How Much is Enough? The Requirement for Increased Infantry Dismount Strength in Heavy Divisions
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How Much is Enough? The Requirement for Increased Infantry Dismount Strength in Heavy Divisions

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Douglas D. Brisson
246x189x4 mm

The reliance on technology to replace manpower is a dominant aspect in the development of U.S. Army force structure and organization. The decreasing numbers of infantry dismounts in U.S. heavy divisions, especially under the Army of Excellence TOEs, is one symptom of this approach. However, has the capability of the division been degraded as a result of diminishing the human portion of combined arms? This monograph examines the impact of decreased infantry strength on the effectiveness of a heavy division. This monograph relies on five sources to gain data in order to evaluate this issue. The sources are theory, historical examples, current U.S. doctrine and force structure, the structure of other nations'; heavy divisions, and casualty loss planning data. This information is then measured against four criteria that relate to the ability to accomplish a mission. The criteria are, in essence, combined arms warfare capability, sufficient strength to perform tactical missions, staying power, and doctrinal consistency with Airland Battle. The method of gathering and evaluating data resulted in a common basis upon which to compare and contrast structures, missions and capabilities over time. The monograph concludes that the weight of evidence indicates not only a shortfall in requisite numbers but inherent and tangential degradation of the ability to perform combat missions. Moreover, this situation reveals flaws in the force structure that affect the ability of the division to employ combined arms doctrine.

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