Distributed Operations: The Way Forward
MARINE CORPS UNIV QUANTICO VA SCHOOL OF ADVANCED WARFIGHTING
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The effectiveness of distributed operations in the contemporary operating environment COE will demand a change from current trends in development within the Marine Corps. In order to fight effectively in the COE, the Marine Corps will have to implement an enhanced distributed operations capability amongst our fighting forces. While the origins of D.O. are as old as military history itself, I believe that the employment of small, dispersed, and independent forces is necessary for our present and future success during what Colonel Hammes calls the fourth generation of warfare 4GW. Despite the fact that we currently execute some form, or level, of D.O., I do not believe that our recent endeavors will get us to where we need to be successful against a global threat of extremists whom are networked and execute in flat organizations based largely on a commanders intent. General Hagees Mandate in April 2005 laid the foundation for experimentation and implementation of D.O. within the Marine Corps, and since then, various organizations Marine Corps Combat Development Command, Manpower and Reserve Affairs, Systems Command, Training and Education Command, Marine Corp Warfighting Lab have taken action to follow through on the Commandants guidance. The Marine Corps current endeavors relative to D.O. implementation equate to no more than training in basic ITSs, an enhanced gear suite, and an improved school track for small unit leaders. That is, basic skills and standards that should already be resident amongst our forces. Our ability to execute an enhanced form of D.O. is based on an improved warfighter and small unit proficiency. The foundation of improved warfighters and small units is their ability to shoot, move, and communicate, with a solid foundation in existing Infantry Training Standards ITS.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics