AccessMyLibrary provides FREE access to millions of articles from top publications available through your library.
NEW COMMAND AND control (C2) concepts have played a key role in helping to guide the evolution and development of recent Air Force (AF) expeditionary concepts and capabilities. Doctrine has kept pace with these changes and helped shape some of the new policies, technologies, and approaches to planning. Some concepts have stood the test of time, such as acting decisively within the enemy observe, orient, decide, and act (OODA) loop, and are found in doctrine that is routinely used to guide air campaign planning activities. (1) Other concepts that have found their way into C2 doctrine include strategic campaign planning and the operational strategies-to-task framework. (2) Even more recently, the concept of effects-based operations has taken hold in campaign planning and execution. (3) While doctrine continues to evolve and enable air-and-space-expeditionary-force (AEF) projection, more work is needed, specifically in the area of combat support (CS), where improved integration of CS capabilities and C2 of critical resources can better enable campaign planning and proactive decision making.
Joint and AF doctrine defines C2 as the exercise of authority and direction by a properly designated commander over assigned and attached forces in the accomplishment of the mission. Specifically, C2 includes the battle-space-management process of planning, directing, coordinating, and controlling forces and operations (OPS). Enabling a commander to exercise C2 across the range of military operations involves the integration of systems, procedures, organizational structures, personnel, equipment, information, and communications. (4)
Unfortunately, C2 doctrine for CS is not fully developed. For instance, C2 of CS is minimally addressed in Air Force Doctrine Document (AFDD) 2, Organization and Employment of Aerospace Power, and AFDD 24, Combat Support. As a result, procedures for integrating CS considerations into operations-planning processes are not understood by large segments of operations and CS personnel. During recent conflicts, combatant commanders have employed ad hoc approaches to cobble together CS operational and administrative chains of command, processes, and procedures during contingency operations. This ad hoc approach delays the establishment of CS C2 organizations like the Air Force Forces (AFFOR) Logistics Directorate (A-4) and confuses the alignment of roles and responsibilities between other CS organizations such as the Air Force Combat Support Center (CSC) and the CS functional staffs of the commands providing forces. This delay and confusion results in campaign plans being developed with minimal CS inputs. The time it takes to follow the ad hoc approach to establish and accomplish CS functions and the differing approaches that result in each contingency operation are not consistent with AEF goals. This article offers suggestions for the development of CS C2 doctrine and discusses how it can improve AF campaign planning and execution.
Important additions to CS doctrinal concepts include relating CS process performance, resource levels, and constraints to operationally meaningful measures and capabilities; establishing CS control parameters and closedloop reporting on CS process performance with indicators of potential system failures that could impact mission goals; and identifying what CS organizations will conduct specific C2 functions. Changes such as these will strengthen the capability of the AF C2 system in terms of the underlying C2 principles and tenets described in AFDD 2-8, Command and Control. (5) For example, relating CS process performance and inventory levels to operational capability will enable commanders to understand the impact CS decisions might have on war-fighting capability, thereby providing an environment for more informed decision making.
The evolution of CS doctrine has been slowed by a lack of understanding about doctrine and its purpose. In 1995, during the early development stages of AFDD 2-4, working groups contended with defining CS doctrine and struggled over the balance between simplicity and completeness, determining the target audience, and ownership of content. (6) The environment for codifying CS principles into doctrine has not significantly changed. Oftentimes, the relationship between doctrine, concept of operations (CONOPS), instructions, policies, procedures, and techniques is not clearly defined or understood. To address this, we begin with a definition of doctrine and a short discussion on the relationship between doctrine and other formal AF publications.
AFDD 1, Air Force Basic Doctrine, provides the following definition of doctrine:
Air and space doctrine is a statement of officially sanctioned beliefs and war-fighting principles that describe and guide the proper use of air and space forces in military operations. Doctrine prepares us for future uncertainties and, combined with our basic shared core values, provides a common set of understanding on which airmen base their decisions. Doctrine consists of the fundamental principles by which military forces guide their actions in support of the nation's objectives. (7)
AFDD 1 goes on to describe the various levels of doctrine.
Basic doctrine states the most fundamental and enduring beliefs that describe and guide the proper use of air and space forces in military actions.... Because of its fundamental and enduring character, basic doctrine provides broad and continuing guidance on how Air Force forces are organized and employed.
Operational doctrine, contained in AFDD 2 series publications, describes more detailed organization of air and space forces and applies the principles of basic doctrine to military actions. Operational doctrine guides the proper employment of air and space forces in the context of distinct objectives, force capabilities, broad functional areas and operational environments.
Tactical doctrine describes the proper employment of specific weapons systems individually or in concert with other weapons systems to accomplish detailed objectives.... Tactical doctrine is codified in Air Force Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (AFTTP) 3-series manuals. (8)
Doctrine is designed to provide a set of principles to guide the further development of policy, instructions, procedures, and techniques. Each level of doctrine should guide thoughts, actions, and decisions of those charged with execution. For example, many CS decisions are concerned with the allocation of resources. Oftentimes, allocation decisions must be made when competition for limited critical resources exists. In this example, operational-level …