Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Logistics considerations in urban warfare

opswarfare first came across this area (logistics in urban warfare) after finding an article (see blog post here) on the lessons learned by the Russian army during the conflict in Chechnya.

The points raised by the paper (and comments by opswarfare) are as follows

"urban warfare consumes more ammunition"
While this is quite obvious, the paper notes the increased use of smoke ammunition, e.g. smoke grenades, smoke artillery rounds, etc. While most military planners might cater for increased small arms ammunition and hand grenades, smoke is a very useful tool in urban warfare, as it helps to conceal troop movement, especially at areas where there is little or no cover. (e.g. open areas between buildings)

"need for armoured supply/ambulance vehicle"
The old M113 Ultra vehicles (which have mostly been replaced by the Bionix IFV) in the SAF inventory can perhaps be used for the above role.

"better way to re-arm & refuel vehicles"
Training exercises should incorporate a "hot" resupply component to familiarise crew with resupply procedures under combat scenarios.

"civilian population issues"
opswarfare considers that the civilian population should be assisted if it does not impede the tempo of combat operations.

"maintenance of vehicles"
Similar to a point made above on resupply, workshop crew should be trained in servicing vehicles in the field.

"medical help to attend to increased numbers of casualties"
Medical personnel should be well-distributed among combat units, i.e. organic medical support. This is already done in the SAF, but perhaps experiments can be conducted where certain battalion-level assets are farmed out to augment existing medics.

More emphasis should be made on incorporating logistics operations into training exercises, especially in ensuring that ops tempo is kept high.

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