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Operations in urban areas pose specific challenges for U.S. Army combat service support (CSS)--which is responsible for arming, manning, sustaining, and otherwise supporting these operations. This report gives an overview of these tasks and ways in which the CSS community can prepare itself to meet them. The authors conducted literature reviews and interviews, and they drew on extensive prior research. Findings fall into two broad categories: (1) functional-area specific, applying exclusively to arming, manning, sustaining, moving, fixing, force protection, and selected other areas; and (2) those with broader application. Under the latter, the limited availability of many CSS assets will encourage their central management. Commanders will therefore have to consider weighting front-line assets with such low-density assets or keeping them centralized for dispatch as needed. CSS resources will require the same command, control, and communications assets as do other units. Additionally, CSS drivers and others throughout the area of operations are a potentially vital and traditionally underused source of intelligence. Attrition and consumption rates tend to be much higher than is elsewhere experienced. Demands on CSS units will be exceptional even during operations in which combat plays no role.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    The Nature of the Burden: The Challenges Urban Operations Bring to Bear

  • Chapter Three

    Arming

  • Chapter Four

    Manning

  • Chapter Five

    Sustaining and Moving

  • Chapter Six

    Fixing

  • Chapter Seven

    Other

  • Chapter Eight

    Security, Force Protection, and Safety

  • Chapter Nine

    Conclusion: The Unending Call to Prepare the Force for Urban Operations

  • Appendix

    Summary of Observations and Recommendations

Research conducted by

The research described in this report was sponsored by the United States Army and performed with the RAND Arroyo Center.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation monograph report series. The monograph/report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1993 to 2003. RAND monograph/reports presented major research findings that addressed the challenges facing the public and private sectors. They included executive summaries, technical documentation, and synthesis pieces.

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