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SINCGARS Needs Maneuver Communications

SINCGARS Needs Maneuver Communications


AUTHOR Major Robert R. Logan, USMC


CSC 1991









I. Theme: The Marine Corps is rapidly entering a period of transition in both its

philosophy of warfare and the equipment with which it fights. Nowhere is this more

prevalent than with tactical communications. In this particular area, however, a unique

"window of opportunity" exists for an important, if not mandatory, application of new

communications concepts to the implementation of pivotal communications systems for

Marine commanders.


II. Thesis: Apart from the rapid application of precepts for communications derived

from FMFM 1, the doctrinal standard of Marine Corps maneuver warfare, the benefits

to the commander from new "Digital Revolution" communications systems presently

being fielded, particularly the Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio System

(SINCGARS), will be endangered if not lost entirely.


III. Discussion: FMFM 1 presents a philosophy of warfare based on maneuver vice the

former standard of attrition. This departure from a previous "winning" style is based on

the sobering reality that the United States military, particularly the Marine Corps, no

longer enjoys numerical and technological superiority when it fights. Accompanying this

new style of warfare is a new style of command and new precepts for communications

supporting commanders. These precepts represent a set of standards by which newly

fielded digital-based communications systems must be evaluated and employed. This is

especially true of the next generation of tactical radio systems, SINCGARS, which

perform differently under the environments of maneuver and attrition warfare.


IV. Summary: As a representative of the "Digital Revolution" ongoing in Marine Corps

communications, SINCGARS requires an environment of maneuver warfare in order to

best support the commander. The precepts of maneuver communications as derived

from FMFM 1 must be inculcated within the Marine Corps to ensure this important

system is correctly assessed and quickly assimilated into the infrastructure of command

and control.


V. Conclusion: Maneuver commanders have the opportunity of enjoying a level of

support from SINCGARS which has no historical match. However, the success of this

team demands commanders still operating under the philosophy of attrition warfare to

immediately make the transition to FMFM 1 and its precepts of maneuver









Thesis Statement. Apart from the rapid application of precepts for communications

derived from FMFM 1, the doctrinal standard of Marine Corps maneuver warfare, the

benefits to the commander from new "Digital Revolution" communications systems

presently being fielded, particularly the Single Channel Ground and Airborne Radio

System (SINCGARS), will be endangered if not lost entirely.


I. FMFM 1 and Marine Communications


A. The Dragon "Never Enough" is Dead


B. Warfare, the World, and the Need for a Change


C. A Look Back at Attrition Warfare


II. The Philosophy of Maneuver Warfare


A. Concepts Affecting Communications


1. Acceptance Vice Rejection of Chaos


2. Decentralized Vice Centralized Control


3. Implicit Vice Explicit Communications


4. Speed Vice Plodding


B. Precepts For Maneuver Communications Summarized


III. SINCGARS and the Precepts for Maneuver Communications


A. The "Digital Revolution" of Marine Communications


B. SINCGARS Description


C. Application of Precepts to SINCGARS


1. Quality over Quantity


2. Why over How


3. Voice over Message


4. Availability over Velocity







The sixth of March, 1989, is destined to become a hallowed occasion for Marine


communicators throughout the Corps. It marks the date on which General A.M. Gray,


Commandant of the Marine Corps, officially declared his philosophy of warfare as the


Marine Corps' own. FMFM 1, Warfighting, was born.


Those familiar with FMFM 1 may wonder why it holds such significance for


communicators. After all, doesn't FMFM 1 contain truths about the maneuver


philosophy of warfare, a dogma primarily for combat arms personnel? Though correct,


this observation fails to recognize the impact which the adoption of maneuver warfare


has on other military specialties, primarily communicators. For them, one message from


FMFM 1 comes through loud and clear: the great dragon called "Never Enough" is dead


at last.


Communicators have been fighting the battle against "Never Enough" since the


first commander lost his first battle. The weapon used has always been the same:


"More." A number of times throughout history, communicators thought the dragon was


defeated. This was particularly true when electrons entered their arsenal. During the


Civil War, as telegraph replaced messenger, the dragon was momentarily staggered but


quickly regained his momentum. In World War II, when radios and telephones assaulted


the beast, communicators on both sides stared in disbelief as he emerged not weakened,


but stronger than ever.


And during Vietnam, when satellites and airborne radio relays and tropospheric


multichannel systems relentlessly attacked, communicators were stunned when "Never


Enough" not only failed to die but actually grew in size. This bloody campaign was


witnessed by a sympathetic Army infantryman named General Creighton Abrams. As he


reflected upon the battle so determinedly fought by his signalmen he commented: "You


fellows belong to something that is almost a bottomless pit. No matter how big you


make the system, there are more people going to want to talk over it and more people


going to want to send things over it..." (14:157)


With the slash of his pen, the Commandant did what no communicator could


ever do. He declared the "Never Enough" attitude toward communications as dead and


established the reign of a new view: "Enough is Enough." His philosophy presents a


concept of communications set in the context of a new style of warfare. The perspective


is one of realism and reasonableness. Like a professional doctor, FMFM 1 outlines a


sound, philosophical "diet program" which curbs the insatiable hunger for


communications fostered by previous philosophies of warfare.


To appreciate this we must first consider the foundations on which FMFM 1


rests: its view of the world and war, and its doctrines of warfighting and command.


From these concepts, a number of precepts will be derived for communications needed


to support command and control on future battlefields. The "Enough is Enough" edict is


a preview of one of the most important, if not the most dramatic, comments about the


changes for military communications instituted by FMFM 1.


Unlike some views of warfare which portray war as a deterministic process to be


analyzed and solved given "enough" resources and information, FMFM 1 supports a


model of war which, as originally coined by Carl von Clausewitz, is cloaked in fog and


heated by friction. The fog of war "makes absolute certainty impossible; all actions in


war will be based on incomplete, inaccurate, or even contradictory information." Friction


makes "even the simplest functions in war extremely difficult." (3:119)


FMFM 1 describes a world in which changes have taken place within the United


States and for potential adversaries. These sobering insights portray our nation as a


world power which no longer enjoys vast numerical and technological superiority over its


foes. Given this view of the nature of war and our country's status, FMFM 1 calls for a


bold departure from our nation's previous philosophy of warfighting. This traditional


philosophy, known as attrition warfare, had been the predominant style used by winning


American commanders since the Civil War.


The fundamental belief of advocates of attrition warfare is that success depends


on destroying the enemy's physical means of promulgating war. This was the style of


warfare which pitted the overwhelming superiority of the American war machine against


the teeth of the enemy, matching strength against strength, and eventually grinding the


opposition down through massive firepower. Warfare was a systematic process, with the


victor being the one still standing after giving and receiving massive punishment in each


toe-to-toe engagement. Known as having a voracious appetite for men and equipment


already, warfare fought in this manner produced the highest losses of all.


It is difficult to argue with success. On the surface, departing from attrition-style


warfare appears to be a clear violation of the axiom: "Don't fix it if it isn't broken."


However, FMFM 1 assesses the reason this style was successful--the unmatched


superiority of the American military--and correctly concludes a new philosophy is


required, one not needing such conditions to achieve success on the battlefield.


FMFM 1 mandates the replacement of the traditional philosophy of attrition


warfare, based on firepower, with a philosophy of maneuver, based on movement.


Strength against weakness replaces strength against strength. The will of the enemy, not


his war machine, is the center of gravity against which the maneuver-style commander


focuses his main effort. The goal being to shatter the enemy's cohesion, organization,


command, and psychological balance rather than his accumulative physical destruction.


Victory depends more on military competence than sheer superiority of numbers in men


and equipment. This philosophy enables a Marine eppeditionary force to "win quickly,


with minimum casualties and limited external support, against a physically superior foe."




The maneuver commander possesses a number of characteristics which are


different from his attrition-style counterpart. These differences provide the link to why


changing warfare philosophies have such an affect on tactical communications. Four of


the most distinguishing features of maneuver warfare in this regard are presented in the


following paragraphs. From each is derived a corresponding precept for maneuver




Acceptance vice Rejection of Chaos: The management expert of the eighties,


Tom Peters, in his preface to Thriving on Chaos, had this comment for the business




The true objective is to take chaos as given and learn to thrive on it. The

winners of tomorrow will deal proactively with chaos, will look at the chaos per

se as the source of market advantage, not as a problem to be got around. Chaos

and uncertainty are (will be) market opportunities for the wise; capitalizing on

fleeting market anomalies will be the successful business's greatest

accomplishment. (10:xiv)


Replacing the words "market" with "battlefield" and "business" with "military"


makes this observation applicable for the maneuver-style commander. This attitude


accepts the battlefield as being inherently unknowable. Perfect knowledge is simply not


attainable, no matter how sophisticated the command, control and communications


systems. Commanders holding the maneuver philosophy of warfare waste neither time


nor resources in useless attempts to "get around" the chaos.


Maneuver-style commanders recognize that continually striving for more


communications systems to exchange greater amounts of information about the


battlefield is nothing more than a "futile quest for certainty." (4:264) The attrition-style


attitude still can be found in orders aimed at standardizing command and control


operations throughout Marine Expeditionary Forces. Apparently these publications have


not yet been updated to reflect the FMFM 1 philosophy of warfare:


Only through an efficient command and control system will the commander be

able to acquire and process greater and more accurate amounts of information

in order to more effectively command...A command and control system must

assist the commander in reducing the amount of uncertainty on the battlefield

as to the enemy's activities, capabilities, and intentions, as well as, to accelerate

his own planning and decision process. (16:5-3)


Unlike the philosophy of attrition, which fervently believes "More is Better," the


maneuver philosophy of warfare recognizes the existence of, and more importantly the


requirement for, an upper limit on the "amount" of tactical communications.


Therefore, the first precept for maneuver communications is "Quality over


Quantity." The goal of maneuver communications is not simply to pass more


information about the battlefield but to support the exchange of the right information for


the commander. What is not yet distinguishable is what constitutes quality and quantity.


The remaining precepts will help clarity both points.


Decentralized vice Centraiized Control: Decentralized control is the antithesis of


micromanagement. Maneuver commanders achieve this through mission-type orders and


conveying operational intent. (15:1-3) Subordinates armed with this information are able


to operate virtually autonomously. They can respond quickly to local battlefield changes


while still operating under the adequate cohesion and coordination of a common goal.


The communications requirements for decentralized vice centralized control are


substantially reduced. Decentralized control employs communications which closely


follow the hierarchy of command: senior to immediate subordinate and supporting to


supported. Centralized control, on the other hand, tends to disregard such structures in


an effort to control all elements from a single location on the battlefield. The British


historian John Keegan identified this type of behavior on the grandest scale with Adolph


Hitler when he observed:


It may, to the layman, seem impressive that Hitler could dispute with Zeitzler

exact details of one or another regiment's complement of equipment--so many

guns of this calibre, so many of that. To the professional such pettifogging is

evidence of necessarily dangerous meddling. For radio did not bring to the

Fuhrer's headquarters all the other information of an immaterial but much more

important kind...which only a man on the spot would gather. (7:301)


This greater dependence on positive control directly results in more communications


required. In contrast, maneuver communications are considered a means of enhancing


operations, not as a requisite for their conduct.


The second precept for maneuver communications becomes "Why over How."


This highlights the importance of chain-of-command communications which support the


maneuver commander's dissemination of his intent rather than detailed "how-to"


directions to subordinates. "Why over How" also highlights the rejection of attrition-style


communications which attempt to maintain strict control during the heat of battle. In


fact, this precept acknowledges the importance of communications conducted prior to the


battle's start.


Implicit vice Explicit Communications: FMFM 1 calls for the exploitation of the


human ability to communicate implicitly. Through familiarity and trust, commanders


communicate quickly through mutual understanding and anticipation of actions, using


minimum phraseology, vice the exchange of explicit, detailed instructions common with


attrition-style commanders. (2:72)


Methods of information exchange do not possess the same degree of


effectiveness. The "non-worded" elements of human communications, which indudes


facial expression and tone of voice, are given substantial importance in FMFM 1. Face-


to-face conversation is judged the most desirable form of communications. Radio and


telephone systems which support voice communications are next; the advantage being the


spoken word carries far more information than its written equivalent and is far quicker.


The least desirable means is the emotionally vacant exchange of written messages.




Based on this axiom of maneuver warfare, the third precept of maneuver


communications is "Voice over Message." Systems supporting implicit communications


place high value on capabilities which most closely mirror face-to-face conversations.


Desirable features include the ability to exchange human voice at the quality level which


allows recognition of the speaker. Unlike attrition-style communications, which are


oriented toward exchanging detailed message directives and statistical reports of the


battlefield, maneuver communications concentrate on supporting implicit voice


conversations between commanders.


Speed vice Plodding: Boxing experts claim the three most important attributes of


fighters are "speed, speed, and speed." The same belief is held by the maneuver warrior


as it relates to his philosophy of war. Speed is the prerequisite for maneuver. Success


on the battlefield requires the maneuver commander "to operate inside the enemy's


observation-orientation-decision-action loop, rendering his forces ineffective and


eventually disrupting the enemy commander's world view, causing the collapse of the


enemy forces." (9:26)


In the plodding environment of attrition warfare, high capacity communications


networks requiring hours or even days to employ are acceptable. Some fixed


communications systems used during the Vietnam War required several months to


establish. (14:155) Admittedly such systems, once installed, possess a type of speed


associated with moving information at high velocities. However, these systems are


completely unsuitable for the dynamic environment of maneuver warfare.


Maneuver communications enhance the operating speed for the commander by


increasing system availability. This characteristic provides a comparison of the "on-line"


or operating time of a system with the "off-line" or overhead time required for planning,


installing, troubleshooting, and repairing. For maneuver communications systems, the


primary goal is not to send more information at faster velocities but to enhance the


operating tempo of the commander by being available when needed, regardless of the


battlefield situation.


A suitable analogy for attrition communications is a train which, having such


great inertia, is both slow to start and difficult to change directions. In contrast,


maneuver communications is more like a slalom sports car which, being both light and


maneuverable, can rapidly adapt to both destination and environmental changes.


The final precept for maneuver communications is "Availability over Velocity."


The fluid nature of the maneuver battlefield demands communications systems which are


quick to employ, easy to use, and highly reliable. The accepted tradeoff is that such


systems may not possess the highest velocity of information exchange. Since


conversational voice communications is the dominant media of maneuver warfare, the


criteria for acceptable equipment performance is set by human speech, a relatively "low


velocity" requirement.


In delineating a new philosophy of warfighting, FMFM 1 established new precepts


of communications for the maneuver-style commander. This marks an end to the Marine


Corps' use of the philosophy of attrition warfare and its "Never Enough" attitude toward


communications. It also negates the use of the "More"-based precepts of attrition


communications (Figure 1). For the transition of warfare philosophies to be complete, a


change in precepts for communications must occur as well. Fortunately, this process


should be eased because for the first time in Marine history, communicators can link


their guiding principles directly to the formally established warfighting philosophy of the





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With the advent of FMFM 1, a unique "window of opportunity" has opened for


an immediate application of the precepts of maneuver communications. Whether


planned for or coincidental, the synchronization of FMFM 1's publication with the


beginning of the long-awaited "Digital Revolution" of Marine Corps tactical


communications systems could not have more appropriately timed.


The phrase "Digital Revolution" highlights the characteristics of major


communications systems which are now being fielding to Fleet Marine Forces. The


event is revolutionary for it involves a replacement of the majority of all communications


systems, some of which have been in the inventory for as long as twenty-five years. The


new items represent a departure from predominantly non-secure analog communications


equipments of the past to a new generation featuring integrated security and


sophisticated digital design and transmission techniques.


The bulk of new equipments support the two major communications systems on


the battlefield, the Single Channel Radio and Switched Backbone systems. Single


Channel Radio provides most command communications for regiments and below while


Switched Backbone systems serve as the primary communications means for higher


echelons. Single Channel Radio is being "revolutionized" by the fielding of Single


Channel Ground and Airborne Radio Systems (SINCGARS). Switched Backbone


systems are being "digitized" by the introduction of the Tri-Service Tactical


Communications (TRI-TAC) family of telephone switches and multichannel radio




These new systems possess tremendous potential for providing superior support


to maneuver commanders. On the other hand, neither is particularly well suited to


support the alternative of attrition. SINCGARS is particularly sensitive to the warfare


philosophy it supports, exhibiting dramatic variations in performance between the two.


An appreciation of the differences leads to a sense of urgency as to why the precepts of


maneuver communications need to be quickly integrated into the fielding of SINCGARS.


Failure to apply the precepts of maneuver communications would result in an


erroneous evaluation of SINCGARS and the resultant distrust, if not complete rejection,


by the commander to its real benefit in maneuver warfare. Such a reaction is not


without precedent in military history. General Pershing, as he led the expedition into


Mexico in 1916, had a similar communications situation. Although he was equipped with


new "wireless" radios, they were rarely used because his commanders distrusted them,


insisting messages be "sent be wire only." The potential benefit of the new equipment


was lost because commanders failed to adapt their thinking. (5:2)


SINCGARS is an entire family of manpack, vehicular, and airborne radio systems


which will replace all AN/PRC-77 manpack, AN/VRC-12 series vehicular-mounted very


high frequency (VHF), and airborne VHF frequency modulated (FM) radios. At first


glance, the manpack version of SINCGARS might be confused for the radio it replaces,


the AN/PRC-77, which has been in use by Marines since Vietnam. However, after


closer examination of the radio's control panel, the search for further similarities, apart


from perhaps the volume control, is useless. (11:2-2)


These differences are primarily due to the system's electronic counter-


countermeasures (ECCM) capability. ECCM is the ability of a communications system


to function despite enemy electronic warfare efforts. The critical ECCM capability of


SINCGARS is frequency hopping. This is a spread-spectrum transmission technique


which enables SINCGARS to change frequencies about 100 times per second over any or


all of 2320 different frequencies between 30 and 88 megahertz. (18:1-129) As a result, it


is extremely effective against severe, enemy jamming and direction finding actions.


This single capability raises the importance of SINCGARS on the modern


battlefield above previous non-frequency hopping single channel radios. The potential


exists for battlefield commanders to communicate using SINCGARS with both impunity


and covertness from the opposition. There is, however, a caveat. Only when


SINCGARS is employed under the precepts of maneuver communications are its full


ECCM capabilities realized. Applying the four precepts of maneuver communications


will demonstrate the ability of SINCGARS to support maneuver commanders, as well as


its signfflcant drawbacks in an attrition environment.


Quality over Quantity: The first precept of maneuver communications is


extremely important for SINCGARS. This is because its advanced ECCM capabilities


did not come without cost. The price was an increased demand on the available


frequency spectrum. Fortunately for the maneuver commander, the acceptance of fewer


networks having much greater quality, reliability, and survivability is a solution entirely in


keeping with the philosophy of FMFM 1.


SINCGARS presents a dilemma to the frequency manager responsible for


allocating available frequencies for networks on the battlefield. The issue concerns the


number and range of hopping frequencies used on each SINCGARS network and the


resulting ECCM performance. The relationship is a direct proportion; the larger the


range and number of frequencies, the greater the ECCM protection. If there were no


further interactions between networks, all SINCGARS networks could be allocated the


same maximum number and range of available frequencies. However, this is not the


case because SINCGARS networks do interfere with one another.


The newest Army publication on combat net radio operations assigns an entire


chapter specifically to mutual interference considerations for SINCGARS. This


publication contains important insights into the problems which SINCGARS has if


employed in a dense, attrition-style communications environment:


The modern C2 system uses multiple collocated radios to provide an effective

communications system. The potential exists for a number of different radio sets

or configurations to interfere with each other...The frequency hopping network

problem is slightly more complex to address for battlefield spectrum

management. (13:9-3,4)


The document presents three techniques for minimizing the problems inherent with high


densities of collocated SINCGARS networks: time sharing, spectrum sharing, and


antenna separation. Each, however, possesses its own disadvantages which further


reinforces the importance of applying "Quality over Quantity" as the real solution for


high quality SINCGARS performance for the commander.


Time sharing is a management technique whereby strict control measures are


used to ensure collocated SINCGARS networks are not used at the same time. This


necessitates the senior participant of each affected network be located at the same site.


Though more likely in the centralized control environment of attrition, such a


circumstance is the exception on the maneuver battlefield.


Spectrum sharing attempts to reduce interference by assigning different frequency


hopsets to collocated networks. (Even though each radio changes frequencies in a


pseudo-random manner, the regular occurrence of the momentary use of the same or


adjacent frequency by multiple radios results in degradation of performance.)


Unfortunately, "band sectoring" or limiting the number and range of frequencies used by


SINCGARS only reduces its ECCM capability. After extensive testing, the Marine


Corps has declared band sectoring an "unacceptable solution" to SINCGARS cosite


interference. (19:1)


Antenna separation, though considered the most desirable technique by the


Army, still has its disadvantages. Setup and teardown times increase whenever radios


are remoted from their antennas. This problem, though relatively inconsequential to the


attrition commander, is unacceptable for the highly mobile subscribers of maneuver




High densities of SINCGARS networks on the battlefield results in widespread


degraded performance. This is true regardless of the techniques used to reduce mutual


interference. Only be reducing the quantity of SINCGARS can the high quality of each


network be achieved. This matches the needs of maneuver commanders. However, for


the attrition-style commander, this situation is completely unacceptable.


Why over How: This precept highlights the differences between the structures


and types of communications used with decentralized vice centralized control. Again,


maneuver communications is seen as the environment best supported by SINCGARS.


As discussed earlier, SINCGARS performs better when lightly distributed


throughout the battlefield. This would be the case for maneuver commanders using


chain-of-command oriented networks. The hierarchical structure results in fewer radios


per command post. Dense clusters or collocations of equipment, as would be common in


large, attrition-style command posts, limits ECCM effectiveness and increases mutual


interference between radios.


"Why over How" also emphasizes the employment of the characteristic short


transmissions used by maneuver commanders employing implicit communications. This


not only directly enhances the ECCM characteristics of each network but also reduces


the likelihood of interference between adjacent networks. In effect, shortening the


length of transmission time results in a form of time sharing.


Though not actively orchestrated from a central location, the use of shorter


communications by participants on all networks reduces the chance of mutual


interference occurring. In the highly mobile environment of the maneuver battlefield,


where time does not permit remoting antennas or use of radio remotes to achieve


required antenna separation distances, the existence of this probabilistic form of time


sharing via implicit communications may be the only means to retain use of multiple


SINCGARS networks.


Voice over Message: Maneuver communications places great importance on high


quality voice systems. SINCGARS was primarily designed to provide speaker-


recognition voice communications despite hostile electronic warfare. Though possessing


a secondary capability for data transmission, this feature was not optimized. For


example, the design specification for SINCGARS required the effective operating range


of data transmission to be only half that of voice. (12:260) SINCGARS best supports


communications environments which require a large percentage of operational time


dedicated to voice, leaving little time for data sharing. Again, this mirrors the priorities


of maneuver commanders. (13:1-2)


Availability over Velocity: In this case, the question whether SINCGARS best


supports an environment demanding availability or velocity is partially answered. The


last precept established SINCGARS as primarily a voice communications system which


was not optimized for high velocity data transmission. Remaining is whether


SINCGARS with all the complexities associated with its ECCM capability is "available


enough" to support maneuver commanders.


A number of technological improvements were incorporated into SINCGARS to


improve its maintainability, a major factor affecting system availability. As a result, the


demonstrated mean time between failure (MTBF) for SINCGARS is over five thousand


hours, an order of magnitude greater than equipment it replaces. (6) And when failures


do occur, the extensive built-in test (BIT) features and modular component design speeds


troubleshooting and repair.


The other factors affecting system availability concern planning and installation.


When these parameters are examined, a number of differences are noted between


SINCGARS and older radios. This is due to the more complex planning and installation


requirements related to its ECCM capabilities. In particular, the unique planning


needed for SINCGARS sets it apart from non-frequency hopping radios.


The establishment of a SINCGARS network requires a number of parameters be


precisely planned, coordinated, disseminated, and implemented in each radio. All must


be electronically loaded with the same hopset of operating frequencies. They must be


loaded with the same transmission security key to guarantee identical frequency hopping


patterns. For radios to begin hopping at the same point in the pattern, each must be


loaded with the same net identifier code. And finally, to ensure frequency hopping starts


at the same time, all systems must have the same Julian date and zulu time. (In


comparison, the primary planning consideration for the non-frequency hopping radios is


simply ensuring all net members use the same frequency.)


Given this partial list of actions required to establish just one SINCGARS net,


the effect of reducing the number of networks is an overall decrease in the


implementation burden. Had a similar approach been used with networks of non-


frequency hopping radios, the affect on system availability would have been far less


significant. This is not the case, though, for frequency hopping systems. The maneuver


commander's ability to operate with fewer networks than his attrition counterpart


directly improves system availability.


This brief analysis highlights the diverse conclusions which attrition and maneuver


warfare commanders obtain when viewing SINCGARS through their own philosophical


lenses. To advocates of attrition warfare, SINCGARS is a dreadful step backward in


their eternal quest for more and more communications. However, for the new FMFM 1


warrior of the Marine Corps, SINCGARS realizes all his precepts for a maneuver


communications system.


The recent Persian Gulf war brought to the front page of The Washington Post a


story by a journalist who spent the entire 100 hours of the ground campaign with LtGen


Walter Boomer, commanding general of the I Marine Expeditionary Force. The only


negative comments by LtGen Boomer recorded in the entire article were as follows:


A few potential trouble spots were brewing on the battlefield. The 1st

Marine Division was pushing forward too quickly, and communications

breakdowns foiled efforts to raise commanders.

"I need to talk, so make it work, goddamnit!" he barked at trembling

radio technicians. In four days of war, it was the persistent communications

failures that most consistently sent the normally mild-tempered commander with

the deep Tidewater drawl into bursts of rage. (8)


The cause of the problem is not included. However, this might be indicative that the


dragon "Never Enough" still fights on, though surely in its death throes. After all, the


antidote prescribed by FMFM 1 takes time to circulate throughout the entire system of


the Marine Corps. Unfortunately, in the case of "Digital Revolution" communications


systems now entering the Fleet Marine Forces, time is running out. The Marine Corps


must aggressively apply its new philosophy for warfare to the wider sphere of


communications or risk losing the benefits of both.






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