Engineer Support to the Brigade Combat Team
Monograph rept. Jul 2009-May 2010
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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The recent transformation in the Army to a more expeditionary modular force, focused on brigade combat teams BCT, has brought with it significant challenges to the engineer regiment. The simultaneity called for in the Armys operating concept of full spectrum operations will require a robust maneuver support element with the flexibility to support offensive, defensive, and stability operations. The challenge the Army faces is that the current modular BCTs do not have the organic capability to conduct all three operations simultaneously without significant augmentation. Engineers have been executing a parallel transformation effort focused on modularity and building specialized capabilities that are tailorable and can be task organized to any engineer command control structure that is supporting a maneuver force. By examining engineer support to BCTs in Vietnam, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom this monograph discovers that there was, and continues to be, a need for both combat and general engineering support. The units that either had organic engineer battalions supporting their BCTs or were augmented with them were better able to execute their missions. The current embedded engineer companies are insufficient to provide a BCT with the required full spectrum engineer support. Heavy Brigade Combat Teams HBCTs and Stryker Brigade Combat Teams SBCTs are better suited to provide combat engineering but are still severely limited in general engineering capabilities. The Infantry Brigade Combat Team IBCT does not have sufficient engineer augmentation to perform missions across the full spectrum of operations. All the BCTs have sufficient geospatial capabilities embedded on their staffs.
- Civil Engineering
- Military Forces and Organizations