Operational Risk Management


  • Operational Risk Management (ORM) is a systematic, decision making process used to identify and manage hazards that endanger naval resources
  • ORM is a tool used to make informed decisions by providing the best baseline of knowledge and experience available
  • Its purpose is to increase operational readiness by anticipating hazards and reducing the potential for loss, thereby increasing the probability for success to gain the competitive advantage in combat
  • ORM is not just related to naval aviation; it applies across the war-fighting spectrum

ORM Process Description:

  1. Identify hazards
  2. Assess hazards
  3. Make risk decisions
  4. Implement controls
  5. Supervise

Utilized on three levels based upon time and assets available:

  • Time-critical: A quick mental review of the five-step process when time does not allow for any more (i.e., in-flight mission/situation changes)
  • Deliberate: Experience and brain storming are used to identify hazards and is best done in groups (i.e., aircraft moves, fly on/off)
  • In-depth: More substantial tools are used to thoroughly study the hazards and their associated risk in complex operations (i.e., weapons detachment)

The ORM process is guided by the four principles:

  1. Accept risk when benefits outweigh the costs
  2. Accept no unnecessary risk
  3. Anticipate and manage risk by planning
  4. Make risk decisions at the right level

Enhancing ORM:

  • To enhance ORM awareness and standardization, the NATOPS model manager shall incorporate risk management concepts and wording into crew coordination and flight planning sections of the individual aircraft NATOPS manuals