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The army forces are mainly land based military whose crucial role is to carry out multinational as well as joint operations. They organize, train and equip its forces to fight a winning battle as an achievement to the nation’s objectives. The army are also conferred the duty of punishing criminals as the will of the military leaders and the non state and state political leaders. This acts as a warning to the would-be criminals that their actions will have uncalled for repercussions. The state is therefore reliant upon them for peace keeping and power retention within and beyond borders. Their ability to decisively seize and occupy a given territory enables them to impose the will of the nation on the enemy thus defending the nation and retaining power. In terms of peace keeping, the army, through peace time military engagement activities assists in shaping the environment of international security. They also assist the civil authorities in the nation as well as outside the nation to prepare and respond to manmade and natural disasters (Casey & Morrow, 2010).
The army carries out their operations in environments characterized by uncertainty, continuous change and complexities. In that accord therefore, commanders need to think critically on ways to counteract with their enemies as success in an operation requires that leaders build, maintain and revise the understanding of a situation all through a process. Leaders are expected to continuously anticipate, learn and manage the transition in order to be more effective than their opponents. During the control and command tasks of conducting the full spectrum operations, the commanders are assisted by their subordinate commanders, staff and other partners of military. This is done through a step operations process of; plan, preparation, execution and continuous assessment of the operation as shown in the figure below (Casey & Morrow, 2010).
Fig 1. The operations process (Casey & Morrow, 2010)
Components of the operation process
The full spectrum operations
There is a range of full spectrum activities across the spectrum of conflict and it is addressed in the army doctrine and they include; offensive, defensive, stability and support operations. Operation missions in any environment require that the army be prepared so as to conduct any of these operations in a combination. The full spectrum operation is comprised of a mixture of nonlethal and lethal actions over a period of time subject to change social, economic, military, political and other conditions in an area of operation (Casey & Morrow, 2010).
Command and control
This is the process whereby a designated commander exercises authority over assigned forces in order to accomplish a mission. This is performed by commanders through command and control system. War fighting functions such as fires, intelligence, sustainment and protection is integrated by commanders by exercising all through the conduction of full spectrum operations. The commander is also in charge of the decision making process in the military and he is responsible for deciding the operations to be used in every situation. He plans, prepares for and executes operations as part of his personal responsibility. From the beginning to the end, the role he plays is central and his presence provides focus and guidance to the staff (Casey & Morrow, 2010).
The mission of an operation is to perform a given task with a purpose that clearly dictates the course of action and the reasons thereof. The commander considers the mission of the adjacent units in order to understand how their decisive operations contribute to the higher headquarters. The elements of mission statement comprises of; why, when, what, where and who but rarely specifies how (Casey & Morrow, 2010).
The commander’s intent
It is a clear and concise statement that specifies the actions of the forces and the conditions in which they must establish under certain circumstances in regard to terrain, civil considerations and the enemy that yields the desired victory. The commander’s intent generally describes the constituents of success in a given operation. It is used to refine and determine the courses of action during the initial planning process as it sums up the visualization of the commander (Casey & Morrow, 2010).
Decisive points and objectives
Concepts of operations can be based by commanders on lines of operation, single objective or even points of effort. Determination of objectives and identification of decisive points are central to creation of operation concepts in every case. A decisive point can be ruled as a geographic place, critical factor or a specific event that when impacted upon, permits commanders to gain great advantage over an opponent thus largely contributing towards an achievement of success (Casey & Morrow, 2010).
Course of Action
Prior to guidance received, the entire staff is involved by the commander in the development of COAs for analysis and comparison. The commander’s intent and guidance help the staff focus creatively in order to produce a flexible comprehensive plan within the constraints of time. His participating directly aids in the generation of answers quickly and accurately by the staff in the process. The development of COA is an attempt deliberately aimed at designing an unpredictable COA to the enemy (Casey & Morrow, 2010). The following qualities must be met by COA;
Feasibility: The unit must be capable of accomplishing the mission in terms of available resources, space and time.
Suitability: the staff must be able to adapt to changes by the commander for mission accomplishment and success.
Acceptability: The tactical advantages gained in execution of COA must justify resource cost more especially casualties (Casey & Morrow, 2010).
The army forces task requires enough preparation and thorough training in anticipation of a crucial task. All this requires prior planning by the commander as a component of the execution process. The army plays a major role in maintaining peace and retaining the power of the nation.