1 1 (April 2, 2020)

handle is hein.crs/govctzr0001 and id is 1 raw text is: 









               Researh Sevice






COVID-19: Defense Support of Civil

Authorities



April 2, 2020


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.


DOD Support to Public Health Emergencies

Under the NRF, Regardless of the type of incident, the President leads the Federal Government response
effort to ensure that the necessary resources are applied quickly and efficiently to large-scale and
catastrophic incidents. (NRF, p. 34) The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is
the principal federal official for domestic incident management and coordinates with federal entities to
provide for federal unity of efforts for domestic incident management. (NRF, p. 34)
Section 300lih of Title 42 specifies that The Secretary of Health and Human Services shall lead all
Federal public health and medical response to public health emergencies and incidents covered by the
National Response ... or any successor plan. The NRF designates the Department of Health and Human
Services (HHS) as the coordinator of Emergency Support Function (ESF) #8, Public Health and Medical
Services and the primary agency, while DOD is a support agency for ESF #8. DOD has a broad range of
capabilities that could be useful to public health response efforts, including transportation assets, medical
                                                                Congressional Research Service
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                                                                                      IN11305

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