Clipped From The Salina Journal

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 - T WAR ON TERROR Kansas Army center applies...
T WAR ON TERROR Kansas Army center applies lessons of war Center keeps tabs on enemy tactics in Iraq and Afghanistan By DICK LIPSEY Tlie Associated Press FORT LEAVENWORTH — Soldiers in the 82nd Airborne Division learned quickly in Iraq that their body armor provided lifesaving protection if they were shot from the front or rear. But they were vulnerable from the side to roadside bombs used to attack convoys. Then a surgeon in the 82nd got the idea of putting a layer of flexible Kevlar armor on the side of the body armor and another piece to cover a soldier's shoulder. He took the idea to a team of parachute riggers, who made 40 sets in two days. The armor saved the life of a soldier who was hit in the side by shrapnel from a bomb, and the soldiers who tested the new body armor liked it so much they refused to return it. The division immediately ordered 6,000 sets from a company in the United States. This and other hard lessons that soldiers learn in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan are quickly spread Armywide by a Fort Leavenworth organization, the Center for Army Lessons Learned. Keeping informed The heart of the operation is a sophisticated Web site,, most of which is restricted to military personnel and others with a "need to know," wherever they may be in the world. "It gets more than 3 million hits a year," said Col. Larry Saul, who has headed the center for about 10 months after The Associated Press Col. Larry Saul gives a presentation about the Center of Army Lessons Learned this past week In his Fort Leavenworth office. Saul Is the director of CALL, which was founded in 1984 and has a staff of about 120. commanding the 10th Mountain Division's artillery brigade. CALL, founded in 1984, has a staff of about 120, ranging from military historians 'at its Fort Leavenworth office to soldiers embedded with combat units in Iraq and Afghanistan. The center's focus is on enemy tactics, techniques and procedures that soldiers encounter in Iraq and Afghanistan. "We're seeing a smart, adaptive enemy that is trying to exploit technology and the lessons he's learned," Saul said. "We've got to be faster and smarter." When troops in Iraq report a new enemy tactic, for example, that information is immediately made available to other units in Iraq and, through CALL, to units that may be preparing to deploy overseas or that are training at one of the combat training centers at Fort Polk, La.; Fort Irwin, Calif.; or Hohenfels, Germany. "A year ago, the enemy was using remote-control led model toys and electronic garage- door openers to detonate improvised explosive devices," said Saul, who otherwise declined to discuss specifics. "We learned they were doing that and developed measures to defeat it." The center also helps identify commercial products that can be fielded quickly to replace more cumbersome or less effective military gear or to perform a function that wasn't previously identified. "Going to war today is much more sophisticated than when we went to Vietnam 35 years ago," Saul said. "I got basically a week's worth of training at Fort Lewis, Wash. I was a sergeant with two years in the Army I qualified with an M-16 and was shown how to react to an ambush, and that was about it." •

Clipped from
  1. The Salina Journal,
  2. 23 May 2004, Sun,
  3. Page 4

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