The lack of an analytical foundation for squad performance limits future advances in capability to what infantry leadership is advocating at a given time; it precludes development of a stable TSU architecture. While the TRADOC Analysis Center has some force-on-force models that could be used, it has not used these to develop measures of performance (MOPs) or measures of effectiveness (MOEs) for the TSU. MOPs and MOEs for the current squad are based on operational experiments to assess particular materiel systems using scenarios developed for the experiment.
The Army has adopted 72 hours as the mission-duration standard for squad performance. A standard operation would require each Soldier to carry a “sustainment” load of about 60 pounds for the 72-hour mission, in addition to an assault load of about 45 pounds. This standard represents a “worst case” load, in the sense that a mission duration less than 72 hours would reduce the Soldier load. As a consequence of the 72-hour standard, Army developers have pursued multiple alternatives for manned and unmanned support vehicles, such as the M274 mechanical mule and the planned Soldier Mission Support System.
Robotic augmentation of TSU functions is a design consideration of enormous potential for Soldier and TSU capabilities in the future. However, proponents and developers of support vehicles for the squad continue to ignore the need to address many basic shortcomings that have been identified using prototypes, including several issues relating directly to TSU design. These include such things as: provisions for operator and maintainer manpower; vehicle mobility that is less than that of dismounted Soldiers (which means the vehicle cannot keep up with dismounts in complex terrain); load security when separated from the TSU formation, as well as other “minder” distractions; safety of dismounted Soldiers; and tactical noise and other signatures.
In addition to support vehicles to assist with load-carrying, there are portable unmanned aerial vehicles for reconnaissance, “port bots” for special purposes, and exoskeleton systems to consider in future designs for the most capable TSU organization. Appendix H provides descriptions of current relevant programs in robotics technologies.
As discussed in Chapter 3, until the Army develops a better understanding of TSU requirements, it will have no choice but to continue using worst-case approaches and faulty support concepts. The Army has a mature set of metrics for Armored Systems and Mounted Combat, which, together with models and simulations, can predict or estimate engagement, battle, and campaign outcomes for a given set of performance data and conditions. Analogous capability is needed for designing and evaluating dismounted TSU concepts. Using foundations developed in the 1980s, objective metrics, as recommended in Chapter 3, can be developed for social processes that are critical to achieving decisive overmatch, even if the scores on some metrics are not necessarily on an ordinal scale (that is, they are not ranked from a highest to lowest score). It should be possible for the Army to develop metrics for the dismounted Soldier and TSU in operations such as direct fire, movement, indirect fire coordination, information collection, mission planning,