MARINE INFANTRY COMPANY LETHALITY: AN ANALYSIS OF FORCE DESIGN 2030 PROPOSALS
Harper, Sean A.
Lucas, Thomas W.
Sykes, Mark C.
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The composition of the Marine infantry company is changing to meet new threats. How will these evolutions affect the lethality, survivability, and employment of the future force? This research uses agent-based combat modeling techniques to provide insights for future live-force experimentation and wargaming. The author uses modeling software to simulate different infantry company configurations based upon Force Design 2030 proposals. The modeled scenario envisions a future Marine infantry company defending the flank of an expeditionary advanced base against a peer adversary conducting an amphibious assault. This research examines the size of the company engagement area and the implications of new and emerging technologies, such as loitering precision munitions, on the lethality and survivability of the infantry company. The author identifies the most effective tactics, techniques, and procedures discovered in the model. Based on 44,500 simulated battles, this research finds that in a conventional company-sized engagement, the force that finds and delivers sufficient loitering munitions to the other side first most often generates victory. This phenomenon can be understood in the context of a company’s “throw weight,” or the number of munitions it can use per salvo to engage enemy forces. The investigation also concludes that the future battlefield will be highly lethal, with all sides expected to experience significant attrition, even in victory.
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