IE 11 Not Supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

Military Support of Civil Authorities (MSCA)

There’s not as much capability as you might think.

Once upon a time, and this is no fairy tale, I was a military planner working on military support of civil authorities for a seven-state area in the Midwest. I had a rude awakening about 30 years ago when I discovered that while the military has resources, they are not very extensive when compared to civilian resources.

I did a drill to figure out how many bulldozers the U.S. Army had. What I recall discovering was that there were more civilian bulldozers in the Chicago metropolitan area than in the entire U.S. Army. That was when the Army was twice the size it is today.

What got me thinking about the above is this story: “Manchester Fuel Depot, Pentagon’s largest gas station, endures critical test next week.”

It all sounds good, but how many tankers do they really have available for supporting the Pacific Northwest? Actually, the tankers will be primarily committed, if not totally, to supporting military operations — since that is their priority mission.

We were also recently talking about how the Army could help with the transportation of fuels, goods and personnel using heavy lift helicopters. These Chinook helicopters are the mainstay for the ability to move quantities of supplies by helicopter. Google revealed that there are approximately 1,200 helicopters in the entire U.S. Army inventory — and they are scattered around the world. The immediate availability of these aircraft for disaster operations will be very limited.

Which brings me to the civilianization of the logistics tail that makes up military operations. This was done for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. We don’t have the military logistical units that used to exist. Is there capability? Yes. Is it sufficient to support a regional, multi-state disaster? Nope!

If you want to know more about how military support is brought to bear in disaster operations, watch this Disaster Zone TV show — “Military Assistance in Disasters.”
Eric Holdeman is a nationally known emergency manager. He has worked in emergency management at the federal, state and local government levels. Today he serves as the Director, Center for Regional Disaster Resilience (CRDR), which is part of the Pacific Northwest Economic Region (PNWER). The focus for his work there is engaging the public and private sectors to work collaboratively on issues of common interest, regionally and cross jurisdictionally.
Special Projects
Sponsored Articles