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The Importance Of Defense Support Of Civil Governments

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Introduction Governor Blanco failed to send a request for Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA) in a timely manner because she was unclear on how the process works and caused activation delays to assist the city of New Orleans. Imagine a major hurricane has just passed though the city you live in, leaving you stuck with no food, water, adequate shelter, and means of communication. You are now stranded on the rooftop of what was once your house because it is now flooded. In 2005, hurricane Katrina heavily hit New Orleans, Louisiana and left the city and its occupants in disarray. The storm left thousands of New Orleans residents stranded for days before Governor Kathleen Blanco officially requested federal assistance from the…show more content…
Request Process to Activate DSCA
The state governor submits request for DSCA in writing to the office of the Executive Secretary of the Department of Defense (DoD). (Department of Defense Directive (DoDD) 3025.18, p. 3, 2010). After the request submission, it goes through a screening and evaluating process. We must consider legality, potential lethal force either by or against the DoD, and measure how much risk we are assuming with accepting the mission. Estimating the cost on what it will take to assist the state in need and whether accepting the mission is appropriate to the DoD’s interest to provide support or if it will take away from the DoD’s abilities to perform their mission are all factors in the evaluating process. Upon request approval, the Secretary of Defense appoints a Federal Coordination Officer (FCO) and establishes a Joint Field Office (JFO) to coordinate federal disaster response and relief efforts. The JFO will work closely with the secretary of the State Coordinating Officer. From there, DSCA activates and deploys within a matter of hours and remains activated until the state is able to assist itself. It is important you understand key player roles in this.
Key Player Roles One of the responsibilities of the state governor is coordination of state resources and providing strategic guidance to either prevent, prepare for, or respond to and recover from all types of incidents (Joint Publications 3-28, 2003). The DoD is
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