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Today the U. S. Army faces the possibility of being deployed to many areas of the world, on very short notice. Since many potential trouble spots contain jungles, it is important that you understand how to fight and win in the jungle.

Fighting in the jungle is tough, both physically and mentally. To win you must have organizations that are sound from the bottom up. Above all, jungle operations test squads and platoons to their limit. Limited visibility and rugged terrain combine to render communications difficult.

Although a trip to the Jungle Operations Training Battalion (JOTB) would be an excellent way to prepare units for the jungle, this handbook should be a great help also. A historical precedent exists. In 1941 the Japanese decided to invade Malaya and capture Singapore. For that purpose, they drew units from Northern Manchuria. The only preparation they had was a booklet titled Read This Alone, and You Can Win the War. It was a simple form of what we would now call a Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTP) manual. It consisted mostly of Battle Drills and common-sense tips on how to stay healthy and survive in the jungle. Every soldier read it. History shows that it worked. Any handbook on jungle combat should begin by considering the general characteristics of jungle terrain. They are:

  • Dense Vegetation with Limited Visibility
  • Heavy Cross Compartmentation
  • Many Streams and Rivers
  • Hot and Humid
  • Few Roads
  • Numerous Footpaths and Tracks

There are certain keys to success to extract from a perusal of history and of numerous after- action reviews (AARs) at JOTB. They are:

  • Focused Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield (IPB)
  • Decentralized Execution
  • Aggressive, Continuous Reconnaissance
  • Flexible Plans, both Operations and Logistics
  • Reliance on Small Unit Leaders
  • Physically Fit, Well-Trained, and Disciplined Soldiers
  • Redundant Communications
  • Foot Mobility

The first section of this hand book deals with battalion and company operations. It is primarily an expansion of the keys to success in a lessons format, organized by Battlefield Operating System (BOS). The second section covers platoon and squad operations. A final section consists of "Tips of the Trade", primarily for the individual soldier.

A final introductory note: The Jungle is Neutral. It is not an original idea. It is the title of a famous work on jungle warfare by F. Spencer Chapman. If you get past the handbook stage, hunt down a copy. It is worth reading.

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btn_next.gif 1.17 kSection I: Battalion & Company Operations

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One Billion Americans: The Case for Thinking Bigger - by Matthew Yglesias