Academic journal article Military Review

Structuring Division XXI

Academic journal article Military Review

Structuring Division XXI

Article excerpt

The Army XXI Division is designed to operate in an area significantly larger than that of the current AOE division. To operate successfully in this larger area, the division shapes the subordinate brigade fight with enhanced long-range lethal and nonlethal means supported by the benefits of information superiority. In this way, the division achieves optimal advantage before committing forces to decisive operations. This larger AO will dictate that the division commander employ subordinate unit capabilities throughout the battlespace.

ARMY XXI DIVISION represents the first step in the Force XXI process that will restructure the US Army to a capabilities-based force designed to dominate the 21 st-century battlefield across a broad spectrum ranging from high-intensity conflict to stability and support actions. This process will reshape the force by turning joint and Army long-term visions into reality through a disciplined, forwardlooking methodology. The measured pace of this change will allow us to move more efficiently along a glidepath toward the Army After Next (AAN) and beyond while maintaining readiness and meeting near-term contingencies.

The first step is harnessing the mental agility conveyed by applying information technologies. This is central to the Army XXI Division concept. The next step-AAN-will merge Division XXI's mental agility with physical agility achieved through revolutionary developments from new technologies, organizations and concepts. Another important Division XXI design feature is the seamless incorporation of the Reserve Components. As the 4th Infantry Division transitions to the Division XXI design, it will become an integrated division containing Active, US Army National Guard and US Army Reserve soldiers and units. This article provides a brief overview that introduces Division XXI operational and organizational concepts and highlights specific features of the new organizational designs.

Operations and Organizational Concept

The Army XXI Division provides the joint force commander (JFC) a flexible, combined arms force optimized for offensive operations. The division conducts distributed operations facilitated by information superiority to destroy enemy forces and seize and retain terrain. Additionally, the division will be capable of conducting a full range of stability and support actions in a joint and multinational environment. The operations and organizational (O&O) concept will provide a highly lethal, survivable and maneuverable division against conventional and asymmetrical threats. This combined arms team takes advantage of increased situational understanding to employ its enhanced assets at the right time and place. The enhanced capabilities that make the Army XXI Division significantly different follow:

* Superior situational understanding allows maneuver forces to move to points of positional advantage with greater speed and precision. This enables the division to avoid enemy strengths and to combine the effects of direct and indirect fires to seize and retain terrain or to destroy enemy forces.

* Increased lethality results from superior situational understanding, in particular, improved target acquisition and tracking, coupled with improved indirect-fire munitions and more lethal attack helicopters. These modernized targeting and attack systems' greater lethality enables the division to conduct both shaping and decisive actions more effectively.

* Velocity management and total asset visibility give logisticians operating under the centralized combat service support (CSS) system the tools to improve the effectiveness of support to the division and to accomplish it with fewer CSS personnel.

* Improved connectivity to joint forces enables the division to bring the full weight of the joint team to bear at the appropriate time and place to facilitate distributed operations.1

Distributed operations, as opposed to the deep, close and rear battlefield framework, "consist of those activities and functions executed throughout the height, width and depth of an area of operations designed to accomplish the assigned mission. …

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