Activation of Army Irregular Warfare Fusion Cell

Monday July 11, 2011

What is it?

The U.S. Army Combined Arms Center (CAC) at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, recently activated the Army IW Fusion Cell (AIWFC) to assess, integrate, coordinate, and synchronize irregular warfare (IW) activities, initiatives, and capabilities across the U.S. Army and joint services. The AIWFC establishes a repository of key IW functional expertise under one roof and from which important actions are coordinated and implemented, particularly those IW actions that have DOTMLPF (doctrine, organization, training, materiel, leader development, personnel, and facilities) implications.

What has the Army done?

Enduring Army requirements from Operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom showed the need for a permanent and integrated Irregular Warfare capability. CAC constructed the AIWFC this year by taking advantage of existing CAC IW expertise. It also called on other Army IW organizations to participate by establishing permanent liaison officers within the AIWFC thereby bringing IW expertise under one roof. These liaison officers provide functional IW expertise and can coordinate for "reachback" support and additional subject matter expertise with their organizational headquarters. The AIWFC has a small core "cell" that includes the director, and has a wider "in-house" staff from other organizations including:
Army Asymmetric Warfare Group
Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute
U.S. Army Special Operations Command
U.S. Army Counterinsurgency Center
U.S. Army Security Force Assistance Proponent Office
U.S. Army Center for Army Lessons Learned

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

The AIWFC will assist in the development of a coherent Army IW and Countering Irregular Threats strategy that accounts for building partner capacity, stability operations and the integration of unconventional warfare and counterterrorism. As part of the Mission Command Center of Excellence, the AIWFC will also assist and facilitate an enduring IW capability within the operational force both for current and future conflicts.

Why is this important to the Army?

IW constitutes one of the most prevalent forms of armed conflict. DoD Directive 3000.07 states: "It is DoD policy to recognize that irregular warfare is as strategically important as traditional warfare."

Army forces will vigorously train for conventional warfighting, but the requirement for the same forces to also understand the history, doctrine, and lessons of irregular warfare, and to practice it, is also important. With its complement of subject matter experts and practitioners with IW combat experience, the AIWFC brings fresh thinking and understanding to help Army forces educate, apply, and maintain IW knowledge and skills.

Resources:

U.S. Army COIN Center website

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