|U.S. Army Special Operations Command
& Psychological Operations Command (CAPOC)
Civil affairs units help military
commanders attain their objectives during peace, contingency
operations and declared war. They support activities of both
conventional and special operations forces.
Civil affairs specialists can
quickly and systematically identify critical requirements needed
by local citizens in war or disaster situations. They can also
locate civil resources to support military operations, help
minimize civilian interference with operations, support national
assistance activities, plan and execute non-combatant
evacuation, support counter-drug operations, and establish and
maintain liaison or dialogue with civilian personnel agencies
and civilian commercial and private organizations.
In support of special operations,
these culturally-oriented, linguistically-capable soldiers may
also be tasked to provide functional expertise for foreign
internal defense operations, unconventional warfare operations
and direct action missions. The functional structure of civil
affairs forces and their experience, training, and orientation
provide a capability for emergency coordination and
administration where civilian political-economic structures have
They can help plan U.S.
government interagency procedures for national or regional
emergencies. They can assist civil-military planning and
military support operations for theater commanders in chief.
Additionally, they can coordinate military resources to support
government operations, emergency actions and humanitarian
assistance from natural, man-made or war-related causes.
The 96th Civil Affairs
Battalion, with four percent of the civil affairs forces, is
the only active Army civil affairs unit. The unit is readily
available to deploy and provides primarily tactical support.
The remaining 96 percent of the
Army's civil affairs forces are found in the Reserve Component.
They provide a prime source of nation-building skills.
Civil affairs units include
soldiers with training and experience in public administration,
public safety, public health, legal systems, labor management,
public welfare, public finance, public education, civil defense,
public works and utilities, public communications, public
transportation, logistics, food and agricultural services,
economics, property control, cultural affairs, civil
information, and managing dislocated persons.
One of the most ambitious civil
affairs undertakings during this century was the Marshall Plan
which restored governmental infrastructure to the defeated Axis
nations after World War 11. More recent employment of these
assets include tactical support to military commanders during
Operations JUST CAUSE and DESERT STORM, support to the
restoration of the Panamanian government infrastructure during
Operation PROMOTE LIBERTY, management of an encampment of
refugee Haitians at Guantanamo Bay, natural disaster relief
assistance to ravaged areas in the aftermath of hurricanes
Andrew and Iniki and, assisting the humanitarian efforts in
- Back to CAPOC page. See Also:
- JFK SWCS Civil
- PLEASE READ
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unofficial document and does not represent information
endorsed by the United States Government, the United
States Special Operations Command or the United States
Army Special Operations Command. However, most
information is derived from those sources and has been
checked for accuracy. For comments, questions, and
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