Urban Resolve 2015 Hopes to Provide Window Into Urban Combat Future
During Urban Resolve 2015 (UR2015), U.S. Joint Forces Command and partners from across the services and the government are aiming to examine the challenges which come with operating in cities. This 3-phase ‘experiment’/exercise is actually a distributed simulation of 19 sites and over 1,000 people. The Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps have integrated their systems into the U.S. Joint Forces Command system for it, and representatives from 12 other nations are participating. So are members of other US federal agencies, such as the State Department, Commerce and Justice. The template city for the experiment? Baghdad, Iraq.
USJFCOM Joint Futures Lab executive director Dave Ozolek said the experiment is enabling the command to get inside two concepts: First, how does the U.S. military operate in the new urban environment? Because “That’s where the fight is, that’s where the enemy is, that where the center of gravity for the whole operation is.” It’s more than the classic MOUT(Military Operations in Urban Terrain) because “…the environment is not only terrain, it’s infrastructure, it’s culture, it’s governance, it’s rule of law, it’s legality, food, water, fire and safety and all of those things that make up a complex environment of a city,” This feeds into the second concept, which is stabilization operations that can stabilize the situation in a city, then transition to local control.
The experiment is testing seven solutions for urban operations capability gaps, using a networked system that lets decisions and actions made by each participant operate in real time. These solutions are described in more detail in this article, and include:
- A Joint Command Post of the Future
- The Communication Strategy Board
- Joint Intelligence Operations Center
- Joint Urban Operations Surveillance System UAV
- Predictive Analysis
- Integrated Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense. “The year is 2015 and the predictions are that a terror group would possess a chemical or biological weapon. The U.S. military needs to understand what it has to do to protect a city under such a threat.”
- Tags – radio frequency vehicle tags, personnel identification and invisible tags that can be used to track critical targets and activities.
Beyond that, the experiment does not seem to make significantly different assumptions regarding the equipment being used by US forces.
The experiment ends Oct. 27th, and appears to be less expensive than its predecessors. Urban Resolve 2015 took about a year and $25 million to set up. Millennium Challenge, conducted in 2002, took about three years to set up and cost about $250 million.
“1st Lt. Joseph Friel with the Air Force Research Laboratory’s Directed Energy Directorate said that UR2015’s joint experimentation environment allows him to “play” with a real-world command and control network that he can’t get in a physics-based-only simulation.
…As such he and his team can find and fix problems to future platforms before they are even built. Friel said that changing an existing piece of equipment can cost millions of dollars, whereas rewriting some software to fix a problem costs next to nothing.”
USJFCOM has invested heavily in joint simulations as a key link for improving both the affordability to training/learning and the ability of various US armed services and other agencies to work together. Likewise, USJFCOM has previously spent time and attention on the urban battle, including a 2005 industry conference.
USJFCOM also welcomes inustry collaboration, and has technology transfer authority that lets them structure partnerships with industry to exchange personnel and technical data, make technology assessments, and collaborate on research and development efforts in order to speed up the research and development process.