Leadership: September 17, 2003

Archives

One of the many lessons of the Iraq war is also an old one; you can't do combined arms combat well unless you practice it a lot. Officers coming back from Iraq are complaining about this a lot. Combined arms is having tanks, combat engineers and infantry working closely together, especially in urban fighting. It also means having someone in each combat team trained and able to call in artillery, helicopter and bomber support. In Iraq, there was some time before the invasion began to bring the different parts of the team together and let them practice. But that was enough to scare everyone, when they realized that a lot more practice together was needed. That additional practice was later obtained, under fire. Everyone got real good at working with troops they didn't train with that often. Normally, infantry, tank and engineer battalions spend most of their time training within their battalions. Training with "outsiders" (units from another battalion, especially a different type like tanks or engineers) is done less often. While army training regulations stipulate a certain amount of combined arms training, it takes division and brigade commanders to make an extra effort and insure that there is more of this combined arms practice. Getting the helicopters involved is even more difficult, and the air force is almost impossible to get involved on a regular basis. Yet every time a war comes along, the lack of combined arms training is noted, everyone complaints and nothing is changed. Maybe this time it will be different, but probably not. 


 


Article Archive

Leadership: Current 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close