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The Operations Process
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Table of Contents,Receipt of Mission 07,Mission Analysis 08. Course of Action Development 29,Course of Action Analysis 40. Course of Action Comparison 53,Assessments 54,Operations Order and Brief 56. Rehearsals 62,Terminology 68,Miscellaneous 74, Design is a methodology for applying critical and creative thinking. to understand visualize and describe complex ill structured. problems and develop approaches to solve them The design. methodology relies heavily on structuring inquiry about the. operational environment and the problem through collaboration and. dialog Design emphasizes developing a holistic understanding of. the operational environment and framing the problem From this. understanding design continues by considering an operational. approach for problem resolution and developing a design concept. The design concept consists of the problem statement initial. commander s intent mission narrative and commander s planning. guidance The design concept serves as the foundation for more. detailed planning including course of action development and the. production of plans and orders using the MDMP, In contrast to the MDMP focus on analysis to develop a course of action.
the design focus is to understand the nature of an ill structured or. complex problem MDMP is a tool to help solve a problem. while design is a tool to help ensure you are solving the right. problem without creating collateral problems,Points to remember with regard to design. Conceptual planning and design are enduring concepts of Army. planning doctrine,Context distinguishes the nature of problems. Design is commanders leading learning through an honest. forthright exchange of ideas aimed at collective understanding. Design is a best practice approach to counter the three fatal. problem solving errors and thus to improve decision making. Decide a problem is solved when the problem remains. Decide a problem is not solved when it is,Devote effort in solving the wrong problem. Commanders conduct design to help them with the conceptual aspects. of planning to include understanding visualizing and describing. The situation to include the complexity of the problem guides the. commander s decision on whether to use design, Doctrine has a consistent emphasis on the commander s role to lead. planning through understanding the situation visualizing how to. achieve a desired end state and describing that visualization to. planners 3, Understand Frame the Environment In understanding the.
operational environment the commander and staff focus on defining. analyzing and synthesizing the characteristics of the operational. variables PMESII PT They do so in the context of the dynamic. interactions and relationships among and between relevant. operational variables and actors in the operational environment. Often learning about the nature of the situation helps them to. understand the groupings relationships or interactions among. relevant actors and operational variables This learning typically. involves analysis of the operational variables while examining the. dynamic interaction and relationships among the myriad other. factors in the operational environment, The environmental frame is a narrative and graphic description that. captures the history culture current state and future goals of. relevant actors in the operational environment The environmental. frame describes the context of the operational environment how. the context developed historical and cultural perspective how the. context currently exists current conditions and how the context. could trend in the future future conditions or desired end state. Visualize Frame the Problem Problem framing involves. understanding and isolating the root causes of conflict defining the. essence of a complex ill structured problem Problem framing. begins with refining the evaluation of tendencies and potentials and. identifying tensions among the existing conditions and the desired. end state It articulates how the operational variables can be. expected to resist or facilitate transformation and how environmental. inertia can be leveraged to ensure the desired conditions are. The problem frame is a refinement of the environmental frame that. defines in text and graphics the areas for action that will transform. existing conditions toward the desired end state The problem frame. extends beyond analyzing interactions and relationships in the. operational environment It identifies areas of tension and. competition as well as opportunities and challenges that. commanders must address so to transform current conditions to. achieve the desired end state, A concise problem statement clearly defines the problem or. problem set to solve, Describe Frame the Concept The aim of this component is to. combine the environmental frame understand with the problem. frame visualize into expressions that drive staff planning and shape. expectations for external audiences The operational approach is a. broad conceptualization of the general actions that will produce the. conditions that define the desired end state, In very basic terms commanders communicate an operational approach. through a statement of intent that outlines the purpose of the. operation and conditions the force must establish to achieve the end. state Commanders also describe acceptable risk and issue. planning guidance that establishes specific activities in developing. concepts on how to deal with the problem for subordinates and. staff planners, The mission narrative is the expression of the operational approach.
for a specified mission It describes the intended effects for the. mission including the conditions that define the desired end state. The mission narrative represents the articulation or description of. the commander s visualization for a specified mission and forms the. basis for the concept of operations developed during detailed. planning An explicit reflection of the commander s logic it is used to. inform and educate the various relevant partners whose perceptions. attitudes beliefs and behaviors are pertinent to the operation. This mission narrative is part of a strategic communications. process and aims to let select audiences know what to expect. Forging the design concept The design concept is the proper output. of design conveyed in text and graphics which informs detailed. planning It is articulated to the planning staff through the. Products created during design,Problem statement,Initial commander s intent. Commander s initial planning guidance to include the. operational approach,Mission narrative, Reframing is a shift in understanding that leads to a new perspective on. the problems or their resolution Reframing involves significantly. refining or discarding the hypotheses or models that form the basis. of the design concept It allows for adjustments throughout the. operations process ensuring that tactical actions remain. fundamentally linked to achieving the desired conditions. The Military Decision Making Process,Receipt of Mission. Alert the staff and other key participants, Gather the tools Once notified of the new planning requirement the. staff prepares for mission analysis by gathering the tools needed to. perform it These tools include but are not limited to seek to. completely understand, Appropriate field manuals including FM 5 0 and FM 1 02.
All documents related to the mission and area of operations. AO including the higher headquarters OPLAN and OPORD. maps and terrain products and operational graphics. Higher headquarters and other organizations intelligence and. assessment products, Estimates and products of other military and civilian agencies. and organizations,Both their own and the higher headquarters SOPs. Current running estimates,Any design products including the design concept. Update running estimates, Conduct initial assessment During receipt of mission the commander. and staff conduct an initial assessment of time and resources. available to plan prepare and begin execution of an operation This. initial assessment helps commanders determine, The time needed to plan and prepare for the mission.
Guidance on design and abbreviating the MDMP if required. Which outside agencies and organizations to contact and. incorporate into the planning process, The staff s experience cohesiveness and level of rest or stress. The COS XO develops a staff planning timeline that outlines how long. the headquarters can spend on each step of the MDMP The staff. planning timeline indicates what products are due who is. responsible for them and who receives them, Initial commander s guidance Initial guidance includes Initial time. allocations a decision to initiate design or go straight into the. MDMP how to abbreviate the MDMP if required necessary. coordination to perform including liaison officers to exchange. authorized movements and any reconnaissance and surveillance to. initiate collaborative planning times and locations initial information. requirements IRs additional staff tasks, Issue warning order 1 This order includes at a minimum the type of. operation the general location of the operation the initial timeline. and any movement or reconnaissance to initiate,Mission Analysis. Remainder of FM 5 0,uses Develop initial,information themes and.
messages throughout,Mission Analysis, Step 1 Analyze the higher headquarters plan or order 10. Step 2 Perform initial intelligence preparation of the battlefield 10. Step 3 Determine specified implied and essential tasks 15. Step 4 Review available assets and identify resource shortfalls 16. Step 5 Determine constraints 16, Step 6 Identify critical facts and develop assumptions 17. Step 7 Begin composite risk management 18, Step 8 Determine initial commander s critical information. requirements and essential elements of friendly information 19. Step 9 Develop initial ISR synchronization plan 20. Step 10 Develop initial ISR plan 22, Step 11 Update plan for the use of available time 22. Step 12 Develop initial information themes and messages 23. Step 13 Develop a proposed mission statement 24,Step 14 Present the mission analysis briefing 26.
Step 15 Develop and issue initial commander s intent 26. Step 16 Develop and issue initial planning guidance 27. Step 17 Develop COA evaluation criteria 27,Step 18 Issue a warning order 28. Mission Analysis, Step 1 Analyze the Higher Headquarters Plan or Order. Commanders staffs thoroughly analyze HHQ plan or order to. determine how their unit by task and purpose contributes to the. mission commander s intent and concept of operations of the HHQ. The CDR staff seek to completely understand,The higher headquarters. Commander s intent,Concept of operations,Available assets. The missions of adjacent supporting supported units their. relationship to HHQ plan,The missions of interagency intergovernmental and.
nongovernmental organizations that work in their operational. Their assigned area of operations, Liaison officers familiar with the higher headquarters plan can help. clarify issues Collaborative planning with the higher headquarters. also facilitates this task Staffs also use requests for information. RFIs to clarify or obtain additional information from the higher. headquarters, Step 2 Perform Initial Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield. NOTE The IPB is arguably the most important portion of the. MDMP It identifies where we are operating and who we are. operating with and against It is the fundamental framework upon. which the rest of the MDMP is built, Intelligence preparation of the battlefield IPB is a systematic. process conducted by the entire staff of analyzing and visualizing. the portions of the mission variables of threat terrain weather and. civil considerations in a specific area of interest and for a specific. It builds an extensive database for each potential area in which a unit. may be required to operate The database is then analyzed in detail. to determine the impact of the enemy terrain weather and civil. considerations on operations and presents it in graphic form The. Army uses METT TC as the framework for the analysis. Mission Analysis,IAW FM 3 0 p 1 4, Threats are nation states organizations people groups conditions or natural. phenomena able to damage or destroy life vital resources or institutions. IAW FM 3 0 p 1 9, An enemy is a party identified as hostile against which the use of force is.
authorized An enemy is also called a combatant and is treated as such under. the law of war, An adversary is a party acknowledged as potentially hostile to a friendly party. and against which the use of force may be envisaged JP 3 0 Adversaries. include members of the local populace who sympathize with the enemy. A supporter is a party who sympathizes with friendly forces and who may or may. not provide material assistance to them, A neutral is a party identified as neither supporting nor opposing friendly or. enemy forces, IAW FM 3 0 p vi opponents refers to enemies and adversaries. IAW FM 2 01 3 IPB consists of four steps, IPB Step 1 Define the Operational Environment ID s specific. features of the environment or activities within it and the physical. space where they exist that may influence available courses of. action COAs or the commander s decision, The operational environment is a composite of the conditions.
circumstances and influences that affect the employment of. capabilities and bear on the decisions of the commander JP 3 0 At. the tactical and operational levels defining the operational. environment involves defining a unit s AO and determining an area. of interest The area of interest is area of concern to the. commander including the area of influence areas adjacent thereto. and extending into enemy territory to the objectives of current or. planned operations This area also includes areas occupied by. enemy forces who could jeopardize the accomplishment of the. mission JP 1 02, IAW FM 5 0 commanders and staffs analyze and describe an. operational environment in terms of eight interrelated operational. variables political military economic social information. infrastructure physical environment and time PMESII PT They. use the mission variables in combination with the operational. variables to refine their understanding of the situation and to. visualize describe and direct operations The mission variables. are mission enemy terrain and weather troops and support. available time available and civil considerations METT TC. Mission Analysis, The area of interest AI can be large relative to the AO it must often. account for various influences that affect the AO such as. Family tribal ethnic religious or other links that go beyond the. Communication links to other regions,Economic links to other regions. Media influence on the local populace U S public and. multinational partners, External financial moral and logistic support for the enemy. Integrating ASCOPE into IPB, The application of the elements of ASCOPE during system analysis.
identifies the key and decisive areas structures capabilities. organizations people and events of each subsystem For example. ASCOPE would be applied to the entire concept of economics The. staff would ask the questions Where are the key and decisive. areas of economic activity Where are the key and decisive. structures infrastructures associated with economic activity. NOTE This is done for each variable FM 3 05 40 pg 4 5. NOTE Refer to FM 3 24 2 Tactics in Counterinsurgency for a. thorough discussion on the IPB in COIN which is generally. applicable in most complex operational environments. Mission Analysis, IPB Step 2 Describe Environmental Effects on Operations The S. 2 and the rest of the staff identify how the operational environment. influences the operation and courses of action COAs of the threat. and friendly forces, IPB Step 3 Evaluate the Threat NOTE This is more than an. evaluation of the enemy The S 2 and staff analyze intelligence to. determine how the threat normally conducts operations under similar. circumstances When operating against a new or less defined. threat the S 2 may need to develop or expand intelligence. databases and threat models concurrently In order to accomplish. this the S 2 should conduct threat characteristic analysis for each. group identified in step 1, Threat enemy characteristics considered composition disposition. tactics training logistics operational effectiveness. communications intelligence recruitment support finance reach. national agencies law enforcement agencies IO IGO NGO and. personality, NOTE Current IPB doctrine is very enemy centric and neglects to. adequately describe all the characteristics of the threat as. previously defined Commanders and staffs must ensure all. characteristics of all threats are evaluated, Threats are nation states organizations people groups conditions or.
natural phenomena able to damage or destroy life vital resources. or institutions FM 3 0,Mission Analysis, IPB Step 4 Determine Threat Opponent Courses of Action. Based on METT TC factors the S 2 depicts the threat based on the. commander s guidance for example echelon or cell At a. minimum the staff determines likely objectives and the desired end. state Against a conventional threat the analysis should start at. more than one level above the friendly echelon unit and work down. In many operations due to its asymmetric nature the analysis. should start as low as possible,IPB role in MDMP, Automated electronic production of mobility corridors situation. templates threat adversary templates weather forecasts and. effects and range fans for direct and indirect fire weapons. systems can provide the commander visualization and aid in. determining the best friendly COA Situation templates may be. simple sketches reserving in depth development and analysis for. later when more time is available, The S2 with collaborative staff involvement develops initial event. templates from the situation templates Event templates are not. required for the mission analysis brief however these should be. done before COA development, An event template is a model against which threat activity can be. recorded and compared It represents a sequential projection of. events that relate to space and time on the battlefield and indicates. the enemy s ability to adopt a particular course of action The event. template is a guide for collection and reconnaissance and. surveillance planning, NOTE A good IPB allows the staff to collaboratively begin.
identifying high payoff and high value targets The following. definitions are enemy centric and do not fully take into account all. available targets in an AOR, High value target A target the enemy commander requires for the successful. completion of the mission The loss of high value targets would be expected to. seriously degrade important enemy functions throughout the friendly. commander s area of interest FM 1 02, High payoff target A target whose loss to the enemy will significantly contribute to. the success of the friendly course of action High payoff targets are those high. value targets that must be acquired and successfully attacked for the success of. the friendly commander s mission FM 1 02,Mission Analysis. Step 3 Determine Specified Implied and Essential Tasks. The staff analyzes the HHQ order the higher CDR s guidance to. determine their specified implied tasks, In the context of operations a task is a clearly defined and measurable. activity accomplished by Soldiers units and organizations that may. support or be supported by other tasks The what of a mission. statement is always a task, Specified tasks are tasks specifically assigned to a unit by its HHQ.
They may also be assigned orally during collaborative planning. sessions or in directives from the higher commander. Implied tasks are tasks that must be performed to accomplish a. specified task or the mission but are not stated in the HHQ order. Implied tasks are derived from a detailed analysis of the higher. headquarters order the enemy situation the terrain and civil. considerations Additionally analysis of doctrinal requirements for. each specified task might disclose implied tasks Only implied. tasks that require allocating resources should be retained. Units with an assigned AO are responsible for ensuring that essential. stability tasks are conducted for the population in areas they control. While some stability tasks will be specified commanders consider. the primary stability tasks found in FM 3 07 as sources for. implied tasks These implied tasks at a minimum provide for. civil security restoration of essential services and civil control. for civil populations in their AO that they control Based on this. analysis the staff determines if there are other agencies civil or. military that can provide these tasks If not the unit plans to provide. these tasks using available assets If the unit determines that it does. not have the assets it informs its higher headquarters. Once staff members have identified specified implied tasks they. ensure they understand each task s requirements the purpose. for accomplishing each task Then they determine the task or tasks. that must be successfully executed to accomplish the mission. Essential tasks are specified or implied tasks that must be executed to. accomplish the mission Essential tasks are always included in.

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