Joint Staff Officers Guide AFSC Pub 1 -- 1997

Appendix A Planning Directive

Planning guidance is given as early in the planning process as possible. After the CINC has received initial briefings from the staff and furnished planning guidance to them, the guidance must also be given to the subordinate and supporting commands, components, and other agencies of the Joint Planning and Execution Community (JPEC) that will be involved in the coordinated planning effort. This guidance is often issued at a planning conference held by the CINC. Written planning guidance is most effective in furnishing the CINCís guidance to all players, and, while not specifically required in JOPES procedures, is normally issued in a Planning Directive. The following format is adapted from Joint Pub 5-03.1 (to be published as CJCSM 3122.01).



Issuing Headquarters

Place of Issue

Message Reference/Number (Date-time Group, Month, Year)


( ) REFERENCES: a. Maps or charts

b. Pertinent documents

1. ( ) Mission

a. ( ) Write a clear and concise statement of the mission for the command.

b. ( ) A paragraph should list the tasks, including the following:

(1) ( ) Those assigned by higher headquarters

(2) ( ) Deduced or implied tasks that must be described to convey a clear understanding of the overall mission

c. ( ) If the analysis of the mission or tasks has not progressed to the point where it can be formally stated, present the commanderís best estimate of the mission.

2. ( ) Commanderís Analysis

a. ( ) This paragraph contains the commanderís analysis of the mission and, in broad terms, how the mission is to be carried out.

b. ( ) Outline, in broad terms, the phasing of the operation.

3. ( ) Assumptions

a. ( ) State assumptions necessary to continue planning. They will be treated as facts by subordinate commands.

b. ( ) The list is not final; assumptions may be added or dropped during planning.

4. ( ) Forces Apportioned. Give information on the type and availability of major combat forces.

a. ( ) Assigned forces

b. ( ) Augmenting forces

5. ( ) Proposed Courses of Action

a. ( ) List courses of action (COAs) to be considered by the staff. Include tentative COAs that were suggested by the commander in the planning guidance, as well as those proposed by the J-5 for consideration.

b. ( ) Any of these COAs may be discarded and/or refined and new ones identified and proposed as the planning process continues.

6. ( ) Guidance

a. ( ) Nuclear Weapons

(1) ( ) Include a brief statement by the commander that outlines the conditions under which nuclear weapons might be used.

(2) ( ) If their encounter or use is considered a reasonable possibility, include preliminary estimates of allocations, priorities, and restraints.

b. ( ) Political Considerations

(1) ( ) Include guidance from higher authority.

(2) ( ) List Status of Forces Agreements (SOFA) or basing rights that affect the operation.

c. ( ) Mobility Resources

(1) ( ) Identify strategic or tactical lift assets apportioned for planning.

(2) ( ) Highlight priorities or constraints for transportation assets.

d. ( ) Supporting and Subordinate Commands and Agencies. Give preliminary information about support from adjacent and lower echelons.

e. ( ) Command and Control. State the command and control organization selected by the commander.

f. ( ) Other. Include guidance that the commander determines to be necessary.

7. ( ) Tasks

a. ( ) Delineate staff responsibilities to begin development of staff estimates.

b. ( ) Outline Coordinating Instructions

(1) ( ) Joint board requirements

(2) ( ) Adjacent and subordinate command and agency coordination required

(3) ( ) Uni-Service, common, and cross-Servicing coordination required

8. ( ) Administration

a. ( ) Planning Schedule

(1) ( ) Planning conferences scheduled

(2) ( ) Plan completion suspense

(3) ( ) Annex completion suspense

(4) ( ) Other milestone events determined to be necessary

b. ( ) Interstaff Liaison Instructions

c. ( ) Coordination

(1) ( ) Action officer designation

(2) ( ) Reports known or anticipated