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U.S. Army North (ARNORTH)

Mission of the U.S. Army North

The mission of the U.S. Army North, also known as ARNORTH or Fifth Army, is to help command Department of Defense homeland security measures and coordinate with civilian authorities to support these operations. ARNORTH serves as both an Army Service Component Command and the Joint Force Land Component Command to U.S. Northern Command from its headquarters at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.

History of ARNORTH

ARNORTH traces its beginnings back to World War II, when it was known as the Fifth United States Army, or Fifth Army. The Fifth Army was activated in January of 1943 in French Morocco, and as one of the main forces in the Mediterranean, was tasked with defending Morocco and Algeria, as well as planning the invasion of Italy. That invasion hit the Fifth Army hard, costing nearly 20,000 lives, along with over 109,000 casualties. After a brief deactivation in 1945, Fifth Army resumed activity in Chicago in 1946 as a training and control headquarters for Reserve units, with the additional responsibility of maintaining partial ground defense of the U.S. The Fifth Army moved to Fort Sam Houston in 1971. 

In 2004, the duties of training and commanding Reserve units was passed to First Army, and the Fifth Army took on the responsibility of homeland security and defense under the new name United States Army North,  or ARNORTH in 2004. In 2008, ARNORTH took control of the North and Civil Support Joint Task Forces.

U.S. Army North

U.S. Army North handles disasters ranging from wild fires to hurricanes. They also prepare for potential acts of domestic terrorism and catastrophic events that result in devastation. Their mission is to protect the people of this nation by having response plans in place for every type of disaster. They give Americans confidence in the face of emergency situations.

In the spring of 2012, ARNORTH prepared for the upcoming hurricane season. Training is conducted through rehearsals and prepares members for the potential obstacles and problems that arise during a hurricane and how to handle the aftermath of a hurricane. This preparation is necessary to evolve the responses of different agencies to hurricane disasters. Having an integrated plan in place will ensure past events do not repeat themselves. Federal agencies focus on becoming more accommodating to the state agencies; instead of fully taking over disaster situations, they will support and help coordinate preparation and relief efforts.

The Muscatatuck Urban Training Complex in Indiana is the place chosen for ARNORTH to conduct Vibrant Response 11.1 training. The Training Complex simulates a nuclear disaster and requires teams to coordinate efforts to resolve a variety of situations. The simulations include a combination of civilians and government agencies that work towards resolution. The Complex is designed to replicate a small urban city by including 150 structures that provide training on real world situations. The role-players that participate as citizens during the exercise wear make-up that replicates real wounds. The goal at the Training Complex is to immerse ARNORTH service members in the most realistic situations possible in order to provide for the most advanced types of training. 

ARNORTH focuses on the ability to readily respond to a variety of disaster scenarios. The Defense Coordinating Officers have open communication with the directors of all ten of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA's) regional headquarters. ARNORTH is responsible for enabling other agencies to help the people of this nation.
U.S. Army North is often referred to as an insurance policy that springs into action when it becomes necessary to respond. From nuclear attacks to hurricanes as well as acts of domestic terrorism, ARNORTH will respond and utilize their extensive training to render aid in all disaster situations.

Assignment to ARNORTH

If you have been assigned to ARNORTH, we are here to help you with all aspects of your PCS to Fort Sam Houston. Contact Housing 1 Source today to learn about everything we can do to make your move easier.