With the Cold War over, it is obvious that many future operations will take place in an urbanized environment. Grenada, Panama, Haiti, and Somalia are recent examples of combat operations conducted under these conditions. The current doctrine for conducting urban combat operations can be found in Field Manual (FM) 90-10, Military Operations on Urbanized Terrain, 1979, and FM 90-10-1, An Infantryman's Guide to Combat in Built-up Areas, 1993, with Change 1 published in 1995. These doctrinal manuals include many of the lessons identified in this newsletter. However, many more lessons are uncovered daily in conjunction with unit training and at rotations conducted at the Combat Training Centers (CTCs). These lessons in the form of tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) can be incorporated into the Army library and vernacular.
The Chief of Staff of the Army, General Dennis Reimer, directed that a new emphasis on Military Operations on Urbanized Terrain (MOUT) be conducted Army-wide to update the FMs and to document new TTP. Since all future operations will be conducted jointly, it is essential that all services be involved in this initiative.
The Center of Army Lessons Learned (CALL) at Fort Leavenworth determined that a focused collection effort would be a valuable tool to gather observations of combat in an urban environment. CALL organized a Combined Arms Assessment Team (CAAT) from various TRADOC schools and the U.S. Marine Corps to gather these observations during a rotation at the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) at Ft Polk, Louisiana. This newsletter includes those observations and the TTP that are the essence of this effort.
This newsletter attempts to open a dialogue and create an opportunity for units to exercise and discuss the TTP developed. In conjunction with current written doctrine, this discussion and anticipated refinement of current TTP will lead to a much better understanding of what is required to fight successfully in an urban environment.
The TTP observed are the result of a great effort on the part of numerous soldiers and qualified civilians. All the participants realized how difficult MOUT operations can be. However, as in any operation, success is dependent on unit leadership, and good prior planning and training. This was all the more apparent as the team made its observations.
The CAAT observed a snapshot of one unit conducting a MOUT at the Shughart-Gordon MOUT complex during a JRTC rotation. However, the TTP gathered represent a melding of the CAAT observations for that unique exercise and the experience and observations gleaned from observer/controllers over an extended period of time. Observations from these subject matter experts would be hard to replicate by any other means. This newsletter can be the catalyst to start the discussion on how to conduct future tactical operations in MOUT. To make this effort worthwhile, it is essential that units and individuals that read this newsletter comment on how to make it better. Only then can we really prepare for future urban combat. Let's start up a "chatter" on the subject.
Team Chief, CAAT
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