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Armored Vehicle Identification: The Key To Survival
AUTHOR Major Charles R. Sherrill, USMC
CSC 1985
SUBJECT AREA Warfighting
                        EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
TITLE:  ARMORED VEHICLE IDENTIFICATION:  THE KEY TO SURVIVAL
I.  Purpose:   To  determine  training measures and  evaluation
procedures that will enable individual  Marines  and  anti-armor
crews to correctly  differentiate  between  friendly and hostile
armored vehicles.
II. Problem:  Although the Marine Corps possesses  modern armor
and anti-armor weapons,  Marines  are  not  properly  trained in
armored  vehicle identification.  The Marine Corps' training and
evaluation program for armored vehicle identification is grossly
deficient and virtually non-existent.
III.    Data:   With  the  world-wide  proliferation  of  armored
vehicles, identification  of  friend  or foe will be exceedingly
difficult.  The lethality or today's tank and anti-armor weapons
make  it essential  that  Marines  be  formally  and  frequently
evaluated in the  employment  of these weapons and their ability
to distinguish between friendly and enemy vehicles.  The US Army
has  conducted   extensive  research  on  the  organization  and
equipment  of  both  friendly  and hostile forces throughout the
world.   As a result, the US Army has developed an excellent and
comprehensive program for armored vehicle identification that is
available  to  the  Marine  Corps.   Guidance  and instructional
assistance must be provided to institute this program within the
Marine Divisions and in our MOS producing schools.   MCI courses
dealing with tanks and anti-armor  weapons  must  be updated and
expanded to reflect current data found in  the  Army's  program.
TAVSCs  must  be able to readily support the training  needs  of
requesting units.   In  turn,  officers  must  be  aware  of the
services available from  these  centers.   MCCRES must emphasize
armored vehicle identification by integrating training standards
and evaluation procedures into pertinent sections  of  Volume II
and V.  This would  allow  commanders  to  use  MCCRES as both a
formal and informal evaluation  tool and as a means of selecting
meaningful training objectives for inclusion into unit  training
plans.
IV.  Conclusion:   A  requirement  exists  for  a  comprehensive
armored  vehicle identification training and evaluation  program
to  improve  the individual's  and  crew's  ability  to  rapidly
distinguish between who is friend or foe, maximize survivability
of friendly forces, and produce long range distructive  fire  on
the enemy.
V.   Recommendations:  The   US   Army's   armored  vehicle
identification program  should be incorporated into the training
plans of Marine units and into the course curriculms of all
Marine Corps MOS  producing  schools.   Volume's  II  and  V  of
MCCRES,  that  address tanks and anti-armor weapons,  should  be
revised  to  provide commanders with a valid evaluation  program
and a means to select meaning training  objectives for inclusion
into unit training plans.  MCI programs concerning  this subject
must   be   up-dated   and   expanded.    Officers   and   staff
noncommissioned officers must be made aware of existing training
aid materials and services available to them through their local
TAVSC.
        ARMORED VEHICLE IDENTIFICATION:  THE KEY TO SURVIVAL
                               OUTLINE
Thesis: The Marine Corps must increase the individual's and crew's
        ability to rapidly distinguish between friend or foe by
        adopting or developing a comprehensive training and evaluation
        program for armored vehicle identification.
I.  Modern Armor Warfare
    A. High velocity guns and missiles
       1.  Dominate the battlefield
       2.  Destroy both enemy and friendly
    B. Mixed-Breed vehicles
       1.  Possessed by nations throughout world
       2.  Possessed by both enemy and friendly
    C. Modernization by U.S.M.C.
       1.  M1A1 Abrams tank
       2.  TOW II
       3.  Dragon
       4.  AT-4
II. Armored Vehicle Identification
    A. Little emphasis
       1.  Low priority item
       2.  No specific requirement
       3.  No program
    B. Schools
       1.  Lack of emphasis
       2.  No instructional guidance
       3.  Lack of training aids and materials
    C. Marine Corps Institute(MCI)
       1.  Deficient program
       2.  Outdated materials
       3.  Incomplete data
    D. MCCRES
       1.  Vehicle identification unaddressed
       2.  Lack of training goals
       3.  Lack of evaluation standards
III. Courses Of Action
    A. U.S. Army Program
       1.  U.S. armor warfare expert
       2.  Program readily available to U.S.M.C.
       3.  Numerous instructional materials/references
       4.  ARTEP/Soldier's Manual emphasize vehicle I.D.
       5.  ARTEP is Army's version of MCCRES
    B. U.S.M.C. Program
       1.  Duplication of Army's program
       2.  Requires development
       3.  Continuous updating required
       4.  Costly
IV.  Solution
    A. U.S. Army's vehicle identification program
       1.  Established
       2.  Inexpensive
    B. Schools
       1.  Incorporate Army's program
       2.  Provide initial training
       3.  TAVSC support
    C. Marine Corps Institute (MCI)
       1.  Update vehicle identification course
       2.  Expand tank and anti-armor courses
    D. MCCRES
       1.  Revise tank and anti-armor courses
       2.  Incorporate ARTEP
       3.  Incorporate Soldier's Manual of Tasks-Skills
       ARMORED VEHICLE IDENTIFICATION:  THE KEY TO SURVIVAL
    The  Soviet  Union, all Soviet surrogate  armies,  and  most
third world countries have  continued  to  build  large  armored
forces.  Additionally,  vast technical improvements in armor and
anti-armor weapons  have  been  made over the last twenty years.
As  our  nation's  foremost   "force-in-readiness",  capable  of
immediate  deployment throughout  the  world,  Marines  must  be
prepared to fight a highly mobile and technically skilled enemy.
    With  the  worldwide  proliferation   of  armored  vehicles,
identification of friend or foe will be extremely difficult.  As
seen  from  the  1973  Arab-Israeli  War  and noting the current
state-of-the-art  of armor and anti-armor weapons,  the  armored
battlefield  of the future will be extremely violent, rapid, and
engagements will be conducted  at  long ranges.  The acquisition
of additional anti-armor assets and advances in the organization
and   employment   of  armor   and   anti-armor   weapons   have
significantly  improved  the  Marine  Corps' capability to fight
armored  forces.2  Although  the Marine Corps  possesses  modern
armor  and anti-armor weapons, Marines are not properly  trained
in  armored  vehicle  identification.   The  Marine  Corps  must
increase the indiviual's and crew's ability to rapidly
distinguish between friend or  foe  by  adopting or developing a
comprehensive  training  and  evaluation   program  for  armored
vehicle identification.
    Our  high  velocity  guns  and  missiles   are   capable  of
destroying the enemy, yet  can  just  as easily destroy friendly
forces  because  of  improper  vehicle identification.  This was
illustrated  during  the  1982  Israeli invasion  into  Lebanon.
Despite  the  professional  abilities  of  the  Israeli  armored
forces, two Israeli  tank  battalions  mistakenly  engaged  each
other in the Baka Valley.   A three hour tank battle was fought,
in  which, the Israeli's lost six tanks  and  had  a  number  of
crewmen killed or wounded.3
    Today  litterly  hundreds of different types and  models  of
tanks  and  armored  personnel carriers comprise armored vehicle
assets   of   forces  throughout  the  world.   These  numerous,
"mixed-breed"  forces,  possessed by both friendly  and  hostile
countries,   make   armored  vehicle  identification  even  more
difficult and  complex.   Vehicle  sales  to  developing nations
between  1974-1982  totaled over 12,000 tanks and nearly  20,000
armored personnel carriers.   The  leading  exporters  were  the
Soviet Union, other Warsaw Pact countries,  the  United  States,
France,  the  United Kingdom, other NATO countries, and  China.4
Over  the last several years the sale and  build-up  of  armored
assets have continued to  grow.5  Two clear examples of countries
possessing a "mixed-breed"  of  armored  vehicles are Israel and
Yugoslavia.  The  small  state  of  Israel  possesses over 2,000
tanks.  These tanks  are  the  American built M-48 and M-60, the
Soviet  built  T-54,  T-55,  T-62  and  PT-76,  the French built
AMX-13,  the  British  built  Centurion,  and  the Israeli built
Makava.  Yugoslavia,  a Soviet ally, possesses over 1,500 tanks.
These are the Soviet built T-34, T-54 and  PT-76,  the  American
built M-24 and M-47, and the French built AMX-13.6
    The Marine Corps'  modernization  program is placing current
state-of-the-art   anti-armor   weaponry   within   the   Marine
Division.  This  is  essential  to  engage  and  defeat  armored
forces, yet it also places the implied requirement on the Marine
Corps  of  ensuring  that  individual   Marines   can  correctly
distinguish  between  friend and  foe.   A  recent  Headquarters
Marine Corps decision will soon place  the  new M1A1 Abrams tank
in the tank battalion.7  Under testing and development  for  over
ten years, the M1A1 is the most modern tank in  the  world.  Its
120mm fin-stabilized kinetic energy round will destroy any known
tank, to include, the Soviet T-80.  The M1A1 can fire accurately
on the move at speeds in  excess  of 20 miles per hour.  This is
due  to  its  stabilized  gun  system and a technically advanced
track suspension.  Its thermal sight  permits target acquisition
and  engagement at night, through fog,  smoke,  and  dust.8  The
Marine  Corps  is  in  the  process  of  up-grading  all 144 TOW
launchers within each  division with the new TOW II.9  The TOW II
has  a six inch warhead and is capable of destroying  any  known
tank.   It   is equipped with a thermal sight that allows  target
engagement   at  ranges  up to 3,750 meters under day, night, and
inclimate weather conditions.    The  10836 infantry T/O places
288  Dragons  within  the  Marine Division.11   Organic  to  the
infantry  battalion,  the  Dragon  can  effectively  engage  and
destroy most armored targets out  to 1000 meters.  The Dragon is
undergoing an extensive product  improvement and testing program
that will increase warhead penetration  and permit day and night
tracking.12  A  new light anti-tank weapon, the Swedish AT-4, is
being tested as a replacement for the M-72 LAW.13  Theoretically,
every  infantryman  can  carry  one or two of these weapons into
combat.  The point is that a Marine  Division  will  soon have a
combined  total  of  430  tanks  and medium-to-heavy  anti-armor
weapons  with  ranges  varying  from  1,000  to   3,750  meters.
Additionally,  if  each  member  of  a  150 man infantry company
carried a LAW or AT-4, a Marine Division  could easily have over
4,000 men  carrying   this   light  anti-armor  weapon.   These
capabilities are  encouraging  if  one could be assured that all
weapons would be fired at hostile forces, but the ability of our
Marines to correctly  distinguish  between  friendly  and  enemy
armored vehicles is questionable.
    There  is  little  emphasis  in the Marine Corps  concerning
armored vehicle identification training and evaluation.  In
fact, no formal Marine Corps  program even exists.14  The same is
found  to  be  true  within the Marine Divisions.   No  specific
requirements are  levied  by  the  divisions on the regiments or
separate battalions with regard to this subject.  Staff officers
note  the importance of armored vehicle  recognition  but  state
that other training priorities and operational commitments  take
precedence.15,16
    Although company and battalion level instruction is given in
vehicle, equipment, and weapons identification, it is not a high
priority item.  With the  exception  of  the tank battalions, no
specific guidance  exists for the type of training requirements,
techniques of instructions, or materials available  to assist in
such instruction.  The task of instructing Marines in the proper
recognition of armored  vehicles  appears  to be the function of
the Battalion S-2 and interested company grade officers.17
    Officers  and  Staff  NCO's  have  difficulty  in  obtaining
adequate  quantities  of up-to-date  training  materials.   They
generally do not know the wide variety of materials available or
how  to  acquire  them.   The  most  frequently  used  reference
materials  at  the  battalion  and  company  level  are  Defense
Intelligence Agency publications and  U. S.  Army  How to Fight
Manuals.   The  Army manuals are usually acquired by students of
U. S. Army schools, such as, the U. S. Armor  School  at  Fort
Knox, Kentucky or the U. S. Infantry  School  at Fort Benning,
Georgia.  Officers and staff noncommissioned  officers generally
acquire their materials through the "Old-Boy"  network  and  not
through official Marine Corps or Army channels.18
    The  adoption  of  the  Marine Air-Ground Task Force (MAGTF)
concept   of   combined   arms   and   the   continuing  weapons
modernization  program  reflect  the Marine  Corps  emphasis  on
armored warfare.  Although tanks and various types of anti-armor
weapons  have  been in the Marine Corps since prior to World War
II, Marines are relatively new to the armored battlefield.  Only
after  the  Vietnam  War did Marines start actively training for
armored operations.   Today, Marine  Amphibious  Brigades (MABs)
frequently  deploy to the NATO arena for intensive training with
NATO forces.  An  armored  battlefield scenario is used for much
of this training which exposes  Marines  to virtually every type
of tank and armored personnel  carrier  in the NATO inventory.19
Additionally, in 1977  the Marine Corps Air-Ground Combat Center
at Twenty-Nine  Palms,  California,  consisting  of  932  square
miles,  was opened  for  mechanized  training.   At  Twenty-Nine
Palms,  mechanized task forces, of battalion and  brigade  size,
receive  realistic  and  extensive  "live-fire"  training  in  a
simulated  combat environment.  Also at Twenty-Nine  Palms,  the
Multiple Integrated  Laser  Engagement  System  (MILES) allows a
"non-fire"  training exercise to be conducted  where  mechanized
units engage each other  and receive an accurate score of kills,
etc.20  Both training scenarios are as realistic as one can get
without  actually  being  in  combat.   However, improper target
identification is noted to be a problem. 21,22
    After  graduation from recruit training, Marines are sent to
Marine Corps or other service schools to acquire their basic MOS
skills.  Tank crewmen (1811) are sent  to  the  U.S.  Army Armor
School  at  Fort  Knox,  Kentucky  where  they receive extensive
classes  on  armored vehicle identification.23   Marines assigned
an infantry MOS (03) attend Infantry  Training  School  at Camp
Lejeune,  North  Carolina  or Camp Pendleton,  California.   TOW
(0352) and Dragon (0351) crewmen receive three weeks of training
in their primary  MOS  of  which  only  two hours are devoted to
armored  vehicle   identification.   This  training,  which  was
developed by the schools,  is  basic  and  devotes  much  of the
instruction to armor vulnerabilities.   Basic infantrymen (0311)
receive six weeks of training in their various MOS skills.  Each
infantryman receives extensive training  in  firing  the LAW and
fires seven practice sub-caliber 35mm rounds and one "live" HEAT
round.  However, the basic infantryman receives no  training  in
target identification.24   The  point is that all Marines are not
receiving    the   necessary   training   in   armored   vehicle
identification.  Little or no guidance or training materials are
provided  to  the  Marine Corps schools.   This  same  situation
exists in the training of our officers and staff noncommissioned
officers.25  Not only do the officers and staff noncommissioned
officers need to be able to identify armored vehicles, but  they
must  know  where  to  find  readily  available  references  and
materials  to  conduct  meaningful  training programs within the
regular Marine Corps ground units.
    The Marine Corps Institute (MCI) has a course of instruction
for armor identification.  However,  the course is out-dated and
uses a 12 year old  Army  manual  (ST  193  FY73)  as  its basic
reference.26  Although  using  Army  training  extension courses
(TECs) as study guides, the course text needs  to be expanded to
offer a  greater  number  of armored vehicles.  Colored pictures
would also be appropriate and add a greater degree of realism to
an  essentially  dull and lackluster course of instruction.  MCI
also provides  courses  for  the  tank  and  anti-armor  weapons
(Dragon,  LAW,  TOW).  The Dragon course  devotes  17  pages  to
armored  vehicle  identification,  providing  students  with  an
adequate introduction into this subject.27  However, the LAW and
TOW courses provide only  a basic knowledge of the weapon system
and places  little  emphasis  on  firing  procedures  or  target
identification. 28,29  A  need  for  basic  and  advanced  skill
training in these courses of instruction does exist.
    The Marine Corps Combat Readiness Evaluation System (MCCRES)
establishes..."within the Marine Corps a standardized evaluation
system  designed  to  provide   for   the  timely  and  accurate
determination of the combat readiness  of  Fleet  Marine Forces,
including  those  of  the  Marine Corps Reserve,  to  accomplish
assigned missions."30  It is divided into ten volumes of Mission
Performance Standards  (MPSs)  and  Standard  Performance  Tests
(SPTs)  that  allow  both  formal  and  informal  evaluation  of
infantry,  combat  support,  combat  service  support,  and  air
support  units.   All Marine Air-Ground Task Forces are required
to  successfully  complete a formal evaluation  prior  to  being
deployed  as  a  contingency  task  force.   MCCRES  is  usually
administered   to   infantry  battalions,  with  combat  support
elements attached,  once  every  one-to-two years.31  Volume II,
Infantry  Units,  and  Volume  V,  Combat Support Units, address
mechanized  operations,  tank-infantry  teams, and employment of
anti-armor   assets.    Although  MCCRES  is  recognized  as  an
excellent  means  of evaluating the combat readiness of infantry
units,  particularly  straight-legged  infantry,  it   does  not
adequately   address   the  training  proficiency  of  tank  and
anti-armor crews.32,33
    Volume  II,  Infantry  Units,  addresses  tank-infantry  and
mechanized  operations  as  part  of  the  Mission   Performance
Standards.  This evaluates the interaction between the tank unit
and  the  infantry  organization  they are supporting.   Besides
being grossly out-dated, in terms of modern armored warfare, the
MPSs do not address employment of the tanks' weapon system.  The
Standard  Performance Tests are designed to determine whether or
not the tested  Marines  can  accomplish  their  primary  combat
functions.   The  SPTs  provide for the proper evaluation of the
Dragon  and  LAW  weapons   employment,  but  identification  of
potential targets is not even mentioned.34  TOW is not addressed
in this manual.
    Volume V, Combat Support Units, addresses all combat support
units  within  a Marine Division, to include, artillery,  combat
engineer,  assault  amphibian,  reconnaissance,  tank,  and TOW
units.   Elements  of  these  units  are  attached  to  infantry
battalions  or  regiments for contingency deployments  at  which
time they  are  administered  the  MCCRES.   Tanks  and TOWs are
required  to  pass  both the Mission Performance  Standards  and
Standard  Performance  Tests.   Again,  the  MPSs  evaluate  the
interaction between elements of the combat support units and the
infantry  battalion  or regiment to which they are attached  but
does not  address  weapons employment.  MCCRES lists 18 SPTs for
the  tank   crewman  with  only  one  task  requiring  a  firing
engagement.  Of the eight SPTs  required  for  the  TOW crewman,
none require evaluation of firing engagement.   Neither the tank
or TOW crewman are required to identify armored vehicles.
    The tank and TOW sections of MCCRES are seriously deficient,
not  only  in terms of armored vehicle recognition  but  in  the
training  and  evaluation  of tactical  employment  and  gunnery
procedures.  MCCRES  is  recognized  as  the  primary  means for
commanders  to  determine the combat readiness of all units, but
it is generally accepted that it provides a  proper and accurate
evaluation of  only  infantry and possibly artillery units.36,37
With substantial revisions  and  additions,  the  tank  and  TOW
sections of MCCRES could  become  a more meaningful training and
evaluation tool.  For  this  reason and accepting the assumption
that  major  modifications  will  be  made,  several  additional
deficiencies  warrant  mentioning.   First,  as with all combat
support units, only tank platoons  and  TOW sections attached to
deploying  infantry  units  are ever evaluated.  The majority of
tank and TOW crewmen never receive a formal MCCRES evaluation in
their  primary MOS skill!   Secondly,  MCCRES  directs  that  the
Standard Performance Tests be administered by personnel  of  the
parent command.  This is almost never done.38,39,40
    The  Marine  Corps'  training  and  evaluation  program  for
armored   vehicle   identification  is  grossly  deficient   and
virtually  non-existent.   Officers  and  staff  noncommissioned
officers  are essentially  left  to  their  own  initiative  and
resourcefulness  as  to  what should be taught to their Marines.
Commanders must quickly come  to  the realization that to defeat
threat  armored  forces  and  to  survive  on the modern armored
battlefield,  the  individual  Marine  must  be  able to detect,
acquire,  identify,  and  engage   the   right  targets.   Other
priorities  cannot continue to take precedence over  this  vital
subject area.
    Two  courses of action  have  been  identified  as  possible
alternatives  or  solutions to this problem.  First, the  Marine
Corps could adopt, with modifications,  the  U.S. Army's methods
and materials  for vehicle identification.  Secondly, the Marine
Corps could develop  its  own  program.   As  we examine the two
courses  of  action,  we  must  be  aware  of  the  fact  that a
standardized and realistic  program  is essential.  This program
must be readily  available  and in sufficient quantities for the
training  of  all  Marines  armed  with an anti-armor weapon and
complete  with references,  lesson  plans,  films,  tapes,  etc.
Secondly, emphasis must be placed on developing  training  goals
and course criteria that  will  both aid or force, if necessary,
commanders to emphasize  armored vehicle identification in their
training  plans.  Lastly, methods  must  be  made  available  or
developed that allows commanders to evaluate  either formally or
informally the combat readiness  of  their  Marines  and  units.
Certainly with the modern weapons of today and with the numerous
armored assets found throughout the world, proper identification
of  friend  or  foe  is  a  vital  factor  in determining combat
readiness.
    The U.S. Army is recognized  as the United States' expert in
armored  warfare.  Today's Army has over 12,500 tanks and 20,000
armored  personnel  carriers  in addition to other armor related
assets,  such  as,  self-propelled   artillery   and   anti-tank
helicopters, etc.  The active Army forces maintain  four armored
divisions and six mechanized divisions,  with the National Guard
and   Reserves  maintaining  two  armored  divisions   and   one
mechanized  division.   In  the  active  component, two  armored
divisions, two mechanized  divisions,  one  armored brigade, and
two mechanized brigades are stationed in Germany as  part of the
NATO Defense Force.41
    The  U.S.  Army has conducted extensive research  of  recent
armored  battles   and has continously conducted studies  on  the
organization  and  equipment of both friendly and hostile forces
throughout the world.  As a result, the U.S.  Army has developed
an excellent and comprehensive training and  evaluation  program
for armored vehicle  identification  that  is  available  to the
Marine  Corps.42   The  program  is more than merely  a  "threat"      
program.   In  addition  to vehicles  employed  by  Warsaw  Pact
nations,  the  program  includes  U.S.  vehicles,  as  well  as,
vehicles  considered  to  be allied with the United States.  The
program, Combat Vehicle Identification  Training,  contains nine
individually  bound  booklets.   The  first  booklet  tells  the
instructor what the program  is and how it operates.  The second
contains  answer sheets.  The next six, each with a tray of 35mm
slides,  are  individual  training  packages  which  can be used
independently.  This permits several different units to  train at
the  same time, if desired.  When each unit learns the   vehicles
in one package it can be exchanged for  another  until  all  six
have  been learned.  The ninth booklet is a final test   package,
again, accompanied by a tray of 35mm  slides, which includes all
vehicles  in  this training program.  In essence, the instructor
has all the materials, lesson plans, and  related information in
one  self-contained  package.43  The  Army  is  already  in the
process  of  up-grading  this  program  with  training  packages
reflecting  vehicle  identification  under  degraded conditions,
vehicle identification through thermal sights, etc.44  This  is
the best armored vehicle identification program in existence.
    The U.S. Army's Training and  Evaluation Program (ARTEP) and
Soldiers Manual of Common Tasks-Skills are similar to MCCRES but
are in much  greater  detail.  The ARTEP is designed to evaluate
the  ability  of  a Battalion  Task  Force to perform  specific
missions  under  simulated  combat  conditions.45  The  Soldier's
Manual is used for training  and  evaluation  of  the individual
soldier  in  his  particular MOS.46  Obviously, these two manuals
are  different  in that a task force is addressed in one  manual
and the individual soldier in the other.   However,  each manual
establishes   training    objectives   with   specified   tasks,
conditions,  and  standards  of  performance for combat critical
conditions.    Further, the Army encourages  using  the  training
objectives and tasks  found  in these manuals in developing unit
training  plans.   The  point  is that the Army has  designed  a
building block concept of training that interfaces the Soldier's
Manual  of  Common  Tasks-Skills  with  ARTEP.   The  ARTEP  and
Soldier's Manual  both  emphasize armored vehicle identification
as a common skill that every soldier should know.  Additionally,
each manual  tasks  tank  and  anti-armor  crewmen  to correctly
identify  armored  vehicles   as  part  of  their  training  and
evaluation.47,48  Because  the format and concept of evaluating
these  tasks  are  essentially  the  same,  the Army's  training
objectives with specified tasks,  conditions,  and  standards of
performance could easily be incorporated into MCCRES.
    A second possible solution to this problem is for the Marine
Corps  to  develop  its  own training and evaluation program for
armored vehicle identification.  The advantage to this course of
action would be development of  a formal training and evaluation
program  which would increase the combat readiness of individual
anti-armor  crewmen.   The major disadvantage is that an already
existing and proven Army  program  is  available  that meets all
Marine  Corps  requirements.   Additionally,  development  of  a
realistic and  viable  program by the Marine Corps would require
extensive  research  and  continuous  up-dating  that  would  be
costly, time consuming, and unnecessary.
    The most viable solution  to  this problem is for the Marine
Corps  to  adopt  the  U.S.  Army's program for armored  vehicle
identification.  There are several advantages for adopting this
course  of  action.   First,  the  Army's  program is an already
existing and  proven  program  that  is readily available to the
Marine  Corps.   Secondly,  the  U.S.  Army  will  maintain  the
responsibility for  continously  up-dating  the  program  as new
vehicles  and  equipment are developed or  acquired  by  various
nations around the world.  This would be at no cost or burden to
the Marine Corps.   Third,  and  most  importantly,  the program
meets  all U.S. Marine Corps training  requirements.49  Efforts
should  also  be  made  to  incorporate  this program within the
curriculms of the Basic School, the SNCO and  NCO Academies, and
the Infantry Training Schools.
    Training  and  Audiovisual   Support  Centers  (TAVSCs)  are
located  throughout  the Marine Corps to  support  the  training
needs of Marine units.50  These centers have various assortments
of  training aids on-hand for off-the-shelf issue.  Items  found
in these centers include audiovisual products,  graphic training
aids   (GTAs),   training   publications  and  manuals,  locally
fabricated  aids and devices,  and  training  extension  courses
(TECs), etc.  Justifiable items, not found  in  the local TAVSC,
can be ordered using catalogs that list all  training  aids  and
devices  held  by  each  military  service and the Department of
Defense.51  Chapter  six  and  Appendix  G  of Marine Corps Order
P5290.1  specifies  how to acquire training items for units  not
located in close proximity to a TAVSC.   Many officers and staff
noncommissioned officers are  not  aware of the functions of and
the  services available from the TAVSC and consequently  do   not
benefit from available training aids  or use sources outside the
Marine Corps to acquire    essential  training aid materials. The
local  TAVSCs  should  make  these materials  available  and   in
sufficient  quantity  to   support  all  units  requesting  armor
identification materials.  Tank and anti-armor units should  have
these materials in their unit training libraries.
    The Marine Corps Institute (MCI) program for armored vehicle
identification and  courses  dealing  with  tanks and anti-armor
weapons  should be updated and expanded.  For example, Volume  I
of the TOW course  could  contain  only basic information on the
TOW, similar to what now exists.  A Volume II could be developed
to  address  advanced  tactics,  weapons  employment techniques,
target  acquisition,  target  identification, and fire commands,
etc.  A second example, would be to have a comprehensive armored
vehicle identification course  as  a  prerequiste for completing
courses dealing with tanks and anti-armor weapons.
    MCCRES must be modified  to emphasize the importance of this
subject  and  to  properly  evaluate  the employment and gunnery
skills of tank  and  anti-armor  crewmen.  Otherwise, commanders
will continue to  let  other  commitments  take  precedence over
armored vehicle identification training, regardless of the type
of  program  adopted.   The   sections   addressing   tanks  and
anti-armor weapons are  deficient  and  do  not provide a viable
means to evaluate the combat readiness of these  personnel.   It
is recommended  that selected sections from the Army's ARTEP and
Soldier's  Manual  of  Common  Tasks-Skills concerning tanks and
anti-armor weapons be incorporated into a  revised  MCCRES.   FM
17-12-2 also provides useful reference  material that relates to
this subject and is in MCCRES style format.  These modifications
would provide the commander with  a valid evaluation program and
a means to select  meaningful  training objectives for inclusion
into unit training plans.  Additionally, a requirement should be
instituted that requires a formal annual  evaluation of all tank
and anti-armor crewmen.
    The  development  of  a formal and well  structured  armored
vehicle  identification  training   and  evaluation  program  is
essential to  increase the individual Marine's and unit's combat
readiness.  No one will get a second chance  after he mistakenly
fires and destroys his  fellow Marines or allies.  A requirement
exists   for  a  comprehensive  armored  vehicle  identification
training  and  evaluation  program  to  improve  the  individual
Marine's ability to rapidly distinguish  who  is  friend or foe,
maximize survivability of  friendly  forces,  and  produce  long
range destructive fire on the enemy.
    The adoption of the U.S.  Army's program for armored vehicle
identification is the most viable  solution to this problem.  It
is an excellent and proven program  that  is  available  to  the
Marine  Corps.  Guidance and instructional  assistance  must  be
provided to institute  this  program within the Marine Divisions
and in our basic MOS producing  schools.   MCI  courses  dealing
with  tanks  and anti-armor weapons must be updated and expanded
to reflect current data found in  the  Army's  program.   TAVSCs
must be able to readily support the training needs of requesting
units.   In  turn,  officers  and staff noncommissioned officers
must  be  aware of the services available  from  these  centers.
MCCRES  must  emphasize  armored   vehicle   identification   by
intergrating training  standards  and evaluation procedures into
pertinent  sections  of  Volume  II  and  V.   This  would allow
commanders  to  use  MCCRES   as  both  a  formal  and  informal
evaluation tool and as a means of selecting meaningful  training
objectives for inclusion into  unit  training  plans.   With the
lethality  of  today's  tank  and  anti-armor   weapons,  it  is
essential that Marines  be formally and frequently evaluated  in
the employment of these weapons and their ability to distinguish
between friendly and enemy vehicles.
    The  Marine Corps has provided Marines with weapons  capable
of defeating all known enemy armored  forces.   Today's  Marines
are  most  proficient  in  maintaining and firing these volatile
weapons  of  destruction.  Let us waste no time in training  and
evaluating  their  skills in armored vehicle  identification  to
ensure these weapons are correctly employed against hostile
forces and not against our own forces or those of our allies.
                          FOOTNOTES
    1Department  of the Army, USA, Army Training and Evaluation
Program  for Mechanized  Infantry/Tank  Task  Forced  ARTEP 71-2
(Washington, D.C, 1981), p. ii.
    2John Paperone, Armor Instructor, Supporting  Arms Division,
Command and Staff College,  personal  interview  about  tank and
anti-armor weapons  and  training  and  evaluation  of  tank and
anti-armor crewmen, Quantico, Virginia, February 8, 1985.
    3Richard Gabriel, "Lessons  of  War:   The  IDF in Lebanon,"
Military Review, August, 1984, p.53.
    4US Arms Control and Disarmament  Agency,  "World  Military
Expenditures  and Arms Transfers 1972-1982," Defense Program and
Analysis Division, April, 1984, p.19.
    5Department  of  the  Army,  USA,  The Soviet Army:  Troops,
Organization and Equipment, FM  100-2-3 (Washington, D.C., 1984)
pp. 1-5.
    6Robert  Sellers,  ed.,  Armed  Forces  of  the  World:   A
Reference Handbook (New York:  Praeger  Publishers,  1977),  pp.
109 and 250.
    7US  Marine Corps, Acquisition  Decision  Memorandum  (ADM)
Approval on the M1A1 Main Battle Tank 5 February 1985, pp. 1-5.
    8Jerry  Varela,  U.S. Marine Corps  Program  Manager,  Tank
Systems  and  Liaison  Officer   M60   Series/M1A1   Tank,  Tank
Automotive  Command (TACOM) 1981-1984, personal interview  about
M1A1 Abrams Tank, Quantico, Virginia, February 13, 1985.
    9Bill Cook,  Commanding  Officer,  Anti-Tank  (TOW) Company,
Second Marine Division,  personal  interview  about training and
evaluation precedures  for  TOW  crewmen,  Camp  Lejeune,  North
Carolina, February 9, 1985.
   10TOW II (Canoga  Park, California:  Hughes Aircraft Company,
1981), pp.1-3.
    11Gazette  Staff,  "More  Changes  to  Infantry   Battalion
Structure," Marine Corps Gazette, January, 1982, pp. 24-25.
    12W.E.  Muzbeck,  Development  Project   Officer,  Firepower
Division,  Development  Center,  Marine  Corps  Development  and
Education Command, personal  interview about anti-armor weapons,
Quantico, Virginia, March 9, 1985.
    13Ibid.
    14G.J. Eschenfelder, Training  Division,  Headquarters Marine
Corps, personal interview about tank and anti-armor training and
evaluation programs, Quantico, Virginia, February 15, 1985.
    15A.J. Schmidt, G-3 Training Officer, First Marine Division,
telephone  interview  about   armored   vehicle   identification
programs,  Quantico,  Virginia  to  Camp Pendleton,  California,
February 10, 1985.
    16P.R.  Vogt, G-3 Training Section, Second Marine  Division,
telephone  interview  about   armored   vehicle   identification
programs,  Quantico,  Virginia  to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina,
February 10,1985.
    17Anonymous  Source, personal interview about armored vehicle
identification training within the Second Marine Division,  Camp
Lejeune, North Carolina, October 15, 1984.
    18Ibid.
    19Herbert Steigleman, US Marine Corps Representative, US Army
Armor School, telephone interview about armored warfare training
and armored vehicle  identification,  Quantico, Virginia to Fort
Knox, Kentucky, February 26, 1985.
    20Ronald Richard,  Command  and  Staff Faculty and previously
Executive  Officer,  Seventh Marine Amphibious Brigade, personal
interview about training  and  evaluation methods for combat and
combat support units, Quantico, Virginia, February 23, 1985.
    21Ibid.
    22Steigleman, February 26, 1985 interview.
    23Ibid.
    24L.A. Summers, Officer-In-Charge, Weapons Division,  Marine
Corps  Infantry   Training  School,  telephone  interview  about
armored  vehicle identification training for anti-armor crewmen,
Quantico,  Virginia to Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, February 4,
1985.
   41Tom Davis, Major, U.S. Army, assigned as student to Command
and  Staff  College,  personal interview about  armored  warfare
training in the US Army, Quantico, Virginia, March 11, 1985.
   42Allen  Velo,  Branch Chief Instructor, Gunnery Division and
previously  Command and Staff Advanced  Tactics  Instructor,  US
Army  Armor School, telephone interview about US Army's  Armored
Vehicle identification program, Quantico, Virginia to Fort Knox,
Kentucky, February 27, 1985.
   43 Department  of  the  Army,  USA,  Combat  Vehicle Training
Program  (CVI),  GTA  17-2-9-A  (Washington,  D.C.,  1981),  p.1
(instructor's guide).
   44Department of the Army, USA, Thermal: An Interim  Training
Program  (CVI),    GTA  17-2-10  (Washington,  D.C.,  1982),p.8
(instructor's guide).
   45ARTEP 71-2, p.1-1.
   46Department    of  the  Army,  USA,  M48-M60  Armor  Crewman
Soldier's Manual: Skill  Level  1/2,  FM 17-19E 1/2 (Washington,
D.C., 1982), p.iii.
   47ARTEP 71-2, p. A-351.
   48FM 17-19E 1/2, pp. 2-5 and B-5.
   49Velo, February 27, 1985 interview.
   50MCO  P5290.1, Marine Corps Training and Audiovisual Support
Manual, dtd 20 Jan 83,  pp.D-1 thru D-3 (Headquarters, US Marine
Corps, Washington, D.C.).
    51Jeffery  Marlin,   Training   Support   and   Audiovisual
Department  MCDEC, personal interview about  available  training
aids, Quantico, Virginia, February 26, 1985.
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