Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance

Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance

Logo for the Center for Excellence.
Active 1994–present
Country United States
Type PACOM Reporting Unit
Location Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, in Hawaii
Nickname(s) CFE, CFE-DM

The Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance (CFE) is a direct reporting unit to the U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM) and principal agency to promote disaster preparedness and societal resiliency in the Asia-Pacific region. As part of its mandate, CFE facilitates education and training in disaster preparedness, consequence management and health security to develop domestic, foreign and international capability and capacity.

CFE partners with a wide variety of national and international governmental, nongovernmental and international organizations to provide relevant education, training, interagency coordination and research. CFE’s initiatives include establishing field offices at each US Regional Combatant Command and establishing strategic partnerships with public and private sector entities, such as Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies (APCSS), Pacific Disaster Center (PDC), Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, University of Hawaii, foundations, institutes, and universities.[1]


  1. The Center shall be used to provide and facilitate education, training, and research in civil-military operations, particularly operations that require international disaster management and humanitarian assistance and operations that require coordination between the Department of Defense and other agencies.
  2. The Center shall be used to make available high-quality disaster management and humanitarian assistance in response to disasters.
  3. The Center shall be used to provide and facilitate education, training, interagency coordination, and research on the following additional matters:
    1. Management of the consequences of nuclear, biological, and chemical events.
    2. Management of the consequences of terrorism.
    3. Appropriate roles for the reserve components in the management of such consequences and in disaster management and humanitarian assistance in response to natural disasters.
    4. Meeting requirements for information in connection with regional and global disasters, including the use of advanced communications technology as a virtual library.
    5. Tropical medicine, particularly in relation to the medical readiness requirements of the Department of Defense.
  4. The Center shall develop a repository of disaster risk indicators for the Asia-Pacific region.
  5. The Center shall perform such other missions as the Secretary of Defense may specify.[2]


A community of nations prepared to respond, collaborate, and manage natural and man-made disasters.

Nations with disaster management plans, prepared to respond to plausible contingencies, and willing to participate in a regional collaborative framework.



CFE was established by an act of the US Congress in 1994. US Code Title 10,182 established that, "the [Secretary of Defense] may operate a Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance."[2]


Health Emergencies in Large Populations (HELP)

The Health Emergencies in Large Populations (HELP) course is hosted by the Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance (CFE) in collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the partnership of University of Hawaii's John A. Burns School of Medicine's Office of Public Health Studies. This is a three-week, intensive, graduate-level training course, providing participants with an understanding of the major public health issues to be addressed among populations affected by natural disasters, complex emergencies, and internal displacement.

The CFE has conducted the HELP course for fifteen consecutive years, graduating over 250 students from diverse backgrounds in public health, medicine, humanitarian assistance and disaster management backgrounds. The course provides participants with the tools, frameworks, and decision-making skills necessary to achieve a sustainable outcome for the affected population(s) and enable graduates to plan coherent, appropriate relief operations.[1]

Humanitarian Assistance Response Training (HART) course

With its focus on civilian-military relations, including interacting with agencies of the Affected State and humanitarian agencies, HART provides a key professional development opportunity for evolving requirements of the U.S. military. The course will consist of lectures and case studies on civilian humanitarian agencies and their roles and operations, international law protecting affected populations, fundamental humanitarian principles and response measures of effectiveness and measures of performance, to name a few. Over the three-day period, HART participants will apply their knowledge during a military planning and decision making exercise.

Civil-Military Emergency Preparedness (CMEP) Program

CMEP is a global*, OSD directed, CFE-DMHA managed*, and Geographic Combatant Commander prioritized security cooperation program that uses “all hazard” emergency preparedness to support a variety of DoD objectives including:

   Strategic interaction / engagement
   Bilateral and Regional Capacity Building
   Civil-Military Cooperation
   Partner Nation integration into Regional or International organizations and standards (ASEAN, EU, NATO, etc.)

CMEP supports the GCC’s security cooperation and capacity building objectives by enhancing partner nation capacities in preparedness, interoperability and civil-military cooperation related to disaster mitigation and response. CMEP leverages broad U.S. and international disaster management expertise and perspective as well as supporting programs to enhance GCC’s efforts with their partner nations. Mutually supporting activities and participation are encouraged.

(*NOTE: The Center for Civil-Military Relations is the interim program manager through FY14. CFE-DMHA will assume Program Management in FY15. See POCs below for current program manager. Additionally, CMEP will begin to expand to provide global support starting in FY15.)

Liaison Magazine

Liaison is CFE’s biannual journal of disaster management and humanitarian relief collaborations. Articles are original work from throughout the DMHA community focusing on advances, partnerships, technology and applied research, and training and education. The journal aims to promote the ability of DMHA partners to learn from one another through lessons learned to build a stronger DMHA community through shared learning.


On 14–15 September 2009, CFE and United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) co-hosted the annual Asia-Pacific Conference on Military Assistance to Disaster Relief Operations (APC-MADRO) in Honolulu, Hawaii.

CFE Director, Lt. Gen. John F. Goodman gave the keynote address at the 9th annual Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum Inter-Sessional Meeting on Disaster Relief (ARF ISM-DR) in Honolulu, 16–18 September.


  1. 1 2 "Center for Excellence". COE. Retrieved 2 November 2009.
  2. 1 2 "§ 182. Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance". Cornell University Law School. Retrieved 2 November 2009.
  3. "New Director For COE" (PDF). COE. Retrieved 2 November 2009.
  4. "Interim Director named at Center for Excellence in Disaster Management and Humanitarian Assistance". COE. Retrieved 8 May 2012.

Coordinates: 21°21′37″N 157°57′35″W / 21.3603°N 157.9597°W / 21.3603; -157.9597

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