More Munitions, Prepositioned Stocks Big Priorities, Says G-4
(Source: US Army; issued March 10, 2017)
WASHINGTON --- Lt. Gen. Aundre Piggee, Army G-4, identified for lawmakers the top two items the Army considers priorities for funding.
The first is prepositioned stocks, he told the House Armed Services Readiness Subcommittee Wednesday. Those stocks would be used by the combatant commanders for early-entry forces. Of immediate concern is filling the Army Prepositioned Stock 2 in Europe.
The second big priority is munitions, he said. The Army is short of "preferred munitions." He explained that preferred munitions include those used for the Patriot and Terminal High Altitude Area Defense systems, as well as Hellfire missiles and Excalibur rounds used for howitzers.
Piggee was joined on Capitol Hill by Lt. Gen. Joseph Anderson, Army G-3/5/7, and Lt. Gen. Gwen Bingham, assistant chief of staff for Installation Management. All three testified at the hearing on "The Current State of U.S. Army Readiness."
TRAINING, MODERNIZATION, MANNING
Anderson said he welcomed the growth of the total Army to 1,018,000, as authorized by the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2017. "If funded, we will use these increases to fill gaps in our current formations to prevent the development of a hollow force," he said.
Asked if that was a sufficient number of Soldiers, Anderson replied that he believes that the Army chief of staff said that 1.2 million "is the one that reduces us to moderate risk."
Funding levels commensurate with the end-strength increase will enable the Army to invest in modernizing its equipment, he continued. "We deferred many modernization investments which allowed our competitors to gain advantages in such areas as fires, area missile defense and armor."
The Army also would like to increase the number of combat training center rotations "from 19 starting in this fiscal year, up to 20 in FY20," he added.
Installations also need a funding infusion. Bingham said 22 percent of installation facilities, or 33,000 structures are rated as in "poor and failing conditions." It would take $10.8 billion to fix them up.
She added that about 20 percent of all facilities are categorized as "excess infrastructure," meaning that they're not being used or are underutilized, and maintaining those facilities costs money.
"We still are favorable to a BRAC," she said, meaning a new round of Base Realignment and Closure. However, in historical terms, a round of BRAC only results in the removal of 4 to 5 percent excess capacity, so the Army would still hold a tremendous amount of excess infrastructure, she explained
CIVILIAN HIRING FREEZE
Asked about the impact of the Army civilian hiring freeze, Anderson replied that it affects "all things readiness -- going to war capabilities, from force protection, to training, to running ranges." To compensate, the Army has been forced to enlist Soldiers to perform duties usually performed by civilians. These "borrowed" Soldiers are missing out on their own training, he added.
Bingham said the hiring freeze has impacted child development centers, particularly part-time child development services. However, no child development centers have yet closed.
She added that the acting secretary of the Army has validated and approved over 5,000 exemptions to the hiring freeze.
Large-scale land warfare takes center stage in new Army field manual
By: Jen Judson, March 21, 2017
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- The Army’s newest capstone doctrine on how it fights in the present will focus on large-scale land warfare, Combined Arms Center commander Lt. Gen. Michael Lundy told Defense News.
Lundy's organization, headquartered at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, is the proponent for modernizing the force and is tasked with reforming service doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership, personnel, facilities and policy.
He teased out some of the major elements of the field manual's organization in an interview at the Association of the U.S. Army’s Global Force Symposium last week as the center prepares to publish the field manual this fall.
“What we’ve been doing for the past 14 to 15 years -- even though we’ve been executing Unified Land Warfare -- over that time we haven’t been doing large-scale land warfare, so that is a very different focus than what we have,” Lundy said.
The Army’s last field manual was released in 2008. It was focused on “Full Spectrum Operations,” which describes the Army having to not only focus on defeating enemies but, at the same time, shape the situation through operations that stabilize the contested area.
Potential adversaries are looking a lot more like peers with equal capabilities and the ability to deny and deter freedom of movement in various domains, which means the Army is going to have to change the way it has grown accustomed to fighting -- mainly counter-insurgency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“When you look at threats that are emerging around the world and the potential adversaries that are out there -- North Korea has a pretty aggressive posture, activities going on around Europe and the South China Sea -- peer and regional adversaries are certainly of concern,” Lundy said.*
So the field manual is laid out differently than the Army would normally lay out its doctrinal manuals that are focused, typically, on one specific area, according to Lundy.
The doctrine looks through the lens of the Army’s operating concept, released two years ago, and also through the developing concept of “multi-domain battle,” Lundy said. The multi-domain battle concept defines how the service will operate in and influence all domains in conjunction with the other services.
Therefore the new field manual will describe four strategic activities the Army must carry out for operational success, looking across “the entire joint phasing construct,” he said.
The manual will provide operational instruction on how to shape, prevent, win and consolidate gains to achieve sustainable outcomes, Lundy said. And these four phases of operation are not meant to be conducted in order, or even at different or separate times.
“Shaping happens throughout” an operation, Lundy explained. The Army would help in “shaping those day-to-day activities that we need to be doing today in the region,” he added. And as the force is shaping an environment or a situation, the Army could be conducting operations to prevent something from happening. The winning phase is just a measure of success to be used along the way, whether the service is shaping, preventing or consolidating gains. Consolidating gains can also happen throughout a given operation, not only at the end, Lundy explained.
The manual will acknowledge there is a physical aspect to operations, but also a cognitive one, Lundy said, such as “how do you deal with the local populations."
The manual also approaches operations on a much broader, extended battlefield, Lundy said. While the Air-Land Battle concept from many years ago broaches operations on a wider battlefield, the new doctrine includes geographical elements, but also “the temporal aspects,” he said. “It’s not just the time and relation to the enemy, but also it’s the time and relation to being able to get an effect” or a certain outcome.
This comes into play in terms of such activities as information operations. “You can’t really go, ‘Hey, on this day at noon, I want to have this effect.’ And it’s hard for people to perceive these longer horizons of how long it takes for an effect to be seen or to happen or to assess your effect,” Lundy said.
There’s also a “virtual” aspect to the manual, “which really gets into the whole thought of cyber and there are multiple pieces of that,” he noted.
The manual will be out “for world-wide staff” in April, according to Lundy. “We are pretty close to being complete with the foundational writing and we are doing a lot of editing and cleanup now, so it’s on track.”
New Army Unit To Test Tactics: Meet The Multi-Domain Task Force
By Sydney J. Freedberg Jr.
on March 21, 2017 at 2:07 PM
Gen. Mark Milley
WASHINGTON: The Army is creating an experimental combat unit to develop*new tactics for lethally fast-paced future battlefields. The Multi-Domain Task Force will be “a relatively small organization…1,500 or so troops,” the Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, told the Future of Warfare conference here this morning. While small,*it will have capabilities not found in the building block of today’s Army, the 4,000-strong brigade. “That organization will be capable of space, cyber, maritime, air, and ground warfare,” he said, extending its reach into all domains of military operations to support the Air Force, Navy, and Marines.
“It’s got a bunch of capabilities, and that’s what we’re going to play with to figure out what’s the right mix,” Lt. Gen. Joseph Anderson, the deputy chief of staff for operations (G-3/5/7), told reporters at last week’s Association of the US Army conference. “It’s got some aviation. It’s got some maneuver. It’s got signal. It’s got cyber.” In English, that means it has helicopters, infantry and/or tanks, communications troops, and technical troops to protect (and perhaps attack) computer networks. By contrast, a typical Army brigade today, a much larger formation, has maneuver and signal, but no helicopters or hackers.
The eventual goal of this experimentation may be permanent units that are so self-sufficient. The old Cold War-era Armored Cavalry Regiments had their own in-house helicopters, as well as tanks, signallers and supply to conduct reconnaissance at high speeds over large areas in the face of armed opposition. Army reformers from Doug MacGregor to H.R. McMaster, both veterans of ACRs, have seen these self-sufficient units as a potential model for future forces. The Army recently explored reviving them, but “we don’t have the stuff to build it,” in particular the helicopters, Anderson said.
“There’s still not consensus about what this thing” — the revived ACR or Reconnaissance-Strike Group — “should look like, how big it should be,” said Anderson. “That doesn’t mean we’re not going to keep striving to build that kind of capability….I think in the meantime this Multi-Domain Task Force may provide pieces, parts, of what that RSG was going to be.”
Why the drive for smaller units with a wider range of capabilities? The Army increasingly worries that big units will just be big targets. Russia and China, in particular, have developed their own smart missiles, plus the sensors to find targets and the networks to coordinate strikes. These Anti-Access/Area Denial*(A2/AD) systems have the range and accuracy to potentially make wide areas of Europe and Asia — including the territory of allies like the Baltics, Poland, and South Korea — a deadly no-go zone for conventional US forces.
“There are several nations around the world who have developed very complex, very sophisticated Anti-Access/Area Denial sort of capabilities,” Milley said. “Obviously Russia and China, to a lesser extent Iran and North Korea…. That A2/AD structure is highly lethal and operating inside that structure, in large formations, will also get you killed.”
“So smaller dispersed, very agile, very nimble organizations — that are networked into other lethal systems that delivered by either air or maritime forces — will be essential to rip apart the A2/AD networks,” Milley said. “These organizations would be highly lethal, very fast, very difficult to pin down on a battlefield.”
The Army can’t maneuver this way today, emphasized Maj. Gen. Duane Gamble, the logistician heading the Europe-based 21st Theater Sustainment Command. “We don’t have the mission command capabilities that can do that. We don’t have the sustainment capabilities,” he told me at AUSA. “But where we’re getting the reps in is widely dispersed operations at the company level, sometimes at the platoon level, training with our allies, and we’re learning the vulnerabilities of our heavy formations (i.e. tank units). Their internal logistics are designed to operate in battalion sectors… So all that is informing what we need to do in the future.”
Not everyone is excited. At the AUSA conference in Huntsville, an analyst, historian and top aide to Milley’s predecessor, retired Col. David Johnson, warns we may have already overloaded Brigade Combat Team commanders with too many capabilities that once were managed by divisions or even corps. “The BCT has become the division… the focal point of just about everything. We ought to challenge that assertion,” Johnson said. “Should we keep pushing capabilities down to the BCT or relook the role of divisions and corps, and focus the brigade on the close fight?”
AirLand Battle’s geographical division of responsibility.
The head of Training & Doctrine Command (TRADOC),*Gen. David Perkins*answers: “You’re (still) going to have to have echelons of command that synchronize and deconflict.*That won’t change — but how those responsibilities and authorities are divided may have to. A whole generation of Army leaders grew up with Airland Battle doctrine’s clear demarcations between the close fight, conducted by short-range weapons; the deep fight, conducted by Air Force strikes, attack helicopters, and ATACMS missiles; and the supposedly safe rear area.
“A lot of it was determined by range of weapons. It was determined by physics, it was determined by geography, (e.g.) here’s a bridge crossing, who’s in charge of it?” Perkins told me at AUSA. “What we’re finding with multi-domain battle (is) that construct doesn’t work…. What’s the range of cyber?…You can’t define the battlefield framework by the range and/or limit of your weapons.”
“What we tried to do with a two-dimensional construct, AirLand Battle, was impose some order on the chaos that is battle, I own this part of chaos, you own this part of chaos,” Perkins said. “Now… instead of trying to control chaos, we have to thrive in it.”
Battle For Army’s Soul Resumes: Lessons From Army After Next
By Bob Scales
on March 28, 2017 at 3:36 PM
History never repeats, but it often rhymes, and a wise man listens to the echoes. Today, the Army is exploring a new concept of future combat called Multi Domain Battle, which calls for small, agile units designed to*overwhelm the enemy with coordinated actions not only on the land, but in the air, on the sea, and in space, cyberspace and the electromagnetic spectrum. For old defense hands (that’s us), many of these new ideas echo those explored two decades ago, during an innovative effort known as Army After Next (AAN). So we reached out to Bob*Scales, the former head of AAN, retired two-star general, commandant of the Army War College, and recipient of the Silver Star for valor in Vietnam. In this essay, Scales lays out what the Army needs to learn from history, and what it should beware. Read on. The Editors.
This year is the twenty-fifth that I’ve been practicing the dark art of future-gazing. I came to the mission very reluctantly in 1991, when the then-Chief of Staff of the Army,*Gen. Gordon Sullivan, entrusted me with writing the Army’s official version of the Gulf War, Certain Victory. As expected, I touted the virtues of Norman Schwarzkopf’s “Great Wheel” maneuver across the sands of Iraq and Kuwait. But I left the project bothered by the fact that, perhaps, I might have inadvertently reinforced the past rather than fostering the future.
The long shadow of my poorly stated thesis in Certain Victory, which professed the enduring primacy of armored warfare, is with us still. I see it in the writings of the powerful apostles of the Armored Cavalry Regiment (ACR), who continue to believe in the eternal goodness of great tank formations, even though history left the ACR-based Army in its own dusty tracks decades ago. (Editor’s note: Among the premier advocates of tank warfare are Doug MacGregor, an influential defense consultant and member of the Breaking D Board of Contributors, and Tom Donnelly at the American Enterprise Institute.)
My epiphany came three years later, when in 1995 another Chief of Staff, Gen. Dennis Reimer, gave me the mission of looking into the deep future of warfare, beyond 2025. As head of the Army After Next (AAN) project, I had access to an enormously talented group of young officers, many of whom are still doing great work today. With the assistance of my deputy, Col. Bob Killebrew, we invented the Army’s first strategic game, which continues today in heavily modified form as Unified Quest.
AAN was a magic time. To quote Bob Killebrew: “We never stopped slam-bang arguments over the direction of land warfare that rattled the windows at Fort Monroe. We were secure enough to tolerate and encourage a kind of no-holds-barred intellectual combat that raged inside TRADOC’s doctrine directorate from 1995-97, when rank bowed to ideas and bureaucracy to improvisation, risky experimentation and, very occasionally, success.”
My team spent two unfettered years looking into the variables that cause armies to change. We wrote a “history of the future” that postulated a conflict environment outside the confines of Western Europe.*Out of AAN came a new thesis, one that concluded that the age of massed mechanized warfare was over. In its place came a different force, one based on speed of strategic movement over great distances, with tactical combat centered on forces of all arms fighting in discrete formations.
While the “base element of maneuver” might have been a division in World War II and a brigade in Desert Storm, perhaps by 2025 it might be a company of all arms, possessing the power to employ every dimension of ground combat from maneuver to fires, reconnaissance, logistics, and the control of all external amplifiers.
We envisioned an army elevated into the third dimension, with many, if not most, of its primary combat functions performed using manned and unmanned aerial vehicles. We foresaw the power of information science in war. (We even came up with the idea of a “digital warehouse,” symbolically encased in a “cloud,” in which reposed all data essential for battle; too bad we didn’t patent it….). We envisioned an “unblinking eye” that would hover over a fighting force, protecting it from tactical surprise and delivering deadly fires within seconds.
We concluded that the precision revolution was still immature in 1997. The so-called Revolution in Military Affairs never happened. Shock and Awe did not work at the tactical level. Big bombs were inefficient at killing little targets that numbered in the thousands. So we envisioned a revolution in “miniature precision” that put tank-killing power in the hands of every infantry soldier.
Our studies reinforced the truism that Americans were increasingly sensitive to the sight of dead US soldiers. So we postulated that a layered mass of sensors and killing systems might kill the enemy outside the “red zone,” beyond the range of the enemy’s tactical weapons.
Our vision of the battlefield morphed from Desert Storm style “objective-based” maneuver to one centered on area control. When we graphed out the dynamics of an area control maneuver force, it took on an amoebic shape, sort of like brigade-sized autonomous blobs that moved principally by air, disconnected from its logistical umbilical cord.
Our greatest conundrum was firepower. We accepted three immutable facts. First, friendly casualties could be mitigated with additional doses of precision firepower.* Second, the lighter the unit, the more firepower it needs to maneuver with fewest casualties. And third: artillery is very heavy. In Desert Storm, it comprised over 60 percent of a division’s weight.
Our challenge was to increase the killing effects of firepower while decreasing its weight.* We solved the problem conceptually by envisioning a wide assortment of small precision missiles contained in boxes that could be fired remotely by the thousands. We reinforced these “rockets in a box” with a constellation of orbiting armed drones capable of killing a mass of targets within seconds.
Technology alone would not be enough. During AAN we coined the phrase “The Human Dimension” to anticipate the power of human intangibles in war. I was personally captured by the prospect that enormous advances in the human, cultural, behavioral and cognitive sciences might allow us to make a fighting man enormously more capable in the close fight — and psychologically hardened to the horrors of combat.
Bob Killebrew was an old hand at joint warfare and believed the tenets that drove “jointness” during the Cold War were obsolete. He came up with a new level of fighting intimacy he termed “interdependence.” Interdependent forces would decrease organizational friction, while increasing layers of complexity in a fighting force to include all arms, all services and non-military entities all fighting the same fight. Today the Army calls it Multi Domain Warfare. What’s in a phrase?
AAN never disappeared, it just went dormant — for three reasons.*First, of course, was 911. It became very difficult for the Army to envision future conventional warfare as al Qaeda was killing 100 soldiers a week. Our vision of fast, information-laden fighting vehicles gave way to very heavy vehicles whose sole purpose was to protect soldiers from IEDs.
The cancelled FCS artillery vehicle
Second, the Army was too quick to operationalize our ideas. Simply put, technologies such as electronic miniaturization, the global network, robotics, drones, sensors, micro-precision, active protection, and virtual simulation were just too immature in the late nineties to allow the tenets of AAN to be properly materialized. Depending as it did on unrealized technological breakthroughs, the Future Combat System was a premature birth.
Third, ACR gurus hated AAN. The successful march to Baghdad in 2003 gave them an infusion of doctrinal adrenalin that led them to oppose the creation of a lighter Army. Of course, by 2006 al Qaeda, the Taliban and ISIS had put paid to the ACR resurgence, but by then AAN, and its materiel spawn, the Future Combat System, was dead.
But there’s good news today. During the past few years the tenets of AAN seem to be resurrecting themselves. Themes like Multi Domain Warfare (interdependence in other words…), the Human Domain of warfare, robotic warfare, among others, are warming the hearts of retired AAN warriors. Fear of radical change within the Army — prompted by the collapse of FCS — seems to be dissipating, as younger and intellectually gifted officers think deeply about war beyond the fading images of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Three fighting forces in particular are experimenting with some form of AAN today.
First, the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) clearly leads the world in implementing many of the tenets of AAN. Their special brand of airborne maneuver was dramatically demonstrated during the early days in Afghanistan, where a small elite Special Operations force hopscotched across hundreds of miles of alien terrain to collapse the Taliban. The sight of B-52 bombers cutting figure eights in the sky as they dropped tons of precision weapons in direct support of elite JSOC teams mirrored exactly how we thought fire support would evolve in the future. In subsequent years, JSOC’s remarkable use of surveillance and intelligence collection technology serves as an analog for how a conventional AAN force might operate some day.
A second, unlikely, player is Russia. Putin’s Little Green Men mirror our ideas with remarkable fidelity. In the Crimea, Ukraine and Syria Russia put in the field interdependent, information-enabled, dismounted small units built around a fighting elite composed of GRU Spetsnaz, Naval Infantry, and other Special Forces. The Russians employ electronic warfare, information operations, drones and disinformation in a remarkably creative, capable and cost-effective manner. An AAN-like approach to tactical warfare allows Putin to match limited tactical actions to a similarly limited strategic end, with very little loss of Russian life.
The third player is the Marine Corps. In 2003, I wrote Yellow Smoke. At the time it was a compendium of all my thoughts about AAN. It had an immediate impact within the Corps. A succession of senior Marine leaders, from Mike Hagee to James Mattis and now Robert Neller, have studied and successfully applied many of the lessons of the book in combat and in subsequent field experiments. The Marines continue their interest in an AAN-like force as evidenced by their recent adoption of several new ideas contained in my follow-on book, Scales on War. Their success applying tenets of AAN are too numerous to recount here. Suffice it to say that the soul of AAN may have started out in the Post-Cold War Army, but it resides today in the Marine Corps.
What about the Army? I’m optimistic. To be sure, future-gazers inside the Army’s training establishment are still wedded to wars on the plains of Europe, and Russian actions in Ukraine give them full reason to re-refocus there. But according to the Army’s latest concept, Multi Domain Battle, future war on land has come to embrace much more than Patton’s armored phalanxes. The Army is increasingly aware that wars will continue to consist of interdependent layers of complexity that demand new approaches.
Many in the Army agree that land war will continue to move into the third dimension and that it will embrace many more interdependent components from a multitude of services and functions. The Army has accepted the fact that America’s demand for nearly bloodless wars will require land forces to win cheaply by finding and killing our enemies at a distance.*The sad images of soldiers suffering from wartime trauma reinforce our notions that soldiers can be made better and more resilient through practical application of the human sciences.
I believe the validity of an idea strengthens as it conveys over time. We must gain some confidence in the fact that many of today’s emerging ideas have clearly defined antecedents. Please look a bit closer at these ideas. Perhaps you will see that the art of war changes slowly. But as it changes, it leaves behind distinct markers that have already been discovered — discovered by a remarkable group of visionaries who, at a magical time in our history two decades ago, anticipated much of what we see today and surely much of what is to come.
Last edited by buglerbilly; Today at 05:38 AM.