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Chapter 2


"Planning is the means by which the commander envisions a desired outcome, lays out effective ways to achieve it, and communicates to his subordinates his battlefield visualization intent, and decisions, focusing on the results he expects to achieve."

FM 3-0



The Army's primary mission is to deter war and, if deterrence fails, to fight and win. Contractors play a vital role in the Army's ability to accomplish and support this mission. Also, contractors provide a responsive alternative to increasing the number of support forces necessary to perform the mission. Planning for contractor support is part of the overall support plan for any operation. To be effective, contractor support must be considered early in the planning process and continuous throughout the operation. Planning addresses how and where the support should be provided. The planning process also includes evaluation of the risks involved and determination of the extent that contractors should be supported by the military. Planning establishes the basis of requirements for support by a contractor. If contractor-support requirements are not addressed during planning, the SOW and support requirements that must be communicated to a contractor through a contract are either omitted or included too late, thereby reducing the effectiveness of a contractor's ability to effectively support the mission.



Commanders and staffs at all echelons have the responsibility to ensure all support, to include that provided by a contractor, is adequately considered and integrated in the planning process. Because the planning process is a coordinated staff procedure used by a commander to determine the best method of accomplishing assigned tasks and to direct the action necessary to accomplish his mission, every echelon has certain planning responsibilities. The geographical combatant/subordinate unified commander and his staff initiate the process and determine the requirements. Subordinate levels then refine the plan to meet their specific needs. To ensure contractor support is fully planned for, several commands, staffs, and activities, including the supported combatant commander, joint task force (JTF) staff, supported ASCC, Army component to the JTF Army force (ARFOR), supporting ASCCs, requiring activity, functional staffs/organizations, as well as the Army contracting activities, must be included among the key planners. Additional contracting agencies that are often involved in contracting and contractor-related planning are DLA and DCMA.



The geographical combatant (hereafter referred to as combatant commander unless a specific functional combatant commander is identified)/subordinate unified command commander (if applicable) and, in most cases, a JTF commander and their staffs prepare plans to conduct joint operations as directed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The combatant commander is authorized to plan for, deploy, direct, control, and coordinate the actions of assigned and attached forces. Joint operations planning at this level requires significant coordination and effort. Joint planners make extensive use of the staff study, estimate of the situation, operations analysis, and intelligence preparation of the battlefield (IPB) and logistics assessment (referred to as logistics preparation of the theater in Army doctrine) in order to provide the commander the information necessary to determine alternative courses of action and to make his decision on how the operation will be supported. It is the combatant command that establishes the theater policies and guidance for the use of contractor support. This guidance will include, but is not limited to, restrictions on contractor support (by area, phase of operation, or other measures as appropriate), contractor-deployment and theater-entrance policies, and general order applicability to include force protection and security policy for contractor employees.



The supported ASCC commander prepares, trains, equips, administers, and provides Army forces to the JTF. The ARFOR, which could be the ASCC itself in some operations, conducts Army operations to support the combatant commander and JTF objectives. CS and CSS are normally Service responsibilities unless otherwise directed by the combatant commander. Following the planning guidance provided by the combatant commander regarding contractor support, the ASCC commander is responsible for determining how this guidance is executed by the ARFOR. It is at this level that the specific Army contractor management and support responsibilities are assigned. The ASCC staff, following the G-3's lead, is responsible for integrating contractor operations into their portions of the OPLAN/OPORD.



The supporting ASCC, typically US Army Forces Command (USAFORSCOM), US Army Europe (USAREUR), or US Army Pacific (USARPAC), along with USAMC, is responsible for providing the requisite resources to the supported ASCC necessary to conduct full-spectrum operations. In this capacity, these commands have a planning responsibility to ensure that the myriad of details related to deploying and supporting the providing forces are addressed. In many cases, the forces being provided bring with them a supporting system or possibly external support contractors. When this occurs, the supporting ASCCs and/or major Army command (MACOM] must articulate a supporting contractor employee presence, so that the contractor can be integrated into the deployment/redeployment, accountability, visibility, and support structures. These supporting commands must closely coordinate with the supported ASCC to ensure that all contractor resources are provided in a timely manner and IAW the combatant commander, JTF, and supported ASCC/ARFOR plans and policies.



As discussed in Chapter 1, the requiring unit or activity is that organization or agency that identifies a specific CS or CSS requirement through its planning process to support the mission. It may be a tactical- or operational-level unit having a specific support requirement for an operation or a PEO/PM responsible for a major system. When it is determined that contractor services will be utilized to fulfill an activity's requirement, the requiring unit or activity, through its COR, is responsible for integrating their portion of the contractor support into the ASCC/ARFOR operational plan. This includes such things as identifying and planning deployment/redeployment requirements, force protection needs, as well as government-furnished equipment (GFE) and life support. The requiring unit or activity must consider the cost (personnel, equipment, materiel, and funds) involved in providing the necessary support and identify any beyond its capability. The requiring unit or activity is the organization responsible for preparing the SOW when contractor support is used. Additional requiring unit or activity planning responsibilities are discussed later in this chapter.



FM 4-100.2 addresses the Army contracting structure at the various operational and tactical levels and describes its role in contractor-provided support. The members of this Army contracting structure, including the combatant commander's logistics procurement support board (CLPSB), are key participants in operations planning and provide technical advice and guidance during the requirements-determination process for the use of theater support and, sometimes, external support contractors. It is essential that the members of the contracting structure be included in all planning to ensure the aspects of contractor support are identified and considered. Once contractor support is identified as the preferred source of support, the PARC and other contracting oversight organizations such as DCMA, DLA, USACE, and USAMC subordinate commodity commands, through the supporting contracting activity, are responsible for translating specific planning guidance into contract language. When system contractors are involved in supporting an operation, the contracting activity that supports a particular PEO/PM-managed system must be involved in the planning to ensure that necessary operation-related provisions are incorporated into the governing contract. The USAMC LSEs often serve as the liaison between the supported unit and the contracting activity to communicate operational requirements.



Planning for contractor support is an integral part of the planning for any operation and follows the same process as any other aspect of a military operation. Planning for an operation, whether deliberate or crisis action, requires the integration of combat, CS, and CSS capabilities. For contractor support to be successful, it must be formally integrated early in the deliberate planning process to ensure that it is adequately considered. Significant contractor planning in a crisis-action situation is problematic at best due to the short timeframe available. Regardless, the planning must identify and include specific requirements and responsibilities in the operational plan.



The foundation of planning is the military decision-making process (MDMP). MDMP is a single established and proven analytical seven-step process (see Figure 2-1). It is an adaptation of the Army's analytical approach to problem solving. The MDMP is a tool that assists the Army commander and staff in developing estimates and a plan, by helping them examine the battlefield situation thoroughly, knowledgeably, and with clarity and sound judgment. The full MDMP is a deliberate, sequential, and time-consuming process used when adequate planning time and sufficient staff support are available to thoroughly examine friendly and enemy courses of action. However, the MDMP process also applies in a time-constrained environment. An abbreviated discussion of the MDMP as it relates to planning for contractor support is presented below. For a full discussion of MDMP, refer to FM 5-0.

Mission Analysis


When a new mission is received (first step in MDMP), the commander and staff assemble the necessary planning tools and analyze the mission (second step in MDMP). Mission analysis is critical to the MDMP. It initiates the commander's battlefield visualization. Mission analysis defines the tactical problem and determines feasible solutions. MDMP mission analysis consists of 17 substeps, not necessarily sequential. This manual discusses only those substeps that have a direct relationship to contractor-support planning.


A review of available assets early in the mission-analysis process adds and deletes from the current task organization and examines support relationships and the status of all units. The commander and his staff consider the relationship between specified and implied tasks and available assets. From this they determine if sufficient assets are available to perform all the specified and implied tasks. If there are shortages, they identify additional resources needed for mission success, including possible contractor support.


Figure 2-1. The Military Decision-Making Process


Figure 2-1. The Military Decision-Making Process


In addition to a review of available assets, two other mission-analysis steps pertain to contractor support. The first is to determine constraints. Constraints can take the form of a requirement to do something (for example, maintain a capability to provide life support to all Services at the aerial port of debarkation [APOD]) or to prohibit an action (for example, a diplomatically imposed limit on military personnel in the area of operations). Planners must identify and understand these constraints which, combined with the review of available assets, may increase the need for additional resources or require the use on nonmilitary support such as contractors.


The other step under mission analysis pertaining to contractor support is to conduct a risk assessment to identify the tactical risk hazards presented by the mission. This has a direct bearing on contractor support as it relates to whether or not to use contractors or, if contractors are used, to what extent force-protection measures are needed to protect contractor operations and personnel from the hazards. Commanders at all levels need to pay particular attention to those limited number of system-contractor employees whose specialty does not have a military equivalent.



Following the analysis of the mission, planners develop courses of action for analysis and comparison. Each course of action developed must meet the criteria of suitability, feasibility, acceptability, distinguishability, and completeness. A good course of action positions the force for future operations and provides flexibility to meet unforeseen events during execution. The initial array of forces is developed during this step. The individual designation of units is not done at this point, rather units are grouped by type. During this step the potential use of contractor support should be considered and in some cases identified. As stated earlier, some weapons and ABCS and STAMIS systems may require the support of a significant number of system-contractor-support personnel. Planners must be fully aware of this possibility because of the impact it will have on other planning aspects. Additionally, when the number of forces required is greater than the total military support available, the use of contractor support to fill that shortfall must be explored.



Following the development of courses of action, an analysis and comparison of those courses of action will determine which one accomplishes the mission with the least risk. During these steps of MDMP, planners must pay particular attention to support relationships and constraints and to the impact contractor support would have on mission accomplishment. It is during this step that issues related to contractor support are explored, including cost, deployment, operational and life support, force protection, and location on the battlefield. Planners must become fully aware of the risk and impact contractor support will have on the operation. Critical analysis, which includes potential contractor support, will give the commander the necessary information upon which to make a decision regarding the extent contractor support will be utilized.



Knowing the results of the course of action analysis, the commander decides on the course of action he believes to be the most advantageous. He then issues any additional guidance on priorities for CS and CSS activities (particularly for resources he needs to preserve his freedom of action and to ensure continuous support), orders preparation, rehearsal, and preparation for mission execution. This step in the MDMP is where specific decisions regarding the use of contractor support are made and then incorporated into the operational plan. Once the decision to use contractors in support of the operation is made, the specific details regarding contractor support (funding, deployment/redeployment, operational and life support, force protection, and location on the battlefield) must be incorporated into the appropriate OPLANs and OPORDs. Failure to include this important information hinders the communication of the decisions to those who must implement and execute the contractor-support scheme.



Contractor support of military operations involves a degree of risk. Contractors have traditionally supported the Army during numerous operations, to include combat operations, and can be expected to do so in the future. The decision to use contractors in an area of operations requires an assessment of the risks posed to the contractor and his employees and the potential impacts on the operation itself. Commanders must consider the difficulties facing contractors when hostile action against them is likely. If failure of the contractor to provide the required support could jeopardize the overall success of the operation, contractor support may not be suitable. The primary areas of concern include responsiveness of support, transitioning from peace to war, continuation of essential services, and organic capability, if it exists. Likewise, commanders must consider the risk that a contractor posses to the operation, in terms of the potential for sabotage, or other intentional overt or covert action from the contractor's employees.


A risk assessment considers essentiality or the impact on the military mission; alternatives to contractors, which look at active/reserve military forces and DAC capabilities, other Services, multinational forces, and host-nation support; and danger to the individual. For example, system contracts for technical assistance and sustainment are critical to readiness, with few or no alternatives to contractors. Conversely, service contracts (e.g., messing, laundry, or sanitation) affect living standards, but not mission accomplishment (at least in the short run). Finally, commanders must understand that contractor personnel are not soldiers; they might refuse to deliver goods or services to potentially dangerous areas or might refuse to enter hostile areas regardless of mission criticality.


In addition to operational risks, there may be risks unique to using contractors. Their work must be funded. The contractor management structure is often not as clear as C2 of military units. Contractors may not be able to secure subcontractors, facilities, material, real estate, transportation, or utilities or, if they are able to, only at a prohibitive cost. There may also be US, host-nation, and even third country legal or regulatory constraints on the contractor support. For example, contractor-acquired supplies brought into a theater may be subject to potentially prohibitive excise taxes even though military supplies are not. The key to avoiding this situation is the early involvement of support judge advocate general (JAG) staff in the contractor planning process.


Units/organizations or activities requiring support on the battlefield must carefully draft the requirements to specify the services and conditions under which they are required. Potential contractors must be fully aware of what is involved. When contractors are willing to perform under dangerous conditions, the cost of a contract may be substantially influenced by the risk the contractor is being asked to accept. Additionally, contractors may be willing to perform under dangerous conditions if the Army meets specified security requirements by providing escorts, training, protective clothing and equipment, or site security to ensure their protection and safety. Commanders accept responsibility for the security of contractor personnel when contractor support is used. Chapter 6 provides more details on contractor force protection.


The other major area of risk assessment is the real possibility of direct or indirect actions taken against US forces by contractor employees or individuals posing as contractor employees. While not a direct focus of this manual, the risk of utilizing theater support contractors in lieu of US or coalition military support is an important consideration for all commanders and their staff planners. See FM 3-100.14 (100-14) and FM 101-5 for more discussion on risk management and performing risk assessment.



Contractor support should not be considered just another support option when planning military operations. There are some very unique planning considerations involved when planning for this type of support. Proper planning should, however, make contractor-provided support reasonably transparent to the end user. Planning for contractor support identifies the full extent of contractor involvement, how and where contractor support should be provided, and any responsibilities the Army may have in supporting the contractor. Also, the need for contingency arrangements if a contractor fails to or is prevented from performing must be considered. Special consideration must be given to system-support requirements where no military support is currently available.

Contracting Authority


There can be numerous sources of contractor support for an operation, each supported by a variety of separate contracting activities, each with its own contracting authority. These may include the PARC/theater contracting command, support-unit contracting staff, USAMC, USACE, DLA, DCMA, USTRANSCOM, the Intelligence and Security Command, and others. When planning for theater, and sometimes external, contractor support, planners must be aware of the operational principle of centralized contracting management to achieve unity of effort and to prevent individual elements from competing for the same resources. FM 4-100.2, Joint Publication (JP) 4-07, and JP 4-08 address this operational principle in further detail. With several contracting activities influencing contractor support in an AO, planners must recognize--


  • First, that they exist

  • Second, that they must be linked to achieve central management.

This is achieved through the conscious designation, in OPLANs and OPORDs, of an organization overall responsible for contracting in a theater, usually the CLPSB, Joint Acquisition Review Board (JARB), or the Army's Acquisition Review Board (ARB). By doing so, the commander's decisions and guidance regarding contractor support can be communicated to all involved contracting activities so that a harmony of effort may be achieved. These boards--


  • Prioritize requirements against available funding.

  • Consolidate requirements from requiring activities to form one contract instead of several.

  • Allocate support so that the military and contractors are not competing for scarce resources such as local transportation, real estate, facilities, and utilities.

  • Determine the source of contractor support: whether to use a theater support or external support contractor.

Contractor Employee Accountability


Contractor accountability has been, and continues to be, a significant challenge to commanders at all levels. While contractor employee accountability is a personnel (G-1) function, operational specific contractor accountability responsibilities and procedures must be identified and codified early in the planning process. Because of its inherent responsibilities to its citizens, the US government provides certain support that it is not obligated to do for other nationalities. When US citizen contractor employees are involved in supporting an operation, they must be accounted for in the similar manner as military and DAC personnel. Accordingly, specific US citizen and selected TCN contractor employee data will be required and reported through the tactical personnel system (TPS) by the requiring unit or activity. For additional information on contractor employee accountability, refer to Chapter 4.

Contractor Visibility


The overall contractor presence, along with its activities and movement, must be orchestrated with those of military forces. Contractor visibility couples contractor employee accountabiltiy information with additional contract-related information to include how many contractors companies there are supporting the opeation, where they operate, when they provide support, the criticality of their support as well as their command-support mission and relationships. Contractor visibility information is necessary for the ASCC G-2, G-3, G-4, provost marshal, surgeon, and PARC to complete their specific planning requirements. Additionally, the ASCC, via the ARFOR, may provide some military support to Army system- and external support contractors as well as some theater support contractors, to include operational and life support and force protection, which dictates a need to quantify the total number of contractors supporting military operations.


Currently, there are no standard procedures nor automated systems specifically designed to capture visibility of the myriad contractors on the battlefield. Furthermore, there is no one lead staff element responsible for establishing and maintaining contractor visibility. Therefore, it is imperative that mission specific responsibilities and procedures be identified and codified early on in the planning process. For a detailed decussion on contract visibility, see Chapter 4.



Contractor deployment and redeployment is a major consideration for all military operations, but it is highly dependent on METT-TC, as well as the type of contractor providing support. The G-3 staff must be fully cognizant of contractor deployment and redeployment requirements. By definition, theater support contractors do not deploy or redeploy to and from the AO. System and external support contractors on the other hand, will have to deploy some or all of their equipment and personnel into the AO, except when they are already forward deployed, such as in Korea and South West Asia, or when they hire local nationals as part of their contract.


A very important planning consideration is how these syste- and external support contractors actually deploy and redeploy. In a non-restricted theater, they may self-deploy utilizing commercial assets. In a restricted theater they most likely will deploy utilizing military-deployment processes and strategic-lift assets. The how and when contractors enter the theater must be planned and stipulated in OPLANs and OPORDs to ensure supporting contracting activities can incorporate deployment and redeployment requirements into contracts and to allow the contractor to efficiently plan for and prepare for movement of his personnel and equipment. Failure to identify and coordinate the method of arriving in the AO may interfere with the organized flow of forces into a theater and contractor support that is not in place when required. See Chapter 3 for a detailed discussion on contractor deployment and redeployment.

Location on the Battlefield


In today's operational environment, contractors can expect to perform anywhere in the AO, subject to the combatant commander's risk assessment and the terms and conditions of the contract. Both the G-2 and G-3 staffs need to be aware of contractor location and criticality advise the commander on issues on when and where contractors will provide support on the battlefield.


As stated in AR 715-9, civilian contractors may be employed anywhere in the AO necessary to support operations and weapon systems. Generally, contractors work at the EAD-level; however, if the ARFOR commander determines that their services are required at lower echelons, they may be temporarily deployed as far forward as needed, consistent with combatant commander's policy, the tactical situation, and the terms and conditions of the contract. Refer to Chapter 4 for additional information on contractor location within the AO.

Force Protection


Force protection measures for contractor support must be based on battlefield-location decisions made by the combatant commander and subordinate joint and Army commanders. Protecting contractors who are in direct support of Army forces on the battlefield is the ARFOR commander's responsibility via the G-3 staff. When contractors perform direct support of Army forces in potentially hostile areas, the supported military forces must assure the protection of the contractor's operations and personnel. Commanders and planners must determine the need for contractor force protection early in the planning process and identify forces to provide security. Mission, threat, and location determine the degree of force protection needed. To maintain force protection for contractors, the ARFOR commander, the supporting contracting officer, and the responsible requiring unit or activity must establish and utilize procedures to identify contractors and their status and location within the AO. Chapter 6 provides a detailed discussion on contractor force protection to include provisions that require contract employees to comply with a combatant commander's force-protection rules.

Status of Contractor Employees


Contractor employees are neither combatants nor noncombatants. Under international agreement, they are considered civilians authorized to accompany the force in the field and, as such, they should not be consciously placed in a position where they might be subject to intentional attack. Certain actions on the part of a commander may unintentionally compromise this status and place them in the combatant category. Generally, the three conditions that make an individual a combatant are--


  • Being commanded or controlled by a published chain of command.

  • Wearing a distinctive insignia or uniform.

  • Openly carrying of arms.

Although the first condition is not easily determined visually by an enemy, if the commander permits contractor employees to wear military-looking uniforms and carry weapons, he may jeopardize their status as civilians authorized to accompany the force in the field. Commanders, therefore, must carefully consider their decisions regarding the use or location of contractors in the theater of operations. In some cases, a source of support other than contractors may be more appropriate.

Extent of Government Furnished Support


Contractors are expected to be self-sufficient, handling all actions necessary to perform under the conditions of the contract without additional assistance from the government. However, in some circumstances, it is appropriate and necessary for the government to provide support. The extent of government-furnished support to a contractor must be identified and coordinated with the appropriate G-4 during the planning process. Early identification of requirements allows the G-4 to coordinate the needed support and to allow contracting activities to communicate the requirements to the contractor through the contract. Chapter 5 addresses this subject in detail.



Although cost should not be the overriding factor in determining the use of contractor-provided support, funding must be identified and earmarked during the planning process. Federal law requires that all contracts be funded, which means that at the time of contract award, funds are available to cover the total estimated cost of the contract. Exceptions to this law are identified in the Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement. Therefore, the resource management staff must be involved in the planning process and must provide accurate information regarding the availability of funds. See FM 4-100.2 for more information regarding contract funding.



Operational plans are a means by which the commander expresses to his subordinates his battlefield visualization, intent, and decisions, focusing on the results the commander expects to achieve and his vision of the end state of an operation. These plans bridge the gap between the present and the future by answering in advance who will accomplish what future actions and when, where, why, and how they will be accomplished. Operational plans are the critical link between the commander and the organizations that must implement the commander's decisions. They also communicate the commander's decisions to the contracting activities so they can be incorporated into contracts.



Although not directly addressed in FM 5-0, it is common practice to have a contracting support plan in most current OPLANs/OPORDs. The contracting support plan lays out the operation-specific contracting procedures, responsibilities, and actions. It begins with the combatant commander's guidance, is written by the theater PARC in close coordination with the G-4 and other staff planners, and is normally found as an appendix to the logistics annex. It serves as the mechanism for providing detailed guidance on contracting support for a specific military operation and covers the function of acquiring (contracting for) theater support contracting for a particular operation. It normally does not include discussion on external- and system-support contractors.


The contracting support plan ensures that theater-contracting personnel plan, prepare, and coordinate to support deployed forces. It ensures that theater support contracting plans and procedures are known and included in appropriate portions of the OPLAN/OPORD. Contracting professionals use this plan to properly integrate the function of contracting into the concept of support, ensuring host-national support, contingency contracting, and other support options are properly included and time-sequenced in all support planning.



Numerous lessons learned related to contractor support to military operations clearly identifies the need to better integrate contractors into the military-planning process. Detailed contractor integration planning (not to be confused with the contracting support plan discussed above) is necessary to addresses specific contractor-related deployment, management, force protection, and support requirements that are routinely identified, but not well articulated, in recent operational planning. One way to address this need is to develop and publish a contractor integration plan as a separate annex to the OPLAN/OPORD. While not specifically addressed in current doctrine, FM 5-0 allows for the commander to determine the type and number of annexes in each OPLAN/OPORD. In any case, specific contractor integration information must be addressed in the applicable annex and/or appendix of the OPPLAN/OPORD.


The ASCC commander's operations officer, with assistance from the primary and special staffs, is responsible to ensure that the contractors are properly integrated into to the overall plan. At a minimum, the individual portions of the OPPLAN/OPORD must address how contractors supporting an operation are be managed, deployed, supported, and protected. More specifically, the OPLAN/OPORD, with or without a separate contractor integration plan annex, must provide the following:


  • G-1 input on contractor personnel support (mail, legal, etc.), contractor employee theater-entrance requirements as well as accountability reporting requirements.

  • G-2 information on contractor employee clearance and security procedures.

  • G-3 information on contractor deployment/redeployment.

  • G-4 guidance on the issuance of GFE and life support.

  • Provost Marshal developed force protection policies and procedures.

  • SJA information on legal issues.

  • Surgeon-stipulated special contractor medical requirements.

  • Staff engineer guidance on facility use.

The operations office must ensure that the staff planners conduct advance planning, preparation, and coordination to incorporate contractor support into the overall operation. The OPLAN/OPORD should encompass all types of contractor support (theater support, external support, and system), originating from anywhere in the world and serve as the critical link between the supported ASCC, the various functional support elements, contracting activities, and the supporting contractors. With or without a separate contractor integration plan annex, the OPLAN/OPORD must clearly communicate operational specific contractor integration requirements to the contracting activities so that tailored contracts may be executed. Appendix B contains a sample contractor integration plan annex.



Contractor-provided support brings with it special considerations that do not normally pertain to other types of support. These considerations affect how contractors provide support and prepare for and deploy to an AO. Planners must ensure that they are addressed and included, when appropriate, in OPLANs/OPORDs.



The type of working relationship between a contractor and the military determines any specific military training for the contractor and the processes for deployment, redeployment, and support in an AO. The relationship is either habitual or nonhabitual and is established through the terms and conditions of the contract.



A habitual relationship is a long-term relationship, normally between a system contractor who has a dedicated or direct-support (vice area-support) relationship to a specific supported unit. This type relationship may extend beyond the organization to include the individual contractor employee and soldier. It establishes a comrade-at-arms kinship, which fosters a cooperative, harmonious work environment and builds confidence in each other's ability to perform. The existence of a habitual relationship greatly facilitates the planning for predeployment processing, deployment/redeployment, operational and life support, and force protection by incorporating the needs of the contractor with those of the unit being supported.



A nonhabitual relationship manifests no established, long-term business relationship between a contractor and a specific supported unit or organization. This occurs when support is general (area), rather than direct support. This could also occur when the required support is short term or immediate in nature where there is no time to establish a habitual relationship. Nonhabitually related contractors are clearly more difficult to plan for; special staff and command actions may be necessary to ensure proper planning for specific contractor-related deployment, management, force protection, and support requirements. Special actions may include identifying a support unit to take responsibility to coordinate the plan to deploy and manage these general-(area) support contractors.



The concept of contractor support must be embedded in the Army's training hierarchy. Military, civilian, and contract personnel must be trained to effectively perform their duties. Commanders and staff planners must be familiar with the government responsibilities for supporting contractors: management and accountability, deployment/redeployment, operational and life support, and force protection. Training with contractors must be written into appropriate mission training plans and training support packages, and included in situational training exercises and field training exercises.


Contractors should be included and funded to participate in selected training events as well as exercises and other collective training events. By doing so, they can develop their mobilization and general military skills that may be required for a deployed environment, including nuclear, biological, and chemical (NBC) training; use of communications equipment; individual field sanitation skills; survival, escape, resistance and evasion (SERE); military unit organization; and, if applicable, weapons familiarization and other common task training. Rotation with maneuver forces to training sites for exercises mutually benefits contractors and units and should be part of the ongoing peacetime activity for contractor personnel. Contractor support should be written into training scenarios.



The operational environment and METT-TC determine how responsive the contractor can be in fulfilling the terms of the contract. When assessing risk, commanders must evaluate factors affecting contract performance that are not under the control of the contractor, such as transportation assets needed to move supplies or force protection.


The establishment of a flexible, functioning, deployable network of properly trained CORs greatly facilitates responsiveness of contracting officers and a contractor's ability to meet contract requirements. When this structure is not in place, performance is greatly reduced, wasting valuable resources as contracting officers wait to approve and process changes and new requirements. The structure used to manage contractors on the battlefield should be trained and exercised. The resulting experience will enhance the planning process significantly.



While more directly focused on contracting vice contractor integration planning, the continuation of contractor essential services must be addressed during risk assessment. To ensure continuation of essential services, DOD (in DODI 3020.37) has instructed that:


  • Contractors who provide essential services should continue those services, under the terms and conditions of the contract, during periods of crisis until released or evacuated by military authority.

  • The Army will develop and implement plans and procedures that reasonably assure continued service during crisis situations, using contractor employees or other resources as necessary.

  • The ASCC commander will prepare a contingency plan for obtaining the services from alternate sources for situations where there is reasonable doubt that essential services provided by a contractor will not continue.

Particularly when operations may transition to a hostile environment, advance planning is essential to identify a backup source of support and the resources necessary to enable the contractor to continue or accept the risk if the support is not provided.



The OPLANs/OPORDs, with or without a separate contractor integration plan annex, must describe the scope of contractor support as well as contractor integration requirements. This information then becomes the basis for developing contract requirements. The contract and its supporting documentation define all requirements for the contractor. Likewise, OPLANs/OPORDs must provide the same information to the units receiving the support. Commanders, staffs, and contractors must understand that the contractor is not legally obligated to meet any requirement (deployment, force protection, life support, or in-theater management) not contained in the contract; without a requirement specified in the contract, the government has no basis for directing or requiring any contractor action. If the government directs the contractor to meet requirements that are beyond the specifications of the contract without proper modification, the government can expect to be billed/charged, or the contractor may refuse to meet the requirements. If funds are not available, a violation of the law may occur.


All requirements for contractor support originate in a government SOW that describes the parameters (what, where, and when) of the requirement, government support to be provided (such as transportation, security, and life support), and the restrictions and control measures that apply to the contractor. The SOW, along with terms and conditions, becomes the contract for the support requested.



Written properly, OPLANs/OPORDs serve to communicate contractor-support decisions and responsibilities throughout the force. As the focal point for these decisions, the OPLAN/OPORD and its appropriate annex informs the supporting contracting activities of the requirements to include in contracts. Contracting professionals translate the commander's decisions into contract language, making them legally binding for the contractor performing the work. Once again, if a requirement is not included in a contract, the contractor is not obligated to comply. Ideally, the planning for contractor support should be accomplished, to the extent possible, during the deliberate planning process so there is adequate response time for contracting professionals to translate requirements into contracts. When sufficient time is not available, planners must still ensure that they communicate, as quickly as possible, contractor-related requirements to the supporting contracting organization.



The requiring unit or activity identifies and initiates the requirement for contractor support. From details laid out in the appropriate OPORD/OPLAN, the requiring unit or activity may have to develop new requirements to provide to contracting professionals in the supporting contracting activity. The supporting contracting activity is responsible to translate the commander's decisions into contract language, making them legally binding for the contractor performing the work. For example, the requiring activity for a specific system contract may be an ASA[ALT] PEO/PM office. This PEO/PM office would typically communicate specific operational requirements to its supporting contracting activity in the form of a SOW and identify what is needed, when, and where. Included in this identified requirement is information related to any government-furnished support, materials or equipment that may be provided, as well as the standards for measuring the expected quality and acceptability of performance. This identified requirement also serves as the basis for planners to incorporate contractor support into the overall support concept and is communicated through the activity's organizational hierarchy.



As contractor support increases in importance to expeditionary operations, it is more and more difficult to rewrite SOWs based on specific operational requirements. Furthermore, a significant effort has been made to capture the variety of contractor deployment, support, force protection, and management requirements from numerous recent operations. Through these lessons, DOD has developed standard contract language that can be used to generically address areas such as deployment/redeployment, accountability/visibility, government-furnished support, and force protection allowing contracting professionals to communicate requirements to contractors. Standard contract language, currently found in the DOD Acquisition Deskbook Supplement, Contractor Support in the Theater of Operations, enables contracting professionals to better craft the contracts they award by providing a readily available reference of potential requirements that need to be considered when preparing the contract documents.



Contractors who have existing contracts with the Army must be included in the planning process as early as possible for a new operation. This ensures that they thoroughly understand the mission and have an opportunity to provide feedback to the military planner on what is commercially feasible and affordable.

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