Expediting the Transfer of Technology: Defense Support to Civilian Authorities   [open pdf - 2MB]

"Borne out of a failed attempt to supply local firefighters with GPS technology from the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) this paper documents the need for a review of the Defense Support to Civilian Authorities (DSCA) policy. NPS and by association DoD attempted to coordinate with state fire command to support firefighters in Big Sur, California with equipment to help track fire movement, as well as ensuring more firefighter safety. The DSCA was enacted to impose barriers on the use of the American military as an executor of the laws on American soil, and has provided effective guidelines for the use of US Armed Forces in homeland security and emergency response situations. Although the DSCA plays an important role in controlling the use of military personnel and equipment from infringing on the primacy of local law enforcement and violating Posse Comitatus, which prohibits federal forces from interfering with state and local law enforcement, there needs to be a policy that allows exceptions to be made for passive and non-proprietary requests for military aid. For instance, in the case study of the Big Sur Fires and the NPS's attempt to aid the firefighters there, the technology that was offered was non-proprietary, required no military personnel, required little to no cost to the military, and would not affect the defense of the base(take away from NPS resources necessary to the base)."

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Naval Postgraduate School: http://www.nps.edu/
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