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by CPT Charles R. Webster, Jr., JRTC CALL Chief


The recent experiences in Somalia, Haiti, and Bosnia-Herzegovina have made Military Operations on Urbanized Terrain (MOUT) an integral part of the Army's combat operations. Future operations will most certainly include operations in an urban environment. The JRTC MOUT complex provides an advanced collective training capability for both force-on-force and live-fire training. The complex consists of Self Airfield, Shughart-Gordon Village, and Word Military Compound. Collectively, these three facilities enable units to conduct squad to brigade operations. The airfield accommodates a company-sized airborne takedown and all three areas of the complex support air assault operations, to include landing on selected buildings. The complex is being developed and built in two phases. The August 1996 rotation marks the completion of Phase I and consists of the following capabilities:


Located in the far northwest portion of the Fort Polk training area and adjacent to the North Fort cantonment area, Self Airfield consists of a six-building complex that replicates an airfield's command and control facility. Positioned alongside a field landing strip that is capable of accommodating C130 or C17 aircraft, this objective will support up to a company-size airborne operations or a separate battalion air or ground assault. The six-building complex contains a total of 53 rooms with realistic furniture and training props. The facility consists of one- and two-story structures containing blowholes for forced entry, firing ports, water, power, and selected basements. Self Airfield is not yet live-fire capable, but will support realistic battlefield effects simulations.

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Positioned approximately 3.5 miles southeast of Self Airfield, Shughart-Gordon is the largest of the three sites. Designed to support up to a battalion-level assault, this versatile facility consists of 27 multi-story buildings with a total of 295 rooms with realistic furniture and training props. The village, designed to replicated a key command, control, and logistical hub, contains a hospital, police and other government buildings, a radio station, a factory, warehouses, and administrative and civilian buildings. The buildings contains electrical and water supply, blowholes for forced entry, and firing ports. The facility maintains an audio-visual capability consisting of external cameras providing 360-degree coverage of all mounted and dismounted avenues of approach to the town as well as complete coverage within the village. Shughart-Gordon supports air assault operations with the hotel capable of supporting helicopter landings and selected other buildings capable of supporting fast rope operations. The playing field, located to the east of the city, will serve as a multi-ship helicopter landing zone. The tunnel system links the hospital, city hall, post office, and police station. The roads and intersections have been harden to support all types of track vehicles. The entire city is monitored by a facility located within the water tower and linked to the master control station in the AAR Theater.

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The PEA consists of four buildings: the city hall, post office, police station, and radio station, with a plan to expand to six buildings prior to FY 97. The area allows for realistic live-fire exercises with the use of the Short Range Training Ammunition (SRTA), plastic bullets available in both 5.56mm and 7.62mm. The buildings contain an extensive audio-visual network system of internal cameras covering all entries, and battlefield effects simulators to include MILES fireback devices, battlefield sounds, controlled lighting, smoke generators, and an impressive array of advance targetry. This component of the MOUT complex provides the player unit the ability to record, observe, and correct all aspects of urban fighting that is unmatched within the Army today.

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A fully functional military compound located 900 meters south of Shughart-Gordon, the compound contains two barracks, a stockade, a headquarters building, and a parade field which supports helicopter landings. The buildings contain blowholes for forced entry, firing ports, power and realistic furniture and training props. The compound, surrounded by an 8-foot security fence, is overwatched by four elevated guard towers. The facility additionally contains limited audio-visual capabilities in selected buildings, but is not live-fire capable.

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FM 90-10-1 defines MOUT as all military actions planned and conducted on terrain where man-made construction affects the tactical options available to the commander. These operations are conducted to defeat the enemy that may be mixed with civilians. Therefore, the Rules of Engagement (ROE) and use of combat power are more restrictive than in other conditions of combat. This doctrinal template combined with the current physical capabilities provides rotational units unlimited scenario possibilities. Three possible scenarios of which JRTC is currently resourced to support are:

  • Battalion Task Force Deliberate Attack
  • Battalion Task Force Movement to Contact
  • Brigade Task Force Deliberate Attack

All or part of the complex will support each of the above scenarios. The composition of the OPFOR and the inclusion of civilians and key political and government officials will alter the conditions desired by the player units.


Phase II construction and enhancements of the JRTC MOUT Complex will begin in FY 97 with a completion target time of FY 01. The current planned upgrades are:

  • Total Audio-Visual Package in 38 Buildings
  • Enhanced Remote Control of the Audio Visual System
  • Installation of Advanced Targetry
  • Enhanced Battlefield Effects
  • Enhanced AARs
  • Installation of Internal Position Location System
  • Complete Connectivity with the JRTC Instrumentation System

The current and planned capabilities will provide more objective precise feedback; provide a more realistic, challenging environment for soldiers to train; and provide more detailed data on soldiers' techniques and procedures.


The JRTC MOUT Complex provides the Army with a state-of-the-art facility that allows our clients an opportunity to train as they fight. It will provide our soldiers the opportunity to learn what works and what doesn't and provide our leaders the ability to observe, identify, and correct deficiencies to better prepare their units for future deployments into the most difficult form of combat - and win! JRTC and Fort Polk continues to "Forge the Warrior Spirit" now and into the 21st century!

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The Mechanized Counter-Reconnaissance Battle: A Company/Team Perspective

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