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The Contemporary Operational Environment (COE)

This handbook is part of a TRADOC CG initiative to provide units with lessons from past conflicts and from current operations that are relevant to the Contemporary Operational Environment. The handbook provides tips and tactics, techniques, and procedures from several sources, including current operations in the ENDURING FREEDOM AO as well as Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Panama, Somalia, and the Republic of Vietnam.

U.S. military operations today and the near future will involve more dynamic, multi-spectrum threats and challenges than in the past. We will face a variety of possible adversaries with a wide range of technology levels, strategies, operational tenets, and tactics. This range of threats encompasses large, modernized conventional forces as well as smaller, lower-technology forces using more adaptive, asymmetric methods. Thus, the COE presents challenges that stretch our combat power in ways we have never before encountered.

Understanding the nature of the COE and of specific environments encountered in ENDURING FREEDOM is essential to stressing the planning capabilities of brigade and battalion staffs and sharpening the critical skills demanded of Army leaders. To succeed in the COE, soldiers must be able to protect themselves from various and sometimes unpredictable threats, while exploiting enemies' weaknesses.

This handbook is designed for your use and dissemination. If your unit has identified other relevant lessons or information, please share them with the U.S. Army by contacting CALL at DSN 552-2255 or 3035, commercial (913) 684-3035, or FAX DSN 552-9564. Our e-mail address is: Submit Comment and our WWW homepage is: Ensure that you include your phone number and complete address.

Director, Center for Army Lessons Learned

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The Contemporary Operational Environment (COE)

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