NEWS | Dec. 28, 2016

Strategic Operations and Plans (SOaP)

By Sgt. Christopher Bigelow 316th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary)

The frequent rotation of the 1st Sustainment Command (Theater) Strategic Operations and Plans (SOaP) red, white and blue teams provide strategic and operational stability by building upon the success of each previous team's accomplishments.

"We develop working groups with subject matter experts to build courses of action establishing a proactive posture for future problem sets or operations 3 to 5 years in the future," said Maj. Jose Medina, 1st TSC Operational Command Post, SOaP team.
The Army has systems in place to meet these challenges.
Joint Reception Staging Onward – Movement and Integration (JRSOI), Global Combat Support System –Army (GCSS-A) and setting the theater through long-term sustainment are the key focal points of each SOaP team.
"JRSOI and GCSS-A are courses of action used in our process of 'setting the theater'. They are the way we effectively align forces, material and agreements within our estimated footprint in future operations, in order to meet our commanders intent," said Medina.  
Completing this task requires a team of skilled and experienced Soldiers like those found in the 1st TSC SOaP team.
"There are many organic factors that have to be accounted for. We are literally making plans on top of plans that already exist and are being executed," said Maj. Jacqueline Roqueta, 1st TSC, OCP, SOaP team.
Communication within the SOaP team plays a key role with so many moving parts from numerous logistical areas of expertise working simultaneously to develop future plans while maintaining current operations.
"Setting the theater is the first step of the long process of organizing and aligning operations, activities, events and investments in time, space and purpose to achieve a strategic effect," Roqueta said.
The 1st TSC SOaP team deployed in order to provide continued mid to long range strategic sustainment planning capabilities in support of Theater Security Cooperation, Setting the Theater Lines of Effort and other operations within the U.S. Army Central Command (CENTCOM) Area of Operation (AOR).  
Overcoming battlefield logistical problem sets to ensure Army Soldiers are properly fitted with the equipment and supplies needed to meet the challenges of an adaptive enemy on varying terrains is an evolving process dependant on the foresight of groups like the 1TSC SOaP team.
"There are significant challenges ahead as we move forward. Through our study and efforts we can get after these challenges and provide our leadership with the courses of action needed to make timely informed decisions," said Medina.