The IT Law Wiki


Network operations (NetOps) is

[t]he integrated planning and employment of military capabilities to provide the friendly net environment needed to plan, control and execute military operations and conduct service functions. NetOps provides operational planning and control. It involves time-critical, operational-level decisions that direct configuration changes and information routing. NetOps risk management and command and control decisions are based on a fused assessment of intelligence, ongoing operations, commander's intent, blue and gray situation, net health, and net security. NetOps provides the three operational elements of information assurance, network/system management, and information dissemination management.[1]
[a]ctivities conducted to operate and defend the DOD's Global Information Grid.[2]


The goal of NetOps is to provide assured and timely net-centric services across strategic, operational and tactical boundaries in support of DOD's full spectrum of war fighting, intelligence and business missions. The desired effects of NetOps are: assured system and network availability, assured information protection and assured information delivery.

The NETOPS mission is to operate and defend the GIG. Unlike many missions that are deemed successful at a defined completion date, the NETOPS mission is perpetual, requiring continual support to be successful. NETOPS provides a suite of assured network enabled services in support of DOD's full spectrum of warfighting, intelligence, and business missions throughout the GIG.

The effectiveness of NETOPS is measured in terms of availability and reliability of network enabled services, across all areas of interest, in adherence to agreed-upon service levels and policies. The method for service assurance in a net enabled collaborative environment is to establish operational thresholds, compliance monitoring, and a clear understanding of the capabilities between enterprise service/resource providers and consumers through service level agreements (SLAs). Proper instrumentation of the GIG enables monitoring of adherence to these SLAs, as well as enables timely decisionmaking, service prioritization, resource allocation, root cause, and mission impact assessment. SLAs are used to facilitate the transfer of funds between organizations to perform tasks.

Operational level agreements are used to coordinate actions between organizations when funds do not need to be transferred. A key factor in NETOPS is the readiness posture of DOD, the combatant commands, Services, DOD agencies, and the GIG. All mission relevant factors must be included in assessment of readiness of the DOD components to perform their assigned missions and functions. Understanding of current readiness is dependent upon the current situation. Therefore, global and local SA is the key to achieving the goals of NETOPS.


  1. Information Operations, at 53.
  2. U.S. Department of Defense, Joint Pub. 1–02: DOD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms (Apr. 2010) (full-text).