Command And Control And Integration Of Joint Functions Associated With The Invasion Of Sicily

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This paper provides an evaluation of the command and control and integration of joint functions associated with the invasion of Sicily, known as Operation HUSKY. The Allies achieved a positive outcome despite the fact that key leaders demonstrated ineffective command and control capabilities and poor integration. The paper will first evaluate the joint function of command and control, using the three attributes of mission command from joint doctrine: commander’s intent, mutual trust, and understanding. An evaluation of the integration of intelligence and fires joint functions at the Operational level will follow.

On 9 JUL 1943, the Allies initiated Operation Husky, one of the most significant combined operations of World War II (Birtle
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On multiple occasions, Patton used the ambiguity of the commander’s intent to pursue his personal goals (Ibid, 17).
The next attribute of mission command for consideration is trust. Once commanders communicate their intent, they must trust their subordinates at every echelon to carry out that intent with “responsible initiative” under all conditions (Mission Command White Paper, 3 April 2012, 6). Building trust among all echelons and partners is one of the most important actions a commander can perform (Ibid.). The lack of trust was a constant and pervasive issue for the Allies during Operation HUSKEY. General Alexander’s mistrust of the Americans, fueled partly by the antagonistic actions of Montgomery and Patton, started a grudge between that Americans and the British for the remainder of the War (Prescott 1994, 10).
The final attribute of mission command for consideration is understanding. Understanding prepares leaders at all echelons with the vision and far-sightedness that is essential to make operative choices, manage risks, and consider second and third order effects (Mission Command White Paper, 3 April 2012, 5). Leaders who possess understanding have the mental capacity to grasp and appreciate any state of affairs which facilitates their capacity to make autonomous decisions. Conversely, leaders who lack understanding put their troops or others at risk.
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