Urban operations - Training to meet the most demanding operational environment

Military Operations in Urban Terrain (MOUT) are amongst the most demanding of operational challenges facing modern soldiers and commanders.  The sheer complexity of fighting at close quarters against an undistinguishable enemy in an environment where the enemy has the advantage of ground familiarity, local influence and the ability to disappear at will means that modern warfare skills must be honed at every level.

MOUT is not predictable. Differing environments and emerging threats may have a dramatic effect on tactical decision-making. Tactical decisions in such an environment can have a strategic impact on the overall campaign, whilst decisions made at the operational level may place inconceivable demands on the soldier.

"MOUT is not only about fighting – it is also about executing effective command and control to ensure we have the fight where it is most effective.” says Hans Lindgren, former officer and now vice President, Marketing at Training & Simulation in Saab.

This is why training for MOUT is being given increased priority across all military commands.  Commanders need to strengthen their ability to exercise C3I (Command, Control, Communication and Intelligence) in this highly charged environment, whilst soldiers on the ground need to perfect the tactical.

Urban Training Pack

When preparing for MOUT it is not simply a matter, however, of translating training constructs from one environment to another. All situations and fields are different.

“Unless there is properly structured training beforehand, mission skills degrade from day one,” says Lindgren and continues, “Our urban training pack is therefore based on a series of modules designed to cater for a wide range of MOUT scenarios and provide training cadres with sufficient flexibility to be able to insert mission-specific training objectives.”

A common requirement for all urban scenarios is the instrumentation of buildings. In Saabs urban training pack distinctions can be made between individual rooms in each building, and it can reflect the different effects of various weapons on rooms that may offer varying levels of protection to occupants. The system has also overcome the challenge of transitioning from open terrain movement (where GPS is used) to movement around and inside urban structures.

As well as being infinitely varied in the initial set-up, a MOUT exercise can be modified ‘on the fly’, with targets that appear and disappear unpredictably, or targets that shoot back, helping to create a constantly changing threat environment to increase the realism of the scenario.

Find out more about Urban Operations Training and our solutions here.