Just as opswarfare turns its focus towards urban defence (see post below), coincidentally the US is conducting an exercise to figure out how urban warfare will be like in 2015.
In military operations since World War II, United States forces have preferred to bypass major urban areas to avoid the costly combat expected inside cities.
The urban environment contains extremely complex terrain, with urban canyons, complicated infrastructures, and subsurface maneuver space.
The explosive growth of the world’s major urban centers, changes in enemy strategies, and the global war on terrorism have made the urban battlespace potentially decisive and virtually unavoidable.
Some of our most advanced military systems do not work as well in urban areas as they do in open terrain. Therefore, joint and coalition forces should expect that future opponents will choose to operate in urban environments to try to level the huge disparity between our military and technological capabilities and theirs.
Who will participate in the experiment?
Urban Resolve is an experiment sponsored by U.S. Joint Forces Command, Joint Experimentation Directorate, Joint Urban Operations Office, with technical assistance from the Institute for Defense Analyses, Joint Advanced Warfighting Program.
It is a distributed simulation to be carried out at the U.S. Joint Forces Command, Joint Experimentation Directorate, Distributed Continuous Experimentation Environment, at the U.S. Army Topographic Engineering Center at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command facilities in San Diego, California.
What is the intent of the experiment?
A three-phase effort, Urban Resolve is set in 2015. Its purpose is to guide the development of critical warfighting capabilities for the future joint force commander, with a particular focus on those needed for effective urban operations.
The scenario involves a U.S.-led coalition force that must confront and overcome a skilled adversary who is equipped with modern capabilities and is operating in an urban environment.
Urban Resolve also helps to aggressively advance the development of modeling and simulation tools needed for urban warfighting.
What is Phase 1 of Urban Resolve?
Each of the three planned phases of Urban Resolve will build on previous efforts. Phase I will focus on using human intelligence, along with advanced intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) technologies, to gain comprehensive situational awareness and situational understanding of the urban environment and the adversary forces.
Friendly forces will employ a variety of future ISR sensor capabilities to detect, locate, and track adversary systems and personnel inside a densely populated urban area.
The adversarial forces will employ increasingly more effective means of signature reduction, including camouflage, concealment, and deception to hide from friendly ISR, while moving among the neutral inhabitants of the city.
What is Phase 2 of Urban Resolve?
In Urban Resolve Phase II, the friendly force will continue to employ leading-edge ISR capabilities to find and track the adversary.
Phase II will expand the scope of the experiment to include shaping the future battlespace through the use of special operations forces and precision effects, both lethal and non-lethal, primarily launched at a distance. This phase of the experiment will start to directly inform the continued development of both the major combat operations and the joint urban operations concepts being developed by U.S. Joint Forces Command.
What is Phase 3 of Urban Resolve?
During Urban Resolve Phase III, the U.S.-led coalition will employ a fully equipped, combined or joint task force with modern air, land, sea, and space capabilities to maneuver effectively in the urban battlespace.
Will additional phases of Urban Resolve be conducted in the future?
U.S. Joint Forces Command plans to cosponsor future phases of Urban Resolve with the services. These phases will continue to develop our understanding of the urban environment.
The outcomes of this joint and multinational experiment will expand our understanding of future urban conflict, from precrisis to postconflict, while providing insights into today’s urban warfighting challenges.
How will the results of the experiment be used?
As the Department of Defense’s executive agent for joint urban operations, U.S. Joint Forces Command will use the results of the Urban Resolve experiment to inform the continued development of both the joint urban operations and the major combat operations concepts and to recommend actions to senior leaders to better address the challenges of current and future joint operations.