Definition/Scope: (FM 7-15) An operations officer is the commander’s primary assistant in almost every aspect of the planning, coordination, and conduct of training, planning, and actual operations. While the duties and responsibilities or the position will be defined to some extent by the commander’s vision and philosophy and by the type of organization, several hard and fast commonalities exist for all operations officers. There are numerous types of operations officers. Some of the more common names or titles are operations support officer, information operations officer, psychological operations officer or flight operations officer. The operations officer is the battalion commander’s principal staff officer for matters concerning operations, plans, organization, and training. He is the commander’s main assistant in coordinating and planning the battle. The operations officer develops the intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) plan. The entire unit staff analyzes each requirement to determine how best it is to be satisfied. The staff receives ISR tasks and requests for information from subordinate and adjacent units and higher headquarters. The operations officer is the integrator and manager of the ISR effort through an integrated staff process and procedures. As priority intelligence requirements (PIRs) are answered and new information requirements arise, the intelligence officer updates intelligence synchronization requirements and provides the new input to the operations officer who updates the ISR plan. The intelligence and operations officers work closely with all staff elements to ensure the unit's organic collectors receive appropriate taskings. (FM 3-04.126) The S-3 is responsible for matters pertaining to operational employment, training, and mission execution of battalion and supporting elements. The S-3 section staff produces orders for battalion operations, including recovery of personnel. The S-3 monitors the battle, ensures necessary assets are in place when and where required, develops the ISR plan, and anticipates developing situations. The S-3 section staff maintains routine reporting, coordinates activities of liaison personnel, and is always planning ahead. The S-3 ensures procedures are in place to resolve complexities posed by different communications systems, ATCCS, and connectivity with aircraft. The S-3 maintains close coordination with the S-4 and S-1 for logistics and personnel statuses. (JP 3-09.3) The air operations officer is the principal staff officer for ensuring the commander's intent is met. The operations officer is responsible for ensuring close air support (CAS) is fully integrated into the OPORD and fire support plan.
Broader Terms:Command and Control
Narrower Terms:S-1 personnel staff officer