Academic journal article Military Review

University after Next

Academic journal article Military Review

University after Next

Article excerpt

University After Next

THE YEAR IS 2014. An Army After Next (AAN) commander of US forces will deploy to restore order over a wide area. A major military competitor is threatening to use, force against a chief regional power. A rugged, forested terrain, a heavily populated seaboard and a confusing multitude of potential opponents ranging from irregular militia bands to regional states'' regular army forces characterize this area of responsibility (AOR).

For the first time since the Soviet Union's fall, a regional turmoil aggravates the crisis. This competi- tor may be bankrolling sophisticated computer hackers who seek to foster chaos in the area of operation (AO) by attacking regional commercial and government computers, as well as the US forces' command, control, communications, computers, and information (C4I) systems. Then again, the paymaster for the cyber terrorists might be the regional drug syndicate.

Each of these asymmetrical threats would be glad to see US forces sucked into the coastal urban centers, where US strengths in firepower, sensors and information technology (IT) could be negated, and where the potential of casualties and clashes with the indigenous population is high. Worse still, the current crisis erupted unexpectedly. A major political scandal in the chief regional power, the worst weather since the early 1700s, the collapse of regional markets and the determination of criminal cartels to strike back against international crackdowns on arms and drug trafficking aggravate the crisis. The major military competitor is threatening to use force against the chief regional power.

US forces, while well trained, require additional gunnery and maneuver training at a Combat Training Center (CTC) to execute the peace enforcement mission that the National Command Authorities have handed to the commander. His forces must deploy to, and operate in, a volatile environment against diverse threats and challenges in an exceptionally fluid political setting. The staff must ensure that all deploying units receive appropriate training. Meanwhile, they must coordinate with theater command for the host nation support needed for the reception, staging and onward movement integration and follow-on logistic support for the force.

Fortunately, the command possesses unprecedented physical speed and precision and can apply that physical superiority because it knows what it needs to know more quickly and fully than its opponents.

It possesses the ability to decide and act with uncanny versatility, speed and effectiveness. The "knowledge speed" derives from the interplay between available technology and the quality, skill and confidence of the soldiers.

As the commander moves to conduct an incountry reconnaissance, the units begin certification at their respective home stations. In the interim, units complete training and gunnery certification in preparation for overseas movement, including preparation of replacements. Upon the commander's return, ft units will begin a cycle of mission rehearsals in simulation. Had there been more lead time, the CTCs would have tailored rotations focused on the social, political and military realities in the AOR, allowing units to be certified on mission-essential tasks. The deployment timetable is too short for that--deploying forces must rely on simulation-based training for their final tuneup. As the commander returns, units are completing the packing and preparation for movement to air and sea terminals.

As the final preparation progresses, key headquarters move to local training areas and set up in tactical configuration on wireless local area networks. Calls to the University After Next (UAN) when the unit received its warning order resulted in alert of the Battle Command Training Program's (BCTP's) Team Delta. The team immediately began working with planners of the joint task force (J that will serve as higher headquarters to create a realistic exercise scenario to validate the campaign plan. …

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