Commentary

August 3, 2012

Preparing to fight the perfect war

by Robert J. Kaschak
452 Emergency Management Technician

How would you prepare to fight the perfect war? Is it possible, or does this only apply when used as a rhetorical question? While using a popular search engine to search the World Wide Web, it was noted that the words perfect and war are rarely seen together. Is this an indicator that it is impossible to define, or are we hesitant to provide a hard definition of what it really means because it does not exist? There are skeptics that believe the only perfect war is the war that is not fought at all. However, our military leaders strive toward bringing true definition to this term so U.S. citizens can continue to enjoy their freedoms.

To shed light on the ideology of planning the perfect war, there are factors pertaining to personnel that should be in place:

  • Well-trained and current in areas that relate to wartime skills
  • Possess and maintain all required support gear and equipment
  • 100% manning in all areas
  • Maintain a constant state of readiness to deploy
  • Thoroughly knowledgeable with respect to regulations, requirements and simulations
  • Consistent and comprehensive communication; information would seamlessly channel along the chain of command
  • Knowledgeable of strengths and weaknesses of the adversary and be thoroughly prepared to counter as necessary

Achieving these factors may seem unrealistic and a prelude to failure; so, rather than focusing on achieving perfection, the emphasis should be placed on striving for perfection by honing wartime skills and enhancing communications.

Personnel will be confronted with problems that need to be resolved during the perfect war. Expedient solutions will need to be devised without haste and characterized by fluidity and applicability.

The combination of high stress, wearing of combat gear and chemical suits and operating under time constraints usually equates to higher rates of mistakes. Incidents can be anywhere from putting diesel fuel into a mogas vehicle, failure to report a UXO, improper wear of the chemical suit/mask, or failure to get updated condition status out to personnel who are unable to hear the Big Voice announcements.

During the perfect war, managing the “human condition” is vital to mission success. We must realize and allow for the human condition to exist, yet effectively manage it so that it does not degrade task effectiveness.

To successfully manage the human condition, maintain situational awareness and know what tools you have at your disposal for success. There is no requirement to memorize the Airman’s Manual, but having it in your possession and being familiar with the contents is the key.

When striving to fight the perfect war, Airmen should:

  • Define idiosyncrasies in your area and discuss with coworkers and bosses.
  • Maintain good communication skills. This takes more work than you might think, but is mandatory for positive outcomes.
  • Be responsible for his/her own safety as well as that of your wingman.
  • Managers need to “manage’ their people. That does not mean just giving orders and reprimanding failures. Instituting numerous rules and guidance is no substitute for ensuring you know what is going on with your people at all times.

The Air Force entrusted its leaders, managers and supervisors with ensuring our Airmen receive the best whole-person concept training available. You must be ready to make on-the-spot decisions to adjust to outside variables, which entails thinking outside of the box, acting decisively and taking responsibility for your decisions. Conceptually, a perfect war cannot be conceived, but your dedication, honest input and commitment to your people, make it manageable and winnable.

It’s on you Team March.




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