Using CommonKADS to model the Air Campaign Planning Process

Prepared by John Kingston, AIAI, University of Edinburgh

Introduction to Air Campaign Planning
  Plan Components
  Preparation for planning
Introduction to the modelling technique used
  The CommonKADS Organizational Model
  Enriching the CommonKADS Organizational Model for
the ACP domain

Organizational Model of the ACP process
  Process perspective
  Structure Perspective
  States of Affairs
  Assets perspective
  Rights perspective
  Responsibilities perspective

Initial Task Analysis
  Repertory Grids
  Criteria for filling in the grids
  Further information on ACP activities
  Further information on prioritization activities
  Statistical analysis of repertory grids

Last Revision: 6 October 1995

A PostScript version of this document is available here. This version may be better for printing on a black and white printer.

This document contains text and diagrams which represent models of the Air Campaign Planning process. These diagrams are based on knowledge which was acquired between 11 and 15 September 1995 from Doug Holmes of ISX. The purpose of these diagrams is to help members of the ARPI community identify the relevance of their own work to particular parts of the ACP process, and to promote discussion about ARPI projects and about the ACP process itself.

The knowledge which was acquired were determined by the modelling technique which was used. This technique was the CommonKADS approach to knowledge modelling [Wielinga et al, 1992] [Breuker and Van de Velde, 1994], focusing on an enriched version of the CommonKADS Organizational Model. The diagrams below show the various models which were produced.

This document provides:

Introduction to Air Campaign Planning

Acknowledgements to Anna Griffith of ISX for much of the content of this section. The knowledge acquisition effort which is described in this document focused on air campaign planning within a Joint Task Force (JTF). A JTF exists for one crisis (which usually implies one theater); however, there may be more than one JTF per theater. The Joint Forces Air Component Commander (JFACC) reports to the Commander in Chief (CINC) of the theater.

The JFACC can be appointed from several locations. If an entire numbered air force is put in the JTF, the the commander of the numbered air force will be the JFACC. If more than one numbered air force is involved, then the commander with the highest rank will be the JFACC. If a portion of a numbered air force is put in the JTF, then the JFACC will come from Central Command (CENTCOM) because the commander of the numbered air force will have to continue to run the troops not assigned to the JTF. If there is no numbered air force stationed in the theater of operations, then the JFACC will come from CENTCOM. To some degree, the CINC will know who he wants to be the JFACC and will appoint that person regardless of who is supposed to be the JFACC.

Plan Components

A Campaign Plan is a plan for all forces participating in a JTF and typically covers a 6 month period. An air plan, for the Air Force, also covers a 6 month period. The Air Tasking Order (ATO), or battle plan, takes 36 hours to produce and covers 24 hours. Mission plans are derived from the ATO; a mission plan constitutes the directions for a specific sortie. Pilots then develop an engagement plan, which specifies the maneuvers that will be used to execute the mission plan.

Preparation for planning

Once a crisis occurs, the CINC assesses the situation, selects a Course of Action (COA) and may decide to establish at JTF. Then a warning order is given, normally 3 days in advance of the commencement of operations. Operations are initiated by a further order from the CINC, known as the operations order. When a crisis occurs and the CINC decides to take some action, the CINC will provide planning guidance to the Joint Forces Commander (JFC). The guidance can take several forms including: All of these types of guidance will change dynamically throughout the planning process as well as the execution of the plan. The guidance is communicated to the component commanders (e.g. the JFACC) through the JFC. The component commanders will in turn communicate the guidance to their planners. Based on the guidance, the planning staff will take between 3 days and 1 week to build a plan that may be executed.

Guidance is given throughout the planning process by every level of command. Although the guidance is considered more of an order than a suggestion, negotiation does take place. If a commanding officer wants to establish objectives or goals that are unreasonable, then participants of the planning process have the responsibility for convincing the commanding officer to take a different approach. For example, the planners may want more time. But, to buy time in a crisis, something diplomatic has to be given up. The commanding officer may not be willing to make a diplomatic sacrifice. In some such situations, the commanding officer will enforce the initial guidance; in other cases, the initial guidance may be relaxed. Rules of Engagement are never negotiable, however.

Initial planning steps include assessing the situation and organizing the planning staff. Assessing the situation involves identifying enemy COGs and air defenses as well as determining a method (strategy), goals and targets. A lot of knowledge about the theater is needed. Typically the planning staff has been studying the theater for years. The types of information they know are whether the enemy has nuclear weapons, the nature of the crisis, and the history of the conflict. The planning staff have, and use, many maps with different perspectives of the theater. These maps give the staff valuable insight into the theater and what is possible.

When the planners cannot find the needed details, they will rely on contacts with people who have the information or can get the information. Typically these are intelligence people on the planning team. Missions may be conducted to find the needed information. Planners are always skeptical of intelligence data; for example, databases are never fully populated ed and are continuously being updated. The planners will use data more current than what is in the target database if the planning staff has access to the data. It's also impossible to prove the accuracy of intelligence data, because INTEL (the intelligence group) must protect their sources; however, duplication of INTEL effort between different branches, which is encouraged, may corroborate information or provide additional information.

Usually, the right information gets to the right person eventually. Tracking down information is not always conventional, easy or practical. It often depends on who you know or how much ingenuity is used to get the information. The planners may not get some needed information for 3 days, so they will make assumptions and move to the next step.


At this point, the staff is organized according to plan alternatives. During this step, and throughout the planning process, air planners are searching for alternatives, vulnerabilities, consequences and contingencies. The planners may consider alternative situations (the best case, worst case, or most likely case) based on the enemy's predicted course of action; however, the planning team usually consists of 8 people, which is only sufficient to plan for one situation (the most likely case) and look very hard at one other alternative (probably the worst case). There are usually no more people available.

The planning staff hold 4-hourly meetings to discuss progress, obtain a consensus of opinion, and to make sure that there is a smooth transition between phases. The latter is very important, since it is imperative that friendly forces are not perceived by the enemy as being indecisive. Planning teams normally work 8-hour shifts; in a crisis, the planning team work overlapping 12-hour shifts.

Planning consists of three stages:

Doug mentioned a few factors which are considered at each stage:
  1. Shortage of munitions. If there is a shortage of munitions for carrying out air operations, this will be taken into account in the planning process, with the most limited munitions being allocated to the most important operations. This allocation may be decided by the JFACC, who issues guidance to the planners that certain munitions are reserved for certain operations, or it may be considered by the planners, based on ``their experience''.
  2. Co-operation with land forces or SOF. There may be occasions where a target which is identified as worthy of attacking by air could be targeted by Army helicopters or SOF forces with equal or greater efficiency. In such cases, there will first be informal liaison between the AOC planners and the appropriate land forces to determine if it's feasible for the land forces to take on the operation; if so, the JFACC will include a request for these forces in his briefing for the CJTF.

    Interaction with land forces gives the relevant land forces rights to view the Master Air Attack plan, for the sake of deconfliction of operations.

It's important to note that the planning process does not always continue until each stage is fully completed. Often, the planning staff may only be 75% finished with some activities when it is time to move on to the next stage. However, the dynamic environment makes it difficult to complete a stage without the situation changing simultaneously. The time spent on any one task depends on the situation.

The JFACC will not want to be involved in the planning process except for a daily briefing to make sure that guidance has been communicated correctly. The lack of involvement from the JFACC is deliberate, to foster openness and innovation. The air planning team does not communicate with other branches either, in order to enhance creativity. Keeping the number of participants involved in the detailed planning to a minimum reduces the constraints of reconciling too many points of view.

Introduction to the modelling technique used

The modelling technique used to model the ACP process was based on the

The CommonKADS Organizational Model

The stated aim of modelling the ACP process was to perform a ``task analysis'' of the ACP process. However, after initial domain familiarization it was felt that there was considerable benefit to be gained from producing an a paper produced by the KRSL Plans Working Group, I have chosen to use the term ``activities'' throughout this document.),
  • the structure of the organization;
  • the processes in the organization;
  • the power/authority in the organization;
  • the resources in the organization. Each perspective is represented by a single diagram, or by text. These five perspectives can be combined into cross-products which provide the most useful information. For example, the CommonKADS Organizational Model was used to model a Social Security department; a cross-product of activities and structure was produced which highlighted inefficiency, because one of the activities (archiving) was being performed by three different divisions of the department [de Hoog et al, 1993]. Once the organizational modelling has been completed, the next stage is to construct the task model. This involves a more detailed analysis of the activities identified in the process perspective, with an emphasis on deciding which activities could be suitable candidates for computer software support. For this project, the process of performing more detailed analysis of the activities has been initiated using the repertory grid knowledge acquisition technique; the results are shown in Repertory Grids below. (N.B. For more information on repertory grids: Knowledge Acquisition Tools based on Personal Construct Psychology.

    Enriching the CommonKADS Organizational Model for the ACP domain

    The process of domain familiarization also showed that some aspects of the organization surrounding ACP -- in particular, power/authority relationships -- would benefit from being represented in more detail than the CommonKADS Organizational Model currently permits. It was decided that the multi-perspective approach to organizational modelling would be maintained, but that the perspectives would be altered to permit the representation of rights of access to resources and information, and the representation of who was responsible for performing which activities. The result was that a set of perspectives were developed based on three basic entities: activities, agents and resources.(N.B. This distinction was derived from the ORDIT project which is intended to support organizational requirements definition [Dobson and Strens, 1994].). Figure 2 shows the perspectives which were used, and how they were combined.

    Figure 1:Enriched organizational model: perspectives and cross-products

    The Dictionary perspectives are simply sets of activities (or agents or resources) which are used as a basis for building the other perspectives. The Network perspectives show how entities of the same type relate to one another:

    The Cross Product perspectives show how resources are produced, used, consumed or modified within the process (Assets perspective, what rights agents have to resources (Rights perspective), and the obligations and responsibilities to perform activities and to create states of affairs ( Responsibilities perspective).

    Further details on each perspective will be given in the next section.

    Organizational Model of the ACP process

    Process Perspective

    Figures 2 to 8 show the activities involved in ACP, and how these activities link to form processes. The six diagrams are a hierarchical decomposition: Figure 2 is the top level diagram, figures 3, 4 and 8 show decompositions of three top-level activities (Prepare for ACP planning, Plan Air Campaign and Execute Air Campaign Plan), and figures 5-7 show second-level decompositions of activities connected with prioritization within the planning process.

    Figure 3: ACP Process Perspective: Prepare for ACP Planning

    Line type Meaning
    Solid link the first activity precedes the second

    Description of Activities:

    Obtain policy and guidance from CinC/JFC: The JFACC must receive instructions, and guidance on military and political policy, before he can initiate the planning of an air campaign.

    Organize planning staff: The Director of Planning divides his planning staff into small groups to work on different aspects of the plan. Typically, the groups will be pairs, with one member of the Planning unit working with one member of the INTEL unit.

    Assess situation: Assess the military (and political) situation, using background information and local knowledge.

    Identify campaign objectives and military objectives: The JFACC must identify campaign objectives and military objectives from the policy and guidance which he has received from higher echelons. It's actually possible that the JFACC might negotiate these objectives, though it's unlikely until the later stages of planning, when there may be a good case for the negotiation of objectives.

    Decide on enemy's most likely course of action: The JFACC must decide on the enemy's most likely course of action. This requires background knowledge as well as a good assessment of the current situation.

    Subdivide the planning problem: The production of the ACP is subdivided to allow different planning groups to work on different aspects of the problem. The subdivision will use one or more of the following criteria:

    Assuming that the planning staff breaks the plan down by phase, the way phases are broken down depends on the experience of the staff and the personalities involved. The team will determine how to split people between the phases. The first phase almost always has priority, because phase 1 of a plan is used to gain control of the crisis, stabilize the situation and set up for the next phases. The team will also establish metrics for evaluation of the effectiveness of a phase; the metrics may include cost, logistics, intelligence reports, and resources.

    Obtain feedback on situation: This activity is not explicitly carried out as part of the planning process, which explains why it is not linked to any other activity. Doug thinks it should be carried out, though.

    Figure 5: ACP Process Perspective: Produce Prioritized Air Objectives

    Line type Meaning
    Solid link the first activity precedes the second
    Dashed link there is an information flow from the first activity to the second

    Description of activities:

    Identify enemy Centres of Gravity (in each sub-area): This activity is carried out by each planning team, each of whom is assigned to a particular sub-area (see Subdivide planning problem above). Their task is to analyze the enemy's military forces, infrastructure, and limitations. This information is continuously updated throughout the planning, because the position of the enemy is constantly changing. The planning staff will find intelligence documents and books for details. The planners will look at cultural issues, the enemy's intent, how many weapons the enemy has, how the enemy works and how the enemy hides their resources. The planners then use this analysis to identify key points in enemy territory which, if damaged or destroyed, would seriously disrupt the enemy's military operations. These key points are known as Centres of Gravity. For example, the staff will want to know the most likely situation if the enemy troops loose their command and control. Some troops are trained to not think on their own so loss of command and control would result in immediate chaos. In this situation, enemy command and control centres would be considered to be centers of gravity.

    Identify air objectives (for each sub-area): This activity is carried out by each planning team, each of whom is assigned to a particular sub-area (see Subdivide planning problem above). Their task is to identify objectives for the air forces to achieve. These objectives should be chosen to provide maximum benefit to the friendly forces (with respect to the identified military objectives), based on the situation assessment, the expected enemy course of action, and above all on the description of enemy Centres of Gravity.

    Planners usually take a breadth-first approach to the identification of air objectives. A good description of different categories of air objectives can be found in [Warden, 1989].

    Identify own Centres of Gravity: This is an activity which is not currently performed (and therefore it is not linked to the other activities in the diagram). However, Doug believes that it should be performed, in order to support strategic planning for defense as well as attack.

    Prioritize Air Objectives: This requires decisions about which air objectives are the most important. The key factors in this decision are the Centers of Gravity which are targeted, and the campaign objectives and military objectives. However, a number of factors make this a complex task: the time delay between missions taking place and the enemy's capabilities being affected; the possibility that some missions could achieve more than one air objective; and limitations on the resources available for carrying out certain types of missions.

    Finally review and unify lists of objectives: This activity takes place at a meeting where, as the name suggests, the air objectives identified and prioritized by the different planning teams are brought together and unified into a single prioritized list of air objectives. The reviewing is an important activity, because it is intended to identify any enemy Centres of Gravity or likely enemy activity which is not addressed by any of the identified air objectives.

    Brief JFACC and Obtain feedback from JFACC on Air Objectives: The JFACC is briefed every day, usually at a set time. On the first day of planning, he will be briefed on the chosen list of air objectives, with justifications for prioritization. He will give feedback on his opinion of the air objectives, especially their relevance to the campaign objectives and military objectives; he may also give specific instructions for modifications, based on his knowledge of operations which the Director of Planning is not aware of.

    Figure 7: ACP Process Perspective: Produce Prioritized Targets

    Line type Meaning
    Solid link the first activity precedes the second
    Dashed link there is an information flow from the first activity to the second

    Description of activities:

    One of the main discoveries from this modelling exercise has been that the processes involved in producing prioritized air objectives, producing prioritized task objectives and producing a prioritized target list are very similar. The text below should therefore be read in conjunction with the description of activities involved in producing prioritized air objectives.

    Identify enemy Centers of Gravity (in a way which is specific to target identification): Although the air objectives have already been designed to target enemy Centers of Gravity, it's helpful to review the Centers of Gravity at this stage of planning. No information has yet been acquired on any special features of Centers of Gravity which are specific to target identification.

    Identify targets: Identifying targets consists of choosing targets which provide the maximum fulfilment of the task objectives, based on the task objectives chosen and on identified enemy Centres of Gravity.

    Prioritize targets should largely be based on the prioritization of corresponding task objectives. In practice, the planners spend a lot of time discussing the list of targets and moving certain targets up or down the prioritization; this action effectively incorporates the review and unification of the target list.

    Analyze feasibility of plan is a computerized process. The format of the output is not yet known.

    Brief JFACC and Obtain feedback from JFACC on Targets: see description of Obtain feedback from JFACC on Task Objectives above.

    Structure Perspective

    Figures 9 and 10 show two different aspects of the organizational structure surrounding the ACP process. Figure 9 shows the structure of the US Air Forces, from AFOR (Air Force Command) downwards; it also shows that AFOR ``belongs to'' the JFACC. Figure 10 shows the structure of the Joint Forces Command, including the staff who produce the Air Campaign Plan and report to the JFACC, and the upper echelons from whom the JFACC receives his instructions.

    Doug Holmes highlighted a difficulty with modelling the structure of a Joint Forces Command; sometimes the CinC chooses to adjust the structure according to his own preferences. To be more precise, the CinC may alter the lines of authority or reporting requirements, in order to improve his own liaison with selected groups or individuals. For more detail on these alterations, see section Rights

    Figure 10: Structure of a typical Joint Task Force

    Line type Meaning
    Solid link the first agent reports to the second
    Dashed link the agent belongs to the department

    In addition to the information shown in this diagram, Doug explained the operational sequence within the Air Operations Center when an ACP has to be produced. The INTEL group, who gather information constantly, are assigned to work with the Planning group (typically in pairs) on various sub-parts of the planning problem. Redundancy (two pairs working on the same problem) is very rare. The parts of the plan are unified by the head of the Planning group (Director of Planning), who briefs the JFACC at various stages of the planning cycle. The completed plan is then passed to the Ops group, who perform the activities shown in Figure 8.

    States of Affairs

    A State of Affairs indicates that one or more resources have reached a certain status which is important to the ACP process. Since most of the resources used by ACP planning are passive resources (e.g. documents), most of the important states of affairs will correspond to the completion of certain documents. No states of affairs have yet been fully identified; however, the diagram of the Responsibilities perspective below illustrates some possible states of affairs which might emerge as being important.

    Assets Perspective

    The Assets perspective takes the activities identified in the Process perspective, but replaces the precedence links with information regarding the resources which are produced, consumed, used or modified by the various activities. A diamond-shaped node in the diagram represents a passive resource (a document or file); ellipses represent computer resources (e.g. databases); and there is one rectangle, labelled ``Background knowledge'', which represents a human resource.

    The diagrams in Figures 11 to 16 use the same hierarchical decomposition as the Process perspective; thus Figure 11 displays the activities shown in Figure 4, Figure 12 displays the activities shown in Figure 5, and so on.

    Figure 12: ACP Assets Perspective: Plan Air Campaign

    Line type Meaning
    Labelled link the activity produces/consumes/uses/modifies the resource
    Diamond Passive resource
    Ellipse Computer Resource
    Rounded Rectangle Activity
    (Blue) Rectangle Human resource

    Figure 14: ACP Assets Perspective: Prioritize Task Objectives

    Line type Meaning
    Labelled link the activity produces/consumes/uses/modifies the resource
    Diamond Passive resource
    Ellipse Computer Resource
    Rounded Rectangle Activity

    Figure 16: ACP Assets Perspective: Execute Air Campaign Plan

    Line type Meaning
    Labelled link the activity produces/consumes/uses/modifies the resource
    Diamond Passive resource
    Ellipse Computer Resource
    Rounded Rectangle Activity

    Rights Perspective

    Very little knowledge has been acquired for the Rights perspective. However, this perspective is considered to be important because it represents the authority of various individuals or groups to view or to alter certain resources. By representing this authority, it becomes possible to frame discussions about the consequences of changing these rights.

    An example of the consequences of changing rights can be drawn from Desert Storm [Thaler & Shlapak, 1995]. General Schwarzkopf, the CinC, not only briefed all Joint Force Commanders at meetings, he also sometimes gave out guidance or instructions to an individual Joint Force Commander by telephone or in private meetings. One such instruction, given to the JFACC, was that Iraqi units believed to be below 50\% of full combat strength should no longer be targeted for air strikes. This instruction was not communicated to the land commanders, who were left to wonder why the Air Force had ceased to support them; indeed, many did not find out about this instruction until after the war! It can be seen that the CinC decided to withdraw (or neglected to provide) the JFLCC's rights to view the instructions and guidance which the CinC was providing to the JFACC, and that the result was considerable scope for confusion and irritation. Of course, there may be advantages (e.g. in security) in General Schwarzkopf's approach; but it is important to have a framework for weighing the pros and cons of a particular decision.

    Responsibilities Perspective

    The Responsibilities perspective shows which agents are responsible to which other agents for a state of affairs, and what obligations agents have as a result of their responsibilities. There is very little information available for the Responsibilities perspective at present; the diagram in Figure 18 illustrates the format which a diagram of the Responsibilities perspective would take.

    Initial Task Analysis

    Repertory Grids

    Figures 19 and 20 take a different perspective on the activities. A grid is drawn with each activity forming a separate column in the grid. The rows are labelled with attributes against which each activity can be classified on a 1-5 scale; these classifications were obtained from Doug Holmes using the ``repertory grid'' knowledge elicitation technique. For example, the grid in Figure 13 shows that, in Doug's opinion, identifying campaign objectives and military objectives takes very little time (1 = Short), but requires considerable experience (4 = Fairly Much). The activities displayed in Figure 4 appear as columns in Figure 19, and the activities displayed in Figures 5-7 appear as columns in Figure 20. The purpose of completing this grid is to differentiate the activities on dimensions which are important to the ACP process.

    The first four attributes in these grids were derived from previous experience of using this technique to obtain knowledge about activities. The final two attributes (Analytic vs Synthetic and Evaluation required) were suggested by Doug, after prompting using a triadic elicitation technique (choosing three domain items at random and asking the expert to specify a dimension on which one of the three items differs from the other two). There is much useful information to be gained from this technique, both by statistical analysis of the scores provided (see below) and also from the `asides' which the expert mentions as he is completing the grid (see below).

    The repertory grid is also a good way of objectively identifying differences in opinion between different experts. It is hoped that this technique will be used with other experts in the ACP process in the course of this project.

    Figure 20: Repertory Grid: Attributes of Tasks involved in Prioritization

    Recording the ``aside'' comments which Doug made while completing the grid produces much useful information about the activities involved in air campaign planning. Doug made some general comments about the criteria which he used in filling in the numbers in the grid; these are listed below, followed by the information which was gathered on individual activities.

    Criteria for filling in the grids

    The criteria are listed for each row in the grids:

    Experience required: The criterion which Doug was using here was the rank of the officer who normally carried out the activity; 3 indicated an activity which was normally assigned to a major, 4 an activity normally assigned to a lieutenant-colonel, and 5 an activity which normally required a colonel to perform it.

    Seriousness of mistake: Doug's criterion here was the length of time for which a mistake could go uncorrected in the planning process. For example, an incorrect decision on the enemy's most likely course of action could go uncorrected until the end of the war (thus meriting a high score), while a mistake in obtaining policy and guidance from CinC/JFC will always be corrected at the first briefing.

    Likelihood of mistake: No comments made.

    Time required: Doug stated that he was considering activities within a 3-day time frame (the length of an average planning cycle), so a small number indicated an activity taking a few minutes, whereas a large number indicated an activity taking hours or even a whole day.

    Analytic vs Synthetic: No comments made.

    Evaluation required: No comments made.

    Further information on ACP activities

    Obtain policy and guidance from CinC/JFC: The instructions from the CinC are not often misunderstood; if they are, the JFACC's understanding is corrected (often painfully!) at the next briefing of the CJTF. The task doesn't usually take very long, because the JFACC will probably have already spent time considering the situation, and the policy and guidance which is obtained is likely to confirm a previously formulated hypothesis. Understanding the policy and guidance doesn't require much evaluation; it's an order, so there is no option to decide whether to follow it or not.

    Organize planning staff: A mistake here causes inefficiency, but it quickly becomes apparent when deadlines approach. However, mistakes are rare; Directors of Planning become fairly skilled at this job.

    Assess situation: This is one of the most complex activities in the ACP process. It requires a high ranking officer to perform it, and considerable evaluation is required, both in the weighing of information, and in the weighing the costs and benefits of obtaining or using further information. It's not a completely analytic activity, because it's usually performed by formulating and testing hypotheses. Doug thought that the likelihood of a mistake was about average, although he admitted that he didn't have much evidence for this.

    Identify campaign objectives and military objectives: This is also a complex activity; the main reasons for this are that there are many nuances in the language used which need to be understood, and the reader also requires a lot of previously acquired contextual information to understand the objectives fully. If the objectives are not understood properly (which happens sometimes), this is corrected (often painfully) at the first briefing of the CJTF.

    Subdivide the planning problem: A mistake here causes inefficiency, but few other problems.

    Decide on enemy's most likely course of action: The emphasis here is on making a decision which is ``good enough''. The assessment of the enemy's likely course of action could probably be made more accurate, but the marginal improvement is usually judged to be not worth the extra time required; this activity is therefore relatively swift. Despite the seriousness of mistakes on this activity, mistakes do happen; the beginning of Desert Storm is a good example, when few planners correctly predicted Saddam Hussein's dig-in-and-wait strategy. Fortunately, this strategy was less damaging than the one which had been predicted.

    Review enemy course of action: Since this activity is not currently carried out explicitly, Doug made his own estimates of the characteristics of this task, using the scores for Decide on enemy's most likely course of action as a guide.

    Communicate plan to subordinates: This activity is more complex than the name might suggest, because it includes both a completeness check and a ``sanity check'' on the completed plan. Once the checks have been done, mistakes in communication are very rare, since the plan is formatted as an Air Tasking Order and a Master Air Attack Plan.

    Brief CJTF: This is a complex activity, perhaps surprisingly so. Doug hinted at the underlying complexity when he stated that this activity required a lot of evaluation ``because there's a lot of tradeoffs in what you say and what you do''.

    Produce prioritized air objectives, task objectives and targets: Producing and prioritizing air objectives is a more difficult activity than doing the same for task objectives; prioritizing targets is the easiest task of the three, though the difference is not great. There isn't much experience available concerning mistakes in these activities.

    Further information on prioritization activities

    Identify enemy Centres of Gravity (in each sub-area): This activity takes a long time -- maybe as much as half a day.

    Identify air objectives (for each sub-area): This is a relatively quick activity, once Centers of Gravity have been identified. However, it does require some evaluation, because it requires some ``internal allocation of resources''. Doug stated that this was a synthetic activity, but he also pointed out that the identification of air objectives is really a selection from a pre-existing set of objectives; in that case, it's probably a more analytic activity (deciding which objectives are applicable in this situation) than a synthetic activity.

    Prioritize Air Objectives: This is done at a meeting which typically lasts half an hour at most; it's not a difficult activity to perform.

    Finally review and unify lists of objectives: There's a lot of implicit internal weighting within this task; but mistakes (i.e. missing out important air objectives) are rare, because every planner's work is available and easily verifiable.

    Brief JFACC: Doug gave this activity a medium score for Likelihood of mistakes, because ``when a general briefs a general, the former is right about half the time''.

    Identify enemy Centers of Gravity for review purposes: No further information.

    Identify task objectives (for each Air Objective): No further information.

    Prioritize task objectives: This has a slightly higher likelihood of mistakes than the prioritization of air objectives, simply because there are more task objectives than air objectives.

    Finally review and unify lists of tasks: This has a slightly higher likelihood of mistakes than the prioritization of air objectives, simply because there are more task objectives than air objectives.

    Brief JFACC: The likelihood of a mistake is quite small in these briefings, since anyone who is going to brief a general tends to spend a lot of time making sure that the briefing is correct.

    Identify enemy Centers of Gravity (in a way which is specific to target identification): Despite the increased time required to consider Centers of Gravity in relation to thousands of possible targets, the likelihood of a mistake here is small -- 1.5 might be a better score than 2.

    Identify targets: No further information.

    Prioritize targets: The likelihood of a mistake here is high because there are so many identified targets.

    Analyze feasibility of plan is a computerized process, which reduces the likelihood of a mistake to a score of around 2.5

    Brief JFACC on Air Campaign Plan: This requires some evaluation in deciding what to stress in the final briefing.

    Statistical analysis of repertory grids

    Figure 22: Cluster Analysis: Similarity of Tasks involved in Prioritization

    Assess situation and Brief CJTF are aspects of the same process"

    "Producing prioritized objectives and targets is heavily dependent on the situation assessment"

    "The identification of campaign objectives and military objectives is driven by Decide enemy's most likely course of action, Review enemy course of action and Obtain policy and guidance from CinC/JFC"


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