Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Urban Intelligence Preparation of the Battlefield

When I was catching up on my schooling at sunny Fort Huachuca, we did an urban Intelligence Preperation of the Battlefield (IBP) exercise. The scenario was the 3rd ID Thunder Run through Baghdad. We had some guys in the class who had actually been on the Thunder Run so that made for some interesting discussion. Actually, almost everyone in the class, both reserve and active duty, had a combat patch and had been in OIF and OEF. There was a huge range of experience, and I think some of the students had more experience than the instructors.

Anyway, we did an urban IPB exercise, and I was reminded about how tought that stuff can be. At the begininng of last year I regally declared that my company would focus on SASO and MOOTW for training this year. Make sense given our current operatinal enviroment plus I'm the commander so I can regally declare things. Its fun. Everyone should try it.

Learning how to do good intel is cities is a big part of SASO and MOOTW. Of course, training my guys is just as tough as the school that I just came from. Most of them have been in OIF or OEF. I'm trying to capitilize on their experience to train the guys who haven't been. Sometimes its tough. You invarabibly get the E-4 with the bad attitude who says that everything was fucked up and intelligence is fucked up and the Army is fucked up. The combat patch gives him credibility, but the attitude gives me headaches. My challenge is to keep those who have "been there done that" engaged and interested.

As part of the training, I've given one of my sharp 2LTs the project of developing an urban IPB exercise using Camp Bullis (where we drill) as a small city. This will give my guys the chance to actaully walk the terrain and come up with a good product.

I'm then going to build on thatand have then entire company do a huge IPB exercise using San Antonio. I'm going to have them break down all the aspects of the urban battlefield with all the diciplines that I have. Maybe I'll even see if I can get some San Antonio gov't types to come down and be the "red team".

Anyone who has any suggestions on how to do this or what do read is welcome to comment or email me.

Note: Phil Carter at inteldump had a posting this week out urban stuff. He links to this RAND Study. I have a print out of this which I'm slowly making my way through. Its good stuff and worth a look.


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