Advanced Force Operations
Advanced Force Operations (AFO) is a U.S. Department of Defense concept that has recently appeared in the unclassified literature. According to Gen. Michael Repass, who conducted it in the Iraq War and was very familiar with its use in Afghanistan, "AFO consists of Secretary of Defense-approved military operations such as clandestine operations, source operations, and deployment of enabling forces and capabilities to conduct target-specific preparations prior to the conduct of an actual operation." It is logically part of Operational Preparation of the Battlespace (OPB), which follows the Intelligence Preparation of the Battlespace, a concept well-known in US and NATO doctrine, OPB is seldom used outside of Special Operations Forces channels. OPB is defined by the United States Special Operations Command as “Non-intelligence activities conducted prior to D-Day, H-Hour, in likely or potential areas of employment, to train and prepare for follow-on military operations.
An AFO unit reported to Joint Special Operations Command in the Afghanistan War (2001-). In the Iraq War, Respass, who first commanded the 10th Special Forces Group, took control of a Joint Unconventional Warfare Task Force, which used the 5th and 10th Groups to conduct AFO.
- Repass, Michael S. (7 April 2003), Combating Terrorism with Preparation of the Battlespace, U.S. Army War College