Fighting in urban areas implies a high level of autonomy and initiative, since small units need to be separated to clean up urban areas. In the training center of the French army CENZUB soldiers are trained to work in small groups (on the photo)
At the operational level, the features of urban space described in the first part have one key consequence: Combat Operations in the City Territory (BDGT) involve conducting combined-arms operations. Quite possibly the most common form of combined arms maneuver is the close interaction of infantry and armored vehicles. Involvement of the main combat tanks | MBT) and armored vehicles in the city, provided that there are no restrictions on their movement (street width or limiting the carrying capacity of bridges), it allows infantry to be assaulted with equipment that can be used in buildings or fortified positions, where, according to intelligence, the enemy may be hiding . However, Santoni warns that "in settlements armored vehicles and tanks need protection." Their field of view is limited by viewing instruments, the crew cannot get out of the car and see what is happening outside. Therefore, these machines are vulnerable to shells attacking from any direction and angle, as well as to threats coming from underground tunnels. As a result, the task of the infantry is to protect these vehicles. The basis of this cooperation is the quality of communication between the machine and the accompanying infantry unit: it must be able to quickly and efficiently transmit to the crew the exact coordinates of the target for firing.
During the BDGT in combined arms operations may take part aviation. Direct Aviation Support (NAP) provides infantry and armored vehicles with additional striking power, where the armament of the armored vehicles cannot reach or where it is too dangerous for the infantry. In this case, experienced advanced aircraft gunners are needed, who maintain contact with different units to develop an air support fire plan.
From an operational point of view, any planning for an OBHT should include a carefully designed logistics plan. Before entering spatially limited urban areas, it is vital to identify at least one route that can be most easily and reliably protected for use as a logistics corridor and which will also simplify the evacuation of the wounded and the regular change of assault units. Evacuation of the wounded is also undoubtedly the key to successful BDHT, since, as one French military man noted, “in operations including BDHT, there are almost always more killed and wounded than in operations on any other type of terrain, therefore the ability to evacuate and heal wounded soldiers means that they will return to the line faster. Otherwise, you will have to fight in the most difficult conditions with a steadily decreasing number of personnel. ”
Finally, BDGTs require not only properly trained personnel, but also well-trained commanders at all echelons who are able to work as separate groups and coordinate all-arms operations. With the stabilization of the situation in the cities or their release, the army can no longer work as large formations; the nature of urban space rather dictates the division into groups of smaller size in order to be able to come from different directions and be distributed to be fixed in different buildings and zones. According to the French military, "the level of autonomy, due to the various micro-theaters of military operations in the operational space, will lead to the fact that the commanders of companies, platoons and branches must make independent decisions."
During exercises at the CENZUB Center, an armored vehicle provides infantry with assault weaponswhile infantry provides vehicle protection
At the tactical level, securing in the village and holding it takes an extremely long time, and the consumption of ammunition increases accordingly. The likelihood of a new threat in each new street, around the corner and in the building means that the units entering the city must go through all these buildings, one by one, and clean out their floor by floor, room by room. According to Sean Page of Avascent, a consulting firm, “every soldier needs to learn how to move in an urban space where threats are everywhere and the number of tactical options is very limited. As a result, moving through confined spaces is, by and large, safer than through the streets. At the same time, more ammunition is spent not only in exchanges of fire with the enemy, but also when inspecting premises, when it is necessary to remove all suspicions of his presence and to clean them up. ”
During operations, the chaos of the BDGT also contributes to the growth of losses, both among the allied forces and among the civilian population. In this regard, the organization of the BDT requires, as far as possible, before the start of the operation, also the rapid evacuation of the civilian population. The rules for conducting military operations have become very strict regarding casualties among the civilian population. The doctrinal guidance of the Marine Corps (ILC) for BHT requires: “Minimization of civilian casualties and / or associated destruction is necessary in order to avoid growing discontent among the local population, reduce the risks of condemnation by the world or local community; preserve the material base for future use and, finally, preserve cultural and historical objects. " In the same way, the ordering of BDHTs largely depends on the ability to identify and identify one's and allied forces. In response to the urgent needs of the military, technologies such as, for example, are being actively developed and developed. BFT (Blue Force Tracking - identification of friendly forces by the type of "friend or foe"), which allows you to mark the allied forces in blue, and the forces of the enemy in red. The past decade has seen the widespread adoption of BFT systems. For example, ViaSat offers such systems; its Blue Force Tracking-2 system is in service with the US Army and the ILC; Elbit Systems, a company that meets the requirements of the Australian Army BGC3 BFT; and Tales, which supplies its BFT system as part of the NORMANS (Norwegian Modular Arctic Network Soldier) soldier's outfit, which currently supplies the Norwegian army. However, the three-dimensionality of urban space is extremely difficult to display on hand-held and portable BFT devices. In this regard, General Bukan asks the question, “how will BFT devices cope with showing the presence of friendly forces on different floors of the building?”
And last but not least, a tactical link, which is one of the pillars of any military operation, can easily be broken in urban environments. Communication in the meter and decimeter VHF range, which uses the frequency range from 30 MHz to 3 GHz, is limited to the line-of-sight. The so-called "urban canyons", that is, the streets bounded by high-rise buildings, can block the radio transmission within the direct line of sight between the VHF radio stations of the meter and decimeter bands. Inside buildings, the signal of such radio stations can be attenuated by the thickness of walls or floors, while the overloaded electromagnetic spectrum, which includes radio and television stations, civilian radio communications (for example, used by taxi services and emergency services), not to mention cellular traffic, can adversely affect on the stability of the work of tactical VHF radio stations. Nevertheless, the organization of a special mobile network in which the transmitted signals of tactical radio stations "jump" (like a frog jumping across a pond from one water lily to another) from one transceiver within the line of sight of the transmitting station to another will not get to the intended receiver of these signals. Similarly, the system works MUOS (Mobile User Objective System), the basis of which is the grouping of VHF communication satellites, developed by Lockheed Martin in the interests of the US Navy. In order to avoid the physical restrictions imposed by the urban environment, radio signals in the VHF range are transmitted to space and reflected from one of five satellites in the geostationary orbit in order to reach their recipients. At the same time, despite some potential communications solutions offered by the MUOS system for BDGT, it is obvious that commanders also need a very high level of independence in conducting operations plus confidence in the planned military operations in the city, while each soldier needs to be trusted as direct orders, and his instincts.
A model of the Iraqi village of Medina Wasl in the National Training Center of the American Army, used to prepare the military for BDHT
Preparing for battle
Along with constantly improving technology, each soldier must undergo training in conditions in which the vast majority of military operations are conducted in built-up areas, often at the branch level and even an individual soldier.
As Shamo and Santoni note in their book “The Last Battlefield: Battle and Victory in the City”, BDGTs require the skills of “firing individual and group weapons, loading ammunition under enemy fire, movement as a group, taking precautions and protecting during in hostile zones, the application of first aid techniques and the call for fire of the ANC and artillery. "
In the second half of the 20 century, several countries built training centers to prepare for the BDGT. The pioneer was the United Kingdom, which built several settlements during the conflict in Northern Ireland with 1969 to 2006, simulating the real conditions that the British army faced in Northern Ireland’s villages and cities. Constructed in various locations, such as Folkestone (southern England), Seenelaager (western Germany) and Ballykinler (southern Northern Ireland), these training bases were regularly updated in pursuit of the constantly changing battlefield conditions, the latest weapons and the ambush tactics used by the rebels. Today, the British army is mainly conducting preparations for the BDGT at the Coophilldown Village Center in Worminster in southern England.
Training centers for training for BDGT built, for example, for the German army, this place Hammelburg in southern Germany; for the Israeli armed forces, Zeelim military base; for the Singapore Army, Murai Training Center; for the Spanish army, training at the Paraquellos de Jarama urban combat training center, and for many other armies.
Preparing for BDHT in the United States
There are two main training bases for the BDGT in the United States: the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) at Fort Regiment and the National Training Center at the National Training Center (NTC) at Fort Irvine. According to Page, “the military is trained in one of these two centers if they are to be on a mission as part of the expeditionary forces and participate in combat missions, including the BDGT”.
The JTRC specializes mainly in the preparation of light infantry forces for low and medium intensity combat, and these are mostly peacekeeping operations. Training infantry brigades can be carried out either as a rotation (shift), or as an exercise to work out combat missions MRE (Mission Rehearsal Exercises). While the MREs are shorter than the rotations, 12 and 18 days, respectively, they include most of the scenarios faced by teams that are fully rotated. As a rule, rotation is divided into three stages: introduction and counterinsurgency operation; defense against rebel attacks; and conducting an attack in a modern complex of BDHT. The implication is that these scenarios will prepare soldiers for as many difficulties as they may encounter. This is especially true in situations in which they will have to work closely with civilians, and therefore it is necessary to develop scenarios that include assistance in evacuating civilians, gathering intelligence information from the civilian population and interacting with civilians who sympathize with the enemy. On this account, Page added: “One of the most difficult tasks when performing an operation like BDGT is contact with a population that speaks in an unfamiliar language. In order for the soldiers to be ready for such cases, translators are involved in the scenario, while the role-playing players pretend to be civilians who do not speak English. ”
Exercises at the Center are also aimed at preparing infantry brigades to plan and conduct combined-arms maneuvers in an urban setting. Mechanized and armored units, special operations forces, units of the combat aviation command of the US Air Force, units of the US Navy and communications regularly take part in the exercises. JRTC Center Observers / Gunners closely monitor the exercises in order to provide support to commanders and help them improve their ability to plan, coordinate and respond to unforeseen difficult situations. At the end of each operational phase, an analysis of the results of actions taken and a discussion of corrective actions are carried out.
The task of the NTC Center is to “prepare the Brigade Combat Teams of the UGT (Brigade Combat Team) and other units for combat operations”. The NTC Center includes several village layouts that model cities and villages in Afghanistan and Iraq. As in the JRTC, the NTC shift lasts 18 days and includes several scenarios of preparing the UGT for the worst scenarios while conducting the UDHT, for example, an improvised explosive device (IED), a rocket attack and a suicide bomber attack. Also in the rotation are worked out situations to curb riots, interact with local people who do not speak English and provide him with assistance, as well as carrying out the evacuation of civilians and armed fighters.
Page noted that the types of scenarios, as well as the specific conditions of the exercises, are allotted to the discretion of the TSA commander; everything depends on the task for which it will be deployed. Speaking of opportunities, he noted that the TSA and infantry brigades undergoing training at the JRTC or NTC centers usually bring with them as much tangible property as they can, including not only individual equipment, but even helicopters. On the other hand, tanks and armored vehicles are provided by the Center. “Previously, units brought them along with them by rail, however, it turned out to be too time consuming and affordable, so it was decided that it would be more rational to have them fully prepared in these centers,” added Page.
The National Training Center of the American Army includes several models of townships that model cities and villages in Afghanistan and Iraq.
French preparation for BDHT
From the USA we will be transferred to France. The training base of the BDGT is located in the town of Sison in the north of this country. After deploying the French army in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Mali, where she regularly participated in the BDHT, in 2004, a training center for training in the city of CENZUB (Center d'Entraonement aux Actions en Zone Urbaine) opened at Sison. The structure of CENZUB includes: Bosezhur, imitation of a village with poor houses with house territories; a shooting range in an urban area, in the limited space of which soldiers can work out relevant skills, either as part of a separate group or individually; and the city complex Jeffrekur.
The construction of the Jeffrekur complex began in 2008 and was completed in 2012, it simulates the urban space intended to accommodate 5000 residents. It includes four different zones: a remote industrial area with a factory building and other industrial buildings, as well as a supermarket; the main peripheral area with a kindergarten, hospital and fitness center, as well as seven multi-storey residential buildings located along a wide street resembling the infamous "Sniper Alley" in Sarajevo (see Part 1). Also in Zhefrekure you can find a residential area and the city center with a mosque, a municipality and several narrow streets. The urban area includes several elements designed to reproduce some of the complex tasks that soldiers may encounter in urban space. This, for example, is a small river, through which two bridges are built (only one of them can withstand the mass of a tank or another armored vehicle), as well as a sewer system that simulates underground passages that are often found during TIR.
In the center of CENZUB, the Jeffrekur complex includes a remote industrial area, residential neighborhood and city center.
Rotation in the center CENZUB lasts two weeks. According to Lieutenant Charlotte (in the French military police, only the name is allowed in the media), the public relations officer at CENZUB, “the first week of a company’s rotation, whether it’s gunners, infantrymen, scouts or engineers, was given to the lectures on the BDHT doctrine and practical exercises on specific tactics, for example, how to handle the VCA. During the second week, combat missions are being worked out at Jeffrekure. ” On the first day, Monday, the company begins preparing for the exercises on a large model of the city. It recreates the conditions for the preparation of maneuvers on the battlefield. Then the personnel goes to Jeffrekur and begins his first maneuver, an attack on the city, which lasts until the evening of Tuesday. On Wednesday, the company takes part in a stabilization scenario, which includes a tripartite meeting in the municipality of international peace support forces and two urban groups fighting with each other, and also receives an order to suppress the unrest that begins in the city. On Thursday, the company is attacked by militants who are trying to seize the city, received an order to hold positions and counterattack.
In the CENZUB Center, the personnel acting as an adversary is preparing for imitation exercises.
CENZUB has a permanent staff of about 400 people, consisting of civilians and military, who play their roles during these exercises. Charlotte noted that “depending on the scenario of the day, employees can play enemy forces (FORAD), either military, or insurgents, or civilians”. Also at the base and in the operational center CENZUB there are instructors who are very closely watching the exercises in order to analyze the past day in detail. There is also a film crew that records the most difficult maneuvers or actions that may cause unexpected difficulties, which were planned in advance by the instructors. At the end of each day, the company commanders, together with the instructors, analyze the actions of their units.
During the exercises at CENZUB, French soldiers wear combat equipment FELIN (Fantassin a Equipement et Liaisons Integres - integrated infantry equipment and communication equipment) developed by Safran Defense Electronics and Sagem and armed with an XIUMX-mm FAMAS-F5,56 assault rifle from GIAT / Nexter. Some elements of the FELIN equipment are equipped with the STC-AL system (Simulateur de Tir et Combat Armes Legeres - simulator of shooting gallery and light weapons) from Cassidian / Airbus. Laser irradiation sensors are attached to the helmet and body armor, which react to the laser beam emitters mounted on the weapons of opposing units. The exercises are conducted without military weapons, but in order to create a battle noise, blank cartridges are issued to FAMAS-F1 rifles. The goal is for soldiers to get used to shooting in confined spaces and more easily endure the stress caused by this noise. In addition, as is the case with preparations for the BDGT in the United States (see above), units of the French army can bring their standard equipment to the CENZUB center, for example, Helicopters SA-1 Gazelle reconnaissance helicopters or EC-342HAP / HAD reconnaissance helicopters Tigre Also in drills at the CENZUB center, drones can take part, for example, the staffs of the French army Survey Copter and Tracker manufactured by Cassidian and Airbus.
For its part, CENZUB provides for FORAD old armored vehicles, for example, VAB 4x4 armored personnel carriers from GIAT / Nexter, floating AMX-10Р infantry fighting vehicles from GIAT Nexter (deactivated by the French army) and MBT of AMX-30 family.
Captain Martin, instructor at the center CENZUB. He said that the exercises "are aimed at reproducing as many situations as possible which the soldiers will encounter." They include not only possible conditions and scenarios, but also drills for evacuating the wounded at the level of a detachment, platoon or company. In this regard, the FELIN training system, built around STC-AL, also incorporates a display, which displays information about the fact of hitting and the extent of the injury: a slight injury, serious or death. In the latter case, the soldier either lies on the floor for five minutes waiting for the evacuation of his comrades, or takes off his helmet to show that he is dead and does not need to be evacuated. “The evacuation of armed fighters is a key determinant for maintaining the pace and success of the operation,” continued Martin. “Ultimately, the exercises at CENZUB are designed to prepare commanders for general combat and develop skills for coordinating large units in difficult situations.”
During combat training at the CENZUB center, the FELIN system is equipped with sensors to simulate hits and the extent of a soldier’s defeat.
Conducting combat training in real conditions is expensive, and the training of units in the training centers of the BDHT is limited in time. Military training, however, must be carried out on an ongoing basis, since the enemy is improving his tactics, and new technologies make tactics that yesterday were in demand redundant. In addition, not all general military scenarios can be reproduced within the BDHT training centers. It is especially difficult, for example, to prepare advanced aviation gunners, who are an integral part of the NAP in such centers as JRTC, NTC or CENZUB. However, advances in virtual training technologies over the past decade have made it easier to accomplish this task.
When carrying out BDHT, tactical techniques are required, which require from the soldier not only developed reflexes, but also a large expenditure of ammunition. It is too expensive to regularly train soldiers in the training centers of the BDGT, especially to conduct military shooting there. Meggitt seeks to solve this problem by developing a rifle training system. Robert Cairns, specialist in training systems at Meggitt, explained: “We take real weapons and refine them into a training pneumatic ... Thus, soldiers develop fast and accurate reflex skills through the use of training weapons with an unlimited number of cartridges. As a result, they have a higher level of readiness upon arrival at the combat training center. ” Together with the US military, Meggitt is currently implementing two major programs. As part of the first program under a contract with the Weapons Systems Directorate, the ISMT (Indoor Simulated Marksmanship Trainer) training system for indoor shooters was developed. The company explains that ISMT is a rifle training program aimed at improving the accuracy of firing of military personnel through various collective and individual scenarios. It includes elements of automatic training, which allow the instructor to immediately receive information about the actions of the infantryman and to provide additional instruction if necessary. In accordance with the contract, deliveries began in January 2017; Meggitt will supply ISMT 166 Systems.
The VBS-3 system provides a virtual space that includes a large number of complex tasks that soldiers will have to face in the real world, for example, the disposal of IEDs
In accordance with the second training program for 99 million dollars in shooters, Meggitt will supply more of the EST-II (Engagement Skills Trainer) 890 training systems for combat skills to the units of the US Army and National Guard, which are also deployed abroad. EST-II is a small arms simulator that combines three-dimensional infantry training, automatic instruction, interface with a tablet and improved graphics. Shipments began in August 2016 of the year and will be completed on schedule in April 2018 of the year. A spokesman for Meggitt also noted that "both systems were designed to get the most accurate reproduction of real-world situations thanks to Bohemia Interactive Simulations (BISim) Virtual Battlespace-3 (VBS-3) software." These systems allow you to download also new models of weapons.
Meggitt develops rifle training systems that help soldiers develop fast and accurate skills through the use of training weapons with an unlimited number of rounds
Regarding VBS-3 software, BISim vice president Oliver Erap said it “allows users to gain experience in highly detailed integrated space, close to what they would have in the real world. It implements the detailing of such objects as, for example, components of VCA, wires and switches, which are important elements of military training in modern urbanized space. ” With the help of the program of the company TerraSim, a division of BISim, the software package VBS-3 also allows users to create their own three-dimensional models of buildings. That is, preparation of preliminary deployment for specific tasks is simplified. The program also offers a wide range of weapons and its striking factors. “It supports realistic destruction based on physical principles, which allows the user to destroy buildings in various ways, from simply making aisles and small holes to completely destroying them,” continued Erap. “Thus, it allows the user to get an idea of the damaging factors of the kinetic type in urban space that could not be reproduced otherwise.” In 2016, BISim supplied the Dutch Ministry of Defense with terrain modeling software to prepare for operations in localities. In addition, she supplied the Swedish Armed Forces with a program for modeling the terrain DayZ Chernarus, which includes various types of urban space.
MetaVR has developed several computerized BDHT preparation systems, including a virtual model of the BDHT training base at Camp Pendleton
MetaVR desktop simulators simplify and reduce the cost of training advanced aviation gunners
As for the BDGT training tools, MetaVR is actively involved in the supply of BDGT computer training systems for the US military. Kristin Blier, a terrain database designer at MetaVR, is leading several of the company's initiatives to develop virtual BDGT preparation centers, including the BDGT virtual base at Camp Pendleton. "In 2016, we created virtual copies of two BDHT training centers at Camp Pendlton with a high level of confidence ... Our goal was to simulate the Kilo-2 and Combat Town-25 BDHT centers using our 3-D-location tools and get exact with geographic terms of virtual space for real-time simulation. " Blier added that “we used open source video and photographic materials as the source material. From this material, we have created geospecific building models with facades imitating the structure of the material and reliable interiors with precisely located doors and windows. Details such as stones, pillars, vegetation, borders, and signs were also created from the original photographs in order to “revitalize” the area in question. The models were also tied to our 3-map, which we created on the basis of lidar data (laser locator). As a result, we created impressive copies of two BDGT centers, which are great for combat training. ”
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