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Networked Forces in Stability Operations

Networked Forces in Stability Operations: 101st Airborne Division, 3/2 and 1/25 Stryker Brigades in Northern Iraq

Daniel Gonzales
John Hollywood
Jerry M. Sollinger
James McFadden
John DeJarnette
Sarah Harting
Donald Temple
Copyright Date: 2007
Edition: 1
Published by: RAND Corporation
Pages: 220
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  • Book Info
    Networked Forces in Stability Operations
    Book Description:

    Compares three units that conducted stability operations in the same area in northern Iraq-the 101st Airborne Division (which had only limited digital communications), the 3/2 Stryker brigade combat team (SBCT), and the 1/25 SBCT (both equipped with digital networks) and finds that leadership, training, and tactics and procedures are just as important as networking capabilities for improving mission effectiveness in stability operations.

    eISBN: 978-0-8330-4427-3
    Subjects: Political Science, Technology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Preface
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  4. Figures
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Tables
    (pp. xi-xii)
  6. Summary
    (pp. xiii-xxxiv)

    The Stryker brigade, one of the Army’s newest units, has advanced command, control, and intelligence capabilities and uses a network-centric concept of operations. These capabilities include the full complement of Army digital communications and battle command systems. Its networked capabilities enabled it to employ network-centric operations (NCO) capabilities down to a lower echelon than other Army units. An important issue for the Department of Defense and the Army is whether these improved capabilities translate into an information advantage and, if so, whether that advantage results in greater mission effectiveness in stability operations.

    This study attempts to answer those two questions...

  7. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xxxv-xxxvi)
  8. Abbreviations
    (pp. xxxvii-xlii)
  9. CHAPTER ONE Introduction
    (pp. 1-12)

    The Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT), one of the newest units in the U.S. Army, employs advanced communications and command and control (C2) capabilities and uses an information-centric concept of operations with elements that are very similar to concepts found in the Network Centric Operations Conceptual Framework (NCOCF) developed by the Office of Force Transformation and Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Networks and Information Integration OASD(NII).¹

    The elements of the SBCT have been developed, integrated, and evolved as a mission capabilities package, which includes capabilities (materiel and non-materiel) and the doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership, personnel, and...

  10. CHAPTER TWO Iraqi Operational Setting and Unit Characteristics
    (pp. 13-38)

    This chapter discusses the operational environment U.S. forces faced in Iraq. This environment has proven to be more complex and difficult than originally envisioned before the start of OIF. The situation is made more complex by the fact that not all regions of Iraq have the same ethnic composition or political dynamics. We first describe the overall environment in Iraq and the ethnic tensions among segments of the Iraqi population that came to the surface after the downfall of the Saddam Hussein regime. Next we focus on the operational environment in northern Iraq, which is where the three units we...

  11. CHAPTER THREE Force Networking, Quality of Information, and Quality of Shared Situation Awareness
    (pp. 39-64)

    In this chapter, we examine the networking and the command and control, or battle command, systems the 101st ABD and the two Stryker brigades were equipped with during their rotation in OIF. We then evaluate the effect of these systems on the quality of information, collaboration, and shared situation awareness within these units. We also consider the influence of the units’ training and experiences on their shared situation awareness.

    Figure 3.1 provides a simplified view of the 101st ABD communications network that includes many of the key nodes within the division and adjacent or attached units. Below the brigade level,...

  12. CHAPTER FOUR Tactical Stability Missions, NCO-Enabled Processes, and Tactical Mission Effectiveness
    (pp. 65-94)

    The NCO Conceptual Framework, introduced in Chapter One, asserts that improved shared situation awareness and collaboration can lead to better self-synchronization of activities within units, better synchronization between units, and new processes that improve command decisionmaking, and that these in turn lead to greater tactical mission effectiveness. Results presented in the previous chapter disclosed that the Stryker brigades possessed better digital networking capabilities than the 101st ABD and that these capabilities frequently resulted in higher quality of information (QoI) and better collaboration. In this chapter, we first review the types of tactical missions that military units have been tasked to...

  13. CHAPTER FIVE Mission Effectiveness in Stability Operations
    (pp. 95-128)

    In this chapter, we examine the mission effectiveness in stability operations of the 101st ABD, the 3/2 SBCT, and the 1/25 SBCT to discern where NCO capabilities or other factors contributed to an increase (or decrease) in mission effectiveness. Previous chapters have illustrated how the NCO capabilities have enabled the SBCTs to operate effectively—arguably more effectively than conventional units—in tactical stability operations, while the 101st ABD was more effective in reconstruction activities because of the additional manpower, funding, and engineering resources it had at its disposal and because of effective command leadership. What matters, of course, is whether...

  14. CHAPTER SIX Summary: Findings and Recommendations
    (pp. 129-146)

    In this study, we have examined stability operations conducted by three units responsible for northern Iraq from May 2003 to November 2005: the 101st Airborne Division, the 3/2 Stryker brigade combat team, and the 1/25 Stryker brigade combat team.

    Each unit encountered unique external factors during its rotation that were beyond its control. Each unit also encountered insurgent and terrorist threats that changed significantly over time. And each unit laid a foundation for its successors that included intelligence on local threats; contacts with local leaders, politicians and security officials; promises and agreements with them; and a level of trust in...

  15. APPENDIX A Director, Office of Force Transformation, Study Authorization Memorandum
    (pp. 147-150)
  16. APPENDIX B SBCT Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures Used in OIF
    (pp. 151-160)
  17. APPENDIX C Detailed Results of the Quality of Information and Collaboration Surveys
    (pp. 161-164)
  18. APPENDIX D Iraqi National Elections
    (pp. 165-170)
  19. Bibliography
    (pp. 171-178)