SURFACE WARFARE OFFICERS SCHOOL COMMAND
DEPARTMENT HEAD COMBAT SYSTEMS
NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND
TITLE: OPSUM/OPAREA MESSAGES
(a) NAVY WIDE OPGEN
(b) SUPPLEMENTAL OPGEN
(c) FACSFACSDINST 3120.1M
(d) COMFLTAIRWESTPACINST 3500.3
(e) COMUSNAVFORJAPAN 3500.3
(f) FACSFACVACAPESINST 3120.1G
(g) FACSFACJAXINST 3000.1B
(h) AFWTFINST 3120.1J
(I) COMTHIRDFLTINST C3500.5
(j) CINCLANT/PACFLTINST C3590.12
(k) COMNAVSURFLANT/PACINST 3502.3
I. DAILY OPSUM:
Each day that the ship is underway, and inport during deployment in some cases, it reports important elements of it’s operational status to higher command. The message that accomplishes this is the Daily OPSUM. There are many different varieties of this report, and operational commanders will frequently modify the format to suit the operation. The basic format for the OPSUM is found in the NAVY WIDE OPGEN. Any modifications made by the operational commander will be found in the Supplemental OPGEN.
B. Collecting information for the report:
1. OPSUM reports typically require the status of the following:
a. Fuel and Water percentages
b. Training conducted/execution of SOE
c. Equipment readiness and training
d. Ship’s position (if operating remotely)
e. Link status
f. Communications status
2. When conducting extended operations, the OPSUM should be preformatted and serialized.
3. Each day the Operations Officer should contact the individuals responsible for providing the required information, and consolidate it into the rough message draft. Establish a routine for collecting inputs! The timing of this collection should be driven by the "as of" or "due by" time specified in the tasking directive. For example; if the message is required on the flagship by midnight (local), you can collect the information at Eight O’clock Reports. If the "as of" time is too close to the "due by" time, extrapolate the information.
4. Be sure to anticipate delays in chopping the message. Special evolutions (such as NJP or UNREP) can make key personnel inaccessible for long periods of time, and you may encounter delays in radio (such as proofing or transmitting).
5. Keep a file of OPSUM messages as a record of:
a. Training conducted, for your monthly Training Report, and
b. Your annual Ship’s History report for key events.
II. OPAREA Clearance Requests
Fleet Operating Areas (FLT OPAREA) are defined as geographical areas on the surface of the ocean within International waters. It may also include the airspace above and the waterspace below, the dimensions of which are all defined. OPAREAs are the geographic locations where a significant portion of local Naval operations are conducted, and virtually all operations requiring supporting services (including targets or other TYCOM assets). For the sake of economy, security, and safety, use of OPAREAs (including transits) is controlled. The coordinating authority for OPAREAs is known as the OPAREA Coordinator. The following is a list of OPAREAs and their respective Coordinating Instructions:
1. WESTPAC AOR:
a. COMFLTAIRWESTPACINST 3500.3
b. COMUSNAVFORJAPAN 3500.3
2. EASTPAC/MIDPAC AOR:
a. FACSFACSDINST 3120.1M (NON-MISSILE FIRING EXERCISES)
b. COMTHIRDFLT C3500.5 (MISSILE FIRING EXERCISES)
3. LANT AOR:
a. FACSFACVACAPESINST 3120.1G
b. FACSFACJAXINST 3000.1B
c. AFWTFINST 3120.1J
III. OPAREA/SERVICE REQUEST message:
1. Initiated by the requesting ship 14 days before the desired date of the evolution. The OCE will coordinate requests involving several units.
2. Ships submit requests to other authorities, as appropriate, for CART/TSTA, INSURV, and major Fleet Exercises.
3. OPAREA message request format and priorities for services are contained in the references listed above.
4. Requests are used to develop an OPAREA Clearance Schedule, which is promulgated by the OPAREA Scheduling Authority. The Authority will also promulgate NOTAMs as required. This schedule is your "license to operate" in a particular OPAREA. Copies of the message should be kept on the Bridge and in CIC/CDC for ship control while in the OPAREA. Know where the "HOT AREAS" are and when they are being used.
5. Do not presume that requests will be granted, or that you will e notified of refusal of OPAREA use. If your requested use of the OPAREA is not contained in the OPAREA schedule, you do not have permission to conduct the exercise. Contact the scheduling authority by phone or guarded circuits to determine the status of your request. It may require some schedule adjusting on your part to get your requested services.
6. Scheduling Authorities guard certain voice circuits. In the event of changed operations, notify the Authority. If you are conducting a transit in the OPAREAs, GUARD the OPAREA frequencies. This may include Tactical Data Links as well.
7. Format for OPAREA/SERVICE REQUEST messages are found in the respective OPAREA manual.
IV. MISSILE FIRING EXERCISES:
1. Missile exercises (actual firings) require additional lead time and coordination. The OPAREA manuals listed in paragraph II provide instructions on OPAREA scheduling, however, missile firing exercises can only be conducted in specific areas and are coordinated and scheduled separately.
2. Along with scheduling the OPAREA, you need to find a missile to shoot, and a target to shoot at. The SURFTRAMAN Bulletins (ref k) describe the procedures for missile and target allocations.
3. Missile firing reports are in accordance with CINCLANT/PACINST C3590.12 (ref j).
4. Target descriptions and capabilities are described in the COMNAVAIRSYSCOM U.S. Navy Target Handbook. Copies of this handbook are available from: