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US Northern Command is leading COVID-19 operations for the Department of Defense.  NORTHCOM works with other agencies including the National Guard Bureau, the Defense Logistics Agency, and the Army Corps of Engineers as well as its components and subordinates to execute the mission.

​U.S. Army North is U.S. Northern Command’s theater Army. 

Army North serves as the Joint Force Land Component Command for all federal ground troops, including other service units serving on land as part of the DOD’s COVID-19 response. 

Northern Command has designated Army North to work with FEMA to align federal military support to validated requests for assistance.

US Northern Command, through U.S. Army North, performs the DSCA mission in the continental United States and in the territories of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. 

US INDOPACOM performs the DSCA mission in Hawaii and the Pacific island territories and possessions. ​

We provide DSCA support upon request from a lead federal agency (in this case FEMA) and approval by the Secretary of Defense.​

U.S. Northern Command serves as the global synchronizer for DoD's Pandemic Influenza and Infectious Disease plans. Army North serves as their Joint Force Land Component Command in support of the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Federal military support includes planning, logistics, medical supplies, personal protective equipment, emergency medical facilities, and personnel to help communities in need. Federal military forces will not directly participate in civilian law enforcement activities. 

We plan, train, and exercise with partners year-round to be ready to support a broad range of disaster and emergency response requests.

For more details about the Federal Military Support being provided by the JFLCC in support of the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic, see our press releases.


We have trained with our federal, state, and local partners to be ready to respond at a moment's notice to help the American people in their time of greatest need.

U.S. Northern Command, U.S. Army North's higher command, has developed incident‑specific exercises to support plans and enhance preparedness for natural disasters. Northern Command and Army North exercises simulate disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes. Along with Army North, stakeholders from FEMA, various components within the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Defense Logistics Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and other DoD Components, Military Departments, and Federal agencies participate in these exercises.

As part of the whole-of-America response, U.S. Army North, U.S. Northern Command’s Joint Forces Land Component Command, continues to oversee the military operation in support of federal efforts and the state.

The JFLCC has deployed Department of Defense medical and support professionals to various states from the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force as part of DoD’s ongoing COVID-19 operations. 

Providing medical support in communities across America takes a team of federal forces including operational planners, logisticians, human resources and information specialists, Defense Coordinating Officers/Elements, and nearly 300 Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officers who work around the clock to integrate and synchronize a multitude of planning efforts to facilitate support to emerging areas and any shift in operations. 

Military History Detachments are deploying to ensure we document this unprecedented response effort.  Behavioral health specialists and military chaplains are also providing support to our service members to ensure they can continue their crucial work in the COVID-19 response.

For more details, see the latest JFLCC press releases: https://www.arnorth.army.mil/jflcc/pages/jflcc-press-releases.aspx

The Army is providing Urban Augmentation Medical Task Forces.

Army medical units are being employed to provide routine and emergency medical support to community medical staffs, to decompress those facilities, and allow them to focus their resources and efforts on detecting and treating patients believed to have been exposed to COVID-19.

The Army is providing:

  • Urban Augmentation Medical Task Forces
    • UAMTF-627 from the 627th Hospital Center, Ft. Carson, Colorado
    • UAMTF MEDCOM from U.S. Army Medical Command, San Antonio, and elsewhere
    • UAMTF-16 from the 16th Hospital Center, Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, and elsewhere

The U.S. Navy is providing Acute Care Teams and Rapid Rural Response Teams. 

The teams comprise 70 Sailors from Expeditionary Medical Facility-L (Lima) deployed from Pensacola, Fl., to Texas. to support COVID-19 response operations in civilian hospitals. 

U.S. Northern Command assigned approximately 160 military medical and support personnel from the U.S. Air Force to support FEMA and the state of California.

The Airmen are part of a medical team designated U.S. Air Force COVID Theater Hospital-1 (CTH-1)

​At the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and state officials, approximately 740 Department of Defense medical and support professionals from the U.S. Army, U.S. Navy and U.S. Air Force are assigned as part of DoD’s ongoing COVID-19 operations in Texas and California.

Acute Care Team 

The ACT is a scaled, tailorable package designed to support urban hospitals with medical staff support to augment 50-beds of acute or non-acute care. The ACT members include 4 physicians, 4 advance care practitioners, 2 certified registered nurse anesthetists, 24 nurses, 2 pharmacy officers, 2 advance x-ray technicians and 6 respiratory therapy technicians.

Rapid Rural Response Team

The RRRTs provide targeted rapid hospital support and stabilization during peak COVID-19 patient surges, with capacity to operate ventilated patients 24/7. The RRRT consists of 1 critical care physician, 5 critical care nurses and 1 respiratory therapy technician.

Each UAMTF consists of approximately 85 medical personnel including doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, and support staff.

The UAMTF consists of 13 Doctors, 13 Nurses, 4 Respiratory Therapists and 55 support staff. 

UAMTF personnel will use equipment provided by other federal agencies and our state and local partners to conduct their operations.

​The Defense Coordinating Officer acts as the Secretary of Defense's primary liaison to the FEMA regional administrator in the DCOs assigned FEMA region, and serves to coordinate requests for federal military assistance from the federal and state governments.

Each of U.S. Army North's 10 DCOs and their 10 member Defense Coordinating Element are located within one of FEMA's 10 regional headquarters.


  • Assists Federal and State civil authorities to integrate DoD capabilities into their incident response plans.
  • Identifies and validates requests for DoD support for incident response in support of a lead federal agency
  • Works to refine, validate, and quantify requirements and potential time-phasing of DoD capabilities.
  • Coordinates and facilitates the participation of Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officers, Joint Regional Medical Plans and Operations Officers, and other DSCA liaison personnel into planning and preparedness activities.
  • Establishes and maintains relationships with each state Joint Force Headquarters within their FEMA region to assist in coordinating planning efforts effectively.
  • Identifies military capabilities on DoD installations within their FEMA region that could be used to support incident response operations.
  • Develops and promotes relationships with federal, State, tribal, and local governmental and non-governmental organizations, and with private sector entities in the assigned FEMA region.
  • Participates with the appropriate preparedness and planning groups in assigned FEMA regions (e.g., Federal Executive Board).

Emergency Preparedness Liaison Officers are specially trained and experienced U.S. Army Reserve officers who assist Defense Coordinating Officers in each state and territory.  They are activated and employed by their Services at the request of the supported combatant commander to support the DCO or as coordinated with the combatant commander to facilitate Military Department response.


  • Provide DOD liaison with state National Guard Joint Force headquarters and FEMA regional organizations and agencies.
  • Facilitate planning, coordination, and training for DSCA and national security emergency preparedness.
  • Advise federal agencies and organizations on DOD capabilities and resources; advocate mutual support required by DOD
  • Advise civil authorities on military resources and capabilities and facilitate coordination between civil authorities and DOD during state or federal exercises or DSCA operations.
  • Are aligned with the appropriate DCO but are oriented toward supporting the state emergency response team and the state National Guard Joint Force headquarters.
  • Build and maintain relationships with civil authorities that promote unity of effort.
  • Understand how to employ Military Department capabilities for DSCA. 
  • Conduct key leader engagements with State emergency managers, planners, and other key emergency management personnel.
  • Establish and maintain relationships with key civil authorities, as well as DoD Component civilian and military officials. 

The city or region Chief Medical Examiner and the Department of Health and Human Services have the lead for mortuary affairs, in coordination with appropriate state and local officials.

COVID-19 Links