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Lesson Index: [ Introduction | Lesson Objective | Overview | Army—The Purpose | Early Army Aviation | Aviation Doctrine Evolves | Operations in the Battlespace | Types of Operations | Operations in the AO | Control Measures | Airpower—Army Perspective | Army—Summary | Navy—Purpose | Early Naval Aviation | Evolution of the Navy Mission | Evolution of Naval Doctrine | Naval Warfighting | Battlespace Dominance | Power Projection | The Expeditionary Navy | Carrier Battle Group (CVBG) | Amphibious Ready Group | Navy Perspective on Airpower | Navy Summary | USMC—Introduction | Early Marine Aviation | Marine Aviation Evolves | The MAGTF | Scalable MAGTF | USMC Doctrine | Maneuver Warfare | Marine Ethos and Combined Arms | Marine Airpower Perspective | USMC—Summary | Summary | Quiz ]

Title: Operations in the Battlespace

Action: In the middle of the screen is a graphic representing the Army battlespace. As each factor is mentioned in the narration, the following pop-up boxes are shown in support. Each box remains on screen until the next one replaces it. The two that are not mentioned during the narration are shown at the end of the page.

Information environment
contains information activities that collect, process, and disseminate information to national and international audiences that affect operations but are beyond direct military influence.
Area of interest
is that area of concern to the commander. It extends into enemy territory, to the objectives of current or planned operations, as well as areas occupied by enemy forces that could jeopardize the accomplishment of the mission. Areas of interest focus intelligence development and direct IO at factors outside the AO that may affect the operation.
Area of influence
is a geographical area in which a commander can directly influence operations by maneuver or fire support systems normally under the commander’s command or control.
Area of Operations (AO)
operational area defined by the JFC for land and naval forces. AOs do not typically encompass the entire operational area of the JFC but should be large enough for component commanders to accomplish their missions, protect their forces and employ their organic, assigned, and supporting systems to the limits of their capabilities. Within their AOs, land and naval force commanders synchronize operations and are supported commanders.
Force Projection Bases
Army forces may deploy force projection bases such as intermediate staging bases. Sometimes part of the deploying force will be at the force projection base while another operates in the AO. The deployed force may receive CS and CSS from the force projection base for some or all of the operation.
Home Station
the unit’s permanent location. Home stations provide support to deployed forces until they return. To a significant degree, events occurring at home station affect the morale and performance of deployed forces. Thus, the commander’s battlespace encompasses all home station functions, including family readiness programs.

Voice: Before trying to understand the Army’s current perspective on air and space power, it’s important to understand how the Army views their own operations and the battlespace within which they operate. The battlespace is a conceptual construct that allows commanders to visualize the factors that impact an operation. Some portions of it are not definable in geographic terms. For instance, the information environment includes space-based sensors as well as civil considerations. The area of interest contains all areas that could impact the operation. Enemy occupied areas outside the Area of Operations, or AO, and supply lines would exist in the area of interest. The area of influence is the geographic area a commander can directly influence by maneuver or fire support systems. The area of operations is the geographic area within which the commander is authorized to conduct operations. At any given time, the area of operations may be greater than or less than the area of influence.

Action: The Area of Operations is enlarged and divided into contiguous sections. The following text is shown below the graphic:

Contiguous Areas of Operations:
Adjacent, subordinate unit AOs share boundaries. In this case, the higher headquarters has assigned all of its AO to subordinate units.

Voice: Within the overall AO, subordinate units are assigned their own particular AOs. Shown here is the case where the senior Army echelon is a corps and its AO is divided up among its subordinate divisions.

Action: The Area of Operations is re-divided into noncontiguous sections. The following text is shown below the graphic:

Noncontiguous Areas of Operations:
Subordinate units receive AOs that do not share boundaries. The higher headquarters retains responsibility for the unassigned portion of its AO.

Voice: Sometimes the subordinate AOs are not contiguous. This lends itself to the concept of non-linear operations where maneuver units may operate throughout the AO and focus on separate objectives and multiple decisive points without reference to adjacent forces. These operations are becoming more common and the Army’s transition to smaller, lighter, more mobile and more lethal forces indicates that nonlinear operations will become more and more common. Information about the various parts of the battlespace can be reviewed by placing your cursor over it in the diagram.

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