Operation JUST CAUSE, the largest contingency operation since World War II, challenged commanders and soldiers alike. Contingency operations, such as JUST CAUSE or variants of that scenario, may well be the most prevalent mission for the U.S. Armed Forces in the future. Our overwhelming success springs from a mature training system and the superb quality of individuals and units at every level. The refining of doctrine, tactics, techniques and procedures and the lessons learned from JUST CAUSE are important to every soldier and leader in the U.S. Army.
The Center for Army Lessons Learned (CALL)'s mission is to collect and disseminate relevant lessons learned to the Total Army. CALL distilled the thousands of pages of unit afteraction reports (AARs), historical summaries, unit logs and message traffic and conducted detailed interviews with the participants of the operations. TRADOC-proponent subject matter experts (SMEs) assisted in the interview process and submitted additional data to CALL. The resulting information, applicable to brigade- and battalion-level units, is presented here.
This bulletin, divided into three volumes, provides a short historical summary as background and then details the lessons leaned in four broad categories: Soldiers and Leadership; Operations; Intelligence; and Logistics and Equipment. Each topic area within the broad categories begins with a short vignette illustrating some of the key points to follow. Then, a discussion outlines the background and importance of these key points. Finally, some of the most relevant lessons learned from Operation JUST CAUSE conclude each topic ares. Readers should envision how the lessons learned in Panama apply to their unit mission and incorporate them in unit training and standing operating procedures (SOPs).
Brigadier General, USA
Deputy Commanding General for Training
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