WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE, N.M. — Move over Krasnovia. The Army would like to introduce the Islamic Congress of Attica, the Wolf Brigade, the Ellisian Army and the Islamic Brotherhood for Jihad.
Each is a fictional enemy just like “Krasnovia.” And like Krasnovia, each has a comparable real world threat here during the Network Integration Evaluation much in the same way that Krasnovia represented the Soviet Union.
The Army has chosen each to represent the Taliban, Al Qaeda, Iran’s special operations Quds force and a mechanized Hezbollah. These are the threats the Army expects to face in the next ten to fifteen years. Those, at least, are the threats that U.S. Training and Doctrine Command have chosen to attack the soldiers at the NIE testing the Army’s next generation of communications gear.
Lt. Col. Andre Balyoz, the 2nd Engineer Battalion commander, commands the opposing force here responsible for taking on a brigade sized force with the best communications gear the Army has to offer. It’s his job to test the Warfighter Information Network – Tactical (WIN-T) Increment 2 as part of Capability Set 13 that Army leadership is confident the Army can fight future wars with it.
It’s fascinating, though, to step back and get into the minds of the Army’s planners. Each one of these enemies represent a very real threat. In fact, many believe three of the four have fighters shooting at U.S. soldiers with real ammunition today in Afghanistan.
The new defense strategy introduced this year by the White House stressed the Pacific, yet Army officers didn’t choose any forces that call the Pacific home to compare to the NIE enemies.
Balyoz said the Army expects it’s future fights to be wars with a hybrid enemy. It will not be one with a conventional force or one that depends solely on counter insurgency strategies. The Army foresees a coalition of enemies fighting against it to include criminal groups, highly trained militants and even stripped down conventional forces. Each one will chose to fight in population centers further challenging Army doctrine.
The Wolf Brigade represents a force similar to Iran’s Quds force. Made up of only eight soldiers traveling around the missile range, this force has caused the soldiers here the most problems. They are the ones jamming the Army’s high tech communications gear leaving soldiers wondering if they are getting jammed or if their equipment is faulty.
“It shows how few people can have such a large effect,” Balyoz said.