‘Major conventional operations training’

Soldiers from 1st Special Troops Battalion, pulls security during Operation Himera, as a UH-60 Black Hawks prepares to land to pick them up during a joint-air assault with Iraqi police in the Salah ad Din province, Iraq Aug. 21, 2008. The early-morning air assault operation was aimed at clearing two known AQI hideouts in two separate locations near Lake Tharthar in the western portion of the province.

Soldiers from 1st Special Troops Battalion, pulls security during Operation Himera, as a UH-60 Black Hawks prepares to land to pick them up during a joint-air assault with Iraqi police in the Salah ad Din province, Iraq Aug. 21, 2008. The early-morning air assault operation was aimed at clearing two known AQI hideouts in two separate locations near Lake Tharthar in the western portion of the province.

Charlie at Op-For points this out:

FORT IRWIN, Calif. (Army News Service, Aug. 27, 2008) — Dwell time for Soldiers between deployments is expected to increase to 17 months next year, and almost to 24 months by 2011, said Army Chief of Staff Gen. George W. Casey Jr. He said this will allow the National Training Center to once again focus on “conventional operations” and not just counter-insurgency training.

And Charlie writes:

Look, if this incorporates OIF I-style maneuver warfare training -fine. If this is Fulda Gap training -fighting the Krasnovian rifle regiments, then I think it is a step back.

I’ve written before that it might make sense to focus the National Guard’s warfare training 100% on big conventional operations and let most of the active Army spend more time focusing on the war of the day. The active Army can shift gears much more easily as they’re always working. The Guards aren’t, so train them for the thing we’d need them the most for: the Big War. If focusing NG training on conventional warfare keeps them out of small wars and counter-insurgency, so much the better.

For what it’s worth, I don’t mind seeing conventional operations getting a bit of attention. Though we needed to retune the force for COIN in Afghanistan and Iraq, we have to be careful that we don’t want to over-correct and find ourselves unable to deal with a modern mechanized enemy because we’ve worked so hard to root dead-enders out of caves and detect IEDs. An apparently resurgent Russian ground army should remind us of that.

Comments

Comments are closed