2002 CPEO Military List Archive

From: cpeo <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 29 Apr 2002 17:28:18 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Mission shift]
Mission shift
Military leaders say the way is clear for new technology, tactics to 
drive a center for homeland defense that complies with base 
environmental protections


CAMP EDWARDS - When the Army built the long, wood-tiled baggage terminal 
in 1941, American soldiers were fighting a much different war.

At the time, tens of thousands of GIs bound for the battlefields of 
Europe and the Pacific pulled up to this building by the trainload. They 
spent a few months training on Cape Cod, then shipped out for 
large-scale assaults such as the D-Day invasion, the Battle of the Bulge 
and the complicated island-hopping campaign in the Pacific.

But like many buildings on the Cape post, the terminal was unused for 
years. A short span of railroad tracks, with weeds and bushes sprouting 
between the rails, still runs along its loading docks. But the tracks 
connect to nothing.

Some military leaders, however, say there can be new life for this old 
building, and for the entire post, by using new technology and tactics.

Buoyed by plans floated by a Cape congressman to make the entire 
Massachusetts Military Reservation a center for homeland defense, these 
leaders envision local training that transcends the small-arms firing 
and bivouac exercises that take place now.

While environmental sanctions have silenced the heavy guns in the 
northern woods of Camp Edwards, some hope for a renewed vitality at the 
base as the American military, indeed America itself, faces new 

The Camp Edwards of the future may train soldiers for new types of 
combat - from peacekeeping to rooting out terrorists - in more realistic 
situations while still protecting the environment of the base, polluted 
for years by countless mortar and artillery rounds.

And many of the facilities, they predict, could be available to local 
police and other law enforcement agencies to train for the coordinated 
efforts that may be needed in the future.

Inside that old baggage terminal, located in the industrial area of Camp 
Edwards, the National Guard has already crafted a makeshift network of 
rooms where military units can work on strategies they would need to 
clear a terrorist headquarters or rescue hostages.

State and local police can use another part of the same facility to 
practice arrests in potentially hostile conditions, such as facing a 
barricaded gunman in an office building.

Guard leaders hope it's just the beginning.

Training could be done on a larger scale by building full-size models of 
a three-floor school or a replica of a crowded streetscape right out of 
a Hollywood film set.

Times change, military leaders say. And the military has to change with 

"The battlefields of the future, of today, are cities," said Col. Joseph 
Materia, of the Guard's Environmental and Readiness Center on Camp 
Edwards. "They're the Mogadishus, the Sarajevos, the New York Cities.

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