Future Army







The Future
of the Army

 

What Is The
Future Of The Army?

Transformation is one
of the hot buzzwords.
We all know the world
is different than it
was during the Cold
War. For you youngsters,
this was when the US
and USSR were facing
off and hoping that
WWIII wasn’t next.

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The world is more complex
now. Many places kept
the lid on out of fear
that their local problems
would be the spark that
led to WWIII. Without
that fear, many of those
old issues were allowed
to blaze into fire again.
Improvements in communication
can help a crisis somewhere
rapidly spin into a
crisis there and somewhere
else also. These same
improvements in communication
allow the public to
hear about these problems
quickly, and demand
an immediate response
to a random selection
of these.

For WWIII the US Army
was built into a very
powerful force of heavy
armored units with firepower
that outclasses the
vaunted Panzer divisions
of WWII by an order
of magnitude.

Transformation is the
process of turning those
heavy armored forces,
called the legacy force,
and the more specialized
units that worked with
them, into something
more suited to the current
and future situation.
Units in the intermediate
force, such as the Stryker
Brigades, are lighter
and easier to move,
and require fewer supplies
in combat. The new units
are less armor and more
infantry centered and
are more suitable for
fighting in built up
areas like towns and
cities. These forces
sacrifice firepower
to get this increase
in mobility and agility,
and expect to use legacy
forces and aircraft
to provide that firepower
when it is needed. Greater
use of electronics and
computers will increase
the situational awareness
of units, which is their
ability to know the
key facts about themselves,
the terrain and enemy
in real time.

Not all of this change in the future of the Army
is technological. A
standard armored division
of the 90s would have
more than twenty thousand
men and would require
additional forces for
support. Smaller units
would not have all of
the things needed to
fight independently.
The new organization
is modular and brigades
of a few thousand will
have everything they
need in order to operate
by themselves.

Nor is all of this
in the future. Concepts
which were being developed
for employment over
the next decade have
instead begun fielding
in Iraq and units are
currently reorganizing
to change the mix of
units, getting rid of
types which are available
in excessive numbers
such as field artillery
and air defense to allow
the creation of more
units such as military
police, which are in
short supply.

Some of the concepts for the future of the Army
have proven to be the
wrong direction and
are being dropped. Battery
technology has not improved
as was hoped; so much
of the electronic gear
that was to be on each
soldier has been dropped.
Other gear will be issued
to only a percentage
of soldiers instead
of all.

The goal is to transition
to the objective force,
one which will use technologies
which are being developed
now to provide powerful
advantages and allow
even smaller forces
to outmaneuver and destroy
less capable enemy forces.

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