The HART course prepares United States military commanders and their staffs to respond more effectively during civilian-led humanitarian assistance and foreign disaster response missions. The two day, operational-level training course focuses on applying the military planning and decision–making process to the unique circumstances associated with a Foreign Humanitarian Assistance (FHA) operation in response to a natural disaster. The course program utilizes theory grounded by U.S. Department of Defense joint doctrine, guidance from the U.S. Agency for International Development Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, and generally accepted international norms on humanitarian assistance and civil-military coordination. Case studies, small group practical applications, and role-playing exercises enhance lectures by civilian and military subject matter experts.

Major topics to be covered include:

  • Framing U.S. Foreign Assistance
  • Natural Disasters
  • Affected Populations - Protection Considerations
  • U.S. Foreign Humanitarian Assistance Architecture
  • Affected State
  • The International Response Community
  • Assisting States, Foreign Military Assets (FMA)
  • USINDOPACOM FHA Concept of Operations (CONOP)
  • Response Logistics
  • Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Response (HA/DR) Information
  • Military Planning Considerations and Challenges for FHA Operations
  • Case Studies (such as 2015 Nepal Earthquake- Operation Sahayogi Haat, 2014 Ebola-West Africa – Operation Unified Assistance, 2010 Haiti Earthquake – Operation Unified Response, etc...)

Course participants will learn to understand:

  • The broader context and range of US Foreign Humanitarian Assistance (FHA);
  • Military planning considerations and challenges, and application of the military decision making process for FHA operations;
  • The philosophy, principles, and mechanisms that govern the international humanitarian response to disasters;
  • The roles and relationships of key disaster response stakeholders: the Affected State, the Affected Population, Humanitarian Community, and Assisting States;
  • The collaborative means employed by international humanitarian agencies;
  • The criteria for the use of military assets and the military’s unique supporting role during a foreign disaster response;
  • The internationally recognized principles of civil-military coordination; and
  • The logistics, information sharing, communication synchronization, and public health challenges likely to be faced by military responders during an HA/DR operation

Upcoming Courses

  • December 9-11, 2020: HART-Conflict, Okinawa, Japan 
  • January 9-10, 2021: HART-Natural Disasters, West Coast, Online Course


Please contact the HART Course Coordination Team to register for a course or to get additional information.
Josh Szimonisz, HART Course Manager
Stephanie Liu, HART Course Coordinator