SOLLIMS Sampler Special Edition, May 2017 - Page 29

f. TOPIC. Establishing Civ-Mil Unified Action in a Deployed Environment (Lesson #1564) Observation. Military leaders, Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental and Multinational (JIIM) partners, as well as their staffs and subordinate leaders, must fully understand the roles, functions, goals, objectives, campaign plans, constraints, limitations, resources, caveats, timelines and priorities of each contributing organization, in order to fully establish and exploit development unified action. This seemingly easy task is only accomplished through frequent and open dialogue across each contributing organization, and through frequent collaboration. These efforts nest the collective efforts of the developmental team, while simultaneously looking for opportunities to maximize the collective effects of the USG, Multinational partners and NGOs. Discussion. During my 2nd deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) from 2007 to 2008, my brigade was privileged to have the support of a Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT); however, during this extended 15-month deploy- ment, our brigade and the PRT didn't establish unified action or maximize our collective potential for the entire duration of the deployment. Quite frankly, the results of this shortcoming were that we wasted valuable time and resources trying to comprehend each other’s roles, functions, goals, objectives, campaign plans, constraints, limitations, resources, caveats, timelines and operational priorities, when we could have been effortlessly and efficiently providing assistance to the Iraqis and the Government of Iraq (GoI). This friction began during our relief in place (RIP) as we arrived into our new area of operations (AO) and manifested for the next 6-8 months. As OIF progressed from a conventional military operation focused on combined arms maneuver and then transitioned into a counterinsurgency (COIN) operation, the U.S. Army established a COIN Academy in Taji, Iraq in order to train and enlighten leaders on COIN operations as they arrived in theatre. The training was both rewarding and worthwhile; however, it didn't possess a single class or block of instruction on development and more importantly, PRTs. Additionally, although the leader- ship from the battalion that we were replacing made an effort to meet us at Taji prior to our final movement to our new AO, neither its parent brigade nor the region's PRT made an effort to send representatives. As our brigade and battalions began arriving in the AO, the focus was clearly on maintaining security, transferring responsibilities, and handing over projects and TTPs (tactics, techniques and procedures), while assisting our newly arrived units with understanding the VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous) environment we were about to inherit. Again, at the battalion level, we weren't Table of Contents | Quick Look | Contact PKSOI Page 28 of 36