Optimizing future operations for special forces battalions: reviewing the CONOP process
Sanford, Edward "Judd"
Sepp, Kalev I.
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Evidence obtained in this study shows that a successful CONOP product contains minimal informational requirements for approval and an effective CONOP procedure is supported by a targeting methodology with lower delegation of authority for CONOP approval. The CONOP is used by special operations forces (SOF) and other units to gain concurrence for an operation by its higher headquarters. It is typically a PowerPoint slide presentation submitted by a Special Forces Operational Detachment-Alpha (SFODA) or another similar combat unit in order to describe the type of operation, the operations level of risk, the assets required to conduct the operation, and when the operation is to take place. Concurrence can typically take up to 72 hours for a high-risk operation or up to 48 hours for a medium-risk operation after the CONOP is submitted through the chain of command. SOF uses the CONOP procedure to deconflict operations, assign resources, and to demonstrate how the operation is nested within the operational priorities of the battle space owner as well as the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force (CJSOTF) commander. This study examines what makes a successful CONOP and what constitutes an effective CONOP procedure.
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