The term operation
referred to the employment of military resources to achieve a specific
objective, including missions strategic, tactical, humanitarian, or
administrative in nature. Similar in nature to an exercise, the primary
objectives of an operation had a focus external to the units involved whereas
exercises sought mainly to test or improve the capabilities of the units
involved. Military operations were often referred to by a code name, for example
A military operation was properly
executed according to an Operations Order drafted in advance. Depending on the
type of operation, there were several phases and components. For an attack on an
enemy position, for example, planning would include such necessities as
objectives and timetables being set, supporting fires ordered, a Start Line and
Forming Up Point designated, casualty and prisoner collection areas allocated,
actual missions carried out by a military force with real world objectives, as
opposed to Exercises which were conducted for training purposes. These occurred
in peace or in war.
Publication B-GG-005-004/AF-000 outlines the following:
Operations. An operation is a military action or the carrying out of a
strategic, tactical, training or an administrative military mission; the
process of carrying on combat, including movement, supply, attack, defence and
manoeuvres needed to gain the objective of any battle or campaign. Gradations
of scale and intensity exist in military operations. These gradations are
described in terms of a continuum which distinguishes among low, mid and
high-level military operations according to their objective, the use force,
the scale, and the tempo of activity.
Levels of Operation
Operations: Military operations that are normally conducted by
forces-in-being, applying the minimum force necessary to achieve the mission.
Contact with opposing forces may be infrequent.
Operations: Military operations that involve most, if not all, of a nation's
forces-in-being and may require the mobilization of additional resources.
Deadly force will be applied, although there may be restrictions on the types
of weapons used or the geographic area in which they are employed. Military
activity will be conducted with speed and violence, but may be non-continuous
and localized in an area of operations.
Operations: The entire range of modern weaponry may be used, including weapons
of mass destruction. The sustained conduct of such operations will demand the
mobilization of a nation's entire military potential. Military activity will
be conducted continuously with maximum speed and violence throughout the
consist of five phases;