Small Wars Journal

Army is Spending Half a Billion to Train Troops to Fight Underground

Army is Spending Half a Billion to Train Troops to Fight Underground by Matthew Cox - Military.com

U.S. Army leaders say the next war will be fought in mega-cities, but the service has embarked on an ambitious effort to prepare most of its combat brigades to fight, not inside, but beneath them.

Late last year, the Army launched an accelerated effort that funnels some $572 million into training and equipping 26 of its 31 active combat brigades to fight in large-scale subterranean facilities that exist beneath dense urban areas around the world.

For this new type of warfare, infantry units will need to know how to effectively navigate, communicate, breach heavy obstacles and attack enemy forces in underground mazes ranging from confined corridors to tunnels as wide as residential streets. Soldiers will need new equipment and training to operate in conditions such as complete darkness, bad air and lack of cover from enemy fire in areas that challenge standard Army communications equipment.

Senior leaders have mentioned small parts of the effort in public speeches, but Army officials at Fort Benning, Georgia's Maneuver Center of Excellence -- the organization leading the subterranean effort -- have been reluctant to discuss the scale of the endeavor…

Read on.