Improving the enhanced company operations fire support team
Jordan, John D.
Lucas, Thomas W.
Shattuck, Nita L.
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This research explores the effects of current and proposed changes to equipment, doctrine, and training on the effectiveness of the fire-support process in Enhanced Company Operations (ECO). ECO envisions restructuring the Marine Air Ground Task Force around companies rather than battalions. The fire support element of rifle companies is the Fire Support Team (FiST). The researcher uses an agent-based model to develop data on the frequency and duration of contacts with enemy forces. Subsequently, he uses a deterministic fatigue model to gain insight into the effects of various rest policies over a set of noise factors. Finally, the research uses the data gathered from the agent-based and fatigue models to populate a discrete-event model. This model represents the fire-support process. State-of-the-art design of experiments is used to explore the discrete-event model. Analysis of the results of the discrete-event model suggests that authority to clear fires needs to be pushed down to the FiST from higher levels. Further analysis demonstrates that technological aids to the FiST are not as important as suspected. Task saturation does not appear to be a significant cause of mission failure. Finally, FiSTs, as currently constructed, fail in an ECO environment in the first fifteen days.
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