The Department of Defense (DoD) has a long history of supporting civil authorities in the wake of catastrophic events with specialized skills and assets that can rapidly stabilize and improve the situation. An issue that has received a great amount of attention in post-Hurricane Katrina discussions is the speed of rescue and relief operations. Both the National Response Plan and DoD's own Homeland Security Doctrine lay out extensive procedures and specific decision points in an attempt to ensure an organized response to catastrophic incidents. However, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the Tsunami in the south Pacific, it is appropriate to ask whether the DoD is effectively organized to handle these disasters, either natural or manmade? This project will examine the roles, missions, and capabilities of the DoD as it pertains to its statutory authority, responsibilities, and capabilities when responding with regard to catastrophic incidents.