Dynamic TTP For The Joint Force
Today's joint force confronts a complex, ever-changing
environment. To enable the agility and speed required in today's
battlespace, the doctrine community must adjust its products, organizations,
and processes to maximize the support provided to the warfighter.
This includes providing timely and accurate tactics, techniques,
and procedures (TTP) publications.
Doctrine is divided into two categories-broad, fundamental principles
and specific TTP. Fundamental principles have been, and continue
to be effectively compiled in today's joint doctrine hierarchy.
In the area of TTP however, there are shortfalls. The increased
need to adapt rapidly to changing battlespace dynamics increases
the need for TTP. Operations are becoming more joint in virtually
every area-logistics, missile defense, single integrated air picture,
combat identification, command and control, fires, deployment/redeployment,
and anti-access/assured access to name a few. The joint environment
creates a need to clarify tactical and operational linkages-this
is the realm of joint and multi-Service TTP. Our TTP must become
increasingly flexible and responsive as the joint force faces adaptive
enemies that are unconstrained by doctrine and bureaucracy.
Effective TTP flows from four basic principles:
- Maximize responsiveness,
- Maximize openness,
- Seek authoritativeness, and
- Create and maintain supporting organizations/processes.
Responsiveness entails rapid development of TTP when a need is identified,
and a capability to rapidly revise the material when conditions
change. Current models are not responsive. For example, the commonly-used
joint TTP (JTTP) development process is 21 months long if it encounters
no delays. Even the seldom-used "fast track" process is
12 1/2 months long. Further, the revision cycle is advertised as
five years, but the five-year mark is when revisions are started.
The revised publication normally is approved about two years after
the start for a total of approximately seven years to revise JTTP.
The enemy may or may not give us time for these processes to run
their course. Since warfighters need the best information that is
available at any point in time, TTP development processes must adapt.
Greater responsiveness is the first essential principle.
The second principle for maximizing the value of TTP is openness
to ideas directly from the field. Openness and responsiveness are
interconnected. Openness means allowing warfighters to identify
needs directly to TTPproducing organizations. Current processes
articulated in JP 1-01, Joint Doctrine Development System, are burdensome
and time consuming and require that warfighters find a Service or
other sponsor. Ideas must filter up through organizations and sponsorship
provided by the Chiefs of the Services, combatant commanders, or
Joint Staff directorates; and then be approved by the Joint Doctrine
Working Party (JDWP). This process serves the purpose of providing
a thorough justification, however it is time consuming and creates
"bureaucratic barriers" that can filter out valid needs
along with invalid ones.
The third principle for developing effective TTP is authoritativeness,
meaning that subject matter experts generally agree that the publication
contains the best available guidance, and the appropriate authority
has ordered that the guidance be followed unless exceptional circumstances
dictate otherwise. Authoritativeness can impede responsiveness-the
two requirements must be balanced. Achieving authoritativeness takes
time. Current processes require that JTTP publications be repeatedly
staffed through numerous organizations to achieve authoritativeness,
and contentious issues often arise to delay the process. JP 3-09.3
JTTP for Close Air Support (CAS), took over one year to proceed
through final coordination, resolution of contentious issues, and
approval; which delayed its implementation prior to Operation IRAQI
FREEDOM. Doctrine producing organizations must work toward authoritativeness
for their TTP, but also must provide the warfighter all available
non-authoritative information that might be of use as responsively
Finally, TTP development requires organizations and processes that
provide responsiveness, openness, and authoritativeness. Currently,
there are numerous organizations that produce different types of
documents that might be described joint or multi-Service TTP. These
publications are created out of necessity-a need is identified in
the field and an organization moves to meet it. Organizations move
forward with the best of intentions, to meet the need, but do so
without common guidance. Some examples of these TTP types are depicted
in Table 1.
Several problems result from this multitude of TTP producers, types,
and processes. They include: lack of universal awareness of the
publication, leading to a lack of uniform application, difficulty
providing updates due to lack of resources or inadequacy of process,
lack of authoritativeness, and general confusion created by multiple
TTP and multiple processes. Clearly establishing TTP development
and revision processes and identifying organizations that would
carry them out should provide solutions for these problems.
Application of the four principles for maximizing TTP effectiveness
for the joint warfighter will require three interrelated actions:
- Reduce the type of TTP publications and create a single, well-defined
taxonomy of TTP publications;
- Identify requirements for organizations which will develop TTP
- Identify an optimum process for developing and revising TTP publications.
Reducing the number of TTP-type publications would allow development
and application of a standardized process to their development and
revision. For several reasons, the new taxonomy should be multi-Service
rather than joint in nature. Services have a doctrine development
framework in place, and have a proven capability to produce multi-Service
publications expeditiously. Services are the nation's force providers,
i.e., the organizations that train and equip forces. They have the
resources available to meet the needs. The expeditious production
of TTP would include input from the joint community via the staffing
process. An effective multi-Service taxonomy should include three
TTP types-multi-Service handbooks (MSH), multi-Service reference
publications (MSRP), and multi-Service regulations (MSR); which
would provide non-authoritative guidance, authoritative guidance,
and directive guidance respectively.
While the notion of eliminating JTTP may raise some eyebrows, there
is good reason to do so. Problems such as excessive detail in joint
publications were anticipated by the writers of JP 1-01, which states
"...joint doctrine and JTTP should not include detail that
is more appropriate in Service doctrine, standing operating procedures,
plans, and other publications." Although this statement leaves
open the question of what is meant by "appropriate," we
must conclude that the lowest level details, i.e., those directed
at the "worker bee" level, must necessarily be excluded,
simply because there are no lower levels. The joint doctrine development
process was established to provide well thought out authoritative
principles, not responsive, detailed guidance in direct response
to warfighter needs. JTTP can and should be eliminated, as could
many other TTP types.
Another required action is to identify the characteristics of TTP-developing
organizations. The idea here is not to be extremely restrictive
regarding who produces multi-Service TTP. The key element is that
the organization has access to sufficient resources to execute the
approved development and revision processes for all multi-Service
Finally and most importantly, an optimum process for developing
and revising multi-Service TTP must be identified. As a minimum
this process should include:
- Openness to ideas from the field. TTP-producing organizations
should be free to accept ideas and go forward in verifying the need
for the publication and meeting that need.
- Rapid response capability that can be adjusted based on the urgency
of a particular need.
- Efficient and effective research procedures to determine that
an actual need exists and find the best way of meeting it.
- Efficient and effective procedures for organizing and holding
joint working groups to produce TTP publications.
- A procedure for designating initial drafts as "nonauthoritative,"
or "handbooks," making them available to users immediately,
and alerting users to their existence.
- A procedure for working toward authoritativeness that prioritizes
work toward perfection in substance, then in format, staffing through
all available subject matter experts, and provision of ongoing updates
of substantive issues to the field.
- A procedure for maintaining contact with the users of the publication
to monitor for relevancy and completeness of the TTP.
There are two ways that the three interrelated actions described
above might be implemented. The JDWP could undertake to change the
system using a "bottom-up" approach, but a far more effective
approach would be for a directive to be issued to the JDWP from
the DOD/JCS level. This "top-down" approach would result
in a more substantive change being implemented at a much faster
rate. Once the directive is received, the JDWP would have to modify
the upcoming CJCSI (formerly JP 1-01) on joint doctrine development
to reflect the taxonomy, process, and organizational requirements
described in the preceding paragraphs.
Adhering to the four principles for maximizing effectiveness of
TTP for the joint warfighter and application of the three interrelated
actions to implement those principles will allow us to meet the
real needs of the users in a timely manner. This will increase the
combat effectiveness of the joint force.
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