A well designed mission planner would be a very useful tool. The ability to accurately define complex routes, and determine the related distances, times, and fuel consumptions, would be enormously helpful, particularly when coordinating the activity from multiple airbases.
Here's my attempt to coordinate multiple tanking and strike events in Gunner98's PF#6 scenario.
It's a hot steaming mess, based on Ctrl-D distances, editing in placeholder units to use as F2 and cursor tools, and attempts to calculate fuel expenditure and fuel transfer rates in different load conditions. Despite my efforts, there's a whole lot of TLAR built in, and final accuracy of the plan turned out to be modest (particularly in coordinating with cruise missile timing). It took several evenings of play just for this planning stage. A proper suite of mission planning tools would have greatly increased the speed and accuracy of the process, and let me move from planning to execution a lot more quickly.
I can see a good mission planner being particularly attractive to the professional side of the business, where the logistical and scheduling side of the military equation are crucial. It would also be very helpful for scenario authors, who need to make their AI minions appear to operate in a coordinated and intelligent fashion. (This would probably be the biggest benefit, IMO.) The current missions are very much a 'blunt instrument', and improved mission planning could do a lot to make the scenarios more interesting and engaging. Since play experience strongly depends on the scenario, this can have a positive impact on the commercial side of the business, by allowing the creation of more attractive DLC content and community scenarios. And finally, it would help the player produce workable battle plans within a reasonable time-frame, which would help increase play enjoyment.
Nobody's suggesting a good mission planner will solve every problem, or be applicable in every circumstance. Of course the enemy will try and interfere with your plans - that's axiomatic. That's when you step in as the human to take charge and adapt. I certainly wouldn't want to be forced to use a mission planner at all times. But, at the moment the absence of a good suite of mission planning tools seems like an omission. Adding an advanced mission planner would be an overall advantage to Command.
Well said, AndrewJ. You're a much better salesman than I!