December 7, 2022

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The US military is using lessons from the Ukraine war to help train it

The US military is using lessons from the Ukraine war to help train it

FORT IRRWEN, CA (Associated Press) – In the dusty California desert, US Army trainers are already using lessons learned from Russia’s war against Ukraine while preparing soldiers for future battles against a major adversary like Russia or China.

Role-playing in this month’s exercise in National Training Center Speak Russian. The hostile force controlling the fictional town of Eugene is using a constant stream of social media posts to make false accusations against the American brigade preparing to attack.

In the coming weeks, the planned training scenario for the upcoming upcoming brigade will focus on how to fight an enemy ready to destroy a city with missile and missile fire in order to defeat it.

If the images sound familiar, they are appearing on TV screens and sites around the world right now as Russian forces bomb Ukrainian cities with airstrikes, killing dozens of civilians. The information war on social media featured the impassioned speeches of Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelensky, every night, As well as Russian efforts to accuse Ukrainian forces of rigging mass killings in cities Like the Bucha massacres – massacres that the West blames on Moscow’s forces.

“I think now the whole army is really looking at what is happening in Ukraine and trying to learn lessons,” the defense minister said. Christine Wormot. These lessons range from Russian equipment and logistical problems to communications and Internet use, she said.

said Wormott, who spent two days in a training center in the Mojave Desert, watching a battalion of the army wage war against the imagination, Denovian forces.

“We’ve been talking about it for about five years now. But really seeing it and seeing the way Zelensky was incredibly powerful. … This is a global war that the real world can see and watch in real time.”

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In the middle is the leader, Brigadier General. General Kurt TaylorHis crew ripped pages out of a Russian game book to make sure American soldiers were ready to fight and win against a sophisticated, peer-to-peer enemy.

It is a popular tool. For example, his base and Joint Readiness Training Center in Louisiana switched to counterinsurgency training during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. The military services focused other training on how to fight in cold weather – Mimic conditions in Russia or North Korea. But these recent changes occurred quickly in the first months after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

About 4,500 soldiers of the 2nd Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, march out into the vast desert training area at Fort Irwin, where they will spend two weeks fighting the NTC’s 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, which serves as the enemy. army. Soldiers from the regiment – known as the Blackhorse – line up in and around Ujen, which also has players taking on the role of locals.

As the sun rose earlier last week, Army Colonel Ian Palmer, the brigade commander, stood at Crash Hill, on the outskirts of town, to prepare his soldiers for an attack. Lines of tanks spread out in the distance. High winds the night before had hindered his advance, so the attack was a little late.

He said the exercises are using more drones by friendly forces and hostile forces, both for surveillance and for attacks. So his forces try to use camouflage and turn around the terrain to stay out of sight. “You know if you can be seen, you can be shot, wherever you are,” he said.

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In the center of the makeshift town, opposition forces are confident in their ability to hold off Palmer’s Brigade despite their varying size. The Denovian only has about 1,350 soldiers, but they throw everything they have on the brigade, from jamming and other electronic warfare to mutiny attacks and propaganda.

Role players have their phones ready to shoot and post quickly on social media.

Taylor said the Denovian forces want to portray the unit in the worst possible light, constantly changing the narrative on social media so that Palmer’s forces realize they are fighting a battle for the truth.

It’s a challenge, he said, because “when I hit a group of victims and go past my left side and my supply trains aren’t where they should be and I can’t find the bulldozers, it’s hard to think of something someone said about me on Twitter.”

Taylor said the training goal is to teach the brigades how to combine all elements of their combat power in a coordinated attack.

“Everyone can play an instrument, but it’s about making music – and putting it together in a synchronous way. And what I saw today is the artillery was doing the artillery thing, the aviation was doing the flying thing and the maneuverers were doing the maneuvering thing. But part of the delay in their attack on the city is that they couldn’t synchronize those three.

Once again, they can look to Ukraine to see how Russia failed to do so in the early weeks of the war. US leaders have repeatedly pointed out that in Russia’s initial multi-pronged offensive in Ukraine, leaders consistently failed to provide the air strikes and support their ground forces needed to move into major cities like Kyiv.

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This failure led to Russian forces bombarding cities from the periphery, hitting hospitals, apartment buildings and other buildings, and killing civilians.

So when the next brigade arrives as a training post, Taylor said he’ll take on an enemy aboard by doing exactly that.

“We’re going to be very focused on how to fight an opponent that’s willing to destroy infrastructure because that’s how we think our opponents are going to fight,” Taylor said. “We must be prepared to fight in urban areas where we have an adversary firing artillery indiscriminately.”

Wormott, the Army secretary, said seeing the training also underscores other lessons the United States is taking from the war in Ukraine.

“While we are watching what is happening to the Russians now, it is useful for us to think about what is right, from the point of view of modernization,” she said, noting that some American tanks are very heavy and that the terrain in Europe is more complex, not like the compacted sands of the desert.

She said the military should determine “what is the right balance between a tank’s mobility, a tank’s survivability, and a tank’s lethal ability? If you want to make it more mobile, you make it lighter, but that makes it less survivable.” .and so you have to decide where you are going to take the risk.”

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Follow the AP’s coverage of the war at https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

Follow Lolita C. Baldor on Twitter at http://twitter.com/lbaldor