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Milnet Decision Game 2: Humanitarian Intervention

Infanteer

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Ok, a little slow with this, but it's summer.

Decision Game 2 takes a different problem in terms of size, scale, and aim.  This is a humanitarian intervention operation, with the object of setting up a safe zone for displaced civilians to return to their home.  The aim of this decision game is to consider and discuss different ways of organizing a coalition task force.

Don't get wrapped around the axle too much on the forces available - I tried to create enough flavour in the menu to make it interesting.  What should really come out of this is how the force organization best supports deployment into the affected area.  The map is low tech - ignore the obvious location but feel free to use the existing map names as reference points for you AO if you need to.  Finally, don't worry about the huge holes in knowledge of the area, its inhabitants, or the potentially hostile forces in there area - if you need to assume something to answer the problem, do so.

Like the last scenario, this is based on a historical case study, although substantially changed.  Bonus points for those who guess the conflict.  I'll leave this open for a month (3 Sep - Labour Day).  Instructions are the same for submission.  Feel free to post questions or solutions here or send to the DG account.
 

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Infanteer

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Just updating this.  No submissions yet.  Maybe humanitarian intervention isn't the most interesting problem.  :D
 

Blackadder1916

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Thanks for the reminder.  I was going to dig through some of my boxes of collected papers because (IIRC) there should be some material that I kept about the operation I guess is the basis for this game.
 

Blackadder1916

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My guess is that this decision game is based on Operation PROVIDE COMFORT.  As the scenario begins with "It’s 5 April", I remember the date well - it was a Friday.  Okay, my memory is not really that good, but in early April 1991, the news was full of reports of Kurds fleeing north.  Also I was going on a weeks leave to the Canary Islands a few days later.  By the time I got back from leave, the unit was gearing up for a move to Turkey.

For those who want a bit of background on the operation try these

https://history.army.mil/html/books/humanitarian_intervention/CMH_70-78.pdf

https://www.marines.mil/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=cs9ymAWCiE8%3d&portalid=59

Canada's participation is summarized here http://www.cmp-cpm.forces.gc.ca/dhh-dhp/od-bdo/me-mo/ASSIST-eng.asp

And no, I didn't go downrange.  I ended up being OC Rear Party.
 

Infanteer

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Nailed it.  The first link you provided is a great book - its a book on humanitarian intervention written by and for someone in the field.  Lots of useful pieces in there.
 

Blackadder1916

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A last minute scramble to get a brief plan in.  For those familiar with PROVIDE COMFORT will recognize that I borrowed heavily from their concept.

Situation as per scenario.

Ulundan government and military will be given a demarche that outlines the purpose and objectives of the operation.  The military in particular will be informed that none of their aircraft will be tolerated north of the 43 parallel and that similarly ground forces in the Buru Homeland will have to withdraw at least 40 km from any coalition forces or humanitarian operations under our protection.

It is expected that contributing nations will move their elements to theatre using own resources, or in conjunction with other nations, and airlift will not be limited to those a/c already identified in scenario.  It is assumed that 22 MEU as part of the BOXER ARG is afloat in region and can deploy soonest in country.  As situation is developing quickly, initial priority for movement of other forces should be given to USAF Prime BEEF, fighter and airlift a/c in order to establish CAP to enforce no-fly zone.


Task Organization

Task Force A (TFA) -  Based on 22 MEU with 3/2 Marines, 8e RPIMa and 187 Folgore Para Regt
Task Force B -(TFB) -  Based on 3 Cdo Bde HQ with 42 Cdo, 3 RCR and 1 (NL) Marine Cbt Grp
Support Group (Sp Gp) - Logistics organization to be developed
Medical Group (Med Gp) - Medical units
Air Task Force (Air TF) - Rotary wing.  Air transport, Fighters
Humanitarian Services Coordination (HS Coord) - Civil Affairs

Concept of operations

Phase 1 – Immediate Relief

The objectives for this phase are:
l.  Stop the dying and suffering,
2. Stabilize the population,
3. Provide shelter and physical protection,
4. Build a distribution system/infrastructure for continuous logistics support.

Phase 2- Establish a Security Zone and Provide Temporary Facilities.

The objectives of this phase are:
1. Establish a security zone in Northern Ulunda,
2. Construct temporary facilities,
3. Transfer the population to the temporary sites.

Phase 3 – Transition to Civilian Agencies.

The objectives of this phase are:
1. Transition the humanitarian operation to international relief organizations,
2. Enable the ultimate return of the refugees to their homes.


Phase 1.  UPROFOR will establish humanitarian service support bases (HSSBs)  from which humanitarian service support detachments (HSSDs) will identify and establish DP/refugee camp sites. The detachments will conduct assessments and established command, control, and communications at the various sites. They will identify and establish camp leadership as well as  work with private voluntary organizations (PVOs) and NGOs who may potentially take over operations of camps. They will organize the receipt and distribution of relief supplies, basic medical care, and establish basic sanitation measures. The objective of establishing a  distribution system and infrastructure will initially focus on providing immediate air drop of supplies to the refugees.  Combat Air Patrols will enforce a "No Fly Zone" above the 43 parallel. TF A will be responsible for providing security in the area as well as providing resources as available for development of camps.

Phase 2.  Establish a secure area and construct transit centers into Buru Homeland.  TF B will clear the Security Zone by conducting an airmobile operation and putting a foot on the ground at Khando which is one of the major centres in Buruland.  Once initial area is cleared, the zone will be expanded to encompass more territory. This will provide the security to permit the development of temporary sites. UPROFOR will set up a system of way stations with secure routes to incrementally move displaced persons and refugees from the mountains to temporary destinations (or in some cases final destinations). Those unable to return to their homes will initially be housed in the way station camps.

Phase 3.  Coordination with international relief organizations (IROs), private voluntary organizations (PVOs), and non-governmental agencies to transition the humanitarian assistance operations to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) should begin concurrently as soon as organizations are able to take over humanitarian activities.  UNHCR should assume the overall responsibility for coordinating the efforts of civilian relief agencies in the Security Zone. While the relief operations shift to civilian agencies, a large security force may still need to be responsible for protecting the humanitarian operation against Ulundan hostile actions into the Security Zone.

Shortfalls:

Logistics.  Need a theatre level logistics support organization for 2nd/3rd line support to elements that lack same.  Also need to develop a humanitarian supplies distribution system that encompasses receipt and distribution to DP/refugee camps.  Besides supply, transport truck units will be needed.

Artillery.  2 x gun batteries.
 

Blackadder1916

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To add some historical perspective.

PROVIDE COMFORT is often looked at as simply an extension of DESERT STORM rather than a separate and distinct operation with some unique lessons learned.  For those who remember it, most of the media coverage focused on (what, at that time) was a somewhat new, rarely seen use of military forces (especially true of the US military), that of humanitarian operations.

In this issue of Military Review, go to the article by (then) LTC John Abiziad - Lessons for Peacekeepers  (need to download the pdf) - for his discussion of the activities of his infantry battalion during the operation.  (it wasn't all handing out food and building camps for refugees)

And for a perspective from a logistician, this article in the Jan/Feb 1992 of Army Logistician discusses "Distributing Food to the Kurds"

And for a hint of 4 Fd Amb's activities attached is the first page of the annex to the AAR.
 

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Blackadder1916,

Great stuff.  Thanks for this.

I'm going to keep this open for another week.  Anyone out there look at what Blackadder put up and offer a different approach?
 

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Finally found some time to get back to the Decision Games.

This one is a default win for Blackadder1916, as the only contributor.  Well done Blackadder, and that's a pretty sound plan.

The purpose of this Decision Game was to think a bit on three things - phasing for an operation that isn't quite war, task organizing disparate elements to achieve varied stability tasks, and how to manage command relationships in a coalition environment.  As alluded to earlier, it was based upon Op PROVIDE COMFORT, the US-led coalition effort to provide a safe zone in Northern Iraq for civilians fleeing Saddam Hussein's crackdown on the Kurdish uprising.

When it comes to phasing, Blackadder's scheme of immediate relief, create a safe zone, and transition was pretty good.  My take away from this case study was that the political imperative to do something will drive phasing, and that your organization through getting boots on the ground, creating safe zones, and then transitioning will change substantially.  This will include command relationships.

Task organization for these sorts of stability operations are interesting, and the book that was linked to earlier goes into detail about this.  One of the issues from Op PROVIDE COMFORT was how to provide command structure to the various combat support and combat service support functions that would be essential to mission success - Engineers to run the camps, HSS to provide medical support, aviation to link the disparate safe zones, and logistics to piece it all together.  Blackadder's approach of grouping these elements at the highest possible level is one approach.  Another approach would be to distribute them to the manoeuvre elements that would be tasked to hold ground.  I think, in this situation, the former option is more prudent, as it provides the commander with more flexibility to direct critical support capability and capacity to changing events in the area of operations.  This was certainly a lesson in Op PROVIDE COMFORT, where C2 of medical and engineering assets proved to be a bit of a headache for the JTF Commander.

Command relationships is a final factor that should be considered in this situation - if you're the JTF planner, its going to be one of the slides in your brief that will travel.  What is the command relationship within the manoeuvre task forces tasked with securing safe zones?  What is the command relationships with Combat Support and Combat Service Support elements working in these safe zones with the manouevre commander?  National caveats weren't mentioned in the problem, but they will weigh heavily on a planner's options for how to employ different elements of a coalition.

Anyways, thought I'd throw something with a little different flavour up - thanks to Blackadder for providing a response for us to examine.
 
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