6. COA Development, Analysis, Comparison

The tools that support this requirement support both mission definition and force employment COA development, analysis, comparison, estimates of success and casualty predictions, risk modeling, and especially recommendations. The tool requirements are provided by the OOTW analysis tasks that they must support.

Evaluate risks and do 'worst case' gaming, task # 2.7: Evaluate the risks of mission failure, both as to failure modes and severity. Perform gaming to identify worst case results.

Estimate probability of mission success, task # 2.8: Estimate the probabilities of mission success associated with likely geopolitical and operational events.

Develop COAs, task # 3.2: Develop courses of action.

Perform staff estimates, task # 3.3: Prepare staff estimates.

Evaluate COAs, task # 3.4: Analyze and compare courses of action.

Protect forces, task # 5.2: Ensure adequate protection of all forces, including other agencies, coalition forces, and NGO/PVOs.

Allocate and station forces, task # 5.3: Determine optimal allocation and stationing of forces.

Evaluate potential use of force, task # 5.7: Evaluate the need for force, whether lethal or non-lethal.

Reposition assets, task # 7.2: Reposition forces and systems as needed.

These are decision support tools that require a good user interface. Responsiveness is the key factor. The priority is 1; modelability is rated as Red (R); and the data availability is rated as Very Hard (V). Because the best modeling approach is uncertain, the recommended action is initiate research and development.

Several requirements support similar tasks and are distinguished as follows. The Situational Awareness requirement addresses the presentation of the information specified in the tasks it supports. The three principal information components that are required are the COA analysis, the impact analysis, and the transition planning and tracking of operational data. The Course of Action analysis requirement refers to that part of Impact Analysis having to do with the impact of actions proposed by US military forces on the immediate operation (including long term consequences). The thrust of the analysis is to determine the best course of action possible. The Impact Analysis requirement is generally broader in scope than COA analysis. At the OSD/Joint Staff level, it involves all governmental and non-governmental actions that may create or exacerbate situations that may lead to the necessity of OOTWs. Conversely, it also involves all governmental and non-governmental actions that may prevent or ameliorate situations that could lead to OOTWs. In addition, it involves environmental conditions that may generate situations leading to OOTWs, such as droughts. At the CINC and JTF levels, Impact Analysis may be principally concerned with ensuring that cultural sensitivities are observed, such as prohibitions against male obstetricians. The Transition Planning and Tracking of Operational Data requirement refers to the part of the COA analysis related to ending the military involvement in the operation (transition planning) and maintaining current values for important MOEs.

The table below will be updated as information is posted on the bulletin board for each requirement.

Table 6. Course of Action Tools

ID Tasks Addressed
2.7 2.8 3.2 3.3 3.4 5.2 5.3 5.7 7.2
DEXES/CAM y y           y  
DPL   y y   y        
RDSS y y           y  
SIMCITY y y           y  
seminar wargame                  

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