As the Army and Marine Corps work to update their doctrine and training centers to better prepare soldiers and Marines for urban combat, troops on the ground will need different tools for the fight.
From vehicles to weapons and communications gear, here are a few items that could make troops more effective, from the Modern War Institute:
Whaling harpoon gun & winch cable
Mount the equipment to a military vehicle so troops can use the large grappling hook to haul downed vehicles out of their way.
Helicopter-style helmet for Infantry Fighting Vehicle weapons systems
The helicopter pilots’ weapons move with their vision, and their helmets include a display system that provides instant information.
Give that capability to ground vehicle operators.
Industrial foam thrower
Instead of having to enter and clear tunnels and holes prevalent across the urban landscape, soldiers could seal entrances shut with a quick-drying sealing foam.
For a long time, both the Marines and Army failed to do anything substantial to prepare for large-scale urban combat — other than to avoid it whenever possible.
A tool in the kit of civilian law enforcement is off the table for soldiers at war, due to treaties banning chemical weapons.
But it wasn’t always so. From World War II through Vietnam, soldiers used the gas to flush enemies out of barricaded areas.
Like tear gas, this is another item available to law enforcement officials.
The shields are used when police departments employ Special Weapons and Tactics teams to deal with armed threats. Most shields can withstand a 7.62mm bullet and would be helpful when troops are in exposed roads and rooftops.
While much attention is spent on adjusting weapons systems and training soldiers and Marines to use them, what may be of more value in an urban fight is the work being done years before a conflict erupts.
Disposable drone swarms
Currently under development by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, small beer can-sized drones that can swarm a target, collect data or disrupt operations have been successfully tested via air drop in open desert areas.
The DARPA project aims to have these devices capable of operating in an urban environment.
Car battery recharging cable
Getting power and recharging batteries is key for modern battlefield equipment.
Guess what there are a lot of in cities? Cars.
A simple adapter could allow soldiers to recharge as they move through such terrain.
When retired Marine Lt. Gen. Ron Christmas was a young lieutenant in training, officers received a grand total of a one-hour lecture on urban combat.