Monday, February 07, 2011

Accuracy is Speed

The Army still doesn't have precision 120mm mortars in the field in Afghanistan as they hoped. But we still want them:

The US Army is pushing to get precision mortars developed and deployed to the field in Afghanistan as soon as possible. Mortars are lighter and can be towed by a HMMWV or MRAP, or carried and fired from inside M113 or Stryker APCs, making them easier to deploy than heavier cannon artillery.

Yes, we have other precision assets. But pushing precision down the organizational structure--to battalions in this case--will speed up the Army, as I wrote:

Being able to use organic precision firepower means that units can handle threats without calling on brigade or higher level artillery/rocket assets or air power. Fewer problems will be beyond the capacity of the battalion to defeat.

This will speed up our units by allowing our units to keep advancing more quickly without waiting for outside assets to handle a threat that organic firepower is unable to deal with quickly.

Battle tempo is increasing with precision firepower, prompt intelligence and reconnaissance pushed to units in the field, and better command and control assets.

But all this will be for nought if we don't have high quality troops led by high quality officers and NCOs, who are given the opportunity to train, train, and train again before being committed to combat. I know I harp on readiness, but in tight budget times, training is often the first to go when budget dollars run short. I'd always rather train troops and maintain their equipment before I buy another new gadget.

Accuracy means speed. But only if we can exploit that accuracy with high quality forces.