CWPC Contingency Wartime Planning CourseCWPC Contingency Wartime Planning Course

JOPES Deliberate Planning Process

IP - 4100

INSTRUCTOR: Lt Col Buck Buchanan

DESCRIPTION: This lesson presents an overview of the deliberate planning process outlined in the Joint Operation Planning and Execution System (JOPES).

OBJECTIVES: Comprehend the concept of the deliberate planning

SAMPLES OF BEHAVIOR. Each student will:

  1. Know the purpose of deliberate planning and how it supports national military strategy
  2. Differentiate between deliberate planning and crisis action/execution planning
  3. Describe the five phases of deliberate planning
  4. Explain the CJCS plan review criteria


Review the CWPC Desktop Reference for definitions of the following:

a. Feasibility

h. Unit Identification Code (UIC)

b. Operations Plan (OPLAN)

i. Unit Type Code (UTC)

c. Concept Plan (CONPLAN)

j. Commanderís Intent

d. Concept of Operations (CONOPS)

k. Functional Plan

e. Deployment

l. Deliberate Planning

f. Joint Planning Process

g. Joint Flow and Analysis System for Transportation (JFAST)

OPTIONAL READING : Scan Introduction, page 6-20, through page 6-94, Joint Staff Officer's Guide.



1. Deliberate Planning Purpose: The purpose of deliberate planning is to translate national objectives into military capabilities. Joint planning is conducted under JOPES policy, procedures, and automated data processing (ADP) support.

2. Support to National Security Strategy: The deliberate planning process supports national security strategy by translating national objectives into military capabilities described in three products. The OPLAN, CONPLAN and Functional Plan.

a. Operation Plan (OPLAN) - An OPLAN is a complete and detailed joint plan and all includes a full description of the concept of operations and all annexes applicable to the plan. An OPLAN can be quickly developed into an OPORD (CJCSM 3122.01- JOPES Vol I). A Time-Phased Force and Deployment Data (TPFDD) is the computer-supported data base portion of plan.

b. Concept Plan (CONPLAN) - An operation plan in an abbreviated format that would require considerable expansion or alteration to convert it into an OPLAN or OPORD (CJCSM 3122.01- JOPES Vol I). CONPLANs are developed either with or without TPFDDs.

c. Functional Plan - Functional plans involve the conduct of military operations in a peacetime or non-hostile environment i.e., disaster relief, communications, and Non-combatant Evacuations Operation (NEO) (CJCSM 3122.01 - JOPES Vol I).

3. Deliberate planning and crisis action planning.

a. In peacetime, the process is called deliberate planning. In crisis situations, it is called crisis action planning. During peacetime, the supported command develops the CINC's Strategic Concept based on Joint Staff and Service planning guidance and resource apportionment provided in the JSCP and Service documents. In crisis situations, the supported command develops concepts based on CJCS planning guidance and resource allocation from approved deliberate planning produced OPLANs and CJCS WARNING or ALERT ORDERS.

b. The primary difference between deliberate planning and crisis planning is the use of longer range planning assumptions like the JSCP in deliberate planning and using real time information in crisis action planning.

4. Deliberate Planning Process:




Initiation is the phase in which planning tasks are assigned, resources available for planning are identified, and the groundwork is laid for planning.

    1. Planning tasks assigned
    2. Guidance furnished
    3. Resources identified




Concept development is the phase in which all factors that can significantly affect mission accomplishment are collected and analyzed, mission statement is deduced, subordinate tasks are derived, COAs are developed and analyzed the best COA determined, and the CINC's Strategic Concept developed and documented.

(1) Mission Analysis. The supported commander's analysis of the JSCP tasking results in a mission statement.

(2) Planning Guidance. This step has two major objectives:

(a) Provide the supported commander's staff and components with enough preliminary guidance to allow work to begin on staff estimates.

    1. Make the above information available to the subordinate and

supporting commanders and other interested parties through either written directives along the lines of the planning directives illustrated in Appendix A to Enclosure S or a planning conference.

(3) Staff Estimates. The staff estimates developed in this step provide the foundation for the Commander's Estimate and address the supportability of tentative COAs.

    1. Commander's Estimate. The Commanders Estimate summarizes

the first three steps during concept development and produces the commanderís decision on a COA to be followed.

(5) CINC's Strategic Concept. Supported commander prepares a Strategic Concept, which is an expansion of the selected COA, as a narrative statement of how to conduct operations to accomplish the mission. The supported commander may convene a concept development conference involving representatives of subordinate and supporting commands, the Services, Joint Staff, and other interested parties.

(6) CJCS Concept Review. Once approved for further planning by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the CINC's Strategic Concept becomes the concept of operations for the plan. For a CONPLAN, concept review procedures are the same as for an OPLAN. The concept of operations is the cornerstone upon which all detailed planning is based.

Concept Review Criteria

(a) The review for adequacy determines whether the scope and concept of planned operations are capable of satisfying the JSCP taskings. The review assesses the validity of the assumptions and compliance with CJCS guidance and joint doctrine.

    1. The review for feasibility determines whether the assigned
    2. tasks could be accomplished using available resources. The primary factors considered are whether the resources made available for planning by the JSCP and Service planning documents are being used effectively or whether they are being exceeded.

    3. The review for acceptability ensures the plans are

proportional and worth the expected costs. It joins with the criteria of feasibility in ensuring that the mission can be accomplished with available resources and adds the dimension that the plan can be accomplished without incurring excessive losses in personnel, equipment, materiel, time, or position. Additionally, using this criteria, the plans are reviewed to ensure they are consistent with domestic and international law, including the Law of War, and are militarily and politically supportable.

    1. The review for compliance ensures the plans will incorporate

appropriate joint doctrine as stated in approved and test publications contained in the Joint Publication System. Incorporation of appropriate joint doctrine when preparing operation plans will ease crisis action planning and the execution of operations.


Plan development is the phase in which the basic OPLAN or CONPLAN and supporting annexes are prepared.

(1) STEP 1: Force Planning (Developing the Force List)

Force planning is the step in which the Service component commanders time phase their force lists to sequence the arrival of forces in accordance with the visualized concept of operations. This step includes determination of mode and source of transportation, POE, en route delays, POD, proposed earliest and latest arrival dates with priorities, required delivery dates, CINC's required delivery date, and destinations.

(2) Step 2. Support Planning Support planning consists of determining the materiel and personnel requirements and priority of delivery to sustain forces in combat to, accomplish the JSCP planning tasks.

(3) Step 3 Nuclear Planning. Time-phased nuclear requirements will be developed as force records in a stand-alone TPFDD file.

(4) Step 4 Transportation Planning. Transportation planning is

conducted by the supported commander to resolve gross feasibility questions (e.g., time phasing) impacting strategic movement and embraces those aspects of plan development that involve the movement and reception of personnel, materiel, and equipment from POEs to PODs.

(5) Step 5 Shortfall Identification. The supported commander should continually identify shortfalls throughout the planning process.

    1. Force and nonunit-related shortfalls will be submitted as a
    2. separate version of the TPFDD.

    3. The supported commander may convene a plan development conference to develop initial closure profiles and feasibility assessments to determine if the closure of forces is adequate to-meet the proposed concept of operations and if the planning is valid.

(d) Options to overcome shortfall and limiting factors include:

1. Refining priorities.

2. Adjusting POEs, PODs, routing, and timing.

3. Changing lift mode and/or source.

4. Adjusting pre-positioned forces or resources.

5. Enhancing preparedness with base development.

6. Seeking additional assets.

7. Redefining the concept of operations.

    1. Concluding contractual agreements or inter Service

support agreements.

9. Arranging for host-nation support (HNS) where feasible.

10. Employing combinations of above.

(6) Step 6 Transportation Feasibility Analysis. The supported commander conducts a gross transportation feasibility analysis during a plan development conference or before submitting the TPFDD for refinement.

(7) Step 7 TPFDD Refinement The TPFDD refinement process consists of several discrete steps that may be conducted sequentially or concurrently, in whole or in part. The normal TPFDD refinement process consists of sequentially refining, logistics, and transportation data, through a series of conferences, to develop a TPFDD file that supports a feasible and adequate plan.

(8) Step 8 Documentation. Concurrent with TPFDD refinement, the supported commander. Prepares the basic OPLAN and all required annexes in the format prescribed in Joint Pub 5-03.2, JOPES, Volume II. Produces an updated TPFDD file including an update against the most recent TUCHA file.

  2. In this phase, all elements of the OPLAN are assessed and validated. The Joint Staff, in coordination with the Services and appropriate Defense agencies review OPLANs.

    Second review by CJCS using the same criteria as the concept review.

    (a) Adequacy: Scope and concept of planned operation is sufficient to accomplish task, i.e., it does the job.

    (b) Feasibility: Assigned tasks can be accomplished by using available resources, i.e., we have the resources to do it.

    (c) Compliance with Joint Doctrine i.e., we are trained and equipped.

    (d) Acceptability: Cost is acceptable, i.e., we can afford it.

  3. Phase V--Supporting Plans. OBJECTIVE: A FAMILY OF PLANS

In this final phase, all required supporting plans are completed, documented, and validated. Supporting plans, when required by the supported commander, will be submitted by the supporting command or agency to the supported commander within 60 days after CJCS approval of the supported plan. Information in the supported plan need not be repeated in the supporting plan unless directed by the supported commander. In the absence of Joint Staff instructions to the contrary, the supported commander will review and approve supporting plans.