Winning in the Desert
CENTER FOR ARMY LESSONS LEARNED FT LEAVENWORTH KS
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There are many problems associated with living and fighting in the desert environment. Throughout history, the Greek, French, British, and American forces have learned and relearned the problems associated with desert operation. More recently, observations gathered after the Arab-Israeli conflict of the 60s and 70s have provided, and validated, lessons learned and their impact on personnel, operations, and equipment in the desert. Desert conditions can force our military to re-evaluate and rethink operational plans. History and lessons learned will have an impact on how the U.S. Army performs in the future. Safety, survival, study, and common-sense thinking will lead to mission accomplishment. This newsletter is a compilation of observations from the National Training Center NTC, Exercise BRIGHT STAR, Saudi Arabia Lessons Learned Army Materiel Command, 1983, and information extracted from the Center for Army Lessons Learned CALL data base. It gives insights on desert operations for both active as well as reserve component units. Although not all inclusive, the newsletter provides a solid basis for the planning process and generates discussion to support decisions in fulfillment of mission requirements. It should be remembered that the principles and fundamentals of combat do not change in the desert. Priorities may alter, techniques will vary from those in temperate climates, but soldiers, leaders, and units who are fit and well-trained to fight in other environments will have little difficulty adjusting to desert war. We have been training at the NTC since 1982, and know how to fight in the desert practice what you have learned, review this newsletter, and read FM 90-3, Desert Operations, for additional help.
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