IntroductionOver the last few years we have realized that military personnel will have to have to be provided with strenuous training with deeper technological understanding due to the ever-changing and continuously improving new systems of hardware and software being adopted by the military establishment. Investment in human capital for the use of electronic systems that have flexibility for attaining the highest levels of performance is therefore a must so that future soldiers would have the ability to take advantage of all the advances made through the information technology sector.Future wars will in many ways be “works of art” in which the army will depend on the tools and sophisticated warfare systems at their disposal – and the army with the best of these will be the victors.
The intelligence of tomorrows soldier will therefore in combination with the conventional basic training also require specialized long term professional education (Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin, 2000, Training the MI Force for the Future, Access my library).The overall name given to a multinational military project by the United States and its allies that was launched in the late 1990s is “Future Soldier” and the purpose of this project is to provide superiority to ground forces. This superiority has to be achieved by equipping the ground-based combat soldier with integrated high-technology uniforms and equipment linked to a network of real-time and archived records of battlefield information.The success of this project depends on the psychological and tactical training that is being provided to the soldiers in utilizing their new capabilities.
A number of heavily funded Future Soldier programs are underway all over the world including Advanced Combat Man System (Singapore), African Warrior (South Africa), ANOG(Israel), BEST (Belgium), Black Robes (Russia), Combatiente Futuro (Spain), Félin (France), FIST (UK), IdZ (Germany), IMESS (Switzerland), Land 125 Australia, Land Warrior (USA), MARKUS (Sweden), ), NORMANS (Norway), Soldato Futuro (Italy), Soldier Modernisation Program (SMP) (Netherlands), and Soldado do Futuro (Portugal). Some of the earlier developed equipment was tested during the invasion of 2003 in Iraq while later developed equipment is currently being assessed for possible deployment in Iraq (Future Soldier).Future Combat SystemsThe operational requirements of the Future Combat Systems of militaries will be dependent on faster and lighter vehicles with their armor radically scaled back and equipped with mobile networks to provide complete information awareness.The capability to search and destroy the enemy before it is able to respond will also be dependent on the education and the imparting of specialized training of technology and automated teaching to manage the futuristic combat systems.
High priority will have to be given to intelligence gathering and target acquisition so as to enable soldiers to act upon the instruction received by them from the command and control vehicles, which in turn would be getting their information from unmanned scout vehicles, aerial vehicles and sensor videos.These duties will be so challenging that the requirements on training, tactical decision making and skill level will have to be of the highest quality with extensive. Military personnel will have to keep themselves mentally, physically and spiritually alert and fit at all times (Free Republic).Electronic simulators and systems will have to be built into the actual combat vehicles for training and enabling soldiers to rapidly deploy.
While conventional training methods do present soldiers with required amounts of information, it does little to ensure that this is applied correctly. Future training in contrast will be based on artificial intelligence and in experiments conducted, after 20 hours of proper training soldiers were able to raise performance levels to those of the technicians who had four years of on-the-job experiences. The provision of naval tactical training through artificial intelligence helped cadets receive 10 times more hands-on experience than ever before.Close combat tactical training at any time and anywhere through artificial intelligence provides company level and platoon level repeated exercises without the required physical infrastructure.
Militaries will also depend on artificial intelligence to evaluate the background, experience, knowledge about the Future Combat System, familiarization with necessary tools and software, and other general information about soldiers and select exercises and battlefield scenarios with hints and instructions accordingly for them.Besides tremendous savings by training through artificial intelligence in the armed forces, the navy and the air force exercises will always have to provide conventional live training augmented by the knowledge acquired from their time in improving their efficiency through technology (Chisholm, 2003).Other Research and DevelopmentThe United States Army Soldier Systems Center (SSC) is a military research complex that occupies 78 acres at its main campus and another 46 acres in neighboring communities.This installation researches and develops food, clothing, shelters, airdrop systems and also carries out human performance research under simulated environmental extremes of altitude, heat, cold, wind, etc.
The installation is also configured to allow the cross-service cooperation and collaboration within the facility and with the many academic, industrial and government institutions. The SSC is sometimes called the “Army Natick Labs” and for the year 2006, its total funding was approximately at U.S. $ 1 Billion.
Natick Labs is responsible for the development of the Meal-ready-to-eat (MRE), Land Warriors, Future Soldier, Future Force Warrior, Collective Protection Shelters and Interceptor Body Armor (United States Army Soldier Systems Center).International ElementThe United States is presently in about 70 different countries where it is carrying out various types of exercises. It will become necessary for foreign troops to be trained in the use of U.S.
supplied equipment and in the U.S. military doctrine and tactics to check counter-insurgency and irregular warfare operations. Yet at the same time it must ensure that it does not improve the abilities of foreign states and armies to repress their own civilian population or engage in hostilities with its neighbors.
Training must be provided for the respect of human rights, non-combative peacekeeping roles, and a military doctrine that advocates civilian control towards the rule of law, promotes for self-sufficiency in all matters, bolsters and supports the training of future leaders who would support enhanced relations with the United States and other foreign countries, promote better understanding of the United States cultures and values and fully participate to eradicate the illegal narcotic trade in cooperation with the International Narcotic Control Agencies of the world (US International Security Assistance Education and Training).PracticalitiesAll the worlds’ armies have constantly to upgrade and update their strategies to have an edge or have a minimum deterrence to counter their adversary’s military capabilities. The United States army has taken the initiative to transform itself to a new modular force through its investment in the ongoing “Future Combat Systems Technology “programs. Coupled with the ongoing developments and the current levels of FCS technologies available, the army will be allowed to confront and defeat enemies in all types of military operations.
With the restructuring cost of the $25 billion, the FCS program is already 27 months into a complex systems development phase and within its cost budget and on schedule. The FCS program is meeting all required performance standards from the 18 platforms, which make up the FCS family of systems. The FCS family is consistent of 23 prime and over 345 other contractors. In essence the best of the American industry and every major Department of Defense contractor’s involvement in this program as a team in brigade based modular units; the positive results have started coming in.
Much of the technologies being developed for the future armies are no longer just drawing board concepts but already realities with testing already carried out of unmanned aerial vehicles test firing cannon and mortar rounds via video control. Another impressive test was of the unmanned Fire Scout UAV diminutive helicopter that takes off and flies a pre-set search pattern and then lands by remote control.Test demonstrations of the “leader – follower” program in which small unmanned ground vehicles first venture into dangerous enemy territory followed by manned ground vehicles; and the compact Packbot Explorer man-portable small track vehicle that is already in service in Iraq and Afghanistan. This vehicle is guided by remote and carried a tiny camera and has the ability to maneuver over obstacles, climb stairs and flip itself upright after falling over and its larger variant capable of carrying a wider range of other sensor equipment.
In the FCS spectrum there is also the development of eight different types of manned vehicles inclusive of the non-line-of-sight cannon and the non-line-of-mortar and other vehicles with lower silhouettes and silent track systems. But these have more speed and agility to give the army the capability to rapidly deploy in any trouble spot around the world with lethal power. One other non-line-of-sight launch system is the multiple-launch rocket system in a small portable container that contains vertical-launch rounds. These containers also contain tactical fire-control electronics and the necessary software for remote and unmanned operations.
There are other systems that have the speed, lethal power and survival capacity to support a modular force of 43 brigades and designed to quickly deploy for any combat eventualities.The advances made in such technologies will be included for networking, unattended sensors, precision munitions, active protection, and for unmanned aerial and ground vehicles into the present force as soon as they are available. The army will be allowed to remain a dominant land power through the setting up of sensor networks laced with new technologies to link the battlefield in future ground combats and the delivery of the first FCS systems will mark the introduction of the next-generation of combat systems and sensors.This will allow the army to be connected through a network for the very first time to link up all the sensor pictures gathered across the modern battlefield.
This will benefit the soldiers and all the units at virtually every level to be aware of the ground realities and coordinate their operational planning and execution accordingly. The Army’s need to dominate across the full range of military operations from combat to peacekeeping will be possible through these new technological advances. The Army is transforming all of its units into a modular organization and it intends to equip each of the units with the FCS constituent systems when they become ready. Most notably the Packbot robot systems are already saving the lives of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan (Harding, 2005).
TerrorismAs the war on terrorism moves into its next phase with 28 terrorist groups presently operating in 18 countries, it must be ensured that weapon sales and other forms of military assistance freely flowing to many countries where these groups operate, do not fall into the wrong hands. Examples of such cases are like Saudi Arabia receiving U.S. support yet doing little to stem the activities of terrorist cells within its borders; Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon and Sri Lanka, have doubtful human rights and security records and any weapons provided to them are at risk of being diverted.
In many such countries, children are also used as soldiers in the official government forces and by terrorist groups. Evidence of this is apparent in various Asian, Middle-East and African countries. Another example of weapons now in the wrong hands is of the Stinger antiaircraft missiles supplied by the U.S.
government to help the mujahadeen against the Soviet Union now threatening the U.S. aerial assault in Afghanistan. The U.
S. policy makers must also be made aware of the its coalition partners of today, might not be on their side in tomorrows wars (Stohl, 2001)ConclusionDuring the post-Vietnam era, the phrase “Hollow force,” was coined to describe a military force that lacked the resources to field trained ready forces for supporting ongoing operations and to modernize. All future military programs therefore should be adequately funded so that necessary resources are available for the proper education and training of future soldiers. The future military operations will more frequently operate outside the borders of conventional conflict and in lesser familiar areas with unforeseen conditions prevailing.
Military training qualities in future may reach the highest standards as far as technology is concerned, but it will have to be amalgamated with the conventional old style military doctrines of the past because the core characteristics of all militaries remain the same. (Carafano, et.al, n.d.
) ReferencesFree Republichttp://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1742886/posts Accessed, March 15, 2007 Future Soldier, Answers.comhttp://www.
answers.com/topic/future-soldier Accessed, March 15, 2007 James Jay Carafano, Defence and Homeland Security,; Alane Kochems, National Security & David d. Gentilli, Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studieshttp://www.heritage.org/Research/HomelandDefense/wm1043.cfmAccessed, March 15, 2007 Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin, 2000, Training the MI Force for the Future, Access my libraryhttp://www.accessmylibrary.com/comsite5/bin/pdinventory.pl?pdlanding=1&referid=2930&purchase_type=ITM&item_id=0286-2505901 Accessed, March 15, 2007 Patrick Chisholm, 2003, Tutoring for Future Combat, Military Training Technology Online Archives, Volume: 8 Issue: 3http://www.military-training-technology.com/article.cfm?DocID=219 Accessed, March 15, 2007 Rachel Stohl, 2001, Center for Defense Information, Washingtonhttp://www.cdi.org/friendlyversion/printversion.cfm?documentID=2042 Accessed, March 15, 2007 Steve Harding, 2005, Army Demonstrates Future Combat Systemshttp://www.spacewar.com/news/miltech-05zzza.html Accessed, March 15, 2007 United States Army Soldier Systems Center, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Army_Soldier_Systems_CenterAccessed, March 15, 2007 US International Security Assistance Education and Traininghttp://www.fas.org/asmp/campaigns/training.html Accessed, March 15, 2007