Accession Number:

ADA523140

Title:

Go Big or Go Home: Employing America's Heavy Force

Descriptive Note:

Monograph

Corporate Author:

ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2010-05-01

Pagination or Media Count:

54.0

Abstract:

Many authors have begun to write that the heavy force has no role in the future contemporary operating environment, especially where internal political-militia groups rely on guerrilla tactics. This monograph argues that the U.S. heavy force is an integral part of Americas strategic land power. This force consists of the U.S. Armys tanks, tracked infantry fighting vehicles, self-propelled artillery, and the forces that directly support them. Todays Heavy Brigade Combat Teams HBCTs and Armored Cavalry Regiments ACRs in the active force and National Guard are the Armys heavy force. History shows that integrating heavy and light units has created combined arms teams that have proved their effectiveness in combat. U.S. Army doctrine as articulated by FM 3-24 and FM 3-90.06 is sound. Combined, the two documents form the basis for integrated, combined arms and full-spectrum operations. Heavy-light training must be conducted at home stations so that the combined force can be deployed as a coherent force that will meet the joint force commanders requirements. U.S. operations in Iraq provide multiple examples of how to integrate heavy and light forces. The opportunity exists for the Army to incorporate heavy forces in NATOs current fight in Afghanistan. Despite Allied and now U.S. Marine Corps armored contributions to Operation Enduring Freedom, the Army has not employed its armored force in this theater. The author believes that the Army has misjudged the Soviet Unions Afghanistan War experience and did not reevaluate its operational and tactical requirements when President Obama authorized a 30,000 increase in U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan. Evaluating and contrasting the 1980 Soviet campaign with U.S. combat experience in Afghanistan and Iraq will inform this audience as to why the Army continues to draw the wrong conclusions in the employment of its heavy force in Afghanistan.

Subject Categories:

  • Humanities and History
  • Unconventional Warfare
  • Combat Vehicles
  • Guns

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE