Reference document

Space Support Coordination during Operations Planning

The employment of space capabilities in theatre has to be considered during centre of gravity analysis and CoA development (including desired and non-desired Space effects) across all planning phases. Identifying space support requirements and potential non-space-dependent alternatives is part of strategic and operational CONOPS development. This may result in space support requests (similar to an RFI process) to Alliance member nations/capability providers, as well as the generation of a space specific annex (DD) to Operational Plans. The strategic OPLAN development includes the force generation phase, where space support requirements will be presented to Alliance member nations. Nations should provide planning information on services, products, access procedures and points of contact for strategic and operational level planning and execution of the operation. Strategic and operational OPLAN development translates space aspects of the mission into ANNEX DD, detailing the planned employment of space support within the operation, respective roles and liaison authorities. This establishes the baseline for the execution phase. The planner supporting the SpSC function on the strategic and operational level staffs, may provide significant input to the operational planning process. However, as space-based products and services are already planned for and utilized by functional areas (CIS, INTEL, GEOMETOC) in traditional staff positions (e.g. SATCOM by J6 or Satellite Imagery by J2), a clear delineation of the space planners supporting and contributing role towards those functional areas has to be established by harmonized Functional area planning guides, SOPs and TTPs to ensure deconfliction and unity of effort. Combined Force Packaging (CFP) are commonly envisaged as the mechanism most likely to result in an effective capability. CFPs already include space capabilities, but this is more or less transparent to the rest of the package and is often the result of engineering level integration instead of deliberate strategic or operational planning. This is an opportunity for planners supporting the SpSC function to help tailor the force package. Tailoring space support to a mission and a theatre requires a shared and active coordination between the user and providers. Space support to Alliance operations should be integrated and considered within the existing Alliance planning framework. The key is to bridge between the COPD and the applicable mission area.

Space Operations