Friday, April 2, 2010

The "Red Team" Forging a Well-Concieved Contingency Plan

According to the article, “The Red Team: Forging a Well Conceived Contingency Plan,” a Red Team is described as: a group of subject-matter experts (SME), with various, appropriate air and space disciplinary backgrounds, that provides an independent peer review of products and processes, acts as a devil’s advocate, and knowledgeably role-plays the enemy and outside agencies, using an iterative, interactive process during operations planning.” This article shows the manner in which the US Air Force In Europe is working to set up a Red Team in an effort to simulate contact with different enemies throughout the planning of Operation Allied Force in 1998 – 99.


· Yields a closely synchronized planning staff.

· Drive a more complete analysis at all phases.

· Reveal overlooked planning opportunities.

· Extrapolate unexplored strategic implications.


· Losses effectiveness without Blue planners’ acceptance of Red as a value-adding group.

· Trust of the Blue Team is key to the success of the exercise.

· Only a simulation and is not always an accurate representation of the enemies decision making.


1. Create a Red team composed of Subject Matter Experts, external to the Blue team’s sources.

2. Preparation by the Red Team. Team members should immerse themselves in learning everything they can about what has gone before in the crisis at hand and what the enemy and other adversaries are thinking. (Perhaps by creating a checklist of the information that the team needs to know.)

3. Meeting between the Red Team and Blue planners to explain critical points of the Red Team’s purpose, in order to alleviate friction.

4. Conduct a Mission Analysis Seminar.

5. Participate in a Course of Action (COA) War Game.

6. Select a COA and conduct a Plan War Game based on it, in order to create an actual Operations Order (OPORD).

7. Conduct a Mission Rehearsal.


The USAFE’s Red Teaming efforts continue to evolve. As part of this the focus of the Red Team continues to evolve, and helps ability to refine plans every time contact with the enemy is simulated through the use of the Red Team because, “no plan survives contact with the enemy.”

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