U.S. Army Reserve an effective partner in disaster response

Maj. Gen. Gregory J. Mosser, the deputy commanding general, U.S. Army Reserve Command, highlighted the capabilities the U.S. Army Reserve provides to local, state, and federal entities when disasters strike the nation in an April 14th panel...

The Army Reserve includes substantial capabilities vital in disaster response and stands ready to support lead agencies for domestic emergencies and disaster relief efforts.

10 U.S. Code Section 12304a, amended by the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act provides new authority for the Active and Reserve Components (Title 10) to assist our citizens and communities in the United States during domestic emergencies to save lives, prevent human suffering and mitigate great property damage.

The Army Reserve provides federal support to Defense Support of Civil Authorities (DSCA) during emergencies with capabilities such as aviation lift, search and rescue or extraction, quartermaster (food, shelter, potable water, heated tents, etc.), civil affairs and public information as well as a significant portion of full-spectrum engineer capability.

For example, Army Reserve aircraft rapidly transport patients to critical-care facilities, and deliver critical personnel, supplies, equipment into affected areas. In the homeland, the Army Reserve is fully integrated into the standing Department of Defense task force postured for response to Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) events.

Montgomery County, Texas, flooding in January 2024
Pictured above: The 1-158th Aviation Regiment, 11th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade, Army Reserve Aviation Command, conducted surveying in flood areas in Montgomery County, Texas, in January 2024.

The Army Reserve provides all of the Army’s Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officers (EPLOs) and half of those supporting the Department of Defense. These EPLOs serve as conduits, maintaining communications between the Department of Defense, federal, state and local governments, and nongovernmental organizations to coordinate assistance between all parties during emergency response events.

The Army Reserve will conduct DSCA response in two ways — immediate and deliberate. These responses differ in the authorities under which they are conducted and the source of the support request. Responses can be conducted independently or as part of a larger response effort. Title 10 USC Section 12304 authorizes Federal Reserve units, including the Army Reserve, to respond to certain emergencies and humanitarian assistance in other nations.

This includes the authority to order up to 200,000 members of the components to active duty for a continuous period of up to 365 days to provide assistance to either the federal government or an individual state in time of a serious man-made disaster, accident or natural catastrophe.

Title 10 USC Section 12304a authorizes the Army Reserve to provide disaster assistance to a major natural disaster or emergency in the United States at the request of the governor of a state.


  • Disaster Operations

    Hurricane Sandy - 2012

    Hurricane Matthew - 2016

    Hurricane Harvey - 2017

    Hurricane Maria - 2017

    Hurricane Florence - 2018

    Hurricane Michael - 2018

    Super Typhoon Yutu - 2018

    Hurricane Dorian - 2019

    Puerto Rico Earthquake - 2020