Over the past year, NACCHO has worked to develop tools and resources to increase collaboration between local health departments (LHDs) and the Department of Defense (DoD). The DoD offers a sophisticated network of assets that uniquely positions the DoD to support local governments during emergencies.
The DoD is the largest employer in the nation and maintains about 30 million acres of land worldwide, which includes 500 installations among thousands of other sites. DoD installations, such as forts, air bases, and naval facilities, are embedded within local communities across the country. The National Guard, the nation’s reserve defense force, is jointly managed by states and DoD. Similar to other DoD assets, the National Guard can provide resources to communities during emergencies. Recognizing the value that DoD partnerships can provide, NACCHO, with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is developing tools designed to increase collaboration between LHDs and DoD installations. Below are three recent NACCHO publications aimed at enhancing relationships between DoD and local public health.
“The Local Health Department Guide to Collaboration with Department of Defense” will help LHDs better understand the process of integrating DoD assets into a public health preparedness response, thereby facilitating development of support agreements for incidents requiring a mass dispensing or mass vaccination campaign. This guide is also intended to increase LHD capacity for responding to public health emergencies requiring a mass dispensing or mass vaccination campaign for local communities across the nation.
All disaster planning and response begins at the local level, yet the impact of disasters can sometimes exceed local resource capabilities and may require support from state and federal partners. Effectively incorporating military assets into large-scale responses is important, especially given modern resource constraints and the increasing threat of catastrophic events. This issue brief provides a cursory overview of the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 (PCA), one of many doctrines that inform military integration into emergency planning and response.
This fact sheet provides an overview of NACCHO’s recent efforts around DoD and LHD integration.