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We will not have room for specialists. We must develop a team that plays both ways, a team that is scrappy and willing to perform many missions, a team that is versatile and agile.

                                              General Frederick M. Franks, Jr.

Training and preparation for peace operations should not detract from a unit's primary mission of training soldiers to fight and win in combat. The first and foremost requirement for success in peace operations is the successful application of warfighting skills. Peace operations are not a new mission and should not be treated as a separate task to be added to a unit's mission-essential task list (METL). However, units selected for these duties require time to train and prepare for a significant number of tasks that may be different from their wartime METL. The amount of training required and when the training is given will depend on the particular peace operation mission. However, the philosophy used to determine the how much and when training questions for operations other than war can be summed up as just enough and just in time.


Most facets of normal military operations apply to peace operations, particularly personal discipline. However, peace operations require an adjustment of attitude and approach. On the other hand, many facets of normal military training apply to peace operations.

To accomplish peace operations, individuals and units need training in various skills and techniques before deployment to change their focus from wartime to the unique demands placed on soldiers in peace operations. For example, in PK, soldiers may only use force in self-defense. The urgent need to deploy forces often precludes a complete and lengthy training program. However, with prior planning, TSPs, MTTs, and CTCs can be used to assist commanders in preparing soldiers for these missions.

Many of the skills that enable a unit to accomplish its primary mission, such as intelligence and observation and reporting, apply in peace operations. Training to enhance these skills should be part of the predeployment training program.


An important aspect of training for a peace operations mission is to understand that the force is a potential target of foreign intelligence and terrorist activities.


Observing and reporting are the primary functions of a force involved specifically with PK. Individuals must be familiar with the standard reporting formats that include the following reports: situation, shooting, overflight, and aircraft sighting. Personnel should learn to recognize the aircraft, vessels, vehicles, dress, and equipment of all sides.

Learning to function properly in an observation post is essential. Small units must learn the typical layout of an observation post and checkpoint, as well as the general daily duty routine at an observation post. A unit may live and work at an observation post for days at a time, isolated from its parent organization.


Time required to train units selected for peace operations varies according to the complexity of the mission and unit. For planning purposes, units require from 4 to 6 weeks of specialized training. To be effective, the unit has to tailor its entire training methodology toward the tasks required. The unit training program will depend on whether the primary mission is PK or PE.


Key subjects that should be included in unit training for PK missions are--

  • The nature of PK.

  • The establishment of lodgments.

  • The performance of relief in place.

  • Regional orientation.

  • Establishment of a buffer zone.

  • Supervision of a truce or cease-fire.

  • The monitoring of boundaries.

  • Contributions to maintenance of law and order.

  • Negotiating skills.

  • Mine and booby trap training and awareness.

  • Assistance in rebuilding of infrastructure.

  • Checkpoint operations.

  • Investigation and reporting.

  • Information collection.

  • Patrolling.

  • Media interrelationships.

  • Staff training.

  • Demilitarization of forces and geographical areas in a permissive environment.

  • ROE.


In addition to those subjects required for PK, subjects that should be included in unit training for PE operations are--

  • Fighting a meeting engagement.

  • Conducting movement-to-contact and search and attack.

  • Performing air assault.

  • Enforcing UN sanctions.

  • Protecting the human rights of people.

  • Protecting humanitarian relief efforts.

  • Separating warring factions.

  • Disarming belligerent parties of heavy offensive weapons.

  • Restoring territorial integrity.

  • Restoring law and order.

  • Demilitarizing forces and geographical areas in a nonpermissive environment.

  • Opening secure routes.

  • ROE.

  • Civil-military operations.

  • Control of multinational units.

  • Intelligence fusion and dissemination

  • NGO operations.

  • Multinational logistics.

  • PSYOP.

  • Intercultural communication.

  • Raids, attacks, and defense

The entire chain of command must develop a different mind set than that required for fighting wars. Nevertheless, the force must always be prepared to protect itself or conduct combat operations. Examples of in-country premission, PK, and TOE mission training material can be found in the XVIII Airborne Corps SOP for Support of MFO in the Sinai. In addition, commanders may wish to consider PA media training for the chain of command and soldiers.


Leader development may be the single most important factor in achieving success. Peace operations require skill, imagination, flexibility, adaptability, and patience. Emphasis during training must be placed on developing these leadership skills, as well as knowledge of the cultures involved in the operation.


Individual training for peace operations duties should emphasize the personal characteristics of patience, flexibility, self-discipline, professionalism, impartiality, tact, and inquisitiveness. These characteristics have connotations that may be unique in a peace operations environment.


Patience is an important characteristic for individuals in all peace operations. Negotiations often produce results slowly and time may seem to stand still. Training should help soldiers adjust their expectations to the circumstances surrounding their mission.


The credibility of a force involved in peace operations can be significantly damaged by unprofessional activities, both on and off duty, which in turn can affect its relationship with the parties in the conflict. All members of the force must be knowledgeable and trained in all aspects of the mission.


A force must guard against unequal treatment and avoid controversial, off-the-record remarks that may reach unintended audiences. These comments may lead to a demand for the offender's removal and, if reflecting a prejudice believed to be widely held in a national contingent, to pressure for the withdrawal of the entire national contingent.


The normal routine of daily life should become so familiar that soldiers notice even small events that could be of importance if matched with information from other observers. All personnel involved in peace operations must receive training on the customs of the local population and coalition partners.

Training should emphasize security and patrolling and the ROE that will apply to the operations. Individuals who staff checkpoints on major roads must be taught to slow and observe traffic without stopping it. This procedure will allow them to observe and report traffic passing from one zone to another.

Vehicles and personnel entering and exiting installations should be stopped and searched for contraband and explosives. Personnel must learn not only how to search but also how to search courteously without undue force.


Once deployed, the force should be able to continue its mission training. Time permitting, the force may also train in items that require recurring emphasis such as common task training. Training may be restricted by an agreement among the parties in the conflict. However, once the force is formed, it may be possible to establish a schedule that enables the force to train on METL requirements on a regular basis.

Unit commanders should plan to conduct METL training when not actively involved in the peace operation. For a multinational and perhaps multilingual force to operate effectively, it must periodically train together. Although the commander and subordinate officers, regardless of nationality, must reconnoiter likely crisis points with discretion, they should perform training where it is unlikely to alarm the local population and the parties in the conflict.


Peace operations require a significant change in orientation for military personnel. Before the peace operations mission, training is provided to transition the wartime-ready individual to one constrained in most, if not all, actions. At the conclusion of the peace operation, certain actions are necessary to reorient the soldier to the unit's wartime METL. Commanders must allocate sufficient resources and time for training in order to achieve collective and individual standards required to meet the unit's primary warfighting mission.

Unit commanders must allow sufficient time and allocate sufficient resources after a peace operation mission for refresher training. This refresher training is for redeveloping skills and abilities that may have been unavoidably affected by the nature of the peace operation. This refresher will require a training program to hone skills necessary to return the unit to a wartime-ready status.

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