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SSC-Natick Press Release

U.S. Army Soldier Systems Center-Natick
Public Affairs Office
Kansas Street
Natick, MA 01760-5012

Contact: Public Affairs Office

Date: July 24, 2008
No: 08-22

NSRDEC officer attends Red Team Leader Course

NATICK, Mass. -- Recently, Col. Malcolm Burr, senior operations officer, U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center (NSRDEC), was selected to attend the University of Foreign Military and Cultural Studies at Fort Leavenworth, Kan.

This 18-week course, which came into existence approximately two years ago, is commonly called the "Red Team Leaders Course."

The Army's website says the following about the course: "The Combined Arms Center University of Foreign Military and Cultural Studies at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., runs a high-quality red-team training course to develop critical thinking and nontraditional analysis skills aimed at identifying dependencies, unintended effects, vulnerabilities, and mitigating strategies."

Burr said that he feels this course truly offers "outside the box" thinking for the Army.

According to a news release from the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), the participants will be "educated to look at problems from the perspectives of the adversary and multinational partners, with the goal of identifying alternative strategies. The Red Team provides commanders with critical decision-making expertise during planning and operations. The team's responsibilities will be broad - from challenging planning assumptions to conducting independent analysis to examining courses of action to identifying vulnerabilities."

While Burr was embedded with Iraqi Soldiers in a previous deployment, he said he remembered numerous instances where they needed to utilize "contrary" or "three-dimensional" thinking.

Continuing, he said he thought the course "will boost better understanding between staffs, services and coalitions, and curb potential missteps prior to mission deployment. Mission accomplishments will thereby have more depth."

Burr is the first Army Reserve officer to attend the training; previously the course was only open to active Army and National Guard members. He was chosen based on his background and on his experience in Iraq, specifically working with the Iraqi Army.

As many in the Army are involved in Lean Six Sigma planning currently, Burr used that theme to describe where he sees the course taking him.

"..Look at red teaming as another step in the planning process where efficiencies are added prior to mission deployment," he said. "It can be applied anywhere. Maybe I'll even return here [to NSRDEC] and employ." After completing the course, Burr is scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan.

This page last updated on 10 May 2006.