In February, the Association of the US Army (AUSA) published a new paper highlighting the urgent need for the military to bolster its wet-gap “river” crossing capabilities.

Authored by Major Aditya Iyer, the paper detailed the imperative for investing in modernization and strategic planning to prepare for potential large-scale combat operations against technologically advanced forces, particularly in light of lessons drawn from the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.

A Call to Modernize Our River Crossing Capabilities

In the wild, shifting battleground that’s our world today, the Army’s gearing up for a potential rumble with other superpowers—think Russia and China.

A fresh report from the military think tank examines a crucial aspect of this prep work: getting our boots and tanks over rivers and other wet obstacles without getting stuck in the mud.

It’s an old-school skill that’s roaring back into focus, because, let’s face it, our future dust-ups won’t be in the deserts or mountain caves but possibly against foes who’ve got their own heavy metal and tech to throw back at us.

We’ve been tangled up in the sand and dust for the longest time, hunting shadows. But the winds are changing.

wet-gap crossing
River-crossing exercise in 2020 (Image source: DVIDS)

The dragons we might have to dance with next are playing a different tune, one that calls for a leap back to the kind of war where crossing a river might just decide the day—that or the cyberspace, but still!

This AUSA report is drumming up the chorus, saying it’s time to brush off the cobwebs from our wet-gap crossing gear.