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Red Team Education and Training

What is it?
Red teaming provides units and organizations an independent capability to fully explore alternatives in plans, operations, concepts, structures and capabilities in the context of the operational environment and from the perspectives of our adversaries and others. As a function executed by trained and educated officers (commissioned and warrant) and Army Civilians, red teaming enhances planning, intelligence, and operations by challenging assumptions, plans, estimates; and offers alternative perspectives to improve decision making in today's dynamic and uncertain environment.

What has the Army done?
The U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) established the University of Foreign Military and Cultural Studies (UFMCS) at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas to provide the educational and training foundation to support the fielding of a force-wide red team capability. The curriculum is designed to enable red teams to think critically and creatively, and be able to see things differently in military environments which are increasingly complex, lethal, and ambiguous. Red teams will aid staffs during planning and operations by identifying potential weaknesses, vulnerabilities and unseen opportunities, anticipate and account for the cultural perceptions of adversaries and others, and conduct independent and unbiased critical reviews and analyses of plans, concepts, and orders.

What continued efforts does Army have planned for the future?

The Army continues to institutionalize the red teaming concept by adding red teams to existing force structure, incorporating the concept into our doctrine, and continuing formal UFMCS education and training programs at Fort Leavenworth and with mobile tailored training at unit locations.

In support of Army efforts, UFMCS recommended teams or trained personnel be added to every echelon of command from the brigade combat team through Army headquarters. Based on this recommendation, TRADOC has approved the addition of red teams to division, corps, and army headquarters and validated the requirement to train two officers assigned at the Brigade Combat Team headquarters with these critical skills. The concept of red teaming is found in the current edition of Field Manual 3-0, Operations, and will be incorporated into the revisions of Army planning, operations, and intelligence doctrinal manuals. Additionally, red teaming has been incorporated into Joint doctrine and TRADOC concept pamphlets.

The UFMCS continues to develop and refine best practices, techniques, and procedures and shares these with fielded teams using a reachback capability available for continuous access. This reach back capability provides access to subject matter experts, databases, and serves as a means to exchange lessons learned and information among red teams. Bi-annually, UFMCS will conduct two sessions of the 18 week Red Team Leader Course for the Army, other services, and Joint organizations. To meet the urgent needs of deploying units, UFMCS offers a quarterly theater-focused nine week Red Team Leaders Course and a six week Red Team Member Course.

Graduates of UFMCS courses have served, and continue to serve, in deployed Army units and Joint commands, as well as in other agencies in the Department of Defense.

Why is this important to the Army?
Overseas Contingency Operations, and analysis of future complex operational environments, confirm that the Army requires a capability within its units to aid the commander and staff in identifying and quickly adapting to new and unanticipated challenges and opportunities.

Historically, the military, government, and industry employed some form of red teaming. These efforts were ad hoc and lacked a formal education and training program. The UFMCS fills this gap.

Graduates of UFMCS will enhance mission planning by helping the staff to look at problems differently; account for the perspective of the adversary, multinational partners and others; frame alternative perspectives to problems; and aid in the discovery of alternative strategies. Effective red teaming ensures that unit planning and operations staffs avoid group think, tunnel vision, cultural missteps, and mirror imaging. Red teams will challenge the staff's planning assumptions and assessment systems, help the staff account for the complexity and relationships of the key variables found in the operational environment, identify the consequences of proposed actions, and provide timely critical insights to enable better decisions during planning and operations.

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