Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

Daily Archives: 14/05/2014

Pentagon’s secret counter-zombie plan revealed

Move over, Edward Snowden—at Foreign Policy magazine, Gordon Lubold has blown the lid on what is undoubtedly the national security secret of the decade, namely CONPLAN 8888—the secret Pentagon plan to defend American citizens against the zombie apocalypse.

CONPLAN8888The thirty page plan was actually developed as a training tool:

(U) CONPLAN 8888 DISCLAIMER: This plan was not actually designed as a joke. During the summers o f2009 and 2010, while training augmentees from a local training squadron about the JOPP, members of a USSTRATCOM component found out (by accident) that the hyperbole involved in writing a “zombie survival plan’· actually provided a very useful and effective training tool. Planners who attended JPME II at the Joint Combined Warfighting School also realized that training examples for plans must accommodate the political fallout that occurs if the general public mistakenly believes that a fictional training scenario is actually a real plan. Rather than risk such an outcome by teaching our augmentees using the fictional “Tunisia” or “Nigeria” scenarios used at JCWS, we elected to use a completely-impossible scenario that could never be mistaken as a real plan.

Because the plan was so ridiculous, our students not only enjoyed the lessons; they actually were able to explore the basic concepts of plan and order development (fact, assumptions. specified and implied tasks, references etc) very effectively.

We posted this plan because we feel it is a very enjoyable way to train new planners and boost retention of critical knowledge. We posted this to Intellipedia after reading about the benefits of crowd sourcing phenomena in the business management book “The Starfish and the Spider”. Our intent was to place this training tool “in the wild” so that others who were interested in finding new and innovative ways to train planners could have an alternative and admittedly unconventional tool at their disposal that could be modified and updated over time. We also hoped that this type of non-traditional training approach would provide inspiration for other personnel trying to teach topics that can be very boring. Finally we figured that an entry like this would not only be instructive, but possibly entertaining for personnel deployed away from their families supporting military ops abroad. If this plan helps illustrate how JOPP works and brings a smile or a brief laugh in the process, so much the better,

If you suspend reality for a few minutes, this type of training scenario can actually take a very dry, monotonous topic and turn it into something rather enjoyable.

It was then subsequently posted to Intellipedia, the online data sharing platform used by the US intelligence and defence communities.

This isn’t the first time zombie scenarios have been used as the basis for training exercises—we’ve covered several past cases here at PAXsims:

And, somewhat less seriously:

h/t Sean Anderson 

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