by Paul & Phillip D. Collins, November 17th, 2008
On September 30 the Army Times released a story that made observers of increased domestic militarization a bit uneasy. The article, entitled “Brigade homeland tours starts October 1,” stated that beginning in October the 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team (BCT) would be placed under the control of U.S. Army, which is the segment of Northern Command that deals with the Army (Cavallaro, no pagination). For the next 12 months, the 1st BCT will be used “as an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks” (no pagination).
While this is not the first time an active duty unit has been called on to help at home, this is the first time, according to the article’s author Gina Cavallaro, that “an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment to NorthCom, a joint command established in 2002 to provide command and control for federal homeland defense efforts and coordinate defense support of civil authorities” (no pagination). When the BCT is deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan in 2010, another active duty unit will take its place, meaning that Americans can expect the involvement of active duty brigades domestically for a long time (no pagination).