Using DoD ISR capabilities in support of homeland security and defense; policy challenges and considerations for effective incident awareness and assessment
Cannon, Williams Robert.
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United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) is the geographic combatant command responsible for homeland defense and security. USNORTHCOM conducts Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA) by providing Defense (DoD) capabilities from its land, sea and air component in support of lead federal agencies in response to homeland security threats. DoD intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities have the potential to improve situational and informational awareness to the homeland security arena. Since Hurricane Katrina, these capabilities have seen an increase in demand. Termed Incident Awareness and Assessment (IAA), these capabilities have been leveraged in response to wildfires in California, hurricanes in Texas, and most recently, during the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. There are, however, significant doctrinal, policy, legal and ethical barriers that impinge on USNORTHCOM's ability to employ these capabilities effectively in the homeland. This thesis examines these barriers, as well as the doctrine and policy disconnects between DoD and the emergency management communities. The author proposes recommendations for incorporating IAA into DoD's Joint Doctrine and the Homeland Security's National Response Framework. These recommendations address policy barriers, and if implemented, have the potential to turn IAA into an important force multiplier for homeland security and emergency management.
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