by Benjamin Phocas
Urban warfare is a costly endeavor with a broad litany of demands. Among these vitally important demands, one that requires months if not years of preparation, is physical fitness.
The physical toll of combat has long been a known quantity. However, the nature of urban terrain means that warfare conducted within its environs presents more physical challenges compared to other environments. A useful starting point to better understand the demands of urban warfare is 9/11. Firefighters moved as fast as they could up 110 flights of stairs, wearing up to 75lbs of gear. Anyone who has replicated this grueling physical event as part of a memorial workout knows just how physically taxing this can be without gear or the added physical stressors of combat. In a modern urban battlefield, soldiers will be doing this with all the added stressors of combat, day after day, potentially week after week.
It is time to seriously consider how we prepare soldiers for the physical challenges of urban warfare.