JLOTS 2014 After Action Review 041330 April 2014. J1 Predeployment . PAX Travel Arrangements.
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2) commands involved with weekly DCO chats
ISSUE: Command Post locations
DISCUSSION: The PoA municipal facility was not reconnoitered until the final day of the week-long final planning conference. Furthermore, limited personnel from the coordinating staff actually got to step foot inside the facility & to inspect it for critical supporting infrastructure like power grid, lighting, HVAC, and storage. Key staff assessments were not able to be completed in order to validate this Course of Action as either Suitable, Feasible, Acceptable, or Complete. This caused a ripple effect in the planning process with respect to JOC/ALOC design, network planning, and space allocation. Upon arrival, the situation deteriorated into a “land grab” where respective operational space was claimed by multiple organizations. Had there been a well coordinated meeting between the echelons of command, we could have deployed with a competent & confident plan of action for limited space at both locations (PoA, Hangar 5). Having a pre-planned, faces-to-spaces allocation diagram (i.e. a blue print) helps the S6 team forecast network support requirements (like how many linear feet of cable is needed to wire the command posts, etc) and accelerates network installation & connection times.
RECOMMENDATION: Recon and select the best location(s) to establish Command Post operations prior to the Final Planning Conference so the space allocation & layouts can be completed before deployment; inject Command Post design & planning into the post FPC conference actions.
ISSUE: Identification, manifesting, and deployment of section equipment
DISCUSSION: S6 section identified a potential power generation shortfall for our Battle Command Common Server (BCCS) stack at the PoA facility (see site recon comment above). Due to the lack of proper site reconnaissance, we were unable to confirm through the Port Authority, of the power voltage/amperage system already installed in the warehouse facility required to support the operation of our BCCS stack. As a result, we requested support from HHC, TBX to deploy at least a separate 10Kw trailer mounted tactical generator set in support of our power supply uncertainty. HHC identified and manifested the S6’s own Trailer Mounted Shelter System (TMSS) Medium package (18Kw) as a solution to the problem, without ever notifying us as the section equipment owner/operator. On the designated equipment upload date, our TMSS-Med package was removed from the STB motorpool [where it was staged to participate in the TENTEX as directed by the Deputy Commander] without our notification. Upon further investigation, we discovered our TMSS-Med package being uploaded to the line-haul before we (as the section hand receipt holders) had a chance to properly download & store the non-deployable equipment (i.e. Drash Tent) that was not necessary for this mission. To compound the problem, we had some Component of End Item (COEI) shortages on this newly acquired asset which made the power distribution system NMC; the very reason that we needed a system to deploy in the first place.
RECOMMENDATION: finalize deployable equipment requirements at least 90-days in advance (or at least following the FPC). If assets are not available at the section or unit level, resource these requirements through the exercise’s host units. If equipment is identified to deploy on a mission – NOTIFY the section that is sub-hand receipted for it in advance (even if it is to support the section’s own mission). Do not remove other section’s hand receipted equipment from the unit motorpool without notifying the section hand receipt holder – period.
ISSUE: Communications mission requirements not clearly identified by staff and external units
DISCUSSION: Some communications requirements were not identified by the staff and external units before deployment to JBER. As a result, the J6 staff was challenged to provide some requested services. This also caused a delay in the J6 ADVON’s operations during setup. The ADVON was not given all requirements prior to deployment and had to be in complete react mode.
RECOMMENDATION: Communications mission requirements must be clearly expressed by a NLT date. This will allow the J6 staff to properly plan and provide these requirements. If requirements are not feasible, the customer organization can be notified in time for them to adjust their planning.
ISSUE: Communications requirements clearly outlined.
DISCUSSION: Upon execution in Anchorage the network administrators were tasked with providing SIPR services to the users as the primary resource during the exercise when actually NIPR was the primary. SIPR was not truly utilized for the execution of the exercise, only for training and demonstration purposes. Global Broadcasting System (GBS) was not identified as a requirement, but the Commander wanted live television (one of the GBS’s capabilities) in the JOC for situational awareness. When the system went down hard for maintenance during the train-up STAFFEX, we could have brought the issue to the CMD’s attention in order to influence an outcome (GBS support is extremely limited below DIV level). Tactical VTC was not identified as a requirement during the planning process, but was requested during the exercise. A local email exchange deployed in a server environment would have provided the staff and outlying sites an internal “deployed” email & collaborative system for coordination purposes without relying on the internet and civilian email addresses for official purposes. The minimal bandwidth made it difficult to upload large files on APAN website and hindered collaborative efforts. File storage was dependent on a web application APAN rather than a local file store which enables users to easily save, recover, and collaborate easily.
RECOMMENDATION: Identify which network will be the primary path early enough to plan accordingly. Also identify the requirements for the Commander and staff so that the network operators can prepare accordingly. Communications working group in planning conferences needs to include personnel from ALL participating units so that all requirements can be outlined so that a complete and comprehensive communications plan can be executed.
ISSUE: Download and delivery of unit equipment for exercise purposes
DISCUSSION: 7th TBX did not have a dedicated MHE asset on-hand that our own unit personnel could sign for and operate when/where necessary upon arrival for download operations. Instead, Air Force MHE assets were coordinated for & available on an as-needed basis, but often times were not available during hours when equipment needed to be downloaded and transferred to CP locations. Additionally, much of the equipment was not combat loaded for tactical deployment, meaning the S6 commo gear was positioned in the 20ft container between the DFAC gear which ended up NOT being downloaded from the CONEX. Lastly, the S6 was forced to transport our commo package to PoA from the Kenai dining facility location via our x1 non tactical vehicle, resulting in seven trips to/from in order to get the entire package on site at PoA by 24-March.
RECOMMENDATION: request dedicated MHE assets from the local installation that unit operators can sign for & operate as needed, when needed. Ensure equipment containers are delivered to the right locations when/where needed. Provide better ground transportation plan for equipment from container locations to exercise destinations. Combat load gear for deployment or select a consolidated location where container inserts can be downloaded and accessed by each section throughout the exercise.
ISSUE: Equipment delivery at the port of anchorage
DISCUSSION: A/51st Signal Battalion equipment arrived at PoA via commercial barge; as a result, their exercise equipment & containers could not stay on the PoA commercial side of the facility until the main body of personnel & equipment arrived to sign for/open up storage space on the port facility. Instead, their equipment had to be transferred via flatbed truck to the Hangar 5 location where it took x2 days to coordinate for download (x3 Tricons; 1 TEU)
RECOMMENDATION: know the delivery procedures upon arrival at the SPOD; pre-coordinate necessary assets to get equipment from point A to B, back to point A.
ISSUE: PAX flow & reception of personnel
DISCUSSION: 7th TBX did not have the capacity to pick up large groups (more than 8 PAX) of individuals coming in on the same flight with a single transport until the MB arrived on the 24/25th. Instead, the reception team had to coordinate w/ each staff section’s authorize GOV driver to utilize their sections’ transport for PAX pick up. This detracted from the equipment download and transfer mission, given that a consolidated equipment vehicle was hard to come by. The priority for said asset was to establish life support areas, given the unanticipated amount of non-serviceable cots.
RECOMMENDATION: have TORCH/ADVON party reception team coordinate & sign for a medium capacity troop transport vehicle that can be dedicated for PAX pick up from airport upon arrival, prior to the start of contracted bus service for the exercise.
ISSUE: LSA information dissemination
DISCUSSION: When the Torch and ADVON arrived, some information was not put out to the entire group after arrival. Some members did not find out information about LSA activities until the Main Body arrived. Morning and evening huddle times/locations were all over the place; often times, sections were not represented because they were out making their individual missions happen when/where the meeting times/locations changed.
RECOMMENDATION: The Mayor Cell should establish a set time to give all information and safety briefs after PAX arrival. This will ensure all personnel will receive information on all LSA activities. This will need to be a coordinated effort between the Mayor Cell and the S-1 section.
ISSUE: Pre-planned assignment of designated sleeping areas in life support areas
DISCUSSION: Based on an inconsistent exercise participant list from all joint staff sections, it was a challenge for the Reception Team and the Mayor’s Cell to plan & execute the bunk assignment plan for units as their personnel arrived to the exercise. Torch/advanced party personnel were often required to relocate living areas after being on the ground for 24-48hrs to maintain unit integrity as the inaccurate number of PAX arrived for each unit.
RECOMMENDATION: Establish a hard-line reporting requirement for all exercise participants to adhere to when declaring PAX participant numbers. Report non-compliant units/organizations to the JTF commander as a CCIR.
ISSUE: JLOTS Staff Sync
DISCUSSION: The Staff Sync meeting was a very effective and important meeting for daily operations. This allowed all staff sections to know what was going on to their left and right. It also allowed for quicker resolutions to some issues by fostering collective problem solving and decision making.
RECOMMENDATION: Continue to hold Staff Sync meetings in the morning, but consider the already compressed timeline constraint of the breakfast meal.
ISSUE: Common Operational Picture in the Joint Operations Center
DISCUSSION: The purpose of the COP in the JOC is to provide an informational depiction of the battle space/area of operation. BLUF is that the Operations Section must dictate what information is presented in JOC in which format. The JLOTS COP seemed to have little relevancy to the JOC staff. It was not informational and at any given time if anyone stood in the JOC and paid attention to the screens, they would gain little to no situational awareness of current or future operations. There are multiple systems in the JOC that were either underutilized or not utilized at all. The Command Post of the Future (CPOF) terminals were reported in the daily J6 status report but were not utilized at all for this exercise. The Battle Command Sustainment Support System (BCS3) had outdated software and was not able to provide a real-time live feed until maintenance was conducted. The Harbormaster Command and Control Center (HCCC) HTSP Camera and Radar feed were ran into the JOC for a COP sporadically between DV visits; however the HCCC feed is not ideal for multiple reasons. The first reason is because of pulling the feed to be used strictly for VIP visits, which doesn’t support operations whatsoever. A second reason the HCCC feed is not ideal to be used as a COP in the JOC because that is not what the system is designed for. It is designed to enable command and control for the Joint Lighterage Control Center (JLCC) and/or harbormaster unit. If/when the JOC is not co-located with the HCCC, the detachment is not equipped to broadcast that information to other locations. The purpose of this feed is to enable the JLCC/harbormaster to C2 the lighterage in the harbor.
RECOMMENDATION: A COMMEX (communications exercise), CPEX (command post exercise) and other events are beneficial to ensuring the proper software is loaded on systems, and would hopefully reduce the reliance on field service representatives (FSR) in exercise operations. These evolutions also ensure the gear is in proper working condition. The COP depicts what the Commander and staff needs to know. If VIPs need to see the capabilities, they can come through our Operations Centers rather than dedicating systems on stage for them.
ISSUE: Joint planning and execution vs. individual unit planning and execution during DSCA and JLOTS operations.
DISCUSSION: It seemed difficult for many people to step out of the mindset of their individual unit and to operate as a joint staff. The majority of the products for the exercise seemed to serve as a showcase for individual units rather than the Lines of Operation the Joint Logistics Over the Shore Commander is responsible for: LOTS operations, marshalling, LSA, maritime and shore-based security, medical. Understandably many individuals/units are inexperienced in JLOTS operations. However, the lack of education is inexcusable. For a Defense Support of Civil Authority (DSCA) event, there are legal parameters for the DoD. Some tasks from HQs were not within the legal parameters of a DSCA evolution.
Per the JMD, most staff sections have billets from each service and every one of these planners needs to be included in EACH planning conference/session so that everyone knows the plan and can provide the joint perspective.
RECOMMENDATION: During planning conferences ensure the working groups consist of all participating units, thus making them inherently joint. Units conduct DSCA and JLOTS training so that they know what the requirements/limitations are, as well as what the JLOTS Commander is responsible for according to doctrine/law.
ISSUE: Network administrators for the JOC.
DISCUSSION: The network administrators for the network in the JOC were supportive and responsive to any troubleshooting required. The NIPR communications infrastructure was stable and responsive.
RECOMMENDATION: Encourage growth and development of junior enlisted soldiers by developing a plan to run a NIPR intranet with exchange, active directory services, and local file storage. Having the ability to run an exchange server provides the joint command the ability to exchange information locally without having to rely on an already strained tactical internet connection. Primary information exchange should not rely on internet access; it should be available in the Local Area Network (LAN) environment so when/if network services go down, LAN services are still available. This creates a crutch for the command and is counterproductive.
ISSUE: Help Desk
DISCUSSION: There wasn’t allocated space within the JOC to establish a helpdesk, let alone procedures for the staff to follow for troubleshooting assistance. Network administrators were essentially out of a job once the network was established (on NIPR) and the staff was working in the JOC. When troubleshooting was needed, the J6 actual typically provided the personal assistance to the customer on the JOC floor.
RECOMMENDATION: Allocate enough space in the planning process & set up a helpdesk with established procedures. That is the responsibility of the network administrators. This keeps them proficient in their specific skill sets and provides a 24hr support to the staff rather than a single point of contact.
Phase 1: Pre-deployment
Issue: Travel arrangements for non-DoD personnel
Discussion: There was significant difficulty in utilizing TRANSCOM accounting string for non-DoD personnel. As a rule, USCG personnel do not utilize DTS. This created some administrative challenges for both DoD and USCG staffs.
Recommendation: In the early planning stages of JLOTS, DoD and USCG should work together to create DTS accounts for USCG personnel participating in JLOTS. With these accounts, USCG members and their parent commands will be able to book and bill travel arrangements much more easily.
Issue: USCG Unit Footprint
Discussion: Size of Force Protection element changed multiple times. Unit was asked to provide an estimate of its manning requirements based on mission assignment. That was provided and agreed upon; however, several times over the course of planning, the unit was told that its manning level needed to be reduced. (Mission requirements did not change.) As late as several weeks prior to execution, additional requirements were added (i.e. addition of requirement for bus riders, request to lengthen duration of participation – starting on 20th vice 25th, etc.). Since the vast majority of the USCG personnel are Reservists, these last-minute changes present significant logistical challenges (employer notification, pay and allowances, etc.).
Recommendation: Be cautious of mission creep. Anticipate requirements outside of the actual exercise (i.e. start-to-finish timeline, bus riders, etc.), and staff accordingly.
Phase 5: Execution
Issue: Incorporate USCG Sector into IPDS operation
Discussion: Conducting JLOTS in a U.S. port poses some unique challenges and opportunities. One opportunity involves coordination with US Coast Guard Sector pollution prevention personnel. The US Coast Guard Sector is responsible for inspection of petroleum/chemical distribution systems in the port of Anchorage. As such, the Sector has a vested interest in how the IPDS is set up & monitored, and what mitigation actions are taken to address potential spills.
Recommendation: For a domestic mission, JLOTS command should consider incorporating USCG into IPDS setup and operation.
Issue: Ability to split forces into multiple locations
Discussion: During execution, the JLOTS staff was tasked with developing COAs to push aid forward to another location in addition to the Anchorage operation. As currently constructed, the Force Protection element does not have sufficient personnel, equipment, or C4IT capabilities to conduct multi-site operations.
Recommendation: JLOTS command should be aware of the FP element’s capabilities and limitations. If it is anticipated that multiple locations in need of FP assets might be in play, a larger FP package (or multiple FP elements) should be considered.
Issue: FP element became entwined in DV operations
Discussion: Throughout the exercise, security forces were consistently involved in the identification of DVs, and the subsequent notification to (and escort to) the JOC. The FP element did not anticipate this requirement when building its manning document, and was therefore not manned with the appropriate number of personnel to provide escorts to/from the JOC.
Recommendation: FP element must coordinate with PA/JVB to de-conflict mission assignments. If FP personnel are expected to conduct DV escort (or otherwise devote resources to DV activities), tasking should be given and manning levels should be adjusted accordingly.
ISSUE: The JRSOI cell was selected from multiple units under the 7th TBX to include the 385th Trans Company to conduct the JRSOI mission and Life Support mission three weeks prior to deployment.
DISCUSSION: The JRSOI and Life Support mission was tasked to the ESC post the Final Planning Conference. Three weeks prior to execution, the ESC requested JTF-7 to execute the JRSOI and life support mission. Team was selected from various units to create the RSOI/ Mayor Cell to ensure mission success for RSOI and Life Sustaining Operations.
RECOMMENDATION: Per Joint Publication 4-01.6 pg. II-1, the Geographic combatant commander’s (GCCs) staff is responsible for the JRSOI mission. Per Joint Publication 4-01.6 pg. II-5, the Navy is responsible to provide base camp support and other common-service assets, as required. Recommend that mission requirement not be combined; to be identified at the Concept Development Conference and the capability tasked appropriately under JTIMS.
ISSUE: JLOTS units not providing unit manifest and gender count in a timely manner.
DISCUSSION: Prior to deployment, units did not submit their unit manifest and gender count in a timely manner to plan accordingly to facilitate a synchronized reception and housing plan. Incompliance at the pre-deployment phase, caused the JRSOI /Mayor Cell team to consolidate inaccurate information.
RECOMMENDATION: Recommend the GCC Staff sets a NLT Date for submissions of unit manifests to synchronize JRSOI and Life support requirements.
ISSUE: JLOTS units providing inaccurate manifest and gender count
DISCUSSION: Consolidated manifest and gender count were inaccurate which caused the JRSOI/Mayor Cell team to react to unit ground transportation and living arrangement requirements. JRSOI/Mayor Cell operated for approximately 19 hours multiple days to meet mission requirement.
RECOMMENDATION: Recommend the GCC Staff sets a NLT Date for submissions of unit manifests and gender count to synchronize JRSOI and Life support requirements.
ISSUE: 593rd ESC tasked a team to conduct JRSOI operations as our Higher HQs. They were unprepared and did not provide guidance.
DISCUSSION: Our Higher HQ, 593rd ESC JRSOI Cell provided no guidance or support to execute JRSOI operations. They failed to provide a CONOP and were not prepared for the mission. The 593rd ESC JRSOI Cell had no equipment or supplies to execute their mission. The team did not conduct a local purchase to procure supplies internally in order to meet their mission requirements. The team did not pre-coordinate requirements prior to arrival to Alaska and demanded support.
RECOMMENDATION: Higher HQ JRSOI Cell provide clear guidance on mission requirements and actively participate in the JRSOI operation.
ISSUE: Mayor Cell OIC and NCOIC were notified of their position less than a month before arriving to JBER Alaska.
DISCUSSION:JLOTS is planned a year in advance. The NCOIC and OIC were not a part of the planning phase. This limited our input for the operation of the Mayor Cell.
RECOMMENDATION:Identify Mayor Cell NCOIC/OIC within a reasonable time and allow them time to plan and imbued themselves with operations.
ISSUE: Not all participating units provided gender counts or actual numbers.
DISCUSSION: Mayor Cell was unable to forecast gender number which caused a lot of issues regarding LSA bedding.
RECOMMENDATION: Task Force should enforce that units provide gender count ahead of time.
ISSUE: participating units did not provide know night shift count.
DISCUSSION: Mayor Cell was unable to secure bedding area for night shift personnel due to overflow of different night shift crews.
RECOMMENDATION: Provide all personnel numbers requiring special bedding needs to include sleep apnea.
ISSUE: Shortage of Cots. Some co were unserviceable.
DISCUSSION: Units shipped cots with mold, only one pole, & a few cots had large holes in them. S4 borrowed Cots from the SSA
RECOMMENDATION: Units should thoroughly inspect their Cots before shipping them.
ISSUE: Unit flight itineraries were not provided in a timely manner.
DISCUSSION: Transportation was unable to be allocated given short suspense therefore reaction was difficult and flights were unpredictable.
RECOMMENDATION: Provide flight itinerary prior to operations to alleviate transportation confusion.
ISSUE: Command and Control from unit leaders were not effective
DISCUSSION: Welcome packets were given, rules and guidelines were brief and posted throughout both LSA’s and Some of our guests refused to obey the rules.
RECOMMENDATION: Max participation from all Unit leaders to enforce the policies.
Marshalling Yard, same case. Told one thing but told to do other by Port of Alaska. I.e. speed, location and reflective material requirements.