News: Army's 'global scouts' commemorate six years
Story by Maj. Sonise Lumbaca
FORT MEADE, Md. - March 8 marked six years since the Asymmetric Warfare Group first unfurled it colors during an activation ceremony on Fort Meade.
Activated originally to mitigate and/or defeat asymmetric threats faced by U.S. forces in both Iraq and Afghanistan, the AWG continues to demonstrate its unique mission as a global, enduring Army capability.
The AWG provides operational advisory support to Army and joint force commanders globally to enhance soldier survivability, combat effectiveness, and enable the defeat of current and emerging threats in support of Unified Land Operations.
The unit includes about 350 soldiers, Department of the Army civilians and contractors who are seasoned war fighters and functional area experts who fill the ranks of four squadrons; two operational squadrons; a training, recruiting and assessment squadron; and a concepts and integration squadron.
Since its inception six years ago, AWG has provided firsthand observation of enemy tactics, techniques and procedures, and friendly capability gaps with the goal of developing solutions to exploit enemy capability gaps and to mitigate friendly vulnerabilities.
The unit is able to do this through its hand-selected operational advisers and through three key attributes:
* Proximity - its firsthand observations in combat and operational areas
* Duration - maintaining an enduring global presence
* Experience - recent and relevant combat and operations experience with the ability to rapidly blend capabilities across the Army
Enabling the defeat of current and emerging threats begins with AWG's operational advisers - the Army's "global scouts." Operational advisers deploy globally and embed with units.
AWG operational advisers are able to provide units with current enemy TTPs, along with best practices, to mitigate threats and overall atmospherics of any given region because they have firsthand experience in the region.
The combination of experience and current understanding of the operational environment gives the AWG advisory mission a unique capability to help build an adaptive force that is confronted with an enemy that is ever-changing in its methods.
Many units that are focused on the fight are challenged with the opportunity to step back and observe the "big picture" of the battlefield. Or they may be headed to a location they are unfamiliar with.
Operational advisers are able to make these observations for deploying and deployed units, ultimately resulting in soldier survivability and unit combat effectiveness.
In making these observations, the AWG is able to gather information and rapidly develop solutions through a reach-back capability to a robust variety of problem-solvers and solution-developers. These solutions are developed in the form of non-material solutions, methodologies or processes that units can use to mitigate a threat; or material solutions, which can include adapting equipment for units to operate better within their environment.
The solution can even be the dissemination of a best practice that one unit on the ground is using to thwart enemy tactics that another unit 30 miles away may not be aware of.
All of the observations made are non-attributable and do not interfere with the unit operations, but rather complement it.
In partnering with other Army organizations such as the Rapid Equipping Force, the Army Capabilities Integration Center and with industry, the AWG has been able, in some cases, to pull commercial off-the-shelf items and rapidly get it in the hands of soldiers on the ground.
In other cases, the AWG and its internal team of experts have developed possible capabilities that are first tested internally, and then offered to the Army. An example of this is the Asymmetric Warfare Adaptive Leader Program. In keeping pace with an adaptable enemy, the AWALP places soldiers in scenarios that are ambiguous, with environments that have limited resources.
The program is designed to enhance adaptability in soldiers and teams while promoting innovative training and critical thinking to prepare future leaders for decisive action.
These examples demonstrate how, over the past six years, AWG has affected immediate change of behavior at the tactical level, which is critical to help reduce the learning curve of current OEF rotational forces.
To complement this dissemination effort, AWG also uses current observations to inform the more deliberate Army capabilities' development processes and the associated Doctrine, Organization, Training, Materiel, Leadership and Education, Personnel and Facilities changes.
Moreover, this deliberate dissemination informs senior leader decisions on policy and resourcing that assists Army Transformation to Army 2020.
For more information on joining the Asymmetric Warfare Group, call AWG recruiters at 301-833-5366.