US Terrain Shaping Munitions and Area Denial Capability

  • Colonel Morgan D. O’Rourke

The US finds itself in an increasingly unstable and unpredictable world with a shrinking military. Smaller JTFs will have to form on short notice from multiple bases to cover the joint functions. We cannot allow the enemy to control key terrain and use their countermobility systems to pin down and destroy our forces. During the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we ceded the countermobility fight to the enemy and lost the initiative. Engineers focused on building protective structures and finding IEDs. After 10 years of overreliance on remote sensor-fires links and aviation we are ill prepared for the fights ahead. In the process we lost our proactive mindset in using countermobilty to support defensive and offensive operations. Our current systems are nearing the end of their lifecycle and are inadequate for supporting future operations. We must engage with all stakeholders and swift action across DOTMLPF to develop scalable, reliable, affordable, and effective lethal and non-lethal countermobility capabilities in support of the joint commander’s intent. The days of legacy landmines are mercifully gone, FASCAM is inadequate, the demands of man-in-the loop systems are tremendous and we must train and equip for the fight ahead.