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Issues of transition to capability-based planning

Defence planning as a capability

NATOStrategic Defence Bulletin of Ukraine establishes requirements to transition to capability-based planning in national defence planning process and improvement of operational interoperability of Ukrainian's Armed Forces (UAF) and other security components with NATO and EU forces.

The transition to capability-based planning is performed in order to provide complete set of capabilities to meet challenges and threats in bounds of economic limitations. Capability-based defence planning has to provide decision-makers with most suitable variants of force development by performance-cost criteria.

Wide number of nations are implementing or have already implemented capability-based planning as a part of defence planning (USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Norway, New Zeeland etc.). However, a unified model of capability-based defence planning does not exists and each nation implements its own approach. The best practices are being analyzed and incorporated in NATO Defence Planning Process (NDPP).

The Ministry of Defence of Ukraine (MOD) and UAF General Staff (GS) are carrying out some activities in order to transfer to capability-based approach. Desired defence planning should have two main components:

Capability-based defence planning of forces (CBDP) during defence review in order to shape desired structure of forces for 10 years is a responsibility of MOD.

Capability-based assessment (CBA/CBP) for certain capabilities by DOTMLPFI components and development of capabilities is a responsibility of GS.

However, right now, it is necessary to establish consistent detailed approach to transition activities, which are aimed at implementation of CBA/CBP and CBDP.

One of the options is reviewed in this article.

Here are main problematic issues for transition to CBDP: incomplete policy and doctrine base, lack of understanding of underlying processes and lack of tools for supporting new approach in defence planning in UAF.

Furthermore, the transition to CBDP requires changes in business processes, MOD and GS decision-makers involvement and understanding necessity of having knowledge in related matters.

The capability is an ability of unit to perform certain task at defined conditions according to established standards, as defined in MOD documents. Also, this document describes DOTMLPFI components of capability.

Our proposal is to consider ability to perform capability-based defence planning as a capability. Proposed capability code – OPOS – by first letters in Ukrainian translation.

Proposed OPOS capability should be assigned to the next capability areas: R – Prepare, R.2 – Capability Development, R.2.1 – Defense Planning. OPOS capability should be defined as ability of performing mid- and long-term capability-based and scenario-based defence planning in order to identify minimal required forces and their capabilities (MCR) which are necessary to achieve requirements defined for future tasks and operations for UAF (LoA).

Nature of DOTMLPFI components by example

Every capability should be defined by DOTMLPFI components.

Lets demonstrate the nature of concept of DOTMLPFI components using an example. This example was prepared by students of defence management module of NATO's college.

The students had to plan activities for transformation a mechanized brigade (MECH-BDE) into armored brigade (ARM-H-BDE) in 5 years, according to NATO standards. So, they had to produce one item (unit) of capability with ARM-H-BDE capability code.

The students used typical (generalized) table of organization and equipment for such units. They planned transformation activities for each subordinate unit (Figure 1). List of activities was different for similar units (i.e. battalion). It is mostly caused by current state of unit and unit assignment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

F1 DOTMPLPFI

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 1. Transformation activities 1st Mech-BN into CAB (deployable)

All transformation activities for every unit was summarized into brigade-level transformation plan. As a result, they received detailed and feasible plan of transformation for real brigade in order to create fully operational capability ARM-H-BDE.

The creation of OPOS capability

Lets describe one option of creation OPOS capability by DOTMLPFI components. Possibly, some proposals should be adjusted by components.

Goal is to improve efficiency of defence planning in order to achieve the necessary criteria for the membership in NATO.

Objectives are the following:

- interoperability with NATO Defence Planning Process (NDPP)

- interoperability with NDPP in defence planning scenarios (operations)

- ability of automatic information exchange with NATO during the defence planning cycle

- enabling of audit trail: political goals – defence scenarios – tasks for future operations – capabilities for future operations – capabilities of future force elements – future force structure – activities in order to create future forces and their capabilities – required resources, including finance.

D(octrine) component of OPOS capability

As for now, some steps performed in order to create doctrine and policy for capability based defence planning. In particular:

- Military standards for abbreviations, terms and definitions for strategic planning;

- Methodical recommendations (guidelines) for capability-based defence planning;

- Functional areas for capabilities (one tier);

- Instruction (manual) for capability based assessment for UAF;

- Catalog of capability codes and capability statements for UAF;

- Law of Ukraine "About national security" is expected.

Nonetheless, it's not enough to perform capability-based defence planning. As for now, there is no clear and intelligible decision what should be taken as a basis for defence planning process in Ukraine.

Proposals:

D1 Basis. Take adopted NDPP as a basis for defence planning process in Ukraine. Mark it in Policies and Doctrines.

D2 Process. Perform planning steps in accordance to (by meaning) NDPP.

D3 OPOS master information products. Define list and content of master information products (docs, databases etc.) for OPOS. Minimal list should include products according (by meaning) to adopted NDPP: LoA, GPS, Planning Scenarios, MTD, MCR, CDP.

 

 

F2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 2. NDPP cycle overview

D4 OPOS supporting information products. Define list and content of supporting information products (docs, databases etc.) for OPOS. Minimal list should include analogs of: NATO Task List /UJTL, CH Capability Hierarchy, CC&CS, lists of generic units, reference units, CAL Capability Assignment Logic etc.

D5 Applicable manuals. Existing manuals should be adopted to practical use and/or new manuals should be created.

D6 Recommendations on related matters. Recommendations for related matters should be prepared. At least there should be recommendations for changes in operational planning, military cooperation and policy development.

O(rganization) component of OPOS capability

As for now, main participants of defence planning are MOD's Department of military policy and GS's Department of defence planning (J5). Nonetheless, they should perform defence planning according to current regulatory framework.

The transition to capability-based defence planning requires performing of activities with new approaches, processes and products. These new processes and products are undocumented in department and position responsibilities.

Proposals:

O1 Transformation group of experts. Establish temporary transformation group of experts (related with J5). The purpose of this group is elaborating of capability-based defence planning processes and products (like rehearsal or wargaming).

The main activity of transformation group is to carry out full capability-based defence planning cycle for limited part of UAF.

Desired outputs:

- Examples for all information products;

- Detailed and feasible plan of OPOS capability creation;

- Requirements for tools for support defence planning process.

Transformation group should consist of limited number of experts (possible detached duty) with knowledge of NATO defence planning and related matters, in particular operational planning. Strategic (MOD, UAF), operational and tactical (brigade) levels of command as well as land, air, maritime, SOF and logistics components should be represented. One expert can represent level and component at once. Knowledge should be more important criteria than belonging to the profile unit or department.

O2 Changes in TOE for OPOS capability.

This point should be implemented by transformation group outputs.

Tables of Organisation and Equipment (TOE) should be changed for positions involved into defence planning. Job responsibilities should be changed as well as appropriate tools (IT systems, computers and communication equipment) should be authorized in TOE.

T(raining) component of OPOS capability

As for now, capability-based defence planning training courses are established in National Defense University of Ukraine (2 weeks, 2 times per year, dozen of participants). It can provide only limited amount of partially prepared experts. It seems like insufficient support for defence reform.

Proposal:

T1 Use of experts educated abroad. The issue of current usage of officers educated abroad, especially in defence and operational planning in NATO colleges, should be studied. The capability for monitoring usage of such officers should be created including annual feedbacks.

T2 Participate in COI Community of Interests and events related to defence planning. Perform necessary activities in order to plan and regularly patriciate in events related to defence planning. Participate in related COI Community of Interests, such as Multilateral Interoperability Program (MIP).

T3 Self-education and language skills. Motivate officers, involved into defence planning, to self-education and improvement of language skills. A lot of NATO materials about defence planning and related matters are accessible for public usage or for PfP members.

M(ateriel) component of OPOS capability

Defence planning process is an information processing process. Communication and Information Systems (CIS) are main modern tools for information processing.

Proposals:

M1 Defence planning IS development. It is necessary to develop, deploy and maintain defence planning information systems. UAF started creation of existing IS Resurs in 2003. Its very close to NATO's IS JDARTS (2001). IS Resurs was successfully developed and partially deployed (~30%) due to lack of funds. Maintenance of IS Resurs stopped in 2008 and, naturally, does not support last and expected changes in defence planning process. Therefore, creation of upgraded IS for defence planning support should be performed.

IS creation is expected in accordance to Strategic Defence Bulletin (2016). But any practical steps haven’t been done yet. So, it requires decision-maker's understanding and will.

L(eadership and eduction) component of OPOS capability

The transition to capability-based defence planning requires significant changes in management processes, starting from top decision-makers in MOD and GS, as well as understanding of capstone ideas of capability development process.

Proposals:

L1 Involve top-level decision-makers. Decision-makers should be involved in transformation process in person, starting from transformation group activities.

L2 Experts preparation in defence planning. Establish educational courses for defence planning process participants at all levels, starting from tactical (brigade) level.

L3 Users preparation for defence planning IS. Prepare and regularly perform user's courses for defence planning IS.

L4 Create informational resource (site) for self-education. Such resource could have open access or limited access through UAF communication network. Also, distance learning can be used.

P(ersonnel) component of OPOS capability

UAF has personnel to perform defence planning by current processes. So, main issue is related to readiness to new approach in planning.

P1 Transformation group of experts. To staff transformation group (see O1 Transformation group) with experts. Detached duty (temporary duty assignment) should be considered as preferable option.

P2 Permanent personnel for defence planning. It happens that personnel for defence planning is rotated but we have to avoid constant change of personnel. The list (register) of educated persons should be prepared starting from transformation group. Heads of units (departments) have to be responsible for appropriate usage of personnel prepared for defence planning.

F(acility) component of OPOS capability

As IT systems are capstone tool for supporting defence planning then appropriate IT infrastructure should be created and maintained. As for now, secure communication channels for data transfer are the main issue because they are limited by performance or absent proposals:

F1 Provide secured communication channels. Secure communication channels for data transfer should be created up to units of tactical level (brigades). It’s very long and expensive process due to local legislation. So see F2, F3.

F2 Alternative to secured communication channels. Security level of transferred data can be reduced by fragmentation (transfer changes only) for some categories of data. It is allowed to use open communication channels or at least easier communication solutions. Full amount of data can be transferred as usual by courier.

F3 Centers for support, user preparation and data input.

Data input centers should be considered as a temporary alternative solution for pervasive secured communication channels. It can be created at operational level and provide services for tactical level units. These centers could be combined with units for user preparation and IT support.

I(nteroperability) component of OPOS capability

Doctrinal, operational and technical interoperability with NATO structures should be achieved.

Proposals:

I1 Doctrinal interoperability. Taking adopted NDPP as a basis for defence planning process in Ukraine should provide basis for doctrinal interoperability. Other doctrine, policy, processes and information product should be aligned to this basis. Norwegian experience can be taken into account during adoption.

I2 Data structure for information exchange. There is a robust data model for NATO's information systems named JC3IEDM (STANAG 5525) by MIP (see I3). It can be used for both battle management (C4ISR) and resource management (DRMIS) systems and can be extended according to national needs.

I3 Multilateral interoperability program. Participate in NATO's interoperability initiatives like Multilateral interoperability program (MIP). MIP is open affordable for PfP nations, including Ukraine. MIP provides information exchange data model as well as exchange mechanism requirements.

Conclusion and recommendations

According to the authors, there are next key issues in transition to capability-based defence planning:

- Insufficient understanding of capability-based defence planning processes and related subjects;

- Insufficiently developed doctrine, policies and manuals for capability-based defence planning;

- Lack of tools for providing support to capability-based defence planning.

Our key proposals in order to solve issues above are:

- consider ability to perform capability-based defence planning as a capability (proposed capability code OPOS) using DOTMLPFI components (Figure 3);

 

F3 CC OPOS translated ms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 3. Activities to create OPOS capability (first-order approximation)

D(octrine) component:

Determine desired end state and objectives for transition to capability-based defence planning;

Determine basis for future defence planning. Proposal – NDPP adopted to national circumstances. It can be another basis – but it should be clear marked in policies;

Change funds assignment approach. Resources have to be assigned to consistent capability (all required actions in package). It requires changes in approaches to group activities in defence planning documents;

Authorize performing of experimentation in order to develop full package of capability-based defence planning information products using transformation group of experts;

Take into account changes in related matters. Defence planning is based on scenario-based approach in NATO nations. It requires defence scenario (operational plans) development. According to authors COPD approach can be used on this stage;

O(rganization) component:

Establish temporary transformation group of experts. The main activity of transformation group – is to carry out full capability-based defence planning cycle for limited part of UAF.

Tables of Organisation and Equipment (TOE) have to be changed according to positions involved in defence planning (starting from tactical (brigade) level). Job responsibilities have to be changed as well as appropriate tools (IT systems, computers and communication equipment) have to be authorized in TOE.

Establish unit(s) for providing support of development, deployment and maintenance of defence planning information system, as well as Center for military-strategic research is provided with support to real-estate information system;

T(raining) component:

Perform experimentation in order to develop full package of capability-based defence planning information products using transformation group of experts;

Usage of educated abroad experts. The capability for monitoring usage of such officers has to be created, including annual feedback;

Participate in Communities of Interests (COI)and events related to defence planning;

Motivate officers, involved in defence planning, to self-education and improvement of language skills.

M(ateriel) component:

Implement tools (information system) to support capability-based defence planning. It's already planned but has not started yet;

Develop informational infrastructure in order to support DRMIS, including defence planning;

Deploy DRMIS tools for every level of command;

L(eadership and education) component:

Decision-makers should be involved in person in transformation process, starting from transformation group activities;

Prepare and perform educational courses for defence planning process participants at all levels, starting from tactical (brigade) level.

Prepare and regularly perform user's courses for defence planning IS.

Create informational resource (site) for self-education. Such resource can have open access or limited access through UAF communication network. Distance learning can also be used.

P(ersonnel):

To staff transformation group (see O1 Transformation group) with experts. Detached duty (temporary duty assignment) should be considered as preferable option. Experts should have necessary knowledge (i.e. NATO college with regards) in defence planning and related matters, such as operational planning;

Permanent personnel for defence planning. The list (register) of educated persons should be prepared starting from transformation group. Heads of units (departments) have to be responsible for appropriate usage of personnel prepared for defence planning.

F(acilities) component:

Provide secured communication channels till tactical units (brigades) or use alternative data transfer solution

Temporary alternative solution. Security level of transferred data can be reduced by fragmentation (transfer changes only) for some categories of data. It will allow to use open communication channels or at least easier communication solutions. As usual, full amount of data can be transferred by courier.

Temporary alternative solution. Centers of support, user preparation and data input for defence planning.

I (nteroperability) component:

Taking adopted NDPP as a basis for defence planning process in Ukraine should provide basis for doctrinal interoperability. Perform steps according to NDPP (by meaning);

Use NATO information exchange data model JC3IEDM (STANAG 5525) by MIP for both battle management (C4ISR) and resource management (DRMIS) systems and extended according to national needs;

Participate in NATO's interoperability initiatives like Multilateral interoperability program (MIP). MIP is open affordable for PfP nations, including Ukraine. MIP provides information exchange data model as well as exchange mechanism requirements.

Transition to capability-based defence planning supported by modern tools (information systems) should allow us develop feasible capability development plans for force preparation, obtain situational awareness about real defence capabilities, help efficient assign limited defence resource and perform comprehensive approach for defence planning.

Furthermore, transition to capability-based defence planning will provide "common language" with NATO, in particular common understanding of abilities of UAF to perform tasks with necessary standards (performance measures), and improve operational and technical (data layer) interoperability with NATO.

Review of article in Ukrainian

Stepaniuk M., Fellow in the Institute of Software Systems of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, expert of the DSPC

Yurchina Y, leading engineer of SOFTLINE IT Ltd., expert of the DSPC