Special Operations Task Group (SOTG) Operations Planning Course 


Two week course designed to provide students with the fundamentals of exercising Command and Control (C2) and staff planning at the Special Operations Task Group (SOTG) level. The course uses the SOTG Decision Making Process (SDMP) as the primary planning tool with additional instructions on COIN Modeling (Campaign Planning at the SOTG level), Kinetic and Non-Kinetic Targeting, Air Operations Planning to support a deliberate planning scenario.


  • Conduct operations planning as part of a SOTG staff
  • Introduce students to the SOCC concept and to the AJP 3.5
  • Familiarize students with the use of the SOTG Decision Making Process (SDMP; NSTEP Study Draft 08 June 2012)
  • Provide students with insight to the interaction between Intelligence and Planning, including an introduction to the Intelligence Preparation of the Operational Environment (IPOE) process
  • Introduce students to the principles of Kinetic and Non-Kinetic Targeting
  • Familiarize students with the principles of air integration and production of an Air Tasking Order (ATO)
  • Provide students with an overview of the principles of Insurgency and Counterinsurgency (COIN) at the tactical-level
  • Familiarize students with the proper way to set up and run an SOTG Operations Center


Course duration is 2 weeks*.


Students receive a series of lectures and practical exercises providing them with the knowledge and skills required to serve as a member of an SOTG staff. These skills will be practiced and reinforced during a 52 hr practical exercise where they will participate as a member of an SOTG staff. Students are required to react to a series of challenging situations designed to simulate the activities of a number of SOTUs during operations. Students will also conduct Commander’s (CDR) Decision Briefings, CDR’s Update Briefings and be expected to prepare CONOPS which will support the scenario. Students will have opportunity to serve in a variety of roles and gain specific experience serving as a member of different planning cells and / or as the SOTG Chief of Staff, S2, S3, S35 and S5.


The course is intended for officers, warrant officers and NCOs seeking the knowledge and skills needed to function on a SOTG level staff. Students must score 60% or higher on the Defense Language Institute English Language Center (DLIELC) English Comprehension Level (ECL) Test. Prospective students are encouraged to visit the following websites for additional information.


Students are encouraged to familiarize themselves with course teaching material, planning aids and scenario, prior to their arrival for this course. Course material is available here:


Dress throughout the course is national duty uniform.

If you have any questions, please E-mail us: inquiries@istc-sof.org

*Further details can be found in the Joining Instructions available at the sending Unit or the respective Ministry of Defense (MoD).