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Publication Date

11-1-2013

Abstract

Over the past several years many Navy operational level of war (OLW) planners concluded that conducting a relative combat power analysis (RCPA) as outlined in the 2007 NWP 5- 01 Navy Planning manual added little value to the navy planning process (NPP). Planners across the fleet observed that deriving “relative force ratios” was ground-centric, outdated, and largely irrelevant in the maritime environment. However, while some might be content to discard RCPA as an historical anachronism unworthy of continued application, a small group of individuals at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island worked diligently to develop a RCPA approach that would not only be relevant to the NPP but actually enhance it. The result of those efforts can be found in Chapter 3 Course of Action Development of the forthcoming 2013 NWP 5-01 Navy Planning manual. Additionally, Appendix E of the NWP includes a user friendly RCPA worksheet that planners can tailor to fit either deliberate or crisis action planning. This article is intended to stimulate a renewed appreciation for the value of conducting RCPA during the planning and execution of maritime operations and to encourage Maritime Operations Center (MOC) staffs to embrace the new, naval-focused, “Planning Considerations” RCPA methodology that will appear in the 2013 NWP 5 -01 as they strive to constantly improve their ability to plan, direct, and monitor naval operations.

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