U.S. Army North (ARNORTH) is the Army component of U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM), the combatant command established Oct. 1, 2002 to provide command and control of Department of Defense (DOD) homeland defense efforts and to coordinate defense support of civil authorities.
Located at Fort Sam Houston, Texas, ARNORTH’s mission is to conduct homeland defense, civil support operations and theater security cooperation activities. On order, U.S. Army North commands and controls deployed forces as a Joint Task Force or Joint Force Land Component Command.
ARNORTH’s 10 Defense Coordinating Elements (DCE), each led by a Defense Coordinating Offi cer (DCO), work daily within the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) regions to plan for and conduct civil support operations. In 2007, DCO’s and DCE’s deployed in support of the Department of Transportation to assist with recovery efforts at the I-35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis. DCO/DCE teams also deployed to Southern California and to the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise to support wildland fi refi ghting operations in southern California.
ARNORTH is responsible for developing and unifying the military response capability for chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosives (CBRNE) incidents. In addition, the Civil Support Readiness Directorate trains National Guard Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Teams, which are state fi rst responders for chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive incidents.
ARNORTH developed and is responsible for conducting Northern Command’s strategic-level Defense Support of Civil Authorities course, which serves military and civilian consequence managers across the United States. Its three phases include a distance learning course, a one-week classroom course focusing on intergovernmental and interagency response, and an alumni phase that provides regular updates on policy, strategy and doctrine developments in homeland defense, homeland security and emergency preparedness.