The Greatest Asset When Conducting The Operations Process

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Commanders are the greatest asset when conducting the operations process. Commanders drive the operations process through understanding, visualizing, describing, directing, leading, and assessing operations. During the operations process, the staff conducts essential functions that support the effectiveness of operations and contribute to the overall successfulness of mission accomplishment. Accurate and timely running estimates are vital knowledge management tools that assist commanders in driving the operations process. Lieutenant General (LTG) Richard F. Natonski, United States Marine Corps, commanded the 1st Marine Division during the Second Battle of Fallujah, also referred to as Operation Phantom Fury. As a Major General (MG), Richard Natonski led the 1st Marine Division, ground combat forces of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF), and several United States Army forces during a joint forces attack on Fallujah, Iraq with American, Iraqi, and British armed forces. During the course of this 4-day attack on Fallujah, MG Natonski incorporated many of the commander roles when conducting the operations process for this mission. MG Natonski became the commander of the 1sst Marine Division in August 2004, shortly after the 82nd Airborne Division completed their mission in Fallujah. After assessing the current situation and strategically studying the lessons learned from the previous attack in Fallujah, Iraq, MG Natonski requested combat power from 2nd
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