Evaluating Combat Capability

Part 2 of the Voyennaya mysl article focuses specifically on methods of evaluating and calculating indicators of combat capability for tactical units.

Every unit possessing personnel, arms and equipment, and necessary material supplies has combat capability.  The level of combat capability multiplies the following factors:

  • The quantitative level of personnel, arms and equipment, and supplies.
  • The suitability of arms and equipment.
  • The quality of supplies.
  • The condition of personnel (morale-psychological and physical, discipline, professional training, and combat integration).
  • The condition of the command and control system.

Determining the Combat Capability Level of a Sub-Unit

Decrements in each of the factors take the theoretical armaments potential of 1 down to a combat capability level of .43 in the author’s example.

He goes on to show how each of the factors themselves are individually broken down and evaluated.  What could be called sub-factors in them are each evaluated by a familiar excellent (1), good (.95), or satisfactory (.9) standard.  He describes how of positive, good, and excellent training evaluations are converted into the professional training sub-factor.  He has an interesting chart showing things like less than 70 percent positive evaluations is an unsatisfactory, not less than 70 percent positive evaluations is a satisfactory, etc.

The author summarizes by saying his approach allows for identifying problem areas in combat capability with an eye to improving combat potential.  The results of inspections can be used to evaluate soldiers and then the entire sub-unit.  So 60 percent of soldiers at excellent (.8), 20 percent at good (.7), 15 percent at satisfactory (.6), and 5 percent at unsatisfactory (.4) gives the sub-unit an overall evaluation of .73.  This has to be multiplied against the quantitative first bullet above, if it’s .8, then .73 x .8 yields a combat capability level of .584.

The point is, at this working military academic level, the Russians have what might be a fairly rigorous methodology for evaluating their own combat capability.  Who knows if the high command thinks this way when it talks publicly, but combat capability clearly isn’t the same thing as combat readiness.  And the concept of battle readiness needs a closer look.

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