U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) was 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. USNORTHCOM defends America's homeland — protecting our people, national power, and freedom of action.
USNORTHCOM’s specific mission:USNORTHCOM partners to conduct homeland defense, civil support and security cooperation to defend and secure the United States and its interests.
USNORTHCOM’s AOR includes air, land and sea approaches and encompasses the continental United States, Alaska, Canada, Mexico and the surrounding water out to approximately 500 nautical miles. It also includes the Gulf of Mexico, the Straits of Florida, portions of the Caribbean region to include The Bahamas, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The commander of USNORTHCOM is responsible for theater security cooperation with Canada, Mexico, and The Bahamas.
USNORTHCOM consolidates under a single unified command existing missions that were previously executed by other DOD organizations. This provides unity of command, which is critical to mission accomplishment.
USNORTHCOM plans, organizes and executes homeland defense and civil support missions, but has few permanently assigned forces. The command is assigned forces whenever necessary to execute missions, as ordered by the president or secretary of defense.
Civil service employees and uniformed members representing all service branches work at USNORTHCOM’s headquarters located at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs, Colo.
The commander of USNORTHCOM also commands the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), a bi-national command responsible for aerospace warning, aerospace control, and maritime warning for Canada, Alaska and the continental United States.
In providing civil support, USNORTHCOM generally operates through established Joint Task Forces subordinate to the command. An emergency must exceed the capabilities of local, state and federal agencies before USNORTHCOM becomes involved. In most cases, support will be limited, localized and specific. When the scope of the disaster is reduced to the point that the Primary Agency can again assume full control and management without military assistance, USNORTHCOM will exit, leaving the on-scene experts to finish the job.
Joint Force Headquarters National Capital Region (JFHQ-NCR), based at Fort McNair,Washington, D.C. is responsible for land-based homeland defense, defense support of civil authorities (DSCA), and incident management in the National Capital Region.
JFHQ-NCR is responsible for protecting the District of Columbia and neighboring counties and cities of Maryland and Virginia, including Loudon, Fairfax and Prince William Counties in Virginia. JFHQ-NCR draws together the existing resources of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and NORAD into a single point headquarters for planning, coordination and execution of the mission in the National Capital Region.
The National Capital Region is the political and military center of gravity of the U.S. with an infrastructure vital to the global interests of the nation. Many federal, state and local agencies are located here, in addition to a large number of foreign embassies and other international organizations toward which the U.S. has security responsibilities. JFHQNCR supports U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) in the timely execution of its mission by coordinating all operational military service elements at the seat of government.
The organization is prepared to respond cooperatively with other federal agencies or civilian authorities should they
During incidents of national signifi cance, JFHQ-NCR transitions to Joint Task Force National Capital Region (JTFNCR). JTF-NCR brings appropriate levels of military support to bear in the National Capital Region when authorized by proper authorities or as immediately required to save lives, prevent human suffering or mitigate great property damage. Such support, primarily land-based, will be under the command and control of the joint force commander. Support may be in response to planned events, such as security support during a presidential inauguration, or in response to natural disasters or terrorist attack. After the response, JTF-NCR stands down and redeploys response assets.
Operating through JFHQ-NCR, USNORTHCOM coordinates support efforts, as well as the air, land and maritime defense of the National Capital Region, under the command and control of the joint force commander. USNORTHCOM is the combatant command established in 2002 to provide command and control of Department of Defense (DOD) homeland defense efforts and to coordinate defense support of civil authorities.
JFHQ-NCR operates within the scope of the law. It will not engage in direct law enforcement activities, but when requested by civil authorities and approved by the civilian leadership of DOD, it supports civil authorities in their public safety missions. Existence of a JFHQ enables better planning by all parties, to the benefi t of the public.
Joint Task Force Alaska (JTF-AK), headquartered at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, is a subordinate command of U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM). It is comprised of Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Department of Defense (DOD) civilian specialists. JTF-AK’s mission is to, in coordination with other government agencies, deter, detect, prevent and defeat threats within the Alaska Joint Operations Area (AK JOA) in order to protect U.S. territory, citizens, and interests, and as directed, conduct Civil Support.
USNORTHCOM is the combatant command established in 2002 to provide command and control of DOD homeland defense efforts and to coordinate defense support of civil authorities.
Within its JOA, JTF-AK plans and, if directed, integrates the full spectrum of DOD homeland defense efforts and provides defense support to a primary agency, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Prevention, crisis response and consequence management are capabilities included within the spectrum of support.
In coordination with other federal, state and local agencies, JTF-AK evaluates events and locations throughout the state of Alaska for their potential vulnerability as targets for aggression and terrorism. JTF-AK provides situational awareness to military commands and civilian agencies throughout the state of Alaska and the continental U.S. to aid in homeland security awareness and planning.
JTF-AK’s civil support mission includes domestic disaster relief operations that occur in response to natural or man-made disasters. Support also includes managing the consequences of a terrorist attack employing a weapon of mass destruction. The task force provides assistance to a Primary Agency when approved by the Secretary of Defense and as directed by the commander of USNORTHCOM. Military forces may provide civil support to save lives, prevent injuries and provide temporary critical life support, but, in accordance with the Posse Comitatus Act, do not become directly involved in law enforcement.
The mission of supporting civil authorities is not a new one for DOD. The U.S. military has a long history of
providing assistance to civil authorities during emergencies. An
emergency must exceed the capabilities of local, state and
federal agencies before JTF-AK becomes involved.
In most cases, support will be limited, localized
and specifi c. When the scope of the disaster
is reduced to the point that the Primary
Agency can again assume full control
and management without military
Joint Task Force Civil Support (JTF-CS), headquartered at Fort Monroe in Hampton, Va., began operations Oct. 1, 1999. Originally formed as a standing joint task force under U.S. Joint Forces Command, JTF-CS was transferred to U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) when USNORTHCOM was established Oct. 1, 2002. USNORTHCOM is the combatant command established to provide command and control of Department of Defense (DOD) homeland defense efforts and to coordinate defense support of civil authorities.
The task force consists of active, Guard and Reserve military members drawn from all service branches, as well as civilian personnel, who are commanded by a federalized (Title X) National Guard general officer.
JTF-CS plans and integrates DOD support to the designated Primary Agency for domestic chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or high-yield explosive (CBRNE) consequence management operations. When approved by the secretary of defense and directed by the commander of USNORTHCOM, JTF-CS deploys to the incident site and executes timely and effective command and control of designated DOD forces, providing support to civil authorities to save lives, prevent injury and provide temporary critical life support.
JTF-CS focuses on responding to the effects of a CBRNE incident after civilian resources have been utilized first and fully. Some typical JTF-CS tasks include incident site support, casualty medical assistance and treatment, displaced populace support, mortuary affairs support, logistics support, and air operations.
The mission of supporting civil authorities is not a new one for DOD. The U.S. military has a long history of providing assistance to civil authorities during emergencies. U.S. military forces have assisted federal, state and local agencies during natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes. The role of JTF-CS in providing assistance to the Primary Agency after a CBRNE incident is in keeping with this long and proud tradition.
JTF-CS accomplishes its consequence management mission in strict adherence to existing federal law, which carefully balances the support capabilities within the U.S. military with the needs of civil authorities during emergencies. In most instances, JTF-CS and its designated forces are deployed only after a state or territorial governor requests federal assistance from the president. In any domestic setting, JTF-CS remains in support of the Primary Agency throughout the CBRNE consequence management operation.
For more information, please visit www.jtfcs.northcom.mil.
Joint Task Force North (JTF North), based at Biggs Army Airfield, Fort Bliss, Texas, is the Department of Defense (DOD) organization tasked to support our nation’s federal law enforcement agencies in the interdiction of suspected transnational threats within and along the approaches to the continental United States. Transnational threats are those activities conducted by individuals or groups that involve international terrorism, narco-trafficking, alien smuggling, weapons of mass destruction, and the delivery systems for such weapons that threaten the national security of the United States.
As directed, JTF North employs military capabilities to support law enforcement agencies and supports interagency synchronization within the U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) area of responsibility to deter and prevent transnational threats to the homeland. This mission aligns JTF North closely with USNORTHCOM, its higher headquarters. USNORTHCOM is the combatant command established in 2002 to provide command and control of DOD homeland defense efforts and to coordinate defense support of civil authorities.
JTF North was originally established in 1989 as Joint Task Force Six (JTF-6), in response to President George H. W. Bush’s declaration of the “War on Drugs.” On Sept. 28, 2004, JTF-6 was renamed JTF North and its mission was expanded to include providing support to the nation’s federal law enforcement agencies.
JTF North is a joint service command made up of active duty and reserve component Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Department of Defense (DOD) civilian specialists. Their dedication to the security of our homeland is best summed up by JTF North’s motto, “Service to the Nation.”
For more information, please visit www.jtfn.northcom.mil.
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,
For more information about ARNORTH, please visit www.arnorth.army.mil.
Headquartered at Tyndall Air Force Base, near Panama City, Fla., 1st Air Force is assigned to Air Combat Command. It has the responsibility of ensuring the air sovereignty and air defense of the continental United States. As the CONUS geographical component of the binational North American Aerospace Defense Command, it provides airspace surveillance and control and directs all air sovereignty activities for the continental United States.
U.S. Fleet Forces Command (USFF) is the Navy 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 Norfolk, Virginia, USFF's mission is to provide maritime forces prepared to conduct homeland defense, civil support operations and theater security cooperation activities when directed by USNORTHCOM.
Additionally, USFF has responsibilities to generate ready Navy forces for assignment to global Regional Combatant Commanders, execute the Fleet Response Plan (FRP) using the Fleet Training Continuum, articulate to the Chief of Naval Operations the integrated Fleet warfighting requirements as coordinated with all Navy Component Commanders, and provide operational planning support to Commander, U.S. Joint Forces Command, and United States Strategic Command.
For more information about USFF, please visit www.cffc.navy.mil.
Marine Forces North executes antiterrorism program and force protection responsibilities; plans for the use of USMC Forces and advises on the proper employment of USMC Forces; coordinates with and supports USMC Forces when attached to USNORTHCOM within USNORTHCOM'S area of responsibility in order to conduct homeland defense operations and provide defense support to civil authorities.
For more information about MARFORNORTH, please visit http://www.marines.mil/unit/marfornorth/Pages/Home.aspx.
U.S. Special Operations Command, North is a provisional command, also known as SOCNORTH. This new command was approved in December 2012 as a subordinate unified command under USNORTHCOM. SOCNORTH is scheduled to achieve initial operational capability in 2014, and will enhance command and control of special operations forces throughout the NORTHCOM area of responsibility. SOCNORTH will also improve support to interagency counterterrorism operations.
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