and crew to assist in the search for the prisoner. Wrynn v. U.S., 200 F. Supp 457
(ED NY, 1961). Such "active" assistance would be improper, and would violate the
Posse Comitatus prohibition.
In U.S. v. Red Feather, 392 F. Sup. 916 (D.
1975), the court held that "active assistance included search and seizure,
investigation, pursuit of a prisoner, etc." "Passive" assistance, on the other
hand, would include advice or recommendations, the delivery of equipment or
supplies, and training in the use and care thereof.
(5) Air and sea traffic monitoring. 10 USC Section 374 allows the military
to assign its personnel "to operate and maintain, or assist in operating and
maintaining" equipment furnished under Section 372 for the purpose of "monitoring
and communicating the movement of air and sea traffic." This is aimed at such
things as drug traffic and violations of the immigration laws.
It "does not
include or permit direct participation by a member of the Army, Navy, Air Force, or
Marine Corps in an interdiction of a vessel or aircraft, a search or seizure,
arrest, or other similar activity." (10 USC Section 375.)
AR 190-24, paragraph 3-3(b), states that the presence of
the military police officer in this situation is "for the sole purpose of enforcing
the UCMJ among persons subject to the Code." This does not confer any general
authority over the civilian police or the civilian population.
The purposes of
this program include reducing the incidence of off-installation military offenses
committed by armed forces personnel, and to "enforce the UCMJ and other pertinent
regulations, directives, and orders among persons subject to the UCMJ" (paragraph
(1) Humanitarian exceptions.
There are various situations in which
military assistance can be provided to the civil authorities. Disaster relief is
mainly the responsibility of the local government, and not the military (DA Pam 27-
21, paragraph 13-3b).
A similar provision is in AR 500-60, paragraph 2-1(a).
Military assistance, however, may be provided when "the situation is so severe and
so widespread that effective response is beyond the capacity of the state and local
governments (including the National Guard)." (AR 500-60, paragraph 2-b.) This
generally mandates coordination with higher authority, but "when a serious
emergency or disaster is so imminent that waiting for instructions from higher
authority would preclude effective response, a military commander may do what is
required and justified to save human life, prevent immediate human suffering, or
lessen major property damage or destruction." Military commanders "have authority
to approve direct requests from civil authorities for emergency assistance to save
human lives, lessen immediate human suffering, or prevent great destruction or
damage." In other situations, requests are to be forwarded to HQDA.
paragraph 2-17(a) and (c).)
Another example of this is search and rescue operations, which involve
"a moral and humanitarian obligation to aid nonmilitary persons and property in
distress." (DA Pam 27-21, paragraph 3-17a.) Army resources will be made available
in support of the MAST program (Military Assistance to Safety and Traffic Program).
This is provided for in AR 500-4, paragraph 4.