Former United States President Eisenhower once said 'plans are nothing, but planning is everything'. 

Major William Bell is a Future Operations planner for the Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) and is helping shape Coalition efforts in the Middle East. 

Based in Kuwait, the Australian Army engineering officer is embedded in the United States-led Coalition contributing to defeating Daesh in the Middle East.

"The Future Operations team is responsible for rapidly assessing the current situation and developing appropriate response options while advising the commander on all matters pertaining to the strategic and operational employment of forces," Major Bell said.

"We also ensure continuity of operations between current operations and future plans."

Major Bell is responsible for two major planning events; the reposturing of Coalition forces in the operational area to reduce threats to the force, and the CJTF-OIR conduit for the withdrawal of the Australian and New Zealand forces on successful completion of their mission at Taji.

"My role for reposturing is to ensure that while CJTF-OIR move forces it continues to support the Government of Iraq," Major Bell said.

"I work with a United States National Guard Engineer and United States Marine Corps Engineer."

I am fortunate to be engaging with 28 troop contributing nations including Sweden, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States.

Major Bell also leads CJTF-OIR planning to support the withdrawal of the Australian and New Zealand Task Group Taji.

"Task Group Taji completed their primary mission - successfully training and mentoring Iraqi Security Forces to defeat Daesh," Major Bell said.

"My role is to coordinate the efforts of other headquarters, branches and national stakeholders to achieve a seamless redeployment without disruption to ongoing operations.

"The initial planning is delivered to CJTF-OIR senior leaders and moves into the execution phase. Overall the execution phase achieves its aims and supports the ongoing reposture of personnel and bases within Iraq."

The opportunity to work within a United States-led 'Corps level' joint Coalition Headquarters engaged in active operations is an experience not afforded to many officers, according to Major Bell.

"My deployment is a fantastic experience professionally and personally," he said.

"I am fortunate to be engaging with 28 troop-contributing nations including Sweden, New Zealand, United Kingdom and the United States.

“I learn that terms common to the ADF may have a completely different meaning for another nation, this includes native English-speaking nations such as the United States," Major Bell said.