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Volume 3 / Issue 2 / Winter 2016 Military Operations

Page 1

Welcome to the tenth edition of Military Operations (MO).

Thousands of you have read our previous editions, and the number keeps on growing. The conduct of land

warfare is an important subject. War can change the shape of nations, and can do so very quickly. Most

warfare is carried out on land. So examining the conduct of war on land is important. You think so; that’s

why our readership keeps growing. No-one else publishes material on our subject: Military Operations

occupies a unique and important position. We know that it is read in some important and unusual places.

Military Operations provides a unique meeting place between the serving, those aspiring to serve, and

the retired. It allows practitioners to exchange views and information with researchers and writers. But we

can only publish articles if you write and send them to us. So please keep sending material to us. Send it

now. Or, alternatively, get in touch right now to discuss whatever you are thinking of writing.

In this edition Gil Barndollar makes a case for designated marksman training within rifle sections (or

squads). The article is important for two reasons. Firstly, it is an important aspect of how land forces could,

should or do fight. A number of commentators have raised the requirement for sections to engage human

targets at long ranges (of, perhaps, six to eight hundred metres).


there such a requirement?


is the

requirement? Is the key issue to suppress the target, or to incapacitate it? What is the best way to meet that


The second reason why the issue is important flows from the above. The article takes Military Operations’

subject matter down to platoon and section level. That is good. Military Operations discusses how

land forces could, should or do fight. That includes the realities of the low-level tactical as well as the

operational and the abstract or conceptual. Military Operations has published quite a lot of the latter. We

will continue to do so (see below). However, we welcome this article as leading some of the discussion

down to concrete, tactical issues.

Military Operations does not discuss technical issues. There is about as much technical content in Gil

Barndollar’s article as we are prepared to include. We would not, for example, publish an article on the

relative merits of this or that rifle, or this or that small-arms round. Equally, for what it is worth, my own

opinion is that the article advocates the wrong solution to the requirement; but that is not important. What

do you think? Is there such a requirement, and if so how should it be met? Please let us know.

Dave Banks is a very experienced former infantry officer who has been able to observe command posts

over a number of years. In essence, he says that they should be smaller and that, failing that, they need

training; and particularly better training. What is particularly interesting about this subject is that one


A Note From The Editor