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The U.S. Northern Command, the military command responsible for "homeland defense," has asked the Pentagon if it can establish its own special operations command for domestic missions. The request, reported in the Washington Examiner, would establish a permanent sub-command for responses to incidents of domestic terrorism as well as other occasions where special operators may be necessary on American soil.
The establishment of a domestic special operations mission, and the preparation of contingency plans to employ commandos in the United States, would upend decades of tradition. Military actions within the United States are the responsibility of state militias (the National Guard), and federal law enforcement is a function of the FBI.
USNORTHCOM plans, organizes and executes homeland defense and civil support missions, but has few permanently assigned forces. The command is assigned forces whenever necessary to execute missions, as ordered by the president and secretary of defense.
USARNORTH conducts Homeland Defense (HLD) and Civil Support (CS) operations, and Theater Security Cooperation (TSC) activities, as the Army Service Component Command (ASCC) to U.S. Northern Command in order to protect the American people and their way of life. On order, USARNORTH commands and controls deployed forces as a Joint Task Force (JTF) or Joint Force Land Component Command (JFLCC).