• Overmatch: To be more than a match for an opponent by greatly exceeding comparative measures of the opponent’s capabilities. Overmatch implies sufficient superiority to ensure operational success.
• Near, mid, long terms: For this report, the near term is within 5 years, mid-term is 5-10 years, and long term is beyond 10 years.
The SOT charged the committee with identifying both technological and organizational capabilities that are needed to give a dismounted small unit decisive overmatch against future adversaries. Technical requirements for optimizing Soldiers and small units to achieve overmatch were to be identified in areas including but not limited to situational awareness, communications and networking, weapons, mobility, protection, human dynamics, and logistical support. To address its charge, the committee conducted an extensive information-gathering effort that included visits to Army training facilities and service laboratories, presentations from and discussions with Army leaders from both the requirements development and acquisition communities, and meetings and interviews with Soldiers and small unit leaders recently returned from deployment in overseas operations. The committee also identified and reviewed key publications in the open literature and shared the individual members’ experiences and expertise with representatives of both the Army science and technology community and the operational Army. The committee’s formal meetings and site visits are listed in Appendix B.
From the outset of the study, the committee noted that the soldiers and tactical small units in Iraq and Afghanistan were expected to perform in a variety of operations in addition to traditional combat and that the “battlefield” had become far more complex. These additional roles, referred to as wide area security and combined arms maneuver, were discussed with the Army during data-gathering and later articulated in documents that were released during the study. (U.S. Army, 2011b; U.S. Army, 2012).
In the revised doctrine, the range of military operations holds infantry soldiers and tactical small units equally as responsible for stability operations, such as wide area security, as they have been in the past for offensive and defensive combat operations alone. The increased scope of responsibilities provided the committee with perspective on what would be needed to achieve decisive overmatch in the future, and it also affected the approach to the study.
As a result, it was clear to the committee that the Army had begun a transition to the future TSU in its current operations and that the TSU would depend much more heavily on the abilities of Soldiers in the future. The study approach would have to evaluate existing and contemplated technologies in light of this expanded operational mission set for the dismounted Soldier and TSU.