By Melissa Russell
| Office of the Chief, Army Reserve | Oct. 11, 2018
Staff Sgt. Darrell Thibeaux, a human resources specialist with the 373rd Combat Sustainment Support Brigade, is thanked by a survivor during a high water rescue mission in Beaumont, Texas, Sept. 1, 2017. Soldiers of 373rd CSSB, along with several of their vehicles, were attached to the Beaumont Fire Department conducting high water rescue missions. Within a few days time frame they were able to evacuate over 700 citizens, roughly 170 animals and had assisted with transporting over 100 emergency personnel. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Heather Doppke/released) (Photo by Sgt. Heather Doppke)
Sgt. Beau Burkhead, a water treatment specialist with the 373rd Combat Sustainment Support Brigade, drives with firefighters through flooded streets conducting a water level survey in Beaumont, Texas, Sept. 2, 2017. Soldiers of 373rd CSSB, along with several of their vehicles, were attached to the Beaumont Fire Department conducting high water rescue missions. Within a few days time frame they were able to evacuate over 700 citizens, roughly 170 animals and had assisted with transporting over 100 emergency personnel. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Heather Doppke/released) (Photo by Sgt. Heather Doppke)
U.S. Army Reserve aviators from the 7th Battalion (General Support Aviation Battalion), 158th Aviation Regiment , stationed in Conroe, Texas and currently assigned to Task Force Iron Eagle, are conducting water re-supply missions to Beaumont. An anonymous billionaire donated three semi-trailers full of bottle water to relieve water shortages caused by Hurricane Harvey. (U.S. Army Reserve photo by Capt. Loyal Auterson/U.S. Army Reserve Command)(Released) (Photo by Capt. Loyal Auterson)
U.S. Army Reserve Soldiers from the Army Reserve Aviation Command, transport senior citizens off of a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter, to first responders in Conroe, Texas, Aug. 30. The Army Reserve Aviation Command provides mission command to all assigned units in order to deploy trained and ready Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigades and Theater Fixed Wing Battalions to a specified Area of Operations in support of a Combatant Commander. (U.S. Army Photo by Capt. Matthew Roman, Army Reserve Aviation Command Public Affairs Officer). (Photo by Capt. Matthew Roman)
America’s Army Reserve is structured with dual-purpose capabilities and, as such, is a Federal Response Partner, maintaining a ready posture for Defense Support to Civil Authorities operations as a resource and capabilities provider. The National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 expanded the Army Reserve capability to conduct DSCA response with increased mobilization authorities to rapidly activate units.
THE FIRST USE OF AMERICA'S ARMY RESERVE UNDER NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT 2012 was in November of that year, when Super Storm Sandy struck the east coast, flooding New York City streets and subway tunnels and leaving thousands of homes and millions of people without electric service.
Since then, the Army Reserve has helped respond to the Boston Marathon bombings, rescued a mountain climber from the summit of Mt. Rainier in Washington State, helped extinguish wildfires in Kansas and responded to other emergencies at the request of local authorities, including three consecutive hurricanes: Harvey, Irma and Maria.
Immediate response is conducted by Army Reserve units and Soldiers under the Immediate Response Authority (IRA) outlined in DoD Directive 3025.18, which authorizes local commanders to take action to save lives, prevent human suffering or mitigate great property damage in an urgent situation when there is insufficient time to get approval from higher headquarters.
As listed in DoD Directive 3025.18, a request for assistance from a civil authority (tribal authority, mayor, chief of police, fire chief, sheriff, chief of emergency management, etc.) is required to initiate the Immediate Response Authority. Following the request, Army Reserve units within the affected area may respond immediately to imminently serious disasters or attacks as required by civil authorities and within limits established by law.
IMMEDIATE RESPONSE AUTHORITY SUPPORT INCLUDES:
• Distribution of medicine, food, consumable supplies and services
• Removal of debris and road clearance for immediate restoration of emergency and essential services
• Emergency medical care, search and rescue
• Transportation of supplies and persons
• Restoration of essential services
• Construction of temporary bridges and facilities for shelters, schools and essential public services
• Demolition of unsafe structures and posting hazard warnings
• Dissemination of public information on health and safety measures
• Technical and advisory assistance to state/local officials
NEARLY 200,000 SOLDIERS OF THE ARMY RESERVE ARE TRAINED, EQUIPPED AND ORGANIZED TO PERFORM A FULL RANGE OF OPERATIONS — including disaster response with facilities located in over 1,200 communities across the nation.
Key Army Reserve capabilities available for disaster response include:
• Aviation: medical evacuation, medium and heavy lift helicopters, search and rescue
• Engineering: search and rescue, debris removal, horizontal and vertical construction, portable bridges
• Medical: ground ambulance, combat support hospitals, specialized medical teams, veterinary services
• Communications: communications capabilities including satellite
• Logistics: water, petroleum, generators, general logistics
• Transportation: light, medium and heavy trucks, watercraft
• CBRN: Army Reserve chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear incident response capabilities are trained and ready