Restricted U.S. Army Internment and Resettlement Operations Manual

FM 3-39.40 Internment and Resettlement Operations

  • 326 pages
  • Distribution authorized to the DOD and DOD contractors only to protect technical or operational information from automatic dissemination under the International Exchange Program or by other means.
  • February 12, 2010
  • 3.59 MB


I/R operations facilitate the ability to conduct rapid and decisive combat operations; deter, mitigate, and defeat threats to populations that may result in conflict; reverse conditions of human suffering; and build the capacity of a foreign government to effectively care for and govern its population. This includes capabilities to conduct shaping operations across the spectrum of military operations to mitigate and defeat the underlying conditions for conflict and counter the core motivations that result in support to criminal, terrorist, insurgent, and other destabilizing groups. I/R operations also include the daily incarceration of U.S. military prisoners at facilities throughout the world.

This manual continues the evolution of the I/R function to support the changing nature of OEs. In light of persistent armed conflict and social turmoil throughout the world, the effects on populations remain a compelling issue. The world population will increase from 6 billion to 9 billion in the next two decades, with 95 percent of the growth occurring in the developing world. By 2030, 60 percent of the world’s population will live in urban areas. Coexisting demographically and ethnically,  diverse societies will aggressively compete for limited resources.

Typically, overpopulated third world societies suffer from a lack of legitimate and effective enforcement mechanisms, which is generally accepted as one of the cornerstones of a stable society. Stability within a population may eliminate the need for direct military intervention. The goal of military police conducting detainee operations is to provide stability within the population, its institutions, and its infrastructure. In this rapidly changing and dynamic strategic environment, U.S. forces will compete with local populations for the same space, routes, and resources. The modular force’s ability to positively influence and shape the opinions, attitudes, and behaviors of select populations is critical to tactical, operational, and strategic success.

An adaptive enemy will manipulate populations that are hostile to U.S. intent by instigating mass civil disobedience, directing criminal activity, masking their operations in urban and other complex terrain,
maintaining an indistinguishable presence through cultural anonymity, and actively seeking the traditional sanctuary of protected areas as defined by the rules of land warfare. Such actions will facilitate the dispersal of threat forces, negate technological overmatches, and degrade targeting opportunities. Commanders will use technology and conduct police intelligence operations to influence and control populations, evacuate detainees and, conclusively, transition rehabilitative and reconciliation operations to other functional agencies. The combat identification of friend, foe, or neutral is used to differentiate combatants from noncombatants and friendly forces from threat forces.

Civilian Internees

1-10. A CI is a civilian who is interned during armed conflict, occupation, or other military operation for security reasons, for protection, or because he or she committed an offense against the detaining power. (JP 3-63) CIs, unless they have committed acts for which they are considered unlawful combatants, generally qualify for protected status according to the GC, which also establishes procedures that must be observedwhen depriving such civilians of their liberty. CIs are to be accommodated separately from EPWs and persons deprived of liberty for any other reason.

1-11. Protected persons are persons protected by the Geneva Convention who find themselves, in case of a conflict or occupation, in the hands of a party to the conflict or occupying power of which they are not nationals. (AR 190-8). Protected persons who are interned for imperative reasons of security are also known as CIs. Protected persons under the Geneva Conventions include—

  • Hors de combat (refers to the prohibition of attacking enemy personnel who are “out of combat”).
  • Detainees (combatants and CIs).
  • Wounded and sick in the field and at sea.
  • Civilians.

Note. If protected persons are detained as spies or saboteurs or are suspected of or engaged in activities hostile to the security of the state or occupying power, they may be interned or imprisoned. In such cases, they retain their status as a protected person and are granted the full rights and privileges of protected persons.


1-19. The term dislocated civilian is a broad term that includes a displaced person, an evacuee, an expellee, an internally displaced person, a migrant, a refugee, or a stateless person. (JP 3-57) DCs are individuals who leave their homes for various reasons, such as an armed conflict or a natural disaster, and whose movement and physical presence can hinder military operations. They most likely require some degree of aid, such as medicine, food, shelter, or clothing. DCs may not be native to the area or to the country in which they reside. (See chapter 10.) The following DC subcategories are also defined in JP 3-57:

  • Displaced person. A displaced person is a civilian who is involuntarily outside the national boundaries of his or her country. (JP 1-02) Displaced persons may have been dislocated because of a political, geographical, environmental, or threat situation.
  • Evacuee. An evacuee is a civilian removed from a place of residence by military direction for reasons of personal security or the requirements of the military situation. (JP 3-57)
  • Internally displaced person. An internally displaced person is any person who has left their residence by reason of real or imagined danger but has not left the territory of their own country.Internally displaced persons may have been forced to flee their homes for the same reasons as refugees, but have not crossed an internationally recognized border.
  • Expellee. An expellee is a civilian outside the boundaries of the country of his or her nationality or ethnic origin who is being forcibly repatriated to that country or to a third country for political or other purposes. (JP 3-57)
  • Migrant. A migrant is a person who (1) belongs to a normally migratory culture who may cross national boundaries, or (2) has fled his or her native country for economic reasons rather than fear of political or ethnic persecution. (JP 3-57)
  • Refugee. A refugee is a person, who by reason of real or imagined danger, has left their home country or country of their nationality and is unwilling or unable to return.
  • Stateless person. A stateless person is a civilian who has been denationalized or whose country of origin cannot be determined or who cannot establish a right to the nationality claimed.


1-40. External involvement in I/R missions is a fact of life for military police organizations. Some government and government-sponsored entities that may be involved in I/R missions include—

  • International agencies.
  • UN.
  • International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).
  • International Organization of Migration.
  • U.S. agencies.
  • Local U.S. embassy.
  • Department of Homeland Security.
  • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency.

1-41. The U.S. Army National Detainee Reporting Center (NDRC), supported by theater detainee reporting centers (TDRCs), detainee accountability, including reporting to the ICRC central tracing agency.

1-42. There are also numerous private relief organizations, foreign and domestic, that will likely be involved in the humanitarian aspects of I/R operations. Likewise, the news media normally provides extensive coverage of I/R operations. Adding to the complexity of these operations is the fact that DOD is often not the lead agency. For instance, the DOD could be tasked in a supporting role, with the Department of State or some other agency in the lead. (See appendix E.)


2-39. Civil support is the DOD support to U.S. civil authorities for domestic emergencies, and for designated law enforcement and other activities. (JP 3-28) Civil support includes operations that address the consequences of natural or man-made disasters, accidents, terrorist attacks and incidents in the U.S. and its territories.

2-40. The I/R tasks performed in support of civil support operations are similar to those during combat operations, but the techniques and procedures are modified based on the special OE associated with operating within U.S. territory and according to the categories of individuals (primarily DCs) to be housed in I/R facilities. During long-term I/R operations, state and federal agencies will operate within and around I/R facilities within the scope of their capabilities and identified role. Military police commanders must closely coordinate and synchronize their efforts with them especially in cases where civil authority and capabilities have broken down or been destroyed.


3-55. The PSYOP officer in charge of supporting I/R operations serves as the special staff officer responsible for PSYOP. The PSYOP officer advises the military police commander on the psychological impact of military police or MI actions to prevent misunderstandings and disturbances by detainees and DCs. The supporting I/R PSYOP team has two missions that reduce the need to divert military police assets to maintain security in the I/R facility. (See appendix J.) The team—

  • Assists the military police force in controlling detainees and DCs.
  • Introduces detainees or DCs to U.S. and multinational policy.

3-56. The PSYOP team also supports the military police custodial mission in the I/R facility. The team—

  • Develops PSYOP products that are designed to pacify and acclimate detainees or DCs to accept U.S. I/R facility authority and regulations.
  • Gains the cooperation of detainees or DCs to reduce the number of guards needed.
  • Identifies malcontents, trained agitators, and political leaders within the facility who may try to organize resistance or create disturbances.
  • Develops and executes indoctrination programs to reduce or remove antagonistic attitudes.
  • Identifies political activists.
  • Provides loudspeaker support (such as administrative announcements and facility instructions when necessary).
  • Helps the military police commander control detainee and DC populations during emergencies.
  • Plans and executes a PSYOP program that produces an understanding and appreciation of U.S. policies and actions.


4-33. Upon capture, Soldiers must process detainees using the “search, silence, segregate, speed, safeguard, and tag (5 Ss and T)” technique. This technique provides a structure to guide Soldiers in conducting detainee operations until they transfer custody of detainees to another authority or location. Complete the “5 Ss and T” technique as follows:

  • Search. Neutralize a detainee and confiscate weapons, personal items, and items of potential intelligence and/or evidentiary value.
  • Silence. Prevent detainees from communicating with one another or making audible clamor such as chanting, singing, or praying. Silence uncooperative detainees by muffling them with a soft, clean cloth tied around their mouths and fastened at the backs of their heads. Do not use duct tape or other adhesives, place a cloth or either objects inside the mouth, or apply physical force to silence detainees.
  • Segregate. Segregate detainees according to policy and SOPs (segregation requirements differ from operation to operation). The ability to segregate detainees may be limited by the availability of manpower and resources at the POC. At a minimum, try to segregate detainees by grade, gender, age (keeping adults from juveniles and small children with mothers), and security risk. MI and military police personnel can provide additional guidance and support in determining the appropriate segregation criteria.
  • Speed. Quickly move detainees from the continuing risks associated with other combatants or sympathizers who may still be in the area of capture. If there are more detainees than the Soldiers can control, call for additional support, search the detainees, and hold them in place until reinforcements arrive.
  • Safeguard. Protect detainees and ensure the custody and integrity of all confiscated items. Soldiers must safeguard detainees from combat risk, harm caused by other detainees, and improper treatment or care. Report all injuries. Correct and report violations of U.S. military policy that occur while safeguarding detainees. Acts and/or omissions that constitute inhumane treatment are violations of the law of war and, as such, must be corrected immediately. Simply reporting violations is insufficient. If a violation is ongoing, a Soldier has an obligation to stop the violation and report it.
  • Tag. Ensure that each detainee is tagged using DD Form 2745. Confiscated equipment, personal items, and evidence will be linked to the detainee using the DD Form 2745 number. When a DA Form 4137 is used to document confiscated items, it will be linked to the detainee by annotating the DD Form 2745 control number on the form.

6-8. When constructing a facility, planning considerations may include, but are not limited to—

  • Clear zones. As appropriate, mission variables determine the clear zone surrounding each facility that houses detainees. Construct at least two fences (interior and exterior) around the detainee facility and ensure that the clear zone between the interior and exterior fences is free of vegetation and shrubbery.
  • Guard towers. Locate guard towers on the perimeter of each facility. Place them immediately outside the wall or, in case of double fencing, where they permit an unobstructed view of the lane between the fences. The space between towers must allow overlapping observation and fields of fire. During adverse weather, it may be necessary to augment security by placing fixed guard posts between towers on the outside of the fence. Towers must be high enough to allow an unobstructed view of the compound and low enough to permit an adequate field of fire. The tower platform should have retractable ladders and should be wide enough to mount crew-served weapons. Another consideration involves using nonlethal capabilities from guard towers.
  • Lights. Provide adequate lighting, especially around compound perimeters. Illuminating walls and fences discourages escapes, and illuminating inner strategic points expedites the handling of problems caused by detainees. Lights should be protected from breakage with an unbreakable glass shield or a wire mesh screen. Ensure that lights on the walls and fences do not interfere with the guards’ vision. Provide secondary emergency lighting.
  • Patrol roads. Construct patrol roads for vehicle and foot patrols. They should be adjacent to outside perimeter fences or walls.
  • Sally ports. A sally port is required to search vehicles and personnel entering and leaving the main compound. It is recommended that a sally port be placed at the back entrance to the facility.
  • Communications. Ensure that communication between the towers and the operation headquarters is reliable. Telephones are the preferred method; however, ensure that alternate forms of communication (radio and visual or sound signals) are available if telephones are inoperable.

6-9. The facility layout depends on the nature of the operation, terrain, building materials, and HN support. Each facility should contain—

  • Barracks (may be general-purpose medium tents in the early stages of an operation).
  • Kitchen and dining facilities.
  • Bath houses.
  • Latrines.
  • Recreation areas.
  • Chapel facilities.
  • Administrative areas with a command post, an administrative building, an interrogation facility, a dispensary, an infirmary, a mortuary, and a supply building.
  • Receiving and processing centers.
  • Maximum security areas with individual cells.
  • Parking areas.
  • Trash collection points.
  • Potable water points.
  • Storage areas.
  • Hazardous materials storage areas.
  • Generator and fuel areas.

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