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Posted: Dec 22, 2022

In October, The Institute for Security Governance (ISG) facilitated the second Joint Operational Planners Course (JOP) in Muscat, Oman for members of the Sultan’s Armed Forces (SAF) and other Omani Ministries. While the first workshop focused on a whole-of-government response to a cyclone disaster impacting the Omani coastline, this course presented a joint military and inter-ministry response to a simultaneous border incursion threatening the territorial sovereignty of Oman and a refugee crisis requiring humanitarian assistance. 

John Norris, Oman Country Program Coordinator, highlighted the growing interest by the participants to formalize a planning process, where members of the military and other ministries work together. He noted, “The operational scenario for this course was specifically designed to increase civilian and military coordination and it absolutely delivered. The CIV/MIL collaboration and planning was absolutely impressive, producing a quality plan that leveraged civilian and military expertise.”

Fifty-five students from the SAF and 12 students from ten Oman Ministries attended the planning workshop. In conjunction with the first workshop, ISG has now trained a total of 142 Omani personnel – 105 personnel from the SAF and 37 from other Ministries.   

Steve Mandes, who served as a facilitator for the workshop, commented that “this was a challenging but realistic scenario for them [Oman] and required the military and civilian members to collaborate effectively.”

The SAF intends to continue the planning workshop twice a year and is looking to develop a cadre of facilitators to deliver the course material in the future. It is important to note that the participants included seven instructors from the SAF staff college, with the intent to examine incorporating the U.S. seven step joint planning process into their programs of instruction.    

“Institutionalizing a common planning framework across the SAF, and incorporating government officials from across the country, will serve the Omanis well when required to post this training to work. Having teams of personnel well versed in the multi-step planning process that can work together on well-developed courses of action will enable our important partners to respond to various threats of natural or manmade disasters,” said ISG Regional Program Lead Wade Evans. The JOP Workshops complement ongoing ISG work to further develop a Joint Operations Center and incorporate other Joint Concepts into SAF doctrines, plans and policies.