Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The 11th Urban Division

I had a thought about the military that I thought I would share. Our current force structure is built to fight in all terrain types and is specifically optimized for off road travel via HMWVs, HMTTs, Strykers, etc. Only we aren't fighting in open fields much right now. We are fighting in cities. The military calls this MOUT for Military Operations on Urban Terrain.

My suggestion to the military is this. We have divisions who specialize in certain terrain types, like the 10th Mountain Division who are trained to fight in (here's a shocker) mountains. Why don't we have a division or two specifically designed for MOUT? Instead of giving them off-road equipment that is sub-optimal for on road travel, give them road optimized vehicles capable of making turns at high speed without rolling over (something the HMWVs aren't especially good at). Much of this may be available COTS (Commercial Off The Shelf). Systems like this are a good place to start as are other commercial armored vehicles.

With the world urbanizing, MOUT is going to get more and more frequent. I think if we design systems for it specifically, we'll be better off. If we train soldiers for it specifically, that will also give us an edge.

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