Exploring the effectiveness of the marine expeditionary rifle squad
Sanders, Todd M.
Lucas, Thomas W.
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This study explores the effectiveness of the Marine Expeditionary Rifle Squad (MERS) in support of Distributed Operations in urban terrain. The Marine Corps is evaluating the Distributed Operations concept as a solution to new threats posed in current operations. In order to employ distributed tactics, a more effective and capable Marine Rifle Squad is needed. The MERS concept seeks to increase the effectiveness of the current rifle squad, enabling smaller, more lethal, and more survivable units. Those issues are explored using agent-based modeling and data analysis. The most significant finding is that the MERS must be evaluated as a system; factors cannot be analyzed in isolation. The two factors that most affect the effectiveness are survivability and lethality. Maximizing these two factors leads to the lowest friendly casualties, highest enemy casualties, and highest probability of mission success. Agent-based modeling provides the maximum flexibility and responsiveness required for timely insights into small unit combat.
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