Sept. 18, 2018
Getting Beyond Door Kicking: Four Tasks for Urban Warriors
Large numbers of civilians, while not a training task, are a characteristic of urban operations. They will almost always be present and should be a part of every training scenario. Some trainers will argue that the presence of civilians on the battlefield is a condition that should only be added after achieving proficiency in urban warfighting basics.
I argue that civilians should be a consideration at the lowest level of urban training and not reserved for scenarios of increased complexity. Despite attempts to empty cities of their residents, as in the battles for Aachen and Fallujah, there are always people that stay. The urban battlefield will be full of civilians and soldiers should confront the challenge they pose to combat operations early in their training. This can be accomplished with little resources. It does not require costly role-playing contractors. We use soldiers to act as the opposing force, and they can just as easily play noncombatants.