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Operational effects in OIF.

 "I want simultaneous, multidirectional, continuous effects: combined
arms maneuver, operational fires, information operations--synchronize
conventional, special operational forces(SOF) & other governmentagencies
Lioutenant General David D. McKieman Commander, Coalition Land Component
Command Operation Iraqi Freedom

Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) was planned, coordinated and executed like no other campaign in the history of the United States military, let alone the United States Army. In October 2002. Lieutenant General McKiernan, Commander of the Coalition Forces Land Component Command (COMCFLCC), decided to break the traditional staff organization and planning functions paradigms and organize his staff for combat based on lines of operations versus the traditional linear staff models and principles with which Army officers are most familiar.

Traditionally concerned with lethal fires, the personnel assigned to the Third US Army Deep Operations Coordination Cell (DOCC) became responsible for integrating full-spectrum effects, to include the contributions of information operations (IO), psychological operations (PSYOPS), logistics, engineers and civil affairs (CA)--to name a few of our new targeting partners.

In addition to learning this new way of doing business as part of a staff, the DOCC had to develop a clear and concise method for planning, coordinating, executing and disseminating the concept for all effects. Executing the commander's guidance and intent for effects proved to be challenging for three primary reasons. First, and most obvious, there are no doctrinal references for integrating full-spectrum effects. Second, and most challenging, was that none of the targeting partners had well defined definitions or methods for describing the effects their specialty could bring to bear on the battlefield. The final challenge was having to rapidly create a functional system that could integrate multiple staff sections and organizations into an effective effects organization.

Transitioning from Traditional Targeting to Effects. Traditionally, the Army has relegated the targeting process to the Field Artillery--to fire supporters who did not incorporate the full spectrum of capabilities available to achieve the commander's intent on the battlefield. JP 3-0 Doctrine for Joint Operations, dated 10 September 2001, states that "to facilitate development of effective termination criteria, US forces must be dominant in the final stages of an armed conflict by achieving sufficient leverage to impose a lasting solution." Inherent in determining the "effective termination criteria" is ensuring that the right targets are attacked at the right time by the right systems.

Early in the planning process, we realized our traditional targeting process was outdated and would not fully address COMCFLCC's guidance or fully support combat operations in Iraq. Our traditional effects-based lethal targeting practices then became the basis for the more comprehensive effects process to integrate nontraditional targeting participants.

Effects-based operations, or EBO, is integral to the targeting process. EBO as a concept was first applied in Operation Desert Storm in 1991 and only now is being codified in doctrine. (2) The US Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) defines EBO as "a process for obtaining a desired strategic outcome or 'effect' on the enemy through the synergistic, multiplicative and cumulative application of the full range of military and nonmilitary capabilities at the tactical, operational and strategic levels." (3)

In addition, other doctrine did not have enough detail to guide the effects process in the CFLCC. JP 3-60 Joint Doctrine for Targeting, dated 17 January 2002, does provide some guidance for joint targeting, but as is the case with most joint publications, it is far too broad to be useful for actual operations. JP 3-60 does not provide the detail required for full-spectrum targeting or the targeting process in general.


FM 3-31 Joint Force Land Component Commander (JFLCC) Handbook briefly states that the "JFLCC organizes a targeting coordination board (TCB) to function as an integrating center to accomplish targeting oversight functions or as a JFLCC-level review mechanism." Unfortunately, that is the depth that doctrine for the operational headquarters reaches. There is relatively little useful information to guide the COMCFLCC and his staff through the targeting board process, let alone through the entire targeting cycle.

The highest level of doctrine available to an Army staff regarding fires and the targeting process is in FM 6-20-30 Tactics, Techniques and Procedures [TTPs] for Fire Support for Corps and Division Operations. This manual has information about fires and deep operations, but it is written for the tactical level, has limited value for operational fires and has nothing about synchronizing operational effects. FM 6-20-30 does not address the integration of full-spectrum effects adequately.

The basis for the CFLCC's targeting process was FM 6-20-10 TTP for the Targeting Process. FM 6-20-10 is used throughout the Army and Marine Corps as the baseline document for targeting. This manual transcends all levels of fire support planning, from the joint down through the tactical. The DOCC leadership decided to "go with what we know" and plan, coordinate and execute fires based on FM 6-20-10.

Although this FM does not provide an example of "how to" conduct or execute a targeting board, it clearly lays out the functions that must be executed for successful targeting operations. (See Figure 1, Page 30.)

[D.sup.3]A at the Operational Level. The Decide, Detect, Deliver and Assess ([D.sup.3]A) functions are the targeting methodology outlined in the FM. The methodology focuses the staff on providing the commander with targeting recommendations and executing his decisions and guidance. The CFLCC DOCC applied this methodology and expanded it to nontraditional targeting participants.

But we still needed a means to articulate the commander's guidance in terms of tasks and objectives. Again, the DOCC went back to its FA roots and adopted conventional fire support doctrine that describes the commander's objectives for lethal fires.

First, we wrote the initial lethal effects-based objectives (EOs). The EOs included a task and purpose and were nested with both the strategic and operational objectives. Once the objectives were mapped out, the DOCC further defined the COMCFLCC's targeting guidance by writing the operational fire support tasks. We used essential fire support tasks (EFSTs) that fire supporters and maneuver commanders at all levels understood as our model for CFLCC targeting tasks. The EFST was easily adaptable for the operational level of war and the COMCFLCC's intent for effects by describing the task, purpose, method and effect (TPME).

With some practice, the TPME was applied to all facets of effects operations. The effects personnel, predominantly fire supporters at CFLCC and at both the V Corps Fires and Effects Coordination Cell (FECC) and the I Marine Expeditionary Force (I MEF) Fires Headquarters, were familiar with and had been trained on TPME at Fort Sill. TPME facilitated the IO section's development of the essential information operations tasks (EIOT) used in OIF. TPME can describe the actions of the many facets of IO, improving understanding of IO capabilities and facilitating the EIOTs' execution.

The DOCC then developed essential stability tasks (ESTs) for use by other nontraditional targeting board members and those functions required to achieve OIF Phase IV objectives. While conceptually valid in practice, only the C7 embraced the use of ESTs and adopted this methodology, which greatly enhanced the understanding of engineer operations by integrating them into the targeting process.


Figure 2 gives examples of an EFST, EIOT and EST in support of CFLCC EOs for Phase II shaping operations in OIF.

Probably the greatest success of the integration of EFSTs, EIOTs and ESTs into a single EO during OIF was in securing the southern oil fields in Rumaylah shortly after Coalition Forces crossed the line of departure into Iraq. The Rumaylah oil fields was an initial critical strategic objective.

The EFSTs focused on destroying enemy artillery units occupying the oil fields and Iraqi military headquarters in order to disrupt the enemy's ability to command and control its forces or conduct a coordinated defense. The EIOTs focused on dissuading Iraqi military forces from destroying the critical facilities, while the ESTs focused on persuading the civilian workers to disable or turn off their equipment and remain on the job to prevent an environmental disaster and help secure the future of Iraq's economy. All three tasks were successfully executed.

CFLCC Effects Organization and Process. The CFLCC staff had been built around the existing Third Army staff and was organized along traditional staff lines. Within the C3 Operations Directorate, the DOCC and IO cell were the two permanent yet separate staff organizations that routinely focused on lethal and nonlethal fires.

During a series of exercises and internal reviews in the fall of 2002, the CFLCC staff reoriented itself from the traditional C1 through C9 organization and focused on operational functions that had a "czar" designated for each. This fused staff elements and focused efforts on synchronization. A general officer was assigned responsibility for each of the six operational functions: Operational Effects, Operational Maneuver and Movement, Operational Protection, Operational Command and Control, Operational Intelligence and Operational Support. For example, the C3 was the czar for Operational Maneuver and Movement and the C2 was the czar for Operational Intelligence.

The deputy commanding general for operations (DCG-O) became the operational effects czar and chaired the refashioned daily effects board (DEB). This board reviewed the desired effects daily and provided effects guidance to the staff. Board members routinely included the traditional fires members (lethal and nonlethal) as well as the staff judge advocate (SJA), engineers, civil-military operations (CMO), intelligence collection, targeting and operations representatives, future operations planners, special operations forces (SOF), weather, logistics, nuclear-biological-chemical (NBC), public affairs (PA) and V Corps, I MEF and Coalition liaison officers (LNOs). The DEB was nested in the targeting cycle of the US Central Command (CENTCOM) and the Coalition Forces Air Component Command (CFACC).

The DEB approved the effects to be achieved in 72 hours and provided guidance for the next 96 to 120 hours. These decisions were transmitted to the subordinate commands, other functional components--CFACC, Coalition Forces Special Operations Component Command (CFSOCC), Coalition Forces Maritime Component Command (CFMCC)--and higher headquarters by an electronic daily effects fragmentary order (FRAGO).

The daily effects FRAGO listed the effects taskings to subordinate units as well as the overall effects focus for the next 72 hours. It also provided information on the anticipated focus of CFLCC effects for the 96- to 120-hour period.

Future guidance was given by the effects working group (EWG). The EWG was chaired by the deputy DOCC chief and consisted of action officers and planners from the agencies represented at the DEB. The EWG took the guidance from the DEB and synchronized the effects to be achieved over the next 96 to 120 hours. This effort was worked down to the enemy function or formation level to establish priorities.

The major product of the EWG was an effects synchronization matrix and an attack guidance matrix. Both of these products fed the intelligence collection effort.

The candidate target list (CTL) review board was the final review of targets before they were submitted to the CFACC. This was a technical, tactical and legal review of all targets nominated to ensure they met the commander's intent, were still operationally valid and were consistent with the Laws of Land Warfare.

Although the CTL review board was a formal board in the CFLCC battle rhythm, we found that reviewing targets as they were developed and as the major subordinate commands (MSCs) forwarded them to us was a more effective means of ensuring target fidelity, based upon commander's guidance and restrictions. Targets from the MSCs were deconflicted with CFLCC targets and reviewed sequentially in an effort to improve efficiency.

As restrictions on certain targets were identified by the CFLCC staff, they passed the targets to the CENTCOM J3 Plans for approval before adding them to the final CTL. Simultaneously, the staff identified the restrictions on the individual air support requests (ASRs) to help the CFACC weaponeers and targeting personnel.

After all target nominations had been received and deconflicted, the CTL review board was a final sanity check before sending the list to the CFACC via the battlefield coordination detachment (BCD). The CFACC then prioritized targets nominated for air attack, based on CENTCOM's overall guidance.

The combat assessment board (CAB) was the venue where the CFLCC assessed how well operational effects were being achieved. The DOCC operations officer and deputy C2 chaired the CAB and reviewed a series of measures of effectiveness (MOEs). The MOEs were developed by the C2 battle damage assessment (BDA) cell, C2 collection managers and the DOCC and IO cells.

It was extremely challenging to assess the battlefield in enough time to influence the future effects cycle. Making recommendations for actions to be executed 72 hours out with incomplete, late and (or) contradictory BDA is difficult and laborious. Combat assessment is critical in helping the commander determine the level of risk he is willing to accept as he provides guidance for and directs his subordinate units.

CENTCOM issued guidance for effects through its coalition targeting coordination board (CTCB). The DCG-O normally represented the CFLCC at this meeting, which was conducted daily via a secure video teleconference (VTC).

The intent of the CTCB was to issue broad guidance to the components and provide an assessment of how well effects were being achieved. This board also was used to deconflict issues between the components.

Underpinning this CFLCC daily effects cycle was the DOCC and IO cells. While they retained their old names, by the time OIF started, a land component-level effects coordination center had been formed.

This larger effects organization had a small plans section, an operations and intelligence section, a fire support element (FSE) and an IO section. The plans section did the staff action associated with the DEB and EWG and also produced the daily effects FRAGO. The operations and intelligence section developed targets and input targets into the advanced FA tactical data system (AFATDS) for transmission to the CFACC. The FSE was located on the current operations floor of the coalition operations and intelligence center and tracked target engagement and, more importantly, prosecuted time-sensitive targets (TSTs). The IO section planned and executed doctrinal IO missions.

Lessons Learned. OIF demonstrated that lethal and nonlethal means can be integrated on the battlefield effectively to achieve the commander's intent for effects. Although this process was very successful, we still can improve the process.

First we need Army and joint doctrine that describes an effects process (from battalion through a regional combatant command) and a language to describe the effects desired. The process and language need to be consistent across the "effects community," lethal and nonlethal. We cannot afford to have an FA process and language and an IO process and language.

Additionally as the Army transforms for the future, it must build in a robust effects cell that incorporates FA, IO, aviation, CA and engineers, to name a few. Merely changing the name of the DOCC to the "effects coordination center" on the table of organization and equipment (TOE) will not be enough.

Achieving the desired effects on the battlefield will require new combinations of skills, personnel and equipment from the lethal and nonlethal effects staff organizations. There is a synergy to having staff organizations located together (either virtually or physically) to produce effects versus the stovepipe approach employed in the past.

Assessment remains the "Achilles Heel" of effects. It is an endeavor that is crucial to achieving effects on the battlefield and requires a lot more work.

The Army must get past using BDA as the primary means for assessing the effectiveness of an operation. Too often, the "number of tanks destroyed" is the sole means to determine success or failure on the battlefield.

The Army must develop MOEs and measures of performance (MOPs) and instruction on how they are attainable from the strategic through the tactical levels. As is the case with the evolution of the effects process, assessment cuts across all lines of operations and all battlefield operators contribute to the process.

Providing relevant and ready land power to the combat commander as part of the joint force will require the Army to develop enduring doctrine and organizations to generate the appropriate effects for the land maneuver and joint force commanders. The effects TTPs and organization used by CFLCC during OIF may provide the foundation for that endeavor.
CENTCOM Strategic Objective:
Occupy Key Terrain & Secure Key Nodes

CFLCC Concept of Fires:

Phase II (Shaping Operations): CFC begins a simultaneous attack along
multiple lines of operations employing lethal and nonlethal fires on the
regime and its leadership. The CFACC is the supported commander for
Phase II. CFLCC conducts shaping operations using operational fires.
CFLCC's intent is to capitalize on information operations (IO)
synchronized with controlled lethal effects to dissuade military forces
from supporting Saddam and his regime and prevent the use of weapons of
mass destruction (WMD) or regime-initiated catastrophic environmental
events. CFLCC lethal targeting must be carefully balanced with the
success of nonlethal effects.

EO II-1. Destroy Iraqi Regional Area Command's Headquarters to deny the
enemy the ability to conduct a defense in depth, enabling CFLCC freedom
of maneuver and to defeat enemy forces in zone.

Task. Destroy Southern Area Command Headquarters to deny the enemy the
ability to command, control and execute a cohesive defense in the
southern region of Iraq.
Purpose. Enable the CFLCC to conduct offensive operations, maintain
freedom of maneuver and defeat enemy forces in zone.
Method. Primary means is strategic attack (CFACC).
Effects. Southern Area Command destroyed no later than A-Day.

EO II-4. Deny III RA Corps maneuver units the ability to conduct a
cohesive defense in order to allow CFLCC freedom of maneuver and to
defeat enemy forces in zone.

Task. Disrupt ability of III (IZ) RA Corps to conduct a cohesive
Purpose. Enable CFLCC freedom of maneuver and to sequentially defeat
enemy forces in zone.
Method. EW
Effects. 51st (IZ) Mech Div, 11th (IZ) IN Div and 6th (IZ) AR Div
decision-making process delayed and unable to conduct a coordinated

EO II-8. Protect infrastructure in Phase IV to provide rapid restoration
of public services and prevent a humanitarian crisis.

Task. Maintain the functionality of the Rumaylah Oil Fields ... the
off-shore loading platforms, and protect the associated workforce.
Purpose. The preservation of these oil fields and associated facilities
is necessary for Iraq to maintain and develop a viable economy.
Method. It is best to reach the oil workforce through a nonlethal
process designed to keep them at their workplace. Their presence at work
is the best action they can take for their country and their livelihood.
Effects. Preserve the production capability of the South Rumaylah Oil
Fields, allowing Iraq an income-producing capability in the future as a
nation-state in transition.

AR = Armored
CFACC = Coalition Forces Air Component Command
CFC = Coalition Forces Command
EW = Electronic Warfare
IN = Infantry
IZ = Iraqi
RA = Regular Army

Figure 2: Examples of Effects Objectives (EOs) with a selected
supporting essential fire support task (EFST), an essential information
operations task (EIOT) and an essential stability task (EST). The figure
leads off with a Central Command (CENTCOM) strategic objective and the
Coalition Forces Land Component Command's (CFLCC's) concept of fires to
support the objective.


1. Colonel Smith's personal notes taken during OIF planning.

2. One of the major initial contributors to the effects-based targeting methodology is Major General David A. Deptula, US Air Force, author of "Effects-Based Operations: Changes in the Nature of Warfare." February, 2001. Defense and Airpower Series. Aerospace Education Foundation. Prior to Desert Storm, targeting and the application of combat power in general were linear and sequential in nature. Major General Deptula espouses parallel warfare and the achievement of effects versus the total destruction of complete target sets.

3. US Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) Glossary at

By Lieutenant Colonel Robert G. Black, Jr. and Colonel Eugene B. Smith

Lieutenant Colonel Robert G. Black, Jr., was a Deputy Chief of the Coalition Forces Land Component Command's (CFLCC's) Deep Operations Coordination Cell (DOCC) in Kuwait during Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and then served as the Chief of the DOCC. Currently, he is Chief of Plans in the Warfighter Division of the G3, First Army, at Fort McPherson, Georgia. He also was a Joint Planner for the Air Force from 1999 through 2002 in the Joint Operations Element, 505th Exercise Control Squadron, US Air Forces Command and Control Training and Innovation Group at Hurlburt Field, Florida, and an Operations Plans Officer at Central Command, MacDill AFB, Florida, during Operation Enduring Freedom.

Colonel Eugene B. Smith was a Deputy Chief of the CFLCC's DOCC in Kuwait during OIF. He currently is an instructor at the Army War College at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. He commanded the Headquarters Battalion of the US Army Garrison at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and was a Plans Officer in the J7 on the Joint Staff at the Pentagon. In the 25th Infantry Division (Light) at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, he served as the S3 for the Division Artillery and S3 for 2d Battalion, 11th Field Artillery.
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Title Annotation:management of military operations
Author:Smith, Eugene B.
Publication:FA Journal
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2005
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