News



DATE=5/5/98
TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT
NUMBER=5-40271
TITLE=URBAN WARFARE TRAINING
BYLINE=MICHAEL LELAND
DATELINE=CHICAGO
CONTENT=
VOICED AT: 

INTRO:  THE U-S MARINES ARE VISITING SEVERAL U-S CITIES DURING 
THE NEXT TWO YEARS TO LEARN MORE ABOUT FIGHTING ON WHAT THEY CALL
THE BATTLEFIELDS OF THE FUTURE: THE WORLD'S BIG CITIES.  SEVERAL 
DOZEN MARINES ARE IN THE MIDWEST CITY OF CHICAGO THIS WEEK FOR A 
FIRST-HAND LOOK AT CHALLENGES THEY WOULD FACE IN URBAN COMBAT.  
MORE FROM VOA'S MICHAEL LELAND. 

TEXT:         // STREET NOISE (ESTABLISH, FADE UNDER TEXT) //  

THE TOUGHEST FIGHT MOST PEOPLE IN DOWNTOWN CHICAGO FACE IS 
GETTING ACROSS THE STREET WITHOUT BEING STRUCK BY A FAST-MOVING 
TAXICAB, BUT THE U-S MARINES SAY CITIES PRESENT THEM WITH MANY 
MORE CHALLENGES.  AMONG THEM: COMMUNICATING WHILE IN CLOSE 
PROXIMITY TO AN ENEMY, MINIMIZING EFFECTS OF BATTLE ON CIVILIANS 
AND ACCORDING TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL GARY SCHENKEL OF THE MARINE 
CORPS WARFIGHTING LABORATORY, LEARNING WHETHER CITY SEWERS CAN BE
USED AS UNDERGROUND PASSAGEWAYS.

                     // SCHENKEL ACT #1 //  

         WE HAVE THIS CONCEPT THAT WE CAN USE SEWERS FOR 
         TRAVERSING INSIDE THE BATTLEFIELD.  THE REALITY IS THERE
         MIGHT BE TOO MUCH METHANE GAS, OR THE SEWERS MIGHT FLOOD
         OR ALL OF THE THINGS WE  DO  NOT  KNOW ABOUT THE URBAN 
         INFRASTRUCTURE AND THAT IS WHY WE ARE HERE: TO FIND 
         THOSE KINDS OF THINGS OUT.

                          // END ACT //

THE MARINES SAY THEY ARE  NOT  IN CHICAGO BECAUSE THEY ARE 
EXPECTING A FOREIGN TAKEOVER OF THE CITY, BUT RATHER BECAUSE IT 
OFFERS A LITTLE OF EVERYTHING U-S FORCES COULD FACE IN OVERSEAS 
URBAN BATTLES: A RIVER, BRIDGES, SUBWAYS AND TALL BUILDINGS.    
COLONEL TOM O'LEARY SAYS THE TWO-YEAR EXPERIMENT IN URBAN COMBAT 
IS A NECESSARY ONE BECAUSE WITHIN 20 YEARS, NEARLY 80-PERCENT OF 
THE WORLD'S POPULATION IS EXPECTED TO LIVE IN OR NEAR LARGE 
CITIES.  HE SAYS RIGHT NOW, THE U-S MILITARY IS BETTER TRAINED 
FOR WIDE-OPEN BATTLEFIELDS LIKE THOSE OF THE 1991 DESERT STORM 
CONFLICT THAN IT IS FOR URBAN FIGHTING.

                       // O'LEARY ACT //  

         I AM PRETTY SURE THAT ONE THING MOST OF OUR FUTURE 
         ENEMIES ARE TAKING AWAY FROM DESERT STORM IS DO  NOT  
         FIGHT A U-S LED COALITION OUT IN THE OPEN AGAINST THEIR 
         OVERWHELMING SUPERIORITY.  TRY TO FIGURE OUT AN 
         ENVIRONMENT THAT WILL BE TOUGH FOR  U-S SERVICE 
         PERSONNEL TO FIGHT IN AND TRY TO FIGHT THEM IN SOME 
         ASYMMETRICAL MANNER.  PROBABLY ONE OF THE TOUGHEST 
         ENVIRONMENTS THAT ANY U-S SERVICE PERSONNEL WILL FIND 
         THEMSELVES IN IN THE PAST OR THE FUTURE IS IN A LARGE 
         CITY.

                         // END ACT // 

THE 80 MARINES WILL TOUR CHICAGO'S SUBWAY SYSTEM, WATER 
FILTRATION PLANT, SEWERS, AND BRIDGES.  LIEUTENANT COLONEL GARY 
SCHENKEL SAYS THEY WILL ALSO MEET WITH POLICE AND FIRE OFFICIALS 
TO LEARN SOME OF WHAT THEY KNOW ABOUT WORKING IN CITIES.

                     // SCHENKEL ACT #2 // 

         THEY FIGHT 300 FIRES A YEAR.  THEY FIGHT BARRICADED 
         SUSPECTS DAY IN AND DAY OUT.  MANY OF OUR MARINES CAN GO
         TEN-TO-15 YEARS BEFORE THEY HEAR A SHOT FIRED IN ANGER. 
         ALTHOUGH THAT COMBAT MIGHT BE MORE INTENSE AT THE TIME, 
         THE EXPERIENCE IN THE CITY THAT YOUR POLICE AND FIRE 
         HAVE IS THE KIND OF EXPERTISE THAT WE NEED.

                          // END ACT //

MARINES FROM THE WARFIGHTING LABORATORY WILL VISIT NEW YORK CITY 
IN LATE MAY, TO LEARN THE BEST WAY TO MOVE GEAR BETWEEN THE UPPER
FLOORS OF TALL BUILDINGS.  EXPERIMENTS ARE ALSO PLANNED THIS YEAR
IN THE CITIES OF CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA AND JACKSONVILLE, 
FLORIDA.  THE MARINES SAY THEY WILL PUT WHAT THEY LEARN TO THE 
TEST IN A MOCK BATTLE NEXT YEAR IN A WEST COAST CITY.  (SIGNED)

NEB/MJL/KL 



05-May-98 3:12 PM EDT (1912 UTC)
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Source: Voice of America
.