Jump to content

Technology Significantly Increases Situation Awareness for Small Unit Forces


Recommended Posts


It is. You'll also notice that some jobs are mandatory for School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMs) graduates:

from FMI 3-91 Division Operations

The plans cell is the heart of the main CP and is led by the G-5 (Plans and Policy), and is responsible for planning all future operations (see Figure 2-3). The plans cell consists of a plans element and a functional plans element. The plans element is led by the G-5 and contains several specialists including a School of Advanced Military Studies qualified planner, an Operations Research & System Analysis officer, a strategic plans officer, a Joint Operation Planning and Execution System officer, and two NCOs. The functional plans element contains the functional area planners from the following specialties:






Military intelligence.


note that the ORSA and Strat Planner are in functional areas within career fields (eg Operations, Operational Support, Information Operations, Institutional Support), meaning that those officers will only fill jobs related to strategic planning and Operations Research. They will no longer go back and forth between tactical units and functional areas. This career field designation occurs sometime after they have served time at the tactical level, usually after troop/company level command. Officers will then remain in that career field for the remainder of their careers. Officers in the Operations Career Field (which includes all the basic branches and FA 39 PSYOPS, and FA90 Multifunctional Logistician...previously all the logistics branches such as QM, OD, TC, etc) will fill the command positions of the BCTs, Sustainment Bdes, BFSBs, etc.

The plans cell is responsible for planning operations for the mid- to long-range planning horizons. It develops plans, orders, branches and sequels. They monitor the COP and stay abreast of the current operation by coordinating with the current operations cell and plan for sequels accordingly. When sufficient time is available before execution and at the request of a TAC CP, the plans cell may write

branches for the current operation. Plans cell members use the Military Decision Making Process (MDMP) for developing OPLANs and OPORDs. Each staff officer represents his functional area during the MDMP from receipt of the mission to orders production. (FM 5-0 discusses the MDMP in detail.)

The plans cell—

Produces OPLANs, OPORDs, and WARNOs to transition to future operations.

Closely coordinates with the current operations cell to transition from current to future


When requested, writes branch plans of the current operation for the G-3 at the TAC CP.

Participates in the targeting process.

Performs long-range assessment of an operation’s progress.

When planning requires functional area expertise that is not resident full time in the plans division, an plans working group is convened and outside expertise resident at the main CP is temporarily called in to support the planning effort. The other coordinating, special, and personal staff sections within the main CP support the plans cell, as required, to include G-1, G-4, G-6, CMO, Provost Marshal Office, AMD, space, surgeon, PA, CBRN, SJA, chaplain, and USAF planners. When the division is serving in a joint environment and conducting operations with other services, the plans cell may be augmented with United States Navy and USMC planners.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 53
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Interesting. It appears the Army is on its way to making operational planning an officer career branch, much as JAG, MI, or Finance. I

The question is, how much authority will the staff officers have in ongoing operations? The German technique - and I am not saying it was perfect, just that it was highly effective for about a century - was that staff officers are expected to override existing plans if the situation dictates. The critical bit is that staff officers (well the senior ones) had authority to issue orders in the commander's name, as an operation was unfolding. This is of course a huge amount of authority, and it burned the Germans sometime, see their advance on Paris in 1914. But on the whole it really paid dividends: time and again a staff officer would get launched at some emergency and, by dint of his brains and the not inconsiderable fact he was commanding German soldiers, the situation would be resolved. This was a different way of going about business than in traditional armies, where the field commander's authority was total and woe to the staff officer from a higher command that would challenge it.

I realize that's just a limited blurb on the hq, but from what I can tell it seems to be a replication of the TAC/TOC setup dating back to the Cold War days, where the commander ran the battle from the tactical HQ (TAC) and the operational hq (TOC) handled the admin details and planning further ahead.

I really, really doubt that the O5 planner in a modern US division hq has the authority to call up an 05 brigade commander and issue him order, but then, maybe that's not what's necessary today. Again, with modern comms at least some of the officer skill the Germans chose to concentrate in their HQes given the limited comms of the day, might be better used elsewhere in a modern army. I can't say for sure.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Certainly bigger changes than I was aware of. I used to try to purchase the current FM sets in the 70's and 80's (unclassified FM's are available from the Government Printing Office) and still have some in storage, with their plastic camo binders. Since those days I have gotten out of touch with the details, though I try to keep up with the trends in general terms at least.

Thanks for the illumination guys. I wish there were more threads like this, and fewer silly ones. And then too, I had to start this thread as it was... :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Every soldier is a sensor and attack the network are the two concepts at work here.

The Air Force has been working the soldier sensor problem for years and attack the network is an Army doctrine in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It is all about data gathering, processing, and transmuting that data into information.

The new high band width transmission systems are key in the ideas.

They devote lots of resources to simulation of these principles, let alone fielding them.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Unfortunately, your content contains terms that we do not allow. Please edit your content to remove the highlighted words below.
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...