Operation vs Mission...Whats the difference?

My finace's unit is doing a Humanitarian Assistance Operation.. what exactly is that and how long does it last usually?


ok he comes home from Iraq the beginning of next year.. I just know he is away from his base at the moment doing the H.A. Operation.. I just didnt know how long he was going to be away from his base that he is staying at while he is there in iraq.

4 Answers

  • SMBR
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    A MISSION is what you are hoping to accomplish.

    An OPERATION is a complex series of movements / actions to accomplish a mission.

    But that is not what your really asking.

    There are thousands of different Humanitarian Assistance Operations out there. What exactly his unit is doing is impossible to tell, other than attempting to meet some serious need of the local civilians. Could be taking a medical team to vaccinate children and stock up rual hospitals with medicines, or it could be digging a well so people can have clean drinking water or even clearing some of Saddam's minefields so people can plant crops again.

    You cannot know everything he is doing over there. Heck, even those guys over there use rather large staffs of pretty smart folks to try and keep up with all the changes!!

    What you can do is ask if he trusts his chain of command. Then, if he trusts them, you can trust his leaders to not put his life at risk without good cause and all the precautions that can be taken.

    And pray for him and his mates every day. That is the best you can do.

    May God Bless him and grant both of you the strength and faith to endure the rest of his tour.

  • 1 decade ago

    Humanitarian operations can take however long they need to take to accomplish the objectives set forth. Since I don't know what operation your fiance is taking part in I don't think I could give you a fair estimate of time. Most military deployments can last from 4 months to 1 year (maybe a bit longer if their Army). Your fiance should be able to tell you how long his orders say he will be gone. Overall a Humanitarian Assistance Operation is one country (the US) helping another country, like when we sent humanitarian assistance (food, medical supplies, etc) to help out tsunami victims or even when the US military went down to New Orleans to help with the aftermath of Katrina, that was considered a Humanitarian Assistance Mission for US military personnel.

    The answer to your first question is this:

    An operation is the overall encompassing job that is taking place, ie Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Allied Force, etc.

    A mission takes place during the entire operation. Like an air strike mission, ground attack mission, etc.

    Merriam Webster Dictionary definitions of:

    operation-a usually military action, mission, or maneuver including its planning and execution

    mission-a specific task with which a person or a group is charged or a definite military, naval, or aerospace task or a pre-established and often self-imposed objective or purpose

  • 1 decade ago

    A mission for my unit lasts anywhere from 3 hours to 6 days. The operation will last years. Such as Operation Iraqi Freedom. We escort convoys from one base to another, making sure the supplies get to where they need to go. We try to find/hit the IED so that the civilian truck driver doesn't. So when we just go from here to there, and then back, that is a mission. If he is doing what I think he is doing, that operation could last years, but there will be another unit to replace him in 7 months or 15 months depending on his deployment length.

  • colway
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    A mission is a military movement with one main or specific goal in mind, such as gathering intelligence. For an ongoing operation. An operation like operation iraqi freedom also has a primary goal in mind, but it is much larger and more complex and will require many mission to accomplish. I go on a convoy mission about every 2-4 days, to support my units operation here in iraq. i can break it down a little more, my mission on these convoys, to to provide medical support for the supply convoy operation.

    Humanitarian Assitance is supplying food, water, basic needs to people in a area, partly to gain their confidence, and partly because it is the right thing to do. We will sometimes perform surgeries, build houses, dig wells, build roads, besides handing out water and chocolate bars.

    I would love to do what your fiance is doing, you should be proud of him. Marry him the day he gets back.

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