Initial Commander's Intent Research Paper

765 Words 4 Pages
The USEASTCOM Joint Planning Group (JPG) recently completed course of action (COA) development for the Defense of Tunisia contingency plan (CONPLAN). As the JPG prepared the COAs, the commander’s initial intent served to anchor the different concepts towards achieving the same purpose. I support the JPG’s initial commander’s intent, as it provides a solid basis to continue planning. This paper continues by explaining how the JPG developed the initial commander’s intent, and then provides the rationale for supporting the key elements within the intent. Enclosure 1 to this paper provides the complete narrative of the initial commander’s intent.
The JPG derived the initial commander’s intent during planning initiation, heavily focused upon design.
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The JPG’s initial intent also describes where the commander will and will not accept risk during the operation. The commander’s intent differs from the mission statement in that it expresses the broader purpose of the joint force’s activities, the desired results, and it links the mission and the concept of operations. Subordinate commanders also look to their higher commander’s intent, two levels up, to ensure their intent is properly nested. Nested refers to the concept of complementary intents among the joint force commands to ensure all are similarly …show more content…
Intent supports mission command and guides joint forces by an understanding of how their higher commander visualizes the operation and what the desired end state looks like. Subordinates are delegated the authority to make decisions “wherever possible”, which allows them to exercise initiative based on understanding the higher commander’s intent.” As Milan Vego described the purpose of intent, it provides a framework for subordinate commanders to exercise initiative when the original orders become obsolete due to fluid situations; acting decisively to accomplish the mission without further instructions.
The USEASTCOM commander’s intent concisely describes the purpose of the operation as the defense of Tunisian sovereignty and creating conditions for sustainable regional stability. I concur with the purpose because it provides a unifying focus for subordinate units and is nested with the strategic purpose of enduring regional stability and U.S. interests. As planning continues and concepts of operations are further developed, the JPG may elect to expand upon the purpose to include a visualization of the entire

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