The DSCA Corps: bridging the gap between the profession of arms and domestic operations
Winters, Nicholas E.
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Defense Support to Civil Authorities (DSCA) is an important mission for the Army and the Department of Defense. Inherent to this mission, and critical in its execution, is effective liaison, coordination, and integration of Army forces into the emergency response structures of local, state, and federal civilian agencies. An examination of two cases, the 2012 response to Hurricane Sandy and the 2016 Cascadia Rising earthquake response exercise, identifies several shortfalls in integration and coordination between the Army, other service components, and civil authorities. This thesis examines these shortfalls and provides a potential solution to correct them for future DSCA missions. This thesis suggests that a creation of a functional area and force structure within the Army that is dedicated to the Army's DSCA mission would bridge the gap between the Army and its civilian partners at all levels. The new DSCA Corps would be responsible for civil-military liaison, relationship building, and integrated planning prior to a disaster. During a disaster, the DSCA Corps would provide a core of DSCA subject matter experts (SMEs) to facilitate the rapid deployment and integration of Title 10 and Title 32 forces in support of the civilian Incident Command System (ICS).
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