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Chapter 4

Command and Control

CA mission capabilities support both broad and specific U.S. foreign policy goals. Because the conduct of CMO entails joint and interagency coordination, commanders and the senior staff must understand the U.S. organization for national security and the prevailing concepts of joint and multinational military operations.


4-1. Unified commands have assigned forces of two or more Services and broad, continuing missions. CA support is oriented toward the commanders of those CINCs of geographic commands with specified geographic responsibilities. CINCs report through the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (CJCS) to the NCA--the President and the SecDef. The CINCs' mission requires them to initiate, maintain, or improve peacetime relations between the nations in their AOR and the United States. The mission also requires the CINCs to plan for and address conflicts that may threaten U.S. interests in the region. CA forces provide support across the range of military operations and, therefore, are familiar with the geographic CINCs' concerns in war and in military operations other than war (MOOTW). The Army defines its specific actions in these areas of concern as offense, defense, and stability and support operations. Army commanders at all echelons combine offense, defense, and stability and support simultaneously or sequentially to accomplish assigned missions in war and MOOTW.

4-2. The command authority vested in geographic combatant commanders by statutory law is known as combatant command (COCOM). Unless otherwise directed by the NCA, the CINCs exercise command authority over all military assets placed under their operational control (OPCON). In the exercise of OPCON, the CINC can--

  • Determine CA force requirements and operational priorities.
  • Prescribe the chain of command for CA forces operating within his AOR.
  • Establish and maintain appropriate liaison with U.S. Government agencies and FNs or FN military and civil agencies.

4-3. CA personnel may perform liaison work with the U.S. Government and civilian agencies, such as the USAID and the Department of Justice (DOJ), to provide advice and assistance in any or all of the 16 functional skill areas. Combatant commanders determine C2 requirements of CA personnel and forces supporting allied or multinational commanders within the policy constraints issued by the NCA.


4-4. United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) is the unified command for SOF. The mission of the Commander in Chief, United States Special Operations Command (USCINCSOC), is to prepare assigned forces to conduct SO as required. All CONUS-based SOF are assigned to USSOCOM, which has no geographic AOR. USCINCSOC acts as a supporting CINC by providing mission-ready SOF to the geographic commands or as the supported commander for the conduct of SO. CA units are under the COCOM of USCINCSOC until a change of operational control (CHOP) occurs to one of the geographic CINCs. USSOCOM coordinates with the geographic commands to validate all requests for CA units and individuals during peace and war.


4-5. The United States Army Special Operations Command (USASOC) (Figure 4-1) is the Army component of USSOCOM. Its mission is to command and support and to ensure combat readiness of assigned and attached ARSOF. As the Army's senior level command of CA units, USASOC has the responsibility, in conjunction with USCINCSOC, to recruit, organize, train, equip, mobilize, and sustain Army CA forces. As a major command (MACOM), USASOC's primary mission is--

  • Policy development.
  • Long-range planning.
  • Programming and budgeting.
  • Management and distribution of resources.
  • Program performance review and evaluation.

Figure 4-1. USASOC Organization

4-6. When directed, USASOC provides CA elements to the geographic CINCs. The United States Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (USACAPOC) is a major subordinate command of USASOC and commands the Army's CA and PSYOP units. USACAPOC alerts CA elements for operational missions and validates USAR CA units during mobilization.


4-7. CA operate under various C2 relationships. The requirements of the commander at each echelon of command determine the exact C2 structure. CA operations are inherently joint or multinational. Because CA units are neither organized nor equipped to provide unilateral C2 of attached units, they are normally attached to higher commands.


4-8. The most common CA mission activities during stability and support operations include HA, MCA, and support to civil administration. These activities often entail close working relationships with nonmilitary individuals and agencies. In many cases, CA teams work for the U.S. Ambassador and his country team. Once deployed and CHOP has passed to the geographic CINC, the CINC normally exercises OPCON through the Chief of the United States Military Advisory Group, the Chief of the Security Assistance Office (SAO), or the Defense Attaché Officer (DAO). The immediate commander keeps the U.S Ambassador informed of plans and activities during the deployment. A thorough knowledge of the country team and the SAO is essential to understanding interagency C2 arrangements in the operational environment.

  • Country Team. The country team is the executive committee of the Embassy. It consists of senior members of the U.S. Government agencies assigned to a U.S. diplomatic mission overseas. By public law, the Ambassador is the Chief of Mission and directs the country team. Members of the country team meet regularly to coordinate U.S. Government political, economic, and military activities in the HN. See Appendix E for more detail on the country team.
  • SAO. The SAO provides U.S. military advisory assistance to the FN. Certain countries do not have U.S. Embassies; therefore, the organizations within neighboring countries service them. An SAO is not present in all Embassies. DOD tailors each SAO to the needs of the FN. For this reason, no typical or standard SAO exists. The SAO in country may have various names, depending on the number of people it has, the function it performs, or the desires of the FN. Typical SAO designations include Joint Military Advisory Groups, Joint U.S. Military Group, U.S. Military Training Mission, or Office of Defense Cooperation. The SAO is responsible to three authorities: the country ambassador, the geographic CINC, and the director of the Defense Security Assistance Agency. The Ambassador has OPCON of all matters affecting his diplomatic mission, including SA programs.


4-9. The overseas deployment of CONUS-based CA units involves a CHOP from USSOCOM to the gaining geographic CINC. Transfers of forces between geographic commands occur only by the authority of the NCA. The CHOP of forces for an operational deployment requires a deployment order approved by the NCA. At a predetermined point--for example, upon crossing a specific latitude or longitude--OPCON formally transfers to the gaining CINC.

4-10. The CA requirements for contingency operations normally fall into two categories:

  • Civil Affairs Planning Teams. CINC and JTF staffs normally require CMO staff planning expertise during the early phases of a contingency. CACOMs support their respective geographic COCOM HQs by providing CAP3Ts to augment the CMO staff. CA brigades support their war-traced component Service commands, subunified commands, or corps by providing CAPT-As and CAPT-Bs to augment the respective CMO staffs of those commands.
  • Civil Affairs Teams. Maneuver units may also require CA support. In this case, a CATA, CATB, or CATC from war-traced CA battalions may be deployed and attached to maneuver divisions, brigades, and battalions to augment CMO staffs at those respective levels. CA battalions (SO) provide support to the theater SOC by providing planning teams to augment the SOC staff, as well as attaching task-organized elements to Special Forces Group S-5s and operational units, as needed.

4-11. CA personnel assist in the coordination and integration of logistics area operations with civilian police, emergency service agencies, and FN forces to ensure mutual protection and efficient use of resources.

4-12. CA support may be centralized or decentralized. When employed in centralized support, CA personnel fulfill CA needs by responding directly to the commander. In decentralized support, CA teams are attached to major subordinate elements located in the AOR--for example, depots, ports, hospitals, and other facilities.


4-13. The CINC may designate corps and divisions as JTFs. A JTF plans, conducts, and supports military operations on a mission or area basis. It accomplishes a specific mission or campaign of limited duration, but it can exist on a more permanent basis. During war or prolonged conflict, the JTF may control operations in a specific portion of the CINC's AOR. A JTF may be a new organization but is often formed by augmenting an existing Service HQ with elements from other Services. CA units support JTFs by providing task-organized elements to augment the JTF CMO staff. See Joint Publication (JP) 3-57, Doctrine for Joint Civil Affairs, for further guidance on CA support to joint operations.


4-14. The Joint Civil-Military Operations Task Force (JCMOTF) is not a CA organization. It is a special purpose task force composed of units from two or more Services, flexible in size and composition, organized to plan, coordinate, and conduct CMO in a theater of operations or JOA. The JCMOTF may have both conventional and SOF assigned or attached to support the conduct of specific missions. (See JP 3-57.) The JCMOTF, if properly chartered and established by the JFC, must meet the criteria as established in JP 5-00.2, Joint Task Force Planning Guidance and Procedures. A requirement may exist for strong representation of CA-trained personnel. The expertise of CA personnel in dealing with government organizations, IOs, and NGOs greatly enhances the opportunity for success.

4-15. A JCMOTF may be established to--

  • Accomplish a specific contingency mission, such as HA or support to civil administration.
  • Provide CMO support to U.S. or coalition military forces conducting military operations concurrent with or subsequent to geographic or general conflict.
  • Perform other operations as directed by the commander, joint task force (CJTF).

4-16. A JCMOTF could--

  • Be organized as either a stand-alone JTF or as a subordinate unit in a JTF.
  • Assist other JTF unit commanders, when the amount of CMO to be accomplished exceeds the ability of the commander's units to accomplish CMO in their AOR.
  • Provide--as part of a larger JTF--the CJTF, through a CMOC with a linkage between the JTF and nonmilitary agencies operating in the JOA.

4-17. A JCMOTF should not--

  • Be the CMO staff augmentation for a JTF.
  • Have, when subordinate to a JTF, the primary responsible force for accomplishing all CMO in the JOA.
  • Eliminate the need for all units to train for CMO.
  • Eliminate the need for all commanders in the JOA to plan and conduct CMO.

4-18. CA planning teams assist the CJTF's CMO staff officer by augmenting the CMO staff cells and the JTF CMOCs.

4-19. A JCMOTF should not be responsible for accomplishing all CMO tasks in the JOA. Service component and other task force commanders are responsible for accomplishing the CMO that they have the capability to accomplish within their AOR. When the need exceeds their capability, a JCMOTF can assist in meeting the shortfall.

4-20. The JCMOTF does not eliminate the need for all units to train on CMO. Such operations can be as complex as disaster assistance operations or as simple as the guard at a checkpoint controlling civilian access into an area or patrol personnel respecting civilian property as they move through a community.

4-21. A review of U.S. military operations shows that the U.S. military has participated in numerous contingencies that have CMO as a mission. Since the mid-1980s, the U.S. military has deployed forces in support of numerous CMO, as shown in Figure 4-2.

Figure 4-2. CMO Missions


4-22. Each CINC has established a theater SOC to exercise OPCON of theater SOF. Some of the SOCs have OPCON of all assigned and attached SOF, while others only have OPCON of SOF excluding CA and PSYOP forces. The SOC responsibility includes integrated SOF mission planning that develops the CINC's guidance into a blend of SO activities that support the theater campaign plan.


4-23. The organization of a multinational command may retain integrity of the forces, but the HQ of such a command is staffed with personnel from the troop-contributing nations. Consequently, a CMO staff section normally has personnel from several nations. In subordinate echelons, the multinational command commander allows the senior commander of each FN military considerable latitude in conducting CMO in support of the theater campaign plan.


4-24. In multinational operations, at theater level, senior military leaders develop C2 relationships that respond to the constraints imposed by the nations contributing to the multinational effort. In interagency operations, the country's political leadership often designates a lead agency. Both organizational structures obey the principle of unity of effort as distinct from unity of command. Civilian agencies and organizations that normally do not operate in a hierarchical system may not respond well to the principles of C2. Such structuring often leads to uncooperative working relationships at the expense of the people in need.

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