1. Characteristics of Force XXI Operations
Force XXI will operate in an expanded battlespace. This battlespace goes beyond the traditional physical dimensions of width, depth, and height. It includes portions of the electro-magnetic spectrum. This extends beyond the physical boundaries of the division through its communications and digital connectivity to other Army, Joint, and Coalition elements, even reaching back to CONUS from the Theater of Operations. Battlespace will also be defined by the human dimension; this includes not only soldiers and leaders, but also the civilian population in which operations are being conducted, citizens and families in the United States, and the peoples of the world. Finally, time is a dimension of battlespace that must be mastered. This concept seeks to seize and exploit the initiative to set the tempo of a battle, not just acting faster than the enemy, but acting at that speed which is best for execution of the friendly plan. (See Figure II-11.)
|Figure II-11. Multi-Dimensional Battlespace|
Battlespace will generally be framed by METT-T and largely shaped by corps or Joint Task Force (JTF) operations. This shaping includes not only the application of fires and combat power, but also deception, PSYOPS, civil affairs, host nation support, sustainment, intelligence, and reinforcement of existing terrain and infrastructure.
Force XXI Operations are characterized by synchronized attacks throughout the battlespace on units and targets which have been subjected to earlier, condition setting attacks to enhance their vulnerability. Such decisive operations require great precision. Precision in decisive operations is enabled by three emerging capabilities. First, digitization will provide soldiers and leaders at each echelon the information required for making informed decisions. Second, a full suite of multi-spectral strategic, operational, and tactical sensors linked to analytical teams will fuse combat information into situational awareness across the battlespace with greater clarity than ever before. Lastly, simulations will enable Army elements to be tailored based on emerging situation/crisis, plan operations based on METT-T, and wargame and rehearse those operations yielding precision in execution. (See Figure II-12.)
|Figure II-12. Precision in Operations
Precision in operations goes beyond precision strike; it includes every aspect of military operations from deployment through combat and redeployment or transition to other operations. In force projection this means getting the right force, effectively trained and rehearsed, to the right place on time. In combat operations, precision means precise maneuver, positioning elements correctly in time and space, complemented by precision systems and precision munitions, and setting conditions which minimize the enemies' ability to rapidly respond and desynchronize our capabilities. Precision in force protection includes employing dynamic obstacles synchronized in time and space which create either protective or shaping effects; additionally air/missile defenses must be effectively employed to counter each enemy capability based on intelligence at each echelon. Precision in sustainment includes proactive arming, fueling, fixing, and manning empowered by common situational awareness of requirements and asset availability.
Force XXI Operations are characterized by non-linearity, executing tasks across the entire battlespace rather than massing combat power at the Forward Line of Troops (FLOT). Non-linear operations do not seek a rigid organization of the battlespace into close, deep, and rear operations. Instead, the battlespace is fluid, changing as METT-T changes through the duration of mission preparation and execution. Peacetime engagement, humanitarian assistance, and peacekeeping missions are generally executed non-linearly, conforming to the physical characteristics or infrastructure of the area of operations or based on mission requirements. Non-linearity requires soldiers and leaders to possess greater situational awareness, allowing risk to be accepted with space between units rather than more traditional contiguous operations. Non-linearity also increases the requirement on each divisional element for all-around security. (See Figure II-13.)
|Figure II-13. Non-Linear Operations
Employing our emerging capabilities, operations and functions are executed throughout the depth, width, and height of our battlespace. These operations are distributed, that is, executed where and when required to achieve decisive effects vice concentrated at a possibly decisive point. Key to distributed operations is the empowerment of soldiers and leaders to use their initiative, willpower, and professional expertise to carry out critical tasks at all echelons. (See Figure II-14.)
|Figure II-14. Moving Towards Distributed
Distribution enables Army elements to take advantage of internetted communications avoiding the tendency to use the chain of command as the chain of information. Dispersion empowers subordinates to operate independently within the commander's intent, leading to synergistic effects that exceed synchronization by a centralized headquarters. Distributed operations lead to agility, with greater flexibility to react to multiple changes in the situation. There are certain functions that are best executed centrally, primarily management of resources. Force XXI Operations seek to execute each function using the best operational scheme. Through experimentation and operational experience, it appears the best approach is develop a central intent and concept, conduct parallel planning and coordination enabled by digitization, and execute distributed operations to achieve the objective.
The concept of decentralized operations that are multidimensional, precise, distributed, and non-linear yields the capability to conduct simultaneous operations across the battlespace. Simultaneous operations seize the initiative and present the enemy leadership with multiple crises, but no effective response. Digitization creates the ability to plan, coordinate, and execute actions simultaneously. Each of these actions creates an effect, the sum of which is greater than if they were discrete and sequential. Rather than a single concentrated attack, we execute a series of attacks (lethal and non-lethal) as near-simultaneously as possible. (See Figure II-15.)
|Figure II-15. Simultaneity
For distributed operations to have a decisive effect upon the adversary, they must be conducted at a tempo and sequence that he cannot endure. The principle of simultaneity of action is paramount to the success of Decisive Operations. Commanders determine critical objectives and the sequence of actions to overwhelm the adversary's combat and support structures in a near-simultaneous manner to cause rapid defeat or collapse. Upon indication of collapse, highly mobile forces exploit by fires and maneuver to gain control and dominate the contested battlespace.
Force XXI Operations are fully integrated with Joint, multinational, and non governmental partners. Recent experience has reminded us that Army operations have never been and will never be independent. From initial receipt of mission, through deployment, operations, and transition to follow-on operations Army elements function as an integral part of a Joint Task Force. That Joint Task Force is linked to Coalition partners and usually operates in conjunction with one or more non-governmental agencies such as the International Red Cross, United Nations, etc. Integrated operations enable the Army to leverage the full suite of capabilities the services bring to the battlespace. Army helicopters operating from Navy aircraft carriers during Operation Restore Democracy and TMD warnings from SPACECOM are two examples of fully integrated operations. (See Figure II-16.)
|Figure II-16. Integrated Battlespace