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New USAF doctrine publication: Air Force Doctrine Document 2-10, Homeland Operations.

A QUICK QUIZ: what is the difference between homeland security and homeland defense? Stumped? You're not alone. Now comes a third term: homeland operations.

Before you throw your hands up at yet another addition to the Airman's lexicon, take a look at Air Force Doctrine Document (AFDD) 2-10, Homeland Operations, 21 March 2006--the initial document (partly drawn from Joint Publication 3-26, Homeland Security, 2 August 2005) designed to outline Air Force roles and responsibilities under both homeland security and homeland defense constructs. AFDD 2-10 defines homeland operations as "the means by which its support to homeland defense, defense support of civil authorities and emergency preparedness is accomplished" (p. 1). The document discusses each of these three core areas of homeland operations in depth.

AFDD 2-10 makes the overarching point that "active duty Airmen are always under the command of military commanders up through the Secretary of Defense and the President" (p. vii). Additionally, when the military provides forces to civil authorities, the relationship resembles that of one military force directly supporting another. An additional principle found in the document explains that local and state organizations must first respond to disasters with their own resources. If overwhelmed, they can make a formal request for federal assistance and ask that the president issue a declaration of an emergency. Under provisions of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (the Stafford Act), federal resources do not come into play until the president issues this declaration. Employment of such resources prior to a formal declaration would negate any reimbursement. However, this prohibition does not preclude alert postures and preplanning activities if a presidential declaration of emergency appears imminent. AFDD 2-10 urges local commanders to plan possible assistance scenarios with local authorities well in advance and to understand the local operating environment. This literally translates into local "preparation of the battlespace," which may save time and resources in an emergency response.

To educate the reader with the myriad of terminology, the doctrine document offers an extensive list of "Suggested Readings" (pp. 41-43, from Air Force doctrine to the White House's Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina: Lessons Learned); an excellent appendix on "National Policy and Law" (pp. 44-47); and another on a "Notional Sequence of Events for Defense Support of Civil Authorities" (pp. 48-49). A comprehensive glossary rounds out these invaluable resources. Readers should probably review these sections prior to attempting a serious analysis of the entire document.

Given the intense and continuing national debate regarding defense of the homeland, we can anticipate additions and refinements to this doctrine document in the coming years. A valuable tool for planning and understanding the Air Force's role in homeland operations, AFDD 2-10 is a must-read for local base commanders through national-level Air Force decision makers.

Col John L. Conway III, USAF, Retired
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Title Annotation:notice to airmen
Author:Conway, John L., III
Publication:Air & Space Power Journal
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 22, 2007
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