obligations.


2-83. MCA projects are designed to win support of the local population for government objectives and for the military. Properly planned and executed, MCA projects result in popular support for the FN government. MCA employs predominantly indigenous military forces and is planned as short-term projects.

2-84. MCAs are essentially U.S. military-to-FN military projects where U.S. personnel are limited to a training and advisory role. The projects should be useful to the local populace at all levels in such fields as education, training, public works, health, and others contributing to economic and social development. Improving the standing of the military with the civilian populace is a positive by-product of MCA. MCA provides commanders greater flexibility compared to Title 10 H/CA. The scope of MCA projects can be expanded to include military and paramilitary forces as benefactors of U.S. support in foreign countries. U.S. forces may support MCA projects in two general categories, as follows:

  • Mitigating MCA Projects. Mitigating MCA projects emphasize the short-term benefits to the populace. This type of MCA is associated with emergency aid or assistance following natural disaster or combat. These projects usually involve medical care, food distribution, and basic construction. A single unit can support these projects with its own organic resources.
  • Developmental MCA Projects. Developmental MCA projects require continuous support from government sources to be effective. Because of their long-term nature, developmental MCA projects involve interagency cooperation and usually exceed the organic capabilities of a single unit. Developmental MCA projects result from a request for assistance from a foreign country. This type of MCA focuses on the infrastructure of a developing nation and is long term. Developmental MCA projects may be supported by Title 10 H/CA funds if the intent of Chapter 20 of USC is not violated. Operational and tactical commanders have the flexibility to use military resources provided to support their mission and training when the MCA project has a direct effect on the military mission. MCA must address the need of the local people while gaining their support. The criteria and COAs must be evaluated for each project.


2-85. Legal issues surrounding an HA operation are significant and complicated. Appendix D contains USC extracts that may be relevant to HA missions.

International Agreements

2-86. The JTF commander must be aware of any existing international agreements that may limit the flexibility of the HA mission. Existing agreements may not be shaped to support HA operations. Such was the case during Operation PROVIDE RELIEF in Kenya and Somalia from August 1992 through February 1993, when third-country staging and forwarding of relief supplies was a major issue. Military HA commanders dealing with HNs and IOs should anticipate the difficulties that international agreements can impose on HA.

Law of Armed Conflict

2-87. Normally, the law of armed conflict does not apply to HA operations. It is, however, used in conjunction with the Geneva and Hague Conventions, protocols, and custom laws that may provide the JFC guidance concerning his operations. Guidelines for forces have to be developed from fundamental concepts of international humanitarian law. Mission imperatives and taskings must have a sound legal basis, and commanders must make sure personnel under their control conform to internationally accepted standards of behavior and action.

2-88. The law of armed conflict applies only to combat actions. Specific legal responsibilities associated with armed conflict that also concern HA operations include--

  • Care for civilians in an occupied territory.
  • Issues concerning civilians and private property.
  • Responsibilities concerning criminal acts.

2-89. These specific legal tenets apply only if HA actions progress to open hostilities; however, JTF commanders may use them as a basis for determining what is permissive and appropriate concerning civilians and private property and for handling criminal acts. Air Force Pamphlet 110-31, International Law: The Conduct of Armed Conflict and Air Operations, provides details on the law of armed conflict.

2-90. Similarly, other legal issues that arise in an HA situation are not governed by other aspects of the law of armed conflict. Somalia, for example, was not an occupied territory under the terms of the Geneva Convention. Commanders should, however, address such issues using international laws, including the law of armed conflict, as a guide whenever possible. Air Force Pamphlet 110-31 and FM 27-10 provide guidance to the JTF commander.


2-91. Emergency services (police, fire, rescue, disaster preparedness) are primarily the responsibility of government agencies. Civil-military issues are reduced when the government can control and care for its people. The effectiveness of emergency service plans and organization has a direct impact on CMO. Support of emergency service agencies may be conducted as MCA. HA in emergency services planning aids military support during disaster relief and can be conducted in CONUS and OCONUS.


2-92. In the United States, emergency services are a government responsibility at all levels. The federal government provides planning advice and coordinates research, equipment, and financial aid. State and local governments determine the allocation of these resources. In the event of an emergency, U.S. forces must be prepared to help civil authorities restore essential services, repair essential facilities, and, if necessary, take such actions as directed to ensure national survival. Federal statutes and military regulations govern conditions for the employment of AC and United States Army Reserve (USAR) military forces. For a detailed discussion, see FM 100-19, Domestic Support Operations.

2-93. DOD components develop appropriate contingency plans for major disaster assistance operations and ensure coordination with appropriate federal, state, and local civil authorities and other DOD components. When a disaster is so serious that waiting for instructions from higher authority causes unwarranted delays, a military commander can take actions that may be required and justified to save human life, prevent human suffering, or mitigate major property damage or destruction. The commander must promptly report the action taken to higher authority. He must also request appropriate guidance if continued support is necessary or beyond his capability to sustain.

2-94. Federal forces (AC and USAR) used in disaster relief are under the command of, and are directly responsible to, their military superiors. Other military participation in disaster relief operations and the use of military resources occur on a minimum-essential basis and end at the earliest practicable time. Commanders ensure that personnel participating in U.S. domestic assistance programs are not in violation of the provisions of the Posse Comitatus Act. This act prohibits the use of federal military personnel in enforcing federal, state, or local laws unless expressly authorized by the Constitution or by an act of Congress. The act does NOT apply to state National Guard (NG) troops unless they have been federalized.

2-95. Measures to ensure continuity of operations, troop survival, and the rehabilitation of essential military bases take precedence over military support of local communities. Requests for support for the use of the military are normally accepted only on a mission-type basis. With the exception of support directed in response to a nationally declared emergency (for example, Hurricane Andrew), the decision rests with the military commander as to the necessity, amount, duration, and method of employment of support rendered. USAR units or individual reservists may participate in disaster relief operations under any of the following conditions:

  • When ordered to active duty as a result of a Presidential declaration of national emergency in accordance with Title 10, Chapter 39, Section 12301, USC (see Appendix D).
  • When ordered to active duty by the Department of the Army (DA) on recommendation of the CONUS Army commander and the United States Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) commanding general (CG) as annual training.
  • When approved by Commander in Chief, United States Army Forces Command (CINCFORSCOM) and ordered to active duty in a voluntary active duty for training (ADT) status.

2-96. When committing USAR units or individual reservists to disaster relief operations, the following considerations apply:

  • Commitment of USAR volunteers must be consistent with Army policy for military assistance.
  • Civil authorities have made a firm commitment to repay all ADT costs.
  • State and local assets, including the NG, have been committed, or the assistance requested is clearly beyond state and local capabilities.
  • Authority to commit USAR volunteers may be delegated no lower than CONUS Army.
  • Commitment of volunteers must be coordinated with the proper Corps of Engineer district or division to avoid duplication of effort.

2-97. USAR commanders may approve voluntary USAR participation during imminently serious conditions in a nondrill, nonpay status. USAR members taking part in such support are performing official duty; however, unit commanders will--

  • Not order members of the USAR to participate.
  • Approve voluntary USAR participation only when time or conditions do not permit seeking guidance from higher headquarters.
  • Make sure reasonably available state and local assets are fully committed or the help requested is clearly beyond the ability of the state and local assets.
  • Provide support on a minimum-essential basis. NOTE: Support will end when adequate state and local assets become available.

2-98. CA units assisting emergency planning and operations conducted in CONUS involve DOD-sponsored military programs that support the people and the government at any level within the United States and its territories. These programs and operations are classified as domestic support. In all domestic support operations, civil law and Army regulations (ARs) closely regulate the authority and responsibilities of the commander and members of his command.

2-99. Protecting life and property within the territorial jurisdiction of any community is the primary responsibility of state and local government and civil authorities. Generally, federal armed forces may be employed when--

  • The situation is beyond the capabilities of state and local officials.
  • State and local civil authorities will not take appropriate action.


2-100. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is the executive agency that serves as the single POC within the U.S. Government for emergency management within the United States. The FEMA establishes and maintains a comprehensive, coordinated emergency management capability in the United States. It plans and prepares for, responds and recovers from, and most important, mitigates the effects of emergencies, disasters, and hazards, ranging from safety and protection in the home to nuclear attack. Under Executive Order 12148, 20 July 1979, the President transferred all functions previously assigned to the Defense Civil Preparedness Agency within the DOD to the newly created FEMA. The FEMA is the C2 agency for all emergency planning. Within FEMA, the two primary departments that provide civil defense plans and guidance are the Plans and Preparedness Department and the Disaster Response and Recovery Department.

FEMA Plans and Preparedness Department

2-101. The FEMA Plans and Preparedness Department develops and implements overall concepts and policy guidance and directs activities for nationwide plans and preparedness for emergencies during peace and war. It develops guidance for federal emergency plans and state and local response capabilities, including requirements for communications, warning and damage assessment systems, and tests and exercises. The department also develops--

  • Plans, systems, and capabilities to protect the U.S. populace, government, and industry.
  • Plans, systems, and capabilities for resources management and stabilization of the economy in time of emergency.
  • Policy guidance for stockpiling strategic materiel.

FEMA Disaster Response and Recovery Department

2-102. The FEMA Disaster Response and Recovery Department provides direction and overall policy coordination for federal disaster assistance programs delegated to the FEMA director. It advises the FEMA director on the mission, organization, and operation of the agency's disaster assistance program and the total federal disaster response and recovery capability. It administers federal disaster assistance and provides overall direction and management of federal response and recovery activities. The department also develops summaries of existing situations to support the director's recommendation to the President on a state governor's request for a Presidential declaration of a major disaster or an emergency.


2-103. Every FN is responsible for providing emergency services for its citizens. When requirements exceed the capabilities of the FN, however, the nation may request assistance from the United States through the U.S. Embassy.

2-104. DOD components support or participate in foreign disaster relief operations only after DOS determines that foreign disaster relief will be provided to the requesting country. Military commanders at the immediate scene of a foreign disaster may, however, undertake prompt relief operations to preserve lives and prevent injuries when time is of the essence and when humanitarian considerations make it advisable to do so. Commanders taking such action must immediately report such operations in accordance with the provisions of DOD Directive 5100.46.

2-105. Approval authority for commitment of DOD component resources or services to foreign disaster relief operations rests with the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Democracy and Peacekeeping. The DOD coordinator for foreign disaster relief is the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Humanitarian and Refugee Affairs (DASD[H&RA]) (Global Affairs). The joint staff POC for the DOD Foreign Disaster Relief and Humanitarian Assistance Program is the Chief of the Logistics Directorate (J4).

2-106. DOD supplies and services are provided for disaster and humanitarian purposes only after approval by Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (ASD [ISA]), on behalf of the SecDef. DOD provides supplies and services from the most expedient source, which is normally the geographic command from whose theater the foreign disaster or HA request emanates.

2-107. The geographic CINC, when directed, assumes the primary coordinating role for provision of DOD supplies and services. The military departments and joint staff support the designated commander of a unified command as required, primarily by coordinating interdepartmental approval and funding processes as herein described through the DASD(H&RA) (Global Affairs).

2-108. When a foreign disaster or HA request emanates from a country not assigned to a geographic CINC under the Unified Command Plan, the joint staff or J4 assumes the primary coordinating role in conjunction with DASD(H&RA). Requests for DOD assistance come from the DOS or the USAID through the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA).

Agency for International Development,
Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance

2-109. USAID, OFDA administers the President's authority to coordinate the provision of assistance in response to disasters, as declared by the ambassador within the country or higher DOS authority. USAID, OFDA has the authority to provide assistance, notwithstanding any other provision of law. This authority allows USAID, OFDA to expedite interventions at the operational and tactical levels through the use of NGOs and other sources of relief. USAID, OFDA is responsible for--

  • Organizing and coordinating the total U.S. Government disaster relief response.
  • Responding to mission requests for disaster assistance.
  • Initiating the necessary procurement of supplies, services, and transportation.
  • Coordinating assistance efforts with NGOs.

2-110. The Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (amended) is the authority for providing foreign disaster relief to--

  • Preserve life and minimize suffering by providing sufficient warning of natural events that cause disasters.
  • Preserve life and minimize suffering by responding to natural and man-made disasters.
  • Foster self-sufficiency among disaster-prone nations by helping them achieve some measure of preparedness.
  • Alleviate suffering by providing rapid, appropriate responses to requests for aid.
  • Enhance recovery through rehabilitation programs.

2-111. USAID, OFDA can coordinate directly with DOD to resolve matters concerning defense equipment and personnel provided to the affected nation and to arrange DOD transportation. DOD Directive 5100.46 establishes the relationship between DOD and USAID, OFDA. The DASD(H&RA) is the primary POC. When USAID, OFDA requests specific services from DOD (typically airlift), USAID, OFDA pays for the services. The CINC should have a coordination linkage with OFDA to correlate military and civilian assistance efforts. USAID, OFDA provides an excellent means for military and civilian operational-level coordination.

2-112. USAID, OFDA has operational links and grants relationships with many NGOs and IOs that have relief programs outside the United States. These include the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) and Red Crescent Societies, UNICEF, and United Nations World Food Program (UNWFP).

2-113. USAID, OFDA also coordinates with other governments responding to disasters through donor country coordination meetings to solve operational or political problems. USAID, OFDA can deploy a disaster assistance response team (DART) into the AOR to manage the U.S. Government humanitarian relief effort.


2-114. As mandated by the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 (amended), the DART concept was developed by the OFDA as a means of providing rapid-response assistance to international disasters. A DART provides specialists trained in a variety of disaster relief skills who assist U.S. Embassies and USAID missions in managing the U.S. Government response to disasters.

2-115. The activities of a DART vary, depending on the type, size, and complexity of disaster to which it deploys. During disaster response, DARTs coordinate their activities with the affected country, NGOs, and IOs, other assisting countries, and U.S. military assets deployed to the disaster.

2-116. During rapid-onset disasters, the focus of a DART is to--

  • Coordinate the needs assessment.
  • Recommend U.S. Government response actions.
  • Manage U.S. Government on-site relief activities, such as search-and-rescue (SAR) and air operations.
  • Manage the receipt, distribution, and monitoring of U.S. Government-provided relief supplies.

2-117. During long-term, complex disasters, the focus of a DART is to--

  • Gather information on the general disaster situation.
  • Monitor the effectiveness of current U.S. Government-funded relief activities.
  • Review proposals of relief activities for possible future funding.
  • Recommend follow-on strategies and actions to the OFDA in Washington, DC.

2-118. The structure of a DART depends on the type, size, location, and complexity of the disaster and the needs of the USAID or embassy and the affected country. The number of people required to perform the necessary activities to meet the strategic objectives determines the number of individuals assigned to a DART. A DART consists of five functional areas: management, operations, planning, logistics, and administration.

  • Management includes the oversight of DART activities, NGOs, IOs, other assisting countries, and the U.S. military. Management also involves the development and implementation of plans to meet strategic objectives.
  • Operations include all operational activities carried out by the DART, such as SAR activities, technical support to an affected country, medical and health response, and aerial operations coordination. This function is most active during rapid-onset disasters.
  • Planning includes collection, evaluation, tracking, and dissemination of information on the disaster. Also included are reviews of activities, recommendations for future actions, and development of the DART's operational (tactical) plan.
  • Logistics includes providing support to OFDA or DART personnel by managing supplies, equipment, and services and by ordering, receiving, distributing, and tracking people and U.S. Government-provided relief supplies.
  • Administration includes the management of contracts, the procurement of goods and services required by the OFDA or DART, and the fiscal activities of the team.

2-119. A DART team leader selected by the OFDA organizes and supervises the DART. He receives a delegation of authority from, and works directly for, the OFDA assistant director for disaster response or his designee. The delegation lists the objectives, priorities, constraints, and reporting requirements for the DART.

2-120. Before the DART departs, the DART team leader contacts the USAID or U.S. Embassy (if present in the affected country) to discuss the situation; to review the structure, size, objectives, and capabilities of the DART; and to identify the areas of support needed by the DART. Upon arriving in an affected country, the team leader reports to the senior U.S. official or to appropriate affected country officials to discuss DART objectives and capabilities and to receive additional instructions and authority.

2-121. While in the affected country, the team leader advises the USAID or U.S. Embassy and receives periodic instructions from the agency. The team follows those instructions to the extent that they do not conflict with OFDA policies, authorities, and procedures. Throughout the operation, the team leader maintains a direct line of communication with the OFDA in Washington.

2-122. The USAID or U.S. Embassy and the OFDA in Washington determine the duration of a DART operation after reviewing the disaster situation and the progress in meeting operational objectives. The DART is a highly flexible, mobile organization capable of adjusting its size and mission to satisfy the changing needs of the disaster situation.

2-123. The functional specialty capabilities of the DART are normally tailored to the particular situation. The team assesses the damage to the civil infrastructure, assists in the operation of temporary shelters, and manages a CMOC. CA units also serve as liaison between the military and local relief organizations, NGOs and IOs, and OFDA DART.


2-124. CA teams rely on local resources when conducting emergency service activities. If, however, local resources are unavailable, military resources may be used. Availability of equipment depends on the location, number, and type of military organizations supporting the emergency. Army assets potentially available in time of emergency include--

  • Radio equipment.
  • Radiation and detection equipment.
  • Generators and lighting equipment.
  • Vehicles and maintenance and repair tool kits.
  • Demolition equipment.
  • Water-purification equipment.
  • Medical equipment.
  • Heaters, stoves, and fire extinguishers.
  • Engineer and construction equipment.
  • Tentage.


2-125. CA units are usually attached to the various maneuver commanders assigned to the JTF. When the JTF is employed, CA units establish and maintain relations between the JTF and FN populace and authorities, as well as with NGOs and IOs.

2-126. CA units can provide the JTF with expertise on factors that directly affect military operations in foreign disaster assistance. These factors include--

  • FN agencies.
  • Ethnic differences and resentments.
  • Social structures (family, regional).
  • Religious and symbolic systems (beliefs and behaviors).
  • Political structures (distribution of power).
  • Economic systems (sources and distribution of wealth).
  • Linkages among social, religious, political, and economic dynamics.
  • A cultural history of the area.
  • Attitudes toward the U.S. military forces.


2-127. Using civilian-acquired skills not readily available in the active Army, RC CA forces focus on supporting civil administrations. The tasks they undertake require application of military skills in environments unfamiliar to military personnel. Support to civil administration may include assisting friendly foreign governments or establishing civil administration in occupied territories. This function includes U.S. military commanders exercising certain authority normally associated with governments. Support to civil administration may fulfill obligations arising from treaties, agreements, or international law (see FM 27-10), or it may be in unilateral or multilateral support of foreign-policy objectives in the country where troops are deployed.

2-128. The military role in civil administration varies with the mission, as do the extent and character of the executive activities supported. In Operations JUST CAUSE and PROMOTE LIBERTY (1990) and Operation UPHOLD DEMOCRACY (1994--97), CA support eased the establishment or reorientation of government agencies to facilitate development in support of a democratic society. In Operations DESERT SHIELD and DESERT STORM (1991), CA support enabled the Kuwaiti Government-in-exile to plan the reconstitution of government services upon liberation from Iraqi occupation and to deliver those services once the government was restored. Despite the similarity of liberation from foreign occupation in Kuwait and WWII-era France, the latter did not restore a prewar political structure but rather facilitated a new one. In post-WWII Germany, Italy, and Japan, CA support ensured the achievement of political end-state objectives, as well as the resumption of government services to municipalities, provinces, and, eventually, the state. In Operations JOINT ENDEAVOR, JOINT GUARD, and JOINT FORGE (1996--present), support ranged from facilitating the conduct of free and fair elections, under the auspice of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), to resumption of communications, transportation, and water and sewage services.

2-129. CA functional specialists concentrate on achieving strategic and operational-level end-state objectives. Often, these objectives have more civil than military characteristics, with the former usually focusing on the degree of stability or unrest of the populace. In turn, the availability of food and water, shelter, means of economic self-sufficiency, transportation, and communications contributes to civil stability. CA functional specialists are one of the tools the military can use to harness various resources to achieve the degree of civil stability that enables a military force to complete its mission. The functional specialists seek various resources, some military, but mostly combinations of civil organizations that can fund, plan, and execute developments that restore a society emerging from conflict or crisis to a normal state of civil activity. Moreover, functional specialists work with UN organizations, IOs, and NGOs, as well as other U.S. and foreign government agencies, financial resources as diverse as the World Bank, and private philanthropic foundations, to enable U.S. political leadership to determine when foreign-policy objectives have been met.


2-130. Civil administration support is assistance to stabilize a foreign government. Three mission activities support civil administration:

  • Civil assistance.
  • Civil administration in friendly territory.
  • Civil administration in occupied territory.

2-131. Civil administration fulfills obligations arising from treaties, agreements, or international law (see FM 27-10). The military role in civil administration varies with the mission and the need or degree of support the allied government requires or the National Command Authorities (NCA) direct.

2-132. CA units organize for civil administration support missions that conform to the political, geographic, social, and economic structure of the area. Task-organized CA teams, of varying sizes and capabilities, enable them to support--

  • Population centers.
  • Specific government subdivisions.
  • Economic and industrial complexes and regions.

2-133. CA commands and brigades are specifically organized to support civil administration missions. RC CA battalions must be augmented by specialty teams from the command or brigade to accomplish higher level missions. The mission, conditions, and characteristics of the AO determine the CA support structure. CA units organize and employ assets to achieve--

  • Flexibility of employment.
  • Economy of force of CA personnel and resources.

2-134. Recognizing political implications is essential to effective civil administration. To ensure continuity, CA support to civil administration employs centralized direction and decentralized execution.


2-135. CA forces support civil assistance in the aftermath of natural or man-made calamities or disasters. Based on military necessity, a commander may begin civil assistance within his assigned AOR to--

  • Maintain order.
  • Provide potential life-sustaining services.
  • Control distribution of goods and services.

2-136. Civil assistance differs from the other two activities of civil administration because it is based on the commander's decision. It provides short-term military support to an established government or populace and does not incur a long-term U.S. commitment. It also provides support at the subnational level to a U.S.-recognized government. CA units support civil assistance by--

  • Determining the capabilities of the existing civil administration.
  • Developing plans to reinforce or restore civil administration.
  • Coordinating civil assistance plans with FN, U.S., and allied agencies.
  • Arranging for transfer of authority.


2-137. Geographic CINCs support governments of friendly territories. Local authorities may request the U.S. military to perform basic government functions during disasters or war. As situations stabilize, the functions performed by the armed forces return to civilian agencies. The transition normally is gradual and requires detailed, long-range planning. CA staff officers review civil administration guidance provided by higher authority to identify the military implications of support to civil administration. The NCA must direct that CMO conducted in conjunction with this mission support the CINC's theater engagement plan.

2-138. The damage or disruption to a nation's government, economy, infrastructure, or social institutions may exceed its ability to deal effectively with the situation. In these cases, the government may request help through diplomatic channels from the United States. If a military commander receives such a request, he forwards it to the COM.

2-139. The COM communicates the FN's request for civil administration support through appropriate DOS and DOD channels. The theater CINC tasks the Theater Army (TA) commander to provide the CA personnel for the mission. If CA assets are unavailable in theater, the theater CINC requests support from the JCS.

2-140. Based on directions received from the President through the DOS, the COM negotiates a civil administration support agreement with the nation's government. This agreement outlines the nature and extent of the support needed. It defines the limits of authority and liability of U.S. military personnel. It also defines the CA relationships that will exist. The CINC's legal staff coordinates, approves, and reviews this process.

2-141. A formal agreement is desirable before committing U.S. personnel. If, however, the COM and the theater commander believe a commitment is necessary and is in the best interest of the United States, civil administration support missions can begin before setting up a formal agreement. As soon as possible, however, the FN and the United States must have some form of agreement. The agreement must establish the extent, goals, and expected duration of the support mission. The CINC allocates resources based on the--

  • Requirements identified by the COM.
  • Damage and disruption suffered by the economy and institutions of the area.
  • General welfare of the people.
  • CA assets available.

2-142. The level of support rendered is tailored to meet the needs of the existing situation. In no case will the support exceed--

  • The FN's request for help.
  • Applicable international treaties and agreements.
  • Limitations imposed by the law of land warfare.

2-143. Regardless of the circumstances under which U.S. forces are employed, international law obligates the commander on civilian populations, governments, and economies. Requirements are usually specified in agreements or the law of land warfare. Treaty obligations are set forth in the Hague Conventions of 1907, the four Geneva Conventions of 1949, and other documents. FM 27-10; DA Pam 27-1, Treaties Governing Land Warfare; and other service publications explain the commander's legal obligations.

2-144. The nation's people and government must be willing to accept the support. It must complement the experience and expectations of the supported agencies. This support should be temporary, ending as soon as the government can resume normal activity.

2-145. Many NGOs and IOs can provide aid to a devastated nation. The CMO staff or U.S. Government agencies should contact and encourage these agencies to participate. The CMO staff is well suited to provide coordination and liaison in these situations.

2-146. The senior U.S. commander maintains liaison with U.S. diplomatic representatives to ensure maximum efficiency and unification of policy. An executive order covers the scope of authority and provides procedural guidance.

2-147. Equally important are civil-military relationships in peace when commanders have neither authority nor jurisdiction over civilians. At times, the commanders may even share authority over their own installations and personnel with local civil authorities. Trained CMO staff officers and other CA personnel can accomplish efficient liaison and negotiation.


2-148. Situations occur when military necessity or legitimate directives require the Army to establish a temporary government in an occupied territory. The NCA must direct establishment of civil administration to exercise temporary executive, legislative, and judicial authority in occupied territory. U.S. forces only assume control prescribed in directives to the U.S. commander.

2-149. Within its capabilities, the occupying power must maintain an orderly government in the occupied territory. This type of operation differs from the other two activities of civil administration in that it is imposed by force. The administered territory is under effective U.S. military control. The goal of the U.S. military is to establish a government that supports U.S. objectives and to transfer control to a duly recognized government as quickly as possible. The U.S. military identifies, screens, and trains reliable civilians to ease this transfer. Even with the use of local civilians, the occupying forces retain the power to exercise supreme authority. Granting authority to civilian government officials does not of itself terminate the Army's responsibility in the occupied territory.

2-150. The goal of U.S. civil administration of an occupied territory is to create an effective civil government. The government should not pose a threat to future peace and stability. CA support to civil administration of an occupied territory should emphasize that--

  • The populace receives responsive, effective government services.
  • The populace is able to obtain essential goods and services.
  • The measures taken enhance the social and economic well-being of the occupied territory.
  • The system of control furthers U.S. political objectives.
  • Law and order prevail.
  • Restoration, rehabilitation, and development occur in the social institutions and economic system of the occupied territory.
  • An orderly, efficient transition occurs from civil administration to civil government.
  • The country and people are as well off at the end of civil administration as at the onset of occupation.
  • The obligations of international law and treaties are met.
  • Human rights abuses against collaborators, minority groups, discriminated social classes, or individuals must be prevented.

2-151. The commander of an occupying force has the right within the limits set by international law, U.S. laws, treaties, and the Uniform Code of Military Justice to demand and enforce law and order in an occupied area to accomplish his mission and to manage the area properly. In return for such compliance, the inhabitants have a right to freedom from unnecessary interference with their individual liberty and property rights. Subject to the requirements of the military situation, commanders must observe the principle of governing for the benefit of the governed.

2-152. Occupied hostile territory is an area the United States has taken possession of (through force of arms) with the intent to keep it from enemy control. Possession does not require the presence of troops in all areas of the occupied country. The occupying force must, however, be able to deploy quickly to any area within the territory to enforce its authority. The number of troops required to occupy a territory depends on the--

  • Degree of resistance to the occupation.
  • Size of the area and the nature of the terrain.
  • Population density and distribution.
  • Level of development in the area.

2-153. The head of an established civil administration system is the civil administrator, often called the military governor. The administrator is a military commander or other designated person who exercises authority over the occupied territory.

2-154. The structure of the civil administration system may develop in one of several ways. The occupying power may--

  • Allow the existing government structure to continue under its control and supervision. This arrangement does not mean the occupying power approves of the existing regime or condones its past actions. The arrangement represents the easiest basis for developing a functioning government on short notice because the government is already in place.
  • Retain all public officials or, for political or security reasons, replace all or selected personnel with other qualified people. As necessary, the occupying power executes programs that effect political reform, strengthen government agencies and institutions, and develop self-government. In some cases, the occupying power may reorganize, replace, or abolish selected agencies or institutions of the existing government.
  • Replace the existing government and build a new structure. This measure is the most drastic COA. The occupying power should, therefore, adopt this COA only if the old regime has completely collapsed or it is so hostile that its continued existence poses an intolerable threat to peace and stability.

2-155. The occupying power must obey the existing laws but, in many cases, may need to change those laws. International law is specific about requirements, and the occupying power must meet these requirements when changing civil law in an occupied territory. For further information, consult international law specialists and review FM 27-10 and other texts on the law of land warfare.

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