Simplifying the complex: Canadian Armed Forces mentors teach the operational planning process during Exercise TRADEWINDS 2021 in Guyana

June 23, 2021 - Defence Stories

By: Lieutenant Nora Amrane

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Major Tansley, logistics mentor, from the Canadian Armed Forces provides guidance to J4 lead, Lieutenant Smartt, from Guyana Defence Force on operations planning process in the Caribbean Task Force headquarters on June 16, 2021 in Georgetown, Guyana.

As part of Exercise (Ex) TRADEWINDS 2021 taking place in Guyana, Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) mentors from the Caribbean Task Force (CTF) are teaching the operational planning process (OPP) to military members from the host country, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Bermuda, and Belize. The OPP is used to develop and analyze possible ways to achieve a mission and produce actionable orders for subordinate units to efficiently conduct operations.

In the CTF, participating military members assume various roles within the headquarters (HQ). The CTF HQ is separated into sub-sections, each with a specific role in the process. These include: plans, intelligence, military and civilian cooperation, communications and information technology, logistics, maintenance, medical, and human resources.

In this training, a key objective is to develop the ability of participants to analyze and understand the terrain and security situation of the host country so they can enable their commander to make informed decisions. This analytical process helps planners create a list of possible options, or courses of action (COAs), that the commander can choose from. This list is reduced further to a workable number of preferred COAs that are war-gamed by the command team, and the best solution is then presented to the commander. The sub-sections then further refine the chosen plan and identify how best to implement it in order to have the desired effect on the ground.

The OPP training is a step-by-step practice in which participants learn how to simplify complex problems, recommend agile solutions that can be coordinated across different functional areas and environments, and adapt the plan as circumstances change.

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Major Imperial, J5 mentor from the Canadian Armed Forces provides guidance to plans lead, Major Briceno, from Belize Defence Force on operations planning process in the Caribbean Task Force headquarters on June 16, 2021 in Georgetown, Guyana.

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Col Keith Rudderham, the Caribbean Task Force’s mentors team lead, gives a lecture in the context of Operational Planning Process training during Ex TRADEWINDS 2021 on June 6, 2021 in Georgetown, Guyana.

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Col Keith Rudderham, the Caribbean Task Force’s mentors team lead, gives a tour of the Caribbean Task Force headquarters to Brigadier Godfrey Bess, Chief-of-Staff of Guyana Defence Force during Ex TRADEWINDS 2021 on June 16, 2021 in Georgetown, Guyana.

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