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Appendix H

CMOC Operations

Coordination with various civilian organizations during missions across the full range of military operations has proved to be a necessity. In most cases, these agencies and organizations are in the AO long before the military operation and will most likely remain there long after the military has redeployed. One of the most appropriate means of facilitating this coordination is through the use of a CMOC.


H-1. By definition, the CMOC is an operations center formed from CA assets and serves as the primary interface between the U.S. armed forces and the local population, humanitarian organizations, NGOs, IOs, the UN, multinational forces, and other agencies of the U.S. Government. The CMOC may not necessarily be established and run by the military. In such cases, the military plays a supporting role.

H-2. The CMOC is the primary coordination center established and tailored to assist the unit in anticipating, facilitating, and coordinating civil-military functions and activities pertaining to the local civil population, government, and economy in areas where military forces, government organizations, IOs, and NGOs are employed.

H-3. Major activities include--

  • Coordinating relief efforts with U.S. and allied commands.
  • Coordinating with NGOs, IOs, FN, and local authorities.
  • Providing interface with U.S. Government organizations.
  • Assisting in transition operations.
  • Monitoring the CMO effort.


H-4. CMOCs can be established at all levels of command. Consequently, more than one CMOC may be in an AO. The CMOC can also have a variety of names, depending on the level of command or organization and the region of the world that establishes it. Some of the more common names include--

  • Humanitarian Assistance Coordination Center (HACC), CINC.
  • Humanitarian Operations Center (HOC), CINC and DOS.
  • Civil-Military Cooperation Center (CIMIC Center), NATO and UN.
  • Civil-Military Coordination Center (CMCC), UN.

H-5. Criteria used in the decision to establish a CMOC should address the following questions:

  • Is the CMOC justified by mission analysis?
  • Is cooperation needed with civilian agencies?
  • Are assets available to establish, staff, and operate a CMOC?
  • Is the environment secure?
  • How does the unit commander want to interface with civilian agencies?


H-6. The staffing of the CMOC depends on the level of command and the situation. A CMOC always has a civilian component and a military component.

H-7. The military component normally consists of representatives from the following staff sections or supporting units:

  • S2 or G2.
  • S3 or G3.
  • Engineer.
  • Logistics.
  • Legal.
  • Transportation (air, naval, ground).
  • CA.
  • Multinational force representatives.

H-8. The civilian component normally consists of representatives from the following organizations or agencies:

  • U.S. Government.
  • FN government.
  • NGOs.
  • IOs.


H-8. Depending on the size and scope of the mission, the CMOC (in support of the JFC)--

  • Provides primary support to the CMO staff.
  • Develops and maintains annexes, area assessments, and CMO estimates.
  • Acts as a clearinghouse for all civilian requests for support to U.S. military and U.S. military requests from civilian organizations.
  • Coordinates with outside agencies to prioritize efforts and to reduce or eliminate redundancy.
  • Acts as lead organization in transition from "relief to development continuum."
  • Coordinates U.S. Government agencies.
  • Convenes mission planning to address complex military missions that support the following NGO requirements:
    • Convoy escort.
    • Management and security of refugee camps and feeding centers.
  • Validates RFAs from humanitarian relief agencies.

H-10. One of the most important functions of the CMOC is processing RFAs. The deployment of military forces into an AO implies an inability of an FN to address the situation, whether a man-made or natural disaster. NGOs and IOs in the area have well-established LOCs and support mechanisms that are disrupted by the flow of military forces and materiel into the country. These concerns must be addressed in a timely and efficient manner. The processing of RFAs is an important means to show the relief community that the military is present to assist, not to hinder its ongoing operations. Figure H-1 shows a recommended way to process RFAs.

Figure H-1. Sample RFA Flow


H-11. As stated earlier, the CMOC may be established at any level of command. There are also numerous places to locate the CMOC. The CMOC may be inside or outside the "wire." During Operations UPHOLD DEMOCRACY in Haiti and RESTORE HOPE in Somalia, the CMOC was inside the wire, mainly for force protection. In Operation JOINT ENDEAVOR in Bosnia and during Operation DESERT SHIELD, the CMOC was normally outside the wire.

H-12. If the CMOC is placed inside the wire, some form of coordination center must be established outside the wire. In Haiti, a HACC was established in the USAID compound to allow access by the various civilian relief agencies. Representatives from the CMOC acted as liaisons to the HACC, which allowed information and RFAs to flow between the JTF HQ and the HACC. See Figure H-2.

Figure H-2. Location of CMOC Inside Wire

H-13. The CMOC may answer directly to the commander, as it did in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, during Operation SAFE HARBOR, or it may answer to the CMO staff officer (S5 or G5), as it did in Haiti during Operation UPHOLD DEMOCRACY. In either case, an unobstructed communications link must be established between the CMOC and the command it supports. See Figure H-3, for an example of a CMOC in support of Operation SAFE HARBOR.

Figure H-3. CMOC in Support of Operation SAFE HARBOR


H-14. The CMOC can be organized in a variety of ways. It must be organized to facilitate a smooth flow of information between all concerned parties, yet not compromise force protection and OPSEC requirements. One technique, used in Haiti during Operation UPHOLD DEMOCRACY, is to have a director, an operations section, an administration and logistics section, and a nonmilitary representative section (Figure H-4).

Figure H-4. Sample Organization of U.S. Military-Led CMOC

H-15. The operations section is the heart of the CMOC. It can be organized into current operations, future plans, and NGO assistance cells.

  • The current operations cell--
    • Plans 24 hours out.
    • Develops situation maps (feeding centers, camps, main supply routes [MSRs]).
    • Develops public information campaigns.
    • Prepares security situation reports.
    • Processes RFAs.
    • Conducts daily meetings.
  • The future plans cell--
    • Develops plans.
    • Prioritizes missions.
    • Eliminates redundancies.
    • Links to U.S. Government agencies.
  • The NGO assistance cell--
    • Maintains a list of NGOs.
    • Documents NGO interface.
    • Tracks projects.
    • Receives RFAs.

H-16. The administration and logistics section coordinates the activities of the CMOC. It consists of an administration and a logistics cell.

  • The administration cell--
    • Maintains the access roster.
    • Maintains and communicates meeting schedules.
    • Processes required reports.
    • Maintains the duty roster.
  • The logistics cell--
    • Maintains a resource coordination matrix.
    • Maintains communications.

H-17. Representatives include civilians from--

  • FN agencies.
  • U.S. Government agencies.
  • NGOs.
  • Local officials.
  • IOs.


H-18. The layout of the CMOC (Figure H-5) must be conducive to continuous, productive communications flow. As a minimum, the CMOC should have the following areas:

  • Meeting area (determined by officer in charge [OIC]).
  • Military work areas (OPSEC, classified).
  • Map boards (graphics, overlays) and briefing boards.
  • Access points (physical security, force protection).
  • Information management and control.

Figure H-5. Sample CMOC Layout


H-19. The CMOC is usually established in an existing structure, when available; however, it can easily be established using organic tentage. Normally, at the tactical level, two or three standard integrated command post (SICP) tents or two medium general purpose tents provide adequate space. A standard 3.2-kilowatt generator, wired into the CMOC via commercial electrical cords or a military light set, provides minimal electrical power. The SICP comes with organic neon lights.


H-20. Tables, desks, and chairs (work stations) should be provided for all participants. The setup also includes a filing capability, as paperwork must be cataloged and filed.


H-21. The CMOC must have the ability to communicate to all concerned parties--including higher and subordinate military organizations (secure and nonsecure), IOs, FN agencies, U.S. Government agencies, and NGOs. Common communications assets should include--

  • Radios.
  • Telephones (military and civilian, landline and cellular).
  • Fax machines.
  • Local area networks.
  • Internet access.
  • Copier.


H-22. Two standard 4-foot by 8-foot sheets of plywood are normally sufficient for use as a map board or situation board (Figure H-6). If space is insufficient to display two boards, maps and overlays can be posted on each side of one board--one side for the military and the other side for everyone to see. Critical information should be posted on the board to ensure all parties are receiving the same information. See Figure H-7, for examples of CMO-specific graphics.

Figure H-6. Sample Map Board or Situation Board

Figure H-7. Sample HMO-Specific Graphics


H-23. CMOC personnel must have the ability to move around the AO, within force protection constraints. In most cases, sufficient military vehicles are available to meet this requirement. If not, consideration to contract vehicles should be addressed. Sufficient, secure parking areas must also be provided for both civilian and military vehicles.

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