The Principles Governing Coordination of Operations of
the Army and of the Navy
- Coordination--General considerations.
Effective utilization of the military power of the Nation is essential to success in war and requires that the efforts of the Army and the Navy be properly coordinated.
The method employed for coordinating the operations of forces of the Army and of the Navy depends upon the geographical location of the theaters of operations, the character and relative strength of our own and enemy forces, and the consequent nature of the contemplated operations, whether these be independent or joint operations.
Independent operations of forces of the Army and of the Navy are those in which the forces of one service can give no tactical support to the forces of the other service. When independent operations are conducted by both services simultaneously within the same or strategically interdependent theaters of operations, coordination may be required in the assignment of missions or objectives, or in timing of a common mission.
Joint operations are those usually requiring tactical coordination of forces of the Army and of the Navy for the accomplishment of a common mission.
Under all conditions, coordination is primarily ensured by assigning missions in the joint basic war plan to the Army and to the Navy.
When coordination is required in the conduct of independent operations, it will be effected by the commander of each service working in close cooperation with the commander of the other service.
Under conditions requiring joint operations, coordination is effected either by the exercise of unity of command, or by the exercise of limited unity of command, as determined by paramount interest.
- Paramount interest.
- The service whose operations are of the greater importance for the accomplishment of a joint mission in a joint operation has paramount interest in such an operation.
- The fact that one service has paramount interest in a joint operation does not automatically confer paramount interest upon that service in all subordinate operations thereunder. The senior officer of the service having paramount interest in the main operation shall designate the service to have paramount interest in subordinate operations as far as the necessity for this designation can be foreseen. In case paramount interest has not been determined and announced for subordinate or local operations, the senior officer present of the service which has paramount interest in the operation to which such subordinate or local operation is immediately subordinate shall determine and announce it.
- The commander of the force invested with paramount interest in a joint operation is charged with the authority and responsibility for coordinating the operations of the forces employed therein. Coordination under paramount interest will be effected as outlined below.
- Coordination by the exercise of unity of command.
- Unity of command in a joint operation vests in one commander the authority and responsibility for designating the missions and for controlling the action of the Army and the Navy forces participating.
- The President as Commander in Chief may appoint an Army or a naval officer to exercise unity of command over forces of the Army and the Navy engaged in joint operations.
- Where the magnitude and character of the operations warrant, a commander exercising unity of command shall have a headquarters separate and distinct from those of the commanders of the forces of the two services, and shall deal with these forces as coordinate elements of his command.
- Unity of command empowers the commander to coordinate the operations of the forces of both services assigned to his command, by the organization of task forces, the assignment of missions, the designation of objectives, and the provision of logistic support; and to exercise such control during the progress of the operations as will insure the most effective effort toward the accomplishment of the common mission.
- Unit of command does not contemplate the issue by the commander of instructions as to dispositions for, or methods of, operation in the accomplishment of missions assigned solely to forces of the service to which the commander does not belong, nor control of the administration, discipline, or technique of the operations of such forces.
- The appointment of a commander authorized to exercise unity of command carries with it the power further to delegate this authority, whenever in the opinion of such commander such action is necessary. When this is the case, such commander will determine which service has paramount interest in subordinate joint operations under his control and will appoint a subordinate commander, either Army or Navy, to exercise unity of command or limited unity of command over task forces organized for the purpose of conducting the subordinate joint operations.
- Coordination by the exercise of limited unity of command.
- Limited unity of command in a joint operation vests in the commander of the force having paramount interest, the authority and responsibility for designating the missions of the Army and the Navy forces participating. It does not include the authority and responsibility to control the action of the forces of the service not having the paramount interest.
- In the exercise of limited unity of command in a joint operation:
- The commander of the force of the service having paramount interest is authorized and required to designate the missions of the Army force and the Navy force participating in the joint operation.
- The commander of the force of the service not having paramount interest is required to execute the mission assigned by the commander of the service having paramount.
interest and to render all possible assistance to that commander. In executing such mission the commander of the service not having paramount interest does not yield the actual command of his force. He shall, however, be held responsible by the next superior in command in his own service for properly and wholeheartedly coordinating his activities with those of the commander having paramount interest.
- Joint basic war plans, joint operation plan, and joint operation orders to state method of coordination.--Each joint basic war plan, joint operation plan or joint operation order shall assign paramount interest and shall prescribe for each phase of a campaign or phase of an operation how the operations of the forces of the Army and the Navy are to be coordinated. Where unity of command is specified, the plan or order will state whether an Army officer or a naval officer is to be designated to exercise such command.
- Coordination of air operations.
- When a force of one service supports by aircraft only a force of the service having paramount interest in the particular operation, unity of command for the conduct of the participating air forces shall be immediately vested in the commander of the force to be supported.
- In other cases, when air units of the Army and the Navy are combined into one task force for the accomplishment of a common mission, the commander assigning the mission shall determine paramount interest and shall designate an officer to exercise unity of command over such task force during the conduct of the operation.
- Coordination in coastal frontier defense.
- In coastal frontier defense the Navy is responsible for the patrol of the coastal zone and for the control and protection of shipping therein; the Army is responsible for the direct defense of the coast. Subject to the provisions of subparagraphs b, c, d, and e below, the Army's responsibility for the direct defense of the coast includes the operations necessary to repel attacks directed against the land frontiers or coasts of the continental United States or against its overseas possessions; and to repel enemy movements directed against adjacent foreign territory on the continent from which such attacks could be launched.
- In operations against enemy forces approaching the coast, but still outside of defensive coastal areas, paramount interest will be vested initially in the Navy, but will pass to the Army when it is apparent that the enemy forces intend to attack a shore objective.
- In operations within a defensive coastal area, paramount interest will be vested in the Army, except when it is apparent that the objective of the enemy force is shipping within the coastal zone.
- When the Fleet, as distinguished form naval local defense forces, is strategically present and free to act, paramount interest in operations at sea rests with the Navy. If any Army air force joins in such operations, it will be in conjunction with and under the temporary command of the naval commander as outlined in paragraph 12.
- When enemy forces approach close enough to threaten or to launch a direct attack against our territory, and the Fleet, as distinguished from naval local defense forces, is not strategically present, or is not free to act, paramount interest shifts to the Army and the function of the Navy is to support the Army. In this case, except in joint air operations connected therewith, coordination will be under limited unity of command. Coordination of joint air operations will be as outlined in paragraph 12.
- Coordination in joint overseas expeditions.--The method of coordination,whether under unity of command or limited unity of command, for joint overseas expeditions will be prescribed in joint Army and Navy basic war plans or by the authority ordering a joint overseas expedition under the principles outlined above.
- Coordination in special situations.
- Special situations may arise in which the forces of one service will be acting tactically with forces of the other service in operations, the character of which would normally make them distinctive operations of but one service. These special situations would include such operations as:
- The operations of Army forces in a country in which the character and extent of waterways make it practicable and desirable to utilize naval means in support of the Army operations.
- Employment of air forces of the Army in support of naval forces engaged in operations such as those connected with the control of coastal zones and sea lanes.
- In such special situations the organization of the forces of the assisting service should be maintained intact and the operations coordinated by the exercise of unity of command. The commander who exercises unity of command should be selected from the service which is conducting the operation.
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