(FM 5.0, Chapter 3)
1. Receipt of Mission.
Alert the Staff (CDR, XO)
Gather the Tools – OPORD, Graphics, Maps, References, SOPs etc
Update Staff Estimates
Perform an Initial Assessment
Issue the Initial Guidance
Issue the Initial Warning Order (Starts Parallel Planning Process)
2. Mission Analysis.
Analyze the Higher Headquarters Order
Perform Initial Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield
Define the Battlefield Environment
Describe the Battlefield’s Effects (Quantify for F and E COAs)
Evaluate the Threat (NOT Just Military Threat)
Determine Enemy COA (S2 – Enemy End State / Think RED)
Determine Specified, Implied and Essential Tasks
Review Available Assets
Attachments and Detachments (Unique Requirements?)
Status on Equipment, Personnel and Classes of Supply
Determine Constraints (Restrictions from Higher)(Action or Inaction)
Identify Critical Facts and Assumptions
Perform Risk Assessment (Continues THROUGHOUT the MDMP)
Determine Information Requirements and Initial CCIR (PIR and EEFI)
Determine the Initial Intelligence, Surveillance and Recon Plan
Update the Operational Timeline (Remember Subordinate’s needs)
Write the Restated Mission (Who, What, When, Where, Why)
Deliver a Mission Analysis Briefing
Approve the Restated Mission
Develop the Initial Commander’s Intent
Issue the Commander’s Planning Guidance (Clear and Concise – Focus
Issue a Warning Order (#2)
Review Facts and Assumptions
3. Course of Action Development.
Suitable – Does COA Accomplish the Mission?
Feasible – Is COA Possible give Time, Space, Resources?
Acceptable – Is COA Justified ITO Resources, esp Casualties?
Distinguishable – Are COAs Significantly Different from One Another?
Complete – Branches and Sequels Considered / Documented
Analyze Relative Combat Power
Array Initial Forces
Develop the Concept of Operations
Prepare COA Statements and Sketches (Control Measures!!!)
Conduct COA Briefing and Receive Additional Commander’s Guidance
4. Course of Action Analysis (WAR-GAMING)
Objective “Action, Reaction, Counteraction” Process – NO “Thin Skins”
Gather Tools (Estimates, Templates, COAs “All BOS”, Maps)
List Friendly Forces (Attachments & Detachments)
List Critical Events and Decision Points
Determine Evaluation Criteria (Later becomes basis for the Decision
Select the War-gaming Method (Box, Belt, Avenue in Depth)
Select a Method to Record and Display Results (Includes
War-game the Battle and Assess the Results (Each Friendly COA vs.
ECOA – Record the Results)
COA Analysis Briefing is OPTIONAL
5. Course of Action Comparison.
Compare COA War-gaming Results by Category (Evaluation Criteria)
Use Evaluation Criteria to CRITICALLY Rate Results Relative to Each COA
Record Results (Weighted Criteria?)(HIGHER is Better)
6. Course of Action Approval.
Brief Commander (COA Decision Briefing)
FULL Briefing – Mission/Intent, COA by Phase/BOS, Etc
Identify Methodology Used and Present Dissenting Opinions
RECOMMEND a COA, BUT Do Not Prejudice the CDR
Receive Commander’s Decision (“As Is”, “As Modified”, or “Other”)
Receive Commander’s Final Planning Guidance
Issue a Warning Order (#3)
7. Orders Production.
Produce Order (Standard or Matrix)(Annexes)(Graphics)
Mission and Intent Should Clear and Concise Enough to STAND
Integrate and Implement Risk Reduction
Commander or XO Reviews Product Before Issue
Issue Order to Subordinate Elements