The Mission Must Go On: Getting Continuity Planning Right

Advancing mission continuity of operations for core capabilities, such as those provided by the F-35, is key to enhancing Air Force mission assurance.

The Mission Must Go On: Getting Continuity Planning Right

By Douglas Tucker, Director Air Force Installation Energy Policy & Programs
Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary (Environment, Safety & Infrastructure)

To create a more ready and lethal fighting force, the Department of the Air Force (DAF) Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environment, Safety, and Infrastructure is focused on making its operations more resilient. While the uncertainty of a changing threat environment makes predicting impacts difficult, considering what should be made resilient instead of simply what can be made resilient is critical when making investments that best maintain key organizational functions regardless of the nature or duration of a threat.

The decision to invest in resilience must first be informed by an examination of what that investment is meant to serve: Business Continuity of Operations (BCO) or Mission Continuity of Operations (MCO). Constrained resources have led the DAF to shift its priority toward resilience investments that advance MCO, and in doing so, enable the continuity of enterprise core functions for mission success.

To ensure its resilience investments support MCO, the DAF is employing a variety of tools and processes that help break down mission operations and requirements to more clearly identify where investments can increase mission assurance. Recent DoD mandates such as Installation Energy Plans and Energy Resilience Readiness Exercises take an MCO approach to resilience planning and investments. The DAF is also developing its own tools to further integrate MCO considerations into its resilience efforts. The ability to distinguish between MCO and BCO priorities is important in making smart, strategic decisions, and it’s an approach that can benefit all U.S. military services.

Email Douglas Tucker at

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