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Ongoing Desensitization: USJFCOM and U.S. Marine Corps Co-sponsor Joint Urban Warrior 05

USJFCOM Public Affairs | May 22, 2005
By Chris Hoffpauir

U.S. Joint Forces Command and the U.S. Marine Corps are set to co-sponsor the second Joint Urban Warrior seminar wargame through May 26 at the Bolger Center in Potomac, Md.

U.S. Joint Forces Command and the U.S. Marine Corps began co-sponsoring the Joint Urban Warrior 05 (JUW05) seminar wargame here today.

It is the second in the JUW series of co-sponsored workshops, seminars, and events designed to uncover and capture lessons for future joint urban operations (JUO) and runs through May 26.

The goal of the series is to give joint and combined force commanders a knowledge base for separating adversaries from the rest of the population and minimizing unnecessary destructive effects.

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Additionally, lessons from JUW 05 will improve the design of future urban experiments, influence ongoing development of the Joint Urban Training Strategy, and suggest improvements to the Department of Defense Joint Urban Operations master plan.

According to Don Streetman of USJFCOM's Joint Experimentation Directorate, JUW05 is intended to provide a vehicle for communicating and integrating the activities of the different services and agencies addressing urban operations concept development and experimentation.

"We'll have a wide range of participants," Streetman said, "including all armed services, multinational partners, and the intelligence and interagency communities."

Additionally, Department of Defense organizations, non-governmental organizations and private volunteer organizations will explore a scenario that includes combat, stability, and support as well as humanitarian operations.

"We recognize not every problem is going to be solved by military action," Streetman said. "We have to look at this in terms of what instrument of national power is best applied to get to the end state or solution that we want."

Air Force Lt. Col. Ron Rosenkranz, USJFCOM's military lead for JUW05, agreed the mission doesn't end at finding and defeating the enemy.

"The traditional battlefield still exists," Rosenkranz said, "but in an urban environment a lot of that gets blurred or isn't applicable because it's such a different environment. Adversaries aren't always dressed in uniforms, so the problem of identifying them is much more difficult."

"The warfighter who defeated the enemy now has different responsibilities," said Rosenkranz. "He's inherited the city's functions because the folks who were in charge have left town. He's got to fill that void before the bad guys do or chaos will reign."

Rosenkranz said an essential element of urban operations is allowing the populace to return to daily life.

Streetman said JUW05 builds on last year's wargame, JUW04, and continues exploring, developing, and assessing innovative operational, organizational, and command relationships and approaches for conducting joint, combined, and interagency urban operations.

"We're not starting with a blank sheet of paper," Streetman said. "There are a lot of people coming back who participated in JUW04. They have pressing concerns about urban warfare. They're experts and it gives them opportunity to learn and flex the concepts they're working on."

In addition to studying concepts for conduct of combat, stability and support, and humanitarian operations in an urban environment, JUW05 will focus on coalition and interagency coordination, integration, and interoperability.

Participants will be organized into three 'Blue Cells,' or operational planning teams.

"We'll have two teams that'll be looking at the near-term, the 2007 time frame," Streetman said. "The third is going to be looking at the 2015 timeframe.

"They're going to organize the way they see fit, because we're looking for innovative approaches to the organization of staffs and incorporating interagency and multinational participants. Each of the cells will probably come up with something different."

"The primary military planners are in those three cells," Rosenkranz said. "The first two will use current capabilities and planning techniques. The difference between them is that the first cell will be led by an active duty U.S. Marine colonel. The second cell will be led by a British Army colonel, so we'll instantly get an international perspective.

"The multinational piece is important. We often look at an area through our own eyes and we never really consider what an allied officer might think about a certain situation. We all have our own experiences.

According to Rosenkranz, the scenario places a combined task force in a capital city to provide stability and support the needs of a population in a 25 square kilometer area. The force must keep the city's services functioning, plus combat insurgent elements that have risen.

"We're looking at how we would do this in 2015," Rosenkranz said, "when our capabilities are changed or advanced. What capabilities do we think we'll need to provide stability operations and conduct joint urban operations?"

"There will be standard planning and analysis, developing courses of action directed toward what we're going to do," Streetman said. "We're going to have some heavy thinkers there. We're also going to have people who have very recent experience, coming right out of Iraq or Afghanistan."

"We expect a lot of good things to come out of the mid-level officers coming in with fresh experiences and fresh ideas," Rosenkranz said. "The benefit of this is bringing people together from various communities and allowing their brainpower to flow. What we're trying to do is advance concepts through experimentation, so we can give commanders a spectrum of things to consider in an urban environment."

According to both Rosenkranz and Streetman, the results of JUW05 will be fed back into the JUW series in preparation for JUW06 next year.

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