Definition required: OPCON and OPCOM, help please.

Discussion in 'Staff College and Staff Officers' started by pmc_abo, Feb 17, 2005.

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  1. can anyone help, have a fast ball.

    Can anyone give me a defintion of OPERATIONAL COMMAND

    How do the two differ?

    Many, many thanks.
  2. Operational Command (OPCOM):

    The authority granted to a commander to assign missions or tasks to subordinate commanders, to deploy units, to reassign forces, and to retain or delegate operational and/or tactical control as may be deemed necessary. It does not of itself include responsibility for administration or logistics. May also be used to denote the forces assigned to a commander.

    Operational Control (OPCON):

    Operational control may be delegated and is the authority to perform those functions of command over subordinate forces involving organizing and employing commands and forces, assigning tasks, designating objectives, and giving authoritative direction necessary to accomplish the mission. Operational control does not, in and of itself, include authoritative direction for logistics or matters of administration, discipline, internal organization, or unit training.

    Without getting completely wrapped around the axle about it, the major difference is one of 'command and ownership'. 'Control' functions can be delegated within a wider command hierarchy, but 'command' in itself cannot be. There is always only one overall Commander.

    I hope this is clear? :D
  3. Calypso offers the version by the book so no need to restate it.

    In reality this pans out to be:
    OPCOM Are your toys to do with what you wish. An OPCOM Pipe Band is a group of soldiers who can play the pipes (and you may wish them to).

    OPCON means that you have them for their ability to do their specific specialisation. So an OPCON Pipe band is for the purposes of playing the pipes.

    Enjoy sunny Watchfield.

  4. Just what I needed, thank you.
  5. Have a good shifty at JWP 3 and 5;tragically clear on when you should use OPCOM etc. OP anything at the OPerational level and TACOM etc at the tactical level. We, the army, complicate it terribly; just how far does does a single SH heli have to be 'delegated at TACON'. It is a nonsense. KISS with clear written wording is still quicker than deciphering TAC etc and then having to phone the poor fellow up afterwards.