Operation Anaconda: Command and Control through Video-Teleconferences Naval War College

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Published: February 18th 2014

Kindle Edition

23 pages


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Operation Anaconda: Command and Control through Video-Teleconferences  by  Naval War College

Operation Anaconda: Command and Control through Video-Teleconferences by Naval War College
February 18th 2014 | Kindle Edition | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, AUDIO, mp3, RTF | 23 pages | ISBN: | 6.74 Mb

Before the video-teleconference came into use, operational level commanders often relied on personal observations in order to make decisions. Commanders personally observed their subordinates’ actions and were able to gain a “feel” for theMoreBefore the video-teleconference came into use, operational level commanders often relied on personal observations in order to make decisions.

Commanders personally observed their subordinates’ actions and were able to gain a “feel” for the battlefield.Advanced information technology has changed the way operational commanders communicate with subordinates. Face-to-face meetings and personal observations have largely been replaced by video-teleconferences (VTC). While in use for many years, Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) ushered in the first widespread use of the VTC as a Command and Control (C2) system.

Many strategic and operational commanders have come to rely heavily on VTCs, almost to the exclusion of other forms of communication. Operation Anaconda conducted in OEF provides a good illustration of a breakdown in communication between two critical components due to an over-reliance on VTCs.VTCs, while offering significant capabilities, have inherent limitations as a command and control (C2) system that must be appreciated by operational commanders in order to ensure success. The over-reliance on VTCs in Operation Anaconda at the expense of personal face-to-face interaction degraded General Franks’ ability to gage his subordinates’ level of understanding.

Component staffs came to rely solely on VTCs for coordination to the exclusion of message traffic. As a result, components developed different perspectives concerning Anaconda. Additionally, component commanders relied heavily on their staffs for coordination and did not communicate personally with each other. These communication breakdowns contributed to many of the problems in the operation. The enemy in Operation Anaconda lacked the ability to exploit mistakes resulting from poor coordination.

Nonetheless, these types of mistakes may prove to be disastrous against a formidable opponent in the future.



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