Army Experience with Deployment Planning in Operation Desert Shield
This report documents the Army's experiences with deployment planning and with deployment- planning systems during Operation Desert Shield (ODS). Analysis of ODS experiences suggests that although Army deployments were planned and executed reasonably quickly and smoothly, there were areas in need of improvement. First, ODS experiences suggest that procedures for deployment planning should be repackaged to emphasize flexibility and adaptability. Second, after contingency-planning and execution procedures have been improved, computerized deployment support systems need to be refocused and updated. At the highest level, planners need automated tools for planning and gaming as aids in decisionmaking; as the planning proceeds, several levels of data need to be linked so that planning and deployments can be conducted effectively by the operating and transportation commands and simultaneously monitored and coordinated by the higher-level commands. Finally, personnel skills should also be refocused and upgraded by strengthening career paths for planning personnel, increasing the training and practice of those personnel in realistic, no-plan, and unexpectedly stressful scenarios, and creating ways to use crisis-planning tools in day-to-day peacetime operations.