HA Multiservice Procedures for Humanitarian Assistance Operations

FM 100-23-1


Humanitarian assistance (HA) is different things to different audiences. It may be confused with peace operations, given the development of crises in Somalia, the Former Republic of Yugoslavia, and Northern Iraq. Although HA operations may be conducted simultaneously with peace operations, they are different in nature and purpose.

This chapter discusses the terminology and types of operations, range of operations, environments of operations, and principles of operations peculiar to HA. United States (US) military forces tasked for HA operations include all active and reserve components of the US Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and, when applicable, the Coast Guard. The objective of these military forces is to execute humanitarian missions when directed by cognizant legal authority.


HA includes programs conducted to relieve or reduce the results of natural or man-made disasters or other endemic conditions such as human pain, disease, hunger, or privation that might present a serious threat to life or result in great damage or loss of property. HA provided by US forces is limited in scope and duration. The assistance is designed to supplement or complement the efforts of the host nation civil authorities or agencies that may have the primary responsibility for providing HA1.

Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are predominantly European national or international, nonprofit citizen's voluntary organizations. They are involved in such diverse activities as education, technical projects, relief, and refugee and development programs. Examples of NGOs include, but are not limited to, religious; peace, disarmament, environmental, development, and human rights groups.

Private voluntary organizations (PVOs) are private, US-based, nonprofit organizations involved in humanitarian efforts including, but not limited to, relief, development, refugee assistance, environment, public policy, or global education.

International organizations (IOs) are organizations, such as the United Nations (UN) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), with global influence.

Peace operations is the umbrella term that encompasses three types of activities--activities with predominantly diplomatic lead (preventive diplomacy, peacemaking, peace building) and two complementary, predominantly military, activities (peacekeeping and peace-enforcement).

Peacekeeping (PK) operations are neutral military or paramilitary operations that are undertaken with the consent of all major belligerents. They are designed to monitor and facilitate implementation of an existing truce and support diplomatic efforts to reach a long-term political settlement.

Peace-enforcement (PE) is the application of military force, or the threat of its use, normally pursuant to international authorization, to compel compliance with generally accepted resolutions or sanctions designed to maintain or restore peace and support diplomatic efforts to reach a long-term political settlement. The primary purpose of PE is the restoration of peace under conditions broadly defined by the international community.




Combat Air Forces Authorization


Executive Summary

Chapter 1 - Overview

  • Terminology

  • Types of Operations

  • Range of Operations

  • Environments of Operations

  • Principles of Operations

  • Other Considerations

Chapter 2 - Strategic-Level Roles and Coordination

  • Strategic-Level Authorities

  • International Authorities

Chapter 3 - Operational-Level Roles and Responsibilities

  • The Unified Command

  • Other Key Organizations

  • Areas for Cooperation of Effort

Chapter 4 - Tactical-Level Organization and Coordination

  • Joint Task Force Tailoring

  • Predeployment

  • Deployment

  • Employment

  • Redeployment

  • Transition and/or Termination

Chapter 5 - Domestic Operations

  • Legal Authority

  • Responsibilities

  • Disaster Assistance

Appendix A - JTF Humanitarian Assistance Operations from 1983 through 1993

Appendix B - Legal Issues

Appendix C - Listing of Nongovernmental and Private Voluntary Organizations

Appendix D - United Nations Organizations for Humanitarian Assistance

Appendix E - Situation and Needs Assessment

Appendix F - DOD and Office and Foreign Disaster Assistance Support

Appendix G - Disaster Assistance Response Team

Appendix H - Liaison Officers' Procedures and Checks

Appendix I - Insignia of the United States Armed Forces

Appendix J - Lessons Learned from Recent HA Operations



Authorization Letter



FM 100-23-1, US Army Training and Doctrine Command, Fort Monroe, Virginia
FMFRP 7-16, Marine Corps Combat Development Command, Quantico, Virginia
NDC TACNOTE 3-07.6, Naval Doctrine Command, Norfolk, Virginia
ACCP 50-56, US Air Force Air Combat Command, Langley Air Force Base, Virginia
USAFEP 50-56, US Air Forces Europe, Ramstein Air Force Base, Germany
PACAFP 50-56, Pacific Air Forces, Hickman Air Force Base, Hawaii

31 October 1994

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