At the dismounted TSU level, as well as at the theater-wide level of Army operations, socioeconomic support capability includes actions that build capacity of social and economic institutions so they may withstand and diminish threats such as those identified above under “security.” Examples of this capability include establishing governing institutions, improving the existing transportation infrastructure, providing basic needs (water, electricity, sewage, etc.), expanding the existing education infrastructure, improving access to medical facilities, and providing high-impact economic (agriculture and industry) assistance. Related objectives include reducing illicit economic activities that undermine stability objectives, such as local or national corruption and illegal or harmful economic activities. Examples of the latter in recent Army theaters of operation include interdicting cultivation of opium poppies and the processing/distribution of narcotics in Afghanistan.
Tactical maneuverability (combination of mobility and agility) is difficult to achieve in complex, austere, and harsh terrains and at a high OPTEMPO. To effectively close with and neutralize the enemy utilizing fire and maneuver, mobility for the Soldier and TSU must be equal to or better than that of adversaries. Survivability focused on heavy personal armor will reduce mobility, so survivability ensembles must allow for adversary-competitive mobility, while keeping casualties within strategic expectations.
TSU and Soldier maneuverability needs vary with roles, missions, and phases of a mission. For example, dismounted rifle TSUs (those that close with and neutralize the enemy) will require more maneuverability than the heavy weapons TSUs (e.g., those in a heavy weapons platoon) (HQDA, 2007). Additionally, TSUs augmented by heavy weapons—such things as heavy machine guns, mortars, anti-tank weapons, and associated ammunition—have greater need for improved mobility rather than agility. With regard to phases of missions, TSUs carry a maximum load to assembly areas, a smaller load to preassault positions, and finally their combat load during the assault. During current operations, the unloaded equipment is secured by other parent organizational elements. In future operations, autonomous ground vehicles may be available for carrying the loads, but the TSU may still have to offload the equipment, swap the equipment out during each phase of the operation, and provide for security.
TSUs also need better maneuverability in complex terrain (e.g., urban, mountainous, and jungle). As mentioned earlier for urban operations, TSUs must not be constrained by ground-level doors and windows for assaulting a building nor by stairwells for vertical movement within a building.