From the thesis abstract: "The Army decided to re-structure the combat divisions into modular, brigade units in order to better address the difficulty inherent in fighting terrorism, while simultaneously providing combat units to OIF [Operation Iraqi Freedom] and OEF [Operation Enduring Freedom] for SSTR [Stability, Security, Transition & Reconstruction] operations. These new modular combat units are based on predominantly infantry and armor capabilities and have resulted in a large divestiture of engineering units and capabilities. The Army's reduction lies in stark contrast to the US Department of Defense policy stipulating for all services to address SSTR as a decisive operation commensurate with the resourcing given other combat operations. A better solution for the Army could be to invest in more engineer capability as the center-piece of its new modular BCTs [brigade combat teams]. This monograph will address the Army's challenge of implementing SSTR as a decisive operation as part of a main attempt to determine a method to 'operationalize' a more engineer-centric concept. The monograph will conduct a short survey of historical examples of the combat and construction capabilities of engineer formations. Historically multi-purpose engineer units helped commanders meet their plethora of infantry tasks and still maintained good capacity for combat engineering and construction. Several solutions to the full-spectrum force structure problem are addressed in the monograph, with the Maneuver Enhancement (ME) BCT concept appearing most promising. The ME BCT has proven to be a viable option, having just returned from duty in Iraq, and has now fully implemented at Fort Lewis, WA. With continued study and development of doctrine and promising training programs, the ME BCT will meet its challenge of training and leader development. If the National Security Strategy is correct about the most common form of future warfare being full-spectrum combat, then the ME BCT has the potential to be the most useful BCT organization in the conflicts to come."
Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC): http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/