U.S. Northern Command-NORAD Battle Staff Standard Operating Procedures


  • 171 pages
  • March 11, 2011


1.1.1 NORAD and USNORTHCOM Publication Series

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) and U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) Publication Series is the authoritative reference defining the Commands’ missions and structure, force employment objectives, mission area planning considerations and operational processes from the strategic to the tactical level. The NORAD and USNORTHCOM Publication Series also defines the Commands’ doctrine, as well as their operational tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP). The NORAD and USNORTHCOM Publication Series is authoritative because it defines the actions and methods implementing joint doctrine and describes how assigned and attached military forces will be employed in the Commands’ joint and combined operations. The NORAD and USNORTHCOM Publication Series consists of:

• Capstone publication: USNORTHCOM Publication (NCP) 1, Capstone Guidance
• Keystone publications:
− NCP 0-1, Homeland Defense Concept of Employment (HD CONEMP)
− NCP 0-2, Civil Support Concept of Employment (CS CONEMP)
− NORAD and USNORTHCOM Publication (N-NCP) 1-01, Battle Staff Standard Operating Procedures (BSOP)
• Supporting publications: Supporting publications provide execution-level operational and tactical guidance, force employment direction and TTP. Supporting publications are called concepts of Execution (CONEX). These supporting publications can be functionally aligned (e.g., NCP 3-05 Joint Task Force Concept of Execution) or created by a subordinate unit (e.g., NCP 10-01, Joint Task Force North Concept of Execution), assigned component command headquarters (e.g., NCP 10-05, Army Forces North Concept of Execution) or supporting commander (e.g., NCP 10-08, United States Fleet Forces Command Concept of Execution in Support of USNORTHCOM)

NORAD and USNORTHCOM Instruction (N-NCI) 10-154, NORAD and USNORTHCOM Publication Series provides further background on the Publication series policy and purpose.

1.1.2 NORAD and USNORTHCOM Battle Staff

The NORAD and USNORTHCOM Battle Staff is activated during contingencies and crises to facilitate the Commander’s timely strategy and operational decision making. The NORAD and USNORTHCOM Battle Staff task organizes using an adaptive joint headquarters construct, integrating J-code staff, special staff and agency liaisons into various Battle Staff nodes. This cross-functional Battle Staff organization ensures processes critical to the NORAD and USNORTHCOM missions are reliable, repeatable and efficient, and minimizes functional stove piping. The adaptive joint headquarters construct evolves beyond the traditional J-code staff organization thereby creating a Battle Staff organization optimized to execute cross-functional, joint war fighting processes to improve collaboration and increase understanding of the operational environment.

Though NORAD and USNORTHCOM are separate commands with different establishing authorities, they have complimentary missions. The two Commands share common values, understanding the urgency and significance of their duties in light of very real and present dangers. Operations and incidents could occur within the NORAD area of operations (AO) and USNORTHCOM area of responsibility (AOR) that would involve responses by both Commands. Canada and the United States also share a common border and have mutual defense and civil support and civil assistance interests. The NORAD and USNORTHCOM Battle Staff organization and processes defined in this BSOP are intended to ensure the two Commands’ missions are accomplished effectively, efficiently and in close cooperation.

1.3 NORAD and USNORTHCOM Battle Staff Organization

Headquarters NORAD and Headquarters USNORTHCOM accomplishes its routine operations within the traditional J-code staff organizational structure and transitions to the NORAD and USNORTHCOM Battle Staff construct in response to preplanned events or contingencies as directed by the Commander. For preplanned events (contingency planning), the NORAD and USNORTHCOM Chief of Staff (N-NC/CS) will designate an OPR to stand up a joint planning team (JPT) or operations planning team (OPT). These teams can be led by any directorate, but are typically led by the Directorate of Strategy, Policy and Plans (N-NC/J5), NORAD Directorate of Operations (N/J3) or USNORTHCOM Directorate of Operations (NC/J3). The work of the JPT or OPT is conducted outside of the Battle Staff organization and processes, but may be transitioned to the Battle Staff’s crisis action planning (CAP) responsibility as the preplanned event approaches. The Battle Staff is designed to provide cross-functional expertise and leverage information technology to improve collaboration and decision superiority in CAP. The NORAD and USNORTHCOM Battle Staff’s primary role is to support the Commander’s operational decision-making process during CAP and execution. The Battle Staff coordinates and collaborates with higher, adjacent, supporting, supported commands and agencies internal and external to the Department of Defense (DOD). This BSOP generally assumes Battle Staff activation will be required for a period between 12 hours and 30 days. However, such activation (Chapter 2) is scalable based on the nature and magnitude of the crisis or contingency.

The NORAD and USNORTHCOM Battle Staff is a three-tiered organization:
• The Command Executive Group (CEG), led by the Battle Staff Executive Director (N-NC/CS)
• Battle Staff Core Centers
− NORAD and USNORTHCOM Command Center (N2C2)
− NORAD Future Operations Center (N/FOC)
− USNORTHCOM Future Operations Center (NC/FOC)
− NORAD and USNORTHCOM Future Plans Center (FPC)
• Battle Staff supporting nodes (i.e., Centers, Cells, Boards and working groups [WG], as required)

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