Command and control relationship

Command and Control Relationships (Position) (SAP Library - Organizational Flexibility)

command and control relationship

Defense Forces and Public Security (IS-DFS). A collective term for relationships between force elements, positions, and persons within organizational structures. provides sufficient authority for controlling and directing the application of force support relationship retains its command relationship with its parent unit but is. Command and control are interrelated. Command resides with commanders. It consists of.

Authority derives from two sources. Official authority is a function of rank and position and is bestowed by organization and by law. Personal authority is a function of personal influence and derives from factors such as experience, reputation, skill, character, and personal example. It is bestowed by the other members of the organization. Official authority provides the power to act but is rarely enough; most effective commanders also possess a high degree of personal authority.

Responsibility, or accountability for results, is a natural corollary of authority. Where there is authority, there must be responsibility in like measure.

Conversely, where individuals have responsibility for achieving results, they must also have the authority to initiate the necessary actions. We suggest a different and more dynamic view of command and control which sees command as the exercise of authority and control as feedback about the effects of the action taken. The commander commands by deciding what needs to be done and by directing or influencing the conduct of others.

Control takes the form of feedback—the continuous flow of information about the unfolding situation returning to the commander—which allows the commander to adjust and modify command action as needed. Feedback indicates the difference between the goals and the situation as it exists.

Feedback may come from any direction and in any form—intelligence about how the enemy is reacting, information about the status of subordinate or adjacent units, or revised guidance from above based on developments.

Feedback is the mechanism that allows commanders to adapt to changing circumstances—to exploit fleeting opportunities, respond to developing problems, modify schemes, or redirect efforts.

The result is a mutually supporting system of give and take in which complementary commanding and controlling forces interact to ensure that the force as a whole can adapt continuously to changing requirements. But given the nature of war, can commanders control their forces with anything even resembling the omnipotence of the chess player?

We might say that a gunner is in control of a weapon system or that a pilot is in control of an aircraft. But is a flight leader really directly in control of how the other pilots fly their aircraft? Is a senior commander really in control of the squads of Marines actually engaging the enemy, especially on a modern battlefield on which units and individuals will often be widely dispersed, even to the point of isolation? Are commanders even remotely in control of what the enemy does? But it is a delusion to believe that we can truly be in control of the enemy or the situation.

And the further removed commanders are from the Marines actually engaging the enemy, the less direct control they have over their actions. We must keep in mind that war is at base a human endeavor. We could not get people to act like mindless robots, even if we wanted to. Given the nature of war, the remarkable thing is not that commanders cannot be thoroughly in control but rather that they can achieve much influence at all.

command and control relationship

We should accept that the proper object of command and control is not to be thoroughly and precisely in control.

The turbulence of modern war suggests a need for a looser form of influence—some- thing that is more akin to the willing cooperation of a basketball team than to the omnipotent direction of the chess player—that provides the necessary guidance in an uncertain, disorderly, time-competitive environment without stifling the initiative of subordinates. A complex system is any system composed of multiple parts, each of which must act individually according to its own circumstances and which, by so acting, changes the circumstances affecting all the other parts.

A boxer bobbing and weaving and trading punches with his opponent is a complex system. A soccer team is a complex system, as is the other team, as is the competitive interaction between them. A squad-sized combat patrol, changing formation as it moves across the terrain and reacting to the enemy situation, is a complex system.

A battle between two military forces is itself a complex system. But even if this is not so, even if each of the parts is fairly simple in itself, the result of the interactions among the parts is highly complicated, unpredictable, and even uncontrollable behavior.

Each part often affects other parts in ways that simply cannot be anticipated, and it is from these unpredictable interactions that complexity emerges. With a complex system it is usually extremely difficult, if not impossible, to isolate individual causes and their effects since the parts are all connected in a complex web. The behavior of complex systems is frequently nonlinear which means that even extremely small influences can have decisively large effects, or vice versa.

Particular factors can often be decisive—details only known to those who were on the spot. It is not simply the number of parts that makes a system complex: A machine can be complicated and consist of numerous parts, but the parts generally interact in a specific, designed way—or else the machine will not function.

While some systems behave mech- anistically, complex systems most definitely do not. Complex systems tend to be open systems, interacting frequently and freely with other systems and the external environment. Our approach to command and control must find a way to cope with this inherent complexity. While a machine operator may be in control of the machine, it is difficult to imagine any commander being in control of a complex phenomenon like war.

This view of command and control as a complex system characterized by reciprocal action and feedback has several important features which distinguish it from the typical view of command and control and which are central to our approach. First, this view recognizes that effective command and control must be sensitive to changes in the situation.

This view sees the military organization as an open system, interacting with its surroundings especially the enemyrather than as a closed system focused on internal efficiency. An effective command and control system provides the means to adapt to changing conditions. We can thus look at command and control as a process of continuous adaptation.

Second, the action-feedback loop makes command and control a continuous, cyclic process and not a sequence of discrete actions—as we will discuss in greater detail later. Third, the action-feedback loop also makes command and control a dynamic, interactive process of cooperation. Command and control is thus fundamentally an activity of reciprocal influence—give and take among all parts, from top to bottom and side to side.

Fourth, as a result, this view does not see the commander as being above the system, exerting command and control from the outside—like a chess player moving the chess pieces—but as being an integral part of this complex web of reciprocal influence.

And finally, as we have mentioned, this view recognizes that it is unreasonable to expect command and control to provide precise, predictable, and mechanistic order to a complex undertaking like war.

The basic elements of our command and control system are people, information, and the command and control support structure. The first element of command and control is people—people who gather information, make decisions, take action, communicate, and cooperate with one another in the accomplishment of a common goal.

People drive the command and control system—they make things happen—and the rest of the system exists only to serve them. The essence of war is a clash between human wills, and any concept of command and control must recognize this first.

Because of this human element, command is inseparable from leadership. The aim of command and control is not to eliminate or lessen the role of people or to make people act like robots, but rather to help them perform better. Human beings—from the senior commander framing a strategic concept to a lance corporal calling in a situation report—are integral components of the command and control system and not merely users of it.

All Marines feel the effects of fear, privation, and fatigue. Each has unique, intangible qualities which cannot be captured by any organizational chart, procedure, or piece of equipment. The human mind has a capacity for judgment, intuition, and imagination far superior to the analytical capacity of even the most powerful computer. It is precisely this aspect of the human element that makes war in general, and command in particular, ultimately an art rather than a science.

command and control relationship

An effective command and control system must account for the characteristics and limits of human nature and at the same time exploit and enhance uniquely human skills. At any level, the key individual in the command and control system is the commander who has the final responsibility for success. Information is the words, letters, numbers, images, and symbols we use to represent things, events, ideas, and values.

In one way or another, command and control is essentially about information: Information is how we give structure and shape to the material world, and it thus allows us to give meaning to and to gain understanding of the events and conditions which surround us.

In a very broad sense, information is a control parameter: Most information grows stale with time, valuable one moment but irrelevant or even misleading the next. There are two basic uses for information. The first is to help create situational awareness as the basis for a decision. The second is to direct and coordinate actions in the execution of the decision.

While distinct in concept, the two uses of information are rarely mutually exclusive in practice. There will usually be quite a bit of overlap since the same exchange of information often serves both purposes simultaneously. Likewise, a call for fire, the primary purpose of which is to request supporting arms from a supporting unit, also provides information about the developing situation in the form of a target location and description. Information forms range from data—raw, unprocessed signals—to information that has been evaluated and integrated into meaningful knowledge and understanding.

Command and Control Relationships (Position) - SAP Documentation

Without the information that provides the basis of situational awareness, no commander—no matter how experienced or wise—can make sound decisions. Without information that conveys understanding of the concept and intent, subordinates cannot act properly. Without information in the form of a strike brief which provides understanding of the situation on the ground, a pilot cannot provide close air support. Without information which provides understanding of an upcoming operation and the status of supply, the logistician cannot provide adequate combat service support.

Effective command and control is not simply a matter of generating enough information. Most information is not important or even relevant. Much is unusable given the time available. More is inaccurate, and some can actually be misleading. Given information-gathering capabilities today, there is the distinct danger of overwhelming commanders with more information than they can possibly assimilate.

In other words, too much information is as bad as too little—and probably just as likely to occur. Some kinds of information can be counterproductive—information which misleads us, which spreads panic, or which leads to overcontrol.

Information is valuable only insofar as it contributes to effective decisions and actions. The final element of command and control is the command and control support structure 11 which aids the people who create, disseminate, and use information. It includes the organizations, procedures, equipment, facilities, training, education, and doctrine which support command and control.

High-quality equipment and advanced technology do not guarantee effective command and control. Effective command and control starts with qualified people and an effective guiding philosophy. We must recognize that the components of the command and control support structure do not exist for their own sake but solely to help people recognize what needs to be done and take the appropriate action.

We draw an important distinction between a process, a collection of related activities, and a procedure, a specific sequence of steps for accomplishing a specific task. Command and control is a process.

It may include procedures for performing certain tasks, but it is not itself a procedure and should not be approached as one. Command and control is something we do.

command and control relationship

These activities include, but are not limited to, gathering and analyzing information, making decisions, organizing resources, planning, communicating instructions and other information, coordina-ting, monitoring results, and supervising execution. As we seek to improve command and control, we should not become so wrapped up in feeding and perfecting the process that we lose sight of the object of command and control in the first place. For example, we should not become so con- cerned with the ability to gather and analyze huge amounts of information efficiently that we lose sight of the primary goal of helping the commander gain a true awareness of the situation as the basis for making and implementing decisions.

The ultimate object is not an efficient command and control process; the ultimate objective is the effective conduct of military action. So rather than ask what are the functions that make up command and control, we might better ask: What should effective command and control do for us? First, it should help provide insight into the nature and requirements of the problem facing us. It should help develop intelligence about the enemy and the surroundings.

As much as possible, it should help to identify enemy capabilities, intentions, and vulnerabilities. It should help us understand our own situation—to include identifying our own vulnerabilities.

In short, it should help us gain situational awareness. Next, command and control should help us devise suitable and meaningful goals and adapt those goals as the situation changes. It should help us devise appropriate actions to achieve those goals. It should help us provide direction and focus to create vigorous and harmonious action among the various elements of the force.

They build a COP to provide situational understanding that supports unity of effort throughout the force. Finally, commanders, assisted by their staffs, assess execution and issue orders that adjust their plans to account for changes in the situation.

C2 is unique among the battlefield operating systems BOSs: Even though it involves no killing, detection, or resupply, C2 is a force multiplier and vital to mission accomplishment. C2 accomplishes the following: Gives purpose and direction to military operations.

Integrates the efforts of subordinate and supporting forces, causing separate activities to achieve coordinated effects. Determines force responsiveness and allocates resources. Command and control are interrelated. Command resides with commanders. It consists of authority, decisionmaking, and leadership.

Command is mostly art but some science. Control is how commanders execute command. It is mostly science but also art. Science deals with the study and method of a body of facts and processes based on principles from the physical or material world. Art, as opposed to science, requires expert performance of a specific skill using intuitive faculties that cannot be solely learned by study or education.

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Doctrine contains a science component that deals with the capabilities and limitations of the physical means used in operations. Knowledge of doctrine's science component is essential. Coupled with experience and training, it forms the basis for the art in human judgment necessary when applying doctrine to a specific situation. However, doctrine cannot be reduced to science; it is inherently art. Commanders cannot exercise command effectively without control.

command and control relationship

Conversely, control has no function without command to focus it. Command is primary, but it is insufficient without control. C2 is not a one-way, top-down process that imposes control on subordinates.

C2 is multidirectional, with feedback influencing commanders from below, from above, and laterally. Command focuses the practice and organization of the science within control. Control informs the exercise of art within command and regulates the functions of the force. Higher echelon organizations are more complex than lower echelon organizations. Nonetheless, the functions and related requirements of command remain comparatively constant, while control functions increase at each higher echelon.

At higher echelons, the impact of commanders is more indirect, while the roles of staffs and other elements of the C2 system are more prominent. This situation requires higher echelon commanders to apply organizational, as well as direct, leadership skills and actions. FM discusses the levels of leadership: Command is the authority that a commander in the armed forces lawfully exercises over subordinates by virtue of rank or assignment. Command includes the authority and responsibility for effectively using available resources and for planning the employment of, organizing, directing, coordinating, and controlling military forces for the accomplishment of assigned missions.

It also includes responsibility for health, welfare, morale, and discipline of assigned personnel JP The elements of command are authority, decisionmaking, and leadership. Authority is the delegated power to judge, act, or command. It includes responsibility, accountability, and delegation.

Commanders use the art of command in applying authority as they decide plan how to achieve the end state and lead direct their forces during preparation and execution. Decisionmaking is selecting a course of action as the one most favorable to accomplish the mission. It translates the products of the commander's visualization see chapter 4 into action. Decisionmaking includes knowing if to decide, then when and what to decide, and understanding the consequences of decisions.

It is both art and science.

Commanders use visualizing, describing, and directing to determine and communicate their decisions. Leadership is influencing people-by providing purpose, direction, and motivation-while operating to accomplish the mission and improving the organization FM Commanders lead through a combination of example, persuasion, and compulsion.

The leadership of commanders ultimately includes force of will. In any command, only one officer commands. This is embodied in the principle of war, unity of command.

Commanders may exercise command through others by delegating authority; however, delegation does not absolve commanders of their responsibilities to the higher commander. Commanders initiate action by issuing lawful orders.

Success in command is impossible without control. Within command and control, control is the regulation of forces and battlefield operating systems to accomplish the mission in accordance with the commander's intent. It includes collecting, processing, displaying, storing, and disseminating relevant information for creating the common operational picture, and using information, primarily by the staff, during the operations process.