U.S. Air Force Civil Disturbance Manual


  • 98 pages
  • May 17, 2002
  • 12.11 MB


This manual provides preplanning guidance for handling emergency situations, which include the full spectrum from civil disobedience through hostile disturbances to violent acts of terrorism. It discusses the concept of operations in planning for these crisis situations and offers an outline for preparation, execution and resolution of mass disturbances. Air National Guard units will use this manual as guidance. The use of name or mark of any specific manufacturer, commercial product, commodity or service in this publication does not imply endorsement by the Air Force.

Civil disturbances present unique challenges to the armed forces. The roles and missions of the armed forces inherently make the Department of Defense (DoD) a likely target for civil disturbances both at home and abroad. The disturbances may range from peaceful demonstrations and rallies outside a main gate to full scale riots that include burning and looting government property inside the perimeter fence. The information, technology and weapon systems entrusted to our care require absolute protection. The challenge arises in dealing with civil disturbance situations. Attempting to understand, predict and control crowd behavior is a highly technical field that requires specialized training.


3.1. Defined. Civil disturbances arise from acts of civil disobedience. These acts occur most often when participants in mass acts of civil disobedience become antagonistic towards authority and authorities must struggle to take the initiative from an unruly crowd. In the extreme, civil disturbances include acts of criminal terrorism. Civil disturbances, in any form, are prejudicial to public law and order. The commander is responsible for maintaining law and order on the military installation. Commanders respond to disturbances using installation resources. Violence and disorder by any individual or group of individuals will not be tolerated.

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