Teams tested with real-life scenarios

Published on Anjali Skandaraja (author), Unknown (photographer)

Location(s): Williamtown, New South Wales

Joint Operations Planning course students  (photo: Unknown)
Joint Operations Planning course students

Joint Operations Planning course students, supported by students of the Joint Logistics, Health and Movements Planning courses, conducted operational planning at the Australian Defence Force Warfare Training Centre in June.
Tasked with developing a coherent operational plan set against a demanding, complex environment, the course challenged students to meet multiple – often competing – priorities, manage operational risk, and efficiently manage resources.
Students spent two weeks at RAAF Williamtown.
During the first week, they learned the joint military appreciation process in a mentored adult learning environment, involving a mixture of lectures, historic examples, syndicate discussions, tutorials and visiting lecturers.
Students in the support suite of planning courses attended additional specialised classes focusing on movements, health or logistics.
During the second week, the courses combined into three large syndicates to convene full joint planning groups, supported by enabling capabilities.
Real-world situations and time constraints challenged the teams as they wrestled with incoming intelligence, refined commander’s guidance, notice-to-move constraints and other competing considerations.
Students, who are often subsequently posted to planning roles, found themselves thrust into new and challenging roles during the course.
Acting Principal Warfare Officer in HMAS Canberra, Lieutenant Benjamin Blamires said that course would help him better prepare for future operations.
“With some personal and professional development, this course has definitely prepared me to be able to undertake operational planning,” Lieutenant Blamires said.
The activity concluded with the operational plan being briefed to the Joint Task Force Commander (a serving one star officer). The feedback provided was frank, insightful and real.
Throughout the course, students were supported by directing staff who have extensive experience in all facets of joint and coalition operations. Combining their understanding of doctrine with their real-life experiences allowed the staff to provide an understanding of the obstacles they are likely to face and different avenues to overcome them.
Courses often include students from the United States, New Zealand or the United Kingdom.