WARNING! Rated D for Doctrine: Not to be read by those weak of heart, who have nightmares about Joint Publications, or who are deployed and operating under General Order 1.
Scene: A dimly lit Tactical Operations Center inside the Combined Operations Center, or COC. The low glow of computer monitors casts a romantic hue over the workspace. A map is projected onto the wall with graphic overlays depicting ongoing military operations. The smell of Simple Green lingers in the enclosed space. A copy of “50 Shades of Multicam™” by Doctrine Man lies on the table. The S-3 (operations officer) and the S-2 (intelligence officer) are preparing to wargame for an upcoming operation, a tasker given late in the day. Naturally, most of the staff has fled, leaving only these two to develop the plans for victory.
The S-3 leaned over the table, strands of her hair escaping its rigid bun and waving past her sultry eyes. She brushed it away, catching the eye of the S-2. They both suddenly looked away.
“Your overlays are excellent,” she said, coyly. “I love how your modified combined obstacles overlay depicts the power and drive of the enemy forces. It’s so…dynamic.”
He blushed. “I’m glad you like my MCOO.”
“I love your OACOK, too,” she said, longingly.
“What?” he asked, startled by her directness. “Oh, you mean my analysis of observation, avenues of approach, cover and concealment, obstacles, and key terrain.”
“Oh yes,” she breathed. “Look how strong your lines of effort are.” Her fingers slowly slid past the Velcro clasps on her uniform.
“I am only mirroring the doctrinally correct plans you wrote,” he said, his hand moving imperceptibly across the table towards hers. “Your tasks to subordinate units…moved me.”
“I feel like there is a connection here,” she said, slyly. “Or is that merely an assumption?”
“No!” he exclaimed, haltingly. “No…that is a fact.”
She began planning her shaping efforts, applying pressure to the enemy lines of supply and loosening their supporting elements.
“Your mission constraints need to be reduced,” he insisted.
“Or would you rather I add mission restraints to this?” she asked, seductively.
“I’ve planned and prepared for this mission for so long,” he panted in relief, his strong arms placed firmly on the table, “now it’s time to execute!”
“Yes,” she intoned, looking deeply into his eyes. “Your mission command is so overwhelming!”
He fumbled with the plans for establishing an access control point to the enemy’s interior lines, breaching their first obstacle belt, while she planned an area reconnaissance of the enemy’s instrument of national power.
“Hooahhhhh,” he exclaimed. The S-2 entered the wargame portion of the planning, probing at the enemy’s assailable flanks, feeling for the best avenue of approach. The S-3 gently established an aerial port to enhance the flow of troops into engagement area.
“It’s F-Hour,” the S-2 gritted through his manly, dip-filled teeth, “I intend to begin decisive operations.”
“Yes, go kinetic!” she moaned. She paused. “Wait. Do you have a risk assessment?”
He smiled, and withdrew a paper from his pocket.
“I’ve got the DRAW right here, we’ll be perfectly safe,” he said. “And, of course, I’ve got my reflective belt.”
“What a relief,” she sighed. “Now bring your mastery of the human dimension to this operation.”
“Safety always!” he said sternly, moving in to reduce the enemy positions.
Suddenly, there was a sound at the door. They froze. The door opened to reveal the S-6 (signal officer), a female in the Danish Air Force. She took in the uncertain environment as the S-3 and the S-2, sweaty from prolonged operational planning, stammered to explain themselves. A smile crossed her face.
“How about we make this a joint operation?” the S-6 said.
“This would be better as a combined operation,” agreed the S-3.
“Looks like we’ve got a coalition,” said the S-2, smiling. The wargame commenced and overt action began on each node’s center of gravity. The S-2 conducted stability operations, while the S-3 and the S-6 established a battle rhythm.
“Oh, Army Operating Concept,” gasped the S-3. “We need to incorporate McMaster’s ideas into our execution.” The operational tempo in the TOC was extremely elevated and areas of responsibility were transferred as each unit neared the culminating point of their core competencies. The S-2 began planning a wet gap crossing with the S-3, while the S-6 held firm air-to-ground coordination, plainly uttering, “Air power! Air power!” as the S-2 exploited the enemy’s named area of interest. The S-2 then applied a logistics package to the S-3’s planned mobility corridor and conducted a rear passage of lines. The S-3’s forces, canalized by obstacles, pushed forward to the point of penetration.
“Talk some Clausewitz to me,” whispered the S-3. “To aid in creating an operational environment.”
“The backbone of surprise is fusing speed with secrecy,” the S-2 said, as the words thrust past his lips. “Pursue one great decisive aim with force and determination.”
“Oh, yessss!” cried the S-3. “Carl knows just the right words.”
“Get in here and begin your actions on the objective,” gasped the S-6. “I’ve located the enemy’s high value target.”
“You’re presenting me with multiple dilemmas,” grunted the S-2. “Multiple options, multiple partners!” The S-3 began her flanking operations into the deep area, while the S-2 generated a program of targets and distribution management in anticipation of explosive hazards. The S-3 suddenly executed a turning movement at a trigger point, reducing the operation into a quivering pool of interoperability.
“I’m calling for fires!” warned the S-2.
“Bring it danger close!” shouted the S-6. “You’ll to have to do battle damage assessments for days!”
“Wait, get your weapon of mass destruction into the enemy’s kill box, first,” gasped the S-3. “Execute a live fire frontal attack!” The S-2 pivoted his heavy weapons systems around and conducted a single envelopment of the enemy line, maintaining contact until the S-3 had sustained culminating operations inside the infiltration lane. The S-3 and the S-6 then began a combined arms operation on the retrograding enemy forces, which resulted in the S-2 generating a call for fire, until the basic ammunition load had been expended.
“Shot over,” shouted the S-2.
“Splash out,” breathed the S-3.
“That’s what I call winning in a complex world,” said the S-2.
“I’d like to compliment us on our sustained high tempo operations when we have our after action review,” said the S-3.
“Damn, I love doctrine,” said the S-6. “It’s more fun that we should be allowed to have.”
This is a joint post between Angry Staff Officer and Jennifer Dolsen. Jennifer Dolsen is a former public affairs non-commissioned officer. She has now moved on to world domination and wouldn’t throw Jon Hamm out of bed for eating crackers.
Enjoy what you just read? Please share on social media using the buttons below.