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The Concept of Operations for the newly established Space and Global Strike component command has recently been declassified.

Nuclear Brief March 15, 2006 (updated August 8, 2006)

Space and Global Strike Concept of Operations

(Update August 8, 2006: Space and Global Strike has been reorganized and is now called Global Strike Integration. Space is a separate Component Command)

The Concept of Operations (CONOPS) for Joint Functional Command Command Space and Global Strike (JFCC SGS) was published on May 6, 2005. The document, which was recently declassified and released under FOIA, outlines the operational capabilities and requirements for JFCC SGS as well as the organization of the newly established component command. The document states that "JFCC SGS leads integration of USSTRATCOM operational capabilities" and supports day-to-day activities within USSTRATCOM. Finally, the CONOPS describes the expertise required for preparation of companion CONOPS, standard operating procedures, space and global strike annexes, implementation plans, and tactics, techniques and procedures.

The JFCC SGS Commander’s Intent document, which is embedded in the CONOPS, describes that the purpose of JFCC SGS is to:

a)  Gain and maintain both global and theater space superiority and deliver tailored, integrated, full-spectrum space support to the theater commander, while maintaining a robust defensive global counter-space posture.

b)  Lead day-to-day planning and integration efforts, and deliver joint global strike effects through deliberate, adaptive, and crisis planning, force integration, and robust command and control (C2) to support global deterrence, theater and national objectives.

Although Global Strike is normally portrayed almost exclusively as a conventional mission, nuclear weapons are surprisingly prominent in the CONOPS. JFCC SGS tasks include providing "operational and tactical execution capability on short notice with the ability to operate 24/7 as defined in the Global Strike Interim Capability Operations Order and fulfill relevant execution responsibility under USSTRATCOM OPLAN 8044" (formerly the SIOP). Specific tasks include:

a)  Support the coordination of operational logistical requirements of USSTRATCOM supported plans, to include operational logistic support to nuclear forces.

b)  Integrate capabilities, via the Global Operations Center, to support HQ USSTRATCOM responsibilities for nuclear force command and control and nuclear force execution.

c)  Support USSTRATCOM-led efforts to create and maintain strategic-level OPLANs. Support development and coordination of OPLANs, CONPLANs, FUNCPLANs, and SUPPLANs as directed by HQ USSTRATCOM. Support other combatant commands with space and global strike operational planning and execution, as directed by HQ USSTRATCOM.

d)  Assume OPCON (Operational Control) and TACON (Tactical Control) of global strike forces (kinetic and non-kinetic), as directed. This includes monitoring the status and readiness of nuclear forces through existing Service task forces via the Global Operations Center.

e)  Maintain coordination with geographic and functional combatant commanders to support ongoing and future operational requirements for USSTRATCOM Space and Global Strike capabilities.

The focus of JFCC SGS will be to provide operational to tactical level planning, produce fully integrated, approved COAs and plans, facilitate full spectrum operational integration, provide command and control for space and global strike missions and when directed, other USSTRATCOM assigned missions. For operational and execution matters, and for adaptive planning and time sensitive planning, the JFCC SGS will serve as "the lead integrating JFCC for HQ USSTRATCOM." The JFCC SGS Command Structure is shown in Figure 1:

Figure 1:
Command Structure For
Joint Functional Component Command Space and Global Strike

The J3/J4 Operations and Logistics Directorate maintains continuous global situation awareness, through the Global Operations Center (GOC), of space and global events and "day-to-day management of nuclear forces." JFCC SGS J3/J4 also supports the coordination of operational logistic support to nuclear forces, provides Consequence of Execution (COE) analysis support to "pre-OPLAN 8044 activities," and provides Consequence Management (CM) for "trans- and post-OPLAN 8044 activities." 

The J5 Plans and Integration Directorate delivers the 8044 Revision (formerly the SIOP) Plan. The Directorate consists of seven sub-divisions: Plans, Target Selection, Weaponeering, Applications, Metrics & Assessments, Plans Support, and Plans Integration. Among these, the Target Selection Division (J52) develops operational and tactical targeting solutions for the OPLAN 8044 Revision (formerly SIOP) process. The Applications Division (J54) conducts “level 4 OPLAN 8044 Revision process and GS [Global Strike] planning and integration, producing and maintaining the 8044 Revision and GS targeting.” The Metrics and Assessments Division (J55) provides tactics and threat review for level 3 and 4 planning supporting kinetic and non-kinetic effects and analyses OPLAN 8044. The Plans Support Division (J56) provides systems management of the Integrated Strategic Planning Analysis Network (ISPAN, formerly SWPS, Strategic War Planning System), the single planning network used to design OPLAN 8044 and CONPLAN 8022, and also produces and maintains the ISPAN Enterprise Data Base (EDB) which contains the targets for OPLAN 8044 and CONPLAN 8022. For J5 organization, see Figure 2:

Figure 2:
Organizational Structure of
Joint Functional Component Command Space and Global Strike J5

The central role and considerable scope of JFCC SGS in all nuclear strike planning – not just that supporting Global Strike and CONPLAN 8022 – is evident from the list of deliverables produced by J5. This includes:

a)  The OPLAN 8044 Revision Plan and required updates in coordination with the Joint Staff, OSD, and HQ USSTRATCOM.

b)  Data updates to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Nuclear Decision Handbook for the President, in coordination with HQ USSTRATCOM J38.

c)  Global Strike target materials including Global Strike Support Documents (GSSDs), GS targeting databases, and target folders across the full spectrum of options based on politico-military environment. Develops intelligence indicators in coordination with JFCC SGS J2 and JFCC SGS J3/J4 to be monitored by the GOC to enhance crisis action responsibilities.

d)  The National Target Base, the repository for all global strike targets.

e)  Recommended target lists for OPLAN 8044, to HQ USSTRATCOM Joint Targeting Coordination Board for approval as directed.

f)   JFCC SGS integrated input to USSTRATCOM’s Strategic Support Plan.

g)  Integrated planning annexes and materials, as required.

Despite the considerable nuclear tasks assigned to JFCC SGS, CDRUSSTRATCOM retains overall planning and force execution responsibility for the nuclear mission at STRATCOM Headquarters.

JFCC SGS is supported by several external units that directly support the mission. This includes the Navy’s Cruise Missile Support Agencies (CMSAs) in Virginia and Hawaii for Tomahawk land-attack mission planning, the Air Force’s 625 MOF (Missile Operations Flight) at Offutt AFB for ICBM target analysis, and Detachment 1 of the Air Force’s 608 AOG (Air Operations Group) at Offutt AFB. Other direct supporting units include the Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California for direct day-to-day planning and execution of assigned military space forces. Also, the Air Operations Center at Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana supports JFCC SGS with critical planning expertise to develop fully integrated global strike course-of-actions (COAs) across the spectrum of joint operations for both deliberate and time sensitive planning tasks and assist in executing missions as directed. Finally, J5 also coordinates directly with the operational units and United Kingdom Ministry of Defence. For external relationships for JFCC SGS, see Figure 3:

Figure 3:
External Relationships For
Joint Functional Component Command Space and Global Strike


© Hans M. Kristensen/Federation of American Scientists | www.nukestrat.com | 2004-2006

download documents:

» Briefing, Jim Creighton, Col/USAF, USSTRATCOM, "JFCC Space and Global Strike, Command Update to the Space & Missile Conference," August 2005. [1.06 MB]
Partially declassified and released under FOIA.

» U.S. Strategic Command, "Joint Functional Component Command Space and Global Strike," Concept of Operations, May 6, 2005. [1.85 MB]
Declassified and released under FOIA.

» STRATCOM, "Memorandum for the USSTRATCOM Joint Functional Component Commander for Space and Global Strike," SM# 014-05, January 18, 2005. [0.16 MB]
Declassified and released under FOIA.

background information:

» Hans M. Kristensen, "Global Strike: A Chronology of the Pentagon's New Offensive Strike Plan," Federation of American Scientists, March 15, 2006. [2 MB]

» Nuclear Brief December 1, 2005: Global Strike Command Becomes Operational.

» Hans M. Kristensen, "Preparing for the Failure of Deterrence," Royal Canadian Military Institute SITREP Vol. 65, No. 6, November/December 2005.

» William M. Arkin, "No Just a Last Resort? A Global Strike Plan With a Nuclear Option, Washington Post, May 14, 2005.

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  © Hans M. Kristensen