Lesson 1/Learning Event 1
Conducting rehearsals is the ninth and last step in the planning sequence. This step may or may not be
taken, depending on the command level and the time and facilities available. In the case of chemical or
radiological survey operations, rehearsal is likely to consist of training exercises in survey procedures.
Time Element in Planning. The time required to plan and initiate an operation varies with the size of
the unit. At battalion level, an operation may be planned and initiated within a few hours. In this case,
the plan may result from a brief estimate of the situation and a decision that are applicable to the
immediate future. At field army level, several months may be required to plan and initiate a major
operation. The amount of detail considered in the preparation of the plan will vary, depending on the
size and the type o command, the experience of the troops, the complexity of the operations, the factors
of combined or joint participation, and the time available for planing. Measures to reduce planing time
are as indicated in the subparagraphs below.
Standing Operating Procedures (SOP) promote understanding and teamwork among
commander, staff, and troops.
Preplanned Action. Any established plan in tactics or procedures for combat service support
that can be rehearsed and refined beforehand saves planning time. Task organization,
alternate tactical plans, and other supporting plans, such as rear area protection plans, also
contribute to the saving of time.
Concurrent Planning. Concurrent planning by different levels of command and different
staff sections conserves time and promotes the early detection and solution of problems.
This does not relieve higher levels of the responsibility, however, of providing information
and instructions to subordinate units as early as possible. At successive levels, planning
includes those details required for that particular level. Co-ordination between higher and
subordinate levels, through conferences and visits during the planning, helps pinpoint
problems and their solutions. The extent to which planning can be concurrent depends on
many factors, to include time and distance between the levels of command involved and
security considerations. Because each subordinate unit involved in the operation performs its
own planning based on that of the next higher level, allocation of adequate time for
subordinate unit planning is a consideration at each command level failure to provide this
time can create confusion at the lower levels and negate the planning efforts of the higher