The Department of Defense released today the updated the Unified Command Plan (UCP), a key strategic document that establishes the missions, responsibilities, and geographic areas of responsibility for commanders of combatant commands. Unified Command Plan 2011, signed by the President on April 6, assigns several new missions to the combatant commanders.
Every two years, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is required to review the missions, responsibilities, and geographical boundaries of each combatant command and recommend to the President, through the Secretary of Defense, any changes that may be necessary. As in past years, the 2011 review process included the combatant commanders, service chiefs and DoD leadership.
A revised map of the combatant commanders' areas of responsibilities can be found at http://go.usa.gov/Tp7 . Significant changes made by UCP 2011 include:
- Shifting areas of responsibilities boundaries in the Arctic region to leverage long-standing relationships and improve unity of effort. As a result of this realignment, responsibility for the Arctic region is now shared between USEUCOM and USNORTHCOM rather than USEUCOM, USNORTHCOM and USPACOM as directed in previous UCPs.
- Giving USNORTHCOM responsibility to advocate for Arctic capabilities.
- Codifying the President's approval to disestablish U.S. Joint Forces Command.
- Expanding U.S. Strategic Command’s responsibility for combating weapons of mass destruction and developing Global Missile Defense Concept of Operations.
- Giving U.S. Transportation Command responsibility for synchronizing planning of global distribution operations.
UCP 2011 continues to support U.S. defense security commitments around the world while improving military responsiveness to emerging crises.