11 June 2019
(U) WHAT INSIGHTS ARE DERIVED FROM OPERATION ANACONDA IN REGARDS TO THE NCO COMMON CORE COMPENTENCY OF OPERATIONS, AND HOW IS IT APPLICABLE TODAY?
(U) The operations realm is a complex and dynamic environment. Tracking available internal capabilities, utilizing the Joint Planning Process (JPP), and creating and disseminating appropriate plans, orders, and attachments are vital to conducting effective operations. In Operation Anaconda, the Joint Commander (JC) failed to utilize the Air Force capabilities available to him in an effective manner, which significantly extended the duration of the mission and the amount of casualties his forces incurred. (1) Even though headquarters published the warning order on 6 January, the Combined Force Air Component Commander (CFACC) did not receive notification of Operation ANACONDA until 23 February. If the CFACC had been involved in the planning process, he would have leveraged the appropriate resources to provide effective “preparatory and suppressive fire.”(2) The JC would have achieved this result if he had adhered to the principles in Joint Publication 3-0, which state “communicate and ensure the flow of information across the staff and joint force.”(3) The lesson to extract is that a proper understanding of the integration and utilization of Joint assets into the JPP, planning, and orders process is vital to effective operations. The integration must be early and continuous.
Kenneth P. Mullan/MLC 19-008
1. Fleri, E., Howard, E., Hulkill, J., & Searle, T.R. (2003). Operation Anaconda case study (Case Study). Maxwell AFB, Alabama: College of Aerospace Doctrine, Research and Education
2. Lambeth, B.S. (2005). Air power against terror: America’s conduct of Operation Enduring Freedom. Retrieved from https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7249/mg166centaf.13?seq=1
3. Joint Chiefs of Staff (2017) Joint Operations (JP 3-0). Retrieved from https://www.jcs.mil/Portals/36/Documents/Doctrine/pubs/jp3_0ch1.pdf?ver=2018-11-27-160457-910
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