Mission planning: SMEAC - Field Leadership - United Task Force (UNITAF) Arma 3

P17-142 Mission planning: SMEAC

UNITAF / Arma 3 / Field Leadership Procedures

Version 2 / 3min read / Updated Sun 08 May 2022 / 9443 views / of verified

SMEAC - 5 Paragraph Operations Order

Mission briefings follow the "Five paragraph order" format - also known as "SMEAC" - In this, information is presented in a standardized fashion, allowing for everyone to easily find out what he needs to know about the mission with minimum fuss. SMEAC breaks down as follows - the "Keep it simple" rule is employed when writing the actual briefing, while this information is used to help guide that process. Note also that the OPORD Editor here on UNITAFs operations center, guides you through the creation of SMEAC, so it's not important to remember it since you are guided through the process.



  • What is the premise of the mission? Why is your unit where it is, and what's happening around it? What is the "big picture"?
  • What kind of forces does your unit have?
  • What kind of forces (if any) are supporting you or attached to your unit? This includes close air support, artillery, armor, or any other combined-arms assets.
  • What kind of forces and support does the enemy have?
  • What is the enemy expected to do?



  • What is your unit tasked with doing? Who else (if anyone) is involved in the mission?
  • When and where does the mission take place? What is the time allowed?
  • Why has the mission been given to your unit?
  • What is the desired end-state? Basically - what is/are your collective goal(s)?



  • Commander's Intent
  • How will the mission be conducted? Scheme of Maneuver, tasks, etc. How will the unit get to the end state?



  • Is ammo resupply available?
  • Are medevac assets available, such as medical helicopters or ambulance HMMWVs?
  • Are there any special rules for dealing with Enemy Prisoners of War (EPWs)?
  • Is fire support available? Artillery, naval gunfire, et cetera?
  • Is close air support available?



  • Are there any special rules or considerations that must be made for communications? For example - special radio rules or loadouts, smoke or flare colors and meanings, etc. If there are no special rules, this is simply listed as "SOP", for "Standard Operating Procedure".



Video: Troop Leading Procedures - this video contains procedures and examples of how to perform 8 step troop leading procedures in accordance with U.S. Army FM 5-0, The Operations Process.


Timeframe available for planning

A plan should generally take no more than 30 minutes from start to finish. Depending on the complexity of the mission, the type of mission, the leader(s) involved, and a variety of other factors, this can often be much shorter, and occasionally a bit longer for particularly complex missions.

The breakdown of such a time period is typically as follows, though it can often go much faster depending on the complexity of the mission. 


This SOP has been contributed to by 1 editors:
Major James
Second Lieutenant Zuka

UNITAF Standard Operating procedures (SOP)
are adapted primarly from US Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC). Our written and audio procedures are a combination of the following primary source materials, as well as our own learnings, modifications and adaptations:
- US Army Techniques Publication, Infantry Platoon and Squad (ATP 3-21.8)
- Soldier’s Manual of Common Tasks Warrior Leader Skills Level 2, 3, and 4 (STP 21-24-SMCT)
- The Warrior Ethos and Soldier Combat Skills (FM 3-21.75 / FM 21-75)
- Leadership Development (FM 6-22)
- Dyslexi's Tactics, Techniques, & Procedures for Arma 3 (TTP3)

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