In a report released to the US Congress recently, analysts assessed what they termed "preparedness tests" between the US military and government agencies at the federal, state and local levels.
U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) exercises to test preparedness to perform its homeland defense and civil support missions. The Government Accountability Office was asked to assess the extent to which NORTHCOM is consistent with Department of Defense guidelines for training and exercise requirement involving interagency partners and states in its exercises.
NORTHCOM’s exercise program is generally consistent with the requirements of DOD’s Joint Training System, but its exercise reporting is inconsistent. Since the command was established in 2002, NORTHCOM has conducted 13 large-scale exercises and generally completed exercise summary reports within the required time frame.
However, those reports did not consistently include certain information, such as areas needing improvement, because NORTHCOM lacks guidance that specifies exercise reports’ content and format, potentially impacting its ability to meet internal standards for planning and execution of joint exercises, and to compare and share exercise results over time with interagency partners and states.
"While the rationale for using the US military domestically had been debated for years, President Barack Obama appears intent on using our military at least until he can create his promised 'Civilian Security Force' which he said would be as big and powerful as the military," said political strategist Mike Baker.