U.S. ARMY Northern Command’s Defense Support to Civil Authorities System Manages Civilian Emergency Support Requests

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – This summer, as wildfires burned relentlessly in Colorado, the Department of Defense (DoD) assisted the in the fight to save civilian lives and property. Using refitted military cargo aircraft, 3,000 gallons of fire retardant were dropped at a time in advance of these fires to slow their spread. Two thousand miles to the East, these efforts were being coordinated using the Department of Defense, Defense Support to Civil Authorities Automated Support System (DDASS).

DDASS is used to assist the civilian population, enabling the DoD to coordinate support requests from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and (via the National Interagency Fire Center), 7 other Federal Agencies, also tracking the progress, duration and expenditures of the various missions; and on other fronts, supporting clean-up efforts in areas of Ohio and West Virginia, hit hard by recent severe weather. Even as real world events unfold, a newer, CAC-enabled version of DDASS was being tested in the National Level Exercise, Vibrant Response, where DDASS helped orchestrate the actions of thousands of joint service personnel were involved in response to a simulated nuclear detonation in the Mid-West.

Operational since 2007, this Web-based government off-the-shelf software has been used continually in a variety of civil assistance missions, from hurricanes to tsunamis, replacing paper and file folders with an automated collaborative suite of command and control tools that enable the DoD to more effectively assist the civilian government when called upon, saving time, resources, and eliminating duplicative efforts.


The U.S. Army Geospatial Center provides timely, accurate and relevant geospatial information, capabilities and domain expertise for Army Geospatial Enterprise implementation in support of unified land operations. To learn more about the AGC, please visit www.agc.army.mil.