"A flu pandemic is a worldwide epidemic of an influenza virus. As such, the United States' response to a flu pandemic would have both international and domestic components. Additionally, the domestic response effort would include contributions from every governmental level (local, state, tribal, and federal), non-governmental organizations, and the private sector. This report will focus largely on the role of the Department of Defense (DOD) in supporting the nation's domestic response effort, although it will also touch on DOD's international role. The Department of State would lead the federal government's international response efforts, while the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Health and Human Services would lead the federal government's domestic response. The Department of Defense would likely be called upon to support both the international and domestic efforts. An analysis of the tasks assigned by the National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza Implementation Plan indicates that DOD's role during a flu pandemic would center on the following objectives: assisting in disease surveillance; assisting partner nations, particularly through military-to-military assistance; protecting and treating US forces and dependents; and providing support to civil authorities in the United States."
CRS Report for Congress, R40619