ArticleCS - Article View


Published Sept. 7, 2011

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The U.S. Army Geospatial Center’s (AGC) Department of Defense, Defense Support to Civil Authorities Automated Support System (DDASS) was used to coordinate over 29 Mission Assignments (MAs) and $18 million in Joint, Army, Air Force and Navy assets deployed to stage Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) equipment and personnel at Incident Support Bases along the East Coast during and after Hurricane Irene. The system was also being used to coordinate and track the aerial transport of relief supplies as well as to provide initial aerial storm assessments in the affected areas of the country.

DDASS is a web-enabled Government software application that provides automated, "real time" management and coordination of FEMA MAs in support of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief efforts (ie. Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Midwest flooding, California wildfires, Hurricane Katrina). All MA development, staffing and execution is also accomplished on-line, making data entry and visibility available to authorized users during any step in the process. Once vetted and established within DDASS, supporting documentation for authority and funding are also made available, as well as any time-tagged notes from users illustrating developing situation(s) for each mission. Each MA’s progress is noted in terms of days and funding remaining as well as overall progress, which is made visible via a color-coded summary view, enabling any potential problems to be viewed graphically.

Prior to the development of DDASS, coordination and prioritization of Defense Support to Civil Authorities-related events were accomplished via telephone, fax and paper file folders. There was no way to rapidly coordinate military support across Joint- and service-specific activities or between the ten FEMA regions supported by the DoD. Additionally, visualizing a common operational picture for each DSCA-related event was not possible.

DDASS has been fielded in its web-enabled form since April 2007 and is used by North American Aerospace Defense Command/U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) and U.S. Pacific Command. The software is undergoing a series of upgrades at the request of NORTHCOM for U.S. Army North, including a series of applications that will help improve their ability to manage DSCA MAs and reimbursable funds.

Release no. 11-003