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While formal alliances have developed effective methods for integrating forces, most coalitions are created on short notice. As a result, coalition members must quickly develop detailed plans. This coalition planning guide will assist commanders and their staffs during the decision-making process in organizing their efforts to integrate their forces into the overall coalition structure. This guide is not all-inclusive. Additional actions may be required, depending on the coalition's operational mission and or composition. Depending on the unique situation that exists in the urban area, many of the staff functions discussed below will be performed by the higher headquarters. If so, commanders at all levels must ensure that their staffs conduct adequate coordination to ensure smooth implementation of the higher headquarters' decisions.


Determine the desired political objective and end-state condition as defined by the legitimizing political authority.

  • Establish the military role in attaining this political end state. Coordinate the military role with the roles of other federal agencies, nongovernment organizations (NGOs), and private voluntary organizations (PVOs) involved.

  • Analyze the mission for clear and attainable military objectives. Ensure the commander's intent supports the desired political end state.

  • Translate these objectives into tasks for subordinate commanders.

a. Select the nation with the greater national interest and or the best ability to plan for and direct the multinational forces (MNF) to lead the effort.

b. Establish the probable cost (in lives, money, resources) of the operation and determine if the cost is acceptable.

c. Determine which legitimizing political authority defined the desired end state and the relationship between the military force and this political entity.

d. Determine the national end-state criteria of each coalition partner and if it differs from the criteria of the MNF itself.

  • Select alternate courses of action the MNF will follow when a national military element withdraws from the force (that is, actions following decomposition of the force).

  • Determine courses of action to be executed if the sponsoring organization orders withdrawal of MNF in advance of end-state achievement.

  • Determine redeployment and or withdrawal plans for MNF and how the departure of forces is accomplished under tactical conditions.

  • Decide actions to be taken in the event one member of an MNF executes a unilateral withdrawal from the coalition (whether for political or other reasons).


Select C2 structure and establish subordinate relationships (OPCON, TACON, national control retained).

  • Establish a minimum communications suite for each of the coalition members to enable multinational operations.

  • Identify the C2 systems support required for the diminishing MNF presence.

a. Determine how intelligence and information are shared.

b. Agree on a logistical support structure identifying capabilities and responsibilities.


The following are control mechanisms:

a. Language.

  • Agree on coalition language for force-wide use.

  • Determine command level at which each force resorts to its national language and does not use interpreters.

  • Select sufficient interpreters for planning and execution.

b. Liaison.

  • Identify and interview key LNOs.

  • Determine if LNOs will be sent to the various coalition headquarters. Identify their communication requirements. If coalition LNOs are sent to the US headquarters, determine communications support and augmentation.

c. Foreign Disclosure.

  • Appoint foreign disclosure officers to oversee and control coordination of specific disclosures to coalition members.

  • Disclose classified military information and controlled unclassified information to coalition members IAW AR 380-10.


The following are rules of engagement:

a. Determine the ROE, who establishes them, and when they are to be reviewed.

b. Determine how national ROE affect the MNF organizations and operations.

c. Decide on procedures used by commanders to request a change to the current ROE.


The following tasks are performed by the various staff agencies indicated.

a. Personnel/S1.

  • Identify special skill requirements (unit and or individual). Establish requirement for RC units and or individuals. Devise a personnel replacement and rotation scheme.

  • Request language-qualified personnel for augmentation. Request language survival kits Identify available training such as MLTs.

  • Coordinate with G3 and request available augmentation, such as MLTs and joint movement control teams.

b. Intelligence/S2.

  • Determine how US strategic intelligence is shared among other forces.

  • Provide other national forces intelligence summaries, imagery, and threat assessments approved for dissemination.

  • Assess overall MNF intelligence gathering and dissemination capabilities. Prescribe and disseminate procedures for intelligence sharing and reporting.

  • Determine available linguistic support and or requirements. Coordinate with the G1.

  • Determine any unique relationships (cultural, historical, other) between MNF partners and the adversary and or enemy.

c. Operations/S3.

  • Prepare organization chart for the ARFOR and coalition forces.

  • Prepare capabilities brief/description for ARFOR and coalition forces.

  • Determine effect of national ROEs and objectives on force composition and mission assignment.

  • Determine the current situation.

  • Decide how mission, to include commander's intent, is disseminated and checked for understanding and consistency.

  • Begin planning for transition to UN or other organizations that will take over from the MNF. Contact counterpart planning staffs.

  • Determine logistical situation.

  • Establish language and interpreter requirements.

  • Determine special requirements.

  • Review special customs and courtesies.

  • Provide SOPs that include reporting requirements and procedures.

  • Establish times when units are available.

  • Coordinate ground and air reconnaissance and establish a common map data base.

  • Coordinate staff visits.

  • Coordinate unit commander's visit to higher headquarters.

  • When redeploying or moving, determine what sector forces remain to support the coalition and how long they are required.

  • If required, determine if foreign forces will interface with the joint movement control center.

  • Determine training required before deployment and prepare for continued training, including multinational, after deployment.

d. Logistics/S4.

  • Determine composition of multinational logistics command and or element.

  • Divide responsibilities between multinational, national, and host nation (HN).

  • Determine how each class of supply will be handled.

  • Determine the combined transportation command and control structure.

  • Determine the coalition reception, staging, onward movement, and integration process.

  • Determine if coalition forces have tactical rotary- and fixed-wing assets for supply.

  • Determine who supplies transportation supply throughput for coalition forces from the Joint Task Force(JTF) logistics center.

  • Determine if coalition forces have transportation assets for the movement of troops.

e. Supply/S4.

  • Identify the coalition forces' capabilities to receive, store, and issue dry cargo, fuel, and water to include water production and or purification capability.

  • Determine if coalition forces have the means to communicate requirements to the JTF logistics center or coalition logistics management center.

  • Identify availability of materiel handling equipment within the coalition.

  • Identify coalition air and sea lines of communications (LOCs).

  • Determine if coalition forces have a basic load of ammunition and their Class V procedures.

  • Identify the coalition force's special requirements (tents, cots, reverse osmosis water purification units, laundry, latrines, batteries, etc.).

  • Determine map requirements for coalition forces.

f. Mortuary Affairs.

  • Determine capabilities of the coalition forces.

  • Determine any specific religious requirements of the coalition forces.

g. Maintenance.

  • Determine if coalition forces have maintenance support.

  • Determine if coalition forces have the means to order and receive Class IX.

  • Determine if coalition forces have wreckers, stake and platform trailers, or HETs.

  • Determine if coalition forces have communications repair facilities.

h. Civil Affairs/S5.

  • Establish and coordinate operations of the CMOC.

  • Identify the NGOs and PVOs; determine their intentions and future plans; identify the key personnel in sector.

i. Information Management.

  • Identify the command relationships, the location of the headquarters each unit reports to, and the type of service required (tactical satellite, telephone, facsimile, AM, FM).

  • Articulate in the initiating directive that the multinational command channels are for the execution of military operations and national channels are for reporting status and requesting support.

  • Establish a means and a plan to provide a common tactical picture to all forces.

  • Provide coalition partners with a lesser C2 capability interpreters (if necessary), operators, and maintainers to enable interaction with the commander and other coalition members.

  • Determine the frequency requirements and planning ranges for equipment.

  • Consider the terrain while planning for the C2 network.

  • Request frequencies from the JTF J6 or coalition communications coordinator.

  • Provide for common data bases.

j. Engineer.

  • Identify terrain visualization requirements.

  • Determine types and capabilities of engineer units for the coalition and other services.

  • Determine the facility support requirements from the MNF and its supported units (that is, latrines, base camp construction).

  • Determine the condition of and requirements for infrastructure in the area of operations (AO) (roads, airfields, ports, power generation facilities).

  • Identify the availability and type of engineer resources in the operating area.

  • Determine real estate support requirements.

  • Identify humanitarian and nation assistance engineering requirements.

k. Aviation.

  • Determine the aviation assets, capabilities, and requirements of the coalition force.

  • Identify the aviation logistics capabilities (fuel, spare parts) of the coalition force.

  • Identify current and projected requirements for an air LOC.

  • Determine aviation support required from US forces.

  • Identify the intended base of operations.

l. Public Affairs.

  • Determine PA coverage plan.

  • Coordinate with other national PA officers or equivalents.

  • Identify the procedures, if any, for a security review of media material.

  • Establish a plan for handling publicity, news correspondents, and journalists.

  • Determine the coalition senior leaders and their biographical backgrounds. Arrange face-to-face meetings.

  • Identify the CMOC and the participants.

  • Identify the senior operation spokesperson for the MNF.

  • Establish a combined information center.

m. Financial Operations.

  • Determine if a weapons bounty program is needed. Prepare procedures to support weapons bounties, claims.

  • Determine limitations on the amounts of cash payments (including check cashing) that soldiers may receive in the AO. Determine who imposes limitations - the MNF commander or the HNs (SOFA).

  • Establish requirement for US forces to provide other currencies for the operation and currency exchange.

n. Legal.

  • Review and complete SOFA and ROE.

  • Brief commander/S4 on legal aspects of supporting foreign forces.

  • Determine if all soldiers are briefed on the ROE before the assumption of operational control by the coalition or deployment to the operational area.

  • Establish a reporting procedure for all events that can be compensated, accidents, injuries to locals, deaths, or property damage for potential claims.

  • Report all serious incidents with legal ramifications that involve HN and or coalition forces and the US force.

  • Review the operations plan (OPLAN) to ensure compliance with US and international law.

o. Surgeon.

  • Determine the capabilities for medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) and whether the US force will be supported by, or required to support, other coalition elements.

  • Identify the MEDEVAC assets (air and ground).

  • Identify the source of Class VIII supply and payment options.

  • Identify procedures for tracking patients and coordination requirements for return-to-duty transportation.

  • Determine if forces have organic Echelon I, II, or III combat health support. If not, what level will US forces provide.

  • Determine the air evacuation procedures for US and coalition force personnel (evacuated to the continental US or their home country).

  • Determine the policy and procedures for US medical personnel to use coalition forces Echelon II through V medical treatment facilities to provide medical treatment for US and coalition forces.

p. Provost Marshal.

  • Determine if coalition forces require MP support.

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