BSS5: The Battle Staff SMARTbook, 5th Ed. incorporates the full scope of new material from FM 6-0 (w/change 2), Commander and Staff Organization and Operations (May ‘15); ATP 2-01.3/MCRP 2-3A, Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield/Battlespace (Nov '14); ADRP 1-02, Operational Terms and Military Symbols (Feb ‘15); FM 3-09, Field Artillery Operations and Fire Support (Apr ‘14); ATP 3-60, Targeting (May ‘15); and ATP 5-19 (w/change 1), Risk Management (Apr ‘14). Chapters and topics include the operations process (ADRP 5-0); commander’s activities (Understand, Visualize, Describe, Direct, Lead, Assess); the military decisionmaking process and troop leading procedures (FM 6-0: MDMP & TLP); integrating processes and continuing activities (IPB, targeting, risk management); plans and orders (WARNOs/FRAGOs/OPORDs); mission command, command posts, liaison (ADRP 6-0); rehearsals & after action reviews; and operational terms and military symbols (ADRP 1-02).
Commanders, supported by their staffs, use the operations process to drive the conceptual and detailed planning necessary to understand, visualize, and describe their operational environment; make and articulate decisions; and direct, lead, and assess military operations. The Army’s framework for exercising mission command is the operations process: planning, preparing, executing, and continuously assessing the operation.
Planning is the art and science of understanding a situation, envisioning a desired future, and laying out effective ways of bringing that future about. 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. Preparation is activities that units perform to improve their ability to execute an operation. Execution puts a plan into action by applying combat power to accomplish the mission and using situational understanding to assess progress and make execution and adjustment decisions. Assessment is continuously monitoring and evaluating the current situation and the progress of an operation.
The military decisionmaking process (MDMP) is an iterative planning methodology to understand the situation and mission develop a course of action, and produce an operation plan or order. The MDMP helps leaders apply thoroughness, clarity, sound judgment, logic, and professional knowledge to understand situations, develop options to solve problems, and reach decisions. This process, consisting of seven steps with inputs and outputs, helps commanders, staffs, and others think critically and creatively while planning.
Throughout the operations process, commanders and staffs integrate the warfighting functions to synchronize the force in accordance with the commander’s intent and concept of operations. Commanders and staffs use several integrating processes and continuing activities to do this. In addition to the major activities of the operations process, commanders and staffs use several integrating processes to synchronize specific functions throughout the operations process. The integrating processes are: intelligence preparation of the battlefield (IPB), targeting and risk management.
A product of planning is a plan or order—a directive for future action. Commanders issue plans and orders to subordinates to communicate their understanding of the situation and their visualization of an operation. Plans and orders direct, coordinate, and synchronize subordinate actions and inform those outside the unit how to cooperate and provide support.
Mission command is the exercise of authority and direction by the commander using mission orders to enable disciplined initiative within the commander’s intent to empower agile and adaptive leaders in the conduct of unified land operations. Mission command is one of the foundations of unified land operations. This philosophy of command helps commanders capitalize on the human ability to take action to develop the situation and integrate military operations to achieve the commander’s intent and desired end state.
Rehearsals allow leaders and their Soldiers to practice executing key aspects of the concept of operations. These actions help Soldiers orient themselves to their environment and other units before executing the operation. An after action review (AAR) is a guided analysis of an organization’s performance, conducted at appropriate times during and at the conclusion of a training event or operation with the objective of improving future performance. The AAR provides valuable feedback essential to correcting training deficiencies. Feedback must be direct, on-the-spot and standards-based.
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