Contingency plans are developed by Combatant Commanders (CCDR) and Joint Force Commanders in anticipation of a potential crisis outside of crisis conditions. These plans are either directed by the classified Joint Strategic Capabilities Plan (JSCP) or Guidance for Employment of the Force (GEF), or may address scenarios internal to the CCDR’s theater.
Level 1 Planning Detail – Commander’s Estimate.
This level of planning involves the least amount of detail and focuses on producing multiple courses of action (COA) to address a contingency. The product for this level can be a COA briefing, command directive, commander’s estimate, or a memorandum.
Level 2 Planning Detail – Base Plan (BPLAN).
A BPLAN describes the concept of operations (CONOPS), major forces, concepts of support, and anticipated timelines for completing the mission. It normally does not include annexes or time-phased force and deployment data (TPFDD).
Level 3 Planning Detail – Concept Plan (CONPLAN).
A CONPLAN is an operational plan in an abbreviated format that may require considerable expansion or alteration to convert it into an OPLAN or operations order. It may also produce a TPFDD if applicable.
Level 4 Planning Detail – Operations Plan (OPLAN).
An OPLAN is a complete and detailed joint plan containing a full description of the CONOPS, all annexes applicable to the plan, and a TPFDD. It identifies the specific forces, functional support, and resources required to execute the plan and provide closure estimates for their flow into the theater.