The US Army conducted a war exercise last week with Russian-styled air defense systems during Southern Strike 19 at the Shelby Air to Ground Bombing Range, Mississippi.
Southern Strike is a large scale, conventional and special operations field training exercise hosted by the Mississippi National Guard, reported Defence Blog.
The 172d Airlift Wing released a video on Facebook over the weekend showing the Joint Terminal Attack Controllers (JTAC) from the 148th Air Force Special Operations Command (ASOS) coordinating strikes with Boeing AH-64 Apache attack helicopters.
Lt. Col. Edward Knox, Range Control Officer for Camp Shelby, describes how the Army is preparing for a conventional fight against “nation states.”
At the start of the video, Defense-Blog spotted Russian-styled air defense systems, such as Osa and Tor short-range surface-to-air missile systems and BTR-80 wheeled amphibious armored personnel carrier.
Apache pilots are relearning air assault skills that were de-emphasized after the threat of a conventional war diminished at the end of the Cold War.
The Army used styled or real combat Russian vehicles and air defense systems to add extra realism to the war exercise.
While the US military fought terrorists in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia over the last two decades, potential enemies have studied how the US conducts battle. In return, sophisticated weapons, munitions, and disruptive technologies have been acquired by Russia and China.
US forces on the modern battlefield must quickly adapt to these disruptive technologies and prepare for a conventional war, much different than fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Currently, the Pentagon is preparing for a great-power conflict, and on the ground in Europe, where heightened tensions with Russia have many worried that a battle is on the horizon.