Cover: Preparing for the Proven Inevitable

Preparing for the Proven Inevitable

An Urban Operations Training Strategy for America’s Joint Force

Published Feb 8, 2006

by Russell W. Glenn, Jody Jacobs, Brian Nichiporuk, Christopher Paul, Barbara Raymond, Randall Steeb, Harry J. Thie


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Because future military operations are likely to include actions in densely populated, built-up areas, joint and service training initiatives over the past decade have increasingly reflected an interest in preparing for such contingencies. To assist the military community in better orchestrating its resources to improve forcewide readiness for urban operations, RAND was asked to develop a joint urban training strategy for the period 2005-2011.

This report presents that strategy and describes the process used to develop it. The study identifies areas in need of redress and proposes ways in which the services — Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force — and other critical components of national capability can better ready themselves cooperatively for future urban operations.

The strategy is developed by using a modular approach, where a module is a collection of resources normally associated with a type of facility, simulation, or other capability used in the design or execution of training. This approach led to a five-step analytical process: (1) identify joint urban training requirements; (2) identify current and pending training capabilities; (3) identify the gaps between requirements and capabilities for the short term (2005–2007) and the longer term (2008–2011); (4) define a set of modules and assess how well they address the requirements; and (5) define the steps required to create the strategy, including consideration of the costs of the modules in terms of their ability to meet requirements and address shortfalls. The strategy described here is flexible and adaptable; as such it should evolve as new technologies emerge and international conditions change. It provides guidance and suggests a framework. But most of all, it imparts a responsibility to develop programs, plans, and guidance that address the many details needed to implement it.

The research described in this report was prepared for the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) and U.S. Joint Forces Command. The research was conducted in the the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the OSD, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Department of the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.

This report is part of the RAND monograph series. RAND monographs present major research findings that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND monographs undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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