Two Hats for the Joint Force Commander?
NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV WASHINGTON DC INST FOR NATIONAL STRATEGIC STUDIES
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Although the Persian Gulf War was waged a decade ago, it should continue to be studied. Joint doctrine has not resolved many contentious issues raised during that conflict. Among them is whether a joint force commander JFC should be dual hatted as a service or functional component commander. The following article assesses doctrine for organizing both joint force and component commands. It then considers organization for Operations Desert ShieldDesert Storm. Finally, it examines the ground operations planned and executed in 1990 and 1991. The campaign presented the Commander in Chief, Central Command CINCCENT, with challenges that could have been avoided with a more dynamic theater command and control structure and prescriptive doctrinal guidance. Subordinate forces can be organized in many ways. Joint Pub 0-2, Unified Action Armed Forces UNAAF, declares that a JFC has the authority to organize forces to best accomplish the assigned mission based on the concept of operations. JFCs can establish functional component commands and designate commanders. The primary factors in selecting a functional component commander are the nature of operations, service force mix, and service command and control capabilities. Usually the service with the preponderance of forces provides the functional component commander. Joint Pub 3-0, Doctrine for Joint Operations, further defines conditions under which JFCs establish a functional component as when the scope of operations requires that similar capabilities and functions of forces from more than one service be directed toward closely related objectives and unity of command and effort are primary considerations.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics