In recent years, modern armies are tasked
with peacekeeping, security, and stabilization operations, primarily
in low intensity conflicts, predominantly in urban, counter guerilla
and anti-terror operations.
Usually, these contingencies involve relatively small, well equipped
forces, and a significant complement of support elements, including
command and control, logistics, medical, engineering and
transportation. Operating frequently dispersed over large areas, such
units are fighting adjacent to local population which could be
regarded mostly hostile. As the tasks of such forces require frequent
and close contact with local population, troops are constantly exposed
to high risk of from terrorist and guerilla attacks. Therefore, force
protection should be one of the primary concerns for mission planners.
Force protection is implemented by the use of suitable procedures,
effective tactics and the use of technological means. In this article,
Defense Update will examine some of these technologies and their
Specific protection schemes are planned for the fixed sites such as
operating bases, and other installations (such as roadblocks,
checkpoints, communications facilities etc), as well as for the
operating troops, transportation and support (vehicles, helicopters,
vessels, water and fuel reservoirs etc). Operating bases pose a large
and attractive target to insurgents. These facilities are working
under predictable routines and thus highly vulnerable to attack. Guard
shifts at fixed positions, mealtime at the mess, arrival of supply
convoys, landing and takeoff schedules of helicopters and aircraft
etc. To minimize the risk of direct fire, operating bases are normally
surrounded by obstacles such as ramps. Other precautions are the
establishment of "sterile" perimeter preventing observation, sniping
and – if possible, mortar fire. Movement of unauthorized personnel is
restricted in such areas. Movement can be detected by radar, vibration
sensors or video motion detection systems over watch. In high threat
areas, perimeter observation posts can also be augmented by remote
controlled weapon stations.
These topics are discussed in the following
21 Century Warfare has already indicated
that Low Intensive military operations will dominate future warfare.
The main threat will continue to come from terrorist, guerilla and
small sabotage groups trying to infiltrate sensitive installations,
blocking lines of communications and attack prime strategic targets.
Waging an effective counter-insurgency campaign demands highly
developed technologies and combat experienced adaptive tactics at all
operational levels. Ranging from personal protection to perimeter
security, area surveillance and pin-pointing hostile fire sources will
continue to become high priority challenges to defense oriented
technologies as well as advanced military counter insurgency tactics.