Conventional and special operations forces integration at the operational level
Ellison, Joel P.
Hodermarsky, Daniel G.
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Combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq demonstrated that different types of military forces must be integrated to effectively counter evolving threats. Senior Army leaders have identified the need to retain the ability to effectively integrate conventional and special operations forces. Integration should not aim to combine forces to the point they are indistinguishable, but should maximize the effects of each forces unique capabilities. This thesis concludes that in the future, conventional and special operations forces integration should be addressed with the following tenets integration should be determined by the task, not the unit integrated operations require a dedicated staff at the joint task force level the supported/supporting command relationship is most appropriate and should be determined by task It also proposes a methodology that enables the identification of task interdependencies between conventional forces (CF) and special operations forces (SOF). Identifying these interdependencies informs staffs and commanders where integrated operations are best conducted. The design structure matrix, an approach used in the business and systems engineering sectors, provides a basis for the methodology. The goal of this campaign planning tool is cross-force synergy emerging from utilization of the unique capabilities of CF and SOF for maximum gains.
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