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    Are there documents supporting the use and outline of CONOPS or CONEMPS and what are the differences between these?


    Answer

    The source for information for CONOPS is the JCIDS Manual, Dated 31 Aug 2018.  Some key relevant paragraphs are below on CONOPS:

    3.3.3.3.      There is no strict format for a concept or CONOPS used in a Capabilities Based Assessment (CBA), but it must describe the following areas at a minimum:

    3.3.3.3.1.            Problem being addressed.

    3.3.3.3.2.            Mission expected to be performed.

    3.3.3.3.3.            Commander’s intent.

    3.3.3.3.4.            Operational overview over the full range of military operations.

    3.3.3.3.5.            Objectives to be achieved.

    3.3.3.3.6.            Roles and responsibilities of tasked organizations.

    3.3.3.4. The level of detail provided with the concept or CONOPS provides the required data needed for the Sponsor to generate the following DoDAF views, if DoDAF views are not already provided as part of the concept or CONOPS.  Each view serves as a starting point for further refinement and exploration of alternative concepts or CONOPS during the CBA.

    3.3.3.4.1.            DoDAF Operational View (OV)-1 – High Level Operational Concept Graphic.  The OV-1 provides stakeholders with a graphical view of the highest level of the concept or CONOPS to facilitate general understanding of the concept or CONOPS.  The OV-1, as refined during the CBA, is reused in the capability requirements documents and other follow-on efforts.

    3.3.3.4.2.            DoDAF OV-2 – Operational Resource Flow Description.  The OV-2 translates the OV-1 picture into a complete set of nodes, activities, and interconnections upon which the rest of the architecture is based.  This view must focus on the operational activities/effects necessary to execute the concept or CONOPS and avoid the appearance of having made “predetermined” capability solutions which will be explored in a later step of the CBA.  This provides stakeholders with more detailed operational interactions which must take place between nodes/actors executing the concept or CONOPS, and any enabling/supporting capabilities which are involved, including identification of organizations that may be involved.  The OV-2, as refined during the CBA, provides the fundamental basis for traceability from other DoDAF views and content in capability requirements documents back to the operational activities/effects applicable to the concepts and CONOPS.

    3.3.3.4.3.            DoDAF OV-4 – Organizational Relationships Chart.  The OV-4 provides stakeholders with an initial overview of the organizations intended to satisfy the concepts and CONOPS.  This provides a baseline for excursions during and following the AoA (or similar study), as greater detail of potential capability solutions and associated organizations is developed.

    3.3.3.5.       Any CONOPS used as the basis for a CBA must be approved by the CBA sponsoring Component at a minimum.

    The term Concept of Employment (CONEMP) is not mentioned at all in the JCIDS manual.  It is however addressed by the Air Force (USAF/OAS) in their AoA Handbook dated August 2017 and almost as an interchangeable term with CONOPS.  However it alludes to the CONEMP as being one of the items of information necessary to do an AoA.  “Defining how alternatives will be employed in the operational environment is an essential step in conducting the suitability analysis in the AoA. The concept of employment (CONEMP) for each alternative should be defined in the CCTD document and include descriptions of the projected maintenance concept and product support strategy.”  So it seems that CONEMPS may be more logistics and support related than CONOPS which is oriented around missions and operations. 

    The MAJCOM in question may have an established format for either or both of these documents (likely for CONOPS).  So the best place to check is their A5/A8 organization that would be developing them.

    Both guidance documents can be found on line through the DAU website search engine.  The AoA Handbook seems to be the most relevant.

     

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