Military Aid to the Civil Community (MACC) is a phrase referring to the armed forces providing a service to the civilian community. It is used in many countries, particularly the United Kingdom.
In the United Kingdom, Military Aid to the Civil Community is one of the three classifications of Military Aid to the Civil Authorities. MACC covers the provision of unarmed military assistance to prevent or deal with the aftermath of a natural disaster or a major incident or, to assist civil sponsors either by carrying out special projects of significant social value to the community or by attaching individual volunteers to specific projects.
Canadian legislation and practice is very similar to that of the UK, adjusted to reflect the constitutional authority and responsibility of provinces. Provinces are responsible for dealing with most situations requiring emergency military assistance. The military is frequently called out by provinces to deal with forest fires, floods, and ice storms and even lost children.
Unlike "Military Aid to the Civil Power", the procedures are much less formal and decision-making is decentralized. Since the military does not act in a police role when called out under these provisions, the main issue is the level of government that pays for this aid; in principle, when a province requests aid, it must pay the bill.
The military also provides certain full-time functions, including search and rescue at sea and for missing aircraft. It also provides patrols in the air and at sea to enforce civil regulations in regard to pollution, fishing, etc. However, this assistance is in support of other federal government departments and is the subject of simple inter-department memoranda of understanding.
MACC is one of the fundamental military tasks of the Bundeswehr. It was also historically very important to get legitimation and the support of the population, since German rearmament was a difficult political decision, taken under heavy criticism. The Grundgesetz (German constitution) contains several rules regarding MACC. The use of force is not permitted by the Bundeswehr under normal conditions. If force is required, the Bundesgrenzschutz federal police can be requested by the Bundesland.
Until the MACC during the North Sea flood of 1962 the constitution banned the use of the Bundeswehr in Germany totally. Due to public acceptance problems in the early Bundesrepublik, the Bundeswehr focused on MACC to improve its public image. During the North German Winter Catastrophe of 1978 and in several other incidents, the Bundeswehr provided substantial aid to the population. The Bundeswehr with its SAR helicopters is also part of the German air rescue system. The Luftwaffe also evacuates German citizens in international crises and catastrophes on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Auswärtiges Amt). The Luftwaffe also offers a flying hospital for medical evacuation, which evacuated terror victims from Tunisia and tsunami victims from Thailand.
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