Recommendation 13: In the mid-term, the Army should undertake research to identify a range of unambiguous signals of nonlethal intent. The research should extend to the exploration of cultural differences in intent interpretation.
Given the range of missions and tasks that dismounted TSUs may be called upon to perform in the future, even experienced leaders at the TSU level and higher echelons cannot be expected to know immediately the best combination of available options, extending across all DOTMLPF domains, for the optimal balance of maneuverability, military effects, and survivability in every environment and engagement. An easy-to-use mission planning aid could incorporate the relationships among options learned from prior operational experience (lessons learned), as well as the relationships among metrics, indicators, and DOTMLPF options found and validated through experimental trials and incorporated in assessment models used by the development community.
Properly designed, such a mission planning aid would include long distance endurance and sprint speed (as factors in engagement vulnerability), functions of terrain, meteorological factors, ration intake, loads, physical attributes of TSU members, and resupply points. It would identify the TSU member-by-load combination most likely to be the mobility limit for the TSU formation. If the empirical basis could be developed, the planning aid could also predict the probability that the mission would contribute to the long-term injury or disability of particular TSU members.
The mission planning aid would be used in training TSU leaders on the factors that affect squad mobility, including terrain, meteorological conditions, loads, load configurations, accumulated fatigue, individual protective equipment (IPE), and how factors like IPE fit and load configuration constrain agility. Practical exercises for leader trainees would increase confidence in using the planning aids in operations. Also, the aids to Soldier load planning and mobility and endurance effects of different loads could be incorporated in training simulations and games.
TSU leaders and their commanders at higher echelons need to understand how factors across all the DOTMLPF domains affect not only Soldier load but also the more encompassing goal of balancing maneuverability, effective action, and survivability to ensure small units have decisive overmatch wherever and under whatever circumstances they operate.
Recommendation 14: The Army should develop a mission planning aid to assist in balancing maneuverability, military effects, and survivability, for use in training and operations by TSU leaders and leaders at higher echelons.