Asymmetric Warfare Group (AWG)
"Think. Adapt. Anticipate."
The mission of the Asymmetric Warfare Group (AWG) is to provide observation, analysis, training, and advisory support to Army and Joint Force unit's in order to enhance their capabilities to predict, mitigate, counter, and defeat asymmetric threats and methods. The AWG is designed to improve the asymmetric warfare capabilities of the US Army at the operational and tactical levels throughout the full spectrum of conflict. The AWG enhances the capabilities of US units by making them faster and more adept at identifying and attacking enemy vulnerabilities, and by preparing them for a broader spectrum of threats.
The shoulder sleeve insignia, approved on 16 October 2006 consists of a black circular device edged with a black border, with a red horizontal arrow, pointing to the left. The circle represents the AWG's worldwide operations. Black denotes the unknown nature of future threats. The arrow alludes to the archer who took the battlefield from 2 to 3 dimensions in early warfare. It also signifies the Indian Wars, one of the first asymmetric threats the United States Army faced. Red symbolizes aggressive action. The position of the arrow, pointing forward when worn on the uniform sleeve, suggests forward vision, thinking, and action.
The distinctive unit insignia, approved on 16 October 2006, consists of a circular gold metal and enamel device consisting of a black circle surmounted in the center by a Native American symbol for coyote track, 4 rectangles in a cross-shaped position. The black circle represents the unknown future threats of the world. The coyote track symbolizes cunning and resourcefulness. Legend suggests the coyote tricked the learner into the lesson, giving the notion that things are not as they seem, until the lesson is completed and the wisdom gained.
The US Army announced the decision to create the Asymmetric Warfare Group in late 2004, at which time it was referred to as the Asymmetric Warfare Regiment. The Army began actively forming the unit in 2005, and the unit was formally activated in 2006 as a part of the Army Asymmetric Warfare Office, the Army Vice Chief of Staff subsequently directed the reassignment of the AWG to the 20th Support Command (CBRNE).
As of September 2008, consisted of a Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment and 4 squadrons. A and B Squadrons were operational squadrons, tactical and technical respectively. These elements supported tactical, operations, and theater units with deployed advisory teams. C Squadron was the unit's selection and training element, handling training and assessment of AWG members, as well as providing linkages to service and joint training entities. D Squadron was responsible for concepts integration, including the identification, development, and integration of countermeasure tactics, techniques, and procedures, as well as technologies. The unit also deployed liaison teams to geographical combatant commands and maintained a Asymmetric Warfare Action Center (the unit's S2/S3) to provide fused operational and intelligence support to deployed AWG teams.
By 2009, the unit had been designated as a special mission unit within the Army G-3/5/7, which continued to report through 20th Support Command, that provides operational advisory assistance to Army and Joint Force commanders, prior to and during unit deployments. The AWG also served as a change agent that provided key observations and advice to senior leaders on policy and resource decisions. The AWG consisted of soldiers, Department of the Army Civilians, and contractors, and had an authorized strength of 377 personnel as of 2009. Every member of the AWG was carefully selected for his or her unique attributes and operational experience using a nominative process and modified personnel management procedures.
As the AWG reached full operational capacity in September 2009, the Army expected to continue deploying AWG teams globally to assist in the transformation of Army units, enabling faster identification and targeting of enemy vulnerabilities. This would enhance the combat effectiveness of the operating force and enable the defeat of asymmetric threats in this era of persistent conflict. AWG teams deployed and sustained its forces worldwide to observe, assess, and analyze information about the evolving contemporary operating environment to include emerging asymmetric threats and effective countermeasures. These observations were then assessed and disseminated through globally-postured advisory assistance elements in support of Army and Joint Force commanders. The AWG also directly informed institutional Army elements to enhance their ability to meet the requirements of the existing and future operating environments. From this vantage point, the AWG was able to mitigate operational and tactical near-term risk by anticipating emerging and future asymmetric threats and enabling capability gap solution development. The AWG further assisted in the identification, development, integration, and transition of materiel and non-materiel solutions for both offensive and defensive countermeasures to emerging asymmetric threats through the Rapid Equipping Force's direct support relationship with the AWG.
The US Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) took over Asymmetric Warfare Office (AAWO) and the Fort Meade, Maryland-based Asymmetric Warfare Group on 11 November 2011.
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