October 17, 2011

Bringing the nine-man squad into the 21st century

News Report

As reported in an attention-grabbing piece appeared on ASDNews, the US Army is working to provide the infantry squad an overmatch in combat capability through the network and immersive training. The goal is to improve lethality, survivability, power energy, and mobility.

"We really started looking at the tactical small unit, based on what's happened over the last 10 years, and we said, where is the fight too fair? Where do we not have overwhelming ability to overmatch our enemies," said Maj. Gen. Robert B. Brown, commanding general of the U.S. Army Maneuver Center of Excellence and Fort Benning, at the 2011 AUSA Annual Meeting and Exposition.

"The Soldier needs to be networked, mobile, linked digitally and have knowledge of the environments. Almost 70 years after World War II, we still don't have dismounts in the network. And the enemy strategy, of course, is to bleed us by a thousand cuts. And they know that they can have a fair fight against that squad, hiding in among the populace," he said.

"Right now, when we go to do a precision mission, we're in pretty good shape," Brown explained. "But when we're out there on patrol and we're moving not to a precision-type mission, 75 to 80 percent of the time, we're reacting to the enemy. We can do better than that."

"Soldiers come in the Army today with a digital comfort. They're digital natives. And we actually take them out of their comfort zone when we take their cell phones away and we put them out there," Brown said. "They get a comfort from being connected digitally. If they can text, if they can communicate, they can spread apart and do more of the digital comfort aspect. This has been huge in this as we've been looking at the squad."

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