OPS4102 Joint Military Operations 2

Course code: 
Course name in Norwegian Bokmål: 
Militære fellesoperasjoner 2
Program of study: 
Master i militære studier
Level of study: 
Teaching semester: 
2021 Spring
Assessment semester: 
2021 Spring
Person in charge: 
Olaf von Porat Erichsen
Required prerequisite courses: 
OPS4101 Militære fellesoperasjoner 1
Course content

The course military joint operations 2 aims to ensure an in-depth level of knowledge and skills for how military joint operations are planned, led and carried out. Based on military theoretical perspectives and doctrinal basis given in the course military joint operations 1, military joint operations 2 will largely focus on the skills aspects of the military core competence. Being able to apply knowledge and insight into relevant factors that affect the planning and implementation of military operations is absolutely central to the military profession. In line with this, the course provides for extensive practical experiential learning based on theoretical studies earlier in the education.

The course is based on operations at the operational level, and thus the understanding of how political and military strategic objectives are translated into military operations and tactical actions. For officers who plan, lead and carry out operations, regardless of level, it is crucial that they know and understand opportunities and limitations down in the organization, as well as intentions and goals at a higher level. The practice of operational art and the interplay between what has traditionally been described as a military strategic, operational and tactical level thus has a central place in the course.

Military joint operations include the use of military force in a joint operational framework. The course emphasizes how various military force components and joint functions can be utilized in an effective manner in a joint operation. Most operations today are of a multinational nature. Planning and implementation in the course will therefore be done within a scenario-based NATO context.

Concrete cultural, ethical and legal perspectives and frameworks are highlighted and problematized during the course.

Learning outcome


After completion of the course, the student is able to:

  • analyse joint operational planning and implementation processes within NATO


After completion of the course, the student is able to:

  • apply knowledge and insights regarding how politics, military strategy, the operational environment- including various cultural and gender perspectives, legal frameworks and ethics affect the planning, management and implementation of joint operations
  • apply NATO's methodology for operational planning and the conceptual apparatus associated with this. Through practical application, the students will develop an insight into, and have a critical approach to, established planning tools and processes at the operational level.
  • apply the processes and procedures that work within a joint operational headquarters

General competence

After completion of the course, the student is able to:

  • pute theoretica knowledge of joint operations into practice
Working and learning activities

The course Military joint operations 2 will be thematically divided into two parts. An overriding objective for both parts of the course is to combine theory with practice in key elements of the military profession.

The first part of the course (three weeks) will deal with the planning phase of a joint operation. Through practical planning in joint operational planning groups, students will have to relate to and apply theoretical knowledge of how political framework conditions, military strategic objectives and the operational environment affect planning. The teaching will be as close to practice as possible, through the students working together in planning groups under close academic supervision. Great emphasis is placed on utilizing the students' different experiences and competence in this work. The first part of the course is work-intensive, and work must be expected beyond normal school hours in periods.

The second part of the course (3 weeks) will deal with the implementation phase of a joint operation. This part of the course is conducted as a practice arena where students fill relevant positions in a set-up, operational headquarters. The practice arena begins with one week of Battle Staff Training, where students get a theoretical introduction to processes and procedures used in an operational headquarters. The purpose is for the students to develop a basic understanding of how complex issues can be handled and coordinated in the three different time-horizons (current, mid-term, long-term) during the implementation of a joint operation, and how the individual functions contribute to the processes.

This is followed by 2 weeks where the students man relevant work positions in the operational headquarters and carry out selected parts of a joint operation. In addition to overall procedural issues, professional issues within ethics, operational law, cultural and gender issues, as well as cooperation with international organizations will also be emphasized.

Extensive functional and operational guidance and mentoring is carried out during the practice arena. Here too, emphasis will be placed on utilising the students' experiences. 

In the last two weeks of the course, course synthesis, self-study and exams will be carried out.


Self-selected literature (50 pages):

Students must choose 50 pages (+/- 5 pages) of literature as a self-chosen syllabus. The syllabus can be selected from the described support literature for FOPS 1 and / or 2, or other literature. Self-selected literature must directly address the learning outcomes of the FOPS courses and must be approved by the course coordinator before the end of FOPS 2 (work requirement 2).


Assigned literature (657 pages): 


Andersen, M & Johansen, H. (2016). Kommandostrukturen og det operasjonelle nivå. In: Militære fellesoperasjoner – en innføring, edited by Morten Andersen and Geir Ødegaard. Oslo: Abstrakt Forlag, p. 43-56 (13 p.). 

Andersen, M & Stræte, P. (2016). Landstyrker. In: Militære fellesoperasjoner – en innføring, edited by Morten Andersen and Geir Ødegaard. Oslo: Abstrakt Forlag, p. 171-180 (9 p.). 

Beadle, A.W. & Kjeksrud, S. (2014). Military Planning and Assessment guide for the Protection of Civilians. FFI-report 2014/00965. (39 p.). 

Butler, J.P. (2014). Godzilla Methodology. Means for determining Center of Gravity. Joint Force Quarterly (1st Quarter 2014) issue 72, 2014, p. 26 – 30 (5 p.). 

Cooper, Camilla Guldahl (2019). NATO Rules of Engagement – on ROE, Self-Defence and the Use of Force during Armed Conflict, BRILL/Nijhoff, p. 427-444 (18 p.). 

Dobson-Keefe, N & Coaker, W. (2015). Thinking More Rationally. Cognitive biases and the Joint Military Appreciation Process. Australia: Department of Defence (10 p.). 

Erichsen, O. v. P. & Ødegaard, G. (2016). Luftstyrker. In: Militære fellesoperasjoner – en innføring, edited by Morten Andersen and Geir Ødegaard. Oslo: Abstrakt Forlag, p 197-221 (24 p.). 

Forsvaret (2021). Manual i krigens folkerett. Oslo: Forsvarets Høgskole, p. xxx-xxx (15 p.). 

Lauder, Matthew (2009). Systemic Operational Design: Freeing Operational Planning from the Shackles of Linearity. Canadian Military Journal Vol 9, No. 4, 2009, p. 41-49 (8 p.). 

Libya-utvalget (2018). Evaluering av norsk deltakelse i Libya-operasjonen. Oslo: Departementenes sikkerhets- og serviceorganisasjon, p. 135-152 (18 p.). 

Liwång, H, Ericson, M & Bang, M (2014). An examination of the implementation of risk-based approaches in military operations. Journal of Military Studies 5(2) p. 1-26 (26 p.). 

Ljøterud, S. (2016). Planlegging av fellesoperasjoner. In: Militære fellesoperasjoner – en innføring, edited by Morten Andersen and Geir Ødegaard. Oslo: Abstrakt Forlag, p. 413-434 (22 p.). 

Ljøterud, S. (2016). Spesialstyrker. In: Militære fellesoperasjoner – en innføring, edited by Morten Andersen and Geir Ødegaard. Oslo: Abstrakt Forlag, p. 221-227 (6 s.). 

Marshall, Jeffrey (2011). Managing Assumptions in Planning and Execution. Joint Force Quarterly (JFQ) issue 60, 2011, p. 115-119 (5 p.). 

Metz, Steven (1991). Analyzing Strategic and Operational Risk. Military Review, 1991, p. 78 – 80 (3 p.). 

Meyer, E. (2016). Sjøstyrker. In: Militære fellesoperasjoner – en innføring, edited by Morten Andersen og Geir Ødegaard. Oslo: Abstrakt Forlag, p. 181-195 (14 p.). 

Meyer, E. (2021). The Center of Gravity Concept – Origin, Contemporary Theories, Comparison and Implications. In Scandinavian Journal of Military Studies (not yet published). (15 p.). 

NATO (2013) Allied Command Operations Comprehensive Operations Planning Directive COPD Interim V2.0. Mons: Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, s. 4-32 – 4-118, 5-1 – 5-19, A-1 – A-5 (110 p.). 

NATO (2016). AJP-2 (A), Allied Joint Doctrine for Intelligence, Counterintelligence and Security. Brussels: NATO Standardization Agency, ch 2, 3 og 4 (37 p.). 

NATO (2019). AJP-3(C), Conduct of Operations. Brussel: NATO, p. 2-1 – 5-8, A-1 – A-9, C-1 – C-10, D-1 – D-12 (84 p.). 

Nord, K & Andersen, M. (2016). «Gjennomføring av fellesoperasjoner». In: Militære fellesoperasjoner – en innføring, edited by Morten Andersen and Geir Ødegaard. Oslo: Abstrakt Forlag, p. 435-460 (25 p.). 

Perla, P & McGrady, E. (2011). Why Wargaming Works. Naval War College Review. Spring 2006, Vol. 59. No 2 (21 p.). 

Ravn, B. (2016). «Operations Assessment – vurdering av fremgang og resultater». In Militære fellesoperasjoner – en innføring, edited by Morten Andersen og Geir Ødegaard. Oslo: Abstrakt Forlag, p. 461-473 (13 p.). 

Rueschoff, J & Dunne, J. (2011). Centers of Gravity from the “Inside Out”. Joint Forces Quarterly 60 (1st Quarter 2011), p. 120 – 125 (5 p.). 

Smith, D, Jeter, K & Westgaard, O. (2015). Three Approaches to Center of Gravity Analysis. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Joint Forces Quarterly 78 (3rd Quarter 2015), p. 129 – 136 (8 p.). 

Tanner, J. (1998). Operational Risk Management at the Operational Level of War. USA: Naval War College (17 p.). 

Vego, M. (2008). Joint Operational Warfare:Theory and Practice. Stockholm: Swedish National Defence College, p. v97 – v136 (39 p.). 

Wong, Y.H. (2016, 18 mai). How Can Gaming Help Test Your Theory? [Blog]. Downloaded from: https://www.rand.org/blog/2016/05/how-can-gaming-help-test-your-theory.html (6 p.). 

Zweibelson, B. (2015). Gravity-free Decision-making. Avoiding Clausewitz’s Strategic Pull. Australia: Department of Defence (42 p.). 


Supporting literature: 

NATO (2020). AJP-3.20 (A) Allied Joint Doctrine for Cyberspace Operations (A) Brussels: NATO standardization agency (29 p.). 

NATO (2010). Functional planning guidance – logistics v.3.1. Brussels: NATO, 43-66 (23 p). 

NATO (2013). Bi-SC, Joint operational guidelines for logistics. Brussels: NATO, s. 1-1 – 3-15 (39 p.). 

NATO (2015). Gender Functional Planning Guide. Mons: SHAPE (34 p.). 

Mandatory courseworkCourseworks givenCourseworks requiredPresence requiredComment
Praksis 1 1Required
Annet - spesifiser i kommentarfeltet11Not requiredSelvvalgt pensum kan velges enten fra støttelitteratur for FOPS 1 og/eller FOPS 2, eller annen litteratur.
Obligatoriske arbeidskrav:
Mandatory coursework:Praksis
Courseworks given: 1
Courseworks required: 1
Presence required:Required
Mandatory coursework:Annet - spesifiser i kommentarfeltet
Courseworks given:1
Courseworks required:1
Presence required:Not required
Comment:Selvvalgt pensum kan velges enten fra støttelitteratur for FOPS 1 og/eller FOPS 2, eller annen litteratur.
Form of assessmentGroupingDurationType of durationGrading scaleProportionOral examinationCommentSupported materials
MappevurderingIndividual -Pass / fail 100 %Not required
Form of assessment:Mappevurdering
Type of duration:-
Grading scale:Pass / fail
Proportion: 100 %
Oral examination:Not required
Supported materials:
Olaf von Porat Erichsen
Approval signature: 
Helge Danielsen