F100 ??“ Argumentative Essay
a. The MRAP is a capable vehicle for personnel protection in born out of necessity in combat environments saturated with IEDs like Iraq or Afghanistan. However, incorporating MRAPs into the post conflict brigade combat team structure is an unreasonable and unrealistic proposition that will pigeonhole brigades into security assistance missions and not equip them to fight and win our nations wars on the full spectrum battlefield. In fact, analyzing of MRAP in DOTMLPF ??“ doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leadership and education, personnel, and facilities ??“ reveal that MRAP is not a good fit at all. Measuring equipment through DOTMLPF before a full adaptation into the system will ensure proper training, documentation, facilities, maintenance, and supply support to provide prolonged effectiveness in the field. Fielding less than the complete package can easily lead to an unnecessary burden being placed on field units and commanders. Adaptation during a time of war is complex, but performing a due diligence or a full and comprehensive consideration before deciding to adapt is prudent and necessary. In consideration of MRAP for integration into the Army, incorporation of the MRAP does not address or adequately measure up to DOTMLPF evaluations. A future enemy that is adaptive, agile, and unpredictable and requires a capable Army that is equipped to operate over a full spectrum of operations with organic equipment and training. There is a future for the MRAP, however, as part of the APS system of contingency planning and force packaging, within TRADOC, and within FORSCOM in the home station equipment packages for units to better train to their full spectrum capabilities without giving up their current organic equipment.
In the material and training perspectives of DOTMLPF, the current situation is that the materiel and training packages for the mine-resistant vehicle are still lagging behind its rapid fielding to the BCTs in operational in Afghanistan and Iraq. As a result, the combat arms institutional training sites do not possess the MRAP vehicles, so that soldiers were not schooled on how to operate them. Because the vehicle was top heavy and weighed between 17 to 40 tons, MRAP roll-overs were common in the field. In order to fully integrate MRAP in future institution and unit level trainings need to be established and budgeted. The MRAP is also too heavy for sling load operation by a helicopter. This weight restriction cast serious doubts on whether MRAP really be successfully integrate to the modernization plan of the Army because, in places with high elevations like Afghanistan, the ability to be transported via helicopter brings a crucial capability in mobility.
In the doctrinal aspect, the MRAP does not support combined arms operations against a comparable combined arms conventional force in the full spectrum environment. The MRAP is a specialized wheeled personnel carrier. The MRAP does not provide a viable offensive or defensive platform capable of defeating an enemy of combined arms parity in its current state. Lack of an anti-tank variant has potentially catastrophic ramifications against a threat like North Korea or Iran. The high profile and signature of the vehicle system itself does not lend to an effective or stealthy reconnaissance platform. A typical MRAP is over 135 inches tall, almost two feet taller than the M2A3 Cavalry Fighting Vehicle that has long been criticized for its cumbersome and high signature for a reconnaissance platform. The Army Operating Concept outlines nine required movement and maneuver capabilities for future Army forces. Of these, future Army forces must be able ???to close with and defeat enemy forces while conducting combined arms operations.??? Additionally, the Army Capstone Concept explains we ???must build and train forces capable of conducting effective combined arms, air-ground reconnaissance of the enemy,??? a requirement that the MRAP is ill-suited and poorly designed to accomplish.
As for the personnel side of incorporating the MRAP into the current brigade structures of infantry, heavy, or Stryker brigade structure is also impractical and infeasible. Personnel manning within the US Army is currently mandated by Congress at 547,000 but has been temporarily increased to 569,000 due to operational requirements in both Iraq and Afghanistan in an attempt to drive down dwell time and increase deploying unit manning. Assimilation of the MRAP into any of the three base brigade systems begs a number of practical questions. Will MRAPs augment or replace existing platforms currently in the inventory What platforms will they replace Are MRAPs of like or greater capability than the vehicles currently in the brigade These are pointed questions that must be addressed. At 24 to 29 feet in length and 17 to 40 tons depending on category, two to three MRAPs can be airlifted on a C-17 cargo aircraft, making it inadequate for IBCT or a rapidly deployable brigade to employ as a flexible deterrent option. Use of the MRAP to replace existing vehicles in the brigade construct will severely degrade the capabilities of that brigade and force restructuring within individual battalions and compartmentalize units explicitly in security mission METLs6 without the threat of enemy armor or anti-armor capabilities. In essence, incorporating MRAPs into the current Army force structure will optimize the force for security, stability, and counterinsurgency operations without allowing for the diversity of missions required that called for the modular brigade combat team structure to begin with.
The full impacts of DOTMLPF need to be more comprehensively examined, particularly in the realm of education and doctrine, in order to better prepare any potential integration of MRAPs into the operational organization. Currently only 88M and 19-series military occupational specialties are trained in the operation of the MRAP and the Initial Entry Training Centers of Excellence have not been allocated MRAPs to be utilized for training before Soldiers enter the operating force and their first unit.7 Due to rapid production side effects no mechanics are currently trained to conduct unit level or depot level maintenance on any of the MRAP variants. This places an undue burden upon an operating force than is required to conduct a host of pre-deployment tasks and certifications prior to deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan. . Maintenance facilities currently in CONUS and OCONUS will need to be assessed for feasibility of routine maintenance and upkeep. Also, as stated earlier, doctrinal and tactical impacts of MRAPs on a full spectrum force need to be scrutinized thoroughly before major force modifications to MTOE are implemented.
The MRAP should be incorporated into a strategically pre-positioned contingency mission stock for use in future stability, security, peacekeeping, and peace enforcement missions. As part of a contingency force protection package as part of the Army Prepositioned Stock (APS) system the Army should seek to warehouse and maintain the amount of MRAPs a Heavy Brigade Combat Team (HBCT) has been allocated as an Advise and Assist brigade in Iraq and incorporate into three different APS packages; APS-3 floating stocks, APS-4 geographically oriented to East Asia, and APS-5 geographically oriented to support southwest Asia.8 This would allow maximum flexibility for contingency missions and quick arrival for specialized vehicles like the MRAP to engage expeditiously in a theater opening mission for peacekeeping, stability, security, or peace enforcement operations. Additionally, all TRADOC9 Centers of Excellence should be allocated two platoon??™s worth of MRAPs for each training Brigade to incorporate into basic driver??™s familiarization, and each FORSCOM10 Army post should be allocated a company??™s worth of equipment maintained by the post Directorate of Logistics and Transportation Motor Pool. This would also allow units greater flexibility to train contingency missions at home station without effecting unit manning, staffing, or doctrinal vehicular composition.
In conclusion, The MRAP is a capable vehicle for personnel protection in an environment saturated with IEDs like Iraq or Afghanistan. Incorporating MRAPs into the post-conflict modernization plan for the Army is unrealistic and unreasonable in light of DOTMLPF analysis as presented on this paper. In this essay, The MRAP system has shown many short comings which support the negative recommendation for the integration in the post-conflict modernization plan. There is a future for the MRAP, however, as part of the APS system of contingency planning and force packaging, within TRADOC, and within FORSCOM in the home station equipment packages for units to better train to their full spectrum capabilities without giving up their current organic equipment.
F100 ??“ Argumentative Essay