It is time that changed. The Army needs to establish an urban warfare school to prepare soldiers to fight and survive in dense urban terrain.
I'll add that an OPFOR-like (Opposition Force) unit and training area that makes our Army so good at open-field maneuver warfare should be replicated with a MOUTFOR (Military Operations in Urban Terrain Force) with its own wired urban battlefield.
But I don't want combat maneuver brigades to be focused on urban warfare as a mission that makes them less useful for other missions.
Truth be told, I'm on record (see my article on page 38) as thinking that the Marines should be the force tasked with urban warfare given that the amphibious assault mission requires skills that more easily translate to city assault.
The Marines already have a decent-sized urban training environment using shipping containers as building blocks:
Shortly after Brig. Gen. H. Stacy Clardy III cut the ribbon on the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center’s new $170 million urban warfare training facility Tuesday, Jan. 25, [2011,] the base commanding general stood atop one of its 1,250 cargo-container buildings with an enthusiastic group of visitors and watched a platoon of Marines storm a building in one of its seven districts.
The Army should be prepared for such urban missions by training officers and putting out doctrine. I think our engineers would be a good home for honing the tactics and equipment for urban warfare because their engineering help would be crucial for leveraging the infantry and armor of the Army in fighting inside a city (with fires support from artillery and other services of course).
Although I will concede that if the urban warfare brigade is outside of the force pool, it would be useful as a testing platform.
And maneuver units could get trips to MOUTFOR to expose them to this environment just as units get tested in maneuver warfare by the OPFOR.