Lethality Task Force Leaders: U.S. Ground Fighters Must ‘Overmatch’ Enemies

American ground fighters must overmatch any potential adversary, now and in the future, the men in charge of the Close Combat Lethality Task Force said here today.

Robert Willke, the undersecretary of defense for personnel and readiness, and retired Army Maj. Gen. Robert Scales, who serves on the task force’s advisory board, spoke about the effort at the Association of the United States Army’s Sullivan Center.

The effort looks to improve the lethality of Army, Marine Corps and special operations light infantry units, and it is personally being pushed by Defense Secretary James N. Mattis.

Scales said the reason behind the task force comes down to three number: 90, 4 and 1. Ninety percent of Americans killed in combat are infantry, he noted. “They constitute 4 percent of uniformed personnel and receive just 1 percent of the DoD budget for training and equipping,” Scales said.

Combat Overmatch

The United States maintains combat overmatch in every other portion of the battlefield – air, sea and space – yet the small infantry unit, the unit most likely to be under fire, is the one that comes closest to a fair fight with an enemy, Scales said.

Success in ground combat “lies not just with technical superiority, but with the human dimension,” Willke said.

“There is nothing more important than focusing our energies now on developing and nurturing the unique capabilities of…

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