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Emergency Operations Overview

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is a major Army command with a broad set of missions and capabilities. One of its missions is to provide assistance, within its authorities, when natural disasters or other emergencies occur. On behalf of the Baltimore District, the Emergency Management Branch (EMB) plans for and manages the execution of this mission under the guidance of the District Engineer and higher Headquarters, in accordance with the authority of Public Law 84-99 Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies (PL84-99 FCCE).

Our area of responsibility follows the District's Civil Works boundary and includes the District of Columbia, Maryland, and portions of New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, and Delaware.

Emergency preparedness and response is primarily a state and local responsibility. However, in instances when the nature of the disaster exceeds the capabilities of state and local interests, the Corps of Engineers may provide assistance to save human life, prevent immediate human suffering or mitigate public property damage. Providing flood fighting supplies, technical assistance, field assessments, and rehabilitation of flood control works and shore protection are a large part of what we do.

Most Common Support Under PL 84-99

  • Flood Response/Technical Assistance
  • Field Investigations
  • Rehabilitation & Inspection of Flood Damage Reduction Projects and Hurricane Protection Projects
  • Emergency Water
  • Hazard Mitigation

In addition, under a Presidential Disaster Declaration, the Corps can be tasked by the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (DHS-FEMA) to provide assistance for response and recovery missions under Public Law 93-288, The Robert T. Stafford Act, as amended. Missions may include Emergency Temporary Power, Emergency Water & Commodities, Debris Management Operations, Urban Search & Rescue, and Temporary Housing, to name a few. The EMB supports the assigned mission(s) as well as the individuals deploying.

Over the last decade, support to military customers and overseas missions has increased. The EMB provides support to USACE Field Force Engineering Teams - Base Development Team, Forward Engineer Support Team-Augmentation, and Contingency Real Estate and Environmental Support Teams. In addition, the EMB, in coordination with the District's Deployment Coordination/Family Readiness Program Associate, executes the USACE Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) Program and supports deployments. The main OCO countries being supported at this time include Afghanistan and Iraq.

Rapid Response Vehicles

After many years of responding to emergencies, it was determined that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) needed emergency response vehicles to provide an expedient tactical operations and communications platform for first responders where there are no available facilities or communications to support response operations. To meet this national requirement, USACE developed the National Deployable Tactical Operations System (DTOS).

DTOS is designed to meet response requirements for natural or manmade disasters in the United States and overseas (as required), humanitarian assistance, military contingencies, and special non-disaster command requirements. DTOS can provide communications in forward areas during civil and military contingencies that would be interoperable with all USACE elements, Department of Defense, the U.S. Army, Federal Emergency Management Agency and other federal and state government agencies.

DTOS is a vehicle-based tactical system with a multiple vehicle fleet spread throughout the USACE. DTOS provides command and control for disaster operations. Nine of these vehicles are known as Emergency Command and Control Vehicles (ECCV) and three smaller vehicles are known as Mobile Communications Vehicles (MCV).

Emergency Command and Control Vehicle

The Emergency Command and Control Vehicle is a 47-foot box truck that deploys to provide communications and workspace for 11 personnel and is configured to support multiple PRTs. The ECCV has onboard radio, interagency voice interoperability, satellite and cellular capabilities that can deliver both voice and data communications to the USACE network or beyond. This vehicle is totally self-contained for up to 72 continuous hours with onboard fuel before additional fuel or alternative shore power is required. The ECCV is approximately 47 feet long, 13.5 feet high and 10.5 feet wide and weighs 40,000 pounds. A class 'B' Commercial Driver License (CDL) with air brakes endorsement is required to drive the ECCV.

There are 15 ECCVs located across the continental U.S. as follows: 6-Mobile, AL; 3-Sacramento, CA; 1-Baltimore, MD; 1-Nashville, TN; 1-St. Louis, MO; 1-Ft. Worth, TX; 1-Los Angeles, CA; 1-Portland, OR.

Mobile Communications Vehicles

The Mobile Communications Vehicle is an air-transportable Sprinter Van that is easily deployable to provide communications into an existing facility (leased office space, hotel, etc.) or relocate with a PRT as they redeploy. The MCV provides a full spectrum of communications including radio, satellite and cellular capabilities that can deliver both voice and data communications to the USACE network or beyond. This vehicle can provide communications for up to 24 continuous hours before additional fuel or alternative shore power is required. The MCV is approximately 23 feet long, 11.5 feet high and 8 feet wide and weighs 10,075 pounds. There is no special driver license required to drive the MCV. There is one MCV at each of the following locations: San Juan, PR; Mobile, AL; Baltimore, MD.

In recent years, the Baltimore District's DTOS Emergency Team Members have deployed to New York, Washington, D.C., Texas, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana and Guam.