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U.S. Naval War College (NWC) Professors Pat Sweeney and Mark Seaman visited U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM) Headquarters Jan. 26 to 27, to examine USPACOM's recent experience in developing a new strategy and creating a supporting theater campaign plan.

"The knowledge gained from this meeting with the PACOM planners will enhance the JMO curriculum and improve faculty and student awareness of one combatant command's approach to theater planning," said Sweeney. Both Sweeney and Seaman teach in NWC's Joint Military Operations (JMO) Department.

Published in November 2008, the new USPACOM strategy serves as the primary blueprint for enhancing U.S. relationships and the capability of allies and regional partners to address shared challenges and leverage opportunities provided in the Asia-Pacific.

USPACOM was the first combatant command to have its theater campaign plan approved by the Secretary of Defense. The plan fulfills the Global Employment of the Force (GEF) requirement for combatant commands to operationalize theater strategies and meld contingency plans and security cooperation requirements into a single coherent document.

The USPACOM staff offered insights into the intricacies involved in such a complex task. In addition, the JMO faculty members were updated on the roles of two other key members of the USPACOM team - the Standing Joint Force Headquarters (SJFHQ) and the Joint Interagency Coordination Group (JIACG).

The SJFHQ, while maintaining currency in its primary role as an immediate capability to augment a Joint Task Force (JTF) in the event of a crisis in the USPACOM Area of Responsibility (AOR), also fulfills a role as the organization that assesses the theater campaign plan's effectiveness. Since few issues in a combatant command's AOR are simply military in nature, the JIACG has one of the most challenging requirements in USPACOM. Providing an interagency perspective in a military headquarters requires patience and perseverance.

The Joint Military Operations curriculum is one of three core courses of study at the U.S. Naval War College. It focuses on the translation of contemporary national and regional military strategies into naval, joint, and multinational operations, with particular emphasis on operational art and employment of the sea services.

From NWC Joint Military Operations Department