Rapid Reaction Technology Office (RRTO), Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD)


Theater campaign plans were introduced by the Department of Defense in 2008 to refocus geographic Combatant Commands (COCOMs) planning efforts from a contingency-based to a strategy-driven approach. The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) contracted Noetic to undertake a comprehensive review of COCOM theater campaign plans to identify best practices, commonalities of success and recommendations for improving effectiveness.


Noetic conducted a detailed review of planning and assessment processes as they apply to theater campaign plans, reviewing current guidance and methodologies to identify best practices. This was supplemented with a comprehensive series of structured interviews to bring together COCOM perspectives and share lessons learnt. Noetic then developed a series of products to share the findings of its research. The first of these was a Theater Campaign Plan Planning and Assessment Framework comprised of a comprehensive review of practices to support the effective development and implementation of COCOM theater campaign plans. Noetic also prepared a briefing package to support the dissemination and implementation of its findings. Additionally, Noetic provided two papers, the first making recommendations on improving and enhancing the personnel resources at COCOMs and the second providing a review of technology requirements and available solutions to facilitate theater campaign plans.


Noetic provided COCOM planners with clear guidance on best practice approaches to developing, implementing and assessing theater campaign plans, as well as recommendations to OSD on how to enhance the guidance given. Noetic also provided advice on what human resource challenges COCOMs face, and ways for harnessing technology to assist planners in the future. This advice has been used to refine future iterations of the guidance and informed development of handbooks and planning tools.