Joint task force requirements determination: a review of the organization and structure of joint task forces
Estrada, Armando X.
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This report reviews military operations that employed a Joint Task Force (JTF) organizational model to organize subordinate forces. It provides background information; analyzes major characteristics to include mission, time line, participants and structures; and summarizes major lessons learned. A total of 845 source documents were identified for this review. Sources include individual Joint Universal Lessons Learned Reports, After-Action-Reports, Joint-After-Action-Reports, informational papers, memoranda, letters, briefing presentations and information gathered through telephone and e-mail correspondence with selected personnel. Analysis indicates that a majority of operations commenced after January 1999 (86%), with a significant number of operations initiated after September 11, 2001 (58%). A plurality of operations involved combat/counter-terror missions (39%); followed by peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance and stability and security operations (21%); and non-combatant evacuation operations (7%). Training and counter-drug operations, national security special events and other types of operations made up the remaining 32%. A flag or general officer most often commanded these operations, with most of these being led by an Army general officer. Analysis indicates that operations were lead by all combatant commands, but nearly 25% occurred in the Central Command Area of Responsibility. The number of response days has continued to increase, with current operations accounting for 38% of response days accumulated in the previous decade (i.e., 1990-1999). Examination of warning time characteristics for selected cases showed that a majority of operations had a planning period of 4-5 weeks. Content analysis of unique source documents identified a total of 922 problems/issues. Nearly a quarter of these problems/issues dealt with command, control, communication, computers and intelligence issues (C4I); 6% of the problems/issues dealt with deployment, engineering and logistics; 31% of the problems/issues dealt with personnel, training, financial management, legal, medical, and public affairs; and 39% of the problems/issues dealt with operations, plans and policy. These findings suggests that while progress has been made with respect to how we organize, train and equip to conduct a joint fight, there is still considerable room for improvement. Command and control of the JTF is a work in progress. JTF C4I capabilities remain a challenge. Logistical support, including equipment, is lacking. Manpower and Training shortfalls impair the functioning of the JTF. These findings lead us to propose that a JTF Functional Support Element (JTF-FSE) be developed to address challenges associated with these functional areas. A JTF Planning Smart Book should be developed to provide guidance and instruction on the JTF planning process to ensure the participation of key personnel. Attention is needed on the deployment planning and personnel rotation process. Additionally, it is recommended that JTF guidance and policy be developed in several areas including disclosure of sensitive information; IA/Coalition access to intelligence and communications systems and data; INFOSEC and OPSEC for IA and Coalition partners. Finally, it is noted that JTF operations have unique funding requirements that demand flexibility. Operations routinely include LNOs from all Services, Interagency and Coalition personnel. A Joint Funding Process needs to be developed to enable the JTF to provide funding for Joint/IA/Coalition support.
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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