Small Unit Dominance: Industry Develops Equipment to Give Dismounted Troops the Edge
Photo: Defense Dept.
Whether they are Marine Corps grunts, soldiers on patrol or special operators carrying out missions behind enemy lines, dismounted warfighters are among the most vulnerable on the battlefield. “The pointy end of the spear,” as it is called, must contend with the scourge of improvised explosive devices and operate in urban areas where it is tough to tell friend from foe. They must also be prepared for all types of conditions from the jungle to the desert.
The phrase “small unit dominance” emerged from the special ops community to describe the technologies needed to give those serving on the ground the edge they need to control the space they operate in when outside support may not be possible.
While there are plenty of good ideas to help warfighters with these missions, they are limited by what an individual can carry on his or her back. Size, weight and power restrictions must be considered for every item that goes into the field.
National Defense looks at advances in weapons, sensors, communications and personal protection that will continue to give small units the edge they need to dominate battlefields.