Agent-based simulation to support the effectiveness, procurement, and employment of non-lethal weapon systems
Gray, Samuel P.
Lucas, Thomas W.
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The September 11, 2012, attack in Benghazi, Libya, spurred the Marine Corps to establish Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Forces (SPMAGTF) Crisis Response elements to support combatant commanders. Two key tasks for these SPMAGTFs are to be able to conduct an embassy reinforcement and employ Non-Lethal Weapons (NLW). Using agent-based simulation and design of experiments, this thesis explores the effectiveness of NLW within a dismounted patrol conducting a simulated mission in support of an embassy reinforcement. The XM1116 Extended Range Marking Munition is a blunt-force munition designed to incapacitate noncompliant individuals. The simulated mission is set in the city of Abuja, Nigeria, which during the mission would be considered a semi-permissive environment. The goal of the research is to answer three key questions from the Joint Non-Lethal Weapons Directorate: How many NLWs should a Marine infantry platoon carry while conducting a dismounted patrol? Where should those NLWs be located within the patrol? What is the best maximum effective range to have on a blunt-force munition to reduce the number of times a mission utilizes lethal munitions? After conducting analysis on the data obtained from over 9,600 simulated embassy reinforcement missions, it is evident that: (1) 14 NLWs within the patrol provide the greatest reduction in lethal shots fired while still making tactical sense; (2) each fire team within the patrol should have one NLW along with the squad leaders, platoon commander, and platoon sergeant; and (3) the ideal maximum effective range for the NLW is 75 meters.
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