Presentation on theme: "Course of Action Analysis"— Presentation transcript:
1 Course of Action Analysis Multinational Planning Augmentation Team(MPAT)Course of Action AnalysisPurposeReferencesDefine course of action (COA) analysis and its role in the crisis action planning processDiscuss the associated task stepsIdentify the products resulting from COA analysisProvide lessons learned from previous exercises and operationsJP 3-0, Doctrine for Joint Operations, App B, 10 Sep 01JP , Joint Task Force Planning Guidance and Procedures, 13 Jan 1999CJCSM , JTF HQ Master Training Guide, 15 Apr 97This module will cover course of action analysis. During this module we will:define course of action analysis and its role in the crisis action planning process,discuss the task steps,identify Course of Action, or COA analysis products,and provide lessons learned.Shown here are the key references used to prepare this module.
2 Crisis Action Planning Process SituationDevelopmentIICrisisAssessmentIIICourse ofActionDevelopmentIVCourse ofActionSelectionVExecutionPlanningOPORD&DeploymentData BaseVIExecutionAnd/orWarningOrderPlanningOrderAlertOrderExecuteOrderIMission AnalysisIICourse of ActionDevelopmentIIIAnalysis ofCourses of ActionIVComparison of OwnCourses of ActionCourse of action analysis is the third step in the commander’s estimate process.VCommander’sDecisionCommander’s Estimate ProcessKey Planning Concepts:Supported Strategic Commander’s (higher headquarters) strategic intent and operational(MNF) focusOrientation on the strategic and operational centers of gravity of the threatProtection of friendly strategic and operational centers of gravityPhasing of operations
3 Courses of Action Analysis “ Gaming the COAs ” The purpose of course of action analysis is to evaluate each proposed friendly COA as though executed against the most probable and most dangerous enemy or threat COA (threats can include starvation, disease, weather and etc. for HA/DR missions). This analysis illustrates what the commander considered the most significant and influential aspects of the situation.The purpose of COA analysis is to evaluate each proposed COA against the most likely or probable and most dangerous enemy or threat COA.COA analysis serves to identify advantages and disadvantages of each proposed COA.The end product of our COA analysis is a comprehensive list of the advantages and disadvantages of each COA, and a synchronization matrix for each COA that identifies tasks and force requirements.
4 Analysis of COAs: Key Points Determine the effectiveness of each friendly COA on the most probable & most dangerous enemy COA or threat situationConduct this analysis in an orderly fashion, such as:By time phasingGeographic locationFunctional eventConsider the potential actions of subordinates two echelons downThis slide and the next one present some key points to keep in mind when conducting course of action analysis.Remember, we are determining the effectiveness of our friendly COAs against the most probable and most dangerous enemy or threat COA.Successful COA analysis requires a consistent, methodical approach. Conduct the analysis in an orderly fashion, by utilizing the listed techniques.
5 Analysis of COAs: Key Points (cont’d) Consider crisis termination issues: think through own action, enemy reaction/ threat consequences of our action, and counteractionConclude with:Revalidation of feasibility, acceptability, suitabilityDetermine additional requirementsMake modificationsList advantages and disadvantages of each COAIt is critical to consider termination issues, and to think through each action, enemy reaction or threat consequences of our action and counteraction.Finally, our analysis should enable us to revalidate feasibility, acceptability, and suitability of each course of action,determine additional requirements,make modifications,and list clearly the advantages and disadvantages of each course of action.During COA analysis, or wargaming, our task is not to compare the courses of action against each other. Our task is to analyze our COAs against the various threats we may face.
6 Task Steps Course of Action Analysis Gather the Tools List Assumptions Critical Events& Decision PointsAnalysisMethodRecordingMethod1.These are the course of action analysis task steps. We will discuss each one of these.2. Gather the tools, material and data.3. List the assumptions.4. List known critical events and decision points.5. Select the method of wargame analysis.6. Select the technique to record and display wargame results.7. Wargame the operation and assess the results.8. Conduct a risk assessment.9. Revalidate the courses of action for suitability, acceptability, and feasibility.Analyze& AssessRiskAssessmentCourse of Action AnalysisRevalidate
7 Gather the Tools Course of Action Analysis Friendly COAs The most probable & most dangerous enemy or threat COAsCombined operations area referenceRepresentation of friendly force distribution and probable threatsRepresentation of environmental/civil conditionsSynchronization MatrixAction-Reaction/Threat Consequence-Counteraction matrixIdentify, list, and review existing limitationsListAssumptionsCritical Events& Decision PointsAnalysisMethodRecordingMethodFirst, we need to gather the tools. Identify the friendly COAs that we intend to analyze, to include COA statement and sketch.Identify the probable threats against which the friendly COAs are to be analyzed in order of priority. In crisis action planning we will probably wargame against the most likely threat.Obtain a representation of the operational area, such as maps and overlays, digital displays, representations of airspace, sea surface and subsurface areas, littoral areas, etc.Depict friendly force dispositions and capabilities and probable threats. Consider all assigned, OPCON, TACON and supporting forces and assets that are available for direct employment or in support of the operation.Show the environmental and civil conditions which exist and that impact on the military operation.Develop the synchronization matrix and action-reaction/consequence-counteraction matrix for the analyze and assess task step.Finally, identify, list and review the existing and inherent support relationships and limitations –or constraints and restraints- imposed by higher headquarters.Analyze& AssessRiskAssessmentRevalidateCourse of Action Analysis
8 List Assumptions List the assumptions made during mission analysis Validity:Is the assumption necessary to continue planning?Will the result change without the assumption?Logical?Realistic?Gather theToolsListAssumptionsCritical Events& Decision PointsAnalysisMethodRecordingMethodAnalyze& Assess1. The next step is to list assumptions.2. We need to reevaluate our initial assumptions to ensure they’re still valid. We have to answer the questions on this slide.3. Is this assumption necessary to continue planning?.4. Would the results of the wargame be dramatically altered if we didn’t make this assumption?5. If the answer are “no” the assumption is not necessary.6. Other assumptions may have been developed during previous stages of the planning process. Be sure to include these in the analysis.7. Assumptions must also be logical and realistic.RiskAssessmentRevalidateCourse of Action Analysis
9 Example: Planning Assumptions Coalition Task Force (CTF- Bayanihan) Host country will allow temporary basing of Troop Contributing Nations (TCNs)Aerial ports of debarkation (APODs) and sea ports of debarkation (SPODs) are operationalTCNs are self-sustaining for first 72 hoursWeather will remain favorable for duration of missionNo other contingencies for CTF/MNF for duration of missionHost nation will be the MNF lead nation (Philippines)1. Each staff section will probably have to develop assumptions focused on their functional areas2. Here are some examples of assumptions, based on a ficticious CTF HA/DR operation in the Philippines.3. Please note one important point: Assumptions made in planning must be revalidated or invalidated prior to execution. Therefore, they must be continuously monitored until they are proven to be facts or are overcome by events and are no longer relevant.
10 List Known Critical Events and Decision Points Gather theToolsListAssumptionsCritical events are essential tasks that require detailed analysisDecision points identify decisions the commander must make to ensure timely execution and synchronizationTime available for analysis affects length of the critical events listCritical Events& Decision PointsAnalysisMethodRecordingMethodAnalyze& Assess1. The third step is to list the known critical events and decision points.2. Critical events are defined as those essential specified or implied tasks, the completion of which is required for mission accomplishment and which, in the judgment of the wargamer, require detailed analysis.3. Decision points identify in (time and space) decisions that the commander must make to ensure timely execution of our plan to achieve the desired effects of the operation.4. Critical events and decision points can often be anticipated before analysis, during early steps of course of action development.5. Note that the time available for the entire planning process, and analysis in particular, will affect the length of our critical events list.RiskAssessmentRevalidateCourse of Action Analysis
11 Select Method of Analysis Gather theToolsComputer AssistedIntegrated theater management modelTactical warfare modelJoint conflict modelManualDeliberate timeline analysisOperational phasingCritical eventsListAssumptionsCritical Events& Decision PointsAnalysisMethodRecordingMethod1. Next, select the method of analysis.2. The method of wargaming depends upon time and other resources available, staff expertise, and the desired degree of resolution. Although computer assisted methods may be used, for this module we will concentrate on manual methods.3. In the deliberate timeline analysis technique, the staff and functional area representatives methodically consider the task force actions day by day or in discrete blocks of time. This is the most thorough method of wargaming, when time allows.4. For the operational phasing technique, the staff and functional area representatives identify significant actions and requirements for functional areas and components, by each phase of the operation.5. In the critical events technique, the key staff and functional area representatives focus on specific critical events that encompass the essence of each course of action. If time is particularly limited, they may focus on the one key critical event of each COA.6. It is important to identify a measure of effectiveness, or MOE, that attempts to quantify the achievement of each particular event. This MOE should enable consistent comparison of each COA. For example, if the key critical event of each COA is delivering relief supplies to disaster victims, one measure of effectiveness number of short tons of supplies delivered by a specific date.Analyze& AssessRiskAssessmentRevalidateCourse of Action Analysis
12 Select Technique to Record and Display Analysis Gather theToolsListAssumptionsTechniquesNarrative techniqueSketch and note techniqueSynchronization matrixCritical Events& Decision PointsAnalysisMethodRecordingMethodConsiderationsAssets availableTime availableThe fifth step is to determine the recording method.Recording wargame results provides data from which to build or modify task organizations, synchronize activity through coordination, and prepare plans and orders. It provides the staff with a record of strengths and weaknesses for the comparison of course of action.The narrative technique describes in sentence form the visualization of the operation in sequence. It provides extensive detail and clarity. It provides a large volume of information and is the more time consuming technique.The sketch and note technique uses brief notes concerning critical locations or tasks. The notes may refer to specific locations on a map or may relate to general considerations covering broad areas. Notes may be made on maps, wargame worksheets, or on a synchronization matrix.The synchronization matrix is also time consuming, and better left to situations where time limitations are not so great.Essentially, the assets available in the headquarters and the time available will determine which technique we use.Analyze& AssessRiskAssessmentRevalidateCourse of Action Analysis
13 Wargame the Operation and Assess Results Gather theToolsListAssumptionsVisualize the flow of operationsConsider CTF component capabilities two echelons down“Action- Reaction/ Threat Consequence-Counteraction”Critical Events& Decision PointsAnalysisMethodRecordingMethodThe next step, analyze and assess, is the crux of course of action analysis, and is the lengthiest step.Wargaming is a deliberate and methodical effort to describe the MNF actions in time and space from a perspective of operational phases or critical events. The CTF commander and his staff visualize the flow of the operation, the stated friendly strengths and dispositions, probable threats, and probable COAs through the area of operations.Carry your analysis at least two echelons down.Attempt to capture the dynamics of the operation through a series of “action-consequence-counteraction” sequences. During this process the staff is trying to capture the key elements that collectively define the synchronization of the operation.Key items that we are analyzing and assessing for both CTF HQs and component commands are specific tasks, task organization, command relationships, synchronization of movement and maneuver with operational firepower, decision points and intelligence requirements related to major events, and identification of operational branches and sequels.Analyze& AssessRiskAssessmentRevalidateCourse of Action Analysis
14 Conduct the Wargame: Checklist Identify role players, recorders, and facilitatorsReview assumptions, restated mission, and phases“Threat Cell”: Threat lay down (disposition)CPG leader – lead the “Friendly” actionsC2 lay down and structureForces (by component and function)Firepower - priority targetsFriendly Intel actionSupport (C1, C4, C6, Medical, Engineering)Interagency actionsThreat reaction to friendly actionsFor each phase or movement of forces, record the decision points, critical information requirements, branches, sequels, risks, other key issuesFriendly counteraction to threat reactionHere is a helpful checklist as you analyze or wargame each COA. Some of the items do not apply to humanitarian assistance or disaster response, or HA/DR operations, but may apply to peace operations. Identify role players, recorders, and facilitators. This is important so that the analysis is conducted properly and results are recorded.Review the assumptions, restated mission, and phases of the operation with all participants. This will help ensure that everyone has the same information before starting.The threat cell, usually played by a member of the C2 staff, paints, or lays down, the threat.The senior joint planning group leader, usually the C3 or his deputy, plays the role of the friendly forces. Review the command and control structure. Review the task force structure, by component and function, and what their actions are. If firepower is relevant, as perhaps in peace enforcement, make sure targets are prioritized, and who is providing the fires.Cover required intelligence action.Cover each of the support functions, and their actions for each COA.Interagency actions are critical, especially with HA/DR operations.For HA/DR, threat reactions might be the consequences if we fail to conduct a timely relief effort. For example, if one of our COAs involves the late delivery of building material for destroyed residences, and we are entering the monsoon season, the threat might be increased illness due to exposure to weather.For each phase, or movement of forces, record the decision points and other information as shown. This step is critical for our final analysis of each COA.Finally, look at possible threat reactions to our actions, and wargame what our counteraction will be. The action/reaction/counteraction worksheet, which will be discussed in a subsequent slide, is a tool to help us with this step.Course of Action Analysis
15 Synchronization Matrix TIME CONTINUOUS OR SINGLE EVENTPROBABLE THREATDECISION POINTSCRITICAL INFORMATION REQUIREMENTSOPN MOVEMENT AND MANEUVEROPN FIREPOWEROPN PROTECTIONOPN INFORMATIONOPN INTELOPN SUPPORTARFOR/LAND COMPONENTMARFOR/LAND COMPONENTNAVFOR/MARITIME/JFACCAFFOR/AIR COMPONENT/JFACCJSOTFOTHERSD-DAY/H-HOURD + 1D + 2FUNCTIONJOINTAREASOne tool to record the results of our wargamming and to synchronize the course of action over a number of different parameters is a synchronization matrix. The matrix depicts the time of the event and the probable threat against which the course of action is being wargamed. It reflects the contributions of the components and the functional areas. The synchronization matrix should be adapted to the situation.COMPONENTS
16 Simplified Sync Matrix ACTOREVENTCOMMENTEVENTCOMMENTEVENTCOMMENTEVENTCOMMENTCCTFCARFORCNAVFORCAFFOR1. Here is an example of a simplified synchronization matrix.2. Events can be numbered or given short names. Comments can include the following:-- Identification as critical event-- Possible branch ideas-- Key weaknesses-- Additional requirements such as forces or logistics3. The forces shown under the Actor column are only an example. The matrix that we actually use should include any components or organizations that help define the event.CMARFORCSOTFCPOTF
17 Sample Analysis Worksheet CRITICAL EVENT:SEQ-UENCENUMBERACTIONREACTION/THREAT/ENEMYCONSE-QUENCESCOUNTER-ACTIONASSETSTIMEDECISIONPOINTCCIRREMARKS1. One way to record all pertinent data gained from the war game is the wargame worksheet. Each sheet identifies a critical event for the headquarters conducting the wargame.2. Using the columns on the worksheet, identify and list in sequence the following:- The tasks (actions)- The assets (allocated forces) used- The expected consequences- The counteractions and the assets used- The total assets required for the task- And the estimated time required to accomplish the task.3. You can also make remarks regarding the advantages and disadvantages based upon the results of the analysis.
18 Action/Reaction/Counteraction REACTION/CONSEQUENCECOUNTERACTION1ST Priority isProvide MedicalSupportLarge PopulationW/O ShelterincreasessicknessModify TPFDD/DeploymentMovement Plans to allowCTF to provide shelter andprioritize medical care.1. The “action-reaction/threat consequence-counteraction” technique is an excellent tool to force us to think through each action and enemy reaction/threat consequences, and how the COA may have to be modified. It notes advantages, weaknesses of, and necessary improvements to the course of action.2. Normally, a C3 or C5 representative identifies the initial friendly action. The staff identifies the full range of operational actions that comprise the initial action.3. A C2 rep helps identify the enemy reaction or for HA/DR the threat consequences.4. The staff then determines the counteraction in all areas. The counteraction can begin the sequence again as a new action, or a separate new action can begin the sequence.
19 Advantages & Disadvantages COA 1Advantages Disadvantages- Rapid delivery- Meets critical needsModifications 1. Assign national forces by sector2. Lead nation provides comms w/robust LNOs- Rough integration of forces- Rough transition- Complex organization- Not flexible at all- Adequate force protection1. One of the critical results of this wargaming process is the listing of advantages and disadvantages of the course of action. This information will be used later in the process to compare COAs.2. Don’t compare COAs against each other. Remember, the comparison should be against the probable threats.3. As we look at these advantages and disadvantages we need to make modifications to the COA to minimize the disadvantages. Keep these modifications in mind as we might be able to apply these modifications to other courses of action.4. Be careful on modifications. We do not want to modify the COAs so they all start to look alike.
20 Results of Analysis Course of Action Analysis Identification of advantages and disadvantages of each friendly COAIdentification of additional assets required (if any)Refinements or modifications to the COARisks and actions to reduce the risk at eachgeographic location or functional eventAdjustments to any established control measuresOur analysis-our wargaming-should generate results, as shown here and on the next two slides:Identification of advantages and disadvantages of each friendly COAIdentification of additional assets required (if any)Refinements or modifications to the COARisks and actions to reduce the risk at eachGeographic location or functional eventAdjustments to any established control measuresCourse of Action Analysis
21 Analysis Results (cont) Deployment/Movement requirementsSynchronization requirementsEstimate of the duration of critical events as well as the operation as a wholeRequired support from outside of the CTFRequirements for logistic supportClear picture of command relationshipsBranches and sequelsHere are more results that our analysis should yield:Deployment requirementsSynchronization requirementsEstimate of the duration of critical events as well as the operation as a wholeRequired support from outside of the CTFRequirements for logistic supportClear picture of command relationshipsBranches and sequelsCourse of Action Analysis
22 Analysis Results (cont) Critical information required to support decision pointsAdditional commander’s decision pointsMeasures of effectiveness for each phaseAreas of high interest for reconnaissance, surveillanceIdentification of component tasksTask Organization requirementsAnd finally,Critical information required to support decision pointsAdditional commander’s decision pointsMeasures of effectiveness for each phaseAreas of high interest for reconnaissance, surveillanceIdentification of component tasksTask Organization requirementsThis is a good checklist of information which can be obtained from a good wargame. The key point is to capture this information and make certain it gets to the right place.Course of Action Analysis
23 Conduct Risk Assessment Gather theToolsIdentify risksAssess risksAnalyze acceptability of riskIdentify ways and means of risk mitigationListAssumptionsCritical Events& Decision PointsAnalysisMethodRecordingMethodRisk assessment allows the staff to identify to the MNF/CTF commander the areas of the operation where there is risk; that is, what is the adverse impact on the operation of a certain event, and what is the likelihood of such an event occurring.Possible risks include the risk of failure, risk of high casualties, risk of civilian casualties, risk of damage to civilian infrastructure.Risk assessment allows the staff to suggest alternatives or options that would lessen or mitigate against those risks that the MNF/CTF commander is unwilling to bear.Analyze& AssessRiskAssessmentRevalidateCourse of Action Analysis
24 Revalidate Course of Action Analysis Gather theToolsSuitable (Adequate): Will the COA accomplish the mission when carried out successfully, In other words, is it aimed at the right objectives?Feasible: Do we have the required resources and can those resources be made available in time?Acceptable: Even though the COA will accomplish the mission and we have the required resources, is it worth the cost in term of possible losses (military, time, political, etc.)?Complete: Do the COAs answer WHO-WHAT-WHEN-WHERE-WHY-HOW?Distinguishable: Are the COAs sufficiently different from each other?ListAssumptionsCritical Events& Decision PointsAnalysisMethodRecordingMethodAnalyze& AssessFinally, look at whether any modification we have made, or any item which has resulted from our analysis, has changed the suitability, feasibility, acceptability, and completeness of the course of action. And, are the COAs still distinguishable from one another?This is a final check to ensure that each COA is validated.RiskAssessmentRevalidateCourse of Action Analysis
25 Lessons LearnedIdentify events/locations and enemy capabilities first.Analyze the end state and transitions.Don’t get caught in detailed analysis of one aspect at the expense of the entire COA. Watch time constraint.The purpose of analysis is to identify advantages and disadvantages, not to prescribe component reactions.During the COA analysis, the staff must not compare friendly COAs. The COAs will be analyzed against the enemy’s COAs.Here are some of the lessons learned from recent exercises.Identify key events, locations and enemy capabilities first.Analyze the end state and transitions. This is perhaps the most often overlooked step in course of action development, yet it is an essential part of the planning process.Don’t get caught in detailed analysis and forget time constraints. Keep to “big picture”.Our purpose during analysis is to identify COA advantages and disadvantages, and not prescribe specific component counteractions. This is where the staff estimates will come into play. Use them to assist in analyzing our COAs.Finally, during the analysis process, we are not comparing COAs to each other, but rather we are analyzing them against the enemy’s COA, or most probable threat.
26 Course of Action Analysis: Summary Gather theToolsListAssumptionsEvaluate each proposed friendly COA as though executed against the most probable and most dangerous enemy or threat COAConduct analysis in an orderly fashionConsider crisis termination issuesThink through action-consequences-reactionAnalyze/wargame and record resultsRevalidateCritical Events& Decision PointsAnalysisMethodRecordingMethodAnalyze& AssessRiskAssessmentRevalidateCourse of Action Analysis
27 Multinational Planning Augmentation Team Course of Action AnalysisQuestions?That completes our discussion of Course of Action Analysis, do you have any questions or comments?
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