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Army.ca => Combat Elements => Topic started by: Yard Ape on July 28, 2004, 01:15:11

Title: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Yard Ape on July 28, 2004, 01:15:11
Will there be a "new" Combat Team in our army without tanks?   What will it look like?   Could a more permanent structure replace the old combat team?

I would propose a reorganization of the mechanized rifle company.  It would have three dismountable rifle platoons, a LAV APC troop, and an LAV MGS troop.  A platoon would be commanded by a Lt, and would consist of all the dismounts of a Mech Pl as we know it today.  The APC Tp would be commanded by a LAV Capt and would be broken into three sections (one for each dismount Pl) and the sections would be commanded by LAV Sgts.  The MGS Tp would be commanded by a Battle Captain.  The troop would consist of two platoons of four MGS and one TUA det.

I would see this including the the manouver officer MOC that I have already proposed (http://army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,17788.0.html). Rifle Pl Comd would be first job in a Bn, then a senior platoon (MGS Pl, Recce Pl, etc).  After that a Capt could fill a Tp Comd job.

I would expect that only one coy in each Bn would be restructured as such (short of war).  Unfortunatly, our gaovernment is not buying enough MGS to make this possible now.


Now, here is a picture that is only loosly related to this post:
(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Farmy.ca%2Falbum%2FGeneral%2FCoy.JPG&hash=a1bf18d5b2ae748c7e08198c3773c744)
Title: Re: Adopting the regiment as a regular force formation.
Post by: Chris Pook on November 06, 2004, 16:11:18
Trying to figure whether to put this here, under army structure, section in the attack or as a stand-alone thread.

What about a Captain's Troop model?  A grouping midway between the Platoon and the Company.

Instead of 4 Vehicles and ~30 bodies, a permanent grouping of 7-8 vehicles and 20-30 dismounts with support capable of independent action.

A Unit then would have 9-12 deployable entities that could be "brigaded" if needed but might be better suited to the low intensity, area dominance missions that seem to be the basis for operations in the near future.

Lieutenants would be Captain's Assistants and get a lot of OJT before being given an independent command.

Majors would still command subunits of 2-4 subsubunits?

It would fit into the combined arms Regiment.

Just a thought.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: Tanner on November 06, 2004, 19:24:57
How do you gain lodgment? With tanks, the Cbt Tm would move to within 1-200 m of the Obj. You would most certainly not be doing that with the LAV III. Too vulnerable to En fire. Are you anticipating dismount 300+ m from the Obj. The Inf will be really tired.

Food for thought.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: ArmyRick on November 06, 2004, 20:10:55
I put a detailed description of what I call the Maneouver Team in "adopting the regiment as a regular force regt"... give it a quick peek and tell me what you think...
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: MCG on November 06, 2004, 20:25:19
How do you gain lodgment?
Suppress with greater volumes of direct and indirect fire.  Destroy key enemy systems with guided non-line of sight munitions.  Make greater use of physical and electronic means to isolate the target.  Fight at night.  Employ smoke/other obscurants that are penetrable to our thermal.  Gain better SA of the target.  Think outside the Cold War box.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: ArmyRick on November 06, 2004, 20:29:15
McG, you are on right on IMO ! Fire for effect !
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: Chris Pook on November 06, 2004, 21:16:18
If our enemies fight the way that we were taught in the 80's the combat team wouldn't make it to the 1-200m range.  The tanks might but RPGs would start stripping away the LAVs at 300-600m.  Consequently, and admitting I have not done it myself, I might be inclined to dismount in defile at 300-500m and manoeuvre in on foot.  Fewer infanteers killed per RPG.  On the other hand more infanteers killed per arty tube.  You pays your money and you takes your chances.

In any event, the structure that I was suggesting was based on my perception of trends that include more capabilities per pair of boots, greater dispersal of forces, larger areas of operation and influence, greater frequency of low intensity conflict,  more peace support operations where the enemy is more likely to be encountered at team to platoon strength than battalion  to brigade strength.

I have no problem with and in fact agree with the notion of maintaining an Armoured Battle Group capability, maybe even 2 or 3.  I was thinking more along the lines of organizing the Mech forces on the above lines.

Cheers.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: ArmyRick on November 06, 2004, 21:32:18
If (big If) the LAV MMEV works (engage targets at 8 Km or less) and then their is LAV TUA (again big If) then they will engage targets at 4 Km or less. This should leave LAVIII with 25mm to deal with enemy IFV, APC, etc. Stop thinking cold war and start thinking Iraq/afghanstan..
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: Cdn Blackshirt on November 06, 2004, 23:12:50

Suppress with greater volumes of direct and indirect fire.   Destroy key enemy systems with guided non-line of sight munitions.   Make greater use of physical and electronic means to isolate the target.   Fight at night.   Employ smoke/other obscurants that are penetrable to our thermal.   Gain better SA of the target.   Think outside the Cold War box.

I'd rather just go with the US "legacy forces" model that are testing their mettle in Iraq right now.

LAV's might be fine for peacekeeping when both sides have signed an agreement, but if there is any likelihood of an urban battle where your opponent has RPG's, I think we're setting ourselves up for big casualties if we don't have tanks to act as the mobile pillboxes that first the Israelis and now the Americans have proven to be absolutely essential.

Bottom Line:   I'll gladly accept the heavier support and logistics load to give our guys extra layers of armour for protection and tracks for mobility.

JMHO,



Matthew.     :salute:
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: Evocatus on November 07, 2004, 00:43:14
Yarde Ape: great grafix....where did you aquire ?
 8)
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on November 07, 2004, 00:54:43
Since we don't have Tanks any more, we may have to get some sort of direct fire solution that can bolt onto existing LAV and Coyote vehicles.

A brace of "Fire and Forget" missiles like Javelin or Gill/Spike on the turret of the LAVs, and maybe a kinetic energy missile like LOSAT (with a very short time of flight) on the Coyote to take advantage of the sensor suite is one possible solution. If there is no money for LAV derivatives, a less expensive launch platform like a Hummer has been demonstrated for missiles like LOSAT and Hellfire as well.

These are not tanks, or even tank substitutes, but some possible "out of the box" ideas which use MOTS solutions for ease of understanding and quick adoption if something like this is judged to be useful.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: Cdn Blackshirt on November 07, 2004, 18:15:29
Question for Yard Ape based on the picture provided....

"Instead of adding (4) dedicated DSFV and only 2 dedicated mortar carriers, what would you think about going to (6) of the Delco 120mm or Patria Haggland AMOS 120mm?"

In essence you by going to a common unit you would increase both your available direct and indirect fire capability.

Additionally, what are the chances of refitting the standard LAV-III with a TOW bolt-on (similar to the M2 Bradley) to provide them with both an anti-bunker and anti-tank capability once again increasing the lethality of all vehicles instead of relying on a specialized few?

Many thanks,



Matthew.   :salute:
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: Senor Mono on November 07, 2004, 19:42:57
"Slat" cages on our various LAV variants could provide some significant protection against the RPG threat, allowing less of a hump for dismounted soldiers. Could our LAVs handle the added weight? Strykers don't have the added weight of a turret, but I recall reading that they are overly heavy.

They seem to be fairly reliable in Iraq. I noticed the other day that Black Watch Warriors heading north have been fitted with slat protection.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: Tanner on November 09, 2004, 01:51:00
Think outside the Cold War box.

OK, I would suggest the Arty Maneuver for Fire doctrine. Don't push the assault at all. An Arty Regiment could do the job in far less time and effort. Picket and suppress. Push the advance, deny svc and sp, force capitulation by Arty Fire.

Unfortunately, that is about all the thinking we can do outside the box. To consider a Cbt Tm doctrine with our current capability is simply not practical. The LAV III is effective in a prepared def position. When it moves it is vulnerable to ALL forms of direct and indirect wpn systems.

It is good for Peacekeeping.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: pbi on November 09, 2004, 05:03:31
Quote
It is good for Peacekeeping.

So why are the USMC equipped with it? Cheers.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on November 09, 2004, 12:08:13
LAV and LAV derivatives can move fast, potentially unhinging the enemy by showing up in unexpected times and places. This is one aspect of "Manoeuvrist" doctrine. The Marines use LAVs as part of the bigger force package, and have tools to crack harder nuts, like M-1 tanks and Cobra helicopter gunships if the LAVs start running into trouble.

We can start thinking "Cavalry", and offer our services to coallitions to do rear area security, flank screening, economy of force and exploitation with the current suite of equipment, but I think everyone concurs there is a need for some more tools in the toolbox.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: Tanner on November 10, 2004, 13:25:14
So why are the USMC equipped with it?

The Marines are a IA force. As per Majoor, the LAV is rapidly deployable and a formidible opponent in the def when supported by Atk Hel. They constitute an effective response to En offensive Ops until the heavies arrive. In the offense, its a liability. hence the Bradley.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on November 10, 2004, 13:53:04
I always hate being constrained by the mantra "well, our Allies will supply that capability". I think we should remember our Allies might have a few other things to do besides holding our hands, and the inevitable "friction of war" could make hash out of what support we do get ("what do you mean GR 475219? Thats not what you said in the O Gp"). We need to quickly, cheaply and effectively upgrade what assets we do have, rather than vainly wait for the arrival of the Merkava C4 A1 variant.

Given we are going "medium" for the forseeable future, we should also concentrate on finding ways to unhinge the enemy without doing the direct assault, either by being able to "snipe" him with PGM fire, confuse his SA with unpredictable and rapid movements, isolate him from civilian and military support...like Sun Tzu said, "supreme excellence in war is achieved by defeating your enemy without fighting".
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: Cdn Blackshirt on November 12, 2004, 22:12:00
LAV and LAV derivatives can move fast, potentially unhinging the enemy by showing up in unexpected times and places. This is one aspect of "Manoeuvrist" doctrine. The Marines use LAVs as part of the bigger force package, and have tools to crack harder nuts, like M-1 tanks and Cobra helicopter gunships if the LAVs start running into trouble.

We can start thinking "Cavalry", and offer our services to coallitions to do rear area security, flank screening, economy of force and exploitation with the current suite of equipment, but I think everyone concurs there is a need for some more tools in the toolbox.

The only thing I know is that I've seen a hell of a lot of footage lately showing infantry pinned in urban areas on radios and they're not calling for LAV's.  They're calling for Abrams.....



Matthew.  ;)
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on November 12, 2004, 22:52:19
The only thing I know is that I've seen a heck of a lot of footage lately showing infantry pinned in urban areas on radios and they're not calling for LAV's. They're calling for Abrams.....

Matthew. ;)

That's exactly my point: we are constrained to work without tanks for at least a generation, so the future combat team has to achieve the same ends through different means. Move fast and dislocate the enemy. "Bolt on" some direct fire weapons to  LAV's and Coyotes to augment MGS. Use clever HUMINT and CIMIC to expose the enemy and separate them from the civilian base. Create a better organization to move information from sensor to shooter without too much filtration and latency.

This should be like the "Thinking about the Section attack thread"; climbing outside the box and looking around for a new solution rather than moaning and weeping over the constraints we are working under now.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: pbi on November 12, 2004, 23:08:31
 I am with a majoor on this. The tank is going. Start thinking about how we can do to the tank what the onward march of military technology finally did to the horsed cavalryman: turn them into dinosaurs by developing ways to kill them effectively (or otherwise degrade their combat effectiveness) without using another tank. The Mujahadin did pretty well  against a largely mechanized enemy: unless we are planning to fight M1s, we will probably mostly be engaging lesser systems, so we should be able to come up with some good ideas ourselves. We are so stuck on the idea of the tank that we cannot imagine fighting without it. We better start. Cheers.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: Tanner on November 13, 2004, 15:03:06
"Now for something completely different"  Let's consider Area Domination as a form of offense. Send WELL SUPPORTED Infantry FOO/FAC teams (not Cbt Tms) under a coordinated attack program utilizing Sat Imagery seize or dominate Key Ground, isolate En forces. A well supported FOO/ FAC Infantry Tm could take advantage of Wpn systems not available to the Cbt Tm.

This is all under the assumption that we would have DEDICATED Air support in the form of AH and FA to augment the loss of tanks. Air support also has the advantage of being able to tailor wpn packages to task, they require far less support systems than armour, move faster, etc.

Consider the Mujaheddin and what they could have done with Air Support. Avoid the hard points and focus on sp. We would act like SEAL Teams, except utilizing highly trained Infantry Tms prepared to do business if required. That is the future.

Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: KevinB on November 13, 2004, 17:51:24
Unfortunately without tanks or (an acceptable reasonable hand drawn faximile) we are screwed.

Having been in a LAVIII in an urban envronment in Afghanistan I make no misguided beliefs about its abilities or survivability.
Given our current status of forces we have no skill sets to operate w/o tanks (no pioneers, Fast Air or Attack and [real] Ulitily Helicopters)

With that realization we unfortunate will have to accept working a part of a composite Brigade or simply and susinctly putting it to out allies that for each of our Brigade deploed we have the need for an ACR to be cut to us.






Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on November 13, 2004, 18:13:25
It's not that I think tanks are going the way of the dinosaur, just no one is going to buy us any.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: AZA-02 on November 13, 2004, 22:04:11
how many years of experience do u guys have, what u say seems so logical
but i couldnt understand most definition, anyway i wish i could figure out plans like that.  ???  :salute: :cdn:
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: Acorn on November 15, 2004, 00:37:08
"Now for something completely different"   Let's consider Area Domination as a form of offense. Send WELL SUPPORTED Infantry FOO/FAC teams (not Cbt Tms) under a coordinated attack program utilizing Sat Imagery seize or dominate Key Ground, isolate En forces. A well supported FOO/ FAC Infantry Tm could take advantage of Wpn systems not available to the Cbt Tm.

Don't assign too much credit to overhead IMINT.

Acorn
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on November 15, 2004, 01:20:24
Tanner might be on to something, but it seems too much of a throwback to the WWI dictum of "Artillery destroys, Infantry occupies". Even in Afghanistan, SF operators with GPS and Sat phones could call in airpower within minutes of detecting a target, but still needed Northern Alliance troops to occupy the ground the B-2 strikes just cleared...

Anyway, if we start doing business that way, the bad guys will operate in places that are hard to shell or bomb (as we are already seeing with Jihadis and the "Mahdi Army" shooting from Mosques and hospitals, or Palestinians using ambulances as logistics and trooplift vehicles). I can also imagine shelter technology evolving rapidly to protect troops from such threats, so we still need a way to force the bad guys out of the places they have dug into.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: pbi on November 15, 2004, 02:04:17
It's not that I think tanks are going the way of the dinosaur, just no one is going to buy us any.

Who's to say they aren't? No weapon system lasts forever, except of course the Infantryman. Our thinking needs to be along the lines of answering the question: "How to be as lethal as possible, without tanks" rather than dwelling on "Oh my God we've got no tanks so we're screwed". We are professional soldiers so we better start figuring it out. It will require a major shift in our way of thinking because we have all been brought up with tanks.

Having been in a LAVIII in an urban envronment in Afghanistan I make no misguided beliefs about its abilities or survivability.

Using LAVs (or MGS) in ways that guarantee their destruction by hand held systems is not really what I had in mind either. I think our focus has to be on the lethality of the dismounted soldier, backed up by effects from systems that fire from defiladed positions(possibly exposing only a sighting mast head). The issue of how to cross the open ground in front of an objective (if, in fact, there is any open ground) will have to be solved without the tank.  Perhaps more precisely targeted supporting fires might fill the bill.

On the issue of not wanting to ask Allies for MBT support, I would not be so quick to dismiss that as "begging". If we offer high-quality, well-equipped and trained infantry, the Alliance partner might be only too happy to give tank sp. It seems to me that in Iraq at the moment it is the quality Infantry that are in short supply. not the MBT battalions. Cheers.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: Chris Pook on November 15, 2004, 02:52:31
Quote
I think our focus has to be on the lethality of the dismounted soldier, backed up by effects from systems that fire from defiladed positions(possibly exposing only a sighting mast head)

http://www.army-technology.com/projects/efogm/
http://www.army-technology.com/projects/fennek/

Is this the kind of teaming you are thinking of?

Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: MCG on November 15, 2004, 03:00:28
Imagine the Coyote surveillance mast being used to guide in NLOS missiles from an MMEV and making precision kills against an enemy position without exposing a single one of our soldiers to a direct fire threat.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: Infanteer on November 15, 2004, 03:17:56
Imagine the Coyote surveillance mast being used to guide in NLOS missiles from an MMEV and making precision kills against an enemy position without exposing a single one of our soldiers to a direct fire threat.

Now, imagine that same setup getting taken out by a few goat-herders with RPGs....ain't war hell.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: MCG on November 15, 2004, 03:24:22
That's why it is all arms.  The infantry worry about the goat herders, and the "system of systems" engages the big targets beyond the next ridge (and the one after that too).
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: Infanteer on November 15, 2004, 03:46:53
That's why it is all arms. The infantry worry about the goat herders, and the "system of systems" engages the big targets beyond the next ridge (and the one after that too).

Well, at least I know I have a job now... :)

baa-aaa-aaa-aaa....

On the issue of not wanting to ask Allies for MBT support, I would not be so quick to dismiss that as "begging". If we offer high-quality, well-equipped and trained infantry, the Alliance partner might be only too happy to give tank sp. It seems to me that in Iraq at the moment it is the quality Infantry that are in short supply. not the MBT battalions. Cheers.

I think you are on to something here PBI.   Until I can rebuild the Army in my image, we have to find something to "sell" in the short term.   Since the idea of "selling" Peacekeeping is repulsive to any professional soldier, perhaps light and flexible infantry, supported by light and mobile combined arms support - assets that can be injected into situations across the spectrum of conflict - is the objective.

Kind of like the Swiss.   From their mountainous Helvetian hideouts, they were never up to playing the heavy, mounted, shock cavalry game that the rest of Europe was into.   Instead, they "sold" their Pike, which along with the Condotieri, was to become all the rage in Europe and eventually displace the mounted Knight as ruler of the European battlefield.

The question is, should a combat team that attempts to "sell" this focus on fancy mechanized systems?   Should acquisition instead shift towards a greater variety of hand-held systems, air-portable systems (ie: by tac-hel), and a decent Army chopper as well?   Should our doctrine move away from mass and firepower of the Brigade to a more dispersed, unconventional force?
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: pbi on November 15, 2004, 04:44:40
Quote
The question is, should a combat team that attempts to "sell" this focus on fancy mechanized systems?  Should acquisition instead shift towards a greater variety of hand-held systems, air-portable systems (ie: by tac-hel), and a decent Army chopper as well?  Should our doctrine move away from mass and firepower of the Brigade to a more dispersed, unconventional force?

The more I think about it, the more I think that this may be the way to go, a;lthough I'm not too comfortable with the term "unconventional". We should probably keep some residual"heavy" capability for a protracted or general conflict, but I think we could safely put this capability in the Army Reserve if we enhance that force's readiness and maintenance capabilities  somewhat.

Quote
Is this the kind of teaming you are thinking of?

FOG-M is exactly what I had in mind. I think that in the future, systems like FOG-M will break down the rigid distinction we maintain between direct and indirect fire support, so the function will simply become "fire support".

Quote
Kind of like the Swiss.  From their mountainous Helvetian hideouts, they were never up to playing the heavy, mounted, shock cavalry game that the rest of Europe was into.  Instead, they "sold" their Pike, which along with the Condotieri, was to become all the rage in Europe and eventually displace the mounted Knight as ruler of the European battlefield.

Just as the mounted knight eventually met his nemesis in the pikeman and then the arquebusier, I think that one day the tank will meet its nemesis in the Infantry soldier armed with a system that costs a fraction of what an MBT costs to purchase and sustain, has a much smaller CSS footprint, and can be moved in any manner in which we would move an Infantry soldier. This Infantry soldier will probably not be able to do this alone-a heavier fire support system of some kind will have to support him by suppressing enemy infantry, and perhap by scattering FASCAM in the path of the enemy tanks. Cheers.



Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: Infanteer on November 15, 2004, 04:59:31
Just as the mounted knight eventually met his nemesis in the pikeman and then the arquebusier, I think that one day the tank will meet its nemesis in the Infantry soldier armed with a system that costs a fraction of what an MBT costs to purchase and sustain, has a much smaller CSS footprint, and can be moved in any manner in which we would move an Infantry soldier. This Infantry soldier will probably not be able to do this alone-a heavier fire support system of some kind will have to support him by suppressing enemy infantry, and perhap by scattering FASCAM in the path of the enemy tanks. Cheers.

It has to be Power Armour....with integral flamethrower and Y-rack for launching A-Bombs.

Mobile Infantry is the wave of the future.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: pbi on November 15, 2004, 05:04:38
Quote
It has to be Power Armour....with integral flamethrower and Y-rack for launching A-Bombs.

Bring back the Davy Crockett!!  :threat: Cheers
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: Infanteer on November 15, 2004, 05:07:07
although I'm not too comfortable with the term "unconventional".

My mistake, I recognize that the use of the term "unconventional" in a military discussion would imply turning the forces into a bunch of JTF guys riding camels and wearing black pajamas.... :)

By "unconventional" I meant units that could break down easily and provide a wide-range of combined arms capabilities at a unit/sub-unit level (PRT is one thing that comes to mind) as opposed to the beautifully sculpted, rigidly segmented brigades we love to stretch thin (and the doctrine to match).

Quote
We should probably keep some residual"heavy" capability for a protracted or general conflict, but I think we could safely put this capability in the Army Reserve if we enhance that force's readiness and maintenance capabilities somewhat.

I think so to.   It seems to be that the heavier assets could be part of a Reserve/Reg "break in case of fire" capability

Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: pbi on November 15, 2004, 06:31:52
Yes-that is all pretty well along the lines I have been thinking of. Cheers.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on November 15, 2004, 11:07:51
We can sort of do that now, but until there is some revolutionary advance in energy storage or distribution systems, man portable systems will still be limited in range and effect. The mass and volume of such systems has to decrease as well, since there is a limit to how much a soldier can carry and still be effective. Another generation of "smartness" will also be needed for the rounds; just imagine a tired and frightened infantryman attempting to "snap shoot" a target with his "Mr. Fusion" powered portable rail gun and an unguided kinetic energy projectile....

This kind of ties up the ideas from other threads: We need a White paper to tell us what to plan for, funding to buy the proper kit and train the right numbers of troops to do the job as defined, and organizational changes to do the job better and faster. Tanks and heavy systems are not in our future for now, nor have I heard any serious discussion about purchasing such systems, so we are left to try to lash together a tactical doctrine using what tools we can get our hands on.

Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: KevinB on November 15, 2004, 12:01:13
Imagine the Coyote surveillance mast being used to guide in NLOS missiles from an MMEV and making precision kills against an enemy position without exposing a single one of our soldiers to a direct fire threat.

That's why it is all arms.  The infantry worry about the goat herders, and the "system of systems" engages the big targets beyond the next ridge (and the one after that too).

Uhm....


I agree with PBI we have to shift into a W/O Tank mode and make it work.

As one of those Infanteers with his *** hangin in the breeze as it where I am hoping we can work this out sooner than later.  However w/o a large influx of captial equiptment I don't see it working.  We can play LI-SOC with the JTF all day w/o tanks but for anything more than SOF type missions we need a cabability that we dont have --> Firepower.

 

Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: Chris Pook on November 15, 2004, 12:54:41
Warning: Fecal Agitation Occuring.

Why is a "system of systems" considered a detestable concept and a "Combined Arms Team" is considered time-tested dogma?  Isn't a "Combined Arms Team" a "system of systems" by definition?   Sword, Lance and Bow combined in a team equals a system of systems.

I have seen references to a theory that one reason the FOG-M/LOSAT combination has not been fielded earlier (they have both been around since the late 80's early 90's) is that the Americans didn't want to undermine the dominance of their own tank-heavy forces.  They felt that they could beat any army in the field with the system of weapons they had even if forced to fight tank-on-tank.  If they introduced the FOG-M/LOSAT combination and demonstrated that they believed that tanks could be defeated by a light force so equipped then they would lose the physical and psychological edge they enjoyed over all opponents.  Potential opponents would figure out how to produce the things cheaply and in large numbers.  The US Army would then be forced into a rapid transformation that they couldn't afford and would ultimately be destabilizing.

I will try to find links for reference - lost in the mists of time and the ether...............
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on November 15, 2004, 14:08:58
LOSAT and FOG-M are potentially as destabilizing as the introduction of the HMS Dreadnaught was to the capital fleets of the world in the early part of the last century. The biggest problems right now is there isn't a doctrine or organizational structure in place to take full advantage of the capabilities these systems can offer. If we go in too early without thinking about how they can best be used, we might end up like the British navy in WW I; armed with very impressive looking "Battlecruisers", which were fatally flawed in concept and operation.

This author looks at the idea of tanks being technologically obsolete, but once again we are left with the question of how do you replace those functions without using a tank? http://www.knox.army.mil/center/ocoa/ArmorMag/ja97/4lastmbt.pdf. The modified Bradley pictured in the article represents a "best guess" look at a quickly available LOSAT platform, and there is no reason the same vehicle couldn't carry FOG-M or even a mixed battery of missiles. Close protection would have to come from accompanying infantry, and long range target data will have to be available to the vehicle crew to use the weapons to their best effect. Using this as the baseline, and assuming we can purchase Bradley's as the US forces does a draw down, we can build the Combat Team of Tomorrow with the following:

"Kodiak" section carriers. The M-2 turret is removed and replaced by a low profile weapons mount for survivability.
"Cheetah" fire support vehicles carrying FOG-M, LOSAT or mix as the tactical situation dictates (as in illustration)
"Fox" recce and surveillance vehicles. Similar to the Kodiak, the Fox -A have a mast mounted sensor suites (surveillance, FOO/FAC/MFC vehicles), while the Fox-B carries the dismounted recce section. The mast is quick raising and lowering, and robust enough to use on the move. Think of a submarine periscope rather than the current Coyote mast.
"Kodiak mortar carrier", using the 120 mm mortar for area coverage (HE/smoke/illum). Cheetahs use the PGM's to take out point and hard targets.

A combat team would cover a lot of ground, with a Fox recce troop operating ahead, Kodiak's and Cheetahs one or two bounds back and the Mortar carriers a bound in the rear.

In principle, a new series of LAV based vehicles could also be built to take on these roles (LAV 3.5), but they would have lower cross country mobility and armour protection compared to the M-2 baseline. Given the decades of use and development in the Canadian Army, we probably could make a LAV 3.5 which addresses some of the mobility and protection issues in a wheeled platform.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: Chris Pook on November 15, 2004, 19:09:48
Another way to think of the LOSAT/FOG-M/what-have-you fire support combination is to consider more as Engineer stores. Consider Claymore - emplaced one location, remotely fired.

Consider the missiles on lightweight trailers with a pair of small motors and a rechargeable battery pack.  Tow the missiles into the firing point.  Unhitch the trailer.  Move the G-Wagen and the set-up crew off the firing point.  Payout a fibre-optic link like a signal wire from the firing point to a pair of Coyotes with Mast mounted sensors via the G-Wagen.  The Coyotes could be up to 10 km from the firing points and the firing points could be kilometers apart.  Radio or Laser comms systems in parallel to the fiber optics to supply redundancy.  The only power draw while the system is waiting to be tasked is the standby power to maintain the comms link to a solenoid switch which would turn on the power pack when a fire mission is in the offing.  Gunners might have to stop by the emplacement site every now and then to recharge the battery from an APU on the G-Wagen.    If emplaced behind a conventional front-line no security might be necessary.  In a 360 battlefield it might be worth tasking a section to look after an emplacement with 2-4 trailers.

No exposed crews once the firing starts.  Low heat signatures.  Trailers cheap enough to be considered disposable if necessary but rugged enough to justify reloading and reusing if the trailers can be recovered safely.  Less manning requirements.  A real lightweight, low cost, deployable fire support capability to complement, not replace, conventional gun and mortar artillery.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on November 15, 2004, 21:18:07
Nice idea Kirkhill, but it still has the objection of the MGS/LAV TOW/MMEV troika: this system does not fire on the move. In the defense it would be mind boggling, and if there was time to set up a deliberate assault, this would be a sneaky way to set the fire support.

If these are long range missiles, then the Artillery or Mortar Platoon could be in charge of the system, to back up the combat team as it makes its move.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: Chris Pook on November 15, 2004, 21:50:51
http://www.army-technology.com/projects/polyphem/

The French version of EFOG-M uses a 130 kg missile to deliver a 20 kg warhead at speeds of approximately 600 km/h.  That means that it takes about 10 minutes for the missile to transit from launch point to target 60 KM away.  It is available in truck and ship launched variants with heli-launched variants in the works.

The system of systems, as you suggest, would be best suited to an arty tasking with the firing points being employed the way that towed arty and man-pack mortars always have - move to position, wait for fire mission, fire, relocate.  Long Range means fewer firing points necessary to cover ground, greater dispersal, less need to unmask all of your available assets at the same time.

The general concept of remote deployment of unmanned firing posts was proved by mounting 6x19 rd Hydra-70 70mm rocket pods on old M-101 howitzer mounts.  Originally evaluated by the US for their Light Infantry Divisions in the 80's and 90's.  An old Janes' Armour and Artillery will show the system under US Towed Rocket systems.

By the way, if France and Germany get their way in the EU and are allowed to sell arms to China, China will have access to Polyphem technology amongst other things.


Cheers.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: Chris Pook on November 15, 2004, 22:17:37
70mm Rapid Deployment - Multiple Launch Rocket System

Manufactured by   BEI Defense Systems Company of Texas

Reported in Janes' Armour and Artillery (Year Unknown)

Quote
â Å“Description:

Up to six 19-tube replaceable launchers can be mounted on a towed M91 chemical rocket launcher chassis or a 105mm howitzer bed.   Other configurations include six 19-tube launchers on a 2  ½ -ton truck, three 19-tube launchers on a High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicle, a 25-rocket square array universal mount, various armoured vehicle turret mounts, two 7- or 19-tube launchers on a Fast Attack Vehicle, four 19-tube launchers on and M42 carriage or quad 12.7mm machine gun mount, and a man-portable 4-tube launcher on a tripod mount.   Launchers are reusable 7-tube M260 or 19-tube M261 lightweight aircraft pods or are specially configured for the tripod and universal mounts.  

Up to eight fire units can be controlled by cable or radio from one location.   The operator can select single, pair or four-round bursts from each launcher and he can select the total quantity to be fired and the firing rate for a salvo.   Range is 700m to over 15 km.

The crew for the larger systems is four with a typical six-pod launcher system taking 10 minutes to reload.   A single 19-round launcher can be fired in about 0.5 second in the quick fire mode and within 1.5 seconds in the slow fire mode. A full six-pod launcher takes less than seven seconds to empty in the slow mode.â ?

I never quite understood why this concept didn't go farther.   All the kit was NATO standard, in fact the HYDRA-70's and the launchers are manufactured in Canada.   It seemed to me to make a lot of sense to add one of these batteries to a 105mm unit.   However, regardless of the value of the 70mm system, the remote firing concept applied to the LOSAT/EFOGM or POLYPHEM systems would add a lot of fire support at a relatively low price in kit and gunners, not to mention gunners killed.

There's one of my pet projects.....

Cheers.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: Chris Pook on November 15, 2004, 22:32:37
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/munitions/apkws.htm

As a final point for consideration, this is a modification of the Hydra-70 missile.  Basically it is a guidance package for a standard Hydra-70 rocket that is intended to supplement Hellfire for less well armoured targets.  It is called APKWS or Advanced Precision Kill Weapons System.  The payload is 1.04 kg of  HE.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: Acorn on November 15, 2004, 22:46:49
I'll need time to wrap my brain around most of this, but I think it's a mistake at this point to start considering a tankless force. It's one thing to abandon the tank because it's gone the way of the battleship, but quite another to do it soley because our government doesn't have the political will to fund such things. In this respect I think we, the Army, are often our own worst enemy. We have an attitude of "adapt and overcome" or "seek a niche role" when we should have senior people pointing out the flaws in trying to make do. Sgt Majoor pointed out the flaw in the concepts discussed so far - they provide for kick-*** infantry in the defence, but the lack of capability on the advance is obvious.

However, we still need to function in the four phases of war that have been reality for a long time. Investing (money or intellectual capital) in systems (or "systems of systems") that are functionally defensive is, to be blunt, defeatist. This is where the average civvy lacks understanding - "why do we need tanks/attack helos/submarines/whatever? They are offensive systems, and we are not an offensive country." I certainly don't need to explain the logical fallacy to this audience.

I agree with the points above that we will likely see the day (or my successors will) where the infantry soldier, with some inexpensive support elements, becomes more cost effective in all phases of war than the tank. We have not reached that point yet.

Oh, and by the way, as much as I would enjoy the discussion of Dreadnought on Naval warfare, all I can offer that that analogy is that we have yet to see the same sort of revolution in land warfare since the advent of the tank. I would point out that her construction rendered allprevious ship designs obsolete (though part of that parcel was a revolution in Naval gunnery. A discussion outside the scope of this forum, I should think.)

Acorn
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: Tanner on November 16, 2004, 00:35:40
We need to introduce a 3 dimensional battlespace into the though process. All this ground mounted stuff is great, but most of it can be neutralized by a $10 mine. FA, AH, UAV provide platforms for both direct and indirect wpns systems. Example: If we integrate UAV mounted GPS and lazer targeting (as per the coyote) with a LOSAT tech we have formidable standoff Anti Armour capability for reasonable cost.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: Chris Pook on November 16, 2004, 01:18:08
Right enough Tanner, you do need at least a UAV and/or even the CH-146 ERSTA capability as a minimum to what ever system you come up with.  And as Acorn and a_majoor have also pointed out there will also be a need to have an ability to rapidly move a lethal response capability around the battlespace  to cover the unexpected.  The fixed system that I suggested as an option isn't a guaranteed cure for anything. Its an option to be torn apart.

Cheers :) ;) :salute:
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on November 16, 2004, 01:20:05
While attack helo's, A-10's and even Predator UAV's have proven to be effective fire platforms, they are still aircraft which are lift and weather limited. Even the mighty A-10 doesn't carry 51 105mm high velocity rounds like the Leopard C2 could, only 11 hardpoints for various missiles or bombs and 1100 rounds of 30mm (not a lot when the gun fires at 3900 RPM).

Not that I would actually turn down A-10, Cobra or even Predator support if offered, we just need to keep the limitations in mind when thinking this through. 
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: KevinB on November 16, 2004, 01:40:05
Coudl we jump back to fiscal reality people.
Coulda, woulda, shoulda is fine.

But we need to do this on todays defence budget -

Sorry I'd like a better AT missle (US Javelin) and more soldier upgrades for kit and weapons.  We need to slim down our forces - leaner and meaner.  Looks at todays security atmosphere granted it is not necessarily tomorrows the fact is we dont have the money to get involved in a high intensity conlfict with the coolest neato toys.

So we must focus on something we can do: LI-SOC (Light Infantry Special Operations Capable) and do it well training and equipping our solider to excell that this. 
Maybe this means re-rolling the Armoured into CAV simlpy fighting the vehicle that the 031's use a taxis' when necessary.  Maybe the Gunners had best learn to love the mortar and become UAV SME's...

High End High Intensity tools are a waste of $ for the CF: Why?  We have no large bodied enemy to fight - and like it or not unless the Gov't ponies up a triplign or quadrupling of the Def budget we would have an effective army for that type of fighting anyway.

The Tank - frig the Tank we are missing so many other necessary systems as well.

Learn to love your rucks boys.

Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on November 16, 2004, 02:12:37
The most frustrating part of all these discussions is the assumption we have a lack of money. We (or the powers that be) have a lack of WILL. It was pointed out in another thread that the Indian Armed Forces have a similar budget, but a vastly larger and more capable force.

So much of our money is just frittered away on "new" PC's for the office, CORCAN furnature, landscaping, or absorbed in bloated establishments. We may never need to buy an ICBM regiment, but we can reallocate our resources towards the sharp end, and actually start restructuring our forces.

While an increase in defense spending to the "NATO standard" of 2% of GDP would be wonderful, lets really reprioratize what we are spending our 1.1% on.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: KevinB on November 16, 2004, 02:33:38
a_majoor: true - we need the gov't and public to understand the Army is not in the welfare business.

   Still even if we did cut costs and streamlined: --> doubling our captial equiptment budget?
 Still wont get us into the High End game.

And Do we want to be there?

Are we sure that trying to get a high tech mech army is wise (I am sure it is not) and not just a matter of misplaced pride?
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: Infanteer on November 16, 2004, 04:02:33
The most frustrating part of all these discussions is the assumption we have a lack of money. We (or the powers that be) have a lack of WILL. It was pointed out in another thread that the Indian Armed Forces have a similar budget, but a vastly larger and more capable force.

So much of our money is just frittered away on "new" PC's for the office, CORCAN furnature, landscaping, or absorbed in bloated establishments. We may never need to buy an ICBM regiment, but we can reallocate our resources towards the sharp end, and actually start restructuring our forces.

While an increase in defense spending to the "NATO standard" of 2% of GDP would be wonderful, lets really reprioratize what we are spending our 1.1% on.

Not to sound like a broken record, but I would argue, as I have many times before here, that a bloated, Cold-War (re: mobilization), highly centralized command structure is the place to start.   Any reform is useless when it is fed into the paradigmatic "hose" that justifies a huge NDHQ and a military with a rate of 1 officer for every 3 or 4 soldiers.

And Do we want to be there?

Are we sure that trying to get a high tech mech army is wise (I am sure it is not) and not just a matter of misplaced pride?

Interesting conundrum Kevin.   How do we justify the "prestige" of our Army without its centerpiece 3 Mechanized Brigade Groups?   Perhaps the residual of WWII and the Cold War has deeply ingrained into our psyche the equation of military power and "currency" with large, mechanized formations bulldozing their way through the Fulda Gap.   What sort of shift in thinking should we be looking at if this is indeed a problem?

More to ponder I guess...until then, continue dismounting from LAV and lamenting the Leo.... :-\
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: pbi on November 16, 2004, 08:16:40
Quote
but the lack of capability on the advance is obvious.

Really? Advance under what kind of conditions, and what kind of enemy? Do we seriously envision ourselves unilaterally fighting a mechanized enemy? More like that as part of a Coalition we will engage an enemy who has some residual armour capability, but not by ourselves. And since when are AA systems confined to the defence? I was always taught that they were an important part of the advance. Cheers.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on November 16, 2004, 09:27:29
The fighting in Falluja, and the Israeli experience in the West Bank would seem to validate the need for "shoot on the move" and high all around protection. Since we do not have this currently, and the systems coming on line do not have these capabilities either, we are back to the original point of the thread: "how do you gain lodgment without tanks?"
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: ArmyRick on November 16, 2004, 18:33:40
I agree with sorting out our military and wether we like or not, the liberals do not want tanks (their the bosses). so having said that it is time to say good bye to our dearly departed friend, The Main Battle Tank (1917-2007) in CF service (RIP).
Having said that we should learn and develop a new doctrine that is more suitable to our kit. Push old school combat teams out of your mind, because if we don't have the kit, lets stay out out of the business.
If a heavy weight boxer drops down to middle weight, does he stay and try and slug out with the big boys? Hopefully not. Thats us in the CF..
We are looking at Javelin for ALAWS, maybe using a good anti-armor system will help compensate for lack of MBTs? Combined with TOW Aero and Bunker buster, maybe even advancing to fire and forget TOW?
MGS? I hope it does some good for us?
MMEV? I actually have some faith that this might prove to be a vaulable idea. The US was experimenting with LOSAT and kinetic energy missiles.
Bottom line, we must move on and get on with the business of developing new doctrine.

PS Is there a wake planned for the Late Leopard C2 MBT?
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: Acorn on November 16, 2004, 23:59:15
Our political masters may not like tanks, but it's up to our leadership to make the point. Evidently too many in our military leadership have caved on this.

Do we want a rounded combat-capable force, or are we happy with a niche capability that may be satisfactory to our allies?

Kevin, I would agree with you if I thought there was a future in it, but I don't see it. We are not so small as to limit ourselves in such a way.

I agree with a_majoor that it is a lack of will that is the issue. Our politicians are total dunderheads militarily - they rely on our senior commanders to advise them on the details. It seems to me that defeatism has permeated the Army, in that our leaders are choosing to adapt to what the government gives, rather than to challenge the government on their decisions. Perhaps it's too much time under the Liberals, and too much time under Jean Cretien - a despicable politician of no moral fibre. If we continue to go down that road without standing up and challenging, we will wind up as a peacekeeping constabulary, whatever those of you who think gearing for a niche capability think.

To be clear: I'm not advocating the existing "cookie-cutter" mech bdes that exist today. I think an LI capability, a significant capability, is of great value. I do not think it should be our only capability though.

The money is there, the intestinal fortitude is lacking.

One final thing - as bad as the officer:ncm ratio seems to be, consider that it is Forces-wide, not an Army phenominon. The Air Force alone skews the ratio unreasonably.

Acorn
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: pbi on November 17, 2004, 07:44:25
Quote
Our political masters may not like tanks, but it's up to our leadership to make the point. Evidently too many in our military leadership have caved on this.

Maybe I keep missing something (I am getting on, after all....) but where did we get the idea that politicians had anything to do with the MGS decision? The last politician I can recall who even had an opinion on tanks, was Trudeau (anti-tank) but he was smartly put in line by our allies and we bought the Leo to replace the Cent. Since then, the Govt has to the best of my knowledge ponied up to not only keep the Leo fleet but upgrade it incl the new turrets. Then, they agreed to let us deploy tanks on a "peace support mission" (or whatever it was...) to Kosovo. I have yet to hear any MND or PM (other than PET) say that we need to get rid of tanks. As far as I can tell this was totally self-inflicted, which is why it is all the more unlikely that it will ever be reversed. Start thinking how we're going to make it work. Cheers.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: Infanteer on November 17, 2004, 15:17:43
Maybe I keep missing something (I am getting on, after all....) but where did we get the idea that politicians had anything to do with the MGS decision? The last politician I can recall who even had an opinion on tanks, was Trudeau (anti-tank) but he was smartly put in line by our allies and we bought the Leo to replace the Cent. Since then, the Govt has to the best of my knowledge ponied up to not only keep the Leo fleet but upgrade it incl the new turrets. Then, they agreed to let us deploy tanks on a "peace support mission" (or whatever it was...) to Kosovo. I have yet to hear any MND or PM (other than PET) say that we need to get rid of tanks. As far as I can tell this was totally self-inflicted, which is why it is all the more unlikely that it will ever be reversed. Start thinking how we're going to make it work. Cheers.

Re: Self Inflicted

This actually makes sense.   It seems probable that a certain "faction" (for no better term) of the CF command really got onto Shinseki's "Stryker Interim Brigade Group" and "Medium Weight" fads.   However, when glued onto the Canadian Army, the tragic mistakes were:

1) Interim - whereas we seemed to have taken wheeled for Gospal.

2) The Americans can afford to tinker around with medium forces because they still have the Heavier Assets.   We are clearly not in that league.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: jrhume on November 17, 2004, 19:30:03
Infanteer,

I think you make a good point on the 'tinkering around' issue.  The US Army can spend the time and money pursuing an idea that doesn't pan out, take whatever lessons are learned from that project and apply them to other areas.  Canada can't afford that sort of 'tinkering'.  But that doesn't mean the CF can't profit from the experience of others.  Since a bad decision can haunt the forces for years, it might pay to pursue tried and true rather than bleeding edge equipment.  Exactly how that would play out for Canada, I'm not certain, given the great weight 'made in Canada' seems to play in decisons.

On the one hand, sourcing in your own country safeguards your ability to make future purchases of the same gear and maintains an industrial base for other equipment.  Yet such a strategy cuts out a lot of hardware. 

Taken with your previous discussions regarding using the USMC as a general pattern for future CF combat forces, it seems that sourcing from Canada, the US and South America would be a secure, stable method of procuring equipment. 

If the Canadian government were to decide next week to supply a combined-arms unit for the fighting in Iraq, what sort of unit would it send?  Would that unit and its experience provide a guide for future development of the CF?

I'm just playing mind games here, obviously.  Based on my reading of reports from soldiers and Marines serving in Iraq -- at all levels -- the US military is in the process of developing, on the fly, a lethal combination of soldiers, weapons, supporting arms and command and control.  No doubt this experience will weigh heavily on future hardware purchases and combat training scenarios.

I've seen lots of ideas and discussions floated on this board and find them very interesting.  I'm sure people in the higher reaches of the CF are talking about the same issues.  At least, I hope so.

Is part of the frustration evident in these discussions due to the perception that those in charge of the CF are making decisions based on recent Canadian deployments -- peacekeeping -- and neglecting the far too likely chance that future deployments will involve heavy combat, probably in urban environments?

It seems to me that the Leopard/LAV combo ought to perform well in support of urban combat, but I'm not familiar with CF doctrine and training to be sure.  Based on history, I expect that Canadian soldiers would perform as well or better than Coalition counterparts.  Wouldn't such combat experience go a long ways toward informing the CF of what needs to be done in coming years?

This is longer than I intended.  :)
Jim
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: Chris Pook on November 17, 2004, 20:06:23
Isn't it true that all kit gets modified according to circumstances once battle commences?

How many different variants of Sherman tanks were there and how many different marks of the Spitfire and Mustangs?

The Americans did there best to find something that would work in most circumstances. The enemy conspired to find circumstances in which they wouldn't work.  The Americans have been force to adapt.

Isn't this normal?
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: jrhume on November 18, 2004, 10:47:23
Kirkhill,

Exactly right.  The essence of combat is that nothing works as planned.  The goal of any military, I think, is to have a solid base of decent equipment and well-trained soldiers to operate from.  Such a base can adapt to changing circumstances.

The US Army's doctrines on the use of tanks in urban combat has undergone a radical change since the Iraq war began.  Tactics had to be developed on the spot.  Fortunately, Western armies are good at that sort of thing.  And the base was there to work from.

Every successful weapons system is the end result of a series of compromises and adaptations.  The Sherman is a good example.  One-on-one, German tanks were superior.  But there were a lot of Shermans and they were backed up by plentiful infantry and air support. 

The press set up a firestorm of controversy over the Abrahms tank in the late 70s and into the 80s, maintaining that it was a failed system with all sorts of problems which, in their 'expert' opinion, would never be resolved.  Meanwhile, Army and civilians techs worked on the problems and fixed them.  By the First Gulf War the Abrahms was a decent, effective weapon.  This time around, with more than a decade of continued development, it's a damn fine tank, suitable not only for far-ranging combat, but also for urban pounding.

Fallujah shows the melding of man and machine to the highest operational level yet achieved.  But, in the end, it's still a man with a rifle who kicks in the door and engages other men in the final contest.

Jim   ::)
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: ArmyRick on November 19, 2004, 20:09:24
Jim,
Do you know anything about the future combat systems program for the US ? I checked out the united defense web site and they have a hybrid tracked and wheeled vehicles to put forth as their selection in the US FCS program.
They want to make a whole family of tracked and wheeled vehicles based on one chasis (iI think)..
Got any dirt on this one?
By the way Miss Parrish disgraced all canadians with her disrespect of you guys down south..Cheers from up north..
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
Post by: ArmyRick on November 19, 2004, 20:10:49
Correction she disgraced herself because she doesn't represent the majority of Canadians..Cheers again..
Title: Mechanized Infantry Coy of Tomorrow
Post by: Brock on March 16, 2005, 14:30:27
While I served with 2 RCR the mechanized infantry rifle companies were organized like this:   Each company had 3 LAV III equipped rifle platoons with 4 X LAV III each, a company headquarters with 4 LAV III, plus the company quartermaster's section and transport section with wheeled support vehicles.   We also had a VTECH AVGP-MRT (Mobile Repair Team) vehicle attached on exercise.

Each rifle platoon had 3 rifles sections and a platoon headquarters section.   Each section had a LAV III commanded by the Driver Vehicle Commander/Sec 2IC (a master corporal in theory).  The DVC was always in the turret and 2 corporal/privates as the gunner and driver.   The vehicle is set up for 7 dismounts.   The dismount section would be commanded by a Sergeant, and the dismount component 2IC'd by a senior leadership qualified Corporal with 2 LMG, and 3 rifleman.   The company SOP was that the dismount Cmd/Sec Cmd and dismount 2IC would use the M203 not the rifleman.   This was the theoretical set up of the rifle section at 2RCR in 2002/2003--it may have changed.

However, in reality the rifle companies were heavily short of soldiers.   No rifle section in the company I was part of had more than 4 dismount soldiers per rifle section.   In my section, we had 7 soldiers and then six after someone got injured.   In my section, we had a junior master corporal as the DVC/Sec 2IC who was always in the turret, the section commander never was (he was a senior MCPL).  Then we had 4 corporal/privates as the driver, gunner, and 2 dismount RFN/LMG.   That was the norm in our platoon!   Our section had the most dismounts until someone got hurt and then we had 3.  

The platoon headquarters had the PL CMD ( LT), the PL 2IC ( WO), the PL Signaller (a CPL), and the PL LAV SGT (a Snr. SGT) who was always in the PL HQ LAV turret, and 2 X CPL/PTE as PL HQ LAV DRV and GNR.   At one point the PL CMD would get in the turret and changeover with LAV SGT, but it was such a pain in the ***, b/c the turret has to be rotated something like 90 degrees for the LAV SGT and PL CMD to change seats.  It reduced combat effeciencey, b/c momentum was lost.   Once we get on ex, the PL CMD was always in the back.

If the Mech Rifle Platoons were at a full strength the platoon would have 36 troops and LAV crew, but in reality our platoon had 24 troops with only 9 dismounts for the whole platoon! (not including the PL HQ)!!!!!   Out platoon was seriously understrength and that was the norm!

The Company Headquarters had 4 LAV III.   The OC (Maj), the 2IC (a Snr. Cpt), the LAV Cpt (a Jr. Cpt), and the CSM (MWO) each commanded a LAV.   The LAV Cpt rather than the 2IC would take over control of the vehicle component of the battle if the OC's went down--and the OC did in a couple of scenarios.   The 2IC was in charge of communications primarily, while the CSM was in charge of logistics and casualties for the company during battle.   Unlike the rifle platoon the company headquarters was not short of personnel.   The reaseon being is that it has no dismounts and that the company can not function effectively without the crucial command positions filled.   The LAV III Gnr/Drv positions were filled primarily by corporal/private types.   In a couple of cases the Coy Signallers and OC & 2IC signaller positions were double tasked to the OC's & 2IC's gunners.   Not normally a problem as the OC and 2IC never dismounted in our scenario....however my following posting will demonstrate the problems with company organized the way it was.
Title: Re: Who crews the LAV III? What are the dismount drills?
Post by: Brock on March 16, 2005, 16:53:55
One of the problems that was always encountered with platoon organization was the lack of dedicated crewing of the LAVs in the company.   The LAV III is a crewed vehicle it is one component of a the mechanized rifle section, neither the dismount or the LAV by itself are fully effective without each being fully supported.   The LAV must be crewed by the same crew on a continuous basis for the crew to be effective.   The LAV gunner, driver, and crew commander can not just be swapped out at random.   Every time a LAV crew member is swapped out it takes considerable time and training together for the crew to get back up to snuff.   The drills and TTPs are a skill that must be constantly practiced to remain effective.   The armoured corps knows this and crews their vehicles this way for this reason.

Vehicle maintenance was constantly an issue as the LAV crew were constantly being sent off for some job and an unqualified troop was told to help out the one remaining crew member to do maintenance with no idea how to properly do it.   Some maintenance just didn't get done, and the maintenance that did get done took 5 times as long, wasting valuable training time.   Furthermore, the section commander and/or 2IC/DVC only ever saw the vehicle on exercise and was never around and never had time to ensure the vehicles readiness.   This isn't just a problem because of lazy people--although sometimes that was part of it--but more a philosophical problem with the existing LAV crewing organization that results in maintenance issues discussed.   If the crew and DVC paraded with their vehicles every day this would change.

The other issue is that the dismounts should be focused on what they do best, infantry work,ie. getting on the ground and getting the job done.   In garrison, they should be improving these skills through courses not dicking around with vehicle maintenance they no nothing about.   Yes, they need to be familiar with the LAV III, but even if one is familiar or even a trained as a crew member, it is very difficult if not impossible to jump back into the crewman saddle and be effective.   Infantry are not dumb, but in the reverse it would be very difficult for a crewman to be effective in dismounted close quarter battle situations without consistent training.

My solution to the problem is heavily based upon Capt O'Leary's "21st Century Infantry Company" and from my own experience; for more info on his solution read this: http://members.tripod.com/RegimentalRogue/papers/21st.htm

I believe that each mechanized infantry company should have 3 rifle platoons, a LAV platoon, a company headquarters, a company quartermaster section, and a company transport section.   The vehicles are all crewed by dedicated crew, but they are infantry soldiers not armoured soldiers, more on this later.

The Rifle platoons should have 3 rifle sections of 7 soldiers with a SGT Sec Cmd, a MCPL Sec 2IC, 2 X CPL/PTE light machine gunners, and 3 X CPL/PTE Rifleman.   The platoon headquarters should consist of the PL CMD (LT), the PL 2IC (SGT), PL SIG (CPL/PTE), and 2 designated marksmen rifleman (CPL/PTE) equipped with either an accuriszed C7 or a specialty rifle.   The last are new positions that I believe are essential for operations.   They are not dedicated snipers, but infantry soldiers with "good shots' and more accurate rifles and better scopes to provide better protection and defence against snipers   The platoon total adds up to 26 soldiers, but they are all dismounts.

Some of you will notice that I have deleted the platoon weapons detachment...where is the Carl G , 60mm mortar, and the GPMG team.   Wasted positions, as the enhanced firepower of the LAV III deletes the need for them...mostly.   Each LAV III has or should have a turret pintle mounted C-6 that can be swapped out with one of the rifle sections LMG as required.   Second the LAV III 25mm and co-ax C-6 positives outweigh the negatives of not always having a C-6 available, plus there is no room for a GPMG team.   The Carl G, M-72, and Eryx issue is a complicated debate, but I think all 3 should be replaced by a single disposeable short range direct fire guided weapon like the MBDA/Lockheed-Martin Kestrel/Predator, the SAAB-Bofors NLAW, or the Rafale SPIKE-SR...all weapons designed to provide short range disposable multi-purpose anti-armour/bunker busting capability out to 600m.   In the interim, the existing and less-than ideal weapons will have to do, unless the Army purchases a small quantity of Bofors AT-4HP-CS (High Performance-for Confined Spaces); basically a disposable multi-purpose Carl Gustav round. When a DFGW-SR becomes available, 4 weapons per vehicle will more than suffice.

The LAV III Platoon will consist of 4 LAV III sections, each with a designated Rifle platoon or Comany Headquarters to support.   Each LAV III Section will have four 3 person crews with a section having 1 senior SGT as the section commander, a senior MCPL as the Sec 2IC, and 2 MCPLs as driver vehicle commanders in a addition to 8 CPL/PTE drivers and gunners.   The 4th LAV III section will be the LAV PL HQ section which will crew the Rifle Company Headquarters vehicles and the Section Commander will also be the LAV III PL Cmd; this will be the LAV CPT (a senior Cpt.) responsible for the command and control of the Rifle Company while mounted or while in support of the dismounted soldiers.   The same goes for the respective LAV Section CMD, 2IC, & DVC.   The LAV PL 2IC will be a senior WO who will act as the 2IC of the LAV PL.   An additional 2 MCPL DVCs will command the other 2 LAV III in the LAV PL HQ Sec.   This means each LAV PL will have 48 crew members consisting of 16 LAV III, with 1 Cpt. 1 WO, 3 senior SGT and 11 MCPL plus 32 CPL/PTE.   Why MCPL DVCs for the non-Sec 2IC positions in the LAV III? Experience, these are not junior MCPL positions, but mid-level or senior MCPL positions in my opinion responsible for the co-ordination of substantial firepower and movement better suited to a Master Corporal whom has first had experience as a dismount section 2IC.   I must reiterate, each LAV III section within the LAV platoon will have a continuing affiliation with one of the company's rifle platoons and normally each LAV III vehicle with a rifle section.   Then why have a separate LAV platoon to begin with?   The separate LAV III platoon ensures that the crews are dedicated and the LAV crew's are not constantly being robbed to pay Peter and vice-versa with the rifle platoons.   Furthemore, it ensures combat effectiveness by maintaining dedicated crews in a concrete manner.   Then why not have armoured soldiers and officers crew the LAV platoons?   If infantry soldiers no longer serve in crewed positions then if one of the crew members are injured who replaces them?   The infantry are no longer cross trained and one entire vehicle is out of commission. Yes, I know that I said it is difficult to swap in a new crew member, but one must still get on with the job at hand when necessary.   However, when dedicated crews exist the vehicle will be used most effectively than if it is crewed on an "ad hoq" basis.

At the company level, I think there are two additions that should be added to round out the companies capabilities.   The company should add a 60mm mortar section primarily in the bipod role for a company level indirect fire support capability with a small section of 6 or 8.   A third mortar should be available for specific tasks such as a platoon level raid, but normally kept stored with the company quartermaster section.   Secondly, the company should have a medium range direct fire guided weapon (DFGW-MR) section with 2 X DFGW-MR weapon detachments for a total section of 6 soldiers.  An ideal weapon would be the Javelin DFGW-MR used by the US Army and being aquired by many allied armies.  There is sufficient additional room for these soldiers in the company headquarters vehicles.

Lets add up the numbers 26 X 3 = 78 + 48 = 126 + 16 + CQMS, COY HQ, & COY TPT SEC = 138+ so the total number of soldiers in the company will add up to about 160 soldiers and officers once attachments are added.   Is this doable in the Canadian Army with our troop limitations, I believe, YES!
Where are they coming from?   First of all this is only one component of my vision of permanent all arm battle groups replacing army regiments.   Heresy!   Bullshit. There is way too much attacthment to regiments in our army.   The Army exists to serve Canada not the other way around.   I digress, fewer non-infantry tasks would be filled by infantry personnel such as the current regimental (battalion) quartermaster, transport, and/or signal platoon positions.   Also the long range anti-armour tasking would go to their armoured corps troopers.   This would free up additional infantry positions for the rifle companies.   I still believe that dedicated sniping and mounted/dismounted medium and close recce and long range dismounted should be the primary task of infanteers.   I also believe that 81mm mortar and up should primarily be the task of indirect fire support soldiers (artillery) not---direct combat soldiers (ie. infanteers).  Now I am getting off topic.

The purpose of this rant is to depict a more effective orgnaization for the mechanized rifle companies and I believe this does so both from an administration level and also from a combat effeciency level.  One big question will remain is who command's the sections, platoons, the company.  The dismount commander is always the "senior man", but the LAV commanders are in charge while the company is mounted.  Remember we are part of a team and the LAV vehicle and crew are just one component of the team.  I have seen this work in practice.  This is only an organizational change to enhance effectiveness of the rifle company rather than a pure philosophical change.  There are only a couple of areas where I see persons other than the LAV crew commanding a vehicle while mounted only the 2IC, CSM and OC.  Occaisionally, I could see a platoon commander riding shotgun in the gunners seat while recceing an objective with their LAV Sec Cmd (SGT), but not during long road move or while going into combat or on patrol.  Yes, there maybe a slight improvement in situational awareness while sitting in DVC position, but this is nothing that can not be fixed if a commander's independenl thermal viewer (CITV) turret was added and hooked up to the CSAM viewer in the vehicle.  This could be easily added to the LAV III, but at a cost, but also with a huge increase in vehicle effectiveness.  No system is perfect, but the platoon and section commanders' swapping out with vehicles commanders DOES NOT WORK...THIS IS COMBAT INEFFECTIVE!
Title: Re: Who crews the LAV III? What are the dismount drills?
Post by: PPCLI Guy on March 16, 2005, 17:18:03
Good posts Brock.  Thanks for the background info - as a light guy with M113 experience, I am a little in the dark about LAV.

Is your 4th Pl option considered to be heretical within the Mech Inf community?

Dave
Title: Re: Who crews the LAV III? What are the dismount drills?
Post by: Infanteer on March 16, 2005, 17:49:11
Good stuff Brock.   I only have two issues:

1) Company support - you mention a small 60mm section for Coy Support.   Is this enough?   Especially for a mechanized Infantry function.   Perhaps Mech Companies could have a few 81mm Wolf carriers attached?   I seem to remember the Stryker Companies having a bit of "umph" at the company level.

2) My fundamental concern is with the idea of "Mech Inf" as a whole.   I know I've argued this on other threads, but I'll put it here for posterity.   In principal, I agree with your organizational principles and feel they are very sound.   But I question whether the entire capability set has a place in the CF.   You say that:

Quote
The LAV III is a crewed vehicle it is one component of a the mechanized rifle section, neither the dismount or the LAV by itself are fully effective without each being fully supported.

Is not the Mechanized Infantry just one componenet of the mechanized combat team.   How are these soldiers supposed to operate without being fully supported by Armour (MBT's of some sort) or mech artillery systems (M-109, which are now gone), along with properly equipped Sappers.   I would consider that keeping the Mechanized Infantry function in the CF is akin to keeping a Mechanized Inf section without LAV III's - missing key components of the team should cause us to question keeping the remaining pieces.   Sending a Mechanized Infantry Company into the heavy battle (which it was intended for) with weak artillery support and a diminished/transforming Armoured Corps seems futile and costly.

This is why I've vigorously supported a move to LAV CAV, a new trade/branch of a fused Armour Corps and Mechanized Infantry portion of the Infantry Branch.   It would not simply be throwing the two elements together, it would be new doctrine, new tactics, new Force Employment, and new TO&E.

If Canada were to acquire the proper tools to fight the Heavy Battle, I would be entirely supportive of moving to a Mech Inf structure as you have proposed.   Until then, I think that keeping this on the books is a drain on resources - we are not getting the most "bang-for-the-buck" from the soldiers and units in this capability set.

Infanteer

Title: Re: Who crews the LAV III? What are the dismount drills?
Post by: Brock on March 16, 2005, 19:21:43
Thanks for good comment infanteer.  Particularly, the one in regard to amalgamating the mechanized infantry and armoured trades.  I am keenly aware that it would be far more effective to have a single mechanized combat soldier trade than to have seperate infantry and armoured branches.  I would even go one step further to suggest their should be 2 combat soldier trades mechanized and light combat soldier.  Light and mechanized soldiers although similar in many respects have different uses and both are required.  While I believe, their is substantial difference between a light and mechanized infantry their is very little difference between heavy and medium mechanized infantry--it is more of an equipment issue.  Light soldiers are expected to be proficient in everything from air mobile, airborne, amphibious, mountain, jungle, and motorized (not the same has heavy and medium mechanized) warfare.  While it is financially easy to transform a mechanized soldier into a light soldier it is not as simple as that.  What one forgets is that both soldiers are equipment driven.  While the mechanized soldier "owns" their vehicles the light soldiers equipment is "black cadillacs" its most important equipment is helicopter which makes them equipment driven.  In addition, amphibious transport ships are required to truly enable the light combat soldier.  Furthermore, it takes time and training to get mechanized soldiers up to speed in light warfare skills.  If I had it my way, I would have a single mechanized combat soldier trade in place of infantry and armoured trades.  I might even go further, but I digress.

Second, I think the 81mm is overkill for company evern company combat team operations.  One, the danger radius is higher thus risking more blue on blue kills.  Two, while the 81mm is dismountable, it requires a dedicated vehicle and fewer rounds will be available and without the vehicle it is not easily and quickly transportable.  The reason I have selected the 60mm mortar is that if the company dismounts the 60mm mortars can be quickly and easily carried with sufficient ammunition quantities, the 81mm is a serious logistic effort.  As well, the neam combat regiment would have its own indirect fire support system company specifically designed to support its combat companies.  I envision each indirect fire support company equipped with 8 LAV III vehicles equipped with either the proven 120mm Armoured Mortar System or the Patria AMOS 120mm mortar system both systems short-listed for the US Army's Future Combat System Program.

Furthermore, what you don't know--because I have not explained my complete vision--is that this rifle company, better referred to as a combat company will normally have a direct fire support troop attached from the direct fire support company.  The reason I say attached is that the direct fire support company is also capable of independent operations.  Personnally, I don't like the Mobile Gun System for this role as its under-armour turret would make it less effective in secondary light armoured recce roles.  In addition,the system clearly has major problems.  Furthermore, their are plenty of alternative system that are fully developed and ready for production such as the GIAT THL 105mm gun turret which has been fitted to a LAV III 10X10 and can easily be fitted to a 8X8 as evidence by this picture of a USMC LAV I 8X8 with a 105mm cannon see these links: http://www.mowag.ch/Images/Bildergalerie/Piranha/Piranha%20III/Version10x10/10x10-II_07.jpg
http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/lav-105.jpg
Both systems are better options in my opinion than the MGS which remains a system with a sketchy development history and appears to have ongoing technical problems.

In regard to lacking a 155mm SPH and a heavy MBT.  I hear what you are saying this is just part of what my vision for the Army.  Personnally, I believe it would be good to maintain to Armoured Cavalry "Battle Group" Regiments equipped with heavy MBT (either M1A1+ or Leopard 2A5/6) and M109A6+ or similar, but if they have to go they have to go.  A mechanized battle group is not intended for full-on high intensity combat operations where it is pitted against heavy opposing mechanized and armoured forces.  When was the last time Government of Canada has sent the Canadian Army into such a situation...WWII.  The Canadian government has however, sent the Army into low intensity combat/peace support operations where the capabilties of a complete medium battle group have been repeatedly needed.  Sure we got on with the job, but the Army is only going to be so lucky for so long.

Anyway, I think we are thinking along the same lines, I just wanted to elaborate--a little--on my views.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Tango2Bravo on March 17, 2005, 22:28:04
Brock,

Good posts!  Were you on Ex ROYAL FIST back in Nov/Dec 02?  I was trundling around in B Sqn for that exercise.

I'd like to amplify Infanteer's comments about the future of Mech Inf in the Canadian Army.  Without tanks can the LAV Bn still expect to do the same things that it used to?  I think that it will have to find new roles.

I favour the idea of dedicated crews and would support having Armoured Corps personnel as the crews for LAVs.  I've seen it work in the Norwegian Army with CV9030 units.  I'm interested in the idea of a Cavalry branch that focuses on mounted warfare and an Infantry branch that focuses on light forces. 

Cheers,

2B
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: MCG on March 17, 2005, 22:47:04
Brock,
Two thoughts on this,

On the issue of mortars, would a larger caliber turret mounted breachloaded mortar be an option?  (81 mm or 120 mm)  It might not have the flexibility to dismount like a 60 mm, but it would greatly add to the fire power while mounted and has limited direct fire capability.  Maybe there is room for both systems.

On the issue of a direct fire support troop attached from the direct fire support company, why not make the DFS Tp integral to the mech company?
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: PPCLI Guy on March 17, 2005, 23:08:24
Two qoutes caught my eye:

Quote
Is not the Mechanized Infantry just one component of the mechanized combat team.


and

Without tanks can the LAV Bn still expect to do the same things that it used to?   I think that it will have to find new roles.

Guys, the baby is gone, stop trying to save the bath water!   We are now going to have to do a first principles review and determine org, doctrine, and tactics to suit a piece of eqpt, vice the other way around.   That means that we need to reverse engineer the beast, and not start from the starting point of a combat team in traditional mech warfare.

I believe that LAV/CAV is the right track - but I am not sure if there is enough intellectual rigour being applied (down Infanteer ;) - and maybe there is and I haven't seen it yet.   When reverse engineering, we start with a list of capabilities and vulnerabilities, then determine the effects that these aford us, and then move to org, doctirne, and tactics.

Maybe I haven't been paying enough attention, and maybe a backbearing will reveal that this has already been acheived...

Am I out to lunch here?

Dave


Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Tango2Bravo on March 18, 2005, 08:55:39
PPCLI Guy,

I firmly believe that we must change how we envision our army operating.   I have accepted the loss of the tanks and I hope that everyone else has as well.   Tanks were more than direct fire support.   Our mounted forces can no longer manoevre in the face of the enemy.   Even with long range missiles our "combat teams" and battlegroups will not be able to operate the same way as before.   Combat team advances to contact and quick attacks can no longer be in our playbook.   This was the start point for the Cavalry thread.

We can either use the LAV IIIs as ISAF/SFOR patrolling platforms or try to work them into a Cavalry force.   Perhaps the Leopard combat team should also have looked for a new role.   I think that we really imagined that we'd get M1s if we "went to war." This was somewhat dangerous, and I understand that that ship has sailed.

Cheers,

2B

p.s. To me, the Cavalry role represents an inversion of sorts from our old method.  The tank/LAV battlegroup sensed in order to act.  The Cavalry will act in order to sense.  That act will also be limited in scope.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Zipper on March 19, 2005, 01:36:26
Completely agreed with that last point.

IF we move to a more Cav role. It will be a totally different animal if you will. Direct confrontations will be few and far between, and only for the purposes of denying battle, break out and pursuit of retreating forces, and for information gathering. Otherwise it will be patrolling, protection and screening.

I do like Brock's ideas of alternatives to the MGS though. Very nice.

Mech Infantry is no longer an option, and should be relegated to the back burner along with the Tank ( :crybaby:) for possable future consideration (a la CV-90 perhaps?) and turn the Infantry light (and mean).

There is no reverse engineering necessary, although you do not need to reinvent the wheel. To think we can keep the Combat Team ideals (DFS supporting Mech Infantry) is to throw our forces into the meat grinder. We have to become a lighter more mobile force that can respond quickly, but also get out of the way equally as quick while doing some decent damage in the process.

PPCLI Guy - This is why in my ideas, I included the MGS (two) as part of the troop structure. It gives the troop more direct firepower for support purposes only, not so that they can support a quick attack. As well, the idea of mounting TOW on the turrets is so that the forward elements (LAV III's) can strike immediately and get out. Not wait for the "overwatch" units to get into proper position to fire. To do so means the enemy has a better chance of spotting you and engaging before you have a chance to respond properly. Having a troop of TUA attached to SHQ as support (overwatch) is more then enough firepower along with the TOW's in each troop to discourage pursuit. As for the rest (ADATS)...      ...blah!



Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: PPCLI Guy on March 19, 2005, 11:33:25

Mech Infantry is no longer an option, and should be relegated to the back burner along with the Tank ( :crybaby:) for possable future consideration (a la CV-90 perhaps?) and turn the Infantry light (and mean).

Mech infantry is still an option - we just have to assign it roles based on its capabilities and weaknesses.

Quote
PPCLI Guy - This is why in my ideas, I included the MGS (two) as part of the troop structure. It gives the troop more direct firepower for support purposes only, not so that they can support a quick attack. As well, the idea of mounting TOW on the turrets is so that the forward elements (LAV III's) can strike immediately and get out. Not wait for the "overwatch" units to get into proper position to fire. To do so means the enemy has a better chance of spotting you and engaging before you have a chance to respond properly. Having a troop of TUA attached to SHQ as support (overwatch) is more then enough firepower along with the TOW's in each troop to discourage pursuit. As for the rest (ADATS)...      ...blah!

And your proposal is workable, there is no doubt about that - in fact there are many ways to skin this cat.  All I want is for us to choose one, and get on with it...

80% solution now please...



Quote
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Chris Pook on March 19, 2005, 22:48:56
Quote
80% solution now please...

And that about sums it up.

Deciding whether or not a particular system should be held by the individual, at team, section, platoon, coy, battalion or whatever or is sitting in a sea-can in theater doesn't really matter.  As long as it is in theatre and somebody that knows how to use it is in theater with it. IMHO.

Different battles will be fought with different weapons selected and different organizations.  The key is adaptability and flexibility.  And if the weapon isn't in theater - do what you can to prevent ever needing it.

If you don't have and excavator look for a bog.  It worked for Robert the Bruce and the Wallace. ;D :salute:
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Zipper on March 19, 2005, 23:19:27
Deciding whether or not a particular system should be held by the individual, at team, section, platoon, coy, battalion or whatever or is sitting in a sea-can in theater doesn't really matter. As long as it is in theatre and somebody that knows how to use it is in theater with it. IMHO.

Maybe thats the problem.

We keep sending in Ad Hoc units to a theater and still have no direction for the military as a whole. Maybe they should decide to stop sending in our forces until they can get a chance to work things out/rest/refit/etc...

The way its shaping up now, we're still going to be as unsustainable as we always have been. Unless of course they are down grading the missions?

Oh, and nice to see you again Kirk.  :D Haven't seen you on lately.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Chris Pook on March 19, 2005, 23:25:04
Thanks Zipper,

I've been occupado on a project of late.

Cheers.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on March 20, 2005, 21:03:11
To me, the Cavalry role represents an inversion of sorts from our old method.  The tank/LAV battlegroup sensed in order to act.  The Cavalry will act in order to sense.  That act will also be limited in scope.

A bit of a philosophical point, but I would have thought the distinctions were reversed: a Combat team "acted" to "sense"; since advance to contact is simply that: advancing (act) to contact (sense) the enemy. The combat team commander simply had to be able to react at warp speed once contact was made. I always thought ti was the mark of a good combat team commander to be able to launch the attack in under 20 min from the lead troop's "Contact, wait out".

The cavalry team, however it is laid out, seems to be designed to follow the "Force Employment Concept for the Army" by "..lead with sensors, follow up with effects and exploit with soldiers" (pg 10). This would seem to put sense firmly in the driver's seat, with a greater or lesser amount of "act" available depending on the type and employment of issues kit. Cavalry team commanders will probably have to use their long range weapons to shape the battle while manoeuvreing to refuse contact.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: PPCLI Guy on March 20, 2005, 21:07:26
When Gen Devlin had 2 CMBG, he made a point of the fact that his Bde would never ever advance to contact - and lets face it, why would you, if you didn't have to.  His statement was meant to focus attention on winning the infowar - act only once one has sensed.  That is where we are heading with the mech inf - and that is what we need to plan for.

Dave
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Infanteer on March 21, 2005, 16:18:25
When Gen Devlin had 2 CMBG, he made a point of the fact that his Bde would never ever advance to contact - and lets face it, why would you, if you didn't have to.   His statement was meant to focus attention on winning the infowar - act only once one has sensed.   That is where we are heading with the mech inf - and that is what we need to plan for.

I think Mark C had some good comments on that whole pipe-dream.

http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,18535.0.html

A rough reading of most of the conflict going on today seems to point towards "sense" never surviving first contact - all it takes is one Hadji hiding with an RPG to throw off the entire estimation.

It seems that the advantage of the M1 in urban combat is that they can take a hit - implying that the US Army, the most adequately kiitted and supplied on the face of the Earth, still needs to "Advance to Contact" in order to get things done, so I'm unsure of how we in Canada are going to skip that part....

In Military Power, Stephen Biddle asserts that we've been fighting under the same "Force Employment" paradigm since WWI - that of cover and concealment, dispersion, small-unit action, and increasingly lethal firepower.   Because of this, all the RMA Theories (of which "No Act before 100% Sense" would be one of them) are bunk - until technology is developed which is capable of defeating modern system Force Employment, essentially sensors that negate the effects of terrain (which are far off from today), then we won't be leaving behind the paradigm, or Advance to Contact, anytime soon.

My Opinion,
Infanteer
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Tango2Bravo on March 21, 2005, 21:08:48
AMajoor,

To me, the classic Combat Team or Battlegroup was focused on "Act", in that it was usually trying to seize an objective or clear an axis between boundaries.  Advancing to contact was the key method of defining the enemy but after (hopefully) recce had at least found the enemy positions (but not necessarily in detail).  The recce elements were there to enable the tanks/infantry to destroy the enemy.  It is in this aspect that I say that "We sensed to act."  Recce found the enemy platoon in order for the combat team to destroy it.

With a Cavalry unit, (in my opinion), the unit will usually only Act in order to enable the sense (such as winning the counter-reconnaissance battle).  The Cavalry unit might shoot up an isolated enemy security position in order to get the recce elements past but will not go looking for platoons or companies to attack.   In the bigger sense, the Cavalry unit will be "sensing" in order to enable the supported formation to "act." 

PPCLI Guy,

I agree that act should be preceeded by sense, but I also agree with Infanteer that we should not pin our hopes on complete enemy SA.  Each level of recce should attempt to find the enemy for its commander but there should not be an expectation of complete enemy SA.  The combat troops will still "advance to contact" but with at least some idea of where the enemy is.

I am still a believer in "advancing to contact" if only because it is a necessity.  When a tank sqn leads a combat team advance the lead troops will define the enemy in great detail while engaging it.  Tanks are well suited to this kind of engagement and few other systems are.  Recce and other ISTAR assets can find the enemy positions but leave the definition up to the combat systems.  I was on several exercises in 02/03 that tried to dispense with advancing to contact and I think that we were somewhat optimistic in our ability to gain the required SA on the enemy.  Advancing to contact with tanks means that we get a good grip on the enemy before attacking, and having heavy armour allows our plan to survice the odd enemy position that hides from the sensors.  Please note that I'm not saying that the Leopard C2 fit this bill!

The Canadian Army has placed great hopes on ISTAR but I do not think that ISTAR will allow us to conduct mounted assaults with LAV IIIs and long range missiles.  AARs from recent conflicts seem to indicate that many enemy positions will remain undisclosed to our sensors.  I believe that the advance to contact will still be required, while the mounted assaults without tanks will be a very dicey affair.

Our mounted forces do have strengths (particularily in the sense department).  They are fast on good going, have decent firepower and moderate protection.  I suggest that we focus on these strengths but leave the mounted "act" for our coalition allies' heavy forces.

Cheers,

2B
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: PPCLI Guy on March 21, 2005, 22:12:01
I said:
Quote
When Gen Devlin had 2 CMBG, he made a point of the fact that his Bde would never ever advance to contact - and lets face it, why would you, if you didn't have to.   His statement was meant to focus attention on winning the infowar - act only once one has sensed.   That is where we are heading with the mech inf - and that is what we need to plan for.

Quote
I think Mark C had some good comments on that whole pipe-dream.

Yep - pretty thorough routing of what I seem to have been saying above - I guess I just didn't say it right...

Quote
A rough reading of most of the conflict going on today seems to point towards "sense" never surviving first contact - all it takes is one Hadji hiding with an RPG to throw off the entire estimation.

Sense is relative - and nowhere did I say that we should rely on total SA, rather that we should sense before we acted.   I am speaking of the mindset, not the skillset.   In A to C, one acts in order to sense.   I'm not sure we should make that our bread and butter any more, specifically given the resounding lack of a ring of steel.

Quote
In Military Power, Stephen Biddle asserts that we've been fighting under the same "Force Employment" paradigm since WWI - that of cover and concealment, dispersion, small-unit action, and increasingly lethal firepower.

I wholeheartedly agree with that statement.

Quote
Because of this, all the RMA Theories (of which "No Act before 100% Sense" would be one of them) are bunk - until technology is developed which is capable of defeating modern system Force Employment, essentially sensors that negate the effects of terrain (which are far off from today), then we won't be leaving behind the paradigm, or Advance to Contact, anytime soon.

Not so sure that "no act before 100% sense" is an element of any part of the RMA that I have studied.   It isn't as cut and dry as that - as my favorite dead German would have said if he was posting here:   Don't forget about friction dumkopf!   Any theory that is based on 100% knowledge is bound to fail - as is any tactic predicated on that kind of certainty.

Quote
I agree that act should be preceeded by sense, but I also agree with Infanteer that we should not pin our hopes on complete enemy SA.   Each level of recce should attempt to find the enemy for its commander but there should not be an expectation of complete enemy SA.   The combat troops will still "advance to contact" but with at least some idea of where the enemy is.

Again - we will never have complete SA.   However, without a ring of steel, why would we still advance to contact?   And if we needed to act in order to sense, then surely there are better ways to do it, particulalry with the equipment and capabilties that we have?

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I am still a believer in "advancing to contact" if only because it is a necessity.   When a tank sqn leads a combat team advance the lead troops will define the enemy in great detail while engaging it.   Tanks are well suited to this kind of engagement and few other systems are.

At the risk of sounding sarcastic..thats nice.   However, we don't have tanks.   Lets change our tactics to suit.   We used to have horses, and we eventually stopped doing cavalry charges, right?

Quote
The Canadian Army has placed great hopes on ISTAR but I do not think that ISTAR will allow us to conduct mounted assaults with LAV IIIs and long range missiles.   AARs from recent conflicts seem to indicate that many enemy positions will remain undisclosed to our sensors.

If that is the conclusion that will be drawn from this latest linear and conventional battle (veering to unconventional Infanteer), then we better start figuring out how we are going to close with and destroy the enemy - even if it means not doing mounted attacks.   We have to fight our way out of our own box, and throw down the shackles of history and corps identities ferchrissakes.

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I believe that the advance to contact will still be required, while the mounted assaults without tanks will be a very dicey affair.

Ack.   See above.   No tanks.

Quote
Our mounted forces do have strengths (particularily in the sense department).   They are fast on good going, have decent firepower and moderate protection.   I suggest that we focus on these strengths but leave the mounted "act" for our coalition allies' heavy forces.

Agreed.   We have already given up on the charade that we were up for high-intensity combat with a near peer enemy (without MLRS, a capable tank, and attack aviation, we were just kidding ourselves - although one could argue whether there were any real near-peers).   Governmental policy and the Army strategy all speak of mid-intensity combat operations, so lets stop pretending, and get on with sorting out how we are going to do it.

A bit of a rant here, but as I see it, we have two options: get out, or get on with sorting out how to morph legacy equipment into a fighting force fit for employment in the Future Security Environment.

Dave
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Zipper on March 22, 2005, 01:59:16
Alright. I have two questions then...

Sense is relative - and nowhere did I say that we should rely on total SA, rather that we should sense before we acted.  I am speaking of the mindset, not the skillset.  In A to C, one acts in order to sense.  I'm not sure we should make that our bread and butter any more, specifically given the resounding lack of a ring of steel.

Again - we will never have complete SA.  However, without a ring of steel, why would we still advance to contact?  And if we needed to act in order to sense, then surely there are better ways to do it, particularly with the equipment and capabilities that we have?

At the risk of sounding sarcastic..thats nice.  However, we don't have tanks.  Lets change our tactics to suit.  We used to have horses, and we eventually stopped doing cavalry charges, right?

So if we are not going to attempt A to C, but we still need to act to to sense. What are our choices? As we all know, to recce a position sometimes requires sticking the branch in the hornets nest and seeing what comes out (Forced recce). Do we "sense" up to contact range and then throw a few missiles or 25mm rounds their way, run away and see how they react with with a few selectively placed ISTAR units?

If that is the conclusion that will be drawn from this latest linear and conventional battle (veering to unconventional Infanteer), then we better start figuring out how we are going to close with and destroy the enemy - even if it means not doing mounted attacks.  We have to fight our way out of our own box, and throw down the shackles of history and corps identities ferchrissakes.

Agreed.  We have already given up on the charade that we were up for high-intensity combat with a near peer enemy (without MLRS, a capable tank, and attack aviation, we were just kidding ourselves - although one could argue whether there were any real near-peers).  Governmental policy and the Army strategy all speak of mid-intensity combat operations, so lets stop pretending, and get on with sorting out how we are going to do it.

A bit of a rant here, but as I see it, we have two options: get out, or get on with sorting out how to morph legacy equipment into a fighting force fit for employment in the Future Security Environment.

And since our choice of equipment and such is rather on the disorganized and "un-proven" side. Are we even pretending that could even participate in a mid-intensity combat operation? Hell even with Afghanistan, we were kept away from the more dangerous missions with our Allies. Whats to say with the new foreign/defense review that we will even BE tasked anywhere near mid-intensity situations? I guess time will tell.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Tango2Bravo on March 22, 2005, 02:45:47
Dave,

Perhaps I am violently agreeing with you.   I have made my peace with the tank issue   ;) and am quite happy in the reconnaissance world.   I agree wholeheartedly that we need to adapt to our new structure.   I became a believer in the LAV/Coyote overseas and these forces excell at security/stability operations.   I think that reconaissance and surveillance are also tasks that they can do very well even in a conventional warfighting scenario.   My only point (if I indeed have one) is that we need to accept that the loss of the tank means that the Mech Inf need to adapt as well for conventional operations.   Part of this adaptation should perhaps include a new role (closing with and destroying the enemy may have to modified somewhat) and not simply new tactics.   

I have been wondering about what a mid-intensity conflict is at the tactical level.   If what this really means is that we optimize our forces for the asymetric/unconventional fight somewhere between Kabul and Fallujah then I would say that that is a achievable and important goal.   If our enemy is insurgents/terrorists then we going in the right direction, and LAV-borne infantry can be "war-winners" in this conflict. We will have an army that is relevant to the security environment and the the missions that it will likely receive.      

I think that our LAV/Coyote force can operate across the spectrum of conflict if it is used the right way (focused on sense and not act at the higher end of the conflict spectrum).   If this means a bit of a "niche" role then so be it.   As an aside, I feel that even the Leopard C2 equipped army should also make this adaptation.

I am starting to beat this old horse to death, so please apologize my own little rant!

Cheers,

Iain
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Infanteer on March 22, 2005, 07:32:44
Looks like I was just spoiling for a fight or something.... ;D

[wandering rant mode]

I don't think we should get wrapped around the low/mid/high intensity axles because they do us no good.   For some reason, some here are assuming that high intensity means full-on mechanized warfare (against a near-peer foe; who is that these days anyways?).   To the Ranger in Mogadishu, the Special Forces soldier in the Pashtun Mountains or the Columbian Jungles or the Rifleman in Kandahar or Fallujah, once the two-way range lights up, it is nothing short of "high-intensity" for the grunt on the ground.

This is why I have always preferred (and encourage the use of) "density" instead of "intensity".   Missions today continue to exist along the "density spectrum" - from "Low Density" (rooting out Al Qaeda forces in Southern Afghanistan) to Mid-Density (the city battle in Fallujah) to High-Density (such as 1st MarDiv and 3rd InfDiv against the Republican Guard outside of Baghdad).   How does Canada fit into this spectrum?

With regards to "Low Density" missions, I feel we have the ability and the raw material to expand on this mission set.   Our Soldiers maintain an excellent level of individual skills and, in general, are extremely fit and agile, able to conduct operations over arduous and difficult terrain.   "Light Force" doctrine can evolve from simply "trackless Infantry" to a truly "niched" force (as in not being a "General Purpose" force).   I still think we are in the advance to contact game.   We are more then capable of launching an advance to contact to sweep insurgents and terrorists off of mountainsides and out of caves as we did in Op Apollo.   I believe with a dedicated Light Force (SOC-capable) doctrine we are able to maintain this capability in a "Step-Child of Chechnya" type of conflict.   This is not "getting out"; this is, as Dave pointed out, "sorting out how to morph legacy equipment into a fighting force fit for employment in the Future Security Environment."

As for the "Son of Iraq", the "High-Density" arena, we are not "getting out" - we are again morphing.   Canada will not (in the near future), and has never, conducted "High-Density", Modern System operations outside of a coalition context.   I've argued that it is silly to try and maintain this specific capability now, but I'd venture that we've been out of the "Heavy Force" game longer then we care to admit, with JaDex only managing to preserve a threadbare Armoured capability in the 1970's (1 battalion's worth of 50-ton tanks - c'mon, let's not kid ourselves).   Let us realistically assume that since at least the 1950's or '60's, we've never been a world class heavy force.   Just as we would have been paltry standing in with the British Army on the Rhine, we aren't going to be spearheading US 1st Armoured Division any time soon.

However, this doesn't mean that we are useless or have to "get out" of the High-Density game.   We have a real, combat-tested capability in the LAV III, and I feel that all the idea of LAV CAV that are being bounced around these threads are definitely on to something.   Again, the Marines have gained much out of their LAR's and the US Stryker Brigades are up to the challenge - they still must advance and fight, only they must be applied more dexterously in an operational setting to ensure the A-to-C is capable of effecting victory rather then smashing up on a "surface".   "High Density" operations are unique and complex affairs, and although we may not be on the tip of the spear in these sorts of operations, we aren't excluded from finding a very effective and realistic role along some other part of the weapon.

As for "Mid Density" conflict, I think this may prove to be the biggest challenge as the requirement can demand a bit from both Force Structures.   Some of the battles in Iraq are very good at pointing this out, while many more "loose" conflicts such as the Al-Aqsa Intifada or driving the Taliban from Afghanistan serve as other examples.   There is no "low-density" nature to these situations - the point of conflict and the opposing force are quite obvious to those going in and control of a specific area is usually integral to the mission.   These types of operations may demand a mix of skill sets from our forced that are "niched" towards "High" and "Low" density operations or they may not - the American AAR's from Fallujah are showing this to be the case.   In our theoretical case, it may be Light Forces moving throughout an urban environment with LAV CAV rolling up to provide immediate firepower to fix and destroy the bad guys.   Or the operations may involve LAV CAV rapidly shifting positions to serve as a blocking force (an anvil) for enemy C2 structures being pushed out of a surrounding complex environment by Air-Assaulting Light Forces.

In all three operational settings, there is no "getting out."   Tactically, we still fight the same way that our predecessors fought in the fields of Flanders and France - by getting close to the enemy, rooting him out, and killing him.   I'm not to sure where I'm going with this counter-rant, only that I feel that we are selling ourselves short if we feel we have to "drop out" of any specific type of conflict.   Regardless of kit, Canada's tough and well-trained soldiers should be able to squeeze into operations and offer unique or important capability sets along the spectrum of combat (as well as the spectrum of conflict).

Infanteer

[/wandering rant mode]
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: ArmyRick on March 22, 2005, 07:52:03
I agree with PPCLI guy on several issues.
(1) Tanks are getting the pink slip. For the fiftieth time, GET OVER IT !!!

(2) ISTAR is still in its infancy. We already have TWO types of UAV for the CF. In the near future, we may go with 4 classes of UAV as the yanks are planning.

(3) The MMEV may or may not work. We shall see.

(4) The TUA is a very effective and proven vehicle (I am a TOW Gunner with TUA M113 expirience), Beleive me getting new TOW missiles (especially 4 KM missiles) is going to greatly enhance our capability. I remember a few times on ex being tucked away in a well hidden overwatch position and our crew realizing we could take out several enemy vehicles and infantry (the TUA has a C6 co-axial). However the crew commander would comment that we are just providing overwatch let the tanks do their thing. Keep in mind the TOW 2B is 3,750m effective range. I have also seen video shots of Fallujah where the bradley was using the TOW missile in an OBUA scenario.

(5) A to C, if at all possible, there are better ways to avoid this scenario. I remember countless times of sending out Recce patrols and OPs on exercise to determine the enemy location ( yeah even on mech ex) and then sending in a deliberate attack vice a quick attack.

(6) Mid intensity conflict? I  have no doubt we could hop along with our allies and fight in a mid intensity conflict. The most important weapon is the highly trained and equiped Infantryman, not the tank, the IFV or anything else.

(7) If finally get the CASW and the ALAWS in, thats is going to level some of the playing field. So for the monkey tanks, don't worry about IF we get javelin.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on March 22, 2005, 12:04:09
(4) The TUA is a very effective and proven vehicle (I am a TOW Gunner with TUA M113 expirience), Beleive me getting new TOW missiles (especially 4 KM missiles) is going to greatly enhance our capability. I remember a few times on ex being tucked away in a well hidden overwatch position and our crew realizing we could take out several enemy vehicles and infantry (the TUA has a C6 co-axial). However the crew commander would comment that we are just providing overwatch let the tanks do their thing. Keep in mind the TOW 2B is 3,750m effective range. I have also seen video shots of Fallujah where the bradley was using the TOW missile in an OBUA scenario.

(5) A to C, if at all possible, there are better ways to avoid this scenario. I remember countless times of sending out Recce patrols and OPs on exercise to determine the enemy location ( yeah even on mech ex) and then sending in a deliberate attack vice a quick attack.

ArmyRick has demonstrated we already have the elements of "Cavalry" TTPs and doctrine, all we need to do is apply it to the LAV kit that we have/are getting. LAV-TOW operating in overwatch, perhaps in conjunction with Coyotes and UAVs support the advance, while actual Cavalry operations will resemble point 5, with the big difference being everyone is mounted, and we will be doing recces and preps for deliberate attacks on the move to get inside a potential enemy OODA loop.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Tango2Bravo on March 22, 2005, 14:58:54
Infanteer,

I'm glad you picked up on my question regarding "mid-intensity."  While it can perhaps exist at the strategic level I do not see tactical conflict as definable by intensity.  I certainly agree that our light forces can conduct the normal infantry role and associated tasks, although they need to operate in the right kind of terrain.  It is our Mech Inf that need to adapt in my opinion.

Army Rick,

A LAV company or battalion could certainly deal with an armoured threat in a defensive setting, particularily once they get ALAWs.  Again, it is offensive operations about which I have concerns.  If the plan is to walk up on foot after an intensive ISTAR effort then perhaps we just go with light infantry.  I am over the tanks getting their "pink slips", but I am not sure that everybody has really absorbed what that meant.

All,

In a Cavalry role the infantry would still have LAV IIIs and LAV TOW and work in conjunction with the Coyotes and other dedicated ISTAR assets.  The "mounted" infantry would still be the dedicated "killers" in the hunter/killer concept.  All I am saying is that assaulting enemy positions would not be in the play book.  We could certainly snipe away at the armoured vehicles in an enemy position if they are obliging enough to give us long range opportunities.  We can provide the TA for fires. 

If any here were on the old CF board I posted a rather long-winded thread in Nov 03 about how the LAV/MGS battlegroup could conduct operations.  I figured that we could probably do a good job of finding the enemy.  We'd have to go slow and try to exploit sensors such as the Coyote mast (which is a big pain in mobile operations) and UAVs.  We would then bring up our TOW and MMEV to pick apart the enemy vehicles, most likely covering the move-in of the missile systems with artillery fire.  MGS could then establish the firebase to pound the enemy position with HESH etc to cover the assault.

The first big problem that I saw was that we had very limited breaching abilities.  Minefields, wire and ditches would pretty much have to cleared by hand. 

The next was that any enemy vehicles that remain undetected (which is possible, particularily if they are in reverse slopes or trying to get key-hole shots down wadis) etc would be able to do a lot of damage to the LAVs.  A T-55 that lay hidden would be a big problem once the assault force moves past where the firebase can see.  The assault force tanks were the ones who would normally deal with these opponents.  I know, get over the pink slips...

Another issue is the amount of time that this would take.  We can assume this one away here but perhaps not as easily in the real world if we have flanking forces or an advancing formation to our rear.

An interesting variation is that the LAV/MGS company team could "hustle" an enemy security element out of its position with a combination of fire and manouevre.  Of course, if the enemy consists of a platoon of BTRs in the open without an obstacle then perhaps we have found the right enemy.

Cheers,

2B

p.s. I was on a JCATs ex a couple of weeks ago where I had a LAV company with two Recce Sqns.  I used the Javelin/ALAWS (four in the company) as our AT resource.  We would basically walk up the Javelins to hit the T55s.  It can work but it is very slow and relies on the enemy not moving or having infantry protecting his tanks.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Zipper on March 22, 2005, 21:45:42
This all sounds awesome.

(6) Mid intensity conflict? I have no doubt we could hop along with our allies and fight in a mid intensity conflict. The most important weapon is the highly trained and equipped Infantryman, not the tank, the IFV or anything else.

Couldn't agree more. Now the problem is getting the Government to agree. The chance of them being willing to send "our boys" into the line of fire that this may encompass is is some ways few and far between. Of course, the enemy may have other plans.

2B - Like above. What are the chances of our Government sending us into a "offensive" operation? LAV wise that is? I know we have to train for such things and be equipped to deal with such, but the chances of us actually using such skills? I don't know.

I liked the way you wrote that above scenario. However, wouldn't you want your Cav forces to be far more mobile? And not setting itself down for anything like a fire base mission? Especially if we're operating in conjunction with Allies who are probably better (and heavier) equipped to do so themselves.

I think your "hustle" idea probably works best. If best can describe any battle situation... ::)
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on March 23, 2005, 08:50:48
Some US Army thoughts on how to do Cavalry with LAVs:

"Cavalry for the Interim Force. A Proposal for the 2nd Cavalry Regiment" by Col Kevin C.M. Benson, Armor, Jan-Feb 2002 pg15-18 http://www.knox.army.mil/center/ocoa/ArmorMag/jf02/1benson02.pdf

The author is describing a formation about as big as a Canadian Brigade (CCBG?), which makes sense given the requirment for the unit to sometimes operate alone (economy of force), to cover a projected 100X100 km AOR and have the C4I capabilities to connect with higher formations or do "reachback" to national level assets.

"The Stryker Equipped Cavalry Squadron in an Urban Environment" by Sgt First Class Andrew L Barteky, Armour, July August 2003 pg 26-30, 36, http://www.knox.army.mil/center/ocoa/ArmorMag/ja03/4barteky03web.pdf

This article is focused on Urban Ops. The author is well aware of the limitations of TUAVs and the surveillance system in complex terrain, and advocates using dismounted troops to fill in the gaps and exploit sensor "hits". The Stryker is not seen as a fighting vehicle, but rather a "mount" to give the troops a certain amount of tactical mobility, and better protection against small arms fire and light anti-tank weapons or IEDs than a troop equipped with armoured HMMVWs.

Some differences to the way we do business are the inclusion of organic EW and HUMINT assets, as well as a larger proportion of "heavy" weapons, ranging from Javelin Fire and Forget missiles for the dismounts to 120mm mortars (although the authour makes a case for adding 60mm mortars to the mix, given the 120 has issues with minimum range and safe distance. Perhaps vehicle mounted 81mm is a good compromise?)

The author also understands the limitations of the Stryker equipped Cavalry, the paradigm "See First, Understand First, Act First and Finish Decicisivly" often means manoeuvring out of contact to set up better conditions for engagement.

Interesting reads
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on June 14, 2005, 14:30:12
Quote from: Infanteer on May 22, 2005, 04:58:59
Quote
Next, give this article a read - very good stuff ...

http://www.defence.gov.au/army/AbstractsOnline/AAJournal/2003_W/AAJ_w_2003_04.pdf

My overall impression is that the article does a great job of summing up the nuts-and-bolts of the tactical battle the Infantry will face.�  To sum it up:

1) Suppression is the key to winning the tactical battle.

2) Maneuver remains essential before and after the battle - it is required to "set up" a tactical victory by finding the right points and to secure the tactical victory by properly exploiting the gains of the battle.

I have circled back to this thread since it ties in some of the meandering I was doing in "Future Armour" and "Thinking about the Infantry attack"

In all cases, light , medium or heavy forces, we will need to equip the troops with a means of Manoeuvre. The model of close combat is a series of actions against local strong points and bunkers, using high volume of fire (or magic bullet PGMs) to suppress the enemy and break his will, allowing the unit to advance.

Light forces will need air or Helicopter mobility, or alternatively some sort of tactical vehicle with similar characteristics to the HMMVW. This gives them the ability to get in and out; setting up the tactical victory and allowing them to exploit the gains of the battle. This also provides a means to win the suppression battle, since vehicles can transport extra weapons and ammunition, and act as firing platforms as well.  HMMVW sized vehicles have been demonstrated with almost every IF and DF weapons station imaginable (missiles, machine guns, cannons and AGLs), and while we can argue about the relative virtues of each, whatever they carry should be versatile against a wide range of targets and be relatively easy to use. Resurrecting weapons like the 106mm RR should be considered, since it gives light troops and vehicles the means to deal with hard targets like bunkers and AFVs. A section of vehicles attached to each platoon could provide suppression fire with HMGs or AGL's, while DF fire could come from an organic "fire support company".

Medium forces like the proposed Armoured Cavalry or LAV based combat teams need to emphasise fire more, adding extra sections of LAV "gunships" which can manoeuvre independent of the Infantry company to provide fire from flanks or other positions is one suggestion I would push very strongly. Equipping the LAV-TOW with a more potent weapon like ground launched HELLFIRE, BRIMESTONE or FOG-M would help a lot, as well as upping the amount of LAV-mortars available. I will discount MGS in its present form since it doesn't carry a worthwhile amount of ammunition, and while the MMEV as conceived now may be able to use its long range to manoeuvre independently and take flank shots from outside the zone of engagement, improved LAV-TOW can do the same thing. This concept relies on "magic bullet" firepower to substitute for tank fire.

Heavy forces can be done in many ways, but the essential DF tasks will still rely on a vehicle resembling a tank. The tank itself will have to evolve to be more mobile, without sacrificing too much in the way of protection and lelethalityCovering fire should come from an artillery weapon with a high rate of fire, the FH-70 6X6 with a 155 howitzer feeding from a 24 round magazine and autoloader comes to mind. Infantry should rereceiveaximum protection, I would argue for a HAPC like the ACHZARIT for this task. A heavy "gunship" vehicle to provide extra fire support is also a must (as on the models above).

Organizationally, I think a section of vehicles (without dismounts) attached to each platoon is about right in providing extra firepower and some reserve mobility without making the platoon commander's job too difficult (A "weapons Sgt" position would be created for controlling the movement and fire of the vehicles). The primary job of these vehicles is to move to points of observation; place fire on the enemy until they either flee, are destroyed or are "cracked" and can be assaulted, and cover the move of the dismounted force as they caterpillar to the next point of observation. Since they are similar in size and layout to the other vehicles in the team, they can carry troops if the primary carriers have been damaged or destroyed.

Supplementing the extra vehicles and firepower is improved situational awareness. This starts from the bottom with PRR so the troops can communicate both within and between sections, vehicle mounted situational awareness suites and the ability of team leaders and vehicle commanders to get off board information, such as viewing the "next bound" though a TUAV before crossing. A company should also have an organic section of TUAVs attached as well.

The combat team of tomorrow will be a bigger organization, and bristling with more "teeth" and "eyes", but should also be able to move much faster and be able to fight more effectively as a result.

(Edited to correct the spell checking!)

Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Zipper on June 15, 2005, 03:45:53
Wow. Very nice.

I like it.

However Majoor. Do you see a realistic chance of Canada either affording this in either money or will? Even for the light side of things?

I hope so myself...

Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on June 15, 2005, 11:08:18
Wow. Very nice.

I like it.

However Majoor. Do you see a realistic chance of Canada either affording this in either money or will? Even for the light side of things?

I hope so myself...

The "will" can be supplied with organizational change. The "light" and "heavy" were mostly illustrations to show this concept is independent of particular kit or "cult objects", although it would be nice to see the light units beefed up with light vehicles. I suppose in an emergency, they could acquire a fleet of Toyota Land Cruisers (the global standard for this sort of thing) and do some heavy duty welding to create a fleet of vehicles for the task.

The changes to a LAV equipped BG are not too difficult to achieve, dismasted Coyotes exist as DFSVs, and integrating them into an Infantry battalion should not be any more difficult than taking the 1 PPCLI AAP and bringing it into the LdSH (RC).The "gunship" option isn't even nessessary, if you are willing to take the risk, the LAV carriers can be agressively manoeuvred into fireing positions after the dismounting of the troops, but this option reduces the absolute size of the firebase and LAVs might have some difficulty getting to good positions in the face of opposition. The "gunship" option allows the LAV carriers to shoot in the gunships, and the gunships support the LAVs and dismounted infantry in their next bound.

LAV-TOW will have to be upgraded sooner or later, and these weapons systems (HELLFIRE, BRIMESTONE and FOG-M) already exist and are capable of being retrofitted into existing ATGM systems. The MGS as currently configured is a non starter, but if we are willing to bite  the bullet and replace the LPT with a new turret mounting a 90mm cannon, then we may have a viable support weapon. MMEV with ADATS exists already, and can be used in the way suggested, but from what I know of the ADATS system, if you do not have a line of sight to the target, then you cannot take a shot. HELLFIRE can be guided in by a forward observer using a laser designator, BRIMESTONE has a millimetre radar so it can find its own targets to a certain extent, and FOG-M uses a TV camera in the nose, so the gunner can look for a target in flight and guide the missile right to impact. In close or complex terrain, this is probably the most important aspect of "magic bullet" PGM technology.

Situational awareness is already being reserched at DRES, and the idea of section commanders tapping into TUAVs has been discussed in "Infantry of Tomorrow", the Israeli army issues this equipment already.

When you get down to it, the "Combat Team of Tomorrow" can be stood up tomorrow (right after coffee), and I hope some of our readers will start wargaming these ideas in J-CATS or other simulations to see how close in or far away they really are.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Britney Spears on June 15, 2005, 11:31:02
This EFOG-M sounds like the best thing since sliced bread. (http://g2mil.com/efogm.htm)
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Tango2Bravo on June 20, 2005, 14:50:20
Pushing additional firepower assets and capabilities into a Cavalry unit would be beneficial as long as the unit was not then tasked to go fighting along the lines of a tank-equipped force.  Tanks are more than firepower.   Given our resources and missions, we might as well focus as an Army on producing Light Forces and Cavalry forces.  These will be forces with real missions in the here and now.  I think that we do have the people and equipment readily available to implement that. 

As for integral firepower, the old school German panzergrenadier (Gepanzert) companies in halftracks during the war had mortars and 75mm guns mounted on halftracks.  Pushing "fire support" assets to platoon level on a permanent basis might be going too low.  It may be easier to attach down using habitiual affiliation than it is to regroup from the bottom-up.

Cheers,

2B
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: plattypuss on June 20, 2005, 15:11:47
Gents

Is anyone else out there aware that the MGS, ADATS and TUA are all eventually to be replaced by MMEV Version 3?   This MMEV will have a lot of plug and play weapon systems designed to be fitted to suit a particular mission or combat requirement.   While it is very conceptual still, I do not foresee a Combat Team having a TUA, MGS or ADATS element, it will have MMEV Version 3s kitted out for the specific mission and anticipated threat.   The term heavy, medium or light will reflect the weapons load on the MMEV Version 3 but the basic platform will stay the same.   I think the LdSH(RC)'s push to cross train all their crew commanders on all the DF systems is in recognition of the above fact and an attempt to prepare themselves for the eventual demise of all these systems which will be replaced by MMEV Version3.

Technically we no longer need a TUA system (if we were to buy off the shelf) as the LAHAT laser guided missile can accompish the same thing as TUA with a range of 8km and it can be fired from 105mm barrels.  The FOG-
M sounds good but the camera concept is also replicated in the Israeli "Spike" system which was considered for the ALAWS competition. I'm not sure if we decided on the SPIKE or the JAVELIN (I think the SPIKE was considered too much weapon for what we needed at one time).

Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Tango2Bravo on June 20, 2005, 16:24:03
Having less system types is not a bad idea.  I think that we've had the long range missile debate on some other threads.  8 km shots may well prove the exception rather than the rule and I wonder about our ability to identify friend from foe at that range.

Don't get me wrong, an 8km range missile on a mobile platform would certainly be a good thing, particularily if it could indeed fire a mixture of warheads.  It could certainly be of use in a Cav role where the longer range would work well in the greater dispersion of those units.  Just don't think, however, that because it can kill a tank that it can replace a tank.

2B
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on June 20, 2005, 16:28:26
Although it is the "Combat Team of Tomorrow", I am thinking of the "Combat Team of here and now" as well.

Quote
As for integral firepower, the old school German panzergrenadier (Gepanzert) companies in halftracks during the war had mortars and 75mm guns mounted on halftracks.   Pushing "fire support" assets to platoon level on a permanent basis might be going too low.   It may be easier to attach down using habitiual affiliation than it is to regroup from the bottom-up.

I suppose that could be argued either way, and indeed my concept can be done either way; Coyote "gunships" integrated in the Infantry unit, or habitually attached. Either way, the intent is to support the observations of LCol David Kilcullen that close combat is won by fire rather than manoeuvre (his experience indicated up to 3/4 of a company's assets were needed as a "firebase", while the US Marines used 2/3 of their company assets as "firebase" in OIF). True believers can substitute MGS for Coyote, but the known deficiencies of the MGS would make that problematic at best. American experience with the SBCT will give us some information to work with.

This is not a Cavalry organization per se (although it could be used as a Cavalry formation if mounted on LAV or similar vehicles).

Quote
Is anyone else out there aware that the MGS, ADATS and TUA are all eventually to be replaced by MMEV Version 3?   This MMEV will have a lot of plug and play weapon systems designed to be fitted to suit a particular mission or combat requirement.   While it is very conceptual still, I do not foresee a Combat Team having a TUA, MGS or ADATS element, it will have MMEV Version 3s kitted out for the specific mission and anticipated threat.   The term heavy, medium or light will reflect the weapons load on the MMEV Version 3 but the basic platform will stay the same.

Eventually the MMEV III will hit the units, but it only supplies one part of the firepower needed for the supression battle (i.e. long range heavy fire power directed against enemy fortifications and AFVs). LAV-TOW and ADATS can perform the task today, as long as everyone is aware they are essentially LOS weapons (Which would limit their utility in complex or urban terrain, since depth targets might not be visable to their gunners). Really MMEV III is the LAV-TOW firing the more advanced PGM missiles in the examples I posted previously (I simply wasn't aware of the MMEV III designation. I'm sure there is more in terms of advanced sights and targeting systems as well, but conceptually it serves the same purpose). Spike is only one of the several different FOG-M missiles and concepts available, although my understanding was Spike is man portable and has a range of 2500m, so it is one of the smaller ones availalbe.

The initial thrust of this thread was how a Combat Team would be able to operate without tanks and heavy armour protection. Simply trying to cherry pick weapons systems to subtitute for the tank wasn't sufficient (which is why the thread stalled for a long time), but the observations of LCol Kilcillen pointed the way to change organization and integrate situational awareness systems which allow the Combat Team of Tomorrow to be effective even when confronted with the need to conduct assaults under contact. This concept is not perfect, and is especially missing the engineer element to provide mobility. As well, the commander should be using the enhanced situational awareness to shape the battle in the time and place of his own choosing, reducing the need for direct assaults.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Tango2Bravo on June 20, 2005, 17:07:20
Our envisioned team will have excellent firepower and could decimate a Motor Rifle Regiment that is advancing across Centurion Field.  It will have problems, however, when it has to go to the offensive itself.  Even a good ISTAR process will have some enemy systems going undetected.  If our lead forces cannot take a hit we will have to rely on our ability to accept casualties. 

2B

Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Infanteer on June 20, 2005, 19:36:49
http://www.defence.gov.au/army/lwsc/AbstractsOnline/AAJournal/2003_W/AAJ_w_2003_05.pdf

Here is a good article about the "assault", probably the most crucial phase of military operations (its when the Infantry makes their paychecks).
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Zipper on June 21, 2005, 01:43:37
Great article Inf. :salute:

If there was ever a reason to keep the Leopard and armoured forces, then that paper was it.

One of the problems I see with a lot of our analysis here on Cavalry and LAV forces is that it seems to me that everyone is thinking of a fairly open environment (desert, plains, large open cities, etc...) where you can see and ID your enemy well before contact.

Maybe I'm wrong in this perception?

But after reading that article and his explanation of complex terrain (close jungle, forest, mountains, etc...), I do not believe we would have the luxury of this. The enemy will be right on top of us before we can "soften" him up with volume of fire from our MMEV's/MGS/TOW/etc. And that ISTAR and other fancy sensor systems will fine for the "open battle", but next to useless in complex terrain. Considering a great deal of Canada and other locals world wide are considered complex, I find our focus towards "lighter" forces rather short sighted as opposed to the Aussie examples.

As well with our current forces and their numbers (even with the supposed boost), we would not be able to engage in anything close to an assault, as we just do not have the tolerance (numbers or will) for casualties.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: plattypuss on June 21, 2005, 09:00:18
I have read the article from LCol Macillum and found it to be a good read.  Given his experience both in combat and trg he does not seem to have a strong concept of sense or ISTAR assets.  In his article, he depicts a battle during trg where it appears little effort was made to use sense assets, keeping in mind that even the individual soldier on the ground is a valuable sense platform.  It appears that the army went in almost blind with "little" valuable intel on enemy location or strength until hey came into contact although I would assume there was some.  Hopefully today, we would use the assets we have aval to gain the information to form a proper picture and then be capable of conducting the maneuverer that the LCol suggests is less valuable then the concept of suppression.  The enemy picture should be developed by sensor platforms (Coyote, UAV, ADATS) which although incapable of penetrating deep into the urban space should identify the recce gap in which to punch in further sensor platforms which in the future might be unmanned ground vehicles.  One of the most underrated sensor platforms in the urban battle is the sniper, who can infiltrate into the urban environment and provide excellent enemy intelligence.  Now what I have described could be used in his trg missions or where there is no artificial time limit imposed.
In terms of his real life situation which appears to have been a meeting engagement and the most likely form of engagement to be faced in combat where you do not have the time for a gradual build up of a sense picture, I don't have a ready answer. Ideally you could send the tanks in, which inevitably forces the enemy to reveal their hand but in this case we are talking of a combat team without tanks.  Once again UAVs would be an invaluable asset to act as your sense asset if aval (and have proved valuable in convoy ops in urban environments in Iraq).  In all cases it is always important to win the fire-fight and your intimate LAVs, ALAWS, CASW would help do that.

The concept of suppression as pointed out is not new, but there as in all options, a danger with sending in a smaller maneuver group and leaving most of the resources in a firebase, in the cases where the maneuver group itself comes into contact with another group of enemy and becomes pinned down and itself decimated by suppression.

Reference the Spike, I believe the type we were looking at was a Long range Spike with a range of much further, (I think out to 6K) but I can't find anything right now to back that up.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Tango2Bravo on June 21, 2005, 11:20:58
Infanteer,

Excellent article.  I've read three good ones in the last few months from that journal.  While the infantryman certainly earns his pay in the assault, so to speak, the tankers in the assault element and intimate support also face their most demanding tasks.  As a Troop Leader on Leopards one of my most demanding tasks was being in "intimate support", commanding hatches down with the enemy close up and friendly infantry right behind (and this was in peacetime).  Doing this took practice.

The lessons of tank/infantry cooperation were learned the hard way in WW II.  If tanks can take enemy fire then they can transform the assault force.  If they can't then the assault will only come with casualties.

Plattypuss,

Perhaps I am a skeptic, but I do not put too much faith in the ability of ISTAR to do away with finding the enemy the hard way.  In 2002/03 I was a tank sqn BC for several major exercises.  ISTAR was seen as a way to do away with advancing to contact.  It worked well if we were attacking enemy positions (target arrays) that were situated on forward slopes.  When we moved into more complex terrain against "live" opponents it became much harder.  I'm reading some Normandy book right now that show the same problems sixty years ago when an opponent is not obliging.

Recce Sqn and other ISTAR assets (UAVs, EW etc) can certainly find enemy positions, but it is somewhat unrealistic to count on them to find every system.  Use ISTAR to find the companies/platoons and then have the combat teams (with tanks) define the enemy by muckling on to them and destroying them.

My read of several OIF accounts tells me that the meeting engagement will be the norm.  Even with sophisticated ISTAR assets the coalition forces usually ended up attacking undefined enemies.

OEF also provides an example of the limitations of ISTAR.  I mentioned this in a thread on Thermal Imaging a couple of months ago.  The paper called "Afghanistan and the Future of Wafare: Implications for Army and Defense Policy" by Stephen Biddle is quite illuminating.  It was published in Nov 02 and is available online at the US Army War College's Strategic Studies Institute.  Two interesting quotes are as follows:

   "At Op ANACONDA an intensive pre-battle reconnaissance effort focused every available surveillance and target acquisiton system on a tiny, ten by ten kilometer battlefield.  Yet fewer than 50 percent of all the Al Queda positions ultimately identified in the course of the fighting were discovered prior to ground contact.  In fact, most fire received by US forces came from unseen, unanticipated al Qaeda fighting positions."

   "The answer is that the earth's surface remains an extremely complex environment with an abundance of natural and manmade cover and concealment available for those militaries capable of exploiting it."

ISTAR certainly has promise and gives our forces an advantage over others not similarilly equipped.  I do not think, however, that we can rely on it alone.

You mention artificial time limits.  Time is one of the things that is very short in battle (I think that Napolean had something to say about that). 

Our mounted forces can still participate across the spectrum of operations, but without tanks we will need to focus on different roles.

Cheers,

Iain
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Infanteer on June 21, 2005, 13:14:10
Plattypuss,

Give this a gander:

http://www.defence.gov.au/army/lwsc/Publications/complex_warfighting.pdf

(yes, it is yet another Aussie document written by Col Kilcullen)

Specifically, page 6 regarding ISTAR Threshold.   I think he is quite right in identifying the fact that in complex warfighting, the enemy will often and successfully operate under our threshold - therefore, it is the assault and not the fancy-dancy stand-off MMEV battle we should be prepare for (sorry for the proselytizing).   2Bravo's post further substantiates this hunch (Steven Biddle is an excellent author, I reccomend his works), whether it is in the urban sprawl of Sadr City or in the mountains of Southern Afghanistan, trying to develop the battle picture is below any threshold we have now (and by the time we do develop it, the situation can be changed rapidly); thus fixing the enemy with close-battle suppression may be what is required to actually figure out what is going on (to tip the enemies hand, as you said).

My zwei pfennig
Infanteer
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Zipper on June 21, 2005, 14:25:34
Jeez, another great article Inf. Where do you get the time to find these things? ;D

You can be pretty darn sure that while ISTAR and other sensor systems are wonderful, that they are also being worked on to defeat as well. Much like computer anti-virus software, there is another stronger virus to beat it out there.

I agree that the previous article made it seem that they "blundered" into enemy contacts, and maybe sometime they did considering the jungle environment they were operating in. But more often then not, they had good ol' recce forces (snipers, recce squads, mud recce, etc) out front finding the bad guys in which to assault.

And that is where I think we are starting to make a bit of a blunder in staking our efforts on "technology" that can only go so far. Especially in complex terrain. It will always come down to an observant eye and feet on the ground to truly build a proper picture of what is ahead that can harm us.

The lessons hard won in the past should not be thrown away because of a new toy. Adapted in some way yes. Forgotten no.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on June 21, 2005, 14:30:54
Which kind of takes us full circle: ISTAR can't find everything, and the current suite of equipment isn't well suited to fight for information. For the forseeable future, CF Combat teams will attempt to find the enemy using ISTAR assets and techniques, but will certainly need organizational and TTP changes to come to grips with the enemy when they show up unexpectedly.

I forsee using ISTAR as a means of finding the broad outlines of the enemy, their nexus of activities, potential centres of gravity and so on, without being able to pinpoint thier exact locations. The combat team commander can use this information to plan his moves, and I would expect much of the future TTPs would resemble "reaction to enemy ambush". The combat team would have to move in a dispersed fashion to minimize enemy "effects", but each element would be able to follow Col Kilcullen's "move, observe, fire" dictate to pinpoint the enemy. The longer ranged elements and the "gunships" could move under the commander's direction to attack "depth" targets, while the small assault element prepares to attack.

The fear that the assault element will get "sucked in" and defeated is quite real, and the best defense I can think of is they have limited objectives, and once there, the rest of the team can "caterpiller" forward and prepare to either repeat the process (i.e. a series of limited assaults), or prepare for the follow up forces to pass through and exploit.

The use of dismounted troops and snipers is something that should be stressed more, one problem that I forsee with TUAVs and robotic vehicles is they will announce the presence of the combat team, and perhaps even allow a sophisticated enemy to deduce what the commander is planning (watching the pattern of the TUAVs doing sensor sweeps will alert the enemy to what the area of interest is, for example).

The logistical considerations that led to the demise of the tank and heavy AFVs in the CF will return under these conditions, we will need more soldiers on the ground and more surveillance assets in an attempt to substitute information for firepower. I already felt the "Combat team of Tomorrow" would be bigger than the present organization, and this simply confirms the manpower and equipment bill that will need to be paid to make the team effective. More manpower, more equipment, more resources. The "best" use for such a team that I can think of is to drive the enemy into isolated pockets within the AOR in an attempt to limit their actions, interactions and access to logistical support, and be prepared to support coalition heavy forces when they go in to reduce the pockets of enemy resistance. (It would be so much better if we could do it on our own, but for now...). Cities and urban areas are not "monolithic", and I can see wheeled/light forces finding areas where they can operate with some success, although their role will more closely resemble a mobile cordon to pin the enemy into defined areas.

If the "Combat Team of Tomorrow" resembles a Cavalry formation, then so be it. We have to work within the limits of our equipment, just think of ways to use it differently.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: plattypuss on June 21, 2005, 15:41:11
Infanteer - I am having some problems opening up the pdf document you linked to in your last post but hopefully it will fill in some of the holes once I get it to open. :blotto:

I think the point on the required increase in the number of boots on the ground is very true and I believe a look at the Stryker Brigade Combat Team validates this as they have increased significantly the number of infanteers.  The size of urban area that a CF organisation could realistically look at attacking and capturing would be surprisingly small.

I acknowledge that ISTAR will not find all enemy locations and positions but I think that the technology is new and as we use it more and more, we will naturally be able to use it more effectively which may not have been the case even in 02. 

I am not an expert on the matter nor do I have much time to read into the matter but my initial read of the LCols article sounded a lot like attrition warfare however I believe that the second article which I have yet to read will prove me wrong.  I agree that our forces will be niche and probably not well suited to the urban fight.



Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Tango2Bravo on June 21, 2005, 16:49:05
I wouldn't call LCol Kilkullen's article "The Essential Debate" attritionist.  I might call his proposal "methodical" in nature, with its focus on firepower.  This is not a criticism, per se, just an observation.  I like the basic notion of blasting the enemy from a number of directions as opposed to rushing in and trying to stab him.  "Move to shoot" is how I describe his philosophy (borrowing a phrase from someone else).

Going back to combined arms for a moment, are we now back to 1944 where dismounted infantry lead, supported by AFVs held back in firing positions?

I've talked this to death, but I'll return to my beloved Cavalry Team (version XXVIb):

   a.  SHQ (all arms in nature)
   b.  2 x Coyote Tps
   c.  2 x LAV Pls
   d.  1 x AT Tp (take your pick MGS/TUA/MMEV)
   e.  1 x Mortar Tp
   f.   1 x Sapper Tp
   g.  CSS Tp

Tps d. thru f. could be mission specific I suppose.  Mounted on wheeled AFVs and possessing a good number of dismounts this package can perform many tactical tasks across the spectrum of operations.  The one I do not want it to perform is assaults.  Against peer or neer-peer opponents (convetional warfighting) it will fight only to support its sense capability.  Its main role would be to provide security for other forces.

Cheers,

Iain
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Zipper on June 21, 2005, 23:12:46
That looks good Iain.

Are all those assets available in each squadron? Or as you said, would d thru f be regimental assets that plug and play into whichever squadron(s) needed those assets the most?

Now that I look at it a little longer, wouldn't the mortar trp be better at regimental level and only d and f be better as mission specific? Don't know if that means anything, but...

As well, why do you keep dedicated vehicles per trp as opposed to mixing and matching them so that all trp's within the squadron perform in a similar fashion? They seem rather mission specific.

Thanks
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: George Wallace on June 21, 2005, 23:40:50
Since time immoral, armies have been using deception to confuse their enemies.  As weapons systems have evolved so has surveillance systems.  At the same time more sophisticated methods have been developed to defend against weapons systems, as well as surv systems.  In WW II whole manufacturing facilities were camouflaged to look like rural country side, inflatable tanks and other vehicles were deployed to confuse enemy reconnaissance.  As technology advances in one direction, it is also advancing in another.  ISTAR is a tool.  It is not the be all, end all that many hope it to be.  There are many effective means to defeat surv systems; some are natural, some are the ingenuity of the enemy.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Tango2Bravo on June 21, 2005, 23:42:07
Zipper,

While the various Tps/Pls could be force generated from different units, I would see them training together as a team before deployment.   The Sqn would be laid out as listed above.   A Regt or Task Force would have one or more such Cav Sqns/Teams.   Regt would focus on ISTAR and coordinating higher level assets (UAVs, EW et al).

I guess my Mortar Tp could be talked down in size.   I would like the Cav Sqn to have organic indirect firepower, and perhaps a small Tp of 4 tubes might work.   The Cav will be operating across a wide frontage, so I would like the mortars pushed down to Sqn level.   Centralized mortars would have a hard time supporting multiple Sqns.   Perhaps a gun battery could be included at Regt level, although again ranges might be a problem for a dispersed unit.   The Sappers are a bit of an indulgence, but their presence would be a huge benefit across the spectrum (and perhaps even more so at the" lower" end).

I've kept the Tps "pure" on paper, although they may well task organize.   I ee the Sqn/Coy as the focal point.   Within the Cav Team you could form Tp/Pl affiliations and practice smaller combined arms groupings.   A smaller grouping for a given task might have a Patrol of Coyotes, a Platoon of Infantry and a section of MGS.   Keeping them as Tps and Pls, however, allows them to be employed as "pure" organizations as well.   Sometimes it is easier to push down attachments than it is to draw them up.

I guess I'm hijacking this thread.   There are many possible combinations.   My main argument, however, is that the Combat Team without tanks is more suited to a Cavalry role than a general purpose combat role.   It can still fight, but as part of the security battle.   Call it a Cavalry Team and we can make an important and achievable contribution to coalition warfighting.

Cheers,

2B   
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on June 22, 2005, 00:11:07
I guess much of the disagreement which remains is more concerned with roles rather than equipment or TTPs. 2Bravo's proposed Cavalry Squadron is a pretty close approximation to some of the "Combat Teams" I have scribbled on various napkins, and I certainly agree that the ideal is to avoid butting heads if at all possible, but rather to shape the battle before contact with manoeuvre and long range fire power if you can.

Maybe it is just the Infantry orientation in me, but a Combat or Cavalry Team without the means to "close with and destroy the enemy" seems to be a very poor niche player. Would the US Army or Marines really want an organization which cannot fight as part of their coallition? Hand waving about the security battle, "three block war", rear area security tasks and so on will not go over very well when the reality is enemies can and will operate in all these environments, popping out of holes or other places where he is concealed from our ISTAR assets (or even USING these assets against us; if it becomes routine to lead convoys or advancing troops with UAVs, how long before they "template" us and lay mines, IEDs and ambushes to be triggered after the overflight [for example]).

I will concede that the Combat Team of Tomorrow, even enriched with sensors, "gunships" and long range PGMs isn't the ideal means of fighting the close contact battle, but it had better be able to fight, and fight well, otherwise it is a waste of time for our coalition partners and a deadly game of Russian Roulette for the poor soldiers operating within the organization.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Zipper on June 22, 2005, 04:07:41
Couldn't agree with you more Majoor. :salute:

2B - Ok I see where your coming from now with the mortars. Keeping them at squadron level makes alot of sense by allowing each to have the additional fire support. Do you see us actually picking up the required number of vehicles though? I hope so. And I agree with you on the sappers. A very valuable asset that doesn't seem to be fully recognized as much these days. To aggressive perhaps?

Quote
I've kept the Tps "pure" on paper, although they may well task organize.  I ee the Sqn/Coy as the focal point.  Within the Cav Team you could form Tp/Pl affiliations and practice smaller combined arms groupings.  A smaller grouping for a given task might have a Patrol of Coyotes, a Platoon of Infantry and a section of MGS.  Keeping them as Tps and Pls, however, allows them to be employed as "pure" organizations as well.  Sometimes it is easier to push down attachments than it is to draw them up.

I guess the part about this that I see as maybe causing problems is that by keeping everything so liquid, you have no real solid focus for training, and would have to get used to many different people/organizations. It would be very much like we have now with our ad hoc formations thrown together for each and every overseas mission. Is there any way of making up a trp/sqn to offer the best mix as possable and still keep the homogeneous nature of a unit together so that training and missions are keeping everyone together? That way less confusion and higher training standards.

As for the Cav role as opposed to GP role without actual tanks. I would agree. But as majoor said, they had better be able to fight if suddenly set upon.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Tango2Bravo on June 22, 2005, 10:01:10
Zipper,

Permanent all-arms groupings would have certain advantages, but I need to be somewhat realistic with my expectations.  As long as the Cavalry Sqn Team gets several months of workup training then we should be good to go.  All the pieces exist except for the AT Troop.  Whether its MGS, LAV TOW, MMEV 3 or some other beast, we do not yet have a wheeled AT vehicle.  Putting TOW on the LAVs and Coyotes would help, but that's another thread!

AMajoor,

This team would still be able to fight, although if they ever fix bayonets something has gone very wrong. ;)

I put in infantry to give this Cav Team additional teeth.  This team is robust and can indeed engage in combat.  What it cannot do is march shoulder to shoulder with a US Unit equipped with M1s conducting assaults against prepared positions.  That being said it can offer many attractive capabilities to US or UK coalition partners.  A Cav Task Force (two or three Sqn Teams) would be a welcome addition to a USMC or Army Division.

This team or Task Force could operate up front, clearing enemy security elements and finding centres of resistance.  A Cavalry Sqn Team or Task Force could guard the flank of an advancing US division, finding and killing enemy forces trying to get at the CSS elements from the flanks.  A Cav Sqn Team could find and kill irregulars in Toyotas.  It could also provide warning of conventional counter-attacks.  Indeed, given its integral infantry, AT and indirect fire assets it could maul a conventional mechanized force attacking from a flank.  Coyotes, MMEVs, TOW, MGS and ALAWs are very well suited to this kind of engagement.  This team could also be a very robust Rear Area Security force.  It would also be very welcome during the stabilty phase of an operation when conventional fighting has stopped.  The integral infantry and sappers would enhance this team's abililty to operate in complex terrain, although the frontage that the team could cover would be reduced.

Again, I see this force performing classic Cavalry tasks along the lines of Stuart and Buford, not Lucan or Raglan.  Buford is my ideal Cavalryman.  Perhaps I am betraying my own regimental roots here as I've been reading some of my South Africa 1900 history books again. 

Cheers,

Iain
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Old Sweat on June 22, 2005, 11:53:03
Iain,

Your comments re the South African War struck a chord with me. I have long been a fan of that war, especially the mobile or guerilla phase following the capture of Pretoria. As you are probably aware, the British army transformed itself from an infantry-heavy force organized in divisions into a mobile force formed into mounted, all arms columns. By the end of the war half of the army was employed in these groupings, while the remainder garrisioned supply depots, protected the railways and manned the blockhouse lines.

Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on June 22, 2005, 12:29:49
Strangely enough, there was an article in the CAJ Vol 7 No 1: "The Urban Web; an operational concept for offensive operations in the urban sprawl of the 21rst century" by LCol W.D. Eyre, which advocated an updated version of the mobile phase of the South African War; with high tech "blockhouse lines" and mobile all arms columns dividing the city into bite sized pieces to separate enemy forces and isolate them in gradually contracting areas.

Perhaps the best compromise between the Armoured Cavalry Team and Combat Team of Tomorrow would be the swapping of two modular elements: A Cavalry Team would use Coyote based "Gunships" and ligh sapper sections in LAV carriers, while a Combat Team would need true Engineer support, and (hopefully) a developed version of the MGS which has at a minimum fire on the move capability and a large internal "magazine".

This leads to some interesting ideas as well: a mech Infantry BN or "Cavalry" Regiment would have the basic combined arms company/squadron as the "standard" for training and bonding, while Engineers and DFS regimental personnel would exist in separate sub units for training and admin, and do the "modular" plug and play depending on the situation. This is starting to edge into the "Future Regiments and Alternative Formations" thread, where we need to group enough assets together so they can live and work as a team, with the actual "plug and play" being chosen at a fairly low level (The Combat Team/Cavalry Team commander makes the request for heavy/light support). Bring on the modular Manoeuvre Battalion!

Just a quick foray into the CSS aspect; convoy protection in the Viet Nam war was often done by American MPs in Cadillac Gage "Commando" 4X4 LAVs. Bringing that concept on line would free up some combat arms assets and alow the CSS convoys/packets more freedom of action in an asymmetrical battlefield.

If anyone gets a chance, see if these ideas can be wargamed into J-CATS, Simnet, TACOPS or other simulations to see if we are on to something or just talking through our hats.

Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Tango2Bravo on June 22, 2005, 12:54:57
For me, our Combat Team of tomorrow is the Cavalry Team.  Our allies can continue to field "Combat Teams" as we have known them with tanks, mech inf and breaching assets.  I think, however, that we need to re-adjust our sights a little.

The Cavalry Team as quickly laid out above has a decent mix of firepower assets.  I'm vague on the AT Tp, but perhaps MGS could fit the bill.  My bottom line is that it can fight and would actually be quite robust in certain theatres/situations.  When required it could fight to obtain information, or guard a friendly formation's flank.  It should be remembered, however, that it is vulnerable.

The composition of the HQ element will be a contentious issue.  It is a big organization, however, and perhaps it does need a large sub-unit HQ element.  There is precendence for having two "OCs".  I'm going to avoid this one for now.

Old Sweat,

Perhaps we (the royal We of the West) need to go back and look at the little wars of the British Empire.  Things have changed, but I think that there are some lessons to be gleaned.

Cheers,

Iain
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Old Sweat on June 22, 2005, 14:12:32
Iain,

Have you read Small Wars by Caldwell. It covered the small wars of the nineteenth century in considerable detail and discusses various subjects such as intelligence, security and logistics (called lines of communication in the book). My edition is a reprint of, I think as it is not close by, the 1905 edition. I recommend it as a reference.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Tango2Bravo on June 22, 2005, 14:38:58
I have not read it, although I have heard of it.  Perhaps it will be my posting gift to myself!
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on June 22, 2005, 15:28:26
I also reccomend Max Boot's "The Savage Wars of Peace" for a perspecticve into American "Small War" experience.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Zipper on June 23, 2005, 03:13:12
I think looking at the "smaller" wars like the Boer war would be a great place to look for examples. Good idea.

I'm still a unclear on your Cav concept 2B. Is the unit a combined arms unit? Or separate armour, infantry, and arty units combining to create your Cav Teams on a needed basis only?

Sorry but I was under the impression that we have been discussing "all arms" cavalry units, so that to my understanding the Infantry is permanently assigned a specific vehicle much like the armoured crew is (21 Bravo for instance? :D). Thus you have your 4 to 6 infantry per LAV, and 2-3 per coyote. Maybe I'm repeating what you've said already? I'm not sure.

As for keeping them all the same...         ...I guess I am just trying to make the logistics and training as easy as possible as well as avoiding the constant shuffling that happens whenever the next oversea ops happens. And as each unit gets its newest members scrounged from its other coy/sqn's and reserve units in order to be brought up to strength in order to go.

I guess maybe that isn't realistic? Then maybe its something to aim for perhaps?

As for being vague on the AT trp. Why? The TUA may be a very good vehicle. I still think the MGS is going nowhere and will die before it goes into production, and the ADATS or MMEV is a non starter. Then again a MMEV 3 with a different weapons system will be interesting. And mounting TOW on turrets in the LAVs would be a fantastic idea.

Oh and one more question. Am I right in that you are sticking with the 4 vehicle formation per troop? If so, why? If a recce trp is at least 8 vehicles anyway, and the Cav functions very much like a recce unit except with greater teeth and flexability, then why not boost your trp levels to at least 6 vehicles per. This would increase your firepower, mounted infantry on the ground, and area covered. The whole idea of a 4 vehicle trp was for tanks with high firepower/protection. Thats gone. So get rid of the 4 vehicle idea and see if something else is better. Hell, lets look back at the ol' 15 horse squadrons.



Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Tango2Bravo on June 23, 2005, 12:03:19
In a perfect world I would see a Cavarly Branch and an Infantry Branch.  A formed Cavalry Sqn (with at least the Recce, LAV Tps and AT Tps) would certainly aid cohesion.  In my dream Cavalry branch the LAVs and the soldiers in them are Cavalrymen.  The simplest Cav version has pure Recce and Inf sub-units operating under a TF HQ with a Cav role.  I favour breaking it down to sub-unit level.

If it has to "plug and play" then I could certainly make it work as long as the team was formed prior to deployment.  A month of admin shake out, two months on an exercise in Wainwright and then some TMST would build cohesion to a high level.  You could practice "Tp Scramble" where several mixed Tps are formed.  Coyote, LAV and TOW could be mixed into Tp sized groupings for certain tasks. 

Looking at Tp size, we could debate this at length.  I favour the six vehicle Recce Tp with the Tp Ldr acting as a Ptl Comd, but the eight vehicle model has many advantages as well.  I'd like the AT Tp be at least six weapon platforms (all the same if possible).  As an aside I think that LAV TOW should be our vehicle priority right now.  The LAV Platoons/Troops could stay at four vehicles each.  The LAVs would have the standard layout of three crew and six or seven dismounts.  I'd like at least four mortar tubes.

One exiting prospect I am seeing right now is the development of a new, smaller OCS (Observer Control Station) for the Coyote.  I am told that this will allow for two seats in the back.  I'd love to put two "scouts" in each Coyote regardless of variant.

I see UAVs, EW and CBRs being held at Task Force (Regt) level, with TUAVs being their own sub-unit. 

How does it work?  In stability operations it works much like our mounted forces do right now in places like Afghanistan.  In more conventional "warfighting" operations the Recce Tps would find enemy security elements and the LAV/AT/Mortars would destroy them.  Platoon sized positions without obstacles could potentially be tackled. 

The Cav Sqn would clear a platoon sized security position only to allow the umimpeded advance of the main body (coalition units).  Basically, the Coyotes (assisted by UAVs and EW) would find the enemy position.  Mortars and other indirect fire assets would then cover the deployment of the AT Tp.  The AT Tp would then snipe any enemy vehicles.  Coyotes with laser designators (which I would also like to see) could bring in precision fires from higher assets, although attached FOO/FAC elements could also do this. 

The assault would be the trickiest part.  There is virtually no breaching capability, unless we use the sappers going in by hand.  While the LAVs can go in with their dismounts (with Recce Tp Coyotes and AT Tp supporting by fire) to provide some level of intimate support, RPGs and concealed AT guns/ATGMs and tanks will pose a grave danger.  I'd prefer to isolate and shoot up a security position and would only try to clear it if it indeed posed a danger to the supported force.  An ideal situation would be to sneak the AT Tp into a flanking position and then push against the security position (primarily by fire).  When the security element withdraws it gets bagged by the AT Tp.  Unfortunately this counts on the enemy being obliging.   

Time will be a factor.  With unlimited time we could use satelittes and B52s with JDAM to destroy every trench.  I doubt, however ,that we will have the luxury of time.

The Cav Team could certainly mount an effective defence with its variety of weapons and sensors.  Again, these characteristics (excellent mobility, firepower and flexibility, with more limited "staying power" and offensive capability) are similar to those of the US Civil War cavalry as well as our own 1900 Cavalry heritage. 

Sorry again for the hijack!

2B
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Old Sweat on June 23, 2005, 12:23:32
This is slightly off the stream, but both the US Civil War cavalry and the Canadian experience in South Africa were more in the nature of mounted rifles than classic cavalry. Both are worthy of study, especially as the Canadians enjoyed a reputation as the best mounted troops in South Africa, at least on the British side. (Our tactics were based, at least to a certain extent, on a study of the Civil War, and we retained formations and drills, to paraphrase Sam Steele's words, as since they were good enough for Sheridan and Stuart, they were good enough for us.)

As a grossly superannuated gunner, I would like to see a wider discussion of the use of indirect fire in support of your cavalry squadron in a variety of different scenarios. Perhaps some of my more current compatriats can add to the debate.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on June 23, 2005, 12:57:20
Overall, the key difference between a Cavalry team and a Combat team is the ability to go in against "dug in" enemies. I read somewhere the CF is looking into an engineer vehicle which has similar mobility to a LAV (including 100 Kph road march speed), a high speed "front end loader" would give the team some more options in clearing road blocks and reducing fortifications. The LAV section carrier for the Engineer troop might also substitute a demolition "cannon" or mortar for the 25mm chain gun.

Since enemy forces will have figured out the ISTAR suite, we can be fairly certain they will be in improvised fortifications, where the "concealment" will probably double as "cover"; holes in the ground, caves, inside buildings, etc.

Increasing the size of the sub sub units inside the Combat/Cavalry team might make sense in some circumstances, but this comes at the cost of greater span of command, larger logistics tail, more difficult to deploy, more difficult to conceal and so on. I would limit myself to a six tube mortar troop, and a larger and more sophisticated CP det which integrates contact reports, Coyote, Recce, TUAV and FOO/MFC inputs into a common database for the team leaders to use (Imagine a map display which also starts showing icons for identified/suspected contacts and positions). The contact that C/S I12a is prosecuting becomes visable to the LAV-TOW lurking 2700m away, who can take the shot and destroy the enemy bunker, while the mortars  use the information developing from the contacts to lay the suppressing barrage or a smoke screen to blind enemy depth positions. (I would like to see all vehicle and weapons sights which have laser rangefinders also have a laser designator mode.)

2Bravo's scenarios represent the ideals we would like when deploying with a medium/wheeled formation, my mantra is a little bit different. The Canadian Mounted Rifles had the ability to "sieze and hold ground", and I feel the Combat Team of Tomorrow must be able to do that as well, within the limitations of our equipment.

Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Zipper on June 23, 2005, 13:56:03
2B -  :salute: Nice! I'd buy you a beer if it were possable. ;D

I agree that the 6 car trp may be then the best way to go. Although looking at an eight may be something for future. As well I agree with Majoor and Sweat about being able to fight and hold ground. Since we have been discussing the idea of Cav and Light Infantry for the CAF, does this mean we should also look at maybe a Mech (LAV APC mounted) Infantry as well to follow along behind the Cav? Would making three different Branches (if you will) make sense?

I'm not so sure. But the ideal of being able to "fight" and hold is invaluable.

As well. Would it be worth it to look at something that Majoor has brought up on other threads (and I love the idea of)? That being looking at other vehicles such as the CV90's?

Thanks
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Tango2Bravo on June 23, 2005, 14:40:25
My envisioned Cavalry Team can indeed take and hold ground, but hopefully it is seizing unoccupied ground and then holding it against the enemy if required (which is how a successful screen or guard should go).   I've put the infantry, mortars and AT systems in there to achieve that, while its integral CSS will allow it to sustain itself.   Once in position, this force will be hard to dislodge.   In a meeting engagement it could go in against an hastily prepared/occupied position, but this would entail a significant amount of risk.

Going back to Buford, he didn't seize the vital ground at Gettysburg by going in and driving the Confederates off it.   Instead, he got there first and held terrain forward to protect the vital ground (Confederate Cavalry was absent). The Confederate infantry was forced to attack the now dismounted Union cavalry.   The cavalry had high firepower potential and held long enough for the Union infantry to occupy the vital ground.   This is the kind of action that I see our mounted forces as being capable of doing.

If the enemy has got there first and is dug-in with intentions to stay then the LAV team should not be the first choice to dig them out.   Closing with and destroying the enemy is all well and good, but why attempt it with our LAV team if there are other forces better suited?

As for the guns, I certainly want some form of indirect fire support down at sub-unit level.   This team may often find itselt outside the range of higher level artillery, so a self-contained package would be ideal.   The 12 pdrs were a big part of the cavalry team in 1900, and the proposed AT Tp and Mortar Tp perhaps fulfill a similar role.

Cheers,

2B

p.s. Zipper, 

It could be our normal LAV mounted infantry combined with armoured Coyotes or a new branch that has both skills resident.  In that case there would Infantry and Cavalry.  Cavalry would have all mounted troops, while Infantry would be the Light Force.  It can work either way.  A LAV Company could follow the Cavalry Team, but it really wouldn't add any capabilities not already present in the mixed Sqn (which, to review, has 2 x Coyote Tps and 2 x LAV Pls as its proposed core).

As for platforms, the CV90 family would work very well.  I would still call it "Cavalry" with a CV90120T in the AT Tp.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Zipper on June 24, 2005, 03:22:29
It could be our normal LAV mounted infantry combined with armoured Coyotes or a new branch that has both skills resident.   In that case there would Infantry and Cavalry.   Cavalry would have all mounted troops, while Infantry would be the Light Force.   It can work either way.   A LAV Company could follow the Cavalry Team, but it really wouldn't add any capabilities not already present in the mixed Sqn (which, to review, has 2 x Coyote Tps and 2 x LAV Pls as its proposed core).

As for platforms, the CV90 family would work very well.   I would still call it "Cavalry" with a CV90120T in the AT Tp.

I think for simplicities sake, that you stay with an Infantry Branch that is made into "Light infantry" forces, and turn the Armoured branch into Cavalry which entails a LAV type vehicle (coyote or LAV III) with crew (3-4) and dismounts (either 2 in coyote or 6-7 in LAV III). I think the idea of also trying to have mech infantry in LAV's as well would confuse things far to much (which branch do they belong too?) and would require far to many vehicles of the same type which we cannot afford at present.

So I would guess that if we went back to the original question for the thread that we would not have anything truly deemed as a "combat" team, as we would have nothing heavy enough to actually carry out a sustained assault. And that (in my opinion) we should scrap the idea of mechanized infantry and transform the vehicles and other personal into that of Cavalry since we do not (once again) have the heavy forces to support a mechanized unit.

If we ever did get the resources and will to purchase CV-90's (I can dream can't I? ;)), we could look at either making them into a heavier Cavalry force with the 120's as the AT support, or once again going back to a more "mechanized" model with the CV9030(5)'s as the mech infantry carriers and the 120's in squadrons as the armoured support.

Either way 2B, I think your ideas are far better as opposed to the way things are going now. Have you managed to submit them to the journals yet?

Oh, and why are you refering to the LAV's as platoons? Either go one way or the other (troop or platoon).
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: redleafjumper on June 24, 2005, 03:56:34
I may be taking things away from the excellent tactical discussion that is underway here, but I thought perhaps it might be useful to insert some strategic aspects.

In "Defeat into Victory" Field Marshall Slim reports that more vehicles in his order of battle actually slowed down his combat troops - the logistical tail required to support the fighting troops grows tremendously when there are more vehicles and when the tactical and logistical situations precluded use of vehicles, his troops actually moved faster and more aggressively in the Burma Campaign.  He relied heavily on aircraft as an important vehicle, that is for transport of reinforcements, supply and tactical support.  Of course, the air resources presented logistical problems of their own.  They needed forward bases, repairs and lots of service support.  He was writing in the early sixties and had some time to reflect on the campaign.  He felt that there were many lessons from Burma that could well be applied to modern conflicts (Vietnam was likely in his mind at the time of writing, as well as the various fights of the fifties).  He did make use of the obsolete armour that he was equipped with for close in support of infantry against entrenched positions, but in the end it was always the poor bloody infantry that went in with small arms and bayonet to take and hold the ground.

In my view, the proper thing to do is to determine what the general purpose of the army is to be before deciding what it will be equipped with and how it should be structured.  I tend to agree with Slim (and others who have posted previously) that generalist light infantry formations trained in small unit tactics are a good way to go for many applications.  As I have said in other places, what this country really needs to do is to develop a defence policy, and then determine what the armed forces needs to look like to carry out that defence policy.  That's the key question: who are we likely to be engaged in war with, and what are our needs to meet that threat, or threats given the current and projected international situations?  And, overarching all of that is the old problem of what such a military would cost and will the public support the expense.

Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Zipper on June 24, 2005, 10:18:52
Agreed with you for the most part there redleaf.

One of the things that has come up in our discussions is the fact that we would like to see our Infantry units move towards a "light" focus as opposed to the mechanized versions they are now. They seem to be heading in that direction anyway. We are looking at other ways of doing things for the rest of the Army since the lose of the Leopard for the Armoured and the M105's for the Horse Artillery.We are also trying to find ways for the military to be viable in a wide set of circumstances as opposed to the direction of Ad hoc'ery patrol units that it seems to be taking recently.

As for who we are likely to be at war with in the future? Unless you have a crystal ball sitting around somewhere, then quite honestly no one can answer that question. And if you try, then you are making the same mistakes Canadian governments have made over the years in which there have been no immediate threats (to us) present and thus slashed the military to the bone. Germany wasn't thought of as a threat in the 20's and early 30's till it was to late. Threats that we need to think about are more then 10 years out, since it takes at least that long to respond as far as logistics is concerned. Planning ahead is not a government strong suite.

And if you think terrorism is a threat? Then you will know that a military solution is not going to solve that problem regardless of what is handed you in the media.

2B - I hate to do this. But I spent quite a bit of time thinking of your set up for the Cav last night. I know, shouldn't have had that chicken leg before bed. ;D

I still have a few problems that need to be worked out.

First. I'm still not comfortable with the fact that you are keeping all your coyote and LAV assets in two distinct sub units (Trp or Plt). If you are thinking of a more mechanized infantry focus, then maybe it makes sense. But from an armoured perspective it doesn't. Usually an armoured trp works along its own designated pathway within the line of advance/withdrawl so as to not get mixed up with its other sqn mates (yes, you do get some crossover).

So I asked myself why would you want all your coyotes in one path and your LAV's in another? You would then have many dismounted infantry in one line of advance, and few in another. The only way to solve this is to only have 2 corridors of advance per sqn for the LAV's and the coyotes as support (or vice versa). This would make a fairly narrow front.

As well, why would you need 6 coyotes in a trp (if you use the 6 car trp)? With only 2-3 dismounts per vehicle, this would limit your support quite a bit if that trp was caught out of position. Not to mention the coyote is NOT a very good recce vehicle and a reasonable surveillance vehicle at best. Thus it would be fine for a withdrawl or static position (harbour), but lousy on a fast moving advance/screen.

So I propose you look at changing your trp layout to something like 4 LAVIII's (w 6-7 dismounts) and 2 coyotes (2-3 dismounts) per trp. This would give you your required recce/surveillance per trp, not cut down your trp firepower much, and not leave your coyotes hanging in the wind if they are out of position, as well as give you a broader front per sqn. This would cut down your Infantry per trp, but would give you more overall per sqn (16 LAVIII's instead of 12).

(one thing that would need to happen would be the change of the coyote chassis to that of the LAV III instead of the LAV II it has now for CSS purposes)

Also with the lack of the coyote as far as recce is concerned, you still need recce (mud recce that is) assets within either your sqn or regiment. So either your going to have to add a 6 vehicle trp to your sqn, or an 8-10 vehicle trp to the regiment, or both. What vehicle that is I don't know. As the coyote as I said is not great, nor is the Gwagon a perfect alternative (although better then the coyote). I don't know if the LAVIII chassis in a recce variant is of any use as I have never experienced one. Either way you need better recce for your proposed unit.

And if you are following a mech battalion model, it would be nice to add a LAV AMB per trp as well on top of the SHQ ones.

Thanks

Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Tango2Bravo on June 24, 2005, 11:40:58
Zipper,

"Mixed" Troops are certainly an option and could be formed for certain types of terrain and tasks.  I've kept them seperate to keep the Sqn Team flexible.  I see a "hunter/killer" concept for the Team.  The Recce Tps are the "hunters", while the LAV Pls, AT Tp and Mortars are the "killers." 

In a screen/guard setting, the Coyotes would be spread out in a screen watching the avenues of approach/NAIs.  They detect enemy recon and other elements.  The LAV Pl/Tp along with the AT elements would be held back.  They would be "vectored" by the Coyote OPs against advancing enemy elements.  The AT sections would employ long range fires, while the LAV Platoons would move into ambush positions.  The "killers" would be supported by the Mortar Tp, along with any other fire support available.  Spreading out the recce while keeping the combat power tight would be my underlying principle.  The LAV Pls would also be centralized so that they can react en masse to support a threatened OP.

In an advance setting, where the Cav Team is performing a zone reconnaissance, again the Coyote would lead spread out with the LAVs/AT Tp and Mortars trailing.  Coyotes find enemy OPs/security positions, while the killers folllowing destroy them.  Prepared position, however, would be left for follow-on forces.  The Sqn could cover two axis in compartmentalized terrain, with a Recce Tp and LAV Pl on each.  Mixing it up into four Troop Teams would let us cover more axis, but each force would be relativley weaker.  This could be decided based on the situation.  The Sapper Tp would normally be centralized, although the option would exist to push sections out with Tps if required.

The issue of the Coyote as a recce vehicle is indeed a contentious one.  I do see the Coyote as a recce vehicle.  Having two scouts in the back of each will augment that capability as well.

There are many different ways to organize.  My main point is the role.  A Cavalry role is within the capabilities of our equipment and is also a meaningful one.

Cheers,

Iain
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Zipper on June 24, 2005, 13:46:49
Ok. I see now. It almost like your taking your Cavalry idea not so much from the European idea of cavalry as hunters/screens with the ability to hit home in a heavy sense, but from the more Asian/Mongol sense of light rovers that pick at the edges and exploit weaknesses. Your not operating so much on a front idea, but more as a skirmisher.

It could work well if the enemy wanted to play the maneuver game. But then we'd need to call in the heavies if they decided to turn and fight it out.

Its very difficult to wrap my head around the fact that we're moving everything to "light" types of forces. As with the examples of the Boer war, we are going to have to look at almost every case of light units throughtout history. Mongol's, Skirmishers/light cavalry of the Napoleonic and Crimean wars, Boer's, even possibly the Native Indians of the SW US. All fast moving forces that could take and hold ground until the bigger boys got there, and could get out fast if necessary.

Jeez I hope we don't get caught with out pants down with this.

Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Tango2Bravo on June 24, 2005, 15:45:17
In a conventional warfighting context I see this force operating in conjunction with Coalition heavy forces.  It would provide security for coalition heavy forces and it could do more than find the enemy and warn the heavy forces about incoming threats to the flanks.  It can destroy enemy recce and impose a delay on heavier forces to allow the main body time and space to react.  While it does not fight the main battle, it sets the conditions for the success of the main battle.

By way of convuluted historical analogy, we would be the allied light cavalry and light infantry contingents that made up part of Alexander's army.  We aren't the heavy cavalry or pikemen who fight the main battle but the ones who make sure that the main effort succeeds.

Against all opponents, but especially heavy ones or those dug in, this team will only seek battle when it is advantageous.  In some situations we could withdraw our recce to entice the enemy into an ambush.  If the enemy is dug-in, however, then the follow-on heavy coalition forces will deal with them.  Our role will be to prevent the heavies getting suprised and having to fight at a disadvantage.

One worst case scenario could be in a stability operation where "warlords" with access to conventional forces try to topple a government that we are supporting.  Our Cavalry team may well be the heaviest forces around.  It could certainly defend well enough, perhaps to buy time for other forces to arrive (even if it is only the USAF).  Again, the integral infantry, fire support, recce and AT assets plus CSS and command give this force the ability to hit an attacking conventional force fairly hard.

Cheers,

2B
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: George Wallace on June 24, 2005, 21:37:15
It could be our normal LAV mounted infantry combined with armoured Coyotes or a new branch that has both skills resident.   In that case there would Infantry and Cavalry.   Cavalry would have all mounted troops, while Infantry would be the Light Force.   It can work either way.   A LAV Company could follow the Cavalry Team, but it really wouldn't add any capabilities not already present in the mixed Sqn (which, to review, has 2 x Coyote Tps and 2 x LAV Pls as its proposed core).

As for platforms, the CV90 family would work very well.   I would still call it "Cavalry" with a CV90120T in the AT Tp.

You may have hit on something here.  A new type of unit.  We would have 'dedicated' Armour, Recce, Infantry, Arty, and Engineer Units and Cbt Teams, but also bring into play a new unit that borrows from them all to form a Cav org.  It may be a way of doing away with some of the animosity that seems to be building in the West with the PPCLI AT Teams being posted into the Strats along with ADATS Gunners.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Zipper on June 25, 2005, 02:15:59
Actually what may be better is getting rid of the dedicated armour, recce, infantry, arty and engineers and going towards a more total combined arms with aspects of all of them within either light Infantry units or Cavalry units.

The idea of Armour died pretty much with the loss of the Leopard and no replacement any time in the foreseeable future, and having complete coyote (recce) units doesn't make any sense either as they will be chopped up into ad hoc units to fill in spaces in combat teams (??) and other operational units anyway. And I know you agree George about how useful the coyote is as far as recce is concerned. Same goes with the arty and engineers.

Adding yet another branch called Cavalry would actually confuse matters worse.

As for the DFS idea that the Strats are being forced into is yet another non-starter that has been discussed around here ad nauseum. Make the PPCLI, RCR and Van doos into light Infantry and the Strats, RCD, and RBC into Cavalry period. All with arty, engineers, and other support directly attached.

There is no need anymore for separate engineer or arty units as we have dropped the whole idea of us ever forming anything larger then a BG. Brigades and divisions with support elements are for those countries that have money and resources, not to mention political will.

Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on June 25, 2005, 19:48:13
I finally worked it out (no more decaf for me!):

A Cavalry unit (Cavalry Team/Regiment/Brigade) is designed to operate above the ISTAR threshold: where ISTAR and surveillance assets can be employed to their best advantage. This includes the various tasks 2Bravo has identified, and can include some limited urban ops (acting as a mobile cordon or firebase in the more open areas, along major MSRs etc.)

The Combat Team operates below the ISTAR threshold, where ISTAR and surveilance assets have limited utility, and the enemy has the opportunity to engage at close quarters either by accident or design. The Combat team needs sufficient firepower and mobility assets (i.e. Engineers) to allow it to function against an elusive and close quarter foe, and sufficient Infantry to carry out dismounted ops (including patrols) to find and fix the enemy. The Cavalry Team still needs to be "all arms", but various proportions can change (fewer Infantry, more surveillance equipment, more long range DF) compared to the Combat Team. In a LAV context, the Combat team would resemble the SBCT Infantry Coy, while the Cavalry team would more closely approximate the Marine LAR Coy (substituting a Coyote surveillance troop for one of the Infantry Platoons, for example).
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Infanteer on June 26, 2005, 04:48:28
I kinda came to that conclusion as well - I liked to use Krulak's notions of "The Son of Iraq" and the "Step-Child of Chechnya" to describe above and below; both are forms of Complex Warfighting and both will be where we are fighting in the future.

The "Son of Iraq" should require a Cavalry Battlegroup which consists of all-arms Cav Squadrons (perhaps with a Light Coy attachment) - I would think that they would roughly resemble a Stryker Coy (in that they are combined-arms sub-units).

The "Step-Child" of Chechnya will probably require a Light Battlegroup which consists of all-arms Light Companies, something akin to the Light Force Coy Group mentioned in the Light Forces Working Group papers:

- 1 x Light Infantry Company: 145 (3 Rifle Platoons, Weapons Platoon, HQ)
- 1 x Mortar Group: 24 (two 4 man FOO parties and a 20 man Mortar Group with 3-4 81mm mortars)
- 1 x Engineering Section: 8
- 1 x Recce Section: 12 (8 Scouts (preferably with Pathfinder Sect Cmr and 2ic) and two 2 man sniper teams)
- 1 x DFS section: 8 (two four man teams with LUVW equipped with .50 cal, 40mm AGL, and a short range anti-armour and anti-aircraft missiles)
- 1 x Medic Det: 4

This Light Battlegroup can have a Cav Squadron attached to give it some "umph".  As well, if our Cav Troops were organized somewhat along the Aussie lines, they could be used to transport Light Coy Groups in a pinch.

The Light Coy Group and the Cav Squadron will be the sub-unit, modular organizations that everybody is talking about.  They should have the ability to act independently for certain tasks.  These modular sub-units should be capable of being plugged into a Task Force, Battalion/Brigade, or Amphibious or Air Mobile ready units.

Who's going to copyright the theory?  :blotto:
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Tango2Bravo on June 26, 2005, 10:46:38
I'd venture that all "manouevre" units will operate under the ISTAR threshold to some degree, although I think that you are certainly right that "combat teams" would operate at closer range against unseen enemies.  Units/teams intended for stand-up fights, particularily assaults, would have more combat power than those intended to find the enemy. Thats why I want the close combat forces to have tanks (protection).  The ability of the M1 to take a hit without the crew getting killed was, to me, one of the big factors in both coalition GW conventional victories.  I suppose that getting hit certainly means that you are under the ISTAR threshold!

Light infantry can indeed bring along quite a bit of firepower, but an infantry force attacking in urban terrain will be at a disadvantage if it does not have heavy armour with it.  Its not just about the firepower, its about the ability to manoeuvre under fire which other firepower systems do not have.  I'd add a platoon of M1s or similar tanks to a light infantry battalion intending to duke it out in a city.

A mixed Cav Sqn Team (Recce and LAV Tps/Pls) as laid out on the last page would be a flexible force capable of a wide range of tactical roles across the spectrum.  To review:

  a.  2 x Coyote Tps
  b.  2 x LAV Pls
  c.  AT Tp (MGS, LAV TOW, Leopard C2 take your pick  ;))
  d.  Mortar Tp
  e.  Sapper Tp
  f.  CSS (armoured ambs, MRTs and supply vehs with the SSM in a LAV III)
  g. SHQ (quite large and all arms)   

Again, I'd like to avoid capbadges and beret colour for a moment and focus on capability.  The mixed Cav Sqn Team could patrol an urban AOO as well as rural ones due to its mixture of Coyotes and LAVs (with the infantry in the back capable of dismounted patrolling/operations).  As configured above it can conduct everything from classic peacekeeping to stability operations to conventional warfighting.  Just don't throw them away against prepared positions.

Looking South, I'd argue that the SBCTs should adopt a Cavalry role.

Cheers,

Iain
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Infanteer on June 26, 2005, 12:18:41
I'd venture that all "manouevre" units will operate under the ISTAR threshold to some degree, although I think that you are certainly right that "combat teams" would operate at closer range against unseen enemies.

Although I think that, in the tactical sense, you are 100% correct, I think the "above/below" notion still is valid at the operational level.  Take Iraq as an example.  The fight against Saddam's regime was definitely "above the ISTAR threshold" - we basically knew where the bad guys were and who they were (CNN had an Iraqi TO&E), it was a matter of going in and getting them.  This would have been an area where the Cav could shine (just as the Marine LAR's did quite well).  Now, with places like Fallujah, Ramadi, and Najaf we are operating completely "below the threshold" in an operational sense.  In both cases, the Tactical threshold is constantly shifting.

As for organization, I'm in general agreement.   As I mentioned above, it may be worth exploring a single Troop instead of two separate capabilities.   What you propose is having "Scout Troops" and "Dragoon Troops" for the Cav (I've seen a paper in Armour magazine that goes along the same lines).   This may be better off for a proposal to allow Army to move to a Cav idea, however in the long run perhaps "Cav Troops" should be the goal.   Looking at an Aussie "Cav" unit, you would have a Patrol of 3 LAV's which have 3 LAV's - one LAV (or perhaps 2) will have a 4 man dismount team while the others will have surveillance equipment, extra weapons, and Mission essential stuff.   4 Patrols make up a Troop, and 3 Troops (along with the DFS/Mortar/Pioneers/HQ) make up the Cavalry Squadron Group.

I know it is pushing the argument down a bit, and my paper is only going to focus down to the Coy/Sqdn level, but I think this is a "Cav" topic (mixed vs separate Troops) that can be worthy of its own thread.

Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Tango2Bravo on June 26, 2005, 13:10:17
If we get the new OCS for the Coyote we could put 2 scouts in each Coyote, which will make the Recce Tp more capable.  The LAV Platoons are there to give the Cav Sqn Team some combat power and increase its abilities in complex terrain.  I see three main Courses of Action for the Cav:

  a.  Recce Sqns and LAV Infantry Companies under one HQ

  b.  Cav Sqns with Recce Tps and LAV Pls

  c.  Cav Tps with a mix of Coyote and LAV in each Tp

I think that all three are viable.  The first option is the easiet to implement within the limits of Army politics.  The second is my preferred COA, as it gives to ability to task organize while retaining some concentration/specialization.  The third looks interesting, but it could result in having to constantly break up Tps when you need to concentrate something.  Again, with the possibility of the smaller Coyote OCS we could put scouts in each Coyote, making the Recce Tps a little more capable in complex terrain.  One reason that the US use Bradleys for recce is that each has two scouts in the back.  The veh stops short of ridges/defiles and the scouts do the peeking. 

I like the LAV Pls being concentrated so that they can win the types of engagemetns they will need to fight as part of the overall Cav battle.  Destroying an OP, a section sized security position, clearing a defile, ambushing an enemy Recce Patrol (mounted or dismounted) are the kinds of work I see the LAV Platoons doing.  For this I'd like to see them concentrated at Platoon level at a minimum.  The dismounted sneeking and peeking would be performed by the scouts in the back of the Coyotes.  An exeption would be urban stability operations (of varying intensities).  For these, the LAV sections could well be independent patrol entities on their own, although a Platoon would be needed as our QRF.  A Cav Sqn would make a nice little package for a place like Kabul (if it is not also charged with securing a large camp).

The nuts and bolts of the Cav structure could be its own thread.  I am waging my underground Cav campaign on this thread, however, as to me our new "combat team" is really a Cav team.  What is important to me is the acceptance of a role that we can perform with our equipment. 

Cheers,

Iain
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Zipper on June 27, 2005, 03:48:20
I think I agree with 2B here, that we should not go so far as the Aussies have gone with their Cav idea. Yes it is a great example that should be closely watched and some ideas implemented here. But their structure is based on the fact that they also have the heavy forces in-house to support them. Yes, we may be acting under a coalition (mores the pity), but that is not assured all the time.

I also don't think the above or below ISTAR is a great way of thinking either, as you can be above and still be facing a far heavier foe them we are prepared to meet.

Again, I'd like to avoid capbadges and beret colour for a moment and focus on capability.  

I guess I always wish to go here because I would like to avoid and make clear the fact that this new structure should not be some ad hoc, throw together, please everyone type of deal that we always seem to try for. The Infantry are the Infantry and should be made light and concentrate on what their best at. Hoofing it and killing things. And since the Armour as been left out to dry with no real purpose anymore (and don't tell me DFS is some kind of purpose), that they are the perfect ones to re-invent themselves along with the Arty boys (who have also taken one up the ***) in this particular idea.

Sad but true...

Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Zipper on June 28, 2005, 03:02:35
If we get the new OCS for the Coyote we could put 2 scouts in each Coyote, which will make the Recce Tp more capable.   The LAV Platoons are there to give the Cav Sqn Team some combat power and increase its abilities in complex terrain.   I see three main Courses of Action for the Cav:

   a.   Recce Sqns and LAV Infantry Companies under one HQ

   b.   Cav Sqns with Recce Tps and LAV Pls

   c.   Cav Tps with a mix of Coyote and LAV in each Tp

I think that all three are viable.   The first option is the easiest to implement within the limits of Army politics.   The second is my preferred COA, as it gives to ability to task organize while retaining some concentration/specialization.   The third looks interesting, but it could result in having to constantly break up Tps when you need to concentrate something.   Again, with the possibility of the smaller Coyote OCS we could put scouts in each Coyote, making the Recce Tps a little more capable in complex terrain.   One reason that the US use Bradleys for recce is that each has two scouts in the back.   The veh stops short of ridges/defiles and the scouts do the peeking.  

To make further note on this 2B. I think I was pushing choice C because I see the other two options as a status quo type of organization or ad hoc if you will. You and others here have convinced me that going to an all arms type of unit (army) is the right way to go for us at this point. But the first two choices are just the throwing together of units of mech infantry from one of the existing infantry Coy's, and that of a coyote trp from an armoured regiment. So in other words, more of the same ad hoc silliness that has been going on far to long. If your going to go all arms then go all the way, or go home.

This would mean that there are no such things as "attachments". Engineers, Arty, Medics, etc. would be A PART of the unit and not just added to here and there as needed. Far from me to ever say that the Americans do anything right ( ;)), but maybe their on the right path (as are the Royal Marines) when it comes to this.

So in other words. If your in the PPCLI (light infantry), then your an Infantryman that is also perhaps trained as a medic, or an engineer, or a mortar operator, or a driver, or a pocket 105mm gunner, etc...

If your in the RCD (Cav), then your a Cavalryman that may be trained as a dismounted infantryman, or a recce scout, or a gunner, or a TOW operator, or a signaler, or an engineer (sapper), etc...

But you base training is that of an infantryman in both cases (at least QL2).

Thanks

Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Tango2Bravo on June 29, 2005, 15:55:01
Ideally, I'd like for the various Troops and Platoons in this team to be together for a training year and have a couple of exercises before hitting TMST and deployment.  To me, they can come from different units as long as they train together in the field.

I think that the first "Cav" organization would probably be a Recce Sqn and a LAV Company under one HQ.  Put in some engineers, some mortars, a DFS Tp and CSS and go that way.  This isn't all that different from what we do, but the stated role would be.  Train for a year, go to Wainwright for TMST and away you go. 

Stepping back, I'd be interested in an Army with two manouevre branches: Infantry and Cavalry.  Infantry would look like Light Infantry and Cavalry would be the Coyote/LAV III folks (including the dismounts).  That being said, I'm somewhat pragmatic. 

Iain
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Zipper on June 30, 2005, 01:51:12
Stepping back, I'd be interested in an Army with two manoeuvre branches: Infantry and Cavalry.   Infantry would look like Light Infantry and Cavalry would be the Coyote/LAV III folks (including the dismounts).   That being said, I'm somewhat pragmatic.

Lol. So you convince me, then tell me it is hardly realistic? Argh! ;D

Aw well. Maybe one day the internal politics will give way to reason? Or should I say HA again?

 :salute:
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Mountie on March 15, 2013, 15:33:49
In an attempt to revive and old topic, how about larger but fewer companies?

The Force Employment element seems to be the rifle company group.  The current three rifle companies can be reformed into two larger companies.  These two rifle companies, each of four platoons, would be ideal for COIN/Peace Support missions.  A company group could control and AO with a FOB.  The company could send two platoon out on operations, while a third platoon can form the QRF back on the FOB and the 4th platoon provide FOB security.  The FOB security platoon can refit and rest half its strength in shifts.  The QRF can rest while being on stand-by.  The platoons can then rotate through the various roles.

By combining the three companies into two, the battalion strength is only reduced by a single platoon.  The PYs saved from the elimination of the 9th platoon, the 3rd company HQ and the weapons det from each of the eight remaining platoons could be used to form a small mortar platoon and anti-armour platoon.

Battalion Headquarters

2 x Mechanized Rifle Company
- Company HQ
- 4 x Infantry Platoon

Combat Support Company
- Company HQ
- Signal Platoon
- Recce Platoon
- Mortar Platoon (4 x 81mm mortars)
- Anti-Armour Platoon (4 x LAV-TUA)


The infantry platoons can also be slightly re-organized to better utilize PYs. 
Platoon HQ (LAV-III)
Weapons Section (LAV-III)
2 x Rifle Section (2 x LAV-III)

The weapons detachment would be eliminated and the 3rd rifle section would be converted to a  weapons section. 
Section Commander (SGT)
Section 2i/c / LAV Crew Cdr (MCPL)
2 x GPMG Teams (4 x CPL/PTE)
2 x Designated Rifleman (2 x CPL/PTE) *rides in the Platoon HQ LAV-III to allow room for Platoon Warrant and attached medic to ride in Weapons Section LAV-III.

I'm not suggesting its the best option in the world, but its an option that doesn't require additional PYs and it brings back mortars and TUAs, even though at a reduced number.   The 3 RCR Battle Group used this two-company organization when it formed TF 3-08 BG in Afghanistan.  The 1 R22eR/3 RCR Battle Group also used this organization when they deployed to Bosnia in 1992.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: ArmyRick on March 15, 2013, 17:01:54
Bringing back mortars or TUA is a fantasy at best at this point.

Just remember a larger company may allow more flexibility in terms of fire power, ground occupied and depth (in all ops) BUT it comes at the price of heavier sustainment (more vehicle for POL, more mouths means more IMPs, more guns means larger ammo loads to push) and it makes it a little more difficult in terms of control (its easier to direct 3 moving parts rather than four). However I do see some points to your argument.

Personally, no matter what way you cook up ORBATs, they all have advantages and disadvantages.   
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: PPCLI Guy on March 15, 2013, 18:40:35
The trouble with two sub-units vice three is that you have very limited tactical flexibility - the solution to almost every problem becomes a column of coys.  Three provides substantially more flexibility, and four is optimal.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on March 16, 2013, 02:48:29
From a historical point of view, "Square" units of 4 were reformed to "Triangular" units of 3 because you usually had too much held back ("2 up"  in a square unit leaves 50% of the force out of the fight, while only 1/3 is held back in a triangular unit).

We would be much better off focusing on building full strength companies that are capable of doing the job rather than feeding understrength units into the fight (or pillaging multiple units just to get a single battlegroup on the ground).
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: PPCLI Guy on March 16, 2013, 02:58:13
From a historical point of view, "Square" units of 4 were reformed to "Triangular" units of 3 because you usually had too much held back ("2 up"  in a square unit leaves 50% of the force out of the fight, while only 1/3 is held back in a triangular unit).

We would be much better off focusing on building full strength companies that are capable of doing the job rather than feeding understrength units into the fight (or pillaging multiple units just to get a single battlegroup on the ground).

Agreed, but what has changed is that we are now operating in non-contiguous battle spaces, where there is no "up" or "forward" to place the two.  Once you add in a requirement for force protection, the triangular units are less useful.  Another way to look at it is by functional elements: 1) firebase / block / fix, 2 ) assault / force de frappe, 3) reserve.  If you want more than one sub-unit on the assault, then you have to steal from somewhere to get your reserve - and still have not solved your force protection issues for your own LOCs and critical C2 / log nodes.  Add in a fourth functional element of FP, and you are at square formations with a useful reserve and a strong assault force as well as the ability to maintain your freedom of action within a non-contiguous battlespace.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Mountie on March 16, 2013, 13:25:04
Another option would be two battalions of three large companies per brigade.  Instead of eliminating the third company in each battalion, the third battalion could be eliminated from each CMBG and its platoons added to the six rifle companies in the remaining two battalions.  This would leave three platoons, three rifle company HQ's, a combat support company HQ, a recce/sniper platoon and a battalion headquarters to be disbanded and the PYs used to created 2 mortar platoons and 2 anti-armour platoons in the remaining two battalions. 

A CMBG with 2 infantry battalions may be better anyway.  The artillery regiments only have 2 gun batteries now, the CER's only have the manpower to fully man 2 field squadrons at best.  So maybe eliminating the third infantry battalion and its supporting arms in order to fully man the remaining two would be a better option.  The managed readiness cycle would still work with 6 infantry battalions instead of 3.  Each brigade would have a year of reset, training and high-readiness/deployment with each of the two battalion groups being deployed or at high-readiness for 6 months of the year each.  The non-deploying units wouldn't be robbed of their manpower because each battalion group would be fully manned and able to deploy as a cohesive unit.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: PPCLI Guy on March 16, 2013, 15:56:41
A CMBG with 2 infantry battalions may be better anyway. 

Not if you intend to fight it - see my post above.  In the most recent series of CAX in 1 CMBG fought against a near-peer enemy, they deliberately organised as a 2 x BG org (2 Lav 1 Tk, and 2 Tk 1 LAV), with a Bde Recce Sqn and a LAV based FP Coy.  The HQ was forced to create a third C2 node in almost every case, usually based on a square cbt tm.  Even then, tactics frequently looked like a massed column of BGs.  There was little flexibility other than a rapid grouping and re-grouping of sub-units to maintain pressure on the enemy
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Infanteer on March 17, 2013, 13:14:00
Not if you intend to fight it - see my post above.  In the most recent series of CAX in 1 CMBG fought against a near-peer enemy, they deliberately organised as a 2 x BG org (2 Lav 1 Tk, and 2 Tk 1 LAV), with a Bde Recce Sqn and a LAV based FP Coy.  The HQ was forced to create a third C2 node in almost every case, usually based on a square cbt tm.  Even then, tactics frequently looked like a massed column of BGs.  There was little flexibility other than a rapid grouping and re-grouping of sub-units to maintain pressure on the enemy

In the Commonwealth tradition, the move away from the square was driven by casualties on the western front - triangular brigades were adopted to keep divisions up to strength by merging the fourth bn into the ailing three.  Of note, neither Canada nor Australia ever adopted this format in the First World War.

Binary formations were utilized in the Second World War, some to great success - US Army Armd Divs with CCA and CCB (yes, there was a CCR, but it was generally empty) and German Panzer formations which generally formed kampfgruppen around the Panzer and Panzergrenadier Regimental HQs - and some to great failure (the Italian Divisions).

The real crux of this is how much can a commander control in battle?  Jim Storr discussed a UK DERA study looking at Divisional activity in WWII, showing that at no time did any of the measured Divisions have all nine battalions employed at the same time.  Of the 81 days the measured divisions spent in combat, 43 featured only 3 battalions employed.  Thus over half the time divisions employed only 1/3 of their strength to defeat the enemy.  Looking further at this data, divisions only employed a majority of their forces 1/3 of the time.  He also looks at some work Dupuy did, looking at 200 engagements from the Second World War and concluding that the practical span of command for commanders is actually quite low - 1.7 subordinates committed on average to combat.  This suggests that, historically, Division commanders have put forth at most 8 companies during a majority of their actions.  Additional data from Suez and the Gulf 1 and 2 further support this view.

The "so what" out of this is that bigger formations are unwieldy, despite the notions of "combat power" we like to ascribe to them. Combat power is nice, but only if the organization is one that can be properly utilized by a human commander.  The Brigade is a system optimized to put 2-4 maneuver sub-units in the first echelon.

Going up a level to the unit, the Armoured Regiment of a CMBG should act as that third maneuver unit for the Bde.  We unfortunately see Armoured Regiments as force generators, probably as we have not had to conduct mobile warfare for about 70 years.  If we were to square battalions and armoured regiments, a CMBG of 1 Armd and 2 Inf units would give the Bde Comd the ability to create up to four square combat teams at any one time, with two COs to run that fight and a third in his hip pocket.  This fits very well with the research quoted above.

Another way to look at it is by functional elements: 1) firebase / block / fix, 2 ) assault / force de frappe, 3) reserve.  If you want more than one sub-unit on the assault, then you have to steal from somewhere to get your reserve - and still have not solved your force protection issues for your own LOCs and critical C2 / log nodes.  Add in a fourth functional element of FP, and you are at square formations with a useful reserve and a strong assault force as well as the ability to maintain your freedom of action within a non-contiguous battlespace.

The core functions we should always look back to are Find-Fix-Strike-Exploit.  However, the elements executing these funtions do not have to be the same size - a Brigade does not need 1 Unit finding, 1 fixing, 1 striking and 1 to exploit.  Reserves/Counter-attack elements are generally better if they are smaller as they are more nimble and can react faster to a situation on the battlefield (i.e. it is easier to get a company moving down the road than it is a battalion).
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: SeaKingTacco on March 17, 2013, 13:26:40
Good post, Infanteer.

Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: MCG on March 17, 2013, 14:41:17
Where a UK division of the Second World War typically only employed a fraction of its strength at any point in time, did the extra depth give it more stamina?  At a certain point, a brigade culminates but I would expect that the div level HQ and assets should still have the ability to keep going.  Having only 1/3 typically committed might reflect a good work to maintenance ratio for the div to continuously slog on wothout breaking any of the constituent brigades.

Is it a model of inefficiency where divisions had under utilized capacity, or is it a model of efficiency where fewer div HQs were able to employ the same number of brigades up to the peak tempo of the parts?

If it is a model of inefficiency, then small divisions sound like the way to go.  Otherwise, div size becomes more a variable of how one intends to fight.  "Shock troops" (Marines, Airborne, WWI Canadians) would be in small divisions that are either fully committed or not; otherwise divisions would be larger with enough depth to rotate brigades through proper work/maintenance cycles while keeping the HQ at full capacity.

… this is probably how our CMBGs should function for the traditional one BG mission under a Canadian-lead formation.  The HQ along with elements of Arty, Engr, CS and CSS deploy for a year during which time two seperate BGs from the CMBG take a six month term filling as one of the formation's manoeuvre units (with allies providing the others).
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Old Sweat on March 17, 2013, 14:59:51
It seems to me that the practice of only using one brigade at a time was also based on the doctrine of concentrating all the available artillery on one task at a time. Certainly the one brigade at a time principle also seems to have been used by the Canadians in Normandy once the initial phase was over.  Thus a division may well attack with no more than four companies up, although there were exceptions such as Phase One of Totalize.

I know we discussed this in some detail at Staff College and it was taught as a good thing. Also this was remarked upon, and not with a great deal of favour, by some German generals in their interrogations after capture.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Infanteer on March 17, 2013, 23:26:26
Where a UK division of the Second World War typically only employed a fraction of its strength at any point in time, did the extra depth give it more stamina?  At a certain point, a brigade culminates but I would expect that the div level HQ and assets should still have the ability to keep going.  Having only 1/3 typically committed might reflect a good work to maintenance ratio for the div to continuously slog on wothout breaking any of the constituent brigades.

Is it a model of inefficiency where divisions had under utilized capacity, or is it a model of efficiency where fewer div HQs were able to employ the same number of brigades up to the peak tempo of the parts?

If it is a model of inefficiency, then small divisions sound like the way to go.  Otherwise, div size becomes more a variable of how one intends to fight.  "Shock troops" (Marines, Airborne, WWI Canadians) would be in small divisions that are either fully committed or not; otherwise divisions would be larger with enough depth to rotate brigades through proper work/maintenance cycles while keeping the HQ at full capacity.

… this is probably how our CMBGs should function for the traditional one BG mission under a Canadian-lead formation.  The HQ along with elements of Arty, Engr, CS and CSS deploy for a year during which time two seperate BGs from the CMBG take a six month term filling as one of the formation's manoeuvre units (with allies providing the others).

Old Sweat stole a march on me with regards to tactics of the Second World War.  Commonwealth doctrine was to attack on a narrow front to mass the 72 guns of the Division.  The Germans often cited this as a reason for bloody victory or failure; they were able to mass their defensive fires on the narrow frontage.  IIRC, Simmonds specifically tried to avoid this problem in TOTALIZE.

McG, I think you are right on both parts.  The research I referenced above was comparing formation growth over the last few decades.  Both Brigades and Divisions now are BIG - we all remember the 4 CMBG model at the Staff College weighing in at 8,000 pers.  Compare this to a Brigade in 1944 that weighed in at just under 3,000.

The studies of command suggested that units shed additional structures to command effectively and also operate efficiently.  Having a second echelon to be able to sequence operations is good.  But today, when formations are 1.5 to 2 times what was effectively fought before, there may be good reason for more numerous, smaller formations.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Old Sweat on March 18, 2013, 08:55:54
Adopting the brigade group vice the brigade within a division in the late-50s had the effect of increasing the size and complexity of the command. At the same time we added an armoured regiment with a reconnaissance squadron to the brigade group, so there were 12 infantry/motorized and eventually mechanized companies and three tank squadrons for maneuver. In the mid-sixties the 4 CIBG war establishment was 6087, a bit more than half of which was taken up by the three battalions and the armoured regiment and reconnaissance squadron. Another 1250-1300 was made up of the artillery regiment, 1 SSM Bty and 4 Fd Sqn RCE. So, what was left, about a quarter of the brigade group, was command and tail. Note also that the brigade group operated within a British division of two infantry brigades.

I am not competent to discuss the pros and cons of the current war establishment, but let me add that 4 CIBG circa 1965 is as far removed from today's formations, as it is in the other direction from the brigade's that fought in the trenches of France and Flanders. Still, it seems to me that it is likely that much of growth of the brigade group by a third (see Infanteer's comment re the model he studied) has not been at the sharp end.

What does that mean for the combat team of tomorrow? Not a lot, except that we seem to have let everybody and her brother put a dog in the fight, or at least add a dog to watch the fight and bark advice from the sidelines.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: WanderingRoyal on May 01, 2013, 15:29:32
Old Sweat hit it right on the head. The size and complexity of conventional infantry forces are changing. There is an interesting commentary in the latest JOMO by the comamnder of 1 UK Div in Iraq 1991 where he noted that his division had a SWW corps' worth of firepower. With the "upgrading" of unit and formation supporting arms, we are increasingly seeing a Bn asked to do a Bde's work, and so on down the line. This means two things:

1 - You need an increasing amount of C2 to use everything effectively; and,

2 - You are bound to have fewer forces doing more stuff, leading to a severe weakness in sustaining casualties.

The problem with point  1 is that it is unlikely that everything will be used to its full capacity. The commander will be too concerned with managing his part on the ground to have time to make a solid plan for the increasing number of enablers. You can only expand a Bn staff so much before Bn HQ becomes cumbersome and isn't able to do what a Bn HQ is expected to do - to be up-front and mobile. The result is bloated Bn staffs and anemic CT C2. Having observed the 2 RCR OBG experiment and the massive, cumbersome "field" headquarters that went along with it, it seems to me that at that level the BG is really a small Bde and should act like it. We should also stop kidding ourselves to think that we'll end up with a Bde frontage of 2 BG's. In reality, we'll have a Bde Gp acting like a Div used to with siginficant lattitude given to both BGs. Infantry Bns will increasingly act as force generators above all else.

Well, this is the way it's going. But that presents further problems.

How do you sustain casualties? We're having the leathality of weapons increase while the number of soliders availiable decreases. One MLRS strike could theoretically render not just a Bn combat ineffective, but through the sheer number of casualties, the entire Bde.

I have one idea on how to address this. MTF.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Mountie on May 02, 2013, 02:30:41
I was reading an article from a few years ago.  Its titled "A New Look at the Infantry Company".  It deals with the US Army infantry company in the 21st Century Support and Stabilization Operations (SOSO) and Counter-Insurgency Operations (COIN).  The theme of the article is about increasing the leadership within the company to support the fact that in today's world the infantry company is often operating as an independent combat group with several enablers attached or available to it (artillery, engineers, recce, mortars, CIMIC, PSYOP, intelligence, military police, military working dogs, etc., etc.).  Company and platoon commanders need to be able to control all these enablers as well as conduct community relations with local villagers, etc.
 
"Today, we are asking platoon leaders to do what company commanders did at one time and we are not giving them the resources to accomplish the mission. We are asking company commanders to do what battalion staffs do and they do not have a staff. The work that these leaders are doing now is outstanding. We see their resourcefulness daily at being thrown into new complex situations and continuing to make things happen. The young squad leader who has to go into town and deal with the local people must still know how to fight his squad. . .

(One must remember that US Army command ranks are currently different than Canadian ranks.  Company commanders are captains, company executive officers are First Lieutenants and platoon commanders are Second Lieutenants.)   

We suggest restructuring of infantry squads, platoons, and companies to provide more seasoned leaders. The platoon of today and tomorrow needs a captain as its commander with a lieutenant as executive officer. The captain has the maturity and experience level to coordinate all of the actions on the battlefield. He has more experience in dealing with nontypical missions of COE and SOSO than a lieutenant still learning to apply basic lessons. That same captain, along with the platoon sergeant and squad leaders, can mentor the young lieutenant. This would also give you a command structure to remain with the support element or vehicles. The lieutenant can then move through the staff sections and return back to the platoon a more experienced leader. Most importantly, experienced leadership is a combat multiplier that would make the platoon capable of greater independence, increased lethality, and overall effectiveness. Put bluntly: teaching green lieutenants would not cost lives, theirs and those of their Soldiers.

Moving on to the next level of command, the company, we recommend that the infantry company commander would become a major's slot. A smaller Army coupled with SOSO considerations in the COE means that company commanders face the same challenges that once went to battalion and brigade commanders. If you have any doubt on this point, review the stream of reports coming back from Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. Those same trends have been validated at the Joint Readiness Training Center since the beginning of the Global War on Terror. The potential benefits to unit effectiveness are in our opinion exponential. A standard company with three platoons has some 8-10 years total officer experience. Increased leadership in that same three platoon company would give the unit more than 25 years of experience in its officers.

"We also believe that such a structure would improve the current progression of an infantry officer....  As stated above, a major commands the company; he has 11-12 years experience. As a lieutenant, he first learned his trade under the wing of the experienced captain who commanded his platoon. After serving as an platoon XO, he went to company staff before returning as a captain to command his own platoon. As a captain with platoon command under his belt, he served on battalion and/or brigade staff. Now a major, he has attended all of the schools that he is suppose to including the career course and Command and General Staff College (CGSC). His executive officer is a senior captain who also is the operations officer for the company. A career course graduate, he has had his platoon command and been successful. All of the platoon leaders are captains who have had time on the staff and possibly have attended some schools. The fire support officer is a first lieutenant and is also the intelligence officer for the company operations. The logistical officer is a 1LT. The weapons platoon XO is a senior 1LT who is school trained in mortars and antitank. The rifle platoon XOs are 2LT or 1LT, learning their trade.

We see the need to do the same for the NCOs and other enlisted Soldiers of the company. The first sergeant we will now call the Battle 1SG. He will be able to be on the battlefield with the unit and go where he is needed to solve problems. Historically, he was the "Beans and Bullet" person. The platoon sergeants should be the Battle PSG again so they can be at the tip of the spear with the platoon commander to assist him better.

There are other sergeants first class within the company that are not maneuver platoon sergeants, but their duties are just as valuable like the operation sergeant and logistical sergeant. Both of them should be battle staff qualified.

As stated above, a major commands the company; he has 11-12 years experience. As a lieutenant, he first learned his trade under the wing of the experienced captain who commanded his platoon. After serving as an platoon XO, he went to company staff before returning as a captain to command his own platoon. As a captain with platoon command under his belt, he served on battalion and/or brigade staff. Now a major, he has attended all of the schools that he is suppose to including the career course and Command and General Staff College (CGSC). His executive officer is a senior captain who also is the operations officer for the company. A career course graduate, he has had his platoon command and been successful. All of the platoon leaders are captains who have had time on the staff and possibly have attended some schools. The fire support officer is a first lieutenant and is also the intelligence officer for the company operations. The logistical officer is a 1LT. The weapons platoon XO is a senior 1LT who is school trained in mortars and antitank. The rifle platoon XOs are 2LT or 1LT, learning their trade.

We think that bringing the leaders up both commissioned and noncommissioned officer in this manner we have provided them with the tools for success. Being successful is not only winning the battles, but keeping our great Soldiers alive. We have purposely not gone through each unit by type and have not addressed equipment issues. We understand there would be some variations due to units make up and missions. We are sure we have not arrived at the 100-percent solution, but we have provided another look at an Army that is in the process of change for the future. We know people do not like change; however, change is the only way to survive. "


Canadian companies are already commanded by Majors with a senior Captain as 2i/c.  Platoon commanders are often junior Captains.  So we are already very much in line with the proposal.  The only significant change would be the role of the CSM and Platoon Warrant and the addition of a Platoon 2i/c.  And possibly the addition of both an Ops and Log Officer at the Company HQ (the article suggests it but isn't completely clear).


Company Commander - MAJ
Company 2i/c - Senior CAPT (completed staff college)
Company Sergeant Major - MWO
Operations Warrant - WO
Company Quartermaster - WO
Possibly an Operations Officer and a Logistics/Administration Officer - Junior CAPT or LT.

Platoon Commander - Junior CAPT (has not completed staff college)
Platoon 2i/c - LT (new position)
Platoon Warrant - WO
Possibly a additional SGT to assist the Platoon 2i/c with administration.


I guess the question for discussions sake is whether the added officers and change in CSM and Platoon Warrant roles would benefit the operations of the company and be worth the extra PYs and associated costs of almost doubling the number of officers.

This is just for discussions sake.  I'm already ducking and taking cover from those that will fire with the "why change it" argument.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: George Wallace on May 02, 2013, 08:10:30
Very Civil Servicie.  More officer positions.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: FusMR on May 02, 2013, 08:14:32
Quote
Posté par: Mountie
« le: Aujourd'hui à 02:30:41 »
Canadian companies are already commanded by Majors with a senior Captain as 2i/c.  Platoon commanders are often junior Captains.  So we are already very much in line with the proposal.  The only significant change would be the role of the CSM and Platoon Warrant and the addition of a Platoon 2i/c.  And possibly the addition of both an Ops and Log Officer at the Company HQ (the article suggests it but isn't completely clear).


Company Commander - MAJ
Company 2i/c - Senior CAPT (completed staff college)
Company Sergeant Major - MWO
Operations Warrant - WO
Company Quartermaster - WO
Possibly an Operations Officer and a Logistics/Administration Officer - Junior CAPT or LT.

Platoon Commander - Junior CAPT (has not completed staff college)
Platoon 2i/c - LT (new position)
Platoon Warrant - WO
Possibly a additional SGT to assist the Platoon 2i/c with administration.


The system we have his good.   We dont need more officer in platoon level.  One his enought.  Our officer are form differently and even more so our NCO and WO.  We have a lot more dedpt in a cdn coy that a US one.  For them, to come to our level would be a big leep foword, not the opposite.   :2c:
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Mountie on May 02, 2013, 11:51:02
Very Civil Servicie.  More officer positions.

Why is it "very civil service" to add a platoon 2i/c?  We already have the operations officer at company level and armoured squadrons have (or used to have) an administration officer.  So the only addition is the platoon 2i/c.  Artillery gun troops have two officers at troop level.  So I don't think its a huge leap to the civil service.  Its just about giving the platoon a seasoned leader while giving the new LT a mentor to learn from.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: George Wallace on May 02, 2013, 11:57:45
Why is it "very civil service" to add a platoon 2i/c?  We already have the operations officer at company level and armoured squadrons have (or used to have) an administration officer.  So the only addition is the platoon 2i/c.  Artillery gun troops have two officers at troop level.  So I don't think its a huge leap to the civil service.  Its just about giving the platoon a seasoned leader while giving the new LT a mentor to learn from.

Umm!  The platoon already has a 2i/c.  The Platoon WO/Sgt fills that spot.  (S)He also provides some continuity and corporate knowledge that an officer parachuted in annually does not.

Armoured Sqn? Admin O?  Where?  We had a OC, 2i/c, Battle Capt and Troop Ldrs.  SSM (MWO) ran the A1 Ech.  SQ (WO) ran the QM.  ET (WO) ran Maint.  There was no Admin O.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: WanderingRoyal on May 02, 2013, 20:28:22
It is a fundamentally good idea to have a young Lt alone in his platoon, relying on his Senior NCOs in his epic battle with the Coy 2IC and in the epic struggle to keep the OC happy. It ensures that the first command experience is one throughly rooted in a shared experience with NCOs and troops. It keeps officers honest, at least for the first few years.

In a perfect world, I would expand the size of a platoon, allowing for the vehicles to be permanently manned, or, in a very bad case, be used as reinforcement. I would equip every Bn with heavier vehicles - something more close to BMP-3 with a robust anti-armour capability. Bring back the mortars and a fire support platoon. Ensure that recce assets are airmobile. This would make an mech infantry coy essentially independent.


Hold the tanks at the bde level, with a single squadron attached to a Bn. Throw them with the main effort. Use the tanks as the hammer they were designed to be.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on May 03, 2013, 00:13:02
We are grappling with a similar issue in the IA world, hammering out the shape and size of the IA company. Like modern Infantry Companies (although by design), the IA company meshes a multitude of disparate elements together to achieve its effect. This leads to a rather "inverted pyramid" structure with a large number of officers and Snr NCO's as planers and analysts processing information from a relatively small number of tactical teams on the ground. I'll see how this works first hand "real soon now".....

While IA may not be the best model, it is a good lead in to where I think this is going; a modern Infantry Company has a large number of "enablers" attached, and as noted upthread the care and feeding of enablers, and processing their input, takes a lot of time and resources from the COY HQ in order to sync and exploit all these goodies. For the Infantry, I suggest the model might be more along the lines of the old Combat Support Company, where Coy HQ was almost an administrative entity to the independent platoons (Anti-Armour, Mortar, Pioneer and Recce) rather than the integral command and control element. Since enablers are not independent entities that flow from the company to support other people, but rather flowing into the company to support them, the IA model might be worth looking at (so there would be a company level "**CC" construct to handle enablers coming in and distributed operations of platoons and elements going out).

Artillery batteries and Engineer squadrons operate in a similar fashion, maybe they have something to offer WRT organization and dispersed operations. I also like the Armoured model with an integral admin troop with each squadron, having a "admin platoon" as part of each company would be very useful for mobile and dispersed operations as well.

This is a bit of a nebulous idea right now, hence the lack of specifics.

For WanderingRoyal:

While a heavyweight IFV might be a good idea under some circumstances, I think going too far down that road ties us in knots (the debates over the CCV would seem to indicate this already). On the other hand, this *could* lead to an entirely different organizational model, since the vehicle would essentially be the support platform. Taking the argument to the extreme, a Merkava 1 can carry a section in the back with the ammunition racks dismounted, the section commander then has a 105,, cannon, .50HMG, 3 X 7.62mm machine guns, 8 X smoke grenade dischargers and a 60mm mortar at his personal disposal. Add a plow to the front and you pretty much give each section many of the attributes of the pioneer, anti armour and mortar platoons.

Indeed, this would be closing into the logical end point of unit evolution, regiments in the past had such sub units as integral artillery, but as weapons systems have become more powerful and smaller, the capabilities migrated downwards and became integral to battalions, then companies and then platoons (an Infantry platoon with Javelin or Spike ATGMs is far more dangerous than a 1930 era Regiment with its own anti-tank artillery battery)

My own sense of this debate is the organization and shape of the future unit should be more or less independent of vehicles and equipment (obviously some adjustments would be made to accommodate vehicle crew sizes or the number of people needed to operate crew served weapons), so what works in a LAV battalion would also work with BV-206 or dismounted Infantry as well.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: PPCLI Guy on May 03, 2013, 00:22:14
We are grappling with a similar issue in the IA world, hammering out the shape and size of the IA company.

Sigh.  Just because we FG IA dets (and we don't - we FG barely trained junior pers in an undefined and badly executed role) does NOT mean that they need to aggregate into a company (and a Bn and, even worse, an IA TF), with all of the C2 nodes etc.  Just create dets, and let them be employed.  Constructs need to be driven by FE, not FG.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Mountie on May 03, 2013, 01:28:24
Armoured Sqn? Admin O?  Where?  We had a OC, 2i/c, Battle Capt and Troop Ldrs.  SSM (MWO) ran the A1 Ech.  SQ (WO) ran the QM.  ET (WO) ran Maint.  There was no Admin O.

Ground Manoeuvre Reconnaissance B-GL-394-002-FP-001  (Chapter 4 - Armoured Reconnaissance Squadron - Appendix 4A-7) & The Reconnaissance Squadron in Battle B-GL-305-002/FT-001 both include an Administrative Officer and describe the role as:

"Administrative Officer (AO). The AO commands the A2 Echelon and assists the 2IC with squadron administration. The AO provides additional staff support to SHQ and is employed as a duty officer." 

Infantry Recce Platoons are organized with a CAPT Platoon Commander, LT Platoon 2i/c and a Platoon Warrant.  So its not exactly a foreign concept.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: George Wallace on May 03, 2013, 02:03:24
Ground Manoeuvre Reconnaissance B-GL-394-002-FP-001  (Chapter 4 - Armoured Reconnaissance Squadron - Appendix 4A-7) & The Reconnaissance Squadron in Battle B-GL-305-002/FT-001 both include an Administrative Officer and describe the role as:

"Administrative Officer (AO). The AO commands the A2 Echelon and assists the 2IC with squadron administration. The AO provides additional staff support to SHQ and is employed as a duty officer." 


The 2i/c runs the A2 Ech.  If you want to call him an AO, I am sure you can, but I doubt he would answer.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Infanteer on May 03, 2013, 02:15:22
The 2i/c runs the A2 Ech.  If you want to call him an AO, I am sure you can, but I doubt he would answer.

It's a separate position, if you read Mountie's post (or the attached doctrine).  There are AOs in both Squadrons and Companies now, although Squadrons seem to have enshrined them in doctrine (they are officers without profile in the Rifle Coys).
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: GnyHwy on May 03, 2013, 09:18:39
Contrary to intuition, and AO is likely only needed during operations.  An artillery bty during operations had an AO as well.  Someone to absorb the monotonous paperwork that the BK (Bty 2ic) was responsible for.  In doctrine the BK was also responsible for overall gunline defence on operations.  Since then we have seen our btys dispersed into 2 or 3 troops, recent years on operations have seen the BK position pretty much disappear as the Bty 2ic was the FSCC O and worked in the TOC for the BG Ops staff.

Hypothetically, if we grouped the guns in six in Afghan there wouldn't have been a traditional BK to do local defence, as he was the FSSC O working in the TOC. But, if the gun troops would have been grouped that would make 6 Lt/Capts (jnr) on the gunline and a pretty easy decision would have been made as to who was the IC of the gunline.

In garrison now, I doubt they have a dedicated AO as the Tp Comds don't have local defence to worry about and handle their own Tp's admin.
 
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on June 15, 2013, 15:00:54
In the Commonwealth tradition, the move away from the square was driven by casualties on the western front - triangular brigades were adopted to keep divisions up to strength by merging the fourth bn into the ailing three.  Of note, neither Canada nor Australia ever adopted this format in the First World War.

Binary formations were utilized in the Second World War, some to great success - US Army Armd Divs with CCA and CCB (yes, there was a CCR, but it was generally empty) and German Panzer formations which generally formed kampfgruppen around the Panzer and Panzergrenadier Regimental HQs - and some to great failure (the Italian Divisions).

The real crux of this is how much can a commander control in battle?  Jim Storr discussed a UK DERA study looking at Divisional activity in WWII, showing that at no time did any of the measured Divisions have all nine battalions employed at the same time.  Of the 81 days the measured divisions spent in combat, 43 featured only 3 battalions employed.  Thus over half the time divisions employed only 1/3 of their strength to defeat the enemy.  Looking further at this data, divisions only employed a majority of their forces 1/3 of the time.  He also looks at some work Dupuy did, looking at 200 engagements from the Second World War and concluding that the practical span of command for commanders is actually quite low - 1.7 subordinates committed on average to combat.  This suggests that, historically, Division commanders have put forth at most 8 companies during a majority of their actions.  Additional data from Suez and the Gulf 1 and 2 further support this view.

The "so what" out of this is that bigger formations are unwieldy, despite the notions of "combat power" we like to ascribe to them. Combat power is nice, but only if the organization is one that can be properly utilized by a human commander.  The Brigade is a system optimized to put 2-4 maneuver sub-units in the first echelon.

Going up a level to the unit, the Armoured Regiment of a CMBG should act as that third maneuver unit for the Bde.  We unfortunately see Armoured Regiments as force generators, probably as we have not had to conduct mobile warfare for about 70 years.  If we were to square battalions and armoured regiments, a CMBG of 1 Armd and 2 Inf units would give the Bde Comd the ability to create up to four square combat teams at any one time, with two COs to run that fight and a third in his hip pocket.  This fits very well with the research quoted above.

The core functions we should always look back to are Find-Fix-Strike-Exploit.  However, the elements executing these funtions do not have to be the same size - a Brigade does not need 1 Unit finding, 1 fixing, 1 striking and 1 to exploit.  Reserves/Counter-attack elements are generally better if they are smaller as they are more nimble and can react faster to a situation on the battlefield (i.e. it is easier to get a company moving down the road than it is a battalion).

Re reading this I was reminded of how our Soviet counterparts organized. A Motor Rifle Regiment was composed of three Motor Rifle Battalions and an Independent Tank Battalion, as well as an integral Artillery Battalion.

In the offense, they could go one, two or three up (depending on the terrain and tactical situation) and use the tank battalion to push through the breech and exploit. Similarly in the defense, the commander could create two or three "fire sacks" with the MRB's and keep the tanks back as the countermove force.

While this does not translate directly to our system (a MRB had integral tank companies, for example), this does speak to issues of span of command and how forces are organized for tasks. Perhaps we need to think farther outside the box in how we organize our limited forces to conduct various tasks.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Mountie on June 19, 2013, 00:59:12
Back to the 2 vs 3 vs 4 companies topic....I was re-reading "3 Commando".  Its the story of a Royal Marine Commando Group in Afghanistan.  Several years ago the Royal Marines introduced a new organization called Commando 21.  Each of the three commandos (40, 42 & 45 Commando) was organized with:

Command Company (Main HQ, Tac HQ, Signal Troop, Recce/Sniper Troop, Mortar Troop, Anti-Tank Troop, Medium Machine Gun Troop & Assault Engineer Troop)
Logistics Company (2 x A Echelons, B Echelon (QM) Troop, Forward Repair Troop & Regimental Aid Post)
2 x Close Combat Company (3 x Close Combat Troop)
2 x Stand Off Company (Close Combat Troop, Anti-Tank Troop & Heavy Machine Gun Troop)

However, they deployed to Afghanistan with a modified organization:

Command Company (as above)
Logistics Company (as above)
4 x Combined Arms Company (2 x Close Combat Troop & Fire Support Group) - FSG having both Anti-Tank and HMG sections


So the discussion question is....if you had 9 infantry platoons + 1 recce platoon per battalion, how would you organize them?

Option #1: status quo with 3 companies of 3 platoons & no assault pioneer platoon
Option #2: 2 companies of 4 platoons + 9th platoon converted to an assault pioneer platoon;
Option #3: 4 companies of 2 platoons + 9th platoon converted to an assault pioneer platoon;
Option #4: 3 companies of 4 platoons + assault pioneer platoon but only 2 infantry battalions per brigade; (3 infantry & 1 recce platoon left over)
Option #5: 4 companies of 4 platoons & no assault pioneer platoon but only 2 infantry battalions per brigade (would require 4 additional platoons - PY's would have to be found from cutting elsewhere)
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Ostrozac on June 19, 2013, 01:24:10
I have to admit, I like the idea of having a fourth platoon in each company to be used as a heavy weapons platoon. Put the SF kits where they belong -- in pairs. My knowledge is highly dated, but I always thought that the Carl G and Light Role C6 were well employed in the platoon weapons det, but that the C6 SF Kit, 60mm and the ERYX were really hard to fit into a platoon battle. And if you decide to transition to COIN and settle into a nice Company FOB -- weapons platoon guards the firebase, all the rifle platoons patrol.

I don't know where the C-16 grenade launcher and it's ammo fit into the infantry battalion, if there isn't a weapons platoon in each company. It really seems too large and heavy to be a rifle platoon weapon.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: KevinB on June 19, 2013, 12:27:50
How about
BN with 3 rifle companies - a Cbt Spt Coy with Mortars, Recce/Snipers, Pioneers, Anti-Armor and a Machine Gun/GMG Pl.

you know from like 20 years ago ;)
 (well adding the C-16 to the HMG Platoon would be new). 

Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Chris Pook on June 19, 2013, 14:51:40
How about
BN with 3 rifle companies - a Cbt Spt Coy with Mortars, Recce/Snipers, Pioneers, Anti-Armor and a Machine Gun/GMG Pl.

you know from like 20 years ago ;)
 (well adding the C-16 to the HMG Platoon would be new).

You radical, outside the box thinker, you!   ;D
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: KevinB on June 19, 2013, 15:50:09
I think there may have been a reason for that...

I guess we had 4 companies for a while back then - but the 4th mainly got fleshed out when the MG Pl died.

Ideally it would be 4 Coy with the robust Cbt Spt Coy, but I would sacrifice a Rifle Coy for Cbt Spt coy.

 Of course back then we also had a M/Cpl as a PL WO
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Chris Pook on June 19, 2013, 17:34:00
I think there may have been a reason for that...

I guess we had 4 companies for a while back then - but the 4th mainly got fleshed out when the MG Pl died.

Ideally it would be 4 Coy with the robust Cbt Spt Coy, but I would sacrifice a Rifle Coy for Cbt Spt coy.

 Of course back then we also had a M/Cpl as a PL WO

But back then, equally, we got this advice on Crew Served weapons and load distribution (309(3) Annex B):

"5. Due to the fact that in every platoon headquarters there are three weapons (medium anti-tank weapon, light mortar and GPMG) and only three men to man them the platoon commander must decide which weapon(s) he wants manned.

6. Within the company the policy may be laid down by the company commander.  For instance he may decide he wants to form a GPMG section so he would order number 1 and 2 platoons to carry the GPMGs while 3 platoon carried the light mortar".

There was nothing preventing the OC from reallocating his available manpower to form a Support Section (or even a Support Platoon) within the body of his company. 

Or even, based on 309(3) 311 reorganizing even more radically with 2, 3 or 4 understrength platoons or two large platoons and a support platoon.

Max Flex was the order of the day.

4 Companies made (and make) sense if the Battalion is independently deployed.  It is less critical if the Battalion is deployed as part of a Brigade or even as part of a Battle Group.

Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on June 19, 2013, 17:35:32
I'm with Kevin here.

The 80's era Mech Infantry battalion structure that we had was pretty flexible, and in a wartime situation, could retain a great deal of its fighting power by feeding replacements into the combat support company (echoing Brutinel's response to the suggestion that the Canadian Machine Gun Corps be stripped of manpower to reinforce rifle companies....)*

Indeed, given funding and PY's, a similar organization would work for a LAV battalion. One caveat would be reorganize the logistics support company to provide Admin platoons for each company in the same manner as Armoured Squadrons have admin troops, to support the ability to move and operate in a dispersed manner. The C-16's would be have to be grouped in a support platoon in the combat support company, given their relative immobility. (pairing them with .50 HMG's would provide a pretty outstanding fire support capability). The only other change I might suggest would be to move Recce Platoon to the HQ Coy.

*of course this proposal is tantamount to loosing firepower of a great many men so as to add men to do the fatigue work. What would you
think of a manufacturer who, being short of hands to clean windows decided to stop his great machines so as to relieve men for that purpose?
The policy of reducing machine guns would not remedy the shortage of men in infantry brigades, but would undoubtedly lower their firepower.
Instead the number of machine guns should be increased proportionately to maintain, if not improve, their firepower.’ 
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Chris Pook on June 19, 2013, 17:54:46
I'm going to go all heretical here and declare that movement, with respect to the infantry, is over-rated.

Take the case of the LAV.

It presents the same size target as a tank and requires as much effort to dig in and conceal as a tank and at the end of the exercise you have an immobile autocannon and a machinegun sited as a single target.

With a bit of sweat, the same crew of the LAV could hump a pair of C16s, and a pair of C6s, dig them in along with as much ammunition as time and the QM will allow, and supply 4 equally effective but better protected targets.

In the defense I would take 8 men dug in to four U-trenches with SKOPs, and 2x C16 with 2x C6 over the single dug in LAV.

While one role of the infantry is "Close with and destroy" classically the infantry has been employed to "Occupy and Hold" as least as often.  Wellington's checkerboard of reverse slope squares at Waterloo comes to mind - predating the Kaiser's pill boxes of 1917 - or the Vietnam Fire Bases.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on June 19, 2013, 18:12:52
Humping a C-6 and the SF kit is one thing, but the C-16 dismounted is even less mobile than a .50 HMG, so I'm not buying that one.

USe of a LAV in the offense and defense is something of an art, my personal experience stops with tracks and AVGP Grizzlies but many of the principles from that time period can still be applied today (an M-113 or AVGP isn't that much smaller than a LAV III, and there was no way the earlier generations of APC's would be able to meet T-55, T-62 or T-64 on anything like an equal basis). Some of these lessons learned were rediscovered in MR 13.

As for movement in general, if you are not able or willing to move, then the enemy gets to set the location and pace of the engagement.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Chris Pook on June 19, 2013, 18:25:59
....

As for movement in general, if you are not able or willing to move, then the enemy gets to set the location and pace of the engagement.

There are many instances where movement is neither possible nor desirable.

Fighting doesn't happen in a vacuum.  It happens with a purpose.  Ground has value.  The enemy may want/need to seize your population centres.  They can't move. You must hold.

Conversely, if you establish yourself across the enemy's LOC, with one move, and then dig in then you force the enemy to come to you.  You make him do all the attacking. 

Holding and defending is a lot more effective than driving around the countryside playing whackamole.  And sometimes it is the only option.

Marlborough's generation was obsessed with maintaining their bodies of troops intact and spent whole campaign seasons manouevring for advantage and never bringing the opposing force to battle.    He broke the mold by forcing battle rather than protecting his force in being.

War is about people.  People exist in places.  Places don't move.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on June 19, 2013, 19:06:31
But you have to choose where and when to move to a particular place (once you determine which place is most important). Mobility is one aspect of warfare which is important at all levels of war (Tactics is "fire and movement" while Operational art is defined by "mass and mobility") and even in operations where you are in the defense, you still need mobility to reinforce, resupply and respond to incursions with countermove and counterattack forces.

Even small changes in mobility have huge consequences: Fredrick the Great won many battles because he drilled his troops at the now customary 120 paces/min; but all other European armies of the time drilled at 60 paces/min. His troops could cross the battlefield twice as fast, change formations twice as fast and fire their weapons twice as fast; the opposition literally had no time to act or react to Prussian troops in the field. Rifle regiments march and drill faster than line regiments for the same reasons.

Operational and strategic mobility counts as well; Charles X of Sweden gave the Russians a very hard time through the simple expedient of marching in winter and thus being able to cross frozen rivers, lakes and marshes. George Washington pulled similar moves on the British, having the advantage of operating during the end of the Little Ice Age.

So, yes, being able to dig in and hold ground is important; being able to move across the ground is what gives you the ability to take control and actively impose your will on the enemy and the population.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Chris Pook on June 19, 2013, 19:10:48
Agreed that mobility is an important component of the exercise.  But so is the ability to stand.

Bruce's Schiltrons.

Edward's Archers behind palisades.

Cromwell's Pikes.

Wellington's square's.

White City.

Not everybody can be Rupert, galloping off into the blue with his Cavaliers in full cry.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: KevinB on June 20, 2013, 10:11:22
If you can use the LAV, the M2 and C16 do not compare to the firepower of the LAV in this aspect, as well as the fire control system is much more useful.  Heck use all that you can in the defense...

In all honesty the role of the Infantry is to seize and hold ground, Close with and Destroy sounds cool, but your most often destroying the enemy just to take the ground their on.  If you don't need the ground they are on, go around and cut them off, make them come to you.

All else being equal - the defensive battle offers so many more advantages. 



I'd burn down all the HQ's above Bde level if I could free more PY's to the BN's.

Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Chris Pook on June 20, 2013, 11:38:38
In practice, I would be inclined to dismount most of my infantry and have them dig in, replicating Wellington's squares, to break up the enemy front and reduce it to  bite sized pieces.  The LAVs and the Tanks form the mobile reserve to strengthen weak areas and eliminate breakthroughs. 

One of the advantages of the old M113s with the pintle mounts was you didn't need the whole vehicle to take advantage of the gun.  Nowadays we take a $100,000 vehicle, mount a $250,000 fire control system on it to control a $5,000 gun firing $1.00 rounds at the enemy.  The TAPV is a glorious case in point.

For the infantry how much effect could you bring to the battle field with a simple Quad and a Half Ton trailer?  How many Autocannons, GMGs, HMGs, GPMGs with SF kits can you carry in the trailer?  Together with FCSs like the Aimpoint FCS12?   Or you could go really upmarket to the man-portable ROWS like the Kongsberg Superlite.

(Or for that matter how many 81mm mortars can you tote behind a Quad in a trailer?)

Obviously ammunition would need additional quads, trailers or trips, or some combination, to create an effective position.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: KevinB on June 20, 2013, 13:10:49
LAV's are already there.

To me the LAV with an Infantry Crew is not a separate fighting vehicle -- it can do over-watch for dismounts - but should NOT be out running around with the TANKS trying to counter attack, as without its dismounts it cannot occupy ground.

Run up positions for Tanks and LAV's are well suited to the defense - and the LAV crew can always embark for a counter attack.

Regarding your M113 comments -- it is FIRE CONTROL systems that have revolutionized warfare -- you can do a lot more with with electro-optics and a weapon, than a weapon itself.  We can control the Night and Engage at Longer Ranges due to these Electro-Optics -- the FCS gives not just increased hit probability, but the ability to engage on the move in all weather and climate conditions (with certain degradations)

Having been a Grizzly Gunner - and then gone thru the LAV CC/Gnr class - the differences in the fire control are exponential.

I would argue the Quad - trailer option is quite viable for Light/ABN/AirMobile Infantry and SOF that it is for the Mech Inf
 

Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: GR66 on June 20, 2013, 14:11:01
There are discussions on the Navy boards about the nature of future warships with some suggesting that we need smaller, cheaper ships with modular weapons systems that can be tailored to specific operational requirements rather than bigger, more expensive all purpose ships.  (Sorry I don't have a link at the moment but will try to find after work).  Perhaps the same argument can be made for land systems as well.  Mobility is obviously important but maybe vehicles should be designed as carriers for modular weapon systems rather than weapon systems in their own right.  You could have a variety of base vehicle types (for situations requiring different levels of protection and mobility) and have plug-in modular weapons systems that can work on any one of them (Autocannon, AT missiles, AA missiles, grenade launcher, etc) and have these modules dismountable so that they can be used in place when the situation demands.

If the platform and the weapon aren't integral to eachother then perhaps it would be cheaper to replace/upgrade each as new technologies come along.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Chris Pook on June 20, 2013, 14:52:19
GR66 - I regret that you will find that I am the same person on the navy boards arguing in favour of a multiple of small platforms rather than one BHS.  FWIW  ;)

Kevin - I am not going to argue too hard about the Mech Inf requirement.  Nor will I argue that the revolution in military affairs doesn't have a lot to do with modern FCS.

I will argue that the role of dismounted infantry on the modern battle field has been, and is still, under-rated.  Also that the FCS revolution equally applies to dismounted weapons.

Bruce's Schiltrons can be replaced with dug in crew served weapons with modern FCS and supplied/relocated with Quads and Trailers supported by 1 ton pickups, goose-neck trailers and Bobcats.

Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: MilEME09 on June 20, 2013, 15:10:05
The plug and play option is viable, however with the battlefield always evolving I could see a integrated RCEME force then needed for the swapping out of those modules on the battle field. This means a vehicles for transporting and a crane to remove and install modules, This would probably be a section sized First line team supplied directly from the Service battalion.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: KevinB on June 20, 2013, 15:51:12
Kirkhill - for the most part utterly agree with you.

My point was that then it is no longer the Mechanized Infantry / Mech Cbt Tm.

I think you know me well enough by now that I would divest the INF of the LAV ASAFP...  The CAV would run the LAV and Inf units would thus need the Quad's or Small Utility Vehicle to move some of the heavier weapons (and sometimes themselves even) around.

CAV would run Armored Recce with LAV's that had Modular Sensor Suites - that if need be could be stipped out quickly to toss GIB's in.


Kevin's Canadian Army Structure would see this:

A primarily light and responsive force, Other than an Army HQ in NDHQ there would be no higher HQ than Brigade, primary pushing supporting entities into the units or the Bde HQ.

1 CDN PARA BN as a LI-SOC unit, (I would chop CSOR into the USSF SF Group model not a Ranger Batt, and send them out to mentor, do UW etc.), the Para's would be a robust BN, 4 Rifle Coy, and 1 Fire Support Coy consisting of two Mortar Pl's, and , 2 DFS/Heavy Weapons Pls (Anti-Armor, Heavy MG and GMG) plus 1 Reconnaissance Company, consisting of a Pathfinder Pl, Sniper Pl, Pioneer Pl, and an ISR Pl, they would operated with DHTC as needed and be the core response for NEO etc.  Would have organic vehicles like GMV Hummers - but the majority of vehicles would be light vehicle like quads, or side by side ATV's, DFS and Mortars would have a Side by Side 4x4 with a weapon station in back.

Regiments would then be compressed to 2 BN's each (LIGHT-Airmobile) in the same structure 4 rifle coy, and a cbt spt coy of a Mortar Pl, DFS, Recce and Pioneers Pl's but with Mobility Vehicle more suited to sling load than Jumping.  Cbt Spt would have BV-206 type vehicles
 RCR, PPCLI, and Vandoo would be identical in TO&E

Armorer Reg't's would be LEO II, and retain a tracked Anti-Armor Pl.

CER - All Light, Each would have a Heavy Troop with a Tracked CCV type vehicle, 2 CER would retain a Jump Troop that could be attached to the Para Bn

Cav Regiments - 1 per Brigade
   LAV- APC x4 Sqn (each Sqn can move a Inf Coy +)
   LAV-Recce Sqn 2x Tp
   Fire Support Sqn w/ 2 Tp of LAV-Mortar (120mm) and 2x Tp LAV-AT


All RW assets (other than SOF Aviation) would be transferred to the Army, Army Aviation Bn's would be part of each of the 3 Bde's
 1 AH Sqn
 3 UH Sqn
 1 CH Sqn

Artillery
   I'm burned out at this point so the guns can carry on  ;)

All Army personnel would be run thru CABC (whatever it is now anyway) after their trade training prior to heading to their first unit. 



Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: GnyHwy on June 20, 2013, 16:27:38
So what I am inferring from your plan is that all armd and inf regts will have their own organic fire support.

I guess the guns will just go on leave and wait for you guys to get tired of blowing yourselves up and knocking helos out of the sky?  ;D

Perhaps it is just semantics, but once you remove the need for attachments, i.e. regiments/bns/coys already having everthing organic, it no longer can be called a team.  This goes against everything that I would define a cbt team as.  Instead of a grouping of experts and specialists, you will have a large group of persons that are "kinda" good at everthing. 
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: KevinB on June 20, 2013, 16:40:07
No I am all for the guns I am just not sure what the best setup for the guns is.

I would want  at min 4 Bty's of M777's for each Regt as well a MLRS Bty, and ISR/ISTAR Bty.

Organic support is great as its organic and cannot be pulled away for a different task - but they are ranged, the Gun's offer a Bde and Div level support package.


Combat team wise - for certain operations the CAV units would embark the Inf and work with the Tankers - for other operations the Team may not be required.

   I was trying to envision a rapidly deployable and modular entity that would work for the current threats that are face.



Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: GR66 on June 21, 2013, 11:33:46
The plug and play option is viable, however with the battlefield always evolving I could see a integrated RCEME force then needed for the swapping out of those modules on the battle field. This means a vehicles for transporting and a crane to remove and install modules, This would probably be a section sized First line team supplied directly from the Service battalion.

That's more complex than I was envisioning.  Certain weapon systems would out of practicality remain integral to the platform.  I don't see a crane lifting a 30mm Autocannon turret module out of a CCV and placing it as a pillbox.  However, a .50 cal, minigun, ATGM, AGL, mortar, etc. could be swapped from a vehicle mount to a tripod to a small wheeled chassis (similar to the old "infantry guns").  Sure there could be more complex swaps such as a sensor suite vs. C3 module vs. ambulance module vs. room for guys in back, etc but you wouldn't need to do those "on the fly" likely.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: MilEME09 on June 21, 2013, 14:33:32
Okay I get where your coming from now, more "light" weapons right? Something like that I could see a C6/M2 mounted side by side with a C16 or ATGM
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on June 21, 2013, 23:35:20
Fully agree with Kevin on the role of fire control. The ability to track and hit targets at long ranges is a huge change; even looking at 80's era articles like the "Emma Gees" or "First Clash" you see the ranges are only a fraction of what is possible today. Add PGMs and top attack munitions to the mix and the battlefield is far deadlier than ever before.   
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: GnyHwy on June 22, 2013, 10:40:54
I know I have mentioned this before, but I will again.  I don't think it matters who is manning the tubes or guns, whether it be artyman, infantry or god help us crewman.  The idea of organic assets i.e. assets that cannot be stripped away is counter productive.  Fires need to be amassed at the right place and right time. 

For a cbt tm/BG to keep its tubes silent for the sake of having them organic, while an adjacent cbt tm/BG is fighting with only its own makes no sense to me.

Before Recceguy tears me a new one, I will explain my dig at the crewman.  I tease the armd because I am guessing that armd wouldn't place much value on the their tubes and they would likely be the redheaded stepchild within the regts, and would probably just deploy them as mobile smoke screen creators.  Which may not be a bad idea, but I would just give them 2 breach loaded mortars/sqn to be fired in low angle under a max ordinate of 500 m.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: KevinB on June 22, 2013, 15:00:08
Gny,

I am a firm believer in range bands.

The Section has a range band
The Pl has a range band
all the way up to the Div and higher.

Giving a Inf Bn back 81mm Mortars does not limit the Arty -- its not empire building, it is capability enhancement -- they can be used for support -- as well as remember we have more often than not deployed Inf units without Arty -- this at least allows a unit organic fire support.
  There is only 1 Arty Regt per Bde -- thus if we have multiple worldwide operations - the guns will not be able to go somewhere.

Ideally I want the guns crushing the enemy depth, and their guns if they have any, Inf can use its organic support to support limited operations ---



Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on June 22, 2013, 22:45:14
While the idea of range bands makes fire control relatively simple, I think we are moving beyond that concept.

Consider the Javelin or Gill/Spike ATGM. Both systems are man portable (in theory, every section could be issued one), and each can allow the platoon to engage targets out to 3000m away. Tanks can fire through tube missiles like LAHAT with a range of 13 kilometres. The Korean K2 also fires top attack rounds from the main gun. The Cockerill CT-CV turret can drop in to a LAV-III carrying a 105mm cannon with a 420 maximum elevation and a 10 km indirect range.

And modern sight systems provide a huge increase in effective range for traditional weapons like the Carl-G, or .50 HMG.

How to manage these capabilities and integrate the various weapons effects in an offensive or defensive operation is a question that needs to be addresed.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Chris Pook on June 23, 2013, 00:16:36
While the idea of range bands makes fire control relatively simple, I think we are moving beyond that concept.

Consider the Javelin or Gill/Spike ATGM. Both systems are man portable (in theory, every section could be issued one), and each can allow the platoon to engage targets out to 3000m away. Tanks can fire through tube missiles like LAHAT with a range of 13 kilometres. The Korean K2 also fires top attack rounds from the main gun. The Cockerill CT-CV turret can drop in to a LAV-III carrying a 105mm cannon with a 420 maximum elevation and a 10 km indirect range.

And modern sight systems provide a huge increase in effective range for traditional weapons like the Carl-G, or .50 HMG.

How to manage these capabilities and integrate the various weapons effects in an offensive or defensive operation is a question that needs to be addresed.


In keeping with your earlier comment about the more lethal battlefield, does not this argue in support of smaller independent tactical groups?  It takes fewer people to defend a locality and the localities can be more distributed.  Together with 30 km Excaliburs and 70 km GMRLS and more unmanned sensors, fewer people can dominate a much larger area, or at least observe the ground and channel enemy forces over a larger area.   

That makes the mobile forces more effective in counter-strike.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on June 23, 2013, 02:11:23
I think it changes a lot, but in manners which are not clear to me.

Enhanced firepower will make attack and defense more difficult, while also enabling widely dispersed operations (mutual support from platoons or companies that are physically out of contact but can still share sensor data and are in range of each other's weapons).

Advanced sensors will make camouflage and cover far more important when static, while protected mobility will be very important for moving into position, doing the countermove or taking the offensive.

Smaller individual sub and sub-sub units may be the way to minimize casualties, but we may actually need more soldiers to ensure we can operate in this environment (a four rifle company battalion to have a company for rear area security or the countermove force, for example, or to have a "LOOB" pool for reconstituting battle casualties).

Some related thoughts here (http://www.army.forces.gc.ca/caj/documents/vol_05/iss_3/CAJ_vol5.3_15_e.pdf)
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: GnyHwy on June 23, 2013, 11:47:54
Kevin,

I think we agree on the end state than an Inf Bn/Coy Comd should have mortars in support whenever he needs them.  I also think we agree that they should be held at the bn. 

Where we differ is the means of accomplishing this.  You are stating that they should be permanently part of the bn i.e. organic, and I am saying they should be attached to the bn.  For me the deciding factor is the level of skill you will get with either option.  I will get to the organic part next paragraph.  I do not believe that an inf bn can train itself in indirect fire adequately enough to meet today's demands in precision and accuracy (danger close and collateral damage), and due processes (clearance of fires and ROE).  And even if they could, is adequate enough?

Now that I've got the old guy's blood boiling, I'll explain why the word organic doesn't change a thing.  Forget about the cap badge for a minute and let's just call them organic mortarman i.e. a mortar platoon (8 tubes) that will not should not leave the bn, ever.  Heck, let's beef it up to 16 tubes.  We can even beef it up to 24 tubes if we want and the result won't change much.  For that sake of this argument we will use 16 tubes, a robust and liberal amount of tubes. 

With the way we are conducting adaptive dispersed operations, 16 tubes only covers a tiny fraction of the AO, and that's even if there placed individually.  If the Bn Comd groups his mortars as a plt or coy, then they will spend there entire time driving all over hell's half acre to potentially be in position to meet the threat.  And when and if they do meet the threat, someone else that is not their priority will inevitably be going without.  The other option is to spread them out as best as possible, thus having a small amount of fires in more places (still not everywhere though).  This is not a good option as you are just diluting yourself to a point of very little effect.

Here is another quick scenario.  2 BGs adjacent to each other.  If one of the BGs is the Bde's main effort, do you think the secondary Bn Comd will offer his mortars up to the main effort?  You bet he will, leaving his own Bn without. This is no different than what an arty mortar bty would be doing; right place right time. 

In the end I think it comes to some sort of guarantee for the Bn Comd.  I am with you in the sense that the bn should have the mortars when they need them, but I am trying to bring the reality that it is impossible to bring effective fire everywhere all the time.  You need the persons that specialize in the tactics, techniques and logistics to pull it off with the best effect.  I just see it as putting the best persons for the job, on the job.   

Thucy,

I read the article and can't help but be cynical.  The writer states that we have to make some reasonable assumptions.  I guess that depends on your perspective of reasonable I guess.  The first bad assumption is that a section with a bag of tricks can somehow take care of itself, just because it has a diverse weapons package.  Another bad assumption that he makes is that several sections driving around in swarms each with a truckload of $80 000 missiles is somehow going to eliminate the need for many layers of C2.  But, the worst assumption he makes is that we should change our force structure and tactics to accommodate a weapon system that may or may not give us the effect that we need. 


 
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: SeaKingTacco on June 23, 2013, 13:40:29
Gny- not too sure that I am following your argument.  Are you making the case for a Bde Mortar Coy?
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: GnyHwy on June 23, 2013, 13:54:56
No, I am not, but that could be an option if the threat warranted it.  The debate boils down to who should man the mortars at the bn/BG level, even cbt tm. 

My main argument is that the mortars should come from the arty, where as others believe that mortars should be organic to the bn.  I think the word organic is a misconception and despite who mans them, the mortars will and SHOULD be moved around to meet the main effort, thus always leaving someone without fire support.  Having the arty organize this, with the Comd's intent as the priority, is the best way to meet the main effort with the most effect.

 
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Chris Pook on June 23, 2013, 13:59:32
With Respect Gunny - but how do you think we got to the structure before the current one (I am honestly not sure what the current one is, or if we have one)?

The structure before the current one (integral mors, pnrs, anti-tank, recce, snipers, logistics, transport, etc) were all based on accomodating the technology of the day, including comms and logistics, to the needs of the battlefield of the day.

The Canadian Army fought three campaigns of note:  the static one of WW1 with lousy comms;  a more mobile one in WW2, of short duration;  a repeat of WW1 in Korea with better comms.

Capabilities were held internally because once the balloon went up nobody could hear a thing, and just drove forward, or held on, until they couldn't any longer.  Every battalion, coy and platoon was fighting its own personal little war.   The guns were the play things of the Brigadiers and Higher.  As was the Air Force.  The more internal capabilities held at the lowest level then the longer the entity could fight and influence the battlefield.

I see Bruce's Schiltrons, Wellington's Squares, the Kaiser's Pillboxes, the Cold War's Defended Localities ("No Lads, you are not cut off, isolated and surrounded, you hold a strategically significant and tactically effective position in the enemy's rear) and Minefields in much the same light.


Bruce packed a few hundred men with sharp sticks into hedgehogs that he used to breakup the battle field into smaller fields and reducing the enemy's ability to manouevre.  Then his reserve could take the enemy apart in detail.  Wellington's squares did the same thing allowing his guns and cavalry to concentrate on a series of isolated threats.  The same for the pillboxes, the Defended Localilities and mines.


You don't expect that every step the enemy takes will cause him to stand on a new mine.  You expect that the presence of the mines will slow the enemy, break his cohesion, channel his forces into killing grounds and break his advance up into killable packets.


I could take 1000 men from a 4000 man brigade and give them Mel Gibson's tree trunks, Wellington's Brown Besses, or the CEF's Ross's and have virtually the same force.


Or I could take the same 1000 men, leave 100 back at depot, put 100 into comms and log,  and field 4 coys of 200 - split into 4 platoons capable of independent action.

Or I could take the same 1000 men and convert some into an organic arty platoon (mors), an organic engineer platoon (pnrs), an organic cavalry platoon (recce), and an anti-tank platoon (and we can continue the debate if they are gunner wannabes or cavalry wannabes).

I don't disagree with your notion of reverting to status quo ante 1917 and holding Infantry, Gunners, Engineers, Cavalry, separately.

I do argue that Mel Gibson's tree trunks can be effectively replaced with timberwolfs, CG-84s, Javelins, GPMGs, HMGs, GMGs, and even "light" mors (60 or 81mm) and thus create a "mine" with a 2 km range band / area of influence.  I also argue that 1000 PYs could translate into 20 to 40 of those "mines" and still leave a Brigade commander with 3000 PYs to find gunners, mech/mounted/ armd/cav, engineers and support.





Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: MikeL on June 23, 2013, 14:08:12
Would it be possible for the Infantry Battalion and Artillery too both have Mortars?  Inf BN could have it's own 60mm and 81mm mortars (81s in Mortar Pl, and 60s spread out in each Coy or everything in Mortar Pl).  The Artillery Reg't would also have their own Mortar Troop(s) with the 81mm that can be mobile and support the main effort along with their M777s.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Petard on June 23, 2013, 15:21:33
This thread definitely has the risk of spinning its wheels again on "why don't the infantry have a mortar Pl anymore?"
At risk of throwing gas on that fire, here goes.

Most other Western powers do have indirect fire capability that remains at the Bn level, I think for no other reason than to keep at least that capability there if the other Bde level controlled assets are massed elsewhere.

I worked last year with a Stryker BG, and they are structured with their own 60's at Coy level, 120 (or 81's for dismounted) at Bn level, and supported by Bde M777 when needed.  The mortars remain under Bn control, but 120's are able to give supporting fire to massed higher calls for fire if needed. They have the ability to plug into the AFATDS, and resolve the clearance of fires that way, but for the most part that resource remains firmly planted with the Bn commanders control so that he doesn't have to worry about it being yoinked away by higher priorities unless it really needs to

It works well, and is proven. I have serious doubts about our method of FG indirect fire support to a BG, and misleadingly believe it is always available to that BG it deploys with. But then that's discussed at length elsewhere on these boards
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on June 23, 2013, 21:22:16
And just to jump in as well:

Organic firepower means you can deal with issues immediately, while higher level assets allow the higher level commanders to mass fire and "effects" to support his plan. The most brutally effective example is from our Soviet friends back in the Cold War, each formation had its own artillery (from Company level mortars to the Divisional Artillery group). If the Company commander was having difficulty, he was expected to tough it out, since he had the tools available in his own hands to do so. If he was advancing, then the Battalion commander could throw his resources into the fight to force the position or exploit the breach. The Regimental commander, seeing one of his battalions advancing could then add his considerable resources (the Regimental Artillery Group and the Independent Tank Battalion) into the fight, and if the conditions were favourable the Divisional commander would be organizing his resources to blow open the hole and exploit the breach on a larger scale. (watching a "Fantasian" division creating a "fire corridor" in a wargame was perhaps one of the most impressive sights imaginable. Watching the game get "reset" because of that was not...).

As Kirkhill says, this construct was specific to the Soviets in order to overcome the disadvantages of poorly trained troops and generally lousy communications.

WRT a Canadian mortar platoon, the current issue 81mm's give you coverage to @ 7000m, which does support your argument, but improved ammunition, smart rounds and the addition of an integrated sensor network to identify possible targets and engage them quickly are all short and medium term possibilities that extend the effective range  (i.e. hitting targets at 7000m with a minimum expenditure of ammunition) should we wish to devote resources to them. Going to 120mm mortars extends the range considerably, and smart rounds already exist (STRIX) for that calibre mortar.

The clear advantage we do have is in sensors and communications, which has the potential to make the fire more effective, especially at longer ranges. Higher level commanders still have assets that can cover the entire AO, and be used to support the higher commander's plan (massing fire has a different meaning when a 155 round can strike with pin point accuracy at maximum range).
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: KevinB on June 24, 2013, 09:59:46
I think that Gny was actually advocating Integral Gunners manning in the BN.

In all honestly I don't care who mans them, I just want the equipment organic to the BN.


My concern with cross posted hatbadges is that it often never works well for folks careers, and at that point they would not really be Inf Bn's but a Cbt Team of a sort.

  I would rather have gunners manning guns, than mortar tubes, having been both a gunner, and a Infantryman, I do not think than a 81mm Mortar is beyond the skill level of the Inf.  Now for FOO/FAC duties -- this is where I do think that a real FOO Party comes into its own, but there still is a requirement for the Inf and other Cbt Arm C/S to be able to process fire support calls.



Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: GnyHwy on June 24, 2013, 12:45:38
I think that Gny was actually advocating Integral Gunners manning in the BN.

Not permanently as I see the same issues as you do for career implications, and if you ever need someone to argue against the OBG, I'm your guy. 

But, an arty mortar plt/coy attached to BG on top of the gun bty makes sense to me.  Of course the situation would have to warrant it, and if the tubes weren't in demand the "extra gunners" could fill in on regular defensive duties.    Also, I don't want it to come across that I only think gunners can do the job.  Heck I can train pretty much anybody and make them sort of efficient in a short amount of time.  My argument is the inf already have enough things to do and learn.  I would put anti-armour and pioneer tasks well ahead of indirect fire.  All trades should specialize, and when it's time, they come together to form a team.

Kirk,

You asked about our structure and if we had one?  I say, that is it.  We have a regimental structure that is modular and able to att and det as necessary, or at least that's is the intent as I understand it anyway.   The word modular does carry a certain negative connation no doubt, but with the size of our army, we don't have much choice.

Which leads me to how this thread seems to drift to place where we are comparing ourselves to WWII or the US Army or even the Soviets.  Heck if money is no issue, and we can triple the size of our force and we are willing to play the game of sheer numbers vs quality then  I say #&*$  it!  Mortars for everyone!!!
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: daftandbarmy on June 24, 2013, 13:54:09

Which leads me to how this thread seems to drift to place where we are comparing ourselves to WWII or the US Army or even the Soviets.  Heck if money is no issue, and we can triple the size of our force and we are willing to play the game of sheer numbers vs quality then  I say #&*$  it!  Mortars for everyone!!!

Especially 60mm MOR for 13 years olds!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTkjOz6W2ls

Jealous  :nod:
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on June 25, 2013, 00:54:45
We're mostly drifting because no one has really defined the parameters of the debate. We can talk about exotic new weapons, mixing and matching past present and future capabilities, organizational models etc.

We can also look at other people's armies for analogies and examples of what works/didn't work and why.

Based on my own experiences and looking at how other people do things, the three models that really stand out in my mind as workable examples are the 80's era Canadian Mech Infantry Bn, the new Royal Marine Commando organization and the SBCT. The Canadian model was quite flexible, and could provide the core of a powerful Battle group when force multipliers like tanks, artillery and engineer assets were added to the mix. even without the force multipliers, it had its integral DF, IF and pioneer assets, so the commander could continue to operate if the force multipliers were tasked elsewhere. A modern "pure" Canadian Infantry battalion is really limited once the force multiplier assets are taken away to support someone or something else.

The Royal Marine Commandos have gone towards specialization by giving companies different roles (although they can regroup and change the organization when needed for flexibility), and the SBCT I think demonstrates how things might evolve as more and more powerful capabilites move to lower and lower levels. They have essentially made combat teams out of companies and created a small self contained battle group in a battalion sized package. The USMC had a similar "company as combat team" organization with the LAV companies; each company had three platoons of infantry, an integral AAP using TOW launchers on LAV 25 chassis and an integral mortar platoon with 81mm mortars carried in LAV mortar carriers (similar to Bisons). Personally I thought the Marine solution was much "neater" and had fewer span of command issues, but this is a view from an outside observer.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: KevinB on June 25, 2013, 02:07:07
and I still think the Inf should not have LAV's...

Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on June 26, 2013, 20:44:23
and I still think the Inf should not have LAV's...

So how do we achieve protected mobility? Even if we grant Kirkhill 100% on Infantry being for the defense, we still have to get there, and we have to deal with enemies with lots of ways to slow or stop us from getting into position.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: MikeL on June 26, 2013, 20:49:06
From my understanding of KevinB's position on the Infantry and LAVs, he isn't against the Infantry working alongside LAVs, they just wouldn't crew it.   

During mounted patrols/operations the Infantry would be the dismounts in the back, and the Armoured Soldiers would fill the roles of LAV Driver, Gunner, and Crew Commander.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Chris Pook on June 26, 2013, 21:13:06
Skeletor:

I won't answer for Kevin but your statement of his position is certainly compatible with mine.

Thuc:

I believe in the past I have equated bullets to rain - just another environmental element to be overcome - the vehicles you use to cross terrain should supply appropriate protection against the environments likely to be encountered.  When physics interfere and the vehicle can't accomodate the appropriate level of protection then you are stuck with the advice of the doctor to the chap who said it only hurt when he laughed.  Don't do it.

You use each vehicle that is available to the limits of its capabilities.  If you want speed in all terrains you give up protection and hire a helicopter.   If you want protection in all terrains you give up speed and hire a tank.       I kind of liked your idea about handing the assault vehicles over to the engineers, including those necessary to transport troops over the last 600 m.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: KevinB on June 27, 2013, 14:37:06
100%
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 07, 2013, 02:19:18
   I kind of liked your idea about handing the assault vehicles over to the engineers, including those necessary to transport troops over the last 600 m.

Really? I doubt there's an engineer out there who is dumb enough to cheerfully drive a thinly armoured vehicle at full speed into a wall of heavy enemy fire. That's a job for paratroopers!

Besides, I keep getting told that engineers are too valuable to waste on that kind of thing... mostly by senior engineer officers.  ;D
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Journeyman on July 07, 2013, 10:50:33
... mostly by senior engineer officers.  ;D
Ah, like the one who was aghast that the snipers were leaving cleared routes, and henceforth had to ingress behind a Flail or something?    :facepalm:


/tangent
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Chris Pook on July 07, 2013, 12:36:31
Really? I doubt there's an engineer out there who is dumb enough to cheerfully drive a thinly armoured vehicle at full speed into a wall of heavy enemy fire. That's a job for paratroopers!

Besides, I keep getting told that engineers are too valuable to waste on that kind of thing... mostly by senior engineer officers.  ;D

The reason given by the Brigade of Guards for giving up on the Paras was their predilection for sandbags:  the Brigade felt that if ever the Paras were called on to mount guard at Buck House they would show up in 4 tonners, deploy sandbags and wire, set up the MGs and then organize a brew up.

If the Paras were stuck with LAVs expect the LAVs to start sprouting sandbags and wire. 

I would expect that if the Engineers got stuck with LAVs they would start welding plate all over the place.......

But better yet.... Perhaps they could be supplied with the Kangaroo Mark II, AKA the Namer, or the Leo 2 equivalent.

Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on July 08, 2013, 00:59:31
The Engineers would probably like a Merkava as the section vehicle since it already has attachment points for plows or rollers and mounts a large cannon, which is quite handy for reducing field fortifications (especially if the loadout is HE or HESH). For our purposes a 105 will be just fine, since you can carry a large loadout of shells and still have a section in the back.

Even without a gun, heavy engineer vehicles have been part of the IDF for some time now (second picture)
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: MCG on July 08, 2013, 07:43:51
A unique platform is not the right idea for an engr sect carrier.  It is better to have an engr specific variant of whatever the infantry are riding in. 
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Chris Pook on July 08, 2013, 11:55:11
A unique platform is not the right idea for an engr sect carrier.  It is better to have an engr specific variant of whatever the infantry are riding in.

Perhaps.  But what happens if the infantry doesn't have a ride?  That is the premise from which I, and I believe Kevin B, are working.

Also,  while I get the logistics thing I think we can overdo the concern.

These days we don't differentiate amongst sawyers, joiners and carpenters.  One person carries many tools to perform many tasks.  Equally construction companies with 20 employees will have access to a large variety of earthmovers.  Likewise for lumber companies.  Farmers have many tractors and implements that enable a small cadre of 2 to 4 people to manage sections and townships.

The logistics cost is the cost of doing business.  It replaces the cost of manpower.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: MCG on July 08, 2013, 15:27:46
It is not just logistic costs.  It is training burden (here is another unique micro fleet on top of all the others for you to maintain proficiency), it is the uncommon mobility characteristics (sorry, the company group cannot go that way because the engineers won't fit/can't keep up), it is the exaggeratedly unique shillouette to facilitate the enemy's identification of an HVT, and yes it is also the logistics.  Wishing away the logistic costs and burden as "the cost of doing business" is fine in a universe of infinite resources - we are not in that universe.

If you want to discuss infantry operating in isolation from any sort of mechanization, then you are not talking about combat teams (the thread subject).  If you are talking combat teams, then the infantry have a platform to get them around the battle field and a variant of that platform is what the engineers need for a section carrier.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on July 08, 2013, 15:29:07
A unique platform is not the right idea for an engr sect carrier.  It is better to have an engr specific variant of whatever the infantry are riding in.

From a logistics POV, maybe. If the engineer variant can do most or all the things the Engineers need to do then this would be the preferred COA.

However, the IDF gave engineers HAPC's long before they developed Achzarits and Namers (Engineer PUMAs are rebuilt Centurion tank chassis) because they recognized the Engineers had special needs that even heavily modified M-113's (the most common APC in the Israeli inventory) could provide. Given this, I would say COA 2 would have to be specialized engineer vehicles.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Chris Pook on July 08, 2013, 15:47:38
It is not just logistic costs.  It is training burden (here is another unique micro fleet on top of all the others for you to maintain proficiency), it is the uncommon mobility characteristics (sorry, the company group cannot go that way because the engineers won't fit/can't keep up), it is the exaggeratedly unique shillouette to facilitate the enemy's identification of an HVT, and yes it is also the logistics.  Wishing away the logistic costs and burden as "the cost of doing business" is fine in a universe of infinite resources - we are not in that universe.

If you want to discuss infantry operating in isolation from any sort of mechanization, then you are not talking about combat teams (the thread subject).  If you are talking combat teams, then the infantry have a platform to get them around the battle field and a variant of that platform is what the engineers need for a section carrier.

Point taken on costs.  I just don't know how you do business without incurring costs.

With respect to Combat Teams - I consider Combat Teams to be the antithesis of Infantry operating on their own.  All we are debating is which Union is going to do what task and who has the necessary Tickets.

Of course Infantry needs to operate in Combat Teams.   But not all combat teams need LAVs.  Some combat teams are better served with HAPCs and Tanks while others will be more effective with Helos.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: KevinB on July 08, 2013, 18:05:04
.   But not all combat teams need LAVs.  Some combat teams are better served with HAPCs and Tanks while others will be more effective with Helos.

Quoted for the truth...
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: standingdown on July 14, 2013, 20:28:17
Just curious - in this day and age, and with current budget constraints, what is the largest force the CF is likely to deploy? Afghan size?  Even that seemed to tax us heavily in all ways - or did it just seem that way?

Should such realities perhaps shape the kind of force we put together with our limited dollars?
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: dapaterson on July 14, 2013, 20:32:41
Just curious - in this day and age, and with current budget constraints, what is the largest force the CF is likely to deploy? Afghan size?  Even that seemed to tax us heavily in all ways - or did it just seem that way?

Should such realities perhaps shape the kind of force we put together with our limited dollars?


What would we deploy?  It depends.  Where?  When?  Why?

All those would factor in to the size and composition of the force the government would decide to deploy.

Once that decision is made, the force generation questions have to be be asked to determine how to generate it.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Humphrey Bogart on July 14, 2013, 21:25:47
Just curious - in this day and age, and with current budget constraints, what is the largest force the CF is likely to deploy? Afghan size?  Even that seemed to tax us heavily in all ways - or did it just seem that way?

Should such realities perhaps shape the kind of force we put together with our limited dollars?

The army force generates battlegroups but like dapaterson said, it all depends on what the government of the day wants to accomplish.

In other words, who knows :)


Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: PPCLI Guy on July 14, 2013, 23:11:40
Just curious - in this day and age, and with current budget constraints, what is the largest force the CF is likely to deploy? Afghan size?  Even that seemed to tax us heavily in all ways - or did it just seem that way?

Should such realities perhaps shape the kind of force we put together with our limited dollars?

The Line of Operation 3 Task Force is 1800-2500 strong, with an Infantry Battle Group, Task Force HQ, Forward Support Group, and various enablers.  It is currently on 90 days notice to be in theatre....wherever that theatre may be.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Old EO Tech on July 15, 2013, 02:34:48
The Line of Operation 3 Task Force is 1800-2500 strong, with an Infantry Battle Group, Task Force HQ, Forward Support Group, and various enablers.  It is currently on 90 days notice to be in theatre....wherever that theatre may be.

And hopefully we would get the full 90 days to deploy....it would take nearly that long to get our VOR rate back down after basically driving the fleet until the wheels came off all spring in order too conduct the training to achieve high readiness status for TF 1-13 :-/

Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Fabius on July 15, 2013, 12:13:41
Having read and followed this thread, it has occurred to me that much of what has been discussed here since the thread was started in 2004 now has little to no bearing on what our actual combat teams now look like.
Specifically virtually all of the supporting elements have been reduced in size and scope and their weapons capabilities have been divested and eliminated to include systems which were still in play up until the last 2-3 years.
The list of equipment and capabilities which are no longer available is quite lengthy and everyone is familiar with the list.

I will be honest I really not sure what the tactical concept of employment is with regards to our current force against a near or somewhat near peer adversary.  This is specifically true with regards to the armour / anti armour component of a combat team.
According to Force 2013 the Army has the ability to deploy one Tank Squadron at a time. So within a high readiness Infantry BG we have a Tank Squadron that we might deploy along with 3-4 Infantry Coys.
In terms of a tactical concept for a Combat Team within a BG context where we have no anti tank weapons (M72 and 84mm do not count in many cases due to lack of range and limited penetration capability against anything newer than a T-64) how do we employ the Tank Squadron? Piecemeal it out, one troop per Infantry Coy? This at least gives each sub unit some anti armour ability but at the cost of spreading our armoured fist very thin.
However with the removal of all anti armour weapons (TOW, Eryx) from the Coy’s if we leave the tanks massed as a squadron for the BG Comd to employ our Infantry are now without any ability to deal with any sort of armour threat that pops up.
Due to the limited resources available doing both options concurrently is not feasible.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 23, 2013, 18:40:47
FYI....

Heavy Brigade Combat Team Unit of Action

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/agency/army/bct-heavy.htm

The Army normally deployed forces in 2,500 to 4,200-soldier Brigade Combat Teams. These consist of a ground-maneuver brigade (most divisions have three) augmented by other units, such as artillery battalions, which are controlled by the division commander.

The new "brigade based" structure will replace the current arrangement, designed for the Cold War when the Army was prepared to fight giant set-piece battles on European soil, where the support roles were organized at the division level. It will improve the deployment ratio so that there can be two brigades at home for every one deployed overseas.

Brigade combat teams will be restructured into Brigade Units of Action. Once transitioned, BUAs will enable greater capacity for rapid packaging and responsive and sustained employment to support combatant commanders. BUAs will also enhance the expeditionary and campaign qualities of Army forces by better enabling Joint/coalition operations. The transition to BUAs will also increase the brigade-equivalent forces available to meet both enduring and emerging mission requirements.

The restructuring would leave a division with three types of brigades: heavy, with armor; light, with motorized infantry, and airborne. This new Brigade Units of Action is different from the Units of Action the Army is forming to achieve the Future Combat Systems [FCS]. The FCS first unit equipped (FUE)-one battalion equivalent-in 2008 and an initial operating capability of one brigade Unit of Action (UoA) in 2010.

The design of the different types of modular brigades is consistent across the Army: a heavy brigade in 4th Infantry Division will be the same as a heavy brigade at 3rd Infantry Division. Each of the units of action, otherwise known as brigade combat teams, consist of two combined arms battalions, a reconnaissance squadron, an artillery battalion, and attached special troops and support battalions. The combined arms battalions each have two armor companies, two infantry companies, an engineer company and a headquarters and headquarters company.

The heavy force was given some capabilities that they haven't had, things like sniper teams. Why would you put a sniper team or a sniper section inside of a heavy force? It's because they encounter cities and this ability to transition, to be more full-spectrum, you may be optimized at some point along the spectrum, but you need to be able to conduct operations across that full range of military operations.

The Heavy Brigade Combat Team Unit of Action design analytical work conducted simulations, and also leveraged earlier analysis in things like FBCB2, which is a command and control apparatus. TRADOC also looked at things like the precision fire studies. As TRADOC went through the war gaming and at the tactical level and at the operational level, things came to the surface. For example, within the brigade headquarters, civil affairs and PSYOPS don't show up in a simulation, but in a war game and work from lessons learned in the field show they are important. A key example of things learned from analysis is in the use of UAV's. People who were going through these simulations actually were able to leverage sensors in ways that had not really been anticipated, mass sensors so they could then mass effects. So, there is an example of it. Training and Doctrine Command's (TRADOC) analysis center led a large part of this.

This Brigade Combat Team can take a company from one battalion and place it in another. A Brigade Combat Team can add, say a civil affairs battalion to it if that was what was required. So the Army will still task organize, but when TRADOC worked to make this more capable, more self-contained, they looked at things like the brigade staff. If the brigade staff has to be able to receive attachments and issue them out, which they've done in the past, it's very much stressful. So TRADOC increased the robust nature and size of the staff so that they can help plug and play, even at the Brigade Combat Team level or the maneuver brigades.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Ostrozac on July 23, 2013, 18:52:38

I will be honest I really not sure what the tactical concept of employment is with regards to our current force against a near or somewhat near peer adversary.  This is specifically true with regards to the armour / anti armour component of a combat team.


An army with no anti-tank guided missiles and no self-propelled artillery is not optimized to fight a near peer adversary.

I don't know if the doctrine gurus in Kingston have figured that out, or if Foxhole U and the Tactics School have caught up yet, but our equipment selection makes us a COIN army, whether we like it or not.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 23, 2013, 19:02:27
Quote from:  
I don't know if the doctrine gurus in Kingston have figured that out, or if Foxhole U and the Tactics School have caught up yet, but our equipment selection makes us a [s
COIN [/s] inexpensive post AFG conflict Peace dividend army, whether we like it or not.

There... FTFY  ;D
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Humphrey Bogart on July 23, 2013, 19:03:07
An army with no anti-tank guided missiles and no self-propelled artillery is not optimized to fight a near peer adversary.

I don't know if the doctrine gurus in Kingston have figured that out, or if Foxhole U and the Tactics School have caught up yet, but our equipment selection makes us a COIN army, whether we like it or not.

Completely agree with this.  I think the government and a portion of the army have acknowledged that we are probably not going to be fighting a peer or near peer adversary in the forseeable future.  We have the doctrine, but you are right, we are optimized for brushfire fighting and not for full out combat against the Russian hordes.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: daftandbarmy on July 23, 2013, 19:28:13
Completely agree with this.  I think the government and a portion of the army have acknowledged that we are probably not going to be fighting a peer or near peer adversary in the forseeable future.  We have the doctrine, but you are right, we are optimized for brushfire fighting and not for full out combat against the Russian hordes.

Or, apparently, many 2nd world armies e.g.,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brazilian_Army

Parachute Infantry Brigade, with: 3x Parachute Infantry Battalions
1x Parachute Cavalry Troop.

1x special operations Brigade, with: 1x Special Operations
1x Commando
1x Psychological Operations Battalions.

1x Light Infantry (Air Assault) Brigade, with: 3x Light Infantry Airborne Battalions
1x Light Cavalry Troop.

1x Light Infantry Brigade GLO (Peacekeeping Operations/Urban Warfare), with:

 Troops during patrols in action law and order.3x Light Infantry GLO Battalions
1x Mechanized Cavalry (Wheeled) Battalion.

1x Frontier Infantry (Wetlands Infantry) Brigade, with: 3x Wetlands Infantry Battalions.

2x Armoured Cavalry Brigades, each with: 2x Armored Cavalry
2x Armoured Infantry Battalions
1x Mechanized Cavalry (Wheeled) Troop.

4x Mechanized Cavalry (Wheeled) Brigades, each with: 3x Mechanized Cavalry Battalions
1x Armoured Cavalry Battalion.

5x Jungle Infantry Brigades, each with: 3 - 4 Jungle Infantry Battalions
1x Mechanized or Jungle Cavalry Troop.

10x Motorized Infantry Brigades, in change to Mechanized Infantry Brigades, each with: 3x Mechanised Infantry Battalions
1x Mechanized Cavalry Troop.

4x Divisional Artillery Brigades, each with: 3 - 5 Field and/or Rocket Artillery Battalions (Agrupements, in Brazilian Army).

2x Construction Engineer Brigades.
1x Air Defence Artillery Brigade, with: 5x Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion

1x Army Aviation Command(Brigade), with: 4x Army Aviation Battalions (Anti-tank, reconnaissance, multi-purpoise, transport, utility).

Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: PPCLI Guy on July 23, 2013, 19:30:17
An army with no anti-tank guided missiles and no self-propelled artillery is not optimized to fight a near peer adversary.

I don't know if the doctrine gurus in Kingston have figured that out, or if Foxhole U and the Tactics School have caught up yet, but our equipment selection makes us a COIN army, whether we like it or not.

I would state that slightly differently: an army without medium and long range anti tank weapons, and without any Air Defence capability at all is not optimised to fight a near peer enemy ALONE.  We can of course be an integral part of a coalition.  I would also suggest that there is a wide range of potential foes that fall in between the Taliban and the Chinese.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Humphrey Bogart on July 23, 2013, 19:35:31
Or, apparently, many 2nd world armies e.g.,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brazilian_Army

Parachute Infantry Brigade, with: 3x Parachute Infantry Battalions
1x Parachute Cavalry Troop.

1x special operations Brigade, with: 1x Special Operations
1x Commando
1x Psychological Operations Battalions.

1x Light Infantry (Air Assault) Brigade, with: 3x Light Infantry Airborne Battalions
1x Light Cavalry Troop.

1x Light Infantry Brigade GLO (Peacekeeping Operations/Urban Warfare), with:

 Troops during patrols in action law and order.3x Light Infantry GLO Battalions
1x Mechanized Cavalry (Wheeled) Battalion.

1x Frontier Infantry (Wetlands Infantry) Brigade, with: 3x Wetlands Infantry Battalions.

2x Armoured Cavalry Brigades, each with: 2x Armored Cavalry
2x Armoured Infantry Battalions
1x Mechanized Cavalry (Wheeled) Troop.

4x Mechanized Cavalry (Wheeled) Brigades, each with: 3x Mechanized Cavalry Battalions
1x Armoured Cavalry Battalion.

5x Jungle Infantry Brigades, each with: 3 - 4 Jungle Infantry Battalions
1x Mechanized or Jungle Cavalry Troop.

10x Motorized Infantry Brigades, in change to Mechanized Infantry Brigades, each with: 3x Mechanised Infantry Battalions
1x Mechanized Cavalry Troop.

4x Divisional Artillery Brigades, each with: 3 - 5 Field and/or Rocket Artillery Battalions (Agrupements, in Brazilian Army).

2x Construction Engineer Brigades.
1x Air Defence Artillery Brigade, with: 5x Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion

1x Army Aviation Command(Brigade), with: 4x Army Aviation Battalions (Anti-tank, reconnaissance, multi-purpoise, transport, utility).

hence why I said near-peer ;)

let us not pretend for a second though that a Brazilian EE-9 Cascavel can stand up to a LAV III though :)

I would state that slightly differently: an army without medium and long range anti tank weapons, and without any Air Defence capability at all is not optimised to fight a near peer enemy ALONE.  We can of course be an integral part of a coalition.  I would also suggest that there is a wide range of potential foes that fall in between the Taliban and the Chinese.

Agreed, I think our army does what we need it to do and our equipment isn't that bad, in fact some of it is actually quite good.  We have some glaring deficiencies which PPCLI Guy alluded to in a few areas but for what we use it for, it does the trick.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Jarnhamar on July 23, 2013, 19:37:53
and without any Air Defence capability

Bit of a sidebar.  Can out Air Defence units engage drones and UAVs? Or how about those smaller little spy like UAVs?
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on July 24, 2013, 14:49:02
Not entirely sure how our AD guys would be able to deal with that kind of threat.

The ADATS/Skyguard systems that we had were optomised towards a cold war threat of Frontovaya Aviatsiya figher bombers, ground attack aircraft and Army armed and attack helicopters. The search radars were quite good, but the ADATS missiles and 35mm cannon rounds were designed to tear large aircraft out of the sky.

Perhaps what is needed would be a combined gun/missile system using light missiles (Stinger/Starstreak/Mistral) and an automatic cannon or gatling gun. The USMC used to operate the Blazer system with a 25mm gatling gun and 8 X Stinger missiles on a LAV 25 chassis, the turret would fit on a modernized LAVIII hull as well. The gun would be useful against small UAVs, as well as secondary duties like local self defense. The missiles would be to take out larger targets and engagte at longer ranges. Some missiles like Starstreak have a potent KE punch (similar to a 40mm cannon round), which also gives it a secondary ability to deal with hard targets (up to LAV class vehicles)

Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on December 21, 2013, 01:06:20
Recycling this from the CCV thread, the IDF works out ways to deal with operating in complex terrain by integrating various enablers into an integrated combined arms unit. Since this is built around an armoured unit as the core, we might see this as analogous to a "square" combat team, although in our terms it is probably deficient in Infantry:

http://www.defensenews.com/article/20131029/DEFREG04/310290016/Israel-Revamps-Armored-Units-Urban-Brush-Battles

Quote
Israel Revamps Armored Units for Urban, Brush Battles
Oct. 29, 2013 - 01:05PM   |   By BARBARA OPALL-ROME   |   

TEL AVIV — Starting next month, select draftees inducted into Israel’s Armored Corps will undergo training for eventual deployment in new multi-discipline companies designed to support future battalions of main battle tanks (MBTs).

The new specialty companies, each composed of reconnaissance, observation and mortar platoons, will form an integral part of future armored battalions, which consist of two active-duty MBT companies and a third MBT company from the Israel Defense Force (IDF) reserves.

The merger of traditional infantry missions into Israel’s future armored order of battle is part of an Army-wide revamp aimed at retiring older-model Merkava MBTs and optimizing Israel’s maneuvering ground forces for urban and heavily forested arenas.

Under the plan, mortar platoons will be equipped with Keshet, an M113-based, autonomous, self-propelled 120mm mortar by Elbit Systems, according to Brig. Gen. Shmuel Olansky, IDF chief armor officer.

“We’re building in every battalion of the Armored Corps a supporting company of infantry equipped with Keshet, which knows how to provide destructive firepower at a high rate,” Olansky said in a report posted Oct. 24 on the IDF’s Hebrew-language website.

New mortar platoons, together with new reconnaissance and observation platoons, will operate “shoulder-to-shoulder” with MBT battalions, Olansky said.

In an interview with Shachar Ruppin of the IDF spokesman’s office, Olansky said budget cuts and changing battle conditions were driving the revamp, which will allow the retirement of older-model MBTs as it brings on new infantry support cadres.

“Retirement of older tanks is a process that is being implemented after lengthy discussions and simulations,” Olansky said. “It allows us, in parallel, to equip ourselves with essential combat support elements.”

Maj. Arieh Berger, operations officer for the Armored Corps’ first brigade slated for the revamp, said infantry support elements will be equipped with advanced command-and-control systems for rapid transfer of targeting data to armored formations. The revamp, he said, will maximize the IDF’s ability to operate in closed and built-up areas.

“There are no more battles where tanks face off against other tanks on an exposed hill,” Berger said in the IDF-posted story. “These new forces will be able to direct tank battalions between homes of villages or into brush, according to our needs.”

A Canadian version could be attempted today with Coyotes to carry both surveillance gear and "dismasted" Coyotes to carry dismounted scout teams. Bison mortar carriers are also a possibility (especially if we were to adopt the Dragonfire 120mm mortar) for the indirect fire role, and of course the dismounted Infantry would be able to go to battle in their LAV III's.

Since we are divesting the Coyote and Bison, and the TLAV isn't really suitable for the roles envisioned, any attempts to move in this direction with current Canadian kit will have to involve a reapportion of LAVs and possibly re rolling the TLAV as a mortar carrier. While not ideal, these platforms would provide the basic ability to carry out the roles the IDF has identified in their new composite units.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: KevinB on December 21, 2013, 20:23:13
The Israeli way is not likely to be a good Canadian way.

Unless we move to Israel and start trying to fight the locals.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on December 21, 2013, 21:20:03
We moved to Afghanistan and fought the locals there (and had to make constant adjustments during the time).

I am intregued by the thought process behind the IDF's redesign of an armoured battalion, especially with regards to giving them the ability to operate in complex terrain and in a complex operating environment. There are lessons for us there, and it might be an interesting experiment to play with the layout of a Canadian combat team to see how "we" could change to operate in complex terrain and in a complex environment.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: KevinB on December 21, 2013, 22:06:01
How far are the Israeli supply lines?

Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on December 21, 2013, 23:06:31
How far are the Israeli supply lines?

We operated with supply lines stretching over half the globe, and CSS units running the gauntlet from KAF to the FOBs on a daily basis, so I don't see this as an objection to reorganizing a combat team to operate in complex terrain/complex environments. Besides if we experiment with this, we may discover ways to carry out operations with fewer resources. I am advocating the experiment, and pointing out the IDF model is different enough to be an interesting point of departure.

The more likely outcome of experimentation is we will discover we need to use different resources than we do currently.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: KevinB on December 23, 2013, 15:24:44
My point was 50km is a long move for the Israelis -- exploiting with maneuver assets is not their focus, in short I do not see what the Israeli model offers to us.  They are not structured for an expeditionary model, and while they are constantly on a war time footing, they are not limited by a logistical tail and constantly changing missions.

 They are quite far behind the Western Military in many areas, and I don't see them a good role model for many reasons.

Frankly Australia, and the USMC are probably our closest contemporaries for goals and roles.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: PanaEng on December 27, 2013, 18:15:06
This, imho, is also as a result of the spanking the IDF got last time in S. Lebanon - it was not the walk in the park that was expected.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Mountie on November 17, 2014, 20:06:34
I've read in several places that sub-unit echelons were re-formed a while ago.  What exactly does this look like for a LAV mechanized infantry company?  And what does the administration company look like now?  Doctrine and in reality?

With the unit of employment seeming to be the sub-unit these days (ie. Afghanistan specifically I guess) doesn't it make sense to add echelon platoons/troops to the sub-units?  Even if it means taking some positions from the service battalion and pushing them down to the unit and sub-unit level? 

I'm thinking that in a situation like Afghanistan the administration company could be held on the FOB and the company administration platoons might be at the COP?
 
 
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: dapaterson on November 17, 2014, 20:54:41
No, no, a thousand times no.

Robbing the Service Battalion serves nobody's interests.  And since positions were never given to the Svc Bn in the first place to replace the echelon, you shouldn't try to re-create the echelon by stripping the next level of support.

If our bdes are meant to be independent manoeuvre formations they require integral formation level support, just as units require integral unit level support.  Who resupplies the unit echelon if resources are stripped from the Svc Bn?


If we are to re-create the echelons, then may I suggest that the hundreds of staff officer positions within CJOC would be a logical place to start the quest for more positions?
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Mountie on November 17, 2014, 21:38:19
"If we are to re-create the echelons, then may I suggest that the hundreds of staff officer positions within CJOC would be a logical place to start the quest for more positions?"

Perhaps I didn't explain that well.  I didn't mean stripping the service battalions.  I just wondered if reducing them a little was an option?  According to the various unit websites each service battalion has approximately 1,000 personnel, give or take, military and civilian.  By contrast a US Army Armoured Brigade Combat Team's brigade support battalion has a 100-person maintenance company and a 174-person distribution (S & T) company.  Their version of administration companies (FSC's) have 198 personnel.  They've seemed to push a lot of CSS down to the unit level rather than the brigade level.  I was just wondering that since Canada typically deploys battle groups was pushing CSS down to the unit and sub-unit level maybe a better option.   

I was more interested in what the sub-unit echelons look like now that they've supposedly been reinstated, at least on deployment. 
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: MCG on November 17, 2014, 23:41:46
Your numbers for a Canadian Service Battalion are inflated, and the comparison to a U.S. bde CSS bn fails to recognize the role of the Canadian Svc Bn in providing 2nd line support not just to the CMBG but to most of the higher Div too.

And after B Fleet divestment, there are no trucks to enable building stronger echelons at lower levels.  The limited resources are at the point where they need to be pooled and shared.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Mountie on November 18, 2014, 00:22:09
Thanks for the info.  That's all I was asking. 

Are the sub-units being formed for high-readiness task forces? 
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Old EO Tech on November 18, 2014, 00:24:42
Your numbers for a Canadian Service Battalion are inflated, and the comparison to a U.S. bde CSS bn fails to recognize the role of the Canadian Svc Bn in providing 2nd line support not just to the CMBG but to most of the higher Div too.

And after B Fleet divestment, there are no trucks to enable building stronger echelons at lower levels.  The limited resources are at the point where they need to be pooled and shared.

I agree, yes the strength of a Svc Bn is around 900 pers, but the strength of an FSG which is the unit typically used to support the Bde in the field is only approx 300-400 pers.  As MCG has stated, Svc Bn has many institutional support functions that should probably belong to the CDSG but because of infrastructure and pers issues stay with the Svc Bn, like Clothing Stores, Base Tpt, Base Supply, Garrison Maintenance etc.

As to the Ech...people are not the issue for sure.  We can barely sustain deployed sub units with the vehicles we have now.  When we deployed to the floods in southern Alberta we did so without leaning on the local support base much at all, we came self sufficient.  Compare that to southern Manitoba after B fleet divestment and it took two field units from Shilo, 17 Wing and a large part of the local reserves to do the same thing....

Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: MilEME09 on November 18, 2014, 05:36:35
I agree, yes the strength of a Svc Bn is around 900 pers, but the strength of an FSG which is the unit typically used to support the Bde in the field is only approx 300-400 pers.  As MCG has stated, Svc Bn has many institutional support functions that should probably belong to the CDSG but because of infrastructure and pers issues stay with the Svc Bn, like Clothing Stores, Base Tpt, Base Supply, Garrison Maintenance etc.

As to the Ech...people are not the issue for sure.  We can barely sustain deployed sub units with the vehicles we have now.  When we deployed to the floods in southern Alberta we did so without leaning on the local support base much at all, we came self sufficient.  Compare that to southern Manitoba after B fleet divestment and it took two field units from Shilo, 17 Wing and a large part of the local reserves to do the same thing....

So then, that begs the question do we need a institutional shake up within the Divisions on the allocation of assets, so that for this example the Service Battalion is serving only as the service battalion, and not any extras like base maint, etc...

As for the floods, I agree personal is not a problem, barely saw any Reg force here in Calgary, and from people who i know in Manitoba it sounded like a hell of a time trying to muster everything
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Infanteer on November 21, 2014, 14:53:20
So then, that begs the question do we need a institutional shake up within the Divisions on the allocation of assets, so that for this example the Service Battalion is serving only as the service battalion, and not any extras like base maint, etc...

Maybe we can call it a GS Battalion....
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: PPCLI Guy on November 21, 2014, 16:40:37
Maybe we can call it a GS Battalion....

Möbius strip reorganisation...........
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Mountie on November 21, 2014, 17:46:59
"In the interests of training as we fight, building cohesive teams and addressing the intense sustainment demands of combat operations, the Chief of the Land Staff (CLS) has directed that integral echelons should be allocated to every sub unit in the BG, including the artillery battery and composite engineer squadron." - Canadian Army Journal Volume 10.4 2008

"Each battle group from Task Force 1-08 onward deployed with its infantry battalion’s administration company and all its capacity for forward supply and maintenance. Secondly, in 2009, administration companies could draw on supplies, parts and expertise from well-equipped forward support groups deployed in the major forward operating bases nearby to dispersed companies. The system went a long way to restoring agility in infantry companies and shortening response times to requests for vital stores."  - Canadian Army Journal Volume 15.2 2013


I'm just curious what these echelons and administration company looked like when deployed?  ie. How many and what kind of vehicles and how many personnel?
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: MJP on November 21, 2014, 17:53:58
Maybe we can call it a GS Battalion....

LOL But then I would be robbed of saying that the CDSG construct is an organization in search of a raison de etre. 

They certainly have enough mid and high level staff to muddle the waters on any issue.

Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: LightFighter on November 21, 2014, 20:08:15
I'm just curious what these echelons and administration company looked like when deployed?  ie. How many and what kind of vehicles and how many personnel?

From what I remember for the TF 1-08 BG, the only part of 2VP Admin Coy that the BG had was the Transport Platoon. It was made up of Infantrymen and a couple Gunners. I believe the EME pers from 2VP that went on that tour, were not with the BG but NSE.

Transport Platoon combined with Combat Support Coy to form Headquarters & Service Company.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Technoviking on November 21, 2014, 20:20:25
From what I remember for the TF 1-08 BG, the only part of 2VP Admin Coy that the BG had was the Transport Platoon. It was made up of Infantrymen and a couple Gunners. I believe the EME pers from 2VP that went on that tour, were not with the BG but NSE.

Transport Platoon combined with Combat Support Coy to form Headquarters & Service Company.

Could very well be.  With TF 3-08 BG, Admin Coy was a fully integrated part of the BG.  I'm rather certain that it changed from your tour to mine.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Old EO Tech on November 22, 2014, 15:50:38
Could very well be.  With TF 3-08 BG, Admin Coy was a fully integrated part of the BG.  I'm rather certain that it changed from your tour to mine.

Indeed it did change from TF 1-08 to TF 3-08, but that was much more to do with politics than capabilities.  NSE already Opcon MRT's to each BG Coy for the entire tour, the only thing that happened in 3-08 was an ET and Maint O was added to the BG Org.  There were no more vehicles or infrastructure in KAF to distribute so defacto nothing really changed in true capabilities.

But deployed org structures are not really a model for what we practice anyway.  A Inf Admin Coy as it is now, does have full Maint Pl, Tpt Pl, QM Pl and BOR.  We have utilized this structure during high readiness for the past two years and operating an A1, A2/B Ech supported by a FSG(and even once by JTFSG) has been working well.  We do have work to do on our tactical Ech system still, as most people in command positions only know Afganistan, and there are few of us left that know that the doctrinal Ech system does actually work and a FOB is not practical version of a B Ech in near peer battles :-/   We do actually have to hide either in rural or urban hides/harbours(far enough not to be within mortar range at least) and move back and forth with the battle.

Now this will be a challenge with less B fleet and moving to LAV6 which we can't fully support or recover yet, but the structure of an Inf Admin Coy is fine as it is.  IMHO.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: daftandbarmy on November 24, 2014, 00:11:32
Indeed it did change from TF 1-08 to TF 3-08, but that was much more to do with politics than capabilities.  NSE already Opcon MRT's to each BG Coy for the entire tour, the only thing that happened in 3-08 was an ET and Maint O was added to the BG Org.  There were no more vehicles or infrastructure in KAF to distribute so defacto nothing really changed in true capabilities.

But deployed org structures are not really a model for what we practice anyway.  A Inf Admin Coy as it is now, does have full Maint Pl, Tpt Pl, QM Pl and BOR.  We have utilized this structure during high readiness for the past two years and operating an A1, A2/B Ech supported by a FSG(and even once by JTFSG) has been working well.  We do have work to do on our tactical Ech system still, as most people in command positions only know Afganistan, and there are few of us left that know that the doctrinal Ech system does actually work and a FOB is not practical version of a B Ech in near peer battles :-/   We do actually have to hide either in rural or urban hides/harbours(far enough not to be within mortar range at least) and move back and forth with the battle.

Now this will be a challenge with less B fleet and moving to LAV6 which we can't fully support or recover yet, but the structure of an Inf Admin Coy is fine as it is.  IMHO.

The one thing I recall about a 'war time established' echelon is how big it is, and needs to be. If there's one thing we need to practise more often I think it's probably paying attention to that particular fact of life.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Old EO Tech on November 28, 2014, 23:14:21
The one thing I recall about a 'war time established' echelon is how big it is, and needs to be. If there's one thing we need to practise more often I think it's probably paying attention to that particular fact of life.

I would agree, Armoured Regt's have always had a large echelon to support it's Sabre and Recce Sqn's.  While the Inf Bn's have gone from M113's and Grizzilies to LAV's with very little extra PY's in the CSS Eschelon's despite the huge difference in complexity of fighting systems.  But adding PY's to the CA is not something the government wants to do lately....
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Mountie on January 18, 2016, 17:44:05
I don't want to rehash the previous discussions. And I don't want to diverge into several other what if's.  I just have one what if. 

If there were the LAV's to do it, and the LIB's were going to be disbanded to reinforce the mechanized infantry battalions, would you prefer 4 rifle companies with 3 platoons each, or 3 rifle companies of 4 platoons each.  Either way, 12 platoons in the battalion.  I realize that mortar, pioneer or anti-tank platoons may be a better option.  But the question is simply 3 Coys of 4 platoons, or 4 Coys of 3 platoons?

I'd say 4 companies are better for conventional operations and 3 larger companies for COIN/Peace Support operations.


Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Old Sweat on January 18, 2016, 17:50:26
I am not an infantryman and certainly I am not current, but four company headquarters provides more flexibility and potential tactical options than do three.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Technoviking on January 18, 2016, 18:33:30
I don't want to rehash the previous discussions. And I don't want to diverge into several other what if's.  I just have one what if. 

If there were the LAV's to do it, and the LIB's were going to be disbanded to reinforce the mechanized infantry battalions, would you prefer 4 rifle companies with 3 platoons each, or 3 rifle companies of 4 platoons each.  Either way, 12 platoons in the battalion.  I realize that mortar, pioneer or anti-tank platoons may be a better option.  But the question is simply 3 Coys of 4 platoons, or 4 Coys of 3 platoons?

I'd say 4 companies are better for conventional operations and 3 larger companies for COIN/Peace Support operations.
*If*....


Then four companies of 3 platoons each.  For all operations.

Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Mountie on January 18, 2016, 20:50:38
All I was thinking with 3 Coys of 4 platoons was less support required to form independent company groups.  ie. engineer troops, FOO parties, guns, CSS

Since the rifle company seems to be the force employment level in current operations.  The USMC is moving towards what they call the Enhanced Rifle Company that will be able to act much more dispersed and independent from the battalion HQ.  So three larger companies would require less support in the form of engineer troops, FOO parties, guns, recce troops, CSS detachments, etc to form a large company group. 

But 4 Coy HQ's do provide more tactical options perhaps.

Here's a good paper on the French experience in Mali with combined arms battle groups and company groups.

http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/research_reports/RR700/RR770/RAND_RR770.pdf
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: MCG on January 18, 2016, 22:54:24
If that is what you want, then your proposal to dissolve the 3rd battalions and roll PYs into the 1st and 2nd battalions is wrong.  There are not enough CSS, Arty, or Engr to support all the company groups you are creating (regardless of it being three or four per battalion).  Perhaps you want to propose converting infantry PYs to support occupations?
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: daftandbarmy on January 19, 2016, 00:36:13
All I was thinking with 3 Coys of 4 platoons was less support required to form independent company groups.  ie. engineer troops, FOO parties, guns, CSS

Since the rifle company seems to be the force employment level in current operations.  The USMC is moving towards what they call the Enhanced Rifle Company that will be able to act much more dispersed and independent from the battalion HQ.  So three larger companies would require less support in the form of engineer troops, FOO parties, guns, recce troops, CSS detachments, etc to form a large company group. 

But 4 Coy HQ's do provide more tactical options perhaps.

Here's a good paper on the French experience in Mali with combined arms battle groups and company groups.

http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/research_reports/RR700/RR770/RAND_RR770.pdf

4 companies also makes sure that you're more likely to remain tactically viable when and if you take a lot of casualties, which is likely for the infantry in a general war scenario.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Mountie on January 19, 2016, 01:17:36
If that is what you want, then your proposal to dissolve the 3rd battalions and roll PYs into the 1st and 2nd battalions is wrong.  There are not enough CSS, Arty, or Engr to support all the company groups you are creating (regardless of it being three or four per battalion).  Perhaps you want to propose converting infantry PYs to support occupations?

I agree.  By disbanding the 3rd Bn's and rolling 6 platoons into the 1st & 2nd Bn's you still have PY's from the remaining 3 platoons, all the Coy HQ's, and the combat support and administration companies.  Would you want to make to make company groups similar to the French?
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Chris Pook on January 19, 2016, 01:20:47
If that is what you want, then your proposal to dissolve the 3rd battalions and roll PYs into the 1st and 2nd battalions is wrong.  There are not enough CSS, Arty, or Engr to support all the company groups you are creating (regardless of it being three or four per battalion).  Perhaps you want to propose converting infantry PYs to support occupations?

So roll the other way?   Create three battalions of Mech Inf and concentrate all the available CSS there.  Go with small sections and rely on the vehicles to do the fighting.  Meanwhile concentrate the infantry PYs in 6 LIGHT battalions and apply minimal CSS.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on January 21, 2016, 18:29:22
That seems to be going in the opposite direction to what other armies are doing. The SBCT is an all arms formation down to the company level, the IDF has pushed integration far down (especially in formations facing complex terrain) and I'm sure there are other examples of greater or lesser integration. Going the other way, the Royal Marines have gone to more specialized Commandos in order to focus power, but this may be more an adaptation to work with smaller budgets and fewer "tools in the toolbox" (unlike the US, which can ensure that EVERY company is kitted out with all the shiny kit).

Chis may have the seed of a good idea here; the Combat Team is a mechanized all arms formation, but we focus the reserves on dismounted/light infantry skills, since they should be the ones raised to fill the rear area security role (i.e. filling the space recently cleared by the mechanized forces to prevent a power vacuum and stabilize the area). There we need lots of boots on the ground, but not quite so many tanks and AFV's.


Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Chris Pook on January 21, 2016, 20:00:26
....
Chis may have the seed of a good idea here;.....

Excuse me.  Are you sure you meant to say that?
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: fake penguin on January 21, 2016, 23:47:07
I don't want to rehash the previous discussions. And I don't want to diverge into several other what if's.  I just have one what if. 

If there were the LAV's to do it, and the LIB's were going to be disbanded to reinforce the mechanized infantry battalions, would you prefer 4 rifle companies with 3 platoons each, or 3 rifle companies of 4 platoons each.  Either way, 12 platoons in the battalion.  I realize that mortar, pioneer or anti-tank platoons may be a better option.  But the question is simply 3 Coys of 4 platoons, or 4 Coys of 3 platoons?

I'd say 4 companies are better for conventional operations and 3 larger companies for COIN/Peace Support operations.

Not always true to have larger companies.  I knew guys in the 2PPCLI that said in TaskForce 1 08 they should of rolled with 3 companies in stead of 2 companies plus. Basically they could if covered more ground effectively.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Haligonian on December 04, 2016, 22:34:15
So I just finished this years Cbt Tm Comd's Course and I figured I'd take a look at this thread again.  Having re read it a few thoughts come to mind.

Thankfully we got back in the tank business.  While our ISTAR capabilities can certainly enable us to take greater risks in certain areas there will always be a requirement to gain contact and develop it in order to facilitate decisive actions.  If you can't survive that contact then decisive actions will not be able to follow or will be launched with much greater reduced understanding of the enemy and therefore suffer a much heavier cost than necessary. 

Unfortunately we didn't buy a lot of tanks, and we didn't plan to be able to immediately maintain them which results in extremely high VOR rates.  The maintenance issues are supposed to be fixed in the coming years but in the mean time there is an awful lot of tanks that are down or driving around with their turrets over the back deck.

Our tanks lack ERA and Active Protection.  This means that they are vulnerable to all manner of ATGMs, even some more antiquated ones.  They are likely also vulnerable to DPICM like munitions.  This needs to be rectified.

While we bought tanks, thereby alleviating many of the initial concerns of this thread when we thought we'd be divesting the tank capability, we still have many of the same concerns because we bought so few of them.  We have three squadrons of tanks spread between two brigades.  There is some talk of going to a sqn per bde.  Either way this doesn't provide us with the required depth.  A Bde Comd is required to decide between centralizing all his tanks under a single BG and likely advancing 1 up or splitting them and advancing two up.  The BG Comd is then forced with a similar decision.  In a peace support/COIN environment our tempo will be reduced as tanks are moved from Coy to Coy with maintenance breaks to conduct sequential vice simultaneous operations.  All this tells me that the favoured COA of square combat teams simply aren't feasible any longer.  And haven't been for some time.

Further, I'm not convinced on the validity of the square cbt tm structure in the first place.  Back in Germany days (and to this day doctrinally) the tank Regt had 4 sqns of 4 trps each.  This meant that the Bde Comd could detach two Sqns to the Inf Bn's and attach a coy or two to the Regt and still keep it as a maneuver headquarters.  Our Bde Comd's now face the choice of penny packeting out their tanks to Inf BG's or throwing them all into a single BG and leaving the others with no armour support and little anti armour capability.  The initial pages of this thread shows that conducting offensive operations against an enemy with tanks, or other serious anti armour capabilities and real IDF will be very difficult and we don't have the resources to do it nor the knowledge.  With only a squadron in the bde we've reduced the problem but not eliminated it.

As the discussion above illustrates, this paucity of tanks means that Bde/BG Comds are more likely divide out their tanks to Inf heavy BG/Cbt Tms, and yet we still seem to place this construct of the square cbt tm on a pedestal doctrinally and in Individual Trg.  The Army bends over backwards every year to get four troops into the field for CTCC.  It's time we take a look at how realistic this task org is and just when we'd want to employ it.  Further, I think there is some fundamental issues with the square cbt tm.  In terms of C2 it seems to be a risk to unity of command to have two sub units and their commander's operating towards the same objective.  Granted one is designated the Cbt Tm Comd, however, I still see this as a potential area of friction.  It also means that the Comd has designated two sub units and their HQ's to the same problem.  By doing this he's done one of two things.  He's either taken a BG problem and made it a Sub Unit comd's problem, or he's reduced his own flexibility by assigning two sub units to tackle a problem that one could achieve.  He's essentially wasting a sub unit headquarters.

It doesn't appear that any of our allies task org in this fashion and when they do it is by exception.  The US uses cross attachment to form Coy Tms.  This sees Tank Coys and Mech Inf Coys giving a platoon to the other to form Tank heavy (Tm Tank) or Inf heavy (Tm Mech) Coy Tms.  A similar process happens at unit level to create Armour or Inf heavy Task Forces, with the exception to this being the Armoured Brigade Cbt Tms which used to feature a two Mech Inf and two tank sub units.  We had a British officer come and speak to us who now lives in the Fredericton area.  He had been a Cbt Tm Comd on the march up to Baghdad and he explained that the Brits do something similar but will often attach two tank trps to a Mech Coy.  He was quite specific that it was highly unusual for a square cbt tm to be task organized.  I would suggest there is probably a reason our major allies do not task org in this fashion.

This leads me to the conclusion that the future cbt tm ain't square.  We need updated TTP's and start training our sub unit comd's to dynamically detach sub sub units and accept a sub sub unit in exchange based on the requirement of the assigned task.  We in the infantry may need to get more comfortable with the idea of assaulting without tanks as well.  The future being ADO will only strain our limited armoured resources further.  Squadrons need to be able to disaggregate as far down as the trp level.  The limiting factor here is sustainment obviously.  If we're serious about doing ADO then the tank sqn echelon needs to get even more robust and it may require some further depth in terms of C2.  Currently the ech can support dispersed half sqns to an extent and their geographical dispersion would likely be a critical factor.  The echelon needs to get to a point where operating like this is the norm and easily supported.

The LAV 6.0 is an issue.  As discussed in other places on the form we need a more protected vehicle if we're going to survive against an enemy like the Russians.  While I personally didn't have any problems I've been told by many that the difference between the LAV's mobility and the Leo's has been compounded by the 6.0.  It's increased weight and the fact that it's turbo does not kick in like the LAV 3's did makes it less mobile.  Generally, in Gagetown like terrain the LAV 6 is confined to tracks and roads to shake out at the very last moment in the assault.  Don't even think about assuming tactical formations on the advance.  The LAV needs improvements to its drivetrain to increase its mobility, and it needs an active protection system to increase its survivability.  Additional armour and ERA could be considered understanding that the increased weight would have an impact on mobility.  This could be mitigated by removing the turret, replacing it with some kind of RWS, and adopting APC TTPs.

With all the ISTAR assets out there the Coy/Cbt Tm needs an intel function.  Likely something like a Company Int Support Tm of 2 or 3 dudes tops.  In Major Combat the requirement for this will likely be reduced or at least the coy's ability to use it will be reduced due to tempo.  Dual hatting the LAV Capt and perhaps his gunner or driver will probably work, or some other similar approach.  During COIN or peace support, however, a dedicated, small, organization would pay dividends.

The paucity of IDF in the current CMBG structure means that integral mortars to the Cbt Tm would be very helpful.  ISTAR will help us to to shape objectives prior to assault but as discussed this has yet to prevent the requirement for assaults, and assaults will need IDF.  Mechanized mortars would be very helpful in this.  This will make sub units more independent during ADO and not totally reliant on Bde guns during offensive operations when they might be busy supporting an adjacent unit.

We should be looking at explosive breaching.  If we can breach with a line charge then why use a perfectly good tank ploughing through an active minefield.  MICLICs are a good thing.  Our complete lack of an under armour bridging capability is also a glaring fault.

Having said all this, the future cbt tm looks a lot like cbt tms of the past but it's not square.  It will often feel light on armour if operating in open terrain against a mechanised enemy.  It's likely a Coy with 1 or 2 trps attached or a sqn(-) with a platoon attached.  No change with the attached FOO and engineer trp.  It should have its own IDF capability, preferably able to fire from the vehicle.  It requires robust echelons that can support dispersed operations that include operations at the half sqn size and perhaps below.

I suspect that much will depend upon the Cbt Tm's ability to operate in complex terrain.  Our desire will be to operate outside of these areas but the enemy will seek to deny these areas from complex terrain through IDF and long range direct fire.  We will be forced to fight there.  In this environment what we might find the Cbt Tm lacking in is dismounted infantry.  Seven dismounts (assuming no casualties, LOB, or HLTA) per section may feel pretty light when fighting through cities, forests, or mountainous terrain.  In such terrain an additional armoured vehicle without additional dismounts will only be a liability.

Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Chris Pook on December 04, 2016, 22:40:37
LAV 6.0?

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi42.tinypic.com%2F2i9hy1h.jpg&hash=32f05d550b7de517ed7a00a12b54295f)
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: daftandbarmy on December 05, 2016, 00:43:04


So what you're saying is, basically, that we're screwed?  :'(
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Oldgateboatdriver on December 05, 2016, 14:58:40
Nope:

It sounds like we have a "Main battle tank gap" that needs to be addressed through an urgent "interim purchase".  :christmas happy:
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Old Sweat on December 05, 2016, 15:32:35
I did my combat team commander's course in 1972 in an army using Centurions and M113A1s. Not surprisingly, much of it is a blur except for one trace that I did not command. We had a large combat team of a squadron and a company with the squadron commander as the combat team commander.

I was the company commander and eventually we were faced with an assault on, I think Jerusalem Ridge, in Gagetown. The squadron commander elected to command the fire base consisting of his tank and two troops of the squadron, while I was detailed to command the assault force of the company and what we called a half squadron - two troops led by the battle captain - at the time. The details are sketchy, but we got the assault force in the FUP and shaken out in time for the assault, which was deemed successful. We had to deal with some opposition during the assault, but the tanks had their act together and took it out in response to a (probably needless) order from me.

The DS who debriefed the operation were not kind to the squadron commander, who had essentially delegated the more difficult task to a subordinate and was late arriving on the objective to prepare for the next task. Be that as it may, I felt the combat team was too large and cumbersome, and we were faced what was closer to a battle group task than one suited for a combat team.

Considering the time and place, we used to do this sort of thing, but I, as did many of the students, felt our doctrine of the time was questionable. This harsh assessment, besides the lack of flexibility of a large combat team, also was based on the approach preached by the Armoured OC of the Tactics Department, who had M113s driving onto the objective (or at least the dismount area) while the tanks provided support in depth to avoid hand-held anti-tank weapons.

Maybe we were showing the results of two decades without a war back then as well.
 
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: MCG on December 05, 2016, 16:04:15
It doesn't appear that any of our allies task org in this fashion and when they do it is by exception.
That is because our allies think bigger, and a square combat team is not very efficient when you are trying to maximize the combat power out of a battle group.  I have seen a few examples in US doctrine a single tank company (controlled by the Bn HQ) is able to support multiple infantry companies (as they need it) through a multi-stage operation.  The default to square combat teams is intellectually lazy, and it wishes away real world resource constraints.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: daftandbarmy on December 05, 2016, 17:49:07
That is because our allies think bigger, and a square combat team is not very efficient when you are trying to maximize the combat power out of a battle group.  I have seen a few examples in US doctrine a single tank company (controlled by the Bn HQ) is able to support multiple infantry companies (as they need it) through a multi-stage operation.  The default to square combat teams is intellectually lazy, and it wishes away real world resource constraints.

You have just reminded me of a word that is very important to various bureaucratic rice bowl Defence programs: Doctrine.

I recall, on my Cbt Tm Comd's Course, asking why they sent two troops on a right flanking against a dug in enemy reinforced section and was told 'it's doctrine', as if I'd just stepped off of the short bus.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Haligonian on December 05, 2016, 20:49:35
Nope:

It sounds like we have a "Main battle tank gap" that needs to be addressed through an urgent "interim purchase".  :christmas happy:

Yes, if we want three symmetrical CMBG's that can all operate at the high end against the most demanding opposition.  The other option would be to centralise all the tanks in one CMBG, in one Regiment.  We could look at dropping to three tank trps per sqn IOT to ensure there is a fourth sqn in the Regt.  Then bring on some heavy APCs for the infantry in that Bde.  Sound familiar?

That is because our allies think bigger, and a square combat team is not very efficient when you are trying to maximize the combat power out of a battle group.  I have seen a few examples in US doctrine a single tank company (controlled by the Bn HQ) is able to support multiple infantry companies (as they need it) through a multi-stage operation.  The default to square combat teams is intellectually lazy, and it wishes away real world resource constraints.

Agreed.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: FJAG on December 05, 2016, 21:34:57
I did my combat team commander's course in 1972 in an army using Centurions and M113A1s. Not surprisingly, much of it is a blur except for one trace that I did not command. We had a large combat team of a squadron and a company with the squadron commander as the combat team commander.

I was the company commander and eventually we were faced with an assault on, I think Jerusalem Ridge, in Gagetown. The squadron commander elected to command the fire base consisting of his tank and two troops of the squadron, while I was detailed to command the assault force of the company and what we called a half squadron - two troops led by the battle captain - at the time. The details are sketchy, but we got the assault force in the FUP and shaken out in time for the assault, which was deemed successful. We had to deal with some opposition during the assault, but the tanks had their act together and took it out in response to a (probably needless) order from me.

The DS who debriefed the operation were not kind to the squadron commander, who had essentially delegated the more difficult task to a subordinate and was late arriving on the objective to prepare for the next task. Be that as it may, I felt the combat team was too large and cumbersome, and we were faced what was closer to a battle group task than one suited for a combat team.

Considering the time and place, we used to do this sort of thing, but I, as did many of the students, felt our doctrine of the time was questionable. This harsh assessment, besides the lack of flexibility of a large combat team, also was based on the approach preached by the Armoured OC of the Tactics Department, who had M113s driving onto the objective (or at least the dismount area) while the tanks provided support in depth to avoid hand-held anti-tank weapons.

Maybe we were showing the results of two decades without a war back then as well.

That brought back memories. I did mine either late in 76 or early in 77 (all that I remember was that the weather was miserable) We too had a full four-troop Centurion squadron and an M113 company(+) from the Van Doos. I don't recall any esoteric discussions about doctrine at the time; ours were mostly addressing the antiquated equipment that we were using and how we'd all die. I must admit when I read the original post I did not think that our older organization was too big but was left with the distinct impression that we are underequiping and undermanning the current ones. There seem to be inadequate resources to do the primary tasks when full up much less after having suffered battle and maintenance casualties.

I do recall being impressed by one item on the Centurion. Besides the inclusion of the boiling vessel there was a small compartment providing access to what I think was the final drive which apparently ran at a constant temperature just below the boiling point and into which the crew would throw all their RP 4 cans providing them with hot food at any time. Hadn't had that in my FOO track.

 :subbies:
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Old Sweat on December 06, 2016, 10:25:55
One feature of my course, which was run in Gagetown supported by 2 RCR with two mechanized companies, a tank squadron and E Battery 2 RCHA (at the an independent battery based in Gagetown) providing three FOO parties less the officer,) was that the six gunner students filled all the FOO appointments besides taking our turn in the other appointments. The Commander CTC, one BGen Radley-Walters, made it clear that we would be assessed on our performance as FOOs as well as in the other appointments.

Another feature was that the course provided an "Attended" with no pass/fail or letter gradings. This was to cut down on the buddy f.cking that had developed in previous serials. I wonder if the gunners as FOOs and the "Attended" course report have survived. Many years later LGen Charlie Belzile, who just passed away, told me there was a typical Canadian Army fiddle in this; the first line of the narrative read something like "__ very easily met, easily met, met, met with difficult, or failed to met the course standard." To those in the know at the time this equated to a grading of A, B, C, D or F
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Haligonian on December 06, 2016, 17:45:57
The course is still an attend and the course report gives you and your CO an idea where you stood.  However there are no rankings or letter grades.  There's been discussions that it should be graded and my CO has mentioned that he thinks the course reports still don't say enough.

There is one FOO for the cbt tm provided by a field force unit.  Along with an ATG for the BGHQ.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Old Sweat on December 06, 2016, 17:51:12
Thanks. Again, officially we did not received a letter grade or ranking, but . . . I think my course report was at least three paragraphs long.

If you have a FOO provided, does that mean you do not have any gunner students?

And I have been retired long enough for my pension to get a CD and bar, so who or what is an ATG?
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Infanteer on December 06, 2016, 18:53:38
If you have a FOO provided, does that mean you do not have any gunner students?

I've seen artillery officers attend the course as candidates, although it may change from serial to serial.

Quote
And I have been retired long enough for my pension to get a CD and bar, so who or what is an ATG?

Artillery Tactical Group - it's the attachment of all the bits that an affiliated Regiment brings to a manoeuvre unit; namely the BC's Party and the OP dets with FOOs and FACs.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Old Sweat on December 06, 2016, 18:56:34
Thank you, Infanteer.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Haligonian on December 06, 2016, 18:58:56
Thanks. Again, officially we did not received a letter grade or ranking, but . . . I think my course report was at least three paragraphs long.

If you have a FOO provided, does that mean you do not have any gunner students?

And I have been retired long enough for my pension to get a CD and bar, so who or what is an ATG?

Like Infanteer said.  The artillery and engineer officers are still attending but in relatively low numbers.  I think there was only 3 arty officers and 2 engineers on my course.  The other issue is that there are about one third as many armour officers to infantry officers but not all these armour officers have tank experiences.  This will be alleviated in the coming years now that armour 1.1/1.2 will feature both recce and tanks.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on December 06, 2016, 19:38:31
So I just finished this years Cbt Tm Comd's Course and I figured I'd take a look at this thread again.  Having re read it a few thoughts come to mind.

Thankfully we got back in the tank business.  While our ISTAR capabilities can certainly enable us to take greater risks in certain areas there will always be a requirement to gain contact and develop it in order to facilitate decisive actions.  If you can't survive that contact then decisive actions will not be able to follow or will be launched with much greater reduced understanding of the enemy and therefore suffer a much heavier cost than necessary. 

Unfortunately we didn't buy a lot of tanks, and we didn't plan to be able to immediately maintain them which results in extremely high VOR rates.  The maintenance issues are supposed to be fixed in the coming years but in the mean time there is an awful lot of tanks that are down or driving around with their turrets over the back deck.

Our tanks lack ERA and Active Protection.  This means that they are vulnerable to all manner of ATGMs, even some more antiquated ones.  They are likely also vulnerable to DPICM like munitions.  This needs to be rectified.

While we bought tanks, thereby alleviating many of the initial concerns of this thread when we thought we'd be divesting the tank capability, we still have many of the same concerns because we bought so few of them.  We have three squadrons of tanks spread between two brigades.  There is some talk of going to a sqn per bde.  Either way this doesn't provide us with the required depth.  A Bde Comd is required to decide between centralizing all his tanks under a single BG and likely advancing 1 up or splitting them and advancing two up.  The BG Comd is then forced with a similar decision.  In a peace support/COIN environment our tempo will be reduced as tanks are moved from Coy to Coy with maintenance breaks to conduct sequential vice simultaneous operations.  All this tells me that the favoured COA of square combat teams simply aren't feasible any longer.  And haven't been for some time.

Further, I'm not convinced on the validity of the square cbt tm structure in the first place.  Back in Germany days (and to this day doctrinally) the tank Regt had 4 sqns of 4 trps each.  This meant that the Bde Comd could detach two Sqns to the Inf Bn's and attach a coy or two to the Regt and still keep it as a maneuver headquarters.  Our Bde Comd's now face the choice of penny packeting out their tanks to Inf BG's or throwing them all into a single BG and leaving the others with no armour support and little anti armour capability.  The initial pages of this thread shows that conducting offensive operations against an enemy with tanks, or other serious anti armour capabilities and real IDF will be very difficult and we don't have the resources to do it nor the knowledge.  With only a squadron in the bde we've reduced the problem but not eliminated it.

As the discussion above illustrates, this paucity of tanks means that Bde/BG Comds are more likely divide out their tanks to Inf heavy BG/Cbt Tms, and yet we still seem to place this construct of the square cbt tm on a pedestal doctrinally and in Individual Trg.  The Army bends over backwards every year to get four troops into the field for CTCC.  It's time we take a look at how realistic this task org is and just when we'd want to employ it.  Further, I think there is some fundamental issues with the square cbt tm.  In terms of C2 it seems to be a risk to unity of command to have two sub units and their commander's operating towards the same objective.  Granted one is designated the Cbt Tm Comd, however, I still see this as a potential area of friction.  It also means that the Comd has designated two sub units and their HQ's to the same problem.  By doing this he's done one of two things.  He's either taken a BG problem and made it a Sub Unit comd's problem, or he's reduced his own flexibility by assigning two sub units to tackle a problem that one could achieve.  He's essentially wasting a sub unit headquarters.

It doesn't appear that any of our allies task org in this fashion and when they do it is by exception.  The US uses cross attachment to form Coy Tms.  This sees Tank Coys and Mech Inf Coys giving a platoon to the other to form Tank heavy (Tm Tank) or Inf heavy (Tm Mech) Coy Tms.  A similar process happens at unit level to create Armour or Inf heavy Task Forces, with the exception to this being the Armoured Brigade Cbt Tms which used to feature a two Mech Inf and two tank sub units.  We had a British officer come and speak to us who now lives in the Fredericton area.  He had been a Cbt Tm Comd on the march up to Baghdad and he explained that the Brits do something similar but will often attach two tank trps to a Mech Coy.  He was quite specific that it was highly unusual for a square cbt tm to be task organized.  I would suggest there is probably a reason our major allies do not task org in this fashion.

This leads me to the conclusion that the future cbt tm ain't square.  We need updated TTP's and start training our sub unit comd's to dynamically detach sub sub units and accept a sub sub unit in exchange based on the requirement of the assigned task.  We in the infantry may need to get more comfortable with the idea of assaulting without tanks as well.  The future being ADO will only strain our limited armoured resources further.  Squadrons need to be able to disaggregate as far down as the trp level.  The limiting factor here is sustainment obviously.  If we're serious about doing ADO then the tank sqn echelon needs to get even more robust and it may require some further depth in terms of C2.  Currently the ech can support dispersed half sqns to an extent and their geographical dispersion would likely be a critical factor.  The echelon needs to get to a point where operating like this is the norm and easily supported.

The LAV 6.0 is an issue.  As discussed in other places on the form we need a more protected vehicle if we're going to survive against an enemy like the Russians.  While I personally didn't have any problems I've been told by many that the difference between the LAV's mobility and the Leo's has been compounded by the 6.0.  It's increased weight and the fact that it's turbo does not kick in like the LAV 3's did makes it less mobile.  Generally, in Gagetown like terrain the LAV 6 is confined to tracks and roads to shake out at the very last moment in the assault.  Don't even think about assuming tactical formations on the advance.  The LAV needs improvements to its drivetrain to increase its mobility, and it needs an active protection system to increase its survivability.  Additional armour and ERA could be considered understanding that the increased weight would have an impact on mobility.  This could be mitigated by removing the turret, replacing it with some kind of RWS, and adopting APC TTPs.

With all the ISTAR assets out there the Coy/Cbt Tm needs an intel function.  Likely something like a Company Int Support Tm of 2 or 3 dudes tops.  In Major Combat the requirement for this will likely be reduced or at least the coy's ability to use it will be reduced due to tempo.  Dual hatting the LAV Capt and perhaps his gunner or driver will probably work, or some other similar approach.  During COIN or peace support, however, a dedicated, small, organization would pay dividends.

The paucity of IDF in the current CMBG structure means that integral mortars to the Cbt Tm would be very helpful.  ISTAR will help us to to shape objectives prior to assault but as discussed this has yet to prevent the requirement for assaults, and assaults will need IDF.  Mechanized mortars would be very helpful in this.  This will make sub units more independent during ADO and not totally reliant on Bde guns during offensive operations when they might be busy supporting an adjacent unit.

We should be looking at explosive breaching.  If we can breach with a line charge then why use a perfectly good tank ploughing through an active minefield.  MICLICs are a good thing.  Our complete lack of an under armour bridging capability is also a glaring fault.

Having said all this, the future cbt tm looks a lot like cbt tms of the past but it's not square.  It will often feel light on armour if operating in open terrain against a mechanised enemy.  It's likely a Coy with 1 or 2 trps attached or a sqn(-) with a platoon attached.  No change with the attached FOO and engineer trp.  It should have its own IDF capability, preferably able to fire from the vehicle.  It requires robust echelons that can support dispersed operations that include operations at the half sqn size and perhaps below.

I suspect that much will depend upon the Cbt Tm's ability to operate in complex terrain.  Our desire will be to operate outside of these areas but the enemy will seek to deny these areas from complex terrain through IDF and long range direct fire.  We will be forced to fight there.  In this environment what we might find the Cbt Tm lacking in is dismounted infantry.  Seven dismounts (assuming no casualties, LOB, or HLTA) per section may feel pretty light when fighting through cities, forests, or mountainous terrain.  In such terrain an additional armoured vehicle without additional dismounts will only be a liability.

Not one;y is the square combat team a resource hog, it is an old organization which is based on the idea that tanks provide the firepower and infantry are escorted by the tanks (and switch to escorting the tanks upon dismounting). The idea fails to take into account the ever increasing power of the weapons available to the infantry, nor the ability using modern C3 to tie into many more resources. It even discounts the increasing abilities of tanks.

Otters changes have taken place over my career. When I joined near the end of the Cold War, digging in, having hides and harbours and moving to various run up positions and other things were matter of course and potentially allowed you to survive the storm of heavy metal the Red Army would use to clear the path ahead of them ("Fire Corridors").

In the last several years during the MR series of exercises, I have seen first hand how UAV's and other technologies strip away much of the ability to hide form observation, and how "smart" rounds essentially negate much of the effect of digging in. When a 155mm is "plinking" tanks with single rounds from 20km away, you realize that things really are different.

While we don't have these things, tanks can also fire smart rounds. The Korean Smart Top-Attack Munition (KSTAM) allows a tank to engage NLOS targets at up to 8km, and Israeli LAHAT rounds can be used out to 13km, making tanks mobile and protected SP artillery under the right circumstances. Swedish 155 "Archer" SP guns fire from magazines and it can engage out to 60km with the proper shells, and fire at rate up to 3 rounds in 15 seconds if needed. So combat teams (or whatever their future descendants are called) need to be designed to face that sort of firepower, and ideally should be able to dish it out as well. "Third Offset" theory and technology will supposedly allow commanders to call in sensors, fires and effects from off board their own platforms , or even groups (for example a Marine F-35 spotted a target and then launched and controlled a SAM from a nearby Navy ship in a test).

Far more challenging will be the integration of vast amounts of real time data from sensors both on and off board the various systems in the combat team, attachments of close range AAA/C-RAM systems and engineers and other enablers to deal with complex terrain and a robust logistics system to keep things going in the field. In essence, this will evolve into a mini battle group.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: George Wallace on December 06, 2016, 19:47:36
But when that big EM burst happens and technology fails, you are left with the basics.  Then your "basics" have to be be better than the enemy's.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: FJAG on December 06, 2016, 20:56:43
But when that big EM burst happens and technology fails, you are left with the basics.  Then your "basics" have to be be better than the enemy's.

Couldn't agree more even though you don't even need a big EM to take down some of the hi-tech stuff. EW is getting more and more sophisticated and our networked systems will always be going through cycles of vulnerable/secure/vulnerable/secure.

In my day we trained to rely on paper maps and grease pencils as a fall back when the computers went down. After decades of fighting unsophisticated enemies we may have lost the skills to go back to the basics.

 :subbies:
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Chris Pook on December 06, 2016, 21:05:57
In the same vein

http://www.sciencealert.com/the-scary-practical-reason-the-navy-is-once-again-teaching-celestial-navigation

Quote
The scary, practical reason the US Navy is once again teaching celestial navigation

You can't hack the sky.

Though I have to say protecting your smart phone by turning it off, restarting it after the event, taking a snap of the sky then comparing it to sky charts in memory, does have its attractions.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Haligonian on December 06, 2016, 22:47:29
Not one;y is the square combat team a resource hog, it is an old organization which is based on the idea that tanks provide the firepower and infantry are escorted by the tanks (and switch to escorting the tanks upon dismounting). The idea fails to take into account the ever increasing power of the weapons available to the infantry, nor the ability using modern C3 to tie into many more resources. It even discounts the increasing abilities of tanks.

Otters changes have taken place over my career. When I joined near the end of the Cold War, digging in, having hides and harbours and moving to various run up positions and other things were matter of course and potentially allowed you to survive the storm of heavy metal the Red Army would use to clear the path ahead of them ("Fire Corridors").

In the last several years during the MR series of exercises, I have seen first hand how UAV's and other technologies strip away much of the ability to hide form observation, and how "smart" rounds essentially negate much of the effect of digging in. When a 155mm is "plinking" tanks with single rounds from 20km away, you realize that things really are different.

While we don't have these things, tanks can also fire smart rounds. The Korean Smart Top-Attack Munition (KSTAM) allows a tank to engage NLOS targets at up to 8km, and Israeli LAHAT rounds can be used out to 13km, making tanks mobile and protected SP artillery under the right circumstances. Swedish 155 "Archer" SP guns fire from magazines and it can engage out to 60km with the proper shells, and fire at rate up to 3 rounds in 15 seconds if needed. So combat teams (or whatever their future descendants are called) need to be designed to face that sort of firepower, and ideally should be able to dish it out as well. "Third Offset" theory and technology will supposedly allow commanders to call in sensors, fires and effects from off board their own platforms , or even groups (for example a Marine F-35 spotted a target and then launched and controlled a SAM from a nearby Navy ship in a test).

Far more challenging will be the integration of vast amounts of real time data from sensors both on and off board the various systems in the combat team, attachments of close range AAA/C-RAM systems and engineers and other enablers to deal with complex terrain and a robust logistics system to keep things going in the field. In essence, this will evolve into a mini battle group.

Thanks for this.  So I struggled with this as I wrote the original post.  Is a combat tm still relevant in a world where we can find and precisely destroy individual AFVs and fighting positions?  If most of the time we need to defeat an adversary's will to resist vice destroying them incrementally then do we need to assault?  If we can reach out thousands of kilometers with precision munitions do we still need to seize ground and is holding terrain viable?

I think our most recent operations, the Stephen Biddle article on lessons learned from Afghanistan is a good example, show that we will still be forced to close with an enemy in order to find them.  In Desert Storm the majority of Iraqi fighting vehicles were also destroyed by Abrams and Bradley fire vice air delivered munitions and that was in a desert against a conventional enemy with us having air supremacy.  This will be exacerbated by our enemy forcing us to fight in complex terrain.  In such operations tanks, and tank infantry cooperation will remain effective if not required.  Defeating our ISTAR efforts will be a major effort by our enemies.  Further, ISTAR takes time.  COIN and Peace Support are likely to give us the time to conduct ISTAR "soaks" and what not.  Major Combat, however, will likely push the tempo which means the time between decisive actions and shaping ISTAR actions are likely to be shorter.  This will place the onus on maneuver forces to gain and develop contact.

I would also propose that precision munitions are low density items.  Against a real opponent such as a Russia or China how long before the west goes bingo on PGMs and how long and how much does it cost to get production ramped up.  Further, the platforms that deliver those munitions are low density and maintenance intensive.  So perhaps we execute some impressive shaping operations in Ph 1 of campaign A.  What happens if Campaign A doesn't win the war?

The question of how do Cbt Tms face this kind of fire power may be moot.  I'm saying that there is still a requirement for an assault and that likely isn't going away.  I'm also saying that combined arms, with tank infantry cooperation as the center piece, at the sub unit level in the form of a cbt tm (not square) still seems like a good approach.  To assault or hold terrain requires mass.  The Cbt Tm provides this in terms of its ability to mass fires, both direct and indirect at the right time and place, defeat and lay obstacles, and provide the ability to assault the enemy in order to effect destruction or seize terrain.  In the defence it provides the ability to hold terrain or effect destruction through mobile operations in depth.  But to do all this it has to mass.  This massing has to be protected.  This means conditions setting must take place.  Air and potentially sea superiority must be gained, C2, and fires assets must be disrupted and the arty/c-btry battle must have been won.  I don't think that is all that different from what we've done since WW 2 really.  Once we've cleared the skies of enemy air and ISTAR assets, and disrupted their ability to control and actually fire their IDF systems then we have an environment that allows for the massing of high signature combat power.

Another question is just what technological fixes are being pursued to the problem of vehicle, and maybe even personnel, signatures to ISTAR assets?  Is it possible to make a Cbt Tm invisible to thermal?  If we could do that reliably and at a reasonable price then we would have a bit of a game changer.  On a more feasible note, we should be buying vehicles that can run turret watch for hours/days on batteries without having to start the engines.  The LAV 6.0 is horrible for this.  To run the radios she pretty much needs to run all night.  This would make us much more survivable in the defence.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Technoviking on December 06, 2016, 23:23:15
Very good points, Haligonian.

As for the Engr and Arty candidates, there are few, mainly because they won't be employed as combat team commanders.  Having said that, having them on the course (either as candidates or as "non-assessed attendees") is, in my opinion, essential.  It allows the Tank and Infantry candidates to interact with them throughout the course to get their vital points of view on everything at that very low but important tactical fight.  As for the field portions, going back a year, a FOO party ("ATG") is but one element and is included as part of the "clag" that deploys.

As for the notion of the square combat team; I realize it's essentially a Canadian thing nowadays; however, it's not a passé notion either.  We aren't the US Army and we ought to stop comparing ourselves to them.  We don't have the resources.  So, looking at the force employment concept, I know that 7 years ago we used combat teams that were rectangular (not quite square, of course), but the square model is viable.  As a training vehicle, it forces the candidates to task out the various number of elements based on their varying capabilities.  As a fighting unit, I would offer that the combat team could take on a Russian-style battlegroup and win, 10 times out of 10.  Notwithstanding the 2-OC problem, it is a tight-knit and very powerful unit.  Of course, they aren't of much use in Operations Other than War.  But I would offer that if you're bringing tanks to a fight, there's a reason for them, so there's that.

And yes, we need more of them, they need active and reactive armour, and all that goes with it.  As well as an infantry fighting vehicle that can keep up to them.

Anyway, great discussion all round!  :salute: 
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: FJAG on December 06, 2016, 23:53:12
As for the Engr and Arty candidates, there are few, mainly because they won't be employed as combat team commanders.  Having said that, having them on the course (either as candidates or as "non-assessed attendees") is, in my opinion, essential.  It allows the Tank and Infantry candidates to interact with them throughout the course to get their vital points of view on everything at that very low but important tactical fight.

I hope that the "won't be employed as a combat team commander" observation doesn't reflect some new official training concept (probably fiscally based).

Again going back to the days when Old Sweat and I still had testosterone, artillery officers and engineers were loaded on these courses in significant numbers not just because we provided indirect fire support knowledge to the other candidates (not to mention dignity), but because it was essential for us to understand and master the organizations and tactics that we had to support with our fires.

Book learning and a couple of weeks a year on exercise provide a veneer of familiarity but the only way that you truly understand how combat teams, battle groups and higher formations function is by attending specific courses such as the Combat Team Commander's Course, the old Army Command and Staff Course and similar courses hand in hand with all the main actors who will be involved (Hell! Even air, aviation, log etc have their roles on these courses).

It's true that artillery officers rarely command cbt tms or BG's but there were a whole slew of them that have commanded Bdes, Divs, Armys etc including in combat. Understanding and perfecting the fundamentals at the basic building block level is critical to all cbt arms offrs.  :2c:

 :subbies:
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Technoviking on December 07, 2016, 00:45:31
It's fiscal.

Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on December 07, 2016, 00:48:13
Thanks for this.  So I struggled with this as I wrote the original post.  Is a combat tm still relevant in a world where we can find and precisely destroy individual AFVs and fighting positions?  If most of the time we need to defeat an adversary's will to resist vice destroying them incrementally then do we need to assault?  If we can reach out thousands of kilometers with precision munitions do we still need to seize ground and is holding terrain viable?

I think our most recent operations, the Stephen Biddle article on lessons learned from Afghanistan is a good example, show that we will still be forced to close with an enemy in order to find them.  In Desert Storm the majority of Iraqi fighting vehicles were also destroyed by Abrams and Bradley fire vice air delivered munitions and that was in a desert against a conventional enemy with us having air supremacy.  This will be exacerbated by our enemy forcing us to fight in complex terrain.  In such operations tanks, and tank infantry cooperation will remain effective if not required.  Defeating our ISTAR efforts will be a major effort by our enemies.  Further, ISTAR takes time.  COIN and Peace Support are likely to give us the time to conduct ISTAR "soaks" and what not.  Major Combat, however, will likely push the tempo which means the time between decisive actions and shaping ISTAR actions are likely to be shorter.  This will place the onus on maneuver forces to gain and develop contact.

I would also propose that precision munitions are low density items.  Against a real opponent such as a Russia or China how long before the west goes bingo on PGMs and how long and how much does it cost to get production ramped up.  Further, the platforms that deliver those munitions are low density and maintenance intensive.  So perhaps we execute some impressive shaping operations in Ph 1 of campaign A.  What happens if Campaign A doesn't win the war?

The question of how do Cbt Tms face this kind of fire power may be moot.  I'm saying that there is still a requirement for an assault and that likely isn't going away.  I'm also saying that combined arms, with tank infantry cooperation as the center piece, at the sub unit level in the form of a cbt tm (not square) still seems like a good approach.  To assault or hold terrain requires mass.  The Cbt Tm provides this in terms of its ability to mass fires, both direct and indirect at the right time and place, defeat and lay obstacles, and provide the ability to assault the enemy in order to effect destruction or seize terrain.  In the defence it provides the ability to hold terrain or effect destruction through mobile operations in depth.  But to do all this it has to mass.  This massing has to be protected.  This means conditions setting must take place.  Air and potentially sea superiority must be gained, C2, and fires assets must be disrupted and the arty/c-btry battle must have been won.  I don't think that is all that different from what we've done since WW 2 really.  Once we've cleared the skies of enemy air and ISTAR assets, and disrupted their ability to control and actually fire their IDF systems then we have an environment that allows for the massing of high signature combat power.

Another question is just what technological fixes are being pursued to the problem of vehicle, and maybe even personnel, signatures to ISTAR assets?  Is it possible to make a Cbt Tm invisible to thermal?  If we could do that reliably and at a reasonable price then we would have a bit of a game changer.  On a more feasible note, we should be buying vehicles that can run turret watch for hours/days on batteries without having to start the engines.  The LAV 6.0 is horrible for this.  To run the radios she pretty much needs to run all night.  This would make us much more survivable in the defence.

All things we need to take a good, hard look at.

Perhaps the biggest game changer will have to be putting economics of scale into the production of "smart" munitions. Consider that your "smart phone" costs @ $600 Cdn, yet contains within most of the things any smart weapon will have within, including accelerometers, GPS, cameras, two separate communications systems (Cellular and Wi-Fi) an accurate clock (and/or a connection with an atomic clock via the network)...

Ordering and building munitions (and almost everything else) on an assembly line basis rather than essentially getting individual "bespoke" items solves a multitude of issues, including cost reduction, providing depth for prolonged operations and allowing the use of mass (Third Offset theory involves using cooperative "swarms" of weapons and sensors). This is much like the huge assembly plant at Willow Park churning out B-24 "Liberator" bombers at a rate of one every 24 hours during WWII brought down the prices of the bombers and allowed 1000 bomber raids.

Camouflage and masking will need to be brought into a new generation as well. Devices like the BAE IR masking panels (which allow vehicles to "present" themselves as cars, trucks or farm machinery) or more futuristic ideas like metamaterial coatings to refract electromagnetic waves around the protected device will tip the balance back towards the defense (although when anything is going to actually make it out of the lab is problematic).

Still this is going to be one of those "wicked" problems that is going to need to be looked at from lots of different angles.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Chris Pook on December 07, 2016, 02:22:16
I wonder what costs more

1000 of these

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fstatic.progressivemediagroup.com%2Fuploads%2Fimagelibrary%2F4-t90s-tank.jpg&hash=c7b4571c63440e4d11edd0293f655571)

or 1000 of these

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fmms.businesswire.com%2Fmedia%2F20150309005026%2Fen%2F456415%2F5%2FPGK.jpg&hash=a67a0d6de0ad904bfd4a1177ea8f162c)

155mm +/- 30m
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Old Sweat on December 07, 2016, 10:45:22
Edward and I are probably the only two active members of this site who were around for the mechanization of the Canadian Army circa 1964-1966. For a fair amount of this period I was a lieutenant liaison officer in HQ 4 CIBG responsible for the introduction of the M113 family of vehicles in CANFE (Canadian Army National Force Europe) although the technical details were handled by a RCEME major in the headquarters of the other formation in CANFE, Canadian Base Units Europe, or CBUE.

This was only two decades after the end of the Second World War and the experiences in NWE were still clear in peoples' minds. It was fully understood that the M113 was designed to carry infantry whose job was to close with and destroy the enemy on foot. At the time we did not envisage having panzer grenadiers or armoured infantry such as found in the motor battalions in our armoured divisions. This situation prevailed past the introduction of the Grizzly and I am not sure we have ever considered the LAV as an infantry fighting vehicle.

However, tactics and techniques were modified as we transitioned from motorized infantry to mechanized infantry in the mid-sixties. This was not restricted to the infantry and armour; in gunner-land we streamlined our quick firing planning procedures and began to train FOOs in shooting while mounted in a mobile platform.

I suspect if I was to watch a combat team advance and quick attack today, it would pretty well resemble what we were doing in Germany in the mid-sixtires and what I practiced on CTCC serial 7201. Check that, one refinement is the introduction of the LAC Captain at the company level, as opposed to a gaggle of empty M113s being herded by the Company 2ic. Oh yes, we went from pintle-mounted Browning M1919A4s to a turret with a proper fire control system and some fairly powerful weapons.

So what? Perhaps a feature of the peacetime Canadian Army is a tendency to perfect established ways of doing things instead of asking if a procedure is still valid or if there is a better way. 

Let me modify the above by reminding us that in the sixties we were training to fight on the nuclear battlefield, and the use of tactical nukes was not a threat, but a promise. The mobility of the APCs was envisaged as giving us the ability to concentrate to deal with a Soviet thrust and then disperse to avoid a nuclear strike. Maybe a nuclear or chemical attack (or being the MPI of a massive MLRS attack) still is a valid concern. Is the old adage that in peacetime everyone concentrates of mobility, while in war the emphasis shifts to firepower.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Haligonian on December 07, 2016, 16:23:46
So what? Perhaps a feature of the peacetime Canadian Army is a tendency to perfect established ways of doing things instead of asking if a procedure is still valid or if there is a better way. 

I think this is a valid point.  It is difficult to come up with better ways when you don't really know what the next war will be like, so why not perfect what you understand to work while working to incrementally innovate, hopefully in the right direction.

Let me modify the above by reminding us that in the sixties we were training to fight on the nuclear battlefield, and the use of tactical nukes was not a threat, but a promise. The mobility of the APCs was envisaged as giving us the ability to concentrate to deal with a Soviet thrust and then disperse to avoid a nuclear strike. Maybe a nuclear or chemical attack (or being the MPI of a massive MLRS attack) still is a valid concern. Is the old adage that in peacetime everyone concentrates of mobility, while in war the emphasis shifts to firepower.

Whenever I'm reminded of this I think that the concept of dispersing for force protection from firepower and massing at a key time and place to strike is not a new idea and perhaps we have something to learn from how we conceptualised operating in the nuclear environment.  Your point on mobility during peace time and firepower during war time is well taken.  Jim Storr has noted something similar as well.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Haligonian on December 07, 2016, 16:46:33
Very good points, Haligonian.

As for the Engr and Arty candidates, there are few, mainly because they won't be employed as combat team commanders.  Having said that, having them on the course (either as candidates or as "non-assessed attendees") is, in my opinion, essential.  It allows the Tank and Infantry candidates to interact with them throughout the course to get their vital points of view on everything at that very low but important tactical fight.  As for the field portions, going back a year, a FOO party ("ATG") is but one element and is included as part of the "clag" that deploys.

As for the notion of the square combat team; I realize it's essentially a Canadian thing nowadays; however, it's not a passé notion either.  We aren't the US Army and we ought to stop comparing ourselves to them.  We don't have the resources.  So, looking at the force employment concept, I know that 7 years ago we used combat teams that were rectangular (not quite square, of course), but the square model is viable.  As a training vehicle, it forces the candidates to task out the various number of elements based on their varying capabilities.  As a fighting unit, I would offer that the combat team could take on a Russian-style battlegroup and win, 10 times out of 10.  Notwithstanding the 2-OC problem, it is a tight-knit and very powerful unit.  Of course, they aren't of much use in Operations Other than War.  But I would offer that if you're bringing tanks to a fight, there's a reason for them, so there's that.

And yes, we need more of them, they need active and reactive armour, and all that goes with it.  As well as an infantry fighting vehicle that can keep up to them.

Anyway, great discussion all round!  :salute:

I think we violently agree that the issue with the square cbt tm is the number of tanks we have.  When you have a paucity of resources you centralize them.  The square cbt tm represents the decentralization of resources at the Bde level, where they are organically owned.  This just isn't going to happen so we should get on with training for Cbt Tms that are heavy to one of the arms. 

Secondly though I don't think the size of the Canadian Army explains the square cbt tm.  It might have some relationship to our insistence on massing of armour and perhaps a sqn echelon system that isn't sufficiently robust.  At the end of the day though I think, as I originally stated, it's a poor use of resources.  It's either a BG comd taking a problem that should be his and giving it to an OC, or he's smashing a sub unit problem with this gargantuan square cbt tm and thereby losing flexibility or accepting risk by not having a reserve or not executing another task.

Even the enemy painted on the Cbt Tm Comd course does not require the force ratios that a Square Cbt Tm provides.  A reinforced motor rifle platoon does not require 19 tanks, 15 LAVs, 150 infantrymen, a troop of engrs, and whatever enablers are brought to the show to destroy it.  It's just a training tool, but I suspect it builds scars.

All things we need to take a good, hard look at.

Perhaps the biggest game changer will have to be putting economics of scale into the production of "smart" munitions. Consider that your "smart phone" costs @ $600 Cdn, yet contains within most of the things any smart weapon will have within, including accelerometers, GPS, cameras, two separate communications systems (Cellular and Wi-Fi) an accurate clock (and/or a connection with an atomic clock via the network)...

Ordering and building munitions (and almost everything else) on an assembly line basis rather than essentially getting individual "bespoke" items solves a multitude of issues, including cost reduction, providing depth for prolonged operations and allowing the use of mass (Third Offset theory involves using cooperative "swarms" of weapons and sensors). This is much like the huge assembly plant at Willow Park churning out B-24 "Liberator" bombers at a rate of one every 24 hours during WWII brought down the prices of the bombers and allowed 1000 bomber raids.

Camouflage and masking will need to be brought into a new generation as well. Devices like the BAE IR masking panels (which allow vehicles to "present" themselves as cars, trucks or farm machinery) or more futuristic ideas like metamaterial coatings to refract electromagnetic waves around the protected device will tip the balance back towards the defense (although when anything is going to actually make it out of the lab is problematic).

Still this is going to be one of those "wicked" problems that is going to need to be looked at from lots of different angles.

Great point on the economies of scale and the price of smart phone. 

Chris's point on what is cheaper, the tank, or the 155mm PGM is well taken, however, to enable that PGM there needs to be a network of sensors in place to enable its delivery so I would suggest that comparison is greatly oversimplified.  The question is probably more about how much does a particular ISTAR platform cost, how much does the C2 infrastructure cost that enables the PGM's delivery, how much does the EW assets cost that protect that C2 infrastructure, how much does the delivery platform cost (this would include the people, how many guys man a M777 vs a Leo), and then how much does the PGM cost.  I suspect if we did that calculation we might find that the tank is much more competitive and might even win out.  We must also remember that the tank brings a pretty great precision capability as well.

Having said that Edward's point on fighting in a nuclear battlespace makes all these precision munitions seem somewhat more manageable.  I'd much rather have to worry about networked sensors enabling PGM delivery than tactical nuclear weapons.  Our greater concern, as Ukraine has shown, is an enemy networked ISTAR system that delivers not precision fires but area fires.  I'm not fully up to speed on how vulnerable our ISTAR and C2 systems are but my intuition tells me they are brittle.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Old Sweat on December 07, 2016, 18:27:24
I am not convinced that the current family of 155mm PGMs brings all that much to a mechanized battlefield. Both the Excalibur (which is really expensive) and the Precision Guided Kit (which goes for under 10k per each) requires a very accurate target location, like within metres as opposed to the grid for a FM Battery, Regiment or Division to deliver fire on targets up to the size of football fields or Walmarts including the parking lot. We suffer from a shortage in guns and mortars, in part because some of our brain trust convinced themselves a couple of decades back that indirect fire was no longer required. Good thing Afghanistan came along. Mind you, this same bunch felt the day of the tank was over. 

I would dearly like to see the long range rocket delivery system project resurrected, but I am not holding my breath. In the meantime, a M777 battery, while vulnerable to CB, can really reach out and touch someone. I would like to see a third one added to each of our field regiments if for no other reason than the flexibility it brings to the artillery's contribution to the land battle. See above for not holding my breath.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: daftandbarmy on December 07, 2016, 21:01:00
I am not convinced that the current family of 155mm PGMs brings all that much to a mechanized battlefield. Both the Excalibur (which is really expensive) and the Precision Guided Kit (which goes for under 10k per each) requires a very accurate target location, like within metres as opposed to the grid for a FM Battery, Regiment or Division to deliver fire on targets up to the size of football fields or Walmarts including the parking lot. We suffer from a shortage in guns and mortars, in part because some of our brain trust convinced themselves a couple of decades back that indirect fire was no longer required. Good thing Afghanistan came along. Mind you, this same bunch felt the day of the tank was over. 

I would dearly like to see the long range rocket delivery system project resurrected, but I am not holding my breath. In the meantime, a M777 battery, while vulnerable to CB, can really reach out and touch someone. I would like to see a third one added to each of our field regiments if for no other reason than the flexibility it brings to the artillery's contribution to the land battle. See above for not holding my breath.

I wonder if a few hundred autonomous targeting drones could help with that....
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Old Sweat on December 07, 2016, 23:36:59
I wonder if a few hundred autonomous targeting drones could help with that....

They probably could, just as one drone could bring the div arty down on the target, or if it was a small and important point target, the drone could do the same, but with a lot less rounds.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Ostrozac on December 08, 2016, 03:55:19
A reinforced motor rifle platoon does not require 19 tanks, 15 LAVs, 150 infantrymen, a troop of engrs, and whatever enablers are brought to the show to destroy it.  It's just a training tool, but I suspect it builds scars.

And as lessons show from Ukraine, that platoon is NOT going to obediently stand and hold its ground against such a force. It will fire three or four ATGM, call in the artillery and rockets, pop smoke, and move to an alternate position. The Russians and Ukrainians are defending in depth with fairly low troop densities, not stacking all their guys onto a single grid square.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Old Sweat on December 08, 2016, 10:15:44
And as lessons show from Ukraine, that platoon is NOT going to obediently stand and hold its ground against such a force. It will fire three or four ATGM, call in the artillery and rockets, pop smoke, and move to an alternate position. The Russians and Ukrainians are defending in depth with fairly low troop densities, not stacking all their guys onto a single grid square.

Exactly what it should do, and what we should do in a similar situation. The platoon has imposed some delay and perhaps casualties on the advancing force, and generated intelligence regarding the advancing force's axis and possible intention. Perhaps it has also help channel the enemy towards a killing zone.

This, of course, begs the question of why so heavy a combat team?
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Colin P on December 08, 2016, 11:34:50
I wonder what costs more

1000 of these

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fstatic.progressivemediagroup.com%2Fuploads%2Fimagelibrary%2F4-t90s-tank.jpg&hash=c7b4571c63440e4d11edd0293f655571)

or 1000 of these

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fmms.businesswire.com%2Fmedia%2F20150309005026%2Fen%2F456415%2F5%2FPGK.jpg&hash=a67a0d6de0ad904bfd4a1177ea8f162c)

155mm +/- 30m

Except your going to need more than 37 guns to stop 1,000 tanks and their counter artillery which they excel at.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Tango2Bravo on December 09, 2016, 14:09:47
So I just finished this years Cbt Tm Comd's Course and I figured I'd take a look at this thread again.  Having re read it a few thoughts come to mind.

Thankfully we got back in the tank business.  While our ISTAR capabilities can certainly enable us to take greater risks in certain areas there will always be a requirement to gain contact and develop it in order to facilitate decisive actions.  If you can't survive that contact then decisive actions will not be able to follow or will be launched with much greater reduced understanding of the enemy and therefore suffer a much heavier cost than necessary. 

Unfortunately we didn't buy a lot of tanks, and we didn't plan to be able to immediately maintain them which results in extremely high VOR rates.  The maintenance issues are supposed to be fixed in the coming years but in the mean time there is an awful lot of tanks that are down or driving around with their turrets over the back deck.

Our tanks lack ERA and Active Protection.  This means that they are vulnerable to all manner of ATGMs, even some more antiquated ones.  They are likely also vulnerable to DPICM like munitions.  This needs to be rectified.

While we bought tanks, thereby alleviating many of the initial concerns of this thread when we thought we'd be divesting the tank capability, we still have many of the same concerns because we bought so few of them.  We have three squadrons of tanks spread between two brigades.  There is some talk of going to a sqn per bde.  Either way this doesn't provide us with the required depth.  A Bde Comd is required to decide between centralizing all his tanks under a single BG and likely advancing 1 up or splitting them and advancing two up.  The BG Comd is then forced with a similar decision.  In a peace support/COIN environment our tempo will be reduced as tanks are moved from Coy to Coy with maintenance breaks to conduct sequential vice simultaneous operations.  All this tells me that the favoured COA of square combat teams simply aren't feasible any longer.  And haven't been for some time.

Further, I'm not convinced on the validity of the square cbt tm structure in the first place.  Back in Germany days (and to this day doctrinally) the tank Regt had 4 sqns of 4 trps each.  This meant that the Bde Comd could detach two Sqns to the Inf Bn's and attach a coy or two to the Regt and still keep it as a maneuver headquarters.  Our Bde Comd's now face the choice of penny packeting out their tanks to Inf BG's or throwing them all into a single BG and leaving the others with no armour support and little anti armour capability.  The initial pages of this thread shows that conducting offensive operations against an enemy with tanks, or other serious anti armour capabilities and real IDF will be very difficult and we don't have the resources to do it nor the knowledge.  With only a squadron in the bde we've reduced the problem but not eliminated it.

Having said all this, the future cbt tm looks a lot like cbt tms of the past but it's not square.  It will often feel light on armour if operating in open terrain against a mechanised enemy.  It's likely a Coy with 1 or 2 trps attached or a sqn(-) with a platoon attached.  No change with the attached FOO and engineer trp.  It should have its own IDF capability, preferably able to fire from the vehicle.  It requires robust echelons that can support dispersed operations that include operations at the half sqn size and perhaps below.


A good post and refresh of a good thread!

It is important to remember that the Combat Team Commander's Course is indeed a course at heart and not a collective training event. This does not stop us, of course, from trying to use the CTCC as collective training. The CTCC has also become, somewhat, an end in and of itself. There is a certain emotional attachment to the course - it seems to be vital ground for many. I did enjoy my CTCC and I enjoyed supporting three CTCCs as part of a squadron.   

Regarding the tank squadron, there were never had four tank squadrons in Germany. There were two squadrons with a third squadron as a flyover until the Mulroney era increase to three squadrons there plus the one in Gagetown.

The square combat team is a large beast. Remember, though, that both the battle group and the combat team are doctrinally flexible organizations. The current Battle Group in Operations defines a Battle Group as: " an ad-hoc and temporary combined arms grouping based on a manoeuvre unit HQ: it consists of a combination of attached and integral infantry and army sub-units, with their integral CSS elements..."

The same publication defines a Combat Team as: " an ad-hoc and temporary combined arms organization based on a manoeuvre sub-unit HQ: it consists of a combination of integral and attached infantry and armour sub-subunits..."

This means that both the Battle Group and Combat Team are flexible and scalable. The smallest Combat Team would be a Sqn/Coy HQ plus one infantry platoon and one tank troop. Not much of a Combat Team but there it is! The largest would be the subject of your ire, the square Combat Team. The square Combat Team is indeed a large organization: practically a Battle Group in its own right. Our doctrine allows the BG CO to make Combat Teams as he sees fit based on his estimate. The CTCC tries to use the square Combat Team to stretch the span of control of the student.

I could see a square Combat Team formed for specific instances. An advanced guard, perhaps, or a combat team operating on a independent axis. We would have to know what the Bde and BG composition were. If all three tank squadrons were brought into the same unit for an exercise or operation the possibilities open up.

An infantry-led BG consisting of three infantry companies and a tank squadron would, admittedly, rarely find the opportunity to form a square Combat Team.  The BG CO would be very unlikely to assign so much combat power to one of his OCs. He has plenty of options for grouping where his sub-units can operate under his direction and in concert with each other.

Barring urban operations it would be equally unadvisable to automatically form three small combat teams each consisting of an infantry company and a tank troop: classic penny-packeting. Grouping should be based on the assessment of tasks, the individual characteristics of the friendly forces and the force ratios.

Regarding tank squadron echelons, they are already quite robust. Tank troops are fire units while the tank squadron is the manoeuvre unit. This has to do as much with concentration of force as to do with sustainment.

Cheers,

T2B
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Infanteer on December 09, 2016, 14:30:52
We would have to know what the Bde and BG composition were.

Bingo.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: daftandbarmy on December 09, 2016, 16:41:26
Bingo.

And, although we like to focus on infantry and tanks, we would need some integrated Armoured AD assets or we'd be hooped, of course.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on December 09, 2016, 16:49:09
WRT the picture, the choice isn't either/or, but rather "BOTH".

Tanks will evolve to become highly protected and mobile fire support platforms, capable of using both smart and dumb rounds for IF and DF tasks, depending on circumstances. The complimentary IFV's will likely have automatic cannon and guided missiles in their RWS pods, to provide a wider range of options. All future vehicles may have to be designed around the Swedish idea of external ammunition magazines for rapid reloading in the field.

WRT the question of guided artillery, the problem has actually been solved some time ago. MERLIN was an 81mm mortar round with millimetric radar, STRIX was a 120mm mortar round with infrared homing and BAT was a prototype submunition with several sensors, including acoustic. With this type of munition, once a target box is designated, the round can activate its seeker and do the rest (KSTAM is a current 120mm top attack round for tanks with similar properties). Having a wide variety of different seeking mechanisms (either multispectral on each round, or different types of rounds) provides ways to look for and overwhelm even protected targets, a T-14 Armata may have active defense, but eventually it will run out of munitions or encounter a round it isn't programmed to defeat.

This makes targeting and coordination, especially in a high tempo environment, much more important. The team can be widely dispersed and still mutually self supporting in the defense, or gather together and become capable of attacking a wide circle around it by fire. How this gets done is probably the real question to answer.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Haligonian on December 09, 2016, 20:10:36
Tango,

I agree with what you're saying.  I'm sure there is a time and place for the square cbt, however, I believe these will be quite limited, and of course task organisation must be based on an assessment of tasks and the structure of the parent units.  My point is that with our current structures the square cbt tm is a highly unlikely task organisation.

My other point, that is related to many you made, is that we seem wedded to the square cbt tm which is just one method of organising a cbt tm.  Cbt Tm in operations is a good example of this with all of its TTPs being very detailed descriptions and diagrams on the conduct of operations of a SQUARE cbt tm.

Regarding tank squadron echelons, they are already quite robust. Tank troops are fire units while the tank squadron is the manoeuvre unit. This has to do as much with concentration of force as to do with sustainment.

Totally agree that the tank sqn ech is robust but there is no spare capacity there, hence the reason for tank squadrons being resistant to being broken up.  My point is that ADO will give us opportunities to disperse our armour assets but we'll need the sustainment capabilities to do this. 

On this point the Australians appear willing to decentralize their armour more so than ourselves.  The following is out of LWD 3-3-4 Employment of Armour on page 3-2.  You can find it here, http://www.army.gov.au/~/media/Files/Our%20work/Publications/Doctrine/LWD_3-3-4_Employment_of_Armour_Full.pdf

Troop Group
3.5 The smallest deployable armoured unit is a troop group. A
troop group consists of the vehicles, equipment and the
personnel needed to operate as part of a CT or BG and should
not be committed to tasks at less than vehicle patrol sizes.
Typically, a troop might be assigned operational control to a
CT.
3.6 A troop group deployed independently of its parent sub-unit,
must have a specialist repair vehicle and personnel included.
Even with this support, there are limitations to how long such a
group can operate without regimental support.

I don't think we are in a place where we would consider deploying a single troop as people often bristle at the idea of detaching a single trp from its parent sqn.  The Marines also do this aboard their MEUs.

Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: CBH99 on December 10, 2016, 04:28:03
**I don't mean to hijack the thread at all - I'm following the topic with quite a bit of interest.


Question for those of you who know what your talking about.

-  Does the introduction of the TAPV bring anything to the table, in regards to the "Combat Team of Tomorrow"?


*In one of the posts above, the new Lav 6.0 is mentioned as being less than ideal in that it needs to basically keep the engine running at night in order to power the turret/surveillance equipment.  Will the TAPV potentially bring something beneficial to the combat team that it doesn't currently have?
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: George Wallace on December 10, 2016, 10:00:34
*In one of the posts above, the new Lav 6.0 is mentioned as being less than ideal in that it needs to basically keep the engine running at night in order to power the turret/surveillance equipment.  Will the TAPV potentially bring something beneficial to the combat team that it doesn't currently have?

It doesn't matter what vehicle you have out there, if you are running the turret you are using power to use the sights and ranging equipment.  You need power for the sensors, laser and sights; but you can use hand controls for movement and optical sights not requiring power if conditions permit.  The Surv Suite is a whole different story; and the few vehicles that have it WILL use a lot of power and need to recharge their batteries eventually when static at night.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: daftandbarmy on December 10, 2016, 11:56:03
**I don't mean to hijack the thread at all - I'm following the topic with quite a bit of interest.


Question for those of you who know what your talking about.

-  Does the introduction of the TAPV bring anything to the table, in regards to the "Combat Team of Tomorrow"?


*In one of the posts above, the new Lav 6.0 is mentioned as being less than ideal in that it needs to basically keep the engine running at night in order to power the turret/surveillance equipment.  Will the TAPV potentially bring something beneficial to the combat team that it doesn't currently have?

It would seem that the TAPV could best be used to draw fire for our real armoured vehicles...
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: cavalryman on December 10, 2016, 13:03:24
It would seem that the TAPV could best be used to draw fire for our real armoured vehicles...

Isn't that part of recce's job anway? >:D
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Haligonian on December 10, 2016, 15:23:42
**I don't mean to hijack the thread at all - I'm following the topic with quite a bit of interest.


Question for those of you who know what your talking about.

-  Does the introduction of the TAPV bring anything to the table, in regards to the "Combat Team of Tomorrow"?


*In one of the posts above, the new Lav 6.0 is mentioned as being less than ideal in that it needs to basically keep the engine running at night in order to power the turret/surveillance equipment.  Will the TAPV potentially bring something beneficial to the combat team that it doesn't currently have?

So there is some talk of mounting TOW on TAPV so they could play a role in the Cbt Tm or support it.  They could also perhaps be the HQ veh for the 2IC if for some reason a LAV wasn't available.  None of this is ideal.  We define a cbt tm as a sub unit of tanks or infantry with at least a sub sub unit of the other arm attached.  This means that the TAPV offers little to the cbt tm as its characteristics are so different from the LAV 6 and Leo 2.

I got to crawl around in the TAPV on the course and I could see the use for it in some kind of mentoring team.  One of my course mates was quite adamant that the 3rd Bn's should have taken them for this and other reasons. 
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Chris Pook on December 10, 2016, 15:30:25
So there is some talk of mounting TOW on TAPV so they could play a role in the Cbt Tm or support it.  They could also perhaps be the HQ veh for the 2IC if for some reason a LAV wasn't available.  None of this is ideal.  We define a cbt tm as a sub unit of tanks or infantry with at least a sub sub unit of the other arm attached.  This means that the TAPV offers little to the cbt tm as its characteristics are so different from the LAV 6 and Leo 2.

I got to crawl around in the TAPV on the course and I could see the use for it in some kind of mentoring team.  One of my course mates was quite adamant that the 3rd Bn's should have taken them for this and other reasons.

WRT TOW- What is wrong with this solution?  These are TOWs on an ASLAV.

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fanzacsteel.hobbyvista.com%2FArmoured%2520Vehicles%2FImages%2Faslavtowsa_1.jpg&hash=f3b8d091426f38f4526b4572d0d4b236)
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: GnyHwy on December 10, 2016, 15:34:41
The most efficient way to beat mass armor with artillery takes public will to do so. We already had that solution during Cold War, and could go back to it if the will is there.

PGMs aren't the solution, unless you want to buy us a few hundred guns and lots of SUAVs. 😁

Edited to add: A couple more thousand PYs too please! 😀
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Haligonian on December 10, 2016, 15:48:37
WRT TOW- What is wrong with this solution?  These are TOWs on an ASLAV.

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fanzacsteel.hobbyvista.com%2FArmoured%2520Vehicles%2FImages%2Faslavtowsa_1.jpg&hash=f3b8d091426f38f4526b4572d0d4b236)

There is also some talk of putting them on LAVs.  The problem is that the systems we've pulled out of storage are dismounted systems.  So, the question is less about how to mount them and more about how to move them around right now.

The most efficient way to beat mass armor with artillery takes public will to do so. We already had that solution during Cold War, and could go back to it if the will is there.

PGMs aren't the solution, unless you want to buy us a few hundred guns and lots of SUAVs. 😁

Edited to add: A couple more thousand PYs too please! 😀

I assume your talking tactical nukes here?
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: SeaKingTacco on December 10, 2016, 16:59:56
No, he probably means DPICM. It was a montrously efficient method of deal with massed armour.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Chris Pook on December 10, 2016, 20:24:49
The most efficient way to beat mass armor with artillery takes public will to do so. We already had that solution during Cold War, and could go back to it if the will is there.

PGMs aren't the solution, unless you want to buy us a few hundred guns and lots of SUAVs. 😁

Edited to add: A couple more thousand PYs too please! 😀

No problem on that one Gunny.   As long as you don't mind the lion's share of them being reservists. 

Lots of bows.  Lots of arrows.  Still cheaper than a bunch of armoured geezers.

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fimg.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fv191%2FAsatruer%2FCrecy%2Farchersloose.png&hash=1c7660c9c5c1812631b8f2f80f9056b4)

Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Tango2Bravo on December 10, 2016, 20:30:16

My other point, that is related to many you made, is that we seem wedded to the square cbt tm which is just one method of organising a cbt tm.  Cbt Tm in operations is a good example of this with all of its TTPs being very detailed descriptions and diagrams on the conduct of operations of a SQUARE cbt tm.

Totally agree that the tank sqn ech is robust but there is no spare capacity there, hence the reason for tank squadrons being resistant to being broken up.  My point is that ADO will give us opportunities to disperse our armour assets but we'll need the sustainment capabilities to do this. 

On this point the Australians appear willing to decentralize their armour more so than ourselves.  The following is out of LWD 3-3-4 Employment of Armour on page 3-2.  You can find it here, http://www.army.gov.au/~/media/Files/Our%20work/Publications/Doctrine/LWD_3-3-4_Employment_of_Armour_Full.pdf

I don't think we are in a place where we would consider deploying a single troop as people often bristle at the idea of detaching a single trp from its parent sqn.  The Marines also do this aboard their MEUs.

Who is wedded to the square combat team (besides the CTCC)? Our grouping doctrine is flexible. Thats a good thing!

At the Staff College the square combat team does not end up being a very common grouping. It can be a viable grouping for some situations, but its certainly not the default.

I do advise against penny packeting tank troops around to the infantry companies: I have certainly experienced an witnessed this on BG exercises over the last decade. Since our infantry lack viable AT weapons it seems that infantry officers want to assign tanks to each company to give the infantry protection from enemy tanks. It is a ruinous practice reminiscent of the 8th Army disasters of the North African campaign. Now, you can certainly attach a single tank troop to a company to form a combat team and it might even make sense for certain situations. A BG attack on a company position could see troops attached to two companies for breach/intimate support while the remaining squadron minus conducts other tasks in relation to the mission (support by fire, breach, assault/neutralize etc). There are other ways to do it, but the point remains that the doctrine is flexible.

We have even deployed single tank troops and recce troops as part of Battle Groups on operations: its not terribly efficient no but we can and have done it.

I have noticed a hesitancy to detach single platoons from companies to attach to squadrons.

Regarding ADO, I do not see it as an opportunity. I see it, rather, as a fuzzy concept that would place us at a disadvantage against a peer/near-peer foe that considered concentration of force/mass as a principle of war. I was part of an experimental exercise in 2011 where I experienced this.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: FJAG on December 10, 2016, 21:59:39

I do advise against penny packeting tank troops around to the infantry companies: ... It is a ruinous practice reminiscent of the 8th Army disasters of the North African campaign. Now, you can certainly attach a single tank troop to a company to form a combat team and it might even make sense for certain situations. ...

While I agree as to the flexibility, in my day on the Cbt Team Cmdrs course and Command and Staff course deploying tanks in anything less than a half squadron was pretty much an automatic fail.

Of course those were the days when we had tank regiments in each Bde (with, doctrinally at least, four sabre squadrons). B-GL-323-001 made it clear that while the troop was the basic fire unit, the squadron was the basic manouvre unit. Parcelling out even half squadrons (much less troops) was discouraged and was to be done only after careful deliberation and acceptance of the risk of ignoring the principle of concentration of force.   

I do note that the 2003 version of B-GL-321-006 Combat Team Operations specifically contemplates attaching "at least a troop" to a company.

There is much more than a subtle difference between saying something should be avoided and saying that something can be done. I guess it's a sign of the times that maybe we've lost our way.

 :subbies:
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Tango2Bravo on December 11, 2016, 00:09:52
While I agree as to the flexibility, in my day on the Cbt Team Cmdrs course and Command and Staff course deploying tanks in anything less than a half squadron was pretty much an automatic fail.

Of course those were the days when we had tank regiments in each Bde (with, doctrinally at least, four sabre squadrons). B-GL-323-001 made it clear that while the troop was the basic fire unit, the squadron was the basic manouvre unit. Parcelling out even half squadrons (much less troops) was discouraged and was to be done only after careful deliberation and acceptance of the risk of ignoring the principle of concentration of force.   

I do note that the 2003 version of B-GL-321-006 Combat Team Operations specifically contemplates attaching "at least a troop" to a company.

There is much more than a subtle difference between saying something should be avoided and saying that something can be done. I guess it's a sign of the times that maybe we've lost our way.

 :subbies:

Doctrinally you should not attach less than a squadron to a battalion to form a BG - do not split a squadron and give it to two different battalions. Within the BG its up to the BG CO. Squadron minus and half squadron are basically sound, but the estimate of the situation will drive the grouping.

Giving a troop to each company is generally not a good idea unless you are in a city. I could certainly accept a BG attack, though, where a company had a troop attached for its assault while a squadron minus or half squadron combat team (perhaps with an infantry platoon attached) shoots them onto the objective. It's not the only way but it could work. A combat team with a single tank troop operating on its own, though, is limited in what it can do.

In any case, the BG CO is the one deciding: he is in command and not a book! Doctrine is a good guide and a great start point but it's not in command.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Ostrozac on December 11, 2016, 07:23:39
Since our infantry lack viable AT weapons it seems that infantry officers want to assign tanks to each company to give the infantry protection from enemy tanks. It is a ruinous practice reminiscent of the 8th Army disasters of the North African campaign.

Organizing infantry without any ATGM and then expecting them to exercise and train in methods to fight tanks put everyone involved in a very awkward position. The Tactics School (at least when I attended ATOC) got around this by training in a sort of alternate reality where the ALAAWS project wasn't cancelled and Canada bought the Javelin ATGM. It's harder to "miracle" up imaginary weapons in a live training environment in Wainwright, hence the desire for tanks to be around so that the rifle companies have at least some protection.

I see that Canada is bringing back the tripod mounted TOW. That's a good first step, but there also needs to be procurement of an ATGM at company level. Basically, we have a choice -- if we want to be capable of fighting force on force, then we need anti-tank weapons. Without them, we are a COIN army, full-stop. And a COIN army has no business operating as a tripwire force in the Baltics.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Tango2Bravo on December 11, 2016, 13:04:53
At the Staff College we kept the LAV TUA and gave each company four Javelin. The lack of infantry anti-armour in our field force is glaring.


Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: daftandbarmy on December 11, 2016, 13:11:09
At the Staff College we kept the LAV TUA and gave each company four Javelin. The lack of infantry anti-armour in our field force is glaring.

And Assault Pioneers. If you want the Infantry to have some integral mobility/counter mobility capabilities we'll need the Pioneer Platoons (as well as Anti-Tank, Mortars etc) back.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: FJAG on December 11, 2016, 16:03:55
This thread is making me more and more depressed by the minute.

Back when Christ was a lance jack and I was learning how to fight the Soviet hordes, we seemed to have all the gear to support our doctrines, Centurion tanks, SS11, 106 mm recoilless, 81 mm mortars, pioneers, batteries and batteries of 105 and 155s, hell, even tactical nucs and squadrons and squadrons of fighter cover. (the navy had working subs, an aircraft carrier, destroyers and support ships) Old stuff, for sure, but more or less fit for the purpose of the times.

While I'm sure that these days the individual soldiers are better trained and experienced then in my day, it seems that everything needed to keep them alive and capable of defeating a near peer enemy is gone notwithstanding that our defence budget has grown exponentially. We have seriously gone off the rails somewhere.  At the rate we're going we might as well rerole some of the infantry, a few ships and a few planes into a national gendarmerie and pack in the rest of the whole thing and save a whole lot of bucks. The thing about paying year in and year out for an insurance policy is that when you need it it should be capable of paying out. I'm not so sure that our very expensive national defence insurance plan is worth diddly squat anymore.

I simply can't see how our generals can sleep at night and why they haven't resigned in droves in shame and/or protest. Oh wait. I know why they haven't.

 :endnigh:

 :subbies:
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: George Wallace on December 11, 2016, 16:10:51
......  At the rate we're going we might as well rerole some of the infantry, a few ships and a few planes into a national gendarmerie and pack in the rest of the whole thing and save a whole lot of bucks.

That is pretty much what our past few Governments have thought of the CAF.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: FJAG on December 11, 2016, 18:02:52
That is pretty much what our past few Governments have thought of the CAF.

Except they haven't done anything. One should go either one way or the other. Sitting in the middle is a horrendous waste of money without any real benefit.

Don't get me wrong. I'm fully in favour of a credible force, but we're not getting one the way things are going now. While I do blame the government I think our military leadership is hidebound in doing things the same old way. I've said this many ways but just like you couldn't fine tune the Titanic once it hit the iceberg, you can't fine tune the CF into effectiveness based on the dollars being given to it. If you want to increase effectiveness within what we can expect from the government on an ongoing basis then you need to redesign the entire system from the ground up. To me that means reducing bureaucracy and a greater reliance on reservists.

But I'm going  :off topic: into another whole different thread.

 :subbies:
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: standingdown on December 11, 2016, 18:16:02
FJAG - excellent posts.

I agree with most of your points - we need a properly equipped, funded, and manged force in order to be effective. If we're unwilling or unable to realize such a force, it's time to transfer the usual components to other Federal organizations, and pack the rest in.

It will never happen though. Too many fingers in the pot and different interests at stake. We will be stuck with perpetual mediocrity.

And yes, it may be a bit off-topic - but I'd argue that until we stop "sitting in the middle" the majority of discussion in this thread (and many others) is intellectual at best.



Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Tango2Bravo on December 11, 2016, 21:43:09
And Assault Pioneers. If you want the Infantry to have some integral mobility/counter mobility capabilities we'll need the Pioneer Platoons (as well as Anti-Tank, Mortars etc) back.

I am not convinced that Assault Pioneers are a necessity. Mortars should exist at the Bn level to allow for fire support if the guns are not available. The AT platoon with LAV TUA would also fill a needed niche. The companies should have integral anti-tank capabilities. Pioneers, while useful, would be much lower on the priority list.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: GR66 on December 11, 2016, 23:28:35
I am not convinced that Assault Pioneers are a necessity. Mortars should exist at the Bn level to allow for fire support if the guns are not available. The AT platoon with LAV TUA would also fill a needed niche. The companies should have integral anti-tank capabilities. Pioneers, while useful, would be much lower on the priority list.

I'm not so sure about that.  If we're faced with defending against an enemy advance (much more likely than an offensive NATO scenario), having troops capable of creating hasty obstacles to slow an enemy advance would be a significant advantage.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Infanteer on December 12, 2016, 08:18:48
Is that not a capability we can teach to NCOs within Rifle platoons and companies?
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: ArmyRick on December 12, 2016, 09:43:44
Yes it is
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Old Sweat on December 12, 2016, 10:14:09
Mortars exist at the Bn level to provide coordinated fire support along with the guns.

FTFY. Mortars provide a flexible, accurate and effective fire support resource. How the army managed to convince itself that mortars were obsolete is beyond me. (An ex-CLS referred to mortars as "obsolete" in a conversation with me several years ago.)
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Tango2Bravo on December 12, 2016, 10:36:53
I'm not so sure about that.  If we're faced with defending against an enemy advance (much more likely than an offensive NATO scenario), having troops capable of creating hasty obstacles to slow an enemy advance would be a significant advantage.

I agree: our Battle Groups and Brigade Groups should be able to emplace obstacles and also be able to breach/clear them. We have that capability now.

For discussion purposes I will offer a couple of hypothetical Battle Groups (BG) for use in a European or peer setting. They would both be part of NATO formations (multinational). Both will be based on existing equipment and organizations.

The first would be an BG based on an infantry battalion. There would be a BG HQ with the required communications equipment including the means to talk with the higher formation. The basis of the BG's combat power would be three infantry companies equipped with LAVs and a tank squadron with Leopard 2A6Ms. We could add a Recce Platoon in LUVWs, TAPVs or even LAVs. We could add an Engineer Troop or an Engineer Squadron. We could deploy a Mortar Troop manned by the artillery along with an FSCC and FOOs (ATG) to plug into higher formation fire support. A robust Administration Company could be deployed, backed up by an NSE for unique Canadian needs that would plug into the NATO logistics chain. The type of UAS support provided to this BG could be a good debate: there are number of options.

This Inf BG would be quite capable. It has plenty of firepower to deal with light AFVs. It has infantry that can operate in close terrain. The Leopard 2A6s are arguably the most capable tanks on the battlefield. The engineers can enable mobility/countermobility and survivability for the BG. That could include mentoring/advising the very capable NCOs in the infantry companies on field fortifications. The mortars can provide responsive/ dedicated fire support to the BG while the FOOs/FSCC access coalition fire support. All of this is possible with what we have in Canada today.

The missing element is anti-tank for the infantry. What they need is integral anti-tank systems like Javelin: say one per platoon and one in the Coy HQ. The BG could also use a TUA platoon to form the basis of the anti-armour plan. These two measures would allow the BG commander to mass his Leopards at the decisive time and place and not employ them piecemeal to protect LAV companies. A number of grouping possibilities exist in this Inf BG ranging from pure sub-units to a variety of combat teams based on the situation.

An alternative BG could be based on an Armoured Regt HQ. It would have two Leopard squadrons, an infantry company and a reconnaissance squadron. It would also have the Engineer Troop or Squadron as well as the supporting Mortar Tp and FSCC. Of course it would have a robust Headquarters Squadron. This BG could perform a number of tasks for a NATO formation including Guard tasks or acting as a formation-level countermoves force. One flaw is that only one of the squadrons would have the 55 calibre 120mm gun.

This armoured BG would also have a number of grouping options for the sub-units once again ranging from pure sub-units to combat teams. If the BG was performing an advanced guard for a NATO Bde then it could lead with the recce squadron and a square combat team with the second tank squadron in reserve. The square combat team would destroy enemy outposts and identify the enemy main line of resistance to allow for the clean deployment of the follow-on forces. The infantry company could be broken up to give a platoon to one tank squadron and a company minus to the other if we were advancing on two axis with few cross-mobility corridors.

What I am trying to show here is that we have most of the capabilities needed. We actually have some world-class equipment including an amazing main battle tank. Discussions about Combat Teams and Battle Groups are not simple intellectual exercises. They should be had!

Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Tango2Bravo on December 12, 2016, 10:43:31
FTFY. Mortars provide a flexible, accurate and effective fire support resource. How the army managed to convince itself that mortars were obsolete is beyond me. (An ex-CLS referred to mortars as "obsolete" in a conversation with me several years ago.)

My point is that artillery might not be available: perhaps the BG is not the main effort and the guns are being employed in support of something else. In this case, an integral fire support element (mortars) gives the BG commander some level of guaranteed fire support regardless of where he fits into the Bde Comd's priorities.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Old Sweat on December 12, 2016, 10:50:14
My point is that artillery might not be available: perhaps the BG is not the main effort and the guns are being employed in support of something else. In this case, an integral fire support element (mortars) gives the BG commander some level of guaranteed fire support regardless of where he fits into the Bde Comd's priorities.

That is a possibility, and especially in our artillery-anemic army, but one that should only occur rarely. I would also note that AH has been mentioned hardly at all in our discussions. The ATG provides the ability to employ these assets, along with fast air, in close support of our forces, regardless if guns are available or not.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Chris Pook on December 12, 2016, 12:10:07
But, if it is being argued that 37x 155mm is insufficient capability then what merit is there in 6x 81mm or even 8x 120mm?

How about a battle group backed by 24x 155mm?   Does that start to get the job done? 
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: daftandbarmy on December 12, 2016, 12:31:39
The other thing we need, of course, is a proper MG Platoon in the BG.

If you're going to set up killing areas, and shape the battlefield accordingly, you need a heavy weight of concentrated, flexible, dispersed DIY killing power at the medium ranges to wipe out bad guys after you force them to dismount in your preferred 'ante room'.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Tango2Bravo on December 12, 2016, 13:00:17
That is a possibility, and especially in our artillery-anemic army, but one that should only occur rarely. I would also note that AH has been mentioned hardly at all in our discussions. The ATG provides the ability to employ these assets, along with fast air, in close support of our forces, regardless if guns are available or not.

In the hypothetical NATO Brigade Group to which our hypothetical Canadian BG would belong I would envision an artillery battalion with several batteries of self-propelled 155mm guns provided by NATO nations that retained that capability. Perhaps these would all be shooting in support of the Canadian BG for a particular engagement, but perhaps they would not based on the tactical situation. If the Canadians are not the main effort at a particular time then we might not get the guns. This would be true in an all-Canadian CMBG as well for any particular BG. The battalion mortars give guaranteed fire support to the BG CO.

Attack helicopters would not be BG assets. They could certainly operate in our battlespace, but they would not be BG or Cbt Tm assets. 
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: MCG on December 12, 2016, 14:50:43
Protective obstacles (including those with AT mines) are supposed to be an all arms function.  You don't need engineers or pioneers for those.

Tactical obstacles are not hasty if emplaned by engineers or pioneers.  If you want hasty tactical obstacles, then you want artillery SCATMINE (which are conveniently and explicitly excluded from regulation under the treaty against cluster munitions)
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Old Sweat on December 12, 2016, 14:54:57
There are a host of enablers that are not part of the Combat Team, Battle Group or even the Brigade Group. That does not mean that we should not be prepared to employ them properly and that our commanders and troops should not be trained in their use. And we may not be able to get them all the time, or even most of the time and perhaps just a tiny bit of the time, but if our world is going pear-shaped, no telling what will show up to join the fight.

This is getting well off the subject, but a line I have used in the past when discussing artillery in battle was extrapolated from a passage LGen Sir Brian Horrocks, the GOC-inC of 30 BR Corps in NWE, wrote in one of his books. He commented on sitting on a hill in NWE with his corps artillery commander, who had 1000 guns on call no farther away than the end of his radio antenna.

I would pause and then add, "and what was important is that so did all the FOOs in his corps, and they weren't afraid to call for them." Different war, and different circumstances, but the principle still applies, and not just with guns.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: daftandbarmy on December 12, 2016, 15:05:25
There are a host of enablers that are not part of the Combat Team, Battle Group or even the Brigade Group. That does not mean that we should not be prepared to employ them properly and that our commanders and troops should not be trained in their use. And we may not be able to get them all the time, or even most of the time and perhaps just a tiny bit of the time, but if our world is going pear-shaped, no telling what will show up to join the fight.

This is getting well off the subject, but a line I have used in the past when discussing artillery in battle was extrapolated from a passage LGen Sir Brian Horrocks, the GOC-inC of 30 BR Corps in NWE, wrote in one of his books. He commented on sitting on a hill in NWE with his corps artillery commander, who had 1000 guns on call no farther away than the end of his radio antenna.

I would pause and then add, "and what was important is that so did all the FOOs in his corps, and they weren't afraid to call for them." Different war, and different circumstances, but the principle still applies, and not just with guns.


I do not have to tell you who won the war. You know, the artillery did.

George S. Patton
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Tango2Bravo on December 12, 2016, 15:12:20
There are a host of enablers that are not part of the Combat Team, Battle Group or even the Brigade Group. That does not mean that we should not be prepared to employ them properly and that our commanders and troops should not be trained in their use. And we may not be able to get them all the time, or even most of the time and perhaps just a tiny bit of the time, but if our world is going pear-shaped, no telling what will show up to join the fight.


Is anyone suggesting that we should not be prepared to employ fire support and other higher-level enablers? I am suggesting that a battalion commander may not receive the artillery support/ fire support that is held at a higher level. That is why he needs his own small element such as mortars to enable him to suppress a target when he is not the main effort.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: FJAG on December 12, 2016, 15:29:03
In the hypothetical NATO Brigade Group to which our hypothetical Canadian BG would belong I would envision an artillery battalion with several batteries of self-propelled 155mm guns provided by NATO nations that retained that capability. Perhaps these would all be shooting in support of the Canadian BG for a particular engagement, but perhaps they would not based on the tactical situation. If the Canadians are not the main effort at a particular time then we might not get the guns. This would be true in an all-Canadian CMBG as well for any particular BG. The battalion mortars give guaranteed fire support to the BG CO.

Attack helicopters would not be BG assets. They could certainly operate in our battlespace, but they would not be BG or Cbt Tm assets.

Artillery structures vary across NATO but generally a brigade would have one artillery battalion with three six gun batteries of either 105mm or (more commonly) 155 mm with one battery generally providing direct support for each battalion size manoeuvre element. The flexibility of artillery fire means that fire can be massed at a critical location which means that non critical areas may lose their support from time to time.

Aviation is a division or higher resource. Currently for the US that can be anywhere from 16 Apache's in one battalion to 48 Apaches in two battalions depending on the division. Other NATO armies vary. (like ours, we have sweet f*** all)

Call me an old fashioned kind of guy but I like mortars integral to the battalion. It's a dedicated indirect fire support that is always there and mortar fire is different in nature from what artillery and aviation brings to the game. The high rate of plunging fire (IMHO) is, in certain circumstances, very effective.

 :subbies:
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: RCPalmer on December 12, 2016, 20:30:40
Artillery structures vary across NATO but generally a brigade would have one artillery battalion with three six gun batteries of either 105mm or (more commonly) 155 mm with one battery generally providing direct support for each battalion size manoeuvre element. The flexibility of artillery fire means that fire can be massed at a critical location which means that non critical areas may lose their support from time to time.

Aviation is a division or higher resource. Currently for the US that can be anywhere from 16 Apache's in one battalion to 48 Apaches in two battalions depending on the division. Other NATO armies vary. (like ours, we have sweet f*** all)

Call me an old fashioned kind of guy but I like mortars integral to the battalion. It's a dedicated indirect fire support that is always there and mortar fire is different in nature from what artillery and aviation brings to the game. The high rate of plunging fire (IMHO) is, in certain circumstances, very effective.

 :subbies:

This seems to be the way things are headed again, particularly with light forces development.  The hat badge of the Mortar Pl members is another question, but I wouldn't be fussed either way as long as the capability is re-established. 

However, on that vein it would be nice if we actually built some doctrine on the combined arms groupings built around light forces.  Light Infantry Coy with tanks?  Light Infantry Coy with Pl sized attachments which may or may not have integral lift for their pers and/or equipment?  There is practically nothing on this, and there is lots of applicability for these types of scenarios in COIN or complex terrain.

Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on December 12, 2016, 21:00:06
If the mortars are a DIY artillery when higher assets are not available, then we should be pushing for 120mm (and better yet automatic 120mms like Dragonfire). This gives even the independent BG the ability to shape the battlefield with fire.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Haligonian on December 12, 2016, 21:48:03
No, he probably means DPICM. It was a montrously efficient method of deal with massed armour.

Good point.  I should have known that.

Tango,

I agree that our doctrine is flexible and that ultimately this comes down to a CO's decision.  My point, however, is that our intellectual foundation puts a lot of weight on the square cbt tm. All the drills in Cbt Tm in Ops are for square teams.  The CTCC aims for a square team.  These are not insignificant facts as they form the foundation of cbt tm experience for many officers.  Further I would suggest that it does bleed over into the field force.  I'll need to confirm but I'm pretty sure that as of right now the plan for the Lvl 5 live at RUGGED BEAR this year is a square cbt tm.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Chris Pook on December 12, 2016, 22:01:00
If the mortars are a DIY artillery when higher assets are not available, then we should be pushing for 120mm (and better yet automatic 120mms like Dragonfire). This gives even the independent BG the ability to shape the battlefield with fire.

When you say Automatic - I hear 10 tonne truck.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: GnyHwy on December 12, 2016, 22:52:31
Good point.  I should have known that.

DPICM and what you said.

FTFY. Mortars provide a flexible, accurate and effective fire support resource. How the army managed to convince itself that mortars were obsolete is beyond me. (An ex-CLS referred to mortars as "obsolete" in a conversation with me several years ago.)

That takes a lot of koolaid!
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Humphrey Bogart on December 12, 2016, 23:05:51
DPICM and what you said.

That takes a lot of koolaid!

Just go on YouTube and Google mortar, they're a staple in every other military in the world.  "Mortars are obsolete" just another reason why I'm pulling plug on this roadshow.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Tango2Bravo on December 12, 2016, 23:06:57

Tango,

I agree that our doctrine is flexible and that ultimately this comes down to a CO's decision.  My point, however, is that our intellectual foundation puts a lot of weight on the square cbt tm. All the drills in Cbt Tm in Ops are for square teams.  The CTCC aims for a square team.  These are not insignificant facts as they form the foundation of cbt tm experience for many officers.  Further I would suggest that it does bleed over into the field force.  I'll need to confirm but I'm pretty sure that as of right now the plan for the Lvl 5 live at RUGGED BEAR this year is a square cbt tm.

I have certainly done many more combat team advances and quick attacks in the field force than I have been in battle group attacks. I think that the square combat team is more at the emotional foundation of the army than the intellectual. When large scale collective training collapsed in the 90s and workups for peacekeeping ops were the bug deals, the combat team attack was where we preserved "war fighting" training. When we do Battle Group exercises the playbook opens up for groupings.

I teach at the staff college, and square combat teams are not the standard answer to a problem here. BG level problems call for BG level solutions.

I've been on CTCCs with combat teams based on squadron minuses and half squadrons: even recce (edited to fix auto-correct...) squadrons! The TTPs from the book can be adapted.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Infanteer on December 12, 2016, 23:42:15
I think that the square combat team is more at the emotional foundation of the army than the intellectual.

I think you're right on that mark.

My biggest critique of the square combat team (the Square) is that it seems to run counter-intuitive to the notion of maximizing C2 nodes.  Much of the study I've done suggests that smaller tactical organizations tend to fair better.  For example, there is a good amount of literature on how a Squadron of four troops of 3 tanks performs better than a Squadron of three troops of four due to the extra C2 node (there is no increase in tanks, only one extra Troop Leader is added to the fray).  The Square seems to run counter to this - putting in excess of 35 armoured fighting vehicles under a single sub-unit commander.

So yes, it's but one tool in the box, but have we made it the shiniest tool when it may not actually be a very practical one?

Let's take your hypothetical Armoured Regiment example - two tank squadrons and an infantry company, combined with a recce squadron.  As opposed to having a Square plowing behind the Recce Squadron, would the CO be better served with two sub-units to manoeuvre behind the recce screen?  Although the Sqn/Coy will occupy roughly the same ground, I suspect having both OCs pushing forces forward would be much more nimble than having one of the OCs plod forward with the whole shebang.  One of the coolest exercises I saw was a BG Delay under a Armoured Regt HQ that had 2 Armoured Sqns and 2 Mech Coys.  However, the desire to "go Square" meant that the Infantry OCs weren't doing much.  I wonder if that limited what the BG could squeeze out of those resources.

Could make for an interesting bit of JCATS simulation - see what can be controlled by a BG Comd better and what is more responsive to changes on the battlefield.  A 4 Tp + 3 Coy Square or a 2 Tp + 2 Coy and 2 Tp + 1 Pl Cbt Team bounding together.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on December 13, 2016, 01:21:21
When you say Automatic - I hear 10 tonne truck.

Dragonfire !! weighed 1,565 kg in its towed configuration, and by removing the wheels could be fitted inside a LAV chassis. It is power operated and has a two man crew
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Chris Pook on December 13, 2016, 02:16:04
Dragonfire !! weighed 1,565 kg in its towed configuration, and by removing the wheels could be fitted inside a LAV chassis. It is power operated and has a two man crew

I was thinking more in terms of the rate of ammunition expenditure requiring heavy transport.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Tango2Bravo on December 13, 2016, 10:42:29
I think you're right on that mark.

My biggest critique of the square combat team (the Square) is that it seems to run counter-intuitive to the notion of maximizing C2 nodes.  Much of the study I've done suggests that smaller tactical organizations tend to fair better.  For example, there is a good amount of literature on how a Squadron of four troops of 3 tanks performs better than a Squadron of three troops of four due to the extra C2 node (there is no increase in tanks, only one extra Troop Leader is added to the fray).  The Square seems to run counter to this - putting in excess of 35 armoured fighting vehicles under a single sub-unit commander.

So yes, it's but one tool in the box, but have we made it the shiniest tool when it may not actually be a very practical one?

Let's take your hypothetical Armoured Regiment example - two tank squadrons and an infantry company, combined with a recce squadron.  As opposed to having a Square plowing behind the Recce Squadron, would the CO be better served with two sub-units to manoeuvre behind the recce screen?  Although the Sqn/Coy will occupy roughly the same ground, I suspect having both OCs pushing forces forward would be much more nimble than having one of the OCs plod forward with the whole shebang.  One of the coolest exercises I saw was a BG Delay under a Armoured Regt HQ that had 2 Armoured Sqns and 2 Mech Coys.  However, the desire to "go Square" meant that the Infantry OCs weren't doing much.  I wonder if that limited what the BG could squeeze out of those resources.

Could make for an interesting bit of JCATS simulation - see what can be controlled by a BG Comd better and what is more responsive to changes on the battlefield.  A 4 Tp + 3 Coy Square or a 2 Tp + 2 Coy and 2 Tp + 1 Pl Cbt Team bounding together.

Infanteer,

I am not a fan of the three-tank troop. I would rather have three troops of four than four troops of three. A troop of three that loses a single tank is not a fire team. I recognize that the Brits operate with troops of three tanks, and I imagine that their studies would support their doctrine.

The comparison of the efficiency of two small combat teams under the CO vs one square combat team is an excellent topic! I will cop out by saying that my answer would depend on the situation. I have taken both Canadian and US Army company command courses. A US Army Battalion Commander would likely form two company teams: one with two tank platoons and an infantry platoon and the other with one tank platoon and two infantry platoons. On my US Army course we would send the tank heavy team against an enemy infantry platoon in an VEE formation, the tanks leading with the infantry trailing centre and clearing the enemy. We in the Canadian army are very hesitant to grant equivalent combat power ratios between arms. We see an enemy platoon position and think that we need a company of infantry to clear them out regardless of how many tanks are shooting at the enemy positions. We might send an infantry platoon to clear a defile, but not an enemy platoon position. As an infantryman, would you be comfortable sending a combat team with two tank troops and a single infantry platoon to destroy an enemy platoon position? This is not a rhetorical question!

The US Army force of two company teams would be commanded by the CO or perhaps the S3 if it was on a secondary axis. We would have the two Majors (the OCs) commanding the force with one designated as the Combat Team Commander and other supporting. I think that we need to expand to the Battle Group level to see which one makes sense.

In the Canadian armoured BG example that I floated, it could absolutely be valid to form two combat teams and advance two-up. One team could be armour heavy (three Troops or maybe a two Troop Sqn (-) with a single infantry platoon and the other based on the infantry company with two platoons and a single tank Troop or a half-squadron. The CO would place himself somewhere to command both, keeping the second tank squadron in reserve to either exploit success or be the decisive effort in a meeting engagement. The two combat teams could support each other in an attack on an enemy platoon sized outpost - one in the firebase and the other assaulting. You'd have to sort out breaching assets ahead of time, and it might be awkward if you realize that you need the third platoon to deal with the enemy position. They would have a hard time supporting each other on the advance, though, as the combat team frontages make it hard to mutually support across the entire front. In addition, the troop leaders will lack SA on each other as they are not on an all-informed combat team net. They could each destroy enemy outposts, although the one with a single infantry platoon might have issues.

I agree that it would be fun to try out in simulation or on exercise!

The square combat team is well suited to advance "in space" and destroy enemy platoon sized security positions. The tank troops can support each other under the control of the OC and are all-informed. The infantry company is concentrated on the centre of the axis ready to destroy the enemy position. The Sqn OC can juggle tanks around to have ploughs in the right place. I am not saying that the square combat team is the only solution in this case, but I could understand why the CO would go with that grouping for this instance.

It does, though, look like the CO is washing his hands of the fight and leaving it to the two OCs to figure out.  Perhaps lead with a sqn (-) with three troops and an infantry-heavy combat team following. The sqn (-) can advance with speed and aggression behind the recce squadron (or in front as the case may be), with the CO using the infantry combat team to destroy enemy outposts that cannot simply be bypassed. I could see this working.

For an attack on an integrated enemy company position by a BG, however, the square combat team can certainly create some issues. This situation, I think, calls for smaller combat teams task-organized for specific roles orchestrated and commanded by the CO.

As DS I suggest to my students that they solve tactical problems at the appropriate level. Some problems can be solved by a combat team commander, others need a battle group approach and other need a brigade solution. Speaking perhaps to your point on command, simply throwing addition assets without thinking about command is not a recipe for success.

Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Infanteer on December 13, 2016, 11:18:45
I am not a fan of the three-tank troop. I would rather have three troops of four than four troops of three. A troop of three that loses a single tank is not a fire team. I recognize that the Brits operate with troops of three tanks, and I imagine that their studies would support their doctrine.

I've almost never seen a four tank troop, as some are always broken down!

I imagine this is similar to the debate about the optimal size of the section.  No matter what sized is selected, it probably won't fight that organization due to casualties.

Quote
We in the Canadian army are very hesitant to grant equivalent combat power ratios between arms. We see an enemy platoon position and think that we need a company of infantry to clear them out regardless of how many tanks are shooting at the enemy positions. We might send an infantry platoon to clear a defile, but not an enemy platoon position. As an infantryman, would you be comfortable sending a combat team with two tank troops and a single infantry platoon to destroy an enemy platoon position? This is not a rhetorical question!

It's a rule of thumb turned into a rule, which isn't always a good thing.

I would have no issues sending an infantry platoon to destroy an enemy platoon; studies on suppression and neutralization indicate that historically, assaults are more successful when the ratio of support:assault favours the elements delivering fire support.  2 up, 1 back actually isn't very effective, and is probably more a symptom of peacetime training than wartime experience.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Thucydides on December 13, 2016, 12:59:02
We have seen discussion on how the Canadian and US Army use combat teams, can anyone chime in on how the Marines do this? I'd also be curious to see some discussion on the British (both army and Royal Marines) and the Germans do things to get some comparative analysis.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: RCPalmer on December 13, 2016, 17:18:35
We have seen discussion on how the Canadian and US Army use combat teams, can anyone chime in on how the Marines do this? I'd also be curious to see some discussion on the British (both army and Royal Marines) and the Germans do things to get some comparative analysis.

The USMC has a pretty different model built around the imperatives of amphibious operations which usually involve the infantry elements of Regimental Landing Teams (RLT) and Battalion Landing Teams (BLT) deploying through a combination of airmobile insertion from amphibious assault ships, and over the beach using Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAV-7) and Landing Craft, Air Cushion (LCAC). 

Their Infantry Battalion's are all light, and if all or a part of a force is required to be mechanized (which generally means they are moving across the beach), they are grouped with an associated AAV "Tractor" Coy or Pl. The AAVs are the closest thing the USMC has to an IFV or Infantry Section carrying APC, but it is quite a different beast as it holds 21 dismounts, and is not organic to the unit or sub-unit.  In both Gulf Wars the USMC tried to use these vehicles as conventional APCs, with fairly unsatisfactory results. 

BLTs and RLTs form Ground Combat Elements (GCE) task organized into Marine Expeditionary Units (MEU) and Marine Expeditionary Brigades (MEB), respectively. MEU and MEB also include their own Aviation Combat Element (ACE), C2 Element (CE) and Support Element (SE).  To summarize:

BLT/GCE+ACE+CE+SE=MEU

RLT/GCE+ACE+CE+SE=MEB

A typical BLT forming the core of an MEU would generally consist of 3xRifle Coys, a Wpns Coy, a Light Armored Recce Coy (LAV-25), a Tank Pl, an Artillery Battery (M777), an Infantry Recce Pl, a Combat Engineer Pl and a Mortar Pl.  In an RLT, you times that by 3 with the Tanks and Engineers becoming company sized, and  the Arty becoming battalion sized organizations.  Being relatively light on tanks and engineers, I would expect to see fewer combat teams as we understand them and more centralized tasking of supporting arms under the Bn and Bde Commanders. 

Given that the Royal Marines aren't in the business of employing tanks or AAV, I wouldn't expect to see any mechanized combined arms groupings with them, just rifle Coys with attachments.  I would love to get some dialog going on those and other light force combined arms arrangements, but that may be a topic for another thread.

Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Chris Pook on December 13, 2016, 17:38:09
RC -

http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/our-organisation/the-fighting-arms/royal-marines/3-commando-brigade/armoured-support-group

Royal Marines Armoured Support Group - with Vikings - broadly comparable to the USMC employment of the AAV, I would suggest.

As for tanks

(https://navynews.co.uk/assets/upload/img/cms/11091501ax-3.jpg)

When and as necessary?
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: RCPalmer on December 13, 2016, 18:05:20
RC -

http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/our-organisation/the-fighting-arms/royal-marines/3-commando-brigade/armoured-support-group

Royal Marines Armoured Support Group - with Vikings - broadly comparable to the USMC employment of the AAV, I would suggest.

As for tanks

(https://navynews.co.uk/assets/upload/img/cms/11091501ax-3.jpg)

When and as necessary?

Cool - I stand corrected.  I'm not sure the Vikings in the Armored Support Group provide the protected "from the boat and over the beach" capability as an AAV.  It looks more like a fording and water obstacle crossing "swimming" capability similar to M113, Grizzly, etc.  I was able to find a lot of photos of Vikings rolling off landing craft.  However, the employment appears similar in that it is a separate unit providing protected lift to a light force.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Chris Pook on December 13, 2016, 18:56:08
Agreed on all points RC.

I have seen images  like this one of a Viking recovering on board HMS Bulwark

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/aa/UK_Viking_and_HMS_Bulwark.jpg/1124px-UK_Viking_and_HMS_Bulwark.jpg)

And this one of a Viking swimming to shore

(https://Army.ca/forums/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.army-technology.com%2Fprojects%2Fviking%2Fimages%2Fviking_12.jpg&hash=3be794900b9e20ff0529b48c14ab4abc)

But not sure that I would be wanting to be aboard when it did - I'd be much happier going most of the distance in an LCVP or LCU and driving off at the end.

Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: RCPalmer on December 14, 2016, 01:25:39
Infanteer,

I am not a fan of the three-tank troop. I would rather have three troops of four than four troops of three. A troop of three that loses a single tank is not a fire team. I recognize that the Brits operate with troops of three tanks, and I imagine that their studies would support their doctrine.

The comparison of the efficiency of two small combat teams under the CO vs one square combat team is an excellent topic! I will cop out by saying that my answer would depend on the situation. I have taken both Canadian and US Army company command courses. A US Army Battalion Commander would likely form two company teams: one with two tank platoons and an infantry platoon and the other with one tank platoon and two infantry platoons. On my US Army course we would send the tank heavy team against an enemy infantry platoon in an VEE formation, the tanks leading with the infantry trailing centre and clearing the enemy. We in the Canadian army are very hesitant to grant equivalent combat power ratios between arms. We see an enemy platoon position and think that we need a company of infantry to clear them out regardless of how many tanks are shooting at the enemy positions. We might send an infantry platoon to clear a defile, but not an enemy platoon position. As an infantryman, would you be comfortable sending a combat team with two tank troops and a single infantry platoon to destroy an enemy platoon position? This is not a rhetorical question!

The US Army force of two company teams would be commanded by the CO or perhaps the S3 if it was on a secondary axis. We would have the two Majors (the OCs) commanding the force with one designated as the Combat Team Commander and other supporting. I think that we need to expand to the Battle Group level to see which one makes sense.

In the Canadian armoured BG example that I floated, it could absolutely be valid to form two combat teams and advance two-up. One team could be armour heavy (three Troops or maybe a two Troop Sqn (-) with a single infantry platoon and the other based on the infantry company with two platoons and a single tank Troop or a half-squadron. The CO would place himself somewhere to command both, keeping the second tank squadron in reserve to either exploit success or be the decisive effort in a meeting engagement. The two combat teams could support each other in an attack on an enemy platoon sized outpost - one in the firebase and the other assaulting. You'd have to sort out breaching assets ahead of time, and it might be awkward if you realize that you need the third platoon to deal with the enemy position. They would have a hard time supporting each other on the advance, though, as the combat team frontages make it hard to mutually support across the entire front. In addition, the troop leaders will lack SA on each other as they are not on an all-informed combat team net. They could each destroy enemy outposts, although the one with a single infantry platoon might have issues.

I agree that it would be fun to try out in simulation or on exercise!

The square combat team is well suited to advance "in space" and destroy enemy platoon sized security positions. The tank troops can support each other under the control of the OC and are all-informed. The infantry company is concentrated on the centre of the axis ready to destroy the enemy position. The Sqn OC can juggle tanks around to have ploughs in the right place. I am not saying that the square combat team is the only solution in this case, but I could understand why the CO would go with that grouping for this instance.

It does, though, look like the CO is washing his hands of the fight and leaving it to the two OCs to figure out.  Perhaps lead with a sqn (-) with three troops and an infantry-heavy combat team following. The sqn (-) can advance with speed and aggression behind the recce squadron (or in front as the case may be), with the CO using the infantry combat team to destroy enemy outposts that cannot simply be bypassed. I could see this working.

For an attack on an integrated enemy company position by a BG, however, the square combat team can certainly create some issues. This situation, I think, calls for smaller combat teams task-organized for specific roles orchestrated and commanded by the CO.

As DS I suggest to my students that they solve tactical problems at the appropriate level. Some problems can be solved by a combat team commander, others need a battle group approach and other need a brigade solution. Speaking perhaps to your point on command, simply throwing addition assets without thinking about command is not a recipe for success.

This is a great discussion.  I think there is plenty of room in the doctrine to accommodate all of the options above and more based on a solid combat estimate.  My concern is more with how develop that flexibility of mind in our leaders. 

Our training system appears focused on encouraging highly templated solutions to very standardized tactical problems. 

For example, when I was going through phase trg, the law of the land for hasty attacks was frontals at the Sect level and and flankings at the Pl level. You deviated from that at your peril. On ATOC (and presumably CTCC), they teach you to employ a square combat team to crush an Inf Pl with maybe one tank on the posn (7:1 force ratio  8))and then break up a Pl sized counterattack which is easily done provided you do a decent consolidation.  There have to be some training scars. 

It is really a philosophical question on how we train and assess our leaders.  Do we look for the skilled execution of a standardized tactic, or the planning and decision making skills associated with more varied circumstances? 

I don't view this as a rhetorical question either.  Maybe we can use courses to teach the basics and develop that flexibility of mind in collective training.  In that case, I would ask you to consider the question, what is the best environment to innovate, experiment and make mistakes? 

Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Old Sweat on December 14, 2016, 01:37:02
RC Palmer's comment triggered a response from someone who first encountered the prepare for an immediate counterattack as an 18-year-old recruit in the RCA Depot in Shilo in 1958.

This was based on two wars of fighting the Germans who had launched an automatic counterattack with whatever they could cobble together when they were forced off a position. They often succeeded until we learned to attack with "light" forces and then rush all sorts of firepower forward to massacre the response with direct and indirect fire.

Contrary to what the fans of the Germans in Normandy write, it was a tactical weakness in both wars and we learned how to defeat it.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: RCPalmer on December 14, 2016, 01:59:39
RC Palmer's comment triggered a response from someone who first encountered the prepare for an immediate counterattack as an 18-year-old recruit in the RCA Depot in Shilo in 1958.

This was based on two wars of fighting the Germans who had launched an automatic counterattack with whatever they could cobble together when they were forced off a position. They often succeeded until we learned to attack with "light" forces and then rush all sorts of firepower forward to massacre the response with direct and indirect fire.

Contrary to what the fans of the Germans in Normandy write, it was a tactical weakness in both wars and we learned how to defeat it.

Lots to unpack here. I'm not sure if that is an endorsement of our current training system and doctrine or an indictment. 
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: MilEME09 on December 14, 2016, 03:40:36

It is really a philosophical question on how we train and assess our leaders.  Do we look for the skilled execution of a standardized tactic, or the planning and decision making skills associated with more varied circumstances? 

I don't view this as a rhetorical question either.  Maybe we can use courses to teach the basics and develop that flexibility of mind in collective training.  In that case, I would ask you to consider the question, what is the best environment to innovate, experiment and make mistakes?

In my opinion, we should give leaders the basic playbook/ tools to do the job, then I think we then need to take off, and keep the training wheels off, and sharpen the sword so to speak by dynamic scenario after scenario. In this case all I mean by Dynamic is you give a very specific objective like capture hill X or area Y from OPFOR. OPFOR will try and hold at all costs and may even go on the offensive against you so be prepared to adapt quickly. I know our training budget may not allow for this currently but I think putting tactical minds against each other is probably the best way to learn in the most realistic, and yet safest two way range.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Humphrey Bogart on December 14, 2016, 08:16:09
This is a great discussion.  I think there is plenty of room in the doctrine to accommodate all of the options above and more based on a solid combat estimate.  My concern is more with how develop that flexibility of mind in our leaders. 

Our training system appears focused on encouraging highly templated solutions to very standardized tactical problems. 

For example, when I was going through phase trg, the law of the land for hasty attacks was frontals at the Sect level and and flankings at the Pl level. You deviated from that at your peril. On ATOC (and presumably CTCC), they teach you to employ a square combat team to crush an Inf Pl with maybe one tank on the posn (7:1 force ratio  8))and then break up a Pl sized counterattack which is easily done provided you do a decent consolidation.  There have to be some training scars. 

It is really a philosophical question on how we train and assess our leaders.  Do we look for the skilled execution of a standardized tactic, or the planning and decision making skills associated with more varied circumstances? 

I don't view this as a rhetorical question either.  Maybe we can use courses to teach the basics and develop that flexibility of mind in collective training.  In that case, I would ask you to consider the question, what is the best environment to innovate, experiment and make mistakes?

(https://cf.geekdo-images.com/images/pic771969.jpg)

Want to teach leaders to apply logical decision-making in a timely fashion?  Have them play Advanced Squad Leader with a Chess Clock Timer.

All for the great price of $30.00.

Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: daftandbarmy on December 14, 2016, 10:46:39
This is a great discussion.  I think there is plenty of room in the doctrine to accommodate all of the options above and more based on a solid combat estimate.  My concern is more with how develop that flexibility of mind in our leaders. 

Our training system appears focused on encouraging highly templated solutions to very standardized tactical problems. 

For example, when I was going through phase trg, the law of the land for hasty attacks was frontals at the Sect level and and flankings at the Pl level. You deviated from that at your peril. On ATOC (and presumably CTCC), they teach you to employ a square combat team to crush an Inf Pl with maybe one tank on the posn (7:1 force ratio  8))and then break up a Pl sized counterattack which is easily done provided you do a decent consolidation.  There have to be some training scars. 

It is really a philosophical question on how we train and assess our leaders.  Do we look for the skilled execution of a standardized tactic, or the planning and decision making skills associated with more varied circumstances? 

I don't view this as a rhetorical question either.  Maybe we can use courses to teach the basics and develop that flexibility of mind in collective training.  In that case, I would ask you to consider the question, what is the best environment to innovate, experiment and make mistakes?

Col. Hackworth to Gen Johnson the Army Chief of Staff on putting combat experienced officers into the school system after their time in Vietnam...

-"Weren't just not putting our best and most recently experienced combat officers into the schools system, which is where I believe they belong. We're sending them everywhere else to get their tickets punched, as if their careers took priority over the war."
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Haligonian on December 14, 2016, 22:39:55
The two combat teams could support each other in an attack on an enemy platoon sized outpost - one in the firebase and the other assaulting. You'd have to sort out breaching assets ahead of time, and it might be awkward if you realize that you need the third platoon to deal with the enemy position.

Isn't this a case of what you mentionned earlier on equivalent cbt power ratios between arms?  Outside of concerns on having sufficient breaching assets either of the cbt tms you've described would have the cbt power to destroy a platoon outpost with IDF in support.

It does, though, look like the CO is washing his hands of the fight and leaving it to the two OCs to figure out.

This is one of my original points on the disadvantages of the square team.

I've almost never seen a four tank troop, as some are always broken down!

I imagine this is similar to the debate about the optimal size of the section.  No matter what sized is selected, it probably won't fight that organization due to casualties.

Doesn't this then beg the question that attrition should be built in?  Perhaps trps should be 5 x tanks understanding they are likely to be more like 4 or 3 tanks.  If you go with 3 x tanks in a trp then you are likely to spend your time regrouping due to maint and attrition.  On the section side, as we've discussed before, I think the magic number might be 11.  2 x fire tms of 5 and an independent comd.  The 5 man fire teams allow them to absorb a casualty or LOB and still maintain the magic number of four and they wouldn't have to consider reorganising before the fire team is attrited down to two personnel.


I would have no issues sending an infantry platoon to destroy an enemy platoon; studies on suppression and neutralization indicate that historically, assaults are more successful when the ratio of support:assault favours the elements delivering fire support.  2 up, 1 back actually isn't very effective, and is probably more a symptom of peacetime training than wartime experience.

I presume you mean sending an infantry platoon to destroy an enemy platoon while other elements, like two other platoons, provide support?

We have seen discussion on how the Canadian and US Army use combat teams, can anyone chime in on how the Marines do this? I'd also be curious to see some discussion on the British (both army and Royal Marines) and the Germans do things to get some comparative analysis.

I thought I brought this up in my original post.  RC Palmer has most of it right but I must emphasise that the Marines do make Cbt Tms.  Coy Tms in their parlance.  On Expeditionary Warfare School we spent plenty of time doing this.  They do it the same way the US Army does by cross attaching tank and infantry sub units and sub sub units to creat Tms Mech/Tank and TF Mech/Tank.

The Marines only have 2 Bns of tanks (and another reserve Bn) each owned by one of the Divs.

As per the briefing I received on CTCC from a British former mech inf OC who commanded a Cbt Tm in the second invasion of Iraq they are a bit more flexible in their approach than the Americans but generally do it the same way by cross attaching.  They do occasionally form square cbt tms but he emphasised that this was a very infrequent event.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Tango2Bravo on December 15, 2016, 09:30:09
Regarding your comment on the USMC school, here on AOC during Tutorial 2 students spend plenty of time considering different grouping options within a battle group.  Remember that ATOC and CTCC are courses aimed at the sub-unit/combat team level. ATOC gives the largest combat team possible to stretch the student in terms of span of control.

If we are willing to break up an infantry company for offensive options then the grouping options certainly open up. I think our desire to have an entire company to assault an enemy platoon regardless of the number of friendly tanks blasting away is based on the concern about casualties. A single platoon will culminate quickly from a fairly small number of casualties. Based on modern experience, though, four casualties can also culminate a company and even a battalion until the casualties are evacuated. Perhaps we are a firepower based army where two-thirds are in the firebase and one-third mop up?



Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Chris Pook on December 15, 2016, 13:44:01
Regarding your comment on the USMC school, here on AOC during Tutorial 2 students spend plenty of time considering different grouping options within a battle group.  Remember that ATOC and CTCC are courses aimed at the sub-unit/combat team level. ATOC gives the largest combat team possible to stretch the student in terms of span of control.

If we are willing to break up an infantry company for offensive options then the grouping options certainly open up. I think our desire to have an entire company to assault an enemy platoon regardless of the number of friendly tanks blasting away is based on the concern about casualties. A single platoon will culminate quickly from a fairly small number of casualties. Based on modern experience, though, four casualties can also culminate a company and even a battalion until the casualties are evacuated. Perhaps we are a firepower based army where two-thirds are in the firebase and one-third mop up?

How different from "parkie's" army.   

https://army.ca/forums/index.php?action=profile;area=showposts;u=15861

"Culminate?" Does that mean cease to function? 

4 casualties is enough to stop a Company?   Is that what is considered as effective fire? 

What happened to "keep moving - leave him to the stretcher bearers"?
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Haligonian on December 15, 2016, 14:09:07
Regarding your comment on the USMC school, here on AOC during Tutorial 2 students spend plenty of time considering different grouping options within a battle group.  Remember that ATOC and CTCC are courses aimed at the sub-unit/combat team level. ATOC gives the largest combat team possible to stretch the student in terms of span of control.

If we are willing to break up an infantry company for offensive options then the grouping options certainly open up. I think our desire to have an entire company to assault an enemy platoon regardless of the number of friendly tanks blasting away is based on the concern about casualties. A single platoon will culminate quickly from a fairly small number of casualties. Based on modern experience, though, four casualties can also culminate a company and even a battalion until the casualties are evacuated. Perhaps we are a firepower based army where two-thirds are in the firebase and one-third mop up?

I think we certainly should be willing to break up the Coy.  This is what Infanteer was referring to.  The concern about casualties will be reduced if you have sufficient firepower on the objective.  Jim Storr talks a lot about this as does Killcullen.  It's about setting conditions for a successful attack with shock.  Shock is best achieved through HE.  Storr shows a number of studies where in cases where surprise and/or shock (surprise often leads to shock) is achieved the force ratios become drastically in favor of the attacker and generally the defenders will cease to participate.

I think a few casualties causing a coy to culminate is likely a reflection of Afghanistan TTPs where the fight literally stopped when casualties happened.  I would suggest that in these cases those units didn't actually culminate (the definition of culmination being that point at which a unit can no longer pursue offensive operations) but chose to cease operations in order to tend to their wounded.  We did Nine Liners over the Command net so in some cases it could be quite difficult to continue operations while a Nine Liner and MISTs were going out, further exacerbating the situation.
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: daftandbarmy on December 15, 2016, 14:28:27
I think we certainly should be willing to break up the Coy.  This is what Infanteer was referring to.  The concern about casualties will be reduced if you have sufficient firepower on the objective.  Jim Storr talks a lot about this as does Killcullen.  It's about setting conditions for a successful attack with shock.  Shock is best achieved through HE.  Storr shows a number of studies where in cases where surprise and/or shock (surprise often leads to shock) is achieved the force ratios become drastically in favor of the attacker and generally the defenders will cease to participate.

I think a few casualties causing a coy to culminate is likely a reflection of Afghanistan TTPs where the fight literally stopped when casualties happened.  I would suggest that in these cases those units didn't actually culminate (the definition of culmination being that point at which a unit can no longer pursue offensive operations) but chose to cease operations in order to tend to their wounded.  We did Nine Liners over the Command net so in some cases it could be quite difficult to continue operations while a Nine Liner and MISTs were going out, further exacerbating the situation.

The goal has to be worth paying the price for, and speaks to the ability of our highest level political and military leaders doing their jobs, and not committing ground troops (i.e., those who will take the most casualties) to weak causes in the first place.

National survival? Hell yeah...

Fiddling around in Wherever-istan in pursuit of fuzzy goals that change with the wind?

Meh....
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Chris Pook on December 15, 2016, 14:53:58
......

Fiddling around in Wherever-istan in pursuit of fuzzy goals that change with the wind?

Meh....

In which case: Why bother?
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: RCPalmer on December 15, 2016, 20:02:40
I thought I brought this up in my original post.  RC Palmer has most of it right but I must emphasise that the Marines do make Cbt Tms.  Coy Tms in their parlance.  On Expeditionary Warfare School we spent plenty of time doing this.  They do it the same way the US Army does by cross attaching tank and infantry sub units and sub sub units to creat Tms Mech/Tank and TF Mech/Tank.=

Absolutely.  I wasn't asserting that the USMC doesn't employ combat teams, just that they might be less prevalent due to the limited availability tank and engineer assets, and perhaps a greater degree of centralized control over and independent tasking of, those limited assets.

Regarding your comment on the USMC school, here on AOC during Tutorial 2 students spend plenty of time considering different grouping options within a battle group.  Remember that ATOC and CTCC are courses aimed at the sub-unit/combat team level. ATOC gives the largest combat team possible to stretch the student in terms of span of control.

If we are willing to break up an infantry company for offensive options then the grouping options certainly open up. I think our desire to have an entire company to assault an enemy platoon regardless of the number of friendly tanks blasting away is based on the concern about casualties. A single platoon will culminate quickly from a fairly small number of casualties. Based on modern experience, though, four casualties can also culminate a company and even a battalion until the casualties are evacuated. Perhaps we are a firepower based army where two-thirds are in the firebase and one-third mop up?

I that that AOC is probably the best course in an Army Officer's career path in terms of providing opportunities to exercise that flexibility of mind I mentioned.  My experience was that it was structured to allow for true estimate based decision making leading to unique, non-templated, groupings and tactical plans.  My point is that we should consider integrating this model into earlier career courses rather than introducing it to officers after a decade of service.  The other issue with AOC on this front is that the potential for experimentation and "safe" mistake making is limited by the fact that the course is focused on the planning, rather than the execution of missions, in a field training or simulation environment.  In the PRes version you only get to execute one mission in simulation in JCATS,  Ex Final Drive.  Perhaps the RegF serials do more of that kind of thing?

I guess I don't understand why we are so obsessed with seeing a "school standard" execution of highly repetitive and templated tasks in most of our leadership courses.  Anyone should be able to execute a decent attack (whether that be at Sect, Pl, or Cbt Tm level) having just watched or participated in a dozen others just like it.  Perhaps we would get a better product if we focused more on assessing the core leadership attributes and decision making skills (accepting "sloppier" execution) in situations that actually force those leaders to adapt to unique situations.  Food for thought. 
Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: daftandbarmy on December 15, 2016, 20:33:56
I guess I don't understand why we are so obsessed with seeing a "school standard" execution of highly repetitive and templated tasks in most of our leadership courses.  Anyone should be able to execute a decent attack (whether that be at Sect, Pl, or Cbt Tm level) having just watched or participated in a dozen others just like it.  Perhaps we would get a better product if we focused more on assessing the core leadership attributes and decision making skills (accepting "sloppier" execution) in situations that actually force those leaders to adapt to unique situations.  Food for thought.

Amen to that.

Once upon a time, in the UK, I ran a platoon attack range, live firing, with Week 20 recruits leading the platoon and filling in the section commander positions. The focus was on 'kill the enemy' versus giving an immaculate set of orders informed by an elaborate Combat Estimate. They, mostly, did a great job under average supervision e.g., 'I wouldn't shoot over that way or 2 section will be less than pleased with you'.

How did we manage to have them achieve this lofty goal? Personal example and repetition, of course. After you lead them through 5 or 10 dry and live platoon attacks, troops can figure it out, especially if you explain what's going on.

Funny... on my Phase III in Gagetown, I don't recall any of my DS ever leading any of the platoon attacks. They mostly glared and handed out various coloured chits while scribbling in books, throwing gas and arty sims at us, and generally being gigantic d&ck heads.

Title: Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
Post by: Chris Pook on December 15, 2016, 20:38:31
RC:

Does that argue for two distinct lines of training?  One for Leaders and one for Soldiers?

It seems to me that Soldiers in Training can benefit from running drills - so that they become second nature. It may be difficult to build those skills if the guys in charge are running around saying "Oops! That wasn't what I meant."

Meanwhile the Leaders in Training can benefit from having skilled Soldiers under command doing exactly as they were ordered - with consequences to follow.

Having half-trained leaders learning/teaching with half-trained soldiers - does anybody get much useful learning done?

Faster on the keyboard D&B.