Command and Control of the Third Force: Contractors on the Battlefield
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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Contractors on the battlefield have become so commonplace that many consider them the third force, along with the Active and Reserve forces. Contractors have become part of the DOD force structure, and their use has given the JFC capabilities and flexibility not found in the present military force structure. Yet the DOD has paid insufficient attention to the integration of this large force as a full partner in planning, training and sharing best practices. Because of this JFC now lacks the mechanisms to command and control C2 contractors, so performing this joint function is difficult at best. In order to provide the JFC with the tools he needs, the DOD should radically transform how it plans and trains with contractors. Partnering with commercial firms can bring much to the table to facilitate the integration and C2 of contractors. This paper examines the challenges faced by the JFC in managing his accompanying contractor force and makes recommendations to fix those problems. It looks at the CONLOG model used by the British military to manage the contractor force, and recommends that the DOD adapts this model and further develop it to suit its needs.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
- Command, Control and Communications Systems