OEE Red Diamond APR17

The Red Diamond newsletter presents professional information but the views expressed herein are those of the authors, not the Department of Defense or its elements. The content does not necessarily reflect the official US Army position and does not change or superseded any information in other official US Army publications. Authors are responsible for the accuracy and source documentation of the material that they reference. The Red Diamond staff reserves the right to edit material. Appearance of external hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the US Army for information contained therein.

Force-on-force training at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center (JMRC) in Germany provides excellent opportunities for brigades to assess and improve their systems. One of the key processes that will make or break the rotational training unit (RTU) is the military decisionmaking process. During rotation Allied Spirit V, changes in the situation forced the opposing force (OPFOR) to revisit several steps of the process after its completion. The first article in this edition of the Red Diamond outlines this battle period at JMRC, starting with relative combat power analysis and ending with change of mission instructions.

With Chinese adoption and issue of the initial version of the QBZ-95 rifle, ergonomic design flaws became clear once training of personnel began in earnest. Though a vastly improved variant would eventually be fielded, a new rifle—the QBZ-03—was introduced six years after adoption of the original QBZ-95, conceivably as an interim fix for the latter’s issues. The QBZ-03’s excellent design, however, apparently resulted in its being kept in service. The next article reviews the development and specifications of this weapon.

Units attending a rotation at the National Training Center (NTC) either know, or will learn, key points when facing a near-peer threat. Potential enemies of the United States rely more heavily on artillery and less on aviation or fixed-wing air support. Unmanned aircraft will be used extensively in both reconnaissance and attack modes. Key terrain is still key terrain, no matter who controls it. American armor is not “bullet-proof” or omnipotent. And “they” have just as many, if not more, capabilities than “we” do. An article discusses these points, effective enemy weapons systems, and new OPFOR techniques and capabilities.

The purpose of a Ride Along with Mission Command Training Program (MCTP) OPFOR is to observe, learn, and grow in understanding the threat. Transparency is foremost and nothing is off limits. Participants can expect to gain a firm understanding of everything the OPFOR does in any given five-day period during an exercise. Participants are able to move about freely, talk with anyone as desired, and follow their own or units’ observation priorities. In this article, LTC Jennifer Chapman, 3rd Infantry Division G-2, gives a first-hand account of her experiences on a Ride Along during Warfighter Exercise 16-5.

ACE-TI conducted the spring resident offering of its Threat Tactics Course (TTC) during March 2017 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. The student population was represented by 16 diverse organizations that included members from civilian, active, and Reserve/National Guard components. The final article provides a brief overview of the TTC and information on future course offerings.