Small Wars Journal

Center for Complex Operations


The United States Congress authorized the creation of a Center for Complex Operations in the FY 2009 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The Center for Complex Operations (CCO) was initially formed in the summer of 2008 in the Office of the Secretary of Defense (Policy) and moved in early 2009 to the National Defense University in accordance with an NDU – OSD(P) memorandum of Agreement dated 30 January 2009, subsequently amended. CCO was established to:

  • Serve as an information clearinghouse and knowledge manager for complex operations training and education, acting as a central repository for information on areas such as training and curricula, training and education provider institutions, complex operations events, and subject matter experts
  • Develop a complex operations training and education community of practice to catalyze innovation and development of new knowledge, connect members for networking, share existing knowledge, and cultivate foundations of trust and habits of collaboration across the community
  • Serve as a feedback and information conduit to the Office of the Secretary of Defense and broader U.S. Government policy leadership to support guidance and problem-solving across the community of practice
  • Enable more effective networking, coordination, and synchronization to support the preparation of Department of Defense and other U.S. Government personnel for complex operations
  • Support lessons learned processes and best practices compilation in the area of complex operations
  • Identify education and training gaps in the Department of Defense and other Federal departments and agencies and facilitate efforts to fill those gaps.

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