ROBUST ANALYSIS OF CRITICAL FACTORS FOR CANNON ARTILLERY LETHALITY AND SURVIVABILITY IN PEER CONFLICT
Kadrmas, Caleb M.
Lucas, Thomas W.
Appleget, Jeffrey A.
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Guided by the Commandant's Planning Guidance and Force Design 2030, the Marine Corps is currently undergoing aggressive organizational change to evolve into a more disruptive force within the context of great power competition. An increase of rocket artillery batteries from seven to 21 is planned to expand deterrence capability, and a divestment in cannon batteries from 21 to five parallels this focus. The retention of cannon artillery, although reduced, can be improved to offer tactical maneuver-based offensive and defensive firepower to Marines across the range of military operations. This thesis explores which equipment and tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) are most critical for USMC cannon artillery lethality and survivability in a Russia counterbattery scenario. Furthermore, this study proposes potential artillery configurations that are resilient to uncontrollable variations of the Russian artillery force. Using agent-based simulation, efficient designs of experiments, and cluster computing, over 1.3 million artillery battles were simulated and analyzed. The findings include that the equipment currently fielded by USMC artillery battalions is largely in line with the most significant factors for lethality and survivability (caliber and range). However, significant changes to current TTPs, specifically increased segmentation and dispersion, are necessary for force protection and mission success.
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