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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century 6 Technology Implications for Force Structure and Strategy INTRODUCTION The STAR Committee was formed to execute the three charges specified by the Assistant Secretary of the Army (RDA) in requesting the study: identify the advanced technologies most likely to be important to ground warfare in the twenty-first century; suggest technology strategies for the Army to consider in developing their full potential; and project, where possible, the implications of these technologies on force structure and strategy. There is ample precedent for the third charge in this request. Throughout history advancing technology has profoundly affected the structure of military forces and the conduct of war. The STAR Committee agrees that it is appropriate to consider not only the evolution of capability through technology but also the influence of new capabilities on future strategies for their use and on force structure requirements. However, the forecasting of future strategy and force structure consequences is at best an uncertain art. Background From past examples it appears that full evolution of strategy and tactics in response to capabilities enabled by new technology has sometimes taken a long time, often as long as several decades. Frequently, full adaptation to these new capabilities occurred only when the exigencies of combat forced exploitation of the new technologies.
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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century Yet in World War II and again in the recent conflict in the Persian Gulf, the United States relied heavily on recently introduced weapon systems. It adapted prevailing strategy to anticipate successful use of its new technology-based capabilities. In fact, the ability to use these new capabilities both strategically and tactically gave U.S. forces the dominance they enjoyed in the Gulf war. So it is not clear to the STAR Committee that the traditional delay in adapting military practice to newly introduced capability need be as long as it has been in the past. Another lesson of this recent war is that demonstrating the full military significance of new technology may prove vital to future deterrence and, if necessary, to future warfighting. In the past, lack of confidence in the military utility of new technology applications frequently delayed their introduction. Today, such uncertainties can be substantially ameliorated by highly realistic simulation programs and by scored field testing. Therefore, the STAR Committee believes that the Army's future strategies and force structure should be able to adapt much more quickly to technological opportunities. The delays in technology implementation may depend instead on the ability to bring these technologies quickly to the field. Levels of Technological Impact Many of the technologies and system applications reviewed by the STAR panels will require a time frame of a decade or two before their influence can be felt. The STAR Committee expects that major near-term changes to both military strategy and force structure are more likely to be forced by the profound changes now occurring in geopolitical and economic realities. Yet the Committee also believes that the near-term effects of these changes can be influenced substantially by prudent application of available and emerging technologies. Basic U.S. strategies and force structure probably will not change markedly over the next decades, just as they have not changed markedly over the past decades. Yet the STAR Committee does expect the details of both to change in response to new adversaries, to budgets, and eventually to the new technologies of greatest import, once these are fielded. For these reasons, the Committee has chosen to respond to the request that initiated STAR by discussing the significance of future technologies in two sections: expected near-term changes and expected long-term changes. The expectations for each time frame will first be treated separately. Then a common thread of conclusions will be presented at the end of this chapter.
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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century NEAR-TERM IMPACTS ON FORCE STRUCTURE AND STRATEGY The STAR Committee believes that factors like those outlined in Chapter 1—factors external to technological advances such as geopolitical changes and domestic economics—will be the dominant influences on force structure for a time horizon out to about 15 years (until about 2007). However, during this near term, new applications of current technologies can have important second-order effects. In particular, these new applications may be able to ameliorate some of the negative consequences of the political and economic factors and smooth out the ongoing transition in force structure. The STAR Committee concludes that the following nontechnological stimuli will have the greatest influence on U.S. force structure and strategy in the near term: the demands of new contingencies—the potential for sudden crises that involve diverse adversaries, resulting in rapidly implemented joint operations of U.S. forces; anticipation of enemy responses to the Persian Gulf—the responses of potential adversaries to the capabilities they see as responsible for the overwhelming U.S. victory in the Gulf; and The new political and economic situation—the combined effect of U.S. force reductions under the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, termination of basing rights elsewhere, domestic base closures, and continued budget pressure to reduce expenditures with delay, deferral, or cancellation of desired new Army capabilities. Each of these three stimuli will probably result in modifications to both Army strategies and force structure. In fact, at the time of this report, all the services are examining how best to proceed in this new environment. Emerging technologies can support this ongoing Army response in the following ways. The Demands of New Contingencies These new contingencies are likely to differ from the scenarios of the past four decades in terms of more rapid evolution and relative unpredictability of who the adversary will be, where the confrontation may occur, and what presence the United States will have in the area prior to the time the contingency arises. The United States probably will continue its successful two-tier strategy of rapid response
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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century with immediately deployable sea, land, and air forces, followed by sea-lifted heavy forces for assault of any large and heavily armored opponent. Technology should, in the near future, be able to augment execution of this durable strategy in the following ways: better rapid contingency battle planning through advanced computer capabilities; better logistics support for rapid deployment, through advanced automated planning; better and faster training for characteristics of the contingency area, through digital terrain modeling and computer-aided instruction on the capabilities and attitudes of the opposing force; provisioning of greater combat power to initially deployed forces through advanced antiarmor capabilities: LOSAT (line-of-sight antitank), AAWS-M (advanced antitank weapon system—medium), terminally guided MLRS (multiple-launch rocket system), and so on; greater interservice dependence to solve time-phased initial deployment deficiencies (such as electronic warfare) through the development of joint procedures and training programs; better use of available C3I (command, control, communication, and intelligence) information and IFFN (identification of friend, foe, or neutral), through better automated data fusion and application of software network control technologies; and improved concurrent joint battle operations through joint battle modeling, simulation, and training exercises. Each of these seven technology supplements to current strategy and force structure are discussed in Chapters 2 and 5. Anticipation of Enemy Responses to U.S. Successes in the Gulf Potential adversaries throughout the world are surely considering how best to obviate the conditions that allowed so dominating a success for U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf war. In turn, the Army must try to anticipate and obviate these counterstrokes. To win a war against the United States in the immediate future may not be a realistic consideration. However, other alternatives are open to a potential opponent. Perhaps the most straightforward way to deter the use of U.S. force is to vastly increase the probable casualty rate to U.S. forces, with the expectation that U.S. public opinion will not long support U.S. action in such a situation. The threat to use nuclear weapons
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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century on the battlefield—for example, by delivery from a tactical ballistic missile—could present a considerable problem to the United States and the Army. It would, in effect, reverse the roles with respect to the use of tactical nuclear weapons that the United States and the Soviet Union played in the past. Overwhelming conventional force was then held hostage to the threat of escalation to nuclear weapons as a last resort. Such a situation could occur in the future but with U.S. conventional forces playing the hostage. How realistic such a nuclear scenario will be depends on political agreements unforeseen at this time and is well beyond the scope of this STAR study. However, even using conventional munitions to put U.S forces at greater risk prior to a war still seems a more attractive alternative for a potential adversary than attempting to win a war of direct confrontation with U.S. forces. From this perspective, the following threats of high casualties, made possible by technology that will soon be widely available throughout the world, seem potentially advantageous to an adversary: urban guerilla attacks on U.S. troop installations, analogous to the attack on the Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, after which the attackers hide among the noncombatant population, so that U.S. forces will refrain from retaliation to avoid large numbers of noncombatant casualties; improved methods for use of chemical and biological warfare agents; low-flying cruise missiles to attack rear-echelon infrastructure; advanced, but available, tactical ballistic missiles capable of surmounting our current defenses; tanks with more recent technology than those used by Iraqi forces during the Persian Gulf war, as a means to avoid being outranged and outgunned; intense jamming of battlefield identification in hopes of causing excessive fratricide; and attacks on initially deploying U.S. forces before U.S. heavy forces can reinforce them. The STAR Committee suggests the following near-term programs as representative of responses necessary to counter the reactions of potential adversaries to U.S. successes in the Persian Gulf war: Implement as a top priority the ensemble of programs constituting the Soldier-as-a-System initiative proposed by the current Army R&D Master Plan. Include passive and active measures to defend against guerilla-
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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century style attacks in contingency wargaming and scenario analysis. Active measures include development of human intelligence assets, deception and misinformation activities, and other psychological operations directed against armed resistance fighters and their supporters. Weapons technology for noninjurious incapacitation will be needed to deal with opponents who use noncombatants or hostages as shields against retaliation with deadly force. Apply language training technology to reduce dependence on "friendly" foreign nationals for translation and, perhaps more importantly, for interpretation of an unfamiliar culture. Integrate real-time direct communication links between AWACS (airborne warning and control system) and Army low-altitude air defense elements to allow maximum use of Stinger, Chaparral, and Hawk for intercept of enemy cruise missiles. Consider adding rotary wing antiair protection of major logistic concentrations as a more effective way to protect against low-flying cruise missiles. Augment the lethality and engagement volume of Patriot to the greatest degree possible. Continue to support the SDIO (Strategic Defense Initiative Organization) program for theater air defense. Begin to shift the emphasis and positioning of Patriot force structure from air defense to anti-TBM (theater ballistic missile), and move toward greater dependence on Air Force aircraft for high-altitude air defense. Implement, where possible, greater stand-off range for existing U.S. direct-fire antiarmor systems (TOW, Hellfire, etc.). Introduce LOSAT, particularly to early-deployed forces. Focus technological effort on the "reduced difficulty" problem of unambiguous real-time IFFN by assuming continued U.S. air superiority and known (through the Global Positioning System) location of U.S. forces. This problem may be far more tractable than the more general IFFN problem dictated by the prior European scenarios, where air superiority was not assumed. Focus current technology on techniques for operationally acceptable bandwidth reduction of voice-actuated information to avoid circuit overload conditions similar to those experienced in the Gulf. Further, extend to the Army current commercial procedures and techniques for dealing with extreme peaking of circuit usage. In conclusion, the STAR Committee suggests a near-term Army strategy that assumes a vigorous attempt by potential adversaries to deny the United States the low-casualty successes of the Persian Gulf war. This strategy focuses the Army scientific community on coun-
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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century teracting such attempts. The STAR Committee further expects that eventual force structure changes will have to be made to counter these anticipated enemy responses. The New Political and Economic Situation The reduced resources expected in the next decade will obviously have direct effects on the force structure of the Army. The size of these reductions may be extreme when compared with the array of forces potentially at odds with future U.S. national interests. One method to accommodate some of the expected reductions in force structure will be to provide increased lethality to future ground forces. Another is to better use C3I for improved use of ground forces remaining after downsizing. Both of these options have been discussed at length in preceding chapters of this report. Another possibility with merit, despite its considerable organizational difficulties, would be for the services to consider a mutual ceding of functions that are now performed redundantly by several of them. The reductions in resources and the changes in the threat situation justify a close look at current allocations of missions and responsibilities to determine whether existing redundancies are still appropriate. Because U.S. forces are likely to be fighting opponents other than the Soviets, advantages will exist that could not be assumed under previous scenarios. As one example, U.S ground forces engaged in contingency warfare can expect to have overwhelming air superiority, whereas Warsaw Pact air power in the central European theater formerly outnumbered NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) planes. This and other differences in circumstances are great enough to justify a fresh look at effective ways to apportion responsibilities. A candidate for such treatment is high-altitude air defense, as mentioned above. Given the expectation of U.S. air superiority, the Army might gain by shifting forces from this area to other combat arms. Other candidates for consolidation are specific intelligence roles and electronic warfare assets. Pursuit of the current Project Reliance may well lead to these consolidation efficiencies, which in turn could lead to force structure strengthening. Other possible means to mitigate the consequences of cuts in Army force structure include technology-based actions. Each action suggested below is aimed at better distribution of remaining forces. (This list is only partial and suggestive of the possibilities.) A shift in balance between combat and support forces may be possible through a shift in Army technological emphasis and pro-
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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century curement practices from maximum operational performance to substantial reduction in the requirement for repair and maintenance. A focused reduction in the uniformed technology training base could also result from this reduced need to repair and maintain equipment in the field, particularly if combined with far broader (and more economic) use of civilian ''technical representatives'' for first-level technological support to combat troops. Procedures for ordering from the field could be substantially automated, similar to the automated inventory management now widely used in the private sector. LONG-TERM IMPACT OF TECHNOLOGY ON FORCE STRUCTURE AND STRATEGY Although the immediate changes in the Army's force structure and strategy will be driven largely by the previously discussed external political and economic factors, the STAR Committee foresees technology exerting a far greater influence in the longer term. The Committee expects that technology will reinforce the trend toward a smaller but more capable and highly transportable force. It presents here six significant effects that advanced technology may well have on force structure and strategy during the last decade of the STAR 30-year forecast horizon. Some of these effects are continuations from factors that were reviewed above for the near term. Others will result from technologies that will first become accessible to the Army in the longer term. The following long-term consequences of technology for force structure will be discussed: augmented information superiority; flexible, multiple-tier force structure for combat power and deployment; integrated defense against next-generation air threats; evolving role of rotary wing capability; support and maintenance allocations; and training scope and methodologies. Augmented Information Superiority Winning the information war in future combat contingencies will remain as vital as it has always been in the past. U.S. success in the Persian Gulf is a compelling example of the benefits of such an information "victory." The STAR Committee believes it should be a
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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century dominant strategy of the Army to win the future information war and to take the steps necessary to do so. The Army's military strategy must continue to use superiority in information management to allow superior maneuver of its forces and the application of overwhelming force against the opponent. The Army must therefore commit to the force structure and architecture necessary to achieve information superiority. In future wars, however, the advantages of the United States in information technology may not be anywhere near as complete as was true in the Persian Gulf war. The Army needs to continue focusing on how to extend its information capabilities, both in anticipation of improved opposition capability and as a way to mitigate expected force structure reductions. Space assets may well be available to our potential adversaries, either by their direct ownership or by arrangements with friendly noncombatants. In addition, the adoption by other nations of stealth techniques for air vehicles, which the STAR Committee anticipates will occur, may allow opposition air reconnaissance despite overall U.S. air supremacy. Application of low-observability techniques to rear support areas and assets can make such air reconnaissance more difficult and less rewarding for an enemy. Human intelligence gathering, deception and misinformation operations, and psychological operations can all be exploited in contingency situations if the requisite force elements for them are trained and available. Even so, the new communication and sensor technologies forecast by the STAR panels offer the Army an unusually fine chance to extend its information lead rather than lose it. To do so, the Army will need to extend and broaden both the technology and the flow of information in two organizational directions. First, information capability and the information itself must move downward within the Army's own structure, so that even the smallest fighting units have a broad base of externally derived information. Second, information availability must extend upward to provide a greater participation in the future integration of all service and national intelligence sources. For the downward, internal expansion of information availability within all elements of the Army, an architectural conformity must be imposed beyond what now exists. This architectural commitment will be reflected in the designs of all future new weapon systems and C3I programs. For the upward expansion, each service, including the Army, will probably have to accept less-than-optimum performance of its intelligence information systems, when viewed solely in terms of service-
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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century specific mission requirements, in favor of improving the integration of all these systems. The STAR Committee believes that the combination of reduced resources and increased cost of new reconnaissance systems will force all of the major participants into more cooperative planning for the intelligence systems of the future. Because the Army will continue to be the principal battlefield user of real-time intelligence, the Committee recommends that it seek to lead (as it has done in Project Reliance) this future architectural integration of intelligence capabilities. So far this discussion of information superiority has focused on electronic intelligence, as did the description of systems concepts in Chapter 2. Another side of the information war is human intelligence, or HUMINT, in which U.S. forces do not have the degree of overwhelming superiority they enjoy in the "high-tech" aspects of intelligence. In certain kinds of contingency operations—low-intensity or guerilla warfare, for example—this relative weakness in HUMINT could prove deadly. For example, the intelligence war fought in the Persian Gulf in 1991 was an electronic war, and an entire reinforced Marine division suffered 24 killed in action. By contrast, the earlier contingency operation in Lebanon was much more of a HUMINT intelligence war, and in that operation a single reinforced Marine company had 239 killed in action. Certainly, many factors entered into these two disparate outcomes. But the contrast does underscore that HUMINT will remain important even in a "high-tech" Army. With respect to force structure, two points are worth noting: When U.S. forces are deployed to a foreign setting, specialists who speak the indigenous language(s) and understand the culture should accompany both combat and support units. U.S. forces should not rely solely on indigenous allies to provide all translation and interpretation. To provide this force component, the Army should investigate technology for more rapid acquisition of language skills and cultural training. Flexible Multitier Force Structure for Combat Power and Deployment Army discussions in progress are recasting the strategy and force structure necessary to respond to potential threats and to the budget constraints on overall size of the force structure. These discussions appear to be focusing on a multiple-tier level of forces, ranging from
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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century very light forces appropriate for Special Forces and "first-in" major contingency assignments, to "next-in," air-transportable medium forces, to the ''later-in," heavier, sea transportable forces needed for assault of opposition heavy-armored forces. Of these three tiers, the light and heavy forces will more closely resemble their present-day counterparts with respect to deployability, logistics support requirements, and relative scale of weapons systems. Of course, new technology will enhance their C3I/RISTA, combat power and mobility, and air/missile defense capabilities far beyond their current counterparts, but their force structure characteristics will evolve naturally as the technology evolves. For the middle tier, however, new conceptions of force structure must be forged, along with the technology and systems to support them. These medium forces will be rapidly deployable by air transport, but they must also be able to hold ground against heavy armor until heavy forces can be inserted. (Support from Air Force and Navy elements would, of course, be essential in this capability.) To build the middle tier, the offensive and defensive capabilities of current air-transportable forces will have to be substantially augmented. Another approach is to "lighten up" current armored or mechanized forces to the point that they meet the constraints on deployability and logistics. In practice, both approaches will probably be needed if sufficient strength in these medium forces is to be attained. The basic principle underlying the medium force concept is simply the requirement to concentrate forces in space and time, applied in a context of rapid response to a range of potential ground warfare contingencies located far from bases in the continental United States. These medium forces will characterize the general-purpose Army of the future. Fortunately, many of the advanced technology opportunities forecast by the STAR panels can be applied to systems needed by this middle tier. Among the many examples are smart munitions for attacking hard targets; lighter, stronger, tougher materials designed for demanding applications; hybrid propulsion systems whose basic components can be used in many vehicle types and platforms; and robot vehicles for RISTA or "intelligent" missile and mine warfare. In short, the situation demands it, and the technology supports doing it. Although it is convenient to think in terms of three distinct tiers of force structure, these tiers cannot become fixed in rigid organizational hierarchies. The potential variety of contingency operations, combined with constraints on total force size, requires the flexibility to allocate forces as needed for a particular contingency. In time, the technologies examined by the STAR study can support this flexibil-
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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century ity. Among the potential applications, the following seem particularly important to the STAR Committee: the ability, through advanced computational techniques, to plan rapidly for flexible detachment or attachment of combat elements from one organization to another; in addition, through these same technologies, to plan and implement proper logistics support of these rearranged combat elements; and the ability for realistic training, through advanced remote simulation techniques, of the flexible combat structures just described. In the preliminary STAR management panel discussions with retired senior military commanders, there was considerable insistence on this organizational flexibility. By enabling, in principle, training through remote simulation and planning for deployment and sustainment, advanced computer and display technology may well make possible a "mix and match" of forces to the task at hand that serves the Army's purposes better than the traditional permanent structure, which evolved when movement was less easy. As an example, if conditions were extreme enough, the air-transportable combat power of normally sea-lifted divisions (MLRS, rotary wing aircraft, etc.) might in an emergency be transported by air and attached to the divisional structures of elements already on line. They could be reattached to their parent upon its later arrival in theater. In this way, a base of medium forces could be augmented with "extractions" from heavy forces. Integrated Defense Against Next-Generation Air Threats The air threat to U.S. ground forces may well become increasingly diverse and lethal beyond 2010. By then it may no longer be possible to rely on the overwhelming air superiority achieved during the Persian Gulf war. In addition, advanced tactical ballistic missiles of considerable capability may well be available to any opponent with the resources to buy them. The STAR Committee believes that the Army must develop a strategy, and eventually a force structure, to contend with these prospective capabilities of potential opponents. Since none of the current capabilities of the Army (or the Air Force for that matter), nor their immediate extensions, can be expected to cope with these prospective threats, this effort will not be trivial. Not since 1864, when Sherman detached himself from his logistics base at Atlanta and marched to the sea, has a modern army been able
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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century to sustain itself for long without a large fixed base of operations. Unfortunately, for the contingency operations currently contemplated, these logistics lodgements may have to be especially concentrated. This concentration of logistics capability will be an important future vulnerability, unless a method can be found to contain the threat from stealthy air breathers and high-performance tactical ballistic missiles. Application of low-observable technology to support assets will be one necessary line of defense. Another will be active countermeasures to incapacitate or destroy attacking aircraft and missiles. The STAR Committee expects that, within a decade, well-financed opponents will have procured cruise missiles and aircraft that use at least first-generation stealth techniques. By the latter part of the STAR time horizon, advanced forms of low-observability probably will have proliferated widely. In addition, within a decade a broader proliferation of advanced tactical ballistic missiles can be expected, perhaps including decoys or re-entry maneuverability, to make their engagement more difficult. As a further force structure consideration, the diverging requirements for successful defense against both low-cross-section, air-breathing systems and long-range, high-speed ballistic systems probably will mean that a single system, with its accompanying crew, cannot continue to satisfy both requirements, as the basic Patriot has done. Two distinct systems, with their separate force structure requirements, probably will be required for success in both of these defense missions. A technological solution to all these threats will require systems not currently available and a networked architecture, which is not yet implemented, for early detection, weapon assignment, and intercept. The extended battle zone for these kinds of engagements will also require internetting of capabilities resident in all three services as well as those in the national information community. To date, there does not seem to be adequate attention within DOD to this severe stealthy-threat problem. The STAR Committee suggests (1) that the Army, as the service potentially most affected, lead the effort to define a program; (2) that the Army plan for the eventual implementation of a force structure to support this needed defensive capability; and (3) that low-observable technology be applied to concentrated support assets, as another means of decreasing their vulnerability to at least some modes of attack. The SDIO and its deputate for Theater Missile Defense are pioneering a new range of system elements aimed at defense against ballistic missiles. As noted in the discussion of air and missile de-
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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century fense in Chapter 5, the focus of SDIO work has shifted from defense against a massive nuclear strike to tactical and theater air defense. The Army has now been assigned major elements of their program, especially those most applicable to future tactical air defense. The Army should encourage and support these SDIO programs, both with its best talent and in congressional testimony. Overall, however, the Army needs to think through its future focus in air defense and chart a course for its undertaking. The Evolving Role of Army Rotary Wing Capability In the view of the STAR Committee, rotary wing components of the Army force structure are likely in the far future to perform much less scouting but more heavy-lifting roles. Helicopters will almost surely continue to be used in some gunship roles and for inserting infantry and special operations forces into enemy rear areas. The STAR Committee anticipates that in the far future the scouting role can be adequately performed by UAVs, which offer better survival against strengthened enemy air defenses without risking crews and expensive man-rated machines. The substantial obstacles to developing low-observable rotary wing vehicles, and their probably considerable cost, are further arguments for a long-term emphasis on UAV development and implementation of the force structure to support UAV operations. Because of both cost considerations and increasing enemy air defenses, the STAR Committee sees the proposed LH helicopter as perhaps the last generation of manned rotary wing scouts. Augmented heavy-lift capability by rotary wing aircraft will be needed in many contingency areas where road and air base infrastructure may not be available. V/STOL (vertical/short takeoff and landing) substitutes for heavy-lift rotary wing systems appear feasible but expensive. In this sense, perhaps, there will be an eventual exchange of force structure assignments within the Army air community. Support and Maintenance Requirements For reasons of both cost and effectiveness, the Army of the future will probably radically downsize its force structure for logistics support in handling consumables and for repair and maintenance. Small numbers of cost-effective smart weapons will inevitably replace large quantities of dumb steel, as affordability techniques allow their procurement. Trends in civilian industry toward improved product
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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century durability and reliability will lead to lower repair and maintenance needs for Army platforms. This, too, will permit downsizing of the associated force structure element. The STAR Committee also predicts that civilian contractors working as technical representatives will increasingly replace Army repair and maintenance personnel because of the substantial cost savings involved. The cost effectiveness of using contractors, whose productive working careers are several times longer than their uniformed counterparts, appears to the Committee to be eminently sensible for the expected period of reduced resources. As a strategy, the Army should attempt to emulate the civilian world in its push to increase product reliability and durability and at the same time radically reduce repair and maintenance costs. Training Scope and Methodologies As previously noted, improved training will continue to be one of the best ways to improve the efficiency of deployed forces. The Army needs to be continually seeking methods to improve its training capability. The STAR Committee has a suggestion concerning force structure in this area that may address several problems at once. As stateside forces increase, because of reduced overseas basing, and as cost pressures simultaneously force stateside base closures, there may be merit in diverting some returning force elements into experimental test units. These units could have a role—similar to that of the permanent Navy VX squadrons—in performing both operational and development evaluations. New tactical concepts and prototypes of new weapon systems could be evaluated by these units if they are based at or near existing Army development and test sites. The cost effectiveness of these tactical evaluations would be increased by interaction with progressively more sophisticated simulation technology. The combat readiness of these detached units need not be appreciably reduced, for they can participate in remote, networked simulations and wargames. They can also participate physically with their parent organization in maneuvers. Another major force structure implication of the Army's advanced technology for training is its potential role in reconstituting a full-strength fighting force should the need arise. Just as careful planning for use of commercial components and subsystems can provide important surge capacity in a sudden mobilization of U.S. military production capacity, so the steady attention to improved, automated
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STAR 21: Strategic Technologies for the Army of the Twenty-First Century methods of training reservists and new recruits can provide the surge capacity to increase total force structure. Among the lessons to be learned (or reinforced) from the Gulf war are two that relate to the training of reserve forces: Both the training of reserve combat forces and the technology used in that training need improvement. Networked computer simulations, which allow units at remote locations to "train" and wargame with active forces, are one approach to be actively pursued. Software for a battle control language, described in Chapters 2 and 4, will add detail and realism to these training simulations. The existing emphasis on moving specialty areas to the reserves while retaining combat forces as active units should be strengthened. The National Guard and the Reserves are an ideal situation for specialties that depend on skills and understanding gained over time. Combat, on the other hand, places a premium on the straightforward physiological attributes, such as strength, sensory acumen, and physical endurance, possessed by younger soldiers in active units. A continuing commitment to improve the training of total Army personnel, reserves and actives alike, and the technology used in that training, will not only improve existing Army forces but also create the capacity to "surge" production of well-trained soldiers in a wider emergency.
Representative terms from entire chapter: