Civil Affairs

Civil Affairs (CA) is the official name for special operations units that conduct civil-military operations.

Civil Affairs units help military commanders by working with civil authorities and civilian populations in the commander’s area of operations to lessen the impact of military operations on them during peace, contingency operations and declared war. With their expertise in civil matters, they are the principle unit in assisting a commander in the conduct of civil-military operations.

CA units act as a liaison between the civilian inhabitants of a warzone or disaster area and the military presence, both informing the local commander of the status of the civilian populace as well as effecting assistance to locals by either coordinating military operations with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) or distributing directly aid and supplies.

Comprised primarily of civilian experts such as doctors, lawyers, engineers, police, firemen, bankers, engineers, computer programmers, farmers, and others, CA special operators provide critical expertise to host-nation governments and are also able to assess need for critical infrastructure projects such as roads, clinics, schools, power plants, water treatment facilities, etc. CA teams will periodically check up on the status of the project to make sure the money is being well spent.

CA provides the commander with cultural expertise, assesses the needs of the civilian populace, handles civilians on the battlefield, refugee operations, keeps the commander informed of protected targets such as schools, churches, hospitals, etc., and interfaces with local and international NGO's and private volunteer organizations, which provides the commander with a unique battlefield overlay of all civilian activity, ongoing infrastructure projects, and the presence and mission of NGO's in the area.

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