The Operations Process : The Operation Process

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According to ADRP 5-0, The Operations Process, “Understanding is fundamental to the commander’s ability to establish a situation’s context. It is essential to effective decision making during planning and execution. Analysis of the operational and mission variables provides the information used to develop understanding and frame the problem.”¹ Lieutenant Chard displayed varying levels of understanding throughout the defense. Initially, on route to the drift from the forward deployed forces, he actually passed the attacking Zulu war band and completely dismissed them. His rationale was that they must be native auxiliaries attached to the British forces. Zulu regiments are renowned for their use of primitive livery and uniforms, and should have been immediately recognizable to a trained British officer. After the crushing defeat at Isandhlwana, a few survivors arrived at the hospital. They told the freshly arrived officer that he and the garrison must flee or face certain death at the hands of the approaching Zulu horde. Chard immediately began consulting with his second in command, Lieutenant Gonville Bromhead, and the surgeon in charge of the hospital to determine a course of action. Chard understood that he faced a vastly numerically superior force and that he lacked mobility due to the hospital patients. His experience with the native forces and their ability to cover great distances at speed enabled him to realize that retreat was not an option. He then analyzed the
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