The US Army is seeking to prepare soldiers and weapons systems for underground warfare
From the US Army Rapid Equipping Force:
U.S. Soldiers have historically encountered subterranean environments in Korea and Vietnam, as well as in current contingency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Subterranean operations present several challenges, which include the inability to communicate via analog/digital comms, to conduct unmanned reconnaissance and persistent surveillance, to see without ambient light, to main situational awareness of friendly forces, and to see through obscurants. Additionally, these types of environments often offer insufficient force protection, present hazardous air conditions, and inhibit the transportation of heavy loads.
The Rapid Equipment Force received a request from the 2nd Infantry Division in 2012 for an equipment set to adequately conduct operations in tunnel complexes in Korea. The U.S. Army Asymmetric Warfare Group partnered with REF to assemble and to assess equipment involving subterranean government and commercial off-the-shelf technologies. The U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command’s recent emphasis regarding the Multi-Domain Battle Concept and Dense Urban Operations created a catalyst to reassess the original set and to provide upgrades.
Based off REF’s micro-assessments in 2015 and 2016 to these upgrades, REF and AWG planned a culmination exercise involving troops from a conventional unit to validate the upgrade. In February 2017, the REF joined the AWG and the 307th Brigade Engineer Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Complex, North Vernon, Ind., for a weeklong subterranean training event, which culminated in a simulated underground rescue mission. The results of this exercise will inform the Total Force, help solve the capability gap of operating in a Sub T environment, and equip a future unit operating in Dense and Urban Terrain.
Army Video HERE
In February 2017, the REF partnered with Asymmetric Warfare Group and 307th Brigade Engineer Battalion at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Complex, North Vernon, Ind., for a weeklong subterranean training event, which culminated with an exercise involving commercial and government off-the-shelf technologies.
The results from the exercise will help inform the Total Force, solve the capability gaps of operating in a subterranean environment, and equip a future unit operating in dense and urban terrain.
This culmination event was part of a long-term Army effort to develop an equipment set for Soldiers operating in a SubT environment. The exercise included Soldiers with the 82nd Airborne Division, who trained with the equipment and then conducted a simulated underground rescue mission.