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Army.ca => Combat Elements => Topic started by: TCBF on August 23, 2005, 23:32:43

Title: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: TCBF on August 23, 2005, 23:32:43
"If you want to integrate Light Inf into the Mech attack, I think it may actually be prudent to give them M113's as there is no mech attack that will outrun it over broken terrain. Additionally the inclusion of the vehicles to any operations in the north would be an asset, especially for continued operations, with an airlift capability they could be brought in once suitable austere airstrips could be developed.  Keeping to a simple platform would enable the Light Inf to qualify drivers as well as gunners on wpns which are much more user friendly such as the .50 cal and mk19 within turreted systems, without disrupting their current training tempo or without becoming to complex."

-Now that is an interesting bit of thinking out of the box.  Would you recommend a 'Carrier Company' - a modern variant of the WW2 'carrier platoons' - that would centralize all of the tracks in the bn, and come with their own 2 - 3 man crews?  They could be trained and used  like a poor man's Recce Sqn for RAS, Conv Escort, Resup over marginal terrain, etc, then used to tpt the light coys when needed, or as platforms/carriers for heavy wpns when not dismounted.   Especially in winter.

Comments?

Tom

Title: Mech infantry or light infantry with APC units?(split: Light Infantry/Airborne Capability)
Post by: claybot on August 24, 2005, 13:01:18
Well for starters TCBF it may be better to start an entire new thread on Northern OPs. But I will make a go.

First off the Army will be wheeled for some time to come we will just avoid the broken terrain or better yet teach our drivers how to drive in that terrain.
But the use of the M113 especially if you use the upgraded one would make sense in Northen Ops due to conditions throughout the year.
But now your opening a whole new discussion about Winter Ops.
Would you develop a permanent base of battalion size and rotate the Infantry through that base to acclimatize them and teach them winter ops?
Or would you leave them where they are now?
The Army would have to start all over again in Winter Exercises, the ones we do now are pathetic. you would be talking 3-5 weeks on exercise in the North to properly learn fighting conditions.
Who would you be defending against?
Qualify the drivers would be good idea no matter what they do. As for trained gunners great idea, perhaps if we had used trained gunners who never dismounted when we used to have M113's we wouldn't have the same problems today with LAV III and dedicated crews.
Those 2-3 man crews within your "Carrier Company" could better utilized as Infantry man.
Title: Mech infantry or light infantry with APC units?(split: Light Infantry/Airborne Capability)
Post by: Unknown Factor on August 24, 2005, 14:31:12
First off the Army will be wheeled for some time to come we will just avoid the broken terrain or better yet teach our drivers how to drive in that terrain.

I'm sure this is being done already, had a couple of guys get 16 extras because they broke two G-Wagons driving over rough terrain in front of a general during a demo. Now in a real Army they would have identified the problem and fixed it, but in ours it is far more important to appear professional than to be professional.

But the use of the M113 especially if you use the upgraded one would make sense in Northen Ops due to conditions throughout the year.
But now your opening a whole new discussion about Winter Ops.

Let's not get focused in on winter ops that was just one of the many examples, there is no reason why the same platform can't be used in other theaters as well in the specified roles of gun platform and troop carrier.  Just because docterine doesn't exist does not mean that with a bit of improvisation and adaptation something can't be done.

As For dedicating bases and units and time, boy nothing like making something more complex than it has to be.  When I said that with driver trg and gunner courses it would take like time out of the  light inf bn trg, is because they run normal pcf cycles like the rest of the inf, and both those courses (with minor adjustments) are or were already established PCF courses.  There is no reason to open a new base and as long as the employment is based on the deployment matrix of the light inf bn then they would rotate through the trg on once over a 3 year period.  This employment and use of carriers would not however focus just on the M113 and how to employ it in a mech attach, but rather how to employ the capability within the light inf to enhance it's firepower and mobility on the battlefield once they have siezed ground. The carriers would be added to the list of vehicles which already compliment the light inf bn's such as the LOSV, BV206, providing much greater protection and heavy wpn platform.

Those 2-3 man crews within your "Carrier Company" could better utilized as Infantry man.

Carrier Companies are a far fetched idea in a light inf bn, there is just not enough manpower or is ther enough utilization of the task to justify having that number of soldiers out of their primary roles. It is far better to have vehicles dedicated to specific role such as wpns platoons within the coy or transport as troop carriers than to try and implement these vehicles into a full mech coy.

But specifically operations with employ light forces always begin without mech support. So once suitable DZ and LZ are established and the inital wave of troops are securing the ground, light follow on forces could be air lifted into the area utilizing vehicles such as the BV206 and the M113 to shore up defences and enlarge the exploited area for further mech forces.  Now once those Mech forces reach the breach and break out the only way for Light forces to keep up would be to mount up and follow along. Now obviously further light tasks aside. A special note as well this is only one idea of how to utilized light forces within a mech attack, the focus of light bn would and should allways remain focused on light tactics and is dependant on the current format of 6 mech bn and 3 light, but as we all know this is no longer going to be the case if the mech bn  keep losing there LAVs, if anything this is getting closer to what an Army of our size should be.  A lot of light inf and more support for ground operations.

'Have at er'
Title: Mech infantry or light infantry with APC units?(split: Light Infantry/Airborne Capability)
Post by: Chris Pook on August 24, 2005, 17:11:12
Does the Transport Platoon exist in the current Light Inf structure?

Could it be beefed up?   Does it need to be?

Just wondering along TCBF's query about the Carrier Platoon.   14 M113/Bisons/Bv206s..... would only require 28 crew.   They could be used for resupply or as a means of moving a company of troops in a QRF,   right?

Light Forces are deployed rapidly to secure and hold ground for a follow on force.   In their primary role they are not likely to go swanning around in the blue on their own.   Putting a bit more capability in the Transport pool (trade trucks for APCs?) wouldn't that assist in their primary mission?

If they are to spend a lot of time in theater then is it likely that the entire battalion will be mounted for an assault or move at one time?

If the entire battalion is to be attached to a LAV or Track force maybe alternate arrangements could be made by having the Blackhats supply and Armoured Transport Sub-Unit (Coy/Squadron) to lift the rifles?
Title: Mech infantry or light infantry with APC units?(split: Light Infantry/Airborne Capability)
Post by: TCBF on August 24, 2005, 19:27:30
"If the entire battalion is to be attached to a LAV or Track force maybe alternate arrangements could be made by having the Blackhats supply and Armoured Transport Sub-Unit (Coy/Squadron) to lift the rifles?"

- Well.....

IF - and it's a big if, because the RCAC is terrified of being reduced to crewing LAVs in Inf bns - that was to happen, who would crew them?

Tom
Title: Mech infantry or light infantry with APC units?(split: Light Infantry/Airborne Capability)
Post by: Chris Pook on August 24, 2005, 20:14:58
How about the junior Blackhats? 

Leave the RCAC regiments intact, complete with Recce/ISTAR, Fire Support, and LAV Squadrons (including - dare I say it - Dragoons) to handle the Mobile battle.

Attach an armoured transport squadron(????) of NON-fighting vehicles to move the infantry under cover - Back to the notion of the defrocked Priests and Kangaroos; the 1st Armoured Personnel Carrier Regiment and the 25th Cdn Armoured Delivery Regiment (The Elgin Regiment).  One Squadron of Stryker/Bisons per Regiment.  They can tell themselves the vehicles are just to bring up the rations and the Regimental Silver.

I know this makes for larger Blackhat regiments and I have been accused of wanting to create a Blackhat empire by some.

Not to be too facetious though, it isn't so much a case of establishing a Blackhat empire as recognizing the inherent difference between two organizations, one of whose ethos is to stand and hold and the other's whose ethos is to drive on.  Occasionally over the hill and far away with the Infantry yelling "Please come back. All's forgiven."

I would sooner see 9 similar, smaller if necessary infantry battalions (identical organization - different skills),  and 3 mobile Regiments in the Blackhats than the current case where everybody seems to want a bit of everybody else's turf for fear of being left out on any given operation.

I don't doubt there is enough work to go around.
Title: Mech infantry or light infantry with APC units?(split: Light Infantry/Airborne Capability)
Post by: Chris Pook on August 24, 2005, 20:33:08
Actually the more I think about this, the more it doesn't sound unreasonable.

Consider that once upon a time troops were moved in unarmoured trucks, either from the Battalion's own motor pool or else in Army Service Corps trucks.

Then the section got a truck.  The motor pool kept their trucks.

The section got an armoured truck.  Motor pool still had trucks.

Section got an armoured track.  Motor pool still had trucks.

Section got an armoured fighting vehicle (and became Cavalry).  Motor pool still had trucks.

Cavalry has always had more trucks than infantry.

US is now armouring the trucks in the motor pool and in the service corps.

Why not use Bisons/Strykers/M113s/BvS10s in the motor pool/service corps? Not the fully instrumented version, just the armoured box.  Then you have more secure resupply AND expedient transport for moving light troops under fire.

On the deployability front and payload front there is not  much to choose between a 2.5 tonne FMTV and a Bison.

Title: Mech infantry or light infantry with APC units?(split: Light Infantry/Airborne Capability)
Post by: GO!!! on August 24, 2005, 20:42:02
lkdji, kneicneb.

Title: Mech infantry or light infantry with APC units?(split: Light Infantry/Airborne Capability)
Post by: Chris Pook on August 24, 2005, 20:57:55
Your Polish better than mine Go? :)
Title: Re: Mech infantry or light infantry with APC units?(split: Light Infantry/Airborne Capability)
Post by: Chris Pook on August 25, 2005, 15:40:22
http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,2838.msg258233.html#msg258233

You might want to take a look at this post.  My reply #11 on this thread about Stryker Robot Followers.


Cheers
Title: Armd to provide APC crews(Split from: Infantry wearing black berets?)
Post by: TCBF on September 12, 2005, 21:47:12
As far as Crewmen crewing LAVs goes... goes...

If you want to relegate our Infantry to Self Loading Cargo - "Spam in a can", by all means give us the turrets.   BUT...   The Russians got the BMP in 67, the Germans the Marder in 71, etc, every other adult army in the world gave it's infantry turrets, and, well, I always thought OUR grunts were pretty much smarter than any other grunts on the planet.

So... the problem would be?

The use of ground and understanding of mnvr is first inculcated in dismounted and then low level mounted ops.   If you develop a generation of leaders who miss that crucial step, expect an argument of who exactly is qual to command cbt tms and btl gps.

Just my opinion.    There are others. On one of LCol Stogran's tours of the perimeter in 2002, we had this same discussion.   He replied that the higher lvl of mnvr at cbt tm, btl gp, and bde gp was actually EASIER   to grasp than crew commanding and troop leading.   He had a good a point there.

So, what do the Yanks, Brits, French, Germans, Chinese, and Russians do?   And why?

How about the Isrealis?

Tom



Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: KevinB on September 16, 2005, 21:34:37
The larger Armies split their career flow for Inf into Mech and Light...

One cannot excell at both - there is just not enough time in the training day.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: TCBF on September 20, 2005, 02:32:01
They might split their units, I am not so sure they split their career flow.  If they do, it is only for 'middle management' and if they go higher they must grasp the jist of all of the job.

We came close to splitting Tank from Recce into two trades in the late 80s.  Sanity prevaled.

Tom
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: KevinB on September 20, 2005, 23:03:55

11B US army Dismounted Infantryman
11C Indirect Fire Infantryman
11M Fighting Vehicle Infantryman
11H Heavy Anti-Armour Weapons Infantryman
(I noticed that they have recently removed 11M and 11H from recruiting)
11Z Infantry Senior Sergeant - the career stream at the RSM + level

and for armour

19D Calvary Scout
19K M1 Crewman


Brits have regimental affiliations and unit run Battleschools - you are what your unit is...



 
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: HollywoodHitman on September 21, 2005, 00:36:15
HAHAHA!
lkdji, kneicneb.



I've been laughing for about 5 min. for some reason.....Cheers GO! I needed that
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: GO!!! on September 23, 2005, 20:07:11
Apologies, I'm not sure how that actually made it from my computer to this thread - glad to give you a laugh though!
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: TCBF on September 24, 2005, 19:42:46
'Brits have regimental affiliations and unit run Battleschools - you are what your unit is...'

- I guess we are, too.

I think we have a US 11Z posted into CMTC.

Anyone know how our 011 became 00005?

Tom
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: D-n-A on September 24, 2005, 20:00:31
11B US army Dismounted Infantryman
11C Indirect Fire Infantryman
11M Fighting Vehicle Infantryman
11H Heavy Anti-Armour Weapons Infantryman
(I noticed that they have recently removed 11M and 11H from recruiting)
11Z Infantry Senior Sergeant - the career stream at the RSM + level

KevenB, 11M and 11H have been merged into 11B. Changed happened 1-2 years ago I think.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Chris Pook on September 24, 2005, 21:41:10
Maybe the elimination of the 11H classification had something to do with the retirement of this beast?  The M901?  It was the primary AT weapon for the M113 Mech Infantry Battalion AFAIK.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: drummie1625 on September 26, 2005, 20:58:52
AS far as the M901 and the 11H goes the M113 has been replaced by the Bradley with an intergrate TOW  launcher on the turret, since it is fired and controlled by the regular gunner, no need for the separate TOW Mos.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: RecceDG on January 03, 2006, 12:43:49
Quote
Attach an armoured transport squadron(Huh?) of NON-fighting vehicles to move the infantry under cover - Back to the notion of the defrocked Priests and Kangaroos; the 1st Armoured Personnel Carrier Regiment and the 25th Cdn Armoured Delivery Regiment (The Elgin Regiment)

Hmmm......

Although I sympathise with the idea that "adult Infantry can run turrets" and in my ideal world, we'd ALL have the appropriate AFV (including TANKS!) for the job, we ain't in an ideal world right now.

With this plan, you can effectively mechanise all the reserve light infantry units, without having to issue them all their own AFVs. Keep a battalion's worth of APCs at the major training areas, role the local units as APC regiments, and then plug the LIBs into them as required.

Not a bad idea, really.

DG
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: mike01 on March 28, 2006, 00:19:58
Gee, I saw the words Light Infantry and I thought I'd take a look, but I realize it is only a lot of mech talk.  Sorry, I'll keep my comments out of this one but let me just say don't confuse the mechanized with the light. Same role, different ways to get it done.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Mortar guy on March 28, 2006, 09:03:04
I actually wrote a paper on this subject if anyone's interested. Well, it's very close to this subject anyway.

I wrote about the FEC and the Infantry and one of my conclusions was that the LAV training bill was preventing the infantry from training to the level necessary for fourth generation warfare. Besides, we already have a Corps that excels at fighting crewed armoured vehicles so why is the infantry wasting precious training hours, manpower and money trying to be Canada's second best Armoured Corps? You would have a hard time convincing me we're not doing that in the infantry, especially when you see 9 guys dismount from 4 LAVs on an exercise or realize that real infantry PCF courses are curtailed to pay for LAV courses.

Anyway, if anyone's interested, just PM me your email address and I'll fire it your way.

MG
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Red 6 on June 26, 2006, 02:13:14
In the J-series Table of Organization and Equipment (this was late Cold War thru the early 90's), the M113 & ITV were substitute standard in armored reconnaissance until the Bradley came on-line. E Company (anti-armor) in mech infantry units was equipped with the ITVs in these units for several years until replaced with the Bradley. Does anyone know if there are still anti-armor companies in mech infantry and which series is the Army up to now?
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: ArmyRick on October 01, 2006, 15:46:11
They may retired the M901, but the Stryker Brigade Combat Team has a anti-armor company with stryker TOW 2B ATGM. So in the US Army case, I could see them bringing back or keeping the Infantry ATGM trade alive.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Red 6 on October 02, 2006, 01:51:29
The TOW 2B has been around for a lot of years. Does this version of the Stryker mount the same hammerhead as on the old ITV & the FIST-V?
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: ArmyRick on October 11, 2006, 18:51:34
No, its new mount system, I'll try and dig up some links to show you photos, but try www.gdls-canada.com
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: retiredgrunt45 on February 09, 2007, 22:06:50
LAV's are great for moderate cross country in southern climates but has anyone here tried driving a Grizzly or Bison in deep snow, doesn't work to well. Churchhill Manitoba February -60 our 2 tracks, 1 Arvil and 1 Queen Mary freeze up after only 2 hours of been shut down, Diesel fuel runs like mollasses in this temp, batteries freeze and burst. Coy CSM orders Maint to get them back up, They have to place a herman nelson heater hose into each track to heat up the engine and the fuel tank and then slave them of one of the Grizzlies to get them started, just so they would turn over and then keep them running 24 hrs a day with exception of daily maintenance 1 hr or less. 6 Grizzlies need tires inflated several times daily because of cold temps, must keep them running 24 hrs also. Sentries must keep and eye on the engine temp gauges to ensure engine radiators don't burst from the extreme cold. Try doing this for 3 weeks and then x that by a company strenght of tracks and LAV"s. "Logistical nightmare". As anyone who has done their winter indoc in the artic knows. Armoured vehicles are more of a burden than an asset. Its mucklucks, parka, man power and 3 guys pulling a toboggan who are going to get the job done.

 We had 4 NTV's (Northern terrian vehicles) which started even in -60 after being left shutoff overnight. We never had a problem with. Turn on the ignition let the glow plugs run for a few minutes and voila starts every time. The Rangers used them plus their own snowmobiles to get around.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: ArmyRick on February 10, 2007, 12:15:17
If you want to go armored in the arctic, then use the Viking (an armored BV206 on steroids). Not to mention use lots of snow mobiles (For mobility only). The far north is more of an light infantryman's fight.

However last I checked, we are not battling taliban in the North West Territorries.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: TCBF on February 10, 2007, 21:53:46
..... yet.

Once the North West Passage becomes a year-round trip, and others realize that 40% of the worlds untapped oil and gas are in the arctic, we will have the fight of our lives to keep it.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: 9Tiger9 on March 01, 2007, 18:19:23
I have wondered if perhaps having a mech capability within the support companies of the light battalions? Logically, it would be capable of being used in a multitude of different tasks within the company and still service the rest of the battalion or higher? This would perhaps create a greater equality between the battalions as far as inter-changeability is concerned? Just a thought.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Technoviking on March 01, 2007, 19:35:34
This would not work.  As pointed out elsewhere, mech infantry is more than a mode of transport: it's a mode of fighting, a mode of thinking.  Though similar to a distanced observer, especially when the GIBs get out of the back, mech and light are not the same. 
Also, please note that all infantry battalions are currently re-orging such that they will all have 2 x mech coys and 1 x light coy.  9 battalions, all the same.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: hat on March 02, 2007, 00:59:48
Some thoughts to ponder.

Both mech and light infantry have roles.  However, the operating environments we find ourselves in these days predominantly favor mech infantry.  Light infantry is specialized and often has difficulty sustaining itself.  Mech infantry has greater staying power and brings greater firepower to the table.  If I had the choice, I would only use light infantry when mech could not be used.  Why? Because I want the fight to be drastically unfare, destroying as many of the enemy as possible while sustaining as few friendly casualties as possible. 

Even armies that have their own integral helicopter resources have trouble sustaining light forces in the field.  Most light forces operating in Afghanistan spend alot of their time operating from vehicles such as HMMV, LUVW etc...  LAV can go most of the same places.  Why wouldn't you want to have greater protection and be able to shoot at night, on the move, accurately (3 things that give you the decided advantage).

Having said the above, mech infantry must have the mindset that they are willing to get out on the ground and fight the dismounted battle.  If that means advance to contact, dismounted patroling and ambushes, humping hills and mountains -so be it.  Mech infantry should also be prepared to conduct airmobile ops.

Mech and light can cooperate.  Yes, light can seize a bridgehead.  The opposite is also true.  Mech can secure an LZ for rapid buildup of light forces on an objective, then act as intimate support, reserve or just another maneuvre element.  The important thing is not to unnecessarily restrict our thinking.

My $0.02

Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: STING on March 02, 2007, 01:13:54
This would not work.  As pointed out elsewhere, mech infantry is more than a mode of transport: it's a mode of fighting, a mode of thinking.  Though similar to a distanced observer, especially when the GIBs get out of the back, mech and light are not the same. 
Also, please note that all infantry battalions are currently re-orging such that they will all have 2 x mech coys and 1 x light coy.  9 battalions, all the same.

   Does this mean that all the light Coy's will be jump capable ... aka Para Coy's ... ?
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: PPCLI Guy on March 02, 2007, 01:41:27
   Does this mean that all the light Coy's will be jump capable ... aka Para Coy's ... ?


Nope, just the light companies of the three Third Battalions - and that is NOT going to work.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Bubbles on March 02, 2007, 02:15:50
Quote
...note that all infantry battalions are currently re-orging such that they will all have 2 x mech coys and 1 x light coy.  9 battalions, all the same.

Wow...here's a crazy idea...keep the 6 mech battalions and 3 light battalions untouched and as force expansion progresses in the coming years stand up 3 more light battlions. 12 battlions. 6 mech and 6 light. Fits pretty well into the 3 year managed readiness cycle of having 2 task forces ready to deploy aside from a surge and strat res TF.

Has anyone in the puzzle palace thought of this? Does anyone else see the merit in this obvious solution?
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: ArmyRick on March 02, 2007, 06:50:08
We don't need six light battalions.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Technoviking on March 02, 2007, 07:22:36
Wow...here's a crazy idea...keep the 6 mech battalions and 3 light battalions untouched and as force expansion progresses in the coming years stand up 3 more light battlions. 12 battlions. 6 mech and 6 light. Fits pretty well into the 3 year managed readiness cycle of having 2 task forces ready to deploy aside from a surge and strat res TF.

Has anyone in the puzzle palace thought of this? Does anyone else see the merit in this obvious solution?
Though not in the puzzle palace, what you propose makes too much sense.  Go back to growing dope, bubbles ;)

Cheers
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: BulletMagnet on March 02, 2007, 08:19:46
The reasoning behind the change was in fact due directly to OP's. It has been ascertained that light companies are less then useful in the environment were currently operating in for the next decade or so. This does not mean that Light Infantry is a skill set that is now dead in the CF as some people like to say simply that in our current organization and training scheme the Light Bn's are not finding a role. As it is C-Coy 3VP is the last light company on the TO&E for OP Archer (to my knowledge) In fact we on roto 2 LAVed our light coy from 2 VP ASAP when it was clear that the Gwagon was not a good idea and the Nyala was not a fighting vehicle. With the 2 Mech and 1 light Coy concept your getting the best of both worlds in the perfect world. You get 2 companies that have sustained mobility and fire power and one compnay easily transportable. You also get depth in your infantry as everyone gets a taste of the others and the skills set mix and match. You also avoid what is happening right now with 3 VP C-Coy where they cannot even if asked to, LAV up the company. Now you're light Coy can LAV at any time and your 2 LAV Coy's can go light if and when needed.

All IMO of course.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: ArmyRick on March 02, 2007, 08:24:12
Basically its a good compromise IMO.

Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Teflon on March 02, 2007, 13:50:14
Quote
Though not in the puzzle palace, what you propose makes too much sense.  Go back to growing dope, bubbles 

Bubbles doesn't grow dope, he looks after cats and fixes shopping carts, although he does often assist Ricky in his cultivation of his weed  ;D

Sorry about the hijack
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: MCG on March 02, 2007, 15:16:53
Nope, just the light companies of the three Third Battalions - and that is NOT going to work.
How long before the Army gives up on trying to keep these para companies?
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: KevinB on March 02, 2007, 17:35:27
The reasoning behind the change was in fact due directly to OP's. It has been ascertained that light companies are less then useful in the environment were currently operating in for the next decade or so.
Whoever figured this out is an utter idiot
   The issue is NOT the Light Infantry but a Chain of Command that has not a CLUE on how to employ them (yes a stunning example would be the Brit incompetance in using the Para'sin Helmund)

Quote
This does not mean that Light Infantry is a skill set that is now dead in the CF as some people like to say simply that in our current organization and training scheme the Light Bn's are not finding a role. As it is C-Coy 3VP is the last light company on the TO&E for OP Archer (to my knowledge) In fact we on roto 2 LAVed our light coy from 2 VP ASAP when it was clear that the Gwagon was not a good idea and the Nyala was not a fighting vehicle.
2VP was NOT a Light Coy -- it was a NONLAV LAV Coy

Quote
With the 2 Mech and 1 light Coy concept your getting the best of both worlds in the perfect world. You get 2 companies that have sustained mobility and fire power and one compnay easily transportable. You also get depth in your infantry as everyone gets a taste of the others and the skills set mix and match. You also avoid what is happening right now with 3 VP C-Coy where they cannot even if asked to, LAV up the company. Now you're light Coy can LAV at any time and your 2 LAV Coy's can go light if and when needed.

All IMO of course.

Your missing the entire issue with LI - and Mech in that they fight and think differently -- meshing them into ONE unit will do no one any good -- in fact it will degrade both.
A LAV coy without LAV's in not a Light coy.
  The fact you cant understand that make it seem to me that its not worht explaining the rest to you.
 


Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Bubbles on March 02, 2007, 21:48:18
Quote
Go back to growing dope, bubbles

Well geese HS I was just about to go get high! But there's a problem...Steve French pooped in the LAV...

Quote
The reasoning behind the change was in fact due directly to OP's. It has been ascertained that light companies are less then useful in the environment were currently operating in for the next decade or so. This does not mean that Light Infantry is a skill set that is now dead in the CF as some people like to say simply that in our current organization and training scheme the Light Bn's are not finding a role.

I don't know I disagree. Mechanized forces can do things that light forces cannot do and vice versa. In Baaz Tsuka, a Company Group was used in real mechanized warfare and that job probably couldn't have been conducted effectively by anything else. Likewise, mechanized forces cannot do alot of the light infantry stuff. Light forces conduct amphibious/airborne/airmobile ops and excel in urban ops. It would have been very difficult to patrol the Tora Bora mountain region with mechanized infantry platoons...

The way I see it we are in this situation by default, not by any light forces doctrine. That situation finds us with 6 mech inf battalions and 3 light inf battalions; all were meant to be mechanized, but lack of funding denied us of equipping a third of our mechanized force with IFVs. This may be a blessing in disguise...maybe we should invest more into our light fighters.

Most of the ops in Afghanistan aren't conducting real mechanized warfare. The LAVs are just performing battlefield taxi roles with a decent weapon for fire support. If we purchased more Nyalas with RWS, these could perform nearly identical function than was previously mentioned. Only diffrence is less hitting power and offroad ability. Could we not purchase these for the light inf battalions to address the shortfalls of light forces in this particular operation? Nyalas and LAVs seem to be doing fine conducting ops together...

Ever since the creation of militaries, armies have always - and will alway- use light forces. It's just a matter of how to effectively equip and employ them.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: TCBF on March 03, 2007, 01:42:48
"We don't need six light battalions."

- Probably don't need over 900 Logistic Captains either, but, there you go.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: MJP on March 03, 2007, 01:58:23
Most of the ops in Afghanistan aren't conducting real mechanized warfare. The LAVs are just performing battlefield taxi roles with a decent weapon for fire support.  If we purchased more Nyalas with RWS, these could perform nearly identical function than was previously mentioned. 

Dead wrong and wayyy out of your lane here dude.  LAVs are very much in intimate support of the troops on the ground doing much more than the battlefield taxi that you imply.  It isn't across the Fulda Gap mech warfare but mechanized warfighting it is.

Nyala is a crap vehicle for fighting....hard to dismount from, light weapons(relativly speaking in comparison to a tank/LAV).  Nyala shouldn't be used as and isn't an intimate support vehicle.  Great convoy vehicle especially in high IED areas but not a good battle field taxi at all.

Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Thucydides on March 03, 2007, 09:43:53
An interesting note: I am associated with the RAF Regiment while in theater, and they do their patrols in Land Rovers (similar in appearence to the Landrover 110's used in the Gulf War in terms of kit). They find the vehicle is useful in getting places no one else can get to, and also the armoured Landrovers were simply too heavy to move along the trails they use (constantly getting bogged down).

They used to be a mech infantry unit, equipped with light tracked vehicles like the Scimitar and Stormer, and most of the RAF Regiment pers are of the opinion that these would have been ideal in the situation we are in today, having excellent cross country mobility and useful firepower. They are quite pragmatic about protection; Landrovers have none, and even the Scimitar and Stormer only provide protection against small arms and shell splinters; if the enemy want to get you with mines or IED's they will continue to build larger ones until they find the formula for success.

The point being there is no one formula for our success. The Canadians in theater are bulked up to fight set piece engagements against a dug in enemy (which happens) while the RAF Regiment are equipped to perform patrols to disrupt enemy activities in their AOR. If there was a need to assault dug in formations around here, obviously the Canadians would be put in their place. Even in places like Panjawaii or Helmand province, there is probably lots of scope for using light formations to shape the battlefield so the heavy forces can come in and swing the hammer. My own opinion is maybe we should be looking at something like Scimitar and Stormer class vehicles; they provide excellent mobility and firepower, and the battalions equipped in this fashion should be backed by a heavy battalion with vehicles designed for the assault.

 
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: hat on March 03, 2007, 12:29:03
Infidel 6, I don't want to start a flame war but have a few points.

The Ops we are doing today favour mech infantry for a number of reasons (protection, firepower, sustainment etc..).  I firmly believe that light infantry has its place but the fact is we must man and equip to the task we have, with some prudent planning for other theatres/future conflict.  Were we engaged heavily in rugged terrain, perhaps increasing our strength in light infantry would be something under consideration right now.

Mindset is important.  However, I believe that it's more a function of command rather than whether a unit is light or mech.  There is no smoke and mirrors to learning a skill or method of delivery.  All infantry must have the mindset that they will get to the battle and destroy their enemy using whatever means of movement necessary.

A LAV Coy without LAVs is not a Light Coy - agreed.  However, a light infantry Coy without helicopters will have a great deal of difficulty getting around and sustaining itself in most theatres.  Hence, in Afghanistan, light forces from all nations spend most of their time riding around in vehicles.  If you had a choice between a LAV and Hummer (or LUVW) and knew that a LAV would go 90% of the places you were actually going to, which would you choose?

Bubbles, MJP,

I agree with MJP's comments.  RG-31 is not a fighting vehicle.

LAV may be restricted to the role of battlefield taxi.  However, it is certainly capable of being much more.

a_majoor,

Were you 34 Sqn?  If so, I spent a small amount of time patrolling in your AOR. 

During Roto 1 we operated in a very decentralized manner, trying to disrupt enemy throughout Kandahar and often Helmand province.  For the most part, we used the same vehicles that the forces in theatre have now. 






Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: BulletMagnet on March 03, 2007, 13:29:56
Whoever figured this out is an utter idiot
   The issue is NOT the Light Infantry but a Chain of Command that has not a CLUE on how to employ them (yes a stunning example would be the Brit incompetance in using the Para'sin Helmund)
2VP was NOT a Light Coy -- it was a NONLAV LAV Coy

Call it what you will I6 but on the TO&E and as it was called by everyone on the Roto (including the Coy itself) It was our Light Company. Simply because they came from a mech Bn does not mean they did not spend a year training in Light Inf Tactics.

Your missing the entire issue with LI - and Mech in that they fight and think differently -- meshing them into ONE unit will do no one any good -- in fact it will degrade both.
A LAV coy without LAV's in not a Light coy.
  The fact you cant understand that make it seem to me that its not worht explaining the rest to you.

You'd be surpised what I could get, however since all my training has been Light and non LAV even though I have spent 7 years in a Mech Bn. Does not mean I do not know the difference in the thinking and the way they fight between Mech and Light. I was simply laying out how the new army thinks for those not in the know. I don't know if I agree or disagree. If it works or not has yet to be seen but I am willing to watch and shoot and not call this idea down just based on old ways of doing things.

Like I said I will watch and shoot.

 



Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Journeyman on March 03, 2007, 14:56:24
Infidel 6, I don't want to start a flame war but have a few points.

The Ops we are doing today favour mech infantry....

I believe the light vs mech issue here is beyond the level of this thread (how to organize our Inf Bns).*

To correct what you are saying though ('cause I'm OK with flame wars  ;) ), the Ops, as our leadership has chosen to conduct them ...require LAVs, Leo2, etc.

To defeat the bad guys' immediate objective (make the cost is too high in casualties so that the Western nations will withdraw), we have opted for an increasing emphasis on force protection (Iltis -> Nyala ->LAV/Leopard....Leopard 2s !) which will make the mission an easier sell in Ottawa.

Personal experience and reading, however, do not provide many examples of successful counterinsurgencies which relied significantly on armour and superior firepower over engaging the population more effectively. COIN, militarily, is a light infantry game....and Canada is opting out of the Light business.

COIN is also a long-term proposition, and the government (and perhaps some military leadership) has an event horizon limited to the next election and/or two rotos, max.

Within the context of our current ops and current leadership's vision of those ops, arguing about whether the third battalions should be light, or even whether one company in nine could maintain a parachute capability, is rearranging deck chairs.

----------------------------
* That being said, Light and Mech are different. Combining them in one battalion only bastardizes both - - kind of a typical Canadian solution.  ::)
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Chris Pook on March 03, 2007, 16:43:20
It still seems to come down to this:  Policing or Warfighting.

We are stuck in seeing the enforcement of the government's will in terms of those two options. A nice clean dichotomy between the (essentially) unarmed policeman operating in a permissive environment of willing subjects and going out and slaughtering all available targets in a free-fire zone.

Unfortunately, as we are all aware operating environments come in a wider array of options than those two solutions provide for.

We suffer from being a little bit too British (Policing vs Army) and a little bit too American (Army = Warfighting).

The French have, as in so many other fields, moved the other direction.  They try and parse the spectrum of conflict into a number of tailor made bureaucracies.

1. They have the local Police to deal with traffic violations.
2. They have a separate organization for dealing with unarmed mobs - CRN or CRS or some such
3. They have the Gendarmerie for dealing with armed insurgents domestically
4. They have the Army for defending La Patrie and her borders
5. They have the Foreign Legion (largely foreign mercenaries - sorry for the perceived slur guys) that they can use to prosecute the nation's interests at limited domestic political cost.


The Brits covered this spectrum with the local Constabulary to deal with levels 1 and 2.
The Army covered levels 2-5.
They did this by maintaining an Infantry heavy army where the Cavalry switched roles between Patrolling and Shock Tactics.  Even the artillery could be "dragooned" into use as armed policemen to bolster the imperial constabulary. The Army has been able to fight wars, successfully - if usually after a setback or two in the opening rounds - but it has conducted operations for centuries primarily as a Gendarmerie, both domestically and imperially, that also fights wars.

The Americans, as stated before, have a distaste for maintaining and operating that type of force.  They are predisposed against the maintenance of a Standing Army to coerce populations into following the will of the government.  Therefore, for them, an Army is all about rapidly destroying those nasty coercive Standing Armies and freeing up the population to be what they naturally want to be - Americans.  ;)  Shock follows the realization that when they wake up an Arab at 3 O'Clock in the morning he isn't speaking with a Bronx accent - their working assumption (as many American friends have told me about my Scots-Canadian accent).

This peacemaking business demands a longterm security force.  It can be an Army task, or a Police task (we created the NWM Rifles/Police to fulfill the role - patrolling in pairs but also equipped with 9 pounder cannons and gatling guns), or it can be a separate Bureaucracy like the Gendarmerie, the Carabinieri or the Dutch Marechausse or the Spanish Guardia Civil.  The Gendarmerie still conducts operations against insurgents in Corsica and Pays Basque.  The Carabinieri is busy in Sardinia, Sicily and the Naples area.  The Guardia Civil has to deal with ETA and with the Catalonians.

These are on going operations where Soldier/Policemen are regularly engaged by their own citizens (reluctant) with rifles and bombs.  They have been at it, in most cases, since 1814.  Their governments have been at it with various forces for a lot longer than that.

Heavy forces are necessary for conducting security operations - but only when a target has been identified that is suitable to their employment.  If you have a target-rich environment like parts of Iraq and Afghanistan right now, then they are going to be in high demand.  However Heavy forces cannot be maintained indefinitely.  They are too costly, no matter how rich the treasury.  Like the plant of the engineers, they need to be conserved for critical taskings.

As well, it doesn't tell the locals that it is safe to come out and send the kids to school, buy groceries and go to work, if the only way that the government feels safe is driving around in great, armoured bomb-magnets.

The government of Afghanistan needs that Imperial Constabulary/Gendarmerie/Carabinieri/NWMR force to control its people and its terrain.  To establish presence, to gain intelligence and above all to give the sense of security that the locals crave.  In that environment having Big Brother constantly watching you, with guns pointed outwards towards the unknown, is not a bad thing.  Security cameras, machine gun posts and armed policemen are all part of that security net.  This is the traditional role, in British parlance of the infantry and light cavalry.  (Light infantry is WAS (Edited to enhance chances at a free beermug) something else again - more akin to the infantry recce platoon)

Dealing with armed, organised insurgents in large numbers, retaking occupied villages, relieving besieged villages, these operations require a heavily armed assault forces to intervene.  Now whether those forces are deployed in LAVs, M113s, Marders, Helicopters or Boats they are all ultimately Assault forces.  They are a Heavy Cavalry/Artillery force.  Even troops deployed from helicopters without armoured vehicles (the American definition of a Light Force) are ultimately there to deliver a shock action for a limited duration to a specific target taking the heaviest equipment that time, terrain and transport will permit.

Afghanistan also needs that type of force and you guys are providing that capability.  And maybe Canada should restrict itself to supplying that type of force and call it good. 

However most governments seem more comfortable offering that type of force to assist a friend.  Its tasks are limited and its utility is time limited - essentially once the environment is no longer target-rich then the "service" can be withdrawn in good conscience - or reallocated to another theatre that is rich in targets.  That ultimately leaves Canada armed with a rapier that can only be applied offensively to eliminate threats.

The question is who supplies the Gendarmerie/Constabulary/Security force until the locals have their own version stood up and who trains the locals if the trainers don't have experience in those types of operations?  Who supplies the shield to be applied defensively to protect communities?

A further question?  Which is most likely to be useful in a Canadian domestic environment in the future?  A heavily armed assault force? Or a sustained security force?  And who will supply the latter?





 
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Journeyman on March 03, 2007, 16:55:09
(Light infantry is something else again - more akin to the infantry recce platoon)

Ohhhhh, sorry - - and you were doing so well.......next contestant please   ;)
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Chris Pook on March 03, 2007, 17:12:40
Dammit - and I so wanted that free beer mug ;D

Can I get a do-over and stipulate that I was talking historically? 

That Light Infantry, and the Rifles, were raised for wartime taskings to skirmish in front of the main body, gathering intelligence and applying accurate fire against high value, point targets, usually of the C&C type, while screening the main force as it manoeuvred into position to supply shock action through the application of fire and steel.

Interestingly the American Rangers, who see themselves as a warfighting Light Force capable of delivering a short sharp punch, draw their ethos from the Pre-Colonial Rangers - who were actually raised by the Colonies as  standing militias to enforce the governments will against armed colonists as well as dissenting natives.  The Rangers were actually raised as a Gendarmerie.

So much for terminology - a name means whatever you want it to mean  - and whatever you can get people to accept it as today.  Today's Socialists are conservative, while today's Liberals are socialist and today's Conservatives are liberals (if you revert to 19th century standards).




Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Journeyman on March 03, 2007, 17:18:37
Forgiven  ;)
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Chris Pook on March 03, 2007, 18:28:38
Here's the founding orders for Butler's Rangers - raised as a Special Service Force to work with the locals - The Indians - kind of a Green Beret type role - but this was the Hide-bound, unimaginative British doing it. ;D

"Quebec
15 September 1777
GUY CARLETON, Knight of the Bath, Captain General and Governor in Chief of the Province of Quebec and Territories depending thereon, &c, &c, &c, General and Commander in Chief of His Majesty's Forces in said Province and the Frontiers thereof, &c, &c, &c
To JOHN BUTLER, Esqr, appointed Major Commandant of a Corps of Rangers to serve with the Indians.
By Virtue of the power and authority in me vested by the King, I do hereby authorize and empower you, or such officers as you shall direct, by Beat of Drum or otherwise, forthwith to raise on the frontiers of the Province, so many able bodied men of His Majesty's loyal subjects as will form one company of Rangers, to serve with the Indians as occasion shall require.

Which company shall consist of a Captain, a First Lieutenant, a Second Lieutenant, three Sergeants, three Corporals and fifty Private Men; and when you shall have completed one company as aforesaid, you are further empowered to raise and form another, in like manner and of like numbers as the first and so on, until you shall have competed a number of companies of Rangers not exceeding in the whole eight companies; observing that the first be completed, armed and fit for service and have passed muster before such person as shall be appointed for that purpose by some one of the Commanding Officers of His Majesty's Troops nearest to where the said companies so raised shall be at the time, before another is begun to be raised.

You and the officers so raised to be paid as is customary to other officers of the like rank in His Majesty's service, and you are carefully to obey and follow such orders and directions as you shall receive from me or the Commander in Chief for the time being or any other, your superior officer, according to the rules and discipline of War, in pursuance of the trust hereby reposed in you.
Given under my hand and Seal at Arms at Quebec, this fifteenth day of September, one thousand seven hundred and seventy seven and in the seventeenth year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord, GEORGE the THIRD, by the Grace of God of Great Britain, France and Ireland, KING, Defender of the Faith."

http://www.iaw.on.ca/~awoolley/brang/brbeat.html

This is a link to Roger's Rangers rules, raised in 1757 as a scouting force for the British in the French and Indian Wars

http://www.military-info.com/freebies/roger.htm

And here's a blurb on the Georgia Rangers of the 1740s and 1750s. -  A constabulary

"General James Oglethorpe, Georgia's founder, held colonial provincial rangers in high regard. Such mounted troops could patrol vast frontier areas, wherever and in whatever numbers they were needed. Unlike the citizen militia, the rangers were a permanent professional military force. They did not require mustering or operate under special legal restrictions. Oglethorpe's troop numbered as many as fifteen officers and 122 enlisted men; and they were with him at his great victory at Bloody Marsh in 1742.1 With the end of his war with Spain and the removal of the British regulars in 1749, the rangers were disbanded. Georgia's defenses against the neighboring French and Spanish provinces consisted of only the poorly equipped, indifferently trained militia. Until long after the American Revolution, most of the province's boundaries adjoined the Cherokee and Creek lands. War parties could potentially reach anywhere within the colony in a day, even to the capital at Savannah.

Many Georgians called for the return of rangers. Reverend Thomas Bosomworth, Indian trader and husband of Oglethorpe's famous Creek operative Mary Musgrove, argued that economically depressed Georgians really wanted a government payroll. He claimed they were even trying to provoke an incident with the Indians to make the colony's military situation seem desperate.2
In light of Bosomworth's accusations, the incident that brought back the Georgia rangers seems highly suspicious. On September 10, 1756, James Lambert reported that four Indians attacked the settlement where he and Andrew Clement lived, near present-day Louisville. However, when the smoke cleared, three of the Indians were dead and the fourth, wounded, had fled into the swamps. The frontiersmen only suffered only one casualty, one wounded horse. Georgians petitioned Governor John Reynolds to raise troops. The colonial commons house of assembly urged him to raise a troop of rangers to consist of six officers and seventy enlisted men. By December, Reynolds enlisted a troop of forty men under Captain John Barnard, Oglethorpe's former ranger commander. The next month, the House requested that the governor bring the unit up to full strength and to raise two additional troops of seventy men each. Reynolds appointed the officers but, without the means to pay for the men he already had, he could not add more soldiers.3..."

http://www.hsgng.org/pages/gacolonialrangers.htm












Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: MCG on March 03, 2007, 18:36:38
Most of the ops in Afghanistan aren't conducting real mechanized warfare. The LAVs are just performing battlefield taxi roles with a decent weapon for fire support. If we purchased more Nyalas with RWS, these could perform nearly identical function than was previously mentioned. Only diffrence is less hitting power and offroad ability. Could we not purchase these for the light inf battalions to address the shortfalls of light forces in this particular operation? Nyalas and LAVs seem to be doing fine conducting ops together...
As has been noted, we are conducting a mechanized fight.  The LAV is fighting with the soldiers that it carriers.  There have even been times where the LAV alone fought and won.  I recall one incident in which a patrol identified a much larger enemy force.  The LAVs destroyed the enemy at a range where they could not touch our guys.  Had we not had the LAV, the FOB likely would have been in trouble that night.

The Nyala is inadequate.  It is not a fighting vehicle & it does not fit a section.  It is a well protected car to move a few people between two protected locations.  The Nyala has also shown itself to be well suited to engineer recce of mine & IED threats (even the US has it for this).

Light forces conduct amphibious… ops 
Seems to me that the USMC has a significant mechanized element.  I would not paint it as something exclusive of mechanized forces.

Ever since the creation of militaries, armies have always - and will alway- use light forces. It's just a matter of how to effectively equip and employ them.
True, and “light” has always been relative to the infantry of the time.

2VP was NOT a Light Coy -- it was a NONLAV LAV Coy
Call it what you will I6 but on the TO&E and as it was called by everyone on the Roto (including the Coy itself) It was our Light Company.
It was called light on the R01 TO&E as well.  While it never met the CF definition of “light” (it was tied to its vehicles: GWagon & Nyala), it was lighter than the LAV Coys.  (It was certainly not a LAV Coy as its organization was different).  Call it “light mech” or “motorised” if it helps get past this word-smith argument.

Personal experience and reading, however, do not provide many examples of successful counterinsurgencies which relied significantly on armour and superior firepower over engaging the population more effectively.
Well, engaging the population certainly seemed to be the approach that we were taking while I was over there.  I’d be surprised it that has changed as the importance was understood at all levels (even the CDS took part in a village leader engagement).

COIN, militarily, is a light infantry game....
This is pure wrong.  If you put a ture light battalion in an area almost the size of NB and give that battalion a COIN & reconstruction mission, that battalion will fail.  Soldiers without vehicles lack the mobility required to exert a presence over the area required.

I suspect you would have us believe that mechanized infantry cannot engage a local population.  That is simply untrue.  They dismount, and from there they can do all the engaging that the light forces would do.

COIN is also a long-term proposition, and the government (and perhaps some military leadership) has an event horizon limited to the next election and/or two rotos, max.
How did you come to this conclusion?

in Afghanistan, light forces from all nations spend most of their time riding around in vehicles. 
I’d even go so far as to say that they spend most of their time tied to vehicles.  They operate as mech/motor forces.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Journeyman on March 03, 2007, 18:51:16
MCG, friendly PM inbound   ;)
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: MCG on March 03, 2007, 19:30:36
MCG, friendly PM inbound   ;)
Sarcastic retort launched.   ;D
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Journeyman on March 03, 2007, 21:56:49
Quote
Quote from: Journeyman on Today at 13:56:24
COIN is also a long-term proposition, and the government (and perhaps some military leadership) has an event horizon limited to the next election and/or two rotos, max.
How did you come to this conclusion?
I gather you're OK with the premise that COIN is long-term, so I'll comment on the leadership, starting with the government.

Based on the way the government (ruling and opposition) flip-flops based on opinion polls and editorials, (NDP against Afghan, then based on editorials, "oh no, we support the TROOPS, just not the military"; Dion saying he's going to scuttle the mission at first opportunity, then saying he's supporting it until 2009) - - I don't know how anyone can believe the government is looking beyond the next election. It's even more painful than normal because of the minority government.

As for the military leadership's event horizon.....we've been cobbling battle groups together every six-months, grabbing Companies from different Battalions or even Regiments for a few years now, and it's forecast to remain the same until at least 2009. Sorry, but that doesn't strike me as evidence of any sort of comprehensive vision.

While that is oversimplified, and I acknowledge that there are significant factors at play, the CF is obligated to plan counter-insurgency - - a long-term, multi-agency, comprehensive proposition - - in six-month scrambles... one or two rotos at a time.

And within that strategic environment, (in order to keep this posting within the thread's title), that's why I also said
Within the context of our current ops and current leadership's vision of those ops, arguing about whether the third battalions should be light, or even whether one company in nine could maintain a parachute capability, is rearranging deck chairs.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: hat on March 03, 2007, 23:30:12
Journeyman,

I believe it is more than just the ops as our leaders choose to execute them.  I never said the ops require LAV Leopard 2 etc...  I still would say that they favour Mech forces.  Force protection is important.  As you yourself alluded to, our centre of gravity is back here in Canada.  While we may wish that not to be true, it is.  At a lower level, having the tools to do the job as safely as possible is a good thing.  It really hurts to loose a soldier, especially if it could have been prevented by better equipment. 

I believe that the change in force composition for the infantry battalions is more than just rearranging deck chairs since it is part of the army's vision for correcting the problems such as plug and play rotos.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Bubbles on March 04, 2007, 00:24:45
Quote
Nyala is a crap vehicle for fighting....hard to dismount from, light weapons(relativly speaking in comparison to a tank/LAV).  Nyala shouldn't be used as and isn't an intimate support vehicle.  Great convoy vehicle especially in high IED areas but not a good battle field taxi at all.

But should we not maintain APV-equipped light forces that can revert back to their original role if required? If Nyala isn't working, what about other alternatives?

British employ their Saxons in a few of their mechanized infantry battalions:
http://www.army.mod.uk/equipment/av/av_sxn.htm

Aussies have the Bushmaster:
http://www.army-technology.com/projects/bushmaster/

Saxons first came into service in '83 and were originally intended to transport reinforcements from the UK to the British Army of the Rhine; probably not a very suitable candidate.

It's interesting to note that the Busmaster is being produced into 6 different variants including a dedicated infantry carrier. The site also says that the U.S. and Iraq are showing interest in the vehicle.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Thucydides on March 04, 2007, 08:56:48
Moist modern COIN operations that scored success did not rely on heavy firepower and protection. Ramon Magasassy vs the Huk; the Marine "County Fairs" and Civic Action Programs in Viet Nam and the British in Malaysia and Kenya used soldiers to interact with the population, provide limited, local protection and generally fought as dismounted light infantry.

That being said, the soldiers in these operations did need mobility and would have apprieciated firepower and protection from time to time. LAV III's would have been seen as a bonus in all these situations, and also allowed the soldiers to transition upwards if and when the enemy showed themselves in strength.

In this theater of operations, the enemy has showed themselves in strenght in the past and may continue to do so as long as they have secure areas where they can reconstitute themselves and believe there is advantage (against our CoG; the Canadian public) in doing so. For the most part, we are doing things right, if any refinement needs to be made it might lie in considerring the LAV battalions more like "motor infantry" for day to day operations, and keeping the big sticks just out of sight.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Bubbles on March 05, 2007, 02:19:13
Quote
That being said, the soldiers in these operations did need mobility and would have apprieciated firepower and protection from time to time. LAV III's would have been seen as a bonus in all these situations, and also allowed the soldiers to transition upwards if and when the enemy showed themselves in strength.

Point seen, a few proposals to counter:

Mobility - New chinooks are on the way, and, along with existing griffins, these can be used to increase mobility of light forces. From what I hear this is actually the ideal method of mobility in this fight since troops and supplies can fly over IEDs instead of driving through them.

Firepower - Some weapons currently in the project phase would greatly increase firepower of light infantry forces, one such example being the Company Area Suppression Weapon. General Leslie has expressed his desire for attack helicopters to support ground troops so maybe this is something that should be looked at as well.

Protection - Just to reinforce what I mentioned in an earlier post maybe we could look at the possible purchase of a new APV, like the Bushmaster or maybe something else, to equip our light forces. These could be used interchangably with other vehicles and equipment on any given operation to equip light infantry forces. On some ops these APVs may be needed but on others the leadership might find the mission to be suitable for footborne and soft-skin vehicle ops.

These and many other points are things that our allies have considered and revised into their doctrine and maybe its time that we look at incorporating some of these ideas into a new light infantry doctrine.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: MCG on March 05, 2007, 07:43:50
Mobility - New chinooks are on the way, and, along with existing griffins, these can be used to increase mobility of light forces. From what I hear this is actually the ideal method of mobility in this fight since troops and supplies can fly over IEDs instead of driving through them.
Once the troops dismount, they have lost the mobility.  Helicopters work to move troops over one big hop.  However, the area is so dispersed that mobility is still required to conduct missions on the other end.

I’d also like to point out that, while still light infantry, you are specifically recommending airmobile infantry.  We will not get enough helicopters in all the CF to make this work.

Firepower - Some weapons currently in the project phase would greatly increase firepower of light infantry forces, one such example being the Company Area Suppression Weapon.
An automatic grenade launcher will not turn a Nyala into a fighting vehicle.  In fact, if mounted on the vehicle it would make things worse.  The LAV can choose the best option between cannon & machine gun.  RWS mounts machinegun or CASW.  If a CASW RWS vehicle finds itself in a fight in downtown Kandahar (where HE would be bad) then it can’t shoot back.

General Leslie has expressed his desire for attack helicopters to support ground troops so maybe this is something that should be looked at as well.
Great for some situations, but these will not always be with the soldiers & they will be very dependant on weather.  The fighting vehicle moves with the soldiers & is there when it is needed (including surprise encounters & ambushes).  Besides, once you’ve assigned escortes to all the Chinook flights there will not be as many attack helicopters available to follow the ground forces.

Protection - Just to reinforce what I mentioned in an earlier post maybe we could look at the possible purchase of a new APV, like the Bushmaster or maybe something else, to equip our light forces. These could be used interchangably with other vehicles and equipment on any given operation to equip light infantry forces. On some ops these APVs may be needed but on others the leadership might find the mission to be suitable for footborne and soft-skin vehicle ops.
The armoured mini-van concept is still not a fighting vehicle.  You also proposes that the light force have a different fleet of vehicles for every conceivable mission.  Now, not only do the light guys have to worry about doing the mission, they also have 2 – 3 times the vehicles of the mech guys for maint. 
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Thucydides on March 05, 2007, 10:31:58
I suspect that "we" will be needing to upgrade notionally Light Infantry to at least Motor Infantry status for the next generation at least. Wide ranging theaters of operations and the need to be widely dispersed to patrol and find the enemy speak to that need, and unless there is some handy mobility aid, there is no ability to concentrate light forces when the enemy is finally identified.

The Bushmaster is an attempt to creat a sort of wheeled M-113; a protected and versatile base vehicle which can be adapted for many roles. In many respects it seems better than the RG-31 in terms of layout, although it is still not a fighting vehicle, more of a battle taxi.

The Royal Marines use the "Viking", which is an armoured vehicle similar to the BV-206. The layout needs getting used to (it dosn't resemble anything else), but as a battle taxi, it can go places you wouldn't expect a vehicle to go. A similar vehicle is made by Charter Arms in Singapore, I think it is called the Bronco.

For real lightweight fighting vehicles, the British Scimitar/Stormer series of vehicles provides limited protection, with mobility and firepower similar to the LAV. Being smaller and carrying less kit/ammmunition etc. is one of the trade offs a light force equipped with this class of vehicle would have to make (more maintainence is the other).
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Tango2Bravo on March 05, 2007, 11:11:29

To correct what you are saying though ('cause I'm OK with flame wars  ;) ), the Ops, as our leadership has chosen to conduct them ...require LAVs, Leo2, etc.


The enemy has a say as well, and perhaps they didn't get the memo.  Infantry lacking armoured fighting vehicles have been penned up inside their bases by a determined enemy who can sense a vulnerabilty and exploit it.  Sometimes it comes to a fight whether you want to or not.  When the enemy is dug-in across that river, it can suddenly get very 1944 and some 1944 tactical solutions come to the fore.  Terrain and the size of the operating area also have a say.  A force needs operational mobility and helicopters do not give that guarantee. 

I see COIN as an infantry game supported by other arms as the situations sees fit.


Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Chris Pook on March 05, 2007, 12:06:56
It is interesting to go back and review the early comments on the LAV and its applicability to this type of fight.

Before the enemy was engaged the questions were about:

-  the LAV's ability to get into the theater in significant numbers due to available transport - now moot on two grounds - time was available to move in the vehicles, and new transport is coming on line for future operations

- the LAV's abiilty to negotiate the terrain encountered - now moot as it is covering the terrain it is encountering

- the LAV's ability to supply adequate protection - now moot as it seems to be meeting the protection expectations of the troops employing it

- the LAV's inability to engage heavy armour - now moot as there seems to be a lack of opposing heavy armour

- the LAV's limited troop carrying capacity vs the ideal size of the infantry section - now moot as operations are being conducted effectively at the section level with numbers that can be carried by the LAV

- the LAV's ability to patrol in congested urban environments - still an open question (or maybe not)

- the psychological impact of operating from a massive vehicle like the LAV.


Of these 7 concerns it seems that we are down to 2.  All the rest have been set aside by the reality of operations conducted.

The G-Wagen/Landrover solution was (in my fevered mind) a means of supplying an early entry, light force, with adequate tactical mobility with the available strategic transport.  An operation that is now in its 6th year (counting from 2001) can hardly be considered as an early entry operation.  This is an ongoing - not to say permanent - operation.  It is possible to get the necessary assets into the theater in a timely fashion (helicopters excluded). 

Alternatively something like the Pinzgauer was suitable for domestic operations as a section carrying all terrain vehicle in a low threat/training environment.  Demonstrably this is not a low threat environment.

At the other end of the spectrum, concern was expressed about the need for a Bradley/Marder type vehicle - but while there may be some need for those vehicles in the assault the LAV seems to be an outstanding patrol vehicle that is also capable of conducting assaults.

That leaves us only with the questions of urban applicability - but you seem to be operating primarily in a rural environment - and psychological impact.........and anything psychological is always a matter of great debate.

The force generated seems to be adequate to the task at hand (now comes the sustainment issue).

You have created the same type of force used to pacify the Anglo-Scots borders, the Highlands, Ireland, Normandie and Brittany, the American Plains, the Canadian West and South Africa.  Call them moss-troopers, dragoons, dragons, cavalry, mounted rifles, mounted police, mounted infantry or constabulary*.  The dominant feature of them all was mobile, heavily armed soldiers conducting patrols and assaults. 

My only further observation is that that mobile force was only part of the solution.  A further part of the solution was a static force guarding settlements, choke points and lines of communication, as well as manning barriers and Observation Posts to hinder illegal movement.  How do you hold that which the "Dragoons" have gained?

And how do you deal with the next "early entry" or "rapid response" operation, or the next operation in complex or urban terrain?

* You could even call them Cossacks because that is what they did on the Steppes.


Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: ArmyRick on March 05, 2007, 12:17:34
Some points to throw in from my perspective.
(1) Helicopters can be brought down. It has happened in Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan. However choppers certainly do have their use. Lifting troops into very adverse terrain or limited re-supply (Chinooks).

(2) From what i have been hearing, the LAVIII seems to be a very good COIN vehicle. It has intermediate fire power, decent protection and can travel fast (Since we need to cover large AORs). True the Bradley has more fire power but it also is limited by fuel consumption and speed and it has only 6 dismounts (7 if they are ghurka sized people). The US Stryker IMO would be a great compliment (The carrier version not the MGS) because of its 9 man dismounts. I would also add a commanders cuploa with GPMG and gun shield (like the ones they put on the g-wagon) and a rear mounted GPMG as well. Keep in mind this vehicle also has RWS (same as on RG-31). I would aim for keeping the RWS with .50 cal (Better use when colateral damage is a concern).

(3) Interesting if you look up royal marines in afghanistan on youtube.com, they are using land rovers with .50 and GPMG and all kinds of other weaponry strapped on. I wouldn't mind hearing from them what they think of this concept. It was the complete opposite of what we have tried to achieve with our nyala. As you can see in the videos they got into lots of fire fights as well.

Just some thoughts....
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Old Sweat on March 05, 2007, 12:53:55
You have created the same type of force used to pacify the Anglo-Scots borders, the Highlands, Ireland, Normandie and Brittany, the American Plains, the Canadian West and South Africa.  Call them moss-troopers, dragoons, dragons, cavalry, mounted rifles, mounted police, mounted infantry or constabulary*.  The dominant feature of them all was mobile, heavily armed soldiers conducting patrols and assaults. 

My only further observation is that that mobile force was only part of the solution.  A further part of the solution was a static force guarding settlements, choke points and lines of communication, as well as manning barriers and Observation Posts to hinder illegal movement.  How do you hold that which the "Dragoons" have gained?

* You could even call them Cossacks because that is what they did on the Steppes.


Kirkhill has once again covered a lot of ground, figuratively and literally.

It may be a blinding flash of the obvious to note that the most effective of these mobile forces were able to fight both mounted and dismounted and that they relied on their own resources to move around the battlefield. Are we seeing the same?

To be successful, these forces also had to rely on intelligence, much of which was gathered by scouting. An example, and I apologize for being unable to refer to my files for specific details but I am typing this in our RV 50 metres from the sea on the coast of the Florida panhandle, is the 1st Mounted Infantry Brigade in the advance from Bloemfontein to Pretoria in roughly late-April to early-June 1900. Each of the units had a small scout section that operated to the front and flanks while the brigade scouts (a troop-sized unit commanded, in this case, by ex-NWMP member Charlie Ross) worked well in front - perhaps between one and two hours hard ride for a good horseman. 
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Journeyman on March 05, 2007, 14:15:08
Quote
the Ops, as our leadership has chosen to conduct them ...require LAVs, Leo2, etc.
The enemy has a say as well, and perhaps they didn't get the memo.  Infantry lacking armoured fighting vehicles have been penned up inside their bases by a determined enemy who can sense a vulnerabilty and exploit it.  Sometimes it comes to a fight whether you want to or not.  When the enemy is dug-in across that river, it can suddenly get very 1944 and some 1944 tactical solutions come to the fore.  Terrain and the size of the operating area also have a say
Quite correct. The leadership does an appreciation, which includes the enemy and the environment (yes, both terrain AND the size of the AO), from which they determine how they wish to prosecute the campaign. Your sarcasm and the utility of your insight are equally valid.

Quote
Infantry lacking armoured fighting vehicles have been penned up inside their bases...
Thank you for providing a wonderful example to illustrate the difference between how we are currently engaging the enemy versus what I stated several pages ago.

Does your hypothetical COIN situation represent:

A) the primary emphasis being on increased protection and technology, relying on increasingly heavier weights of fire (think Dien Bien Phu), or

B) a Light Infantry force, living out amongst the population to assist them in their struggle, while interdicting insurgents in their supposed safe-havens (think Selous Scouts).

If your priority is force protection, then by all means, "A" is fine. Just be aware that over the past 3000 years, "A" only defeats an insurgency when you are capable of going in with overwhelming force (for chuckles, Google "3rd Punic War" and see what the Romans did to Carthage). Canada is incapable of adopting such a strategy, even if we wanted to. Therefore the tactics our military leadership has chosen to employ, whether conducted from a LAV or a Nyala, WILL NOT support our strategic objective of defeating the Taliban insurgency.



------------------
If you can snag a copy, have a read of Col. JH Vance's "Tactics Without Strategy, or Why the Canadian Forces Do Not Campaign" - - he does a much better job of explaining the required linkage between tactics and strategy, which is absent in our current operations.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Chris Pook on March 05, 2007, 15:18:38
I'm sorry to keep harping at this point but I think it keeps getting lost in the shuffle.

Maintaining the type of security force that Journeyman alludes to is NOT a zero technology option.  Manpower requirements for the security role can be greatly reduced by augmenting "light troops" with permanently emplaced security systems augmented by equally permanently placed Remote Controlled Weapons Systems.

What would the effect on the defence of Sangin have been if the Paras had been equipped with a Coyote mast, four LAV turrets, and three or four preloaded, 16 barrel 60mm mortars.  All of which could be slaved to a central control to which could also be tied an RF detonated Claymore field at the base of the walls.  Metalstorm 60mm mortars are preloaded with multiple rounds in the same barrel.  Rounds available include the usual HE/Smk/Ill but also include parachute deployed cameras.

All of this stuff is available -
http://www.army.mod.uk/equipment/cs/aad_mst.htm  (MSTAR Radar)
http://www.army.mod.uk/equipment/cs/pw_spy.htm   (Brit equivalents of CCTV and TI)
http://www.rafael.co.il/marketing/SIP_STORAGE/FILES/8/628.pdf  (30mm RCWS with 7.62 mm Coax and ATGMs) - make it cheaper by getting rid of the stabilisation, the folding bracket and the ATGMs
http://www.metalstorm.com/clientuploads/news/1presentations/LWC_2002_Presentation.pdf?PHPSESSID=72ba6a5e77cfe275d3115f6bc332b462

Tie this stuff in with any civilian perimeter security system - here's one company

http://www.magal-ssl.com/

Or go the whole hog and opt for the Oerlikon-Rheinmetal

http://www.rheinmetall-defence.com/index.php?fid=3670&lang=3&pdb=1

The point is - that holding that which has been gained no longer requires the same manpower commitment as it did even as late as Vietnam.  A dozen men - equipped with the equivalent of 4 LAVs, a Coyote, and a pair of 60mm mortars, as well as sound and motion detectors and claymores - all operated by 2-4 duty personnel and still leave 8-10 personnel for sleeping, local interactions and patrols, and to handle additional weapons like ATGMs. 12 soldiers, a cost lower than the cost of a troop of LAVs and a permanent local presence, standing WITH the local populace AGAINST "the unknown".

If that is an augmented light infantry force fine.... it could also be seen as a garrison artillery force, or a defence and duties force, or a fixed cavalry force..... above all else it is a security force.  One that gives comfort to the locals that they are not abandoned to the creatures of the night when the Dragoons move on.


 






Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Tango2Bravo on March 05, 2007, 15:29:37
I wasn't being hypothetical, although I might have been a little sarcastic regarding the memo.  

You have presented a dichotomy, but I don't believe that risk acceptance has to be that stark.  Being able to operate in the face of the threat can mean that you need firepower and protection.  Being able to get out with the population can mean going out in armoured vehicles backed up by artillery and other arms.  Some light forces that had every intention of getting out in the population found themselves under seige in their platoon houses.

I believe that countering an insurgency short of a Genghis Khan approach requires a political solution, and that military strategy and tactics are only a part (obvious, I suppose).  The military can buy time for that solution to be found and applied, although I recognize that military actions can have effects on that political process (positive or negative).  Putting troops out living with the population may not mean a thing if the reason there is an insurgency is not addressed.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: KevinB on March 05, 2007, 15:50:17
I would suggest that Red Five is looking at this issue from his background.
 
  I believe that this is a CF (and worldwide issue) -- that Mech Inf anf Armoured Forces and those in them, look a the issue entirley differently from Light Infantry and "Special" Forces.

  I dont beleive that one can win the populace without being an integral part of it -- thus living with the villagers in some of the more remote villages.  The FOB's and KAF reienforce an "us and them" strategy. 
  Yes will will lose a lot of soldiers at the beginning -- but in the long term it is a win.

I do agree that large concentrations of enemy outside of urban centers can be best currently dealt with combined arms forces.  However these forces should also be integrated -- so its an ANA arty unit - not a coalition one that takes the grief...


Once again -- its a different mindset issue, and as we have seen elsewhere - one experiences and branch tend to color the glasses one looks at things.






Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: MCG on March 05, 2007, 16:14:11
Does your hypothetical COIN situation represent:

A) the primary emphasis being on increased protection and technology, relying on increasingly heavier weights of fire (think Dien Bien Phu), or

B) a Light Infantry force, living out amongst the population to assist them in their struggle, while interdicting insurgents in their supposed safe-havens (think Selous Scouts).
You’ve presented a logical fallacy hidden in your question; you’ve presented forces as either being overly focused on protection or being light infantry, and you continue to allude that only light infantry are capable of engaging the population.  The fact is that light infantry can be just as over-focused on protection as a mechanized force.  Additionally, a mechanized force is just as capable of engaging the population.  The reality on the ground is that we are employing mech forces in the capacity which you’ve presented as exlusive to light infantry.

While you don’t mention it, I would suggest it is also possible to be sufficiently lacking in combat power so as to be irrelevant.

You can put enough into a Pl House to make it defensible.  Go smaller & the Taliban will destroy our piecemeal presence one outpost at a time.  We had good results from the Gumbad Pl house.  However, in order to exert their presence over the prescribed area, vehicles were required; the Pl House required a mech platoon to do its job.  A truly light platoon would not have had a large enough sphere of influence.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Old Sweat on March 05, 2007, 16:16:48
Apologies for straying off the track into the weeds, but ulimately this war is Afghanistan's to win or to lose. I am not one that subscribes to the notion that a negotiated settlement with as intractable a foe as the Taliban does anythng but postpone the inevitable. It is up to the host government with its arms - the ANA and the ANP - to establish the rule of law, justice and capable administration in something approaching an honest and efficient manner. If part of their grand strategy to pacify the hostile parts of the country is to ask us to help garrison outlying settlements, that is something we would have to at least consider carefully. As JM just posted that does not automatically mean light infantry.

Part of the pacification process, however, involves reducing the ration strength of the enemy by the most effective manner, without killing or wounding the friendly, neutral or mildly hostile elements of the population. If reports are to be believed, some of those our troops meet in the field are in fact as un-native as are we. If guerrillas are fish that swim in the sea of people, the outsiders along with the more violent of their local comrades may soon find themselves flopping on the beach if the Afghan government can assert its authority. To exploit that requires us to locate, fix and destroy the enemy. Until that is accomplished, much of the fighting will be violent and nasty. That requires us to win the firefight first, and that means the mechanized all arms team supported by air power.  

It is crude, but sometimes to bring the hearts and minds onside in a tribal society, we have to get their attention by grabbing them somewhat farther down on the body. That is not to say we need lower ourselves to the like of Glencoe or My Lai, but we cannot afford to lose too many skirmishes, let alone battles, lest we and our hosts ultimately lose the war.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: hat on March 06, 2007, 00:03:29
Some thoughts,

As background, for the last three years I have been in a (mech) infantry battalion.  I deployed on Op ARCHER Roto 1.  During Roto 1 we conducted 2 months of airmobile (QRF) ops using Chinooks, Blackhawks, Apaches and fast air as support.  We conducted approx 1 month of tasks as IRF (ground-based QRF).  We had opportunity to work with American, British and Afghan forces.

Our ops were widely dispersed.  For 4 out of 6 months I rarely saw my Coy HQ (at its furthest, I was 230 km from it).  Ops typically lasted from 1 day to 2 week's duration.

While conducting airmobile operations we sometimes had difficulty getting inserted.  We always had difficulty getting re-suplied or extracted.  Why?  Because there are only so many resources and you compete with everything else that's going on.  On airmobile ops we could only carry limited water, ammunition etc...  The enemy possessed vehicles.  They were lighter and were capable of moving rapidly, even in rugged terrain.  Essentially, unless the terrain favored dismounted ops, we were the equivalent of "fixed" as soon as we inserted.  I watched other nations that had their own helicopter assets struggle with the same issues.  Light forces were either pent up in FOBs or suffered regular, serious casualties trying to patrol and dominate their battle space.  The largest op we participated in (MAR CHICHEL) was to extricate a light force out of a precarious situation.

While conducting mechanized operations, we relied on our own vehicles to move to objectives.  Sometimes, we dismounted to complete our ingress or actions on the objective.  Sometimes we conducted dismounted patrolling.  It was up to the leadership to decide based on the task.  When we moved in dismounted, zulu vehicles were available to reinforce or conduct other tasks.  Reserves of ammunition and water were always at hand.  We were not tied to FOBs.  We operated primarily out of leaguers and were as mobile as tasks required.  Frequently we would move over 100 Km just to get to the area of operations.  When we did operate out of FOBs, the majority of our attention was focused on conducting ops outside the FOB instead of securing the immediate area.  Many of our operations involved engaging the population through shuras or simply stopping to talk to locals.  If we were in LAVs, we would simply stop, dismount, approach the locals with respect and talk to them.

I don't think that light and mech forces, of necessity, think differently.  To me it all comes down to leadership having the mindset that they will get to the objective by any means necessary and conduct their tasks.



Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: KevinB on March 06, 2007, 00:51:05
hat - perhaps your proving my point in the different method of thinking -- but for a COIN operation --
Quote
To me it all comes down to leadership having the mindset that they will get to the objective by any means necessary and conduct their tasks.

I consider the task to be the securing of the local area.

 I beleive you are looking at this thru the glasses of manuver warfare.

The British Para's where poorly equipped for the role they where given in that area - and that to me shows a complete disconnect of the leadership (UK in this instance) with the charateristics of their troops.

Several units have sucessfully run light operations in the area - so it is possible.
  the trick is to ensure they know how to operate and have a chain of command that can support that type of activity.


Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: MCG on March 06, 2007, 00:57:04
Several units have sucessfully run light operations in the area - so it is possible.
Which units and what type of operations?
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Chris Pook on March 06, 2007, 01:09:50
Before delving too much more into the predicaments of the Paras I recall that when they were initially inserted the game plan changed virtually on the day the deployed - whoever's fault that was.

AFAIK  they were intended to be a heliborne reaction force in a brigade that was supposed to be a battalion stronger.  The extra battalion didn't show and the AFGHAN GOVERNMENT set the strategic requirement that the district centres be reoccupied/occupied with a government presence.  The Paras got the job.  They did what they were told with what they had.  They established a presence.

I wonder if they would have tackled the job the same way if circumstances were different.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: MCG on March 06, 2007, 01:11:37
Before delving too much more into the predicaments of the Paras I recall that when they were initially inserted the game plan changed virtually on the day the deployed - whoever's fault that was.
I was there well before they deployed & we always understood that they were going to Hellmund.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Chris Pook on March 06, 2007, 01:20:44
I understand that MCG but my understanding from reading the public press at the time was that they were to be a reaction force in Helmand.....of course you can't always believe what you read.

They also weren't supposed to engage with the Taliban according to the Brit Minister of Defense.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Chris Pook on March 06, 2007, 03:27:03
This is what I was thinking about....

Quote
...The town of Musa Qala was, of course, the scene of a controversial deal, approved by Lieutenant-General David Richards, the Nato commander in Afghanistan, and agreed on 17 October 2006.

When British troops had first been sent to Afghanistan it was hoped they would help kick-start the country's reconstruction. But under pressure from President Hamid Karzai they were detached to defend Afghan government "district centres" at Musa Qala, Sangin, Nowzad and Kajaki.

This was the so-called "Platoon House" concept, with critics complaining that planting small numbers of troops in the centres was an open invitation to the Taleban. The move - opposed by General Richards - turned the bases into what he called "magnets" for the Taliban.

By late summer there was real fear that one of the platoon house fortresses would be overrun altogether and their garrisons massacred. At Musa Qala and Sangin, mortars and heavy machine guns were fired at point-blank range. In Now Zad, a Gurkha platoon fought a long night battle, throwing grenades at an enemy only ten feet away. And, as these intense and bloody battles developed, 16 British troops were killed in action.

http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2007/02/little-bit-of-realism-is-needed.html

For myself.... I still think there is a role for a security force.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: KevinB on March 06, 2007, 11:54:08
Kirkhill -- there is so much spin on that article its hard to pic facts from it.

 It sounds more like a Liberal Afghan add -- "Uhm why yes we are sending combat troops -- but they are for reconstuction".
Big K has zero operational control of OEF/ISAF troops.   The bottom line is IF the Afghan gov't asked for that deployment, the UK gov't did not think it out properly.
  The used a Northern Ireland type of mentality to lay out the platoon houses - a mindset that I have noticed run throughout the ranks of the British Army.


 
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Chris Pook on March 06, 2007, 12:11:28
Sorry Infidel-6 - It was the best I could come up with at the time.  I couldn't track back the links to the British papers of last summer to find the specific articles I was vaguely remembering.  This reference by someone that apparently vaguely remembered the same thing is the only corroboration of my position I could come up with.  Mea Culpa. :-[

Edit: with respect to the platoon houses, perhaps they might have had more success if they hadn't garrisoned so many houses so far from their main base with so little support, both logistics and reaction.   Trying too much too fast?
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Bubbles on March 07, 2007, 01:46:52
Okay so there seems to be alot of resistance to Light Infantry in the Army Order of Battle...so the question is where do we go from here?

On the topic of infantry structure I still think the obvious solution to the managed-readiness system is to stand up three more infantry battalions; this is a fairly common proposal that I have also seen in Army Journal and other sources.

Back to mech vs. light, one option could be to re-equip our infantry battalions with the M113s. We now have around 250 M113A3s left after upgrading and I have read comments of Gen Leslie placing a renowned emphasis on the M113s...
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Tow Tripod on March 07, 2007, 02:36:53
Bubbles,
You are saying that you want to drive around in a M-113 for the next few years? I could give two **its.A M113 no matter how many up grades it has is still a piece out dated GARBAGE. I suggest you volunteer to be General Leslie's driver on Operations in a M113 (yeah right). The decision has been made that CSOR will be the Light/Dismounted infantry in the Canadian Army. Even distribution of Lav III to the third Battalions is just a matter of time.This issue of Mech vs Light is DEAD however people on this site feel other wise. If you want to deploy to Afghanistan I suggest you get behind the LAV III's `driver wheel or behind the cannon or someplace within the section.
I realize that the M113 has been up graded however it is still far from being the best tool in the tool box. Being in Croatia and Tow platoon I wouldn't wish a M113 on anybody in the army,especially brand new soldiers that undoubtedly would be pissed off when they  are driving around in a M-113 and maybe some of their pers or in the Lav III

TOW TRIPOD
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: ArmyRick on March 07, 2007, 08:52:07
I have little expirience with the LAVIII but I know M113 like a brother. I can say I have literally lived out of an M113 and grizzly for weeks at a time.

NO THANKS

M113, Thank you for your service to the CF (44 years, I gues the M113 gets a third clasp on its CD).Its time to move on and retire them ol war birds.

I agree with TOW TRipod.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Technoviking on March 07, 2007, 08:54:07
Light infantry does NOT equate to dismounted Infantry.  Thought I'd sort that part out.  As for resistance, I'm all for having light infantry.  Even though it's not my lane and I am no SME on it, I fully understand the value of having light infantry, and the danger of not..
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Thucydides on March 07, 2007, 14:57:27
Which units and what type of operations?

The RAF Regiment does presence patrols, CIMIC, disruptive patrols and hunts IED's and rocket launching sites and teams around KAF. They are in unarmoured Landrover 110's (the armoured ones get stuck), and seem to be doing a fine job so far.

The local situation allows them to do these tasks; there is little expectation they will have to assault dug in enemy, and there are heavier forces to act as a reaction force at short notice should things go south (not to mention airpower right at their backs.....).

Traditional light forces (Paratroops, Rangers, Light infantry, etc.) are useful in a very limited set of circumstances, and it is interesting to note that the Soviet Union recognized this in the early 1930's, with Marshal Tukhachevskii being a leading advocate not only of Airborne forces but also mechanized forces and (within the limits of Soviet technology) a marriage of the two trends. Although there was no real result at that time (light tanks with wooden biplane wings towed behind bombers were pretty startling to look at, but the landing was even better!), we should recognize the Cold War  era "Vozdushno-Desantnye Voyska"  with their plethora of mini AFV's as an attempt to meld the strategic mobility of "light" with the firepower and tactical mobility of "mech".

For our own purposes "Motor Infantry" will be a good compromise, so long as we remember to back them up with available heavy forces and firepower close enough at hand to extract them from sticky situations. A well designed vehicle along the lines of the RG-31 or Australian Bushmaster is one way to do this without breaking the bank, but there are lots of other options as well.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: MCG on March 07, 2007, 23:19:22
The RAF Regiment does presence patrols, CIMIC, disruptive patrols and hunts IED's and rocket launching sites and teams around KAF.
Yes, but this is still a motorised force (not the true light force being espoused by some on this thread) with a relatively small AO when compared to the BGs responsible for each of the provinces.

Light forces (those not tied to vehicles) do have a role.  However, they are not fit to be the permanent ground owners of a BG AO in Afghanistan. 
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Chris Pook on March 08, 2007, 12:59:57
Hands up all those that support eliminating all future reference to Heavy, Light, Mech, Armoured and other historical designators.

Given that there seems to be no universally agreed definition of what constitutes any of the above - even senior command levels can't seem to decide where the lines exist amongst JTF-Black, JTF-Green, CSOR-SF, CSOR-DA, Commando, Airborne, Heliborne, Light Infantry, Infantry, Motorised Infantry, Mech Infantry, Light Armoured Infantry, Armoured Infantry, Armour, Dragoons, Armoured Recce, Light Armoured Recce, Light (Unarmoured) Recce ..... does any of it make sense when we are not talking about millions of soldiers being trained in short periods to fulfill a specific niche in the battle order?

It has fascinated me that we are "training" entire battalions of Afghans (and Iraqi's and Sierra Leoneans) to take the fight to the enemy within months of the first regimental number putting on a uniform and yet we talk about only being able to "train" an additional 1000 personnel a year if lucky (1000/60,000 =1.6% growth rate).

It seems apparent that we are not talking about apples and apples here but that a Canadian Soldier is not being trained to the same standard as an Afghan Soldier and that the Afghan Soldier is doing many of the tasks recognizable to a WW2 squaddie trained in a similar period of time.

From that I deduce that the tasks of the soldier have NOT changed over time - just that Canada and ABCA and the rest of the West has opted out of many of those tasks and is limiting itself to a specific set of tasks.

The debate now ranges over how to handle the overlap into tasks that need to be done but for which the specialists are not ideally suited,  who gets to do the tasks they want to do, who gets stuck with the tasks they don't want, who gets the budget for the kit they need/want and whose cap-badge will survive.

Infanteer and MCG (in a previous incarnation) and all those that argued in the past for a single, unified, Combat Arms designation now have my vote.

Keep in mind that the extreme specialization of forces, although it has a long history, really grew out of the trenches of WW1 (mass conscripts and sections of Bayonets, Grenadiers, Rifle Grenadiers and MGs - not to mention Battalion MGs and Mortars) reached its full flower in WW2 with various Private Armies like Popski's, and carried through to the Cold War.

Up until WW1 infantry battalions weren't internally differentiated nor was there much external differentiation.  They were all formed bodies of disciplined soldiers broken into 8-10 companies.  They would be trained to dismount from boats, ride camels or horses as the case required.  Cavalry troopers were trained to fight dismounted with the same weapons the infanteer used.  The whole army morphed to suit strategic, operational and tactical needs.  The same Army fought Metis, Ashanti, Zulus, Pashtuns, Boers and Germans and the Mehdi's Armies at Khartoum and Omdurman.  A long service Sergeant at Mons in 1914 could be expected to have operated against all those foes using all available transport performing everything from crowd control and ceremonial duties to patrolling and high intensity, industrial warfare.

Bring back the generalist.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: MCG on March 08, 2007, 14:32:48
Well, for those that like the idea of APC Regiments like Canada had in WW II, it seems the UK is about to do it again.  I just read in Jane's that the King's Royal Hussars have been re-roled as a Warrior APC unit in order to allow non-mech infantry to be used in that role for Iraq.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Thucydides on March 08, 2007, 14:42:40
I would go for a "bell curve" solution: some light infantry like CSOR or a Ranger Regiment to deal with very close and complex terrain, the bulk of the force being "Motor Infantry" which use some sort of vehicle for tactical and operational mobility and a Heavy Infantry (Dragoons, Panzergrenadiers, Assault Infantry, pick a designation) who are trained and equipped to do the deliberate assault into prepared defensive positions. All backed by the appropriate support and service support arms of course.

The lighter forces are able to deal with the vast majority of situations, including exploitation of breakthroughs by the heavy force (not to mention shaping the battle prior to the introduction of the heavy force), and are affordable to boot.

Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Chris Pook on March 08, 2007, 17:31:49
Well, for those that like the idea of APC Regiments like Canada had in WW II, it seems the UK is about to do it again.  I just read in Jane's that the King's Royal Hussars have been re-roled as a Warrior APC unit in order to allow non-mech infantry to be used in that role for Iraq.

And the QRH in Maysan, Iraq chucked in their Challengers for Landrovers.  This leaves equipped and operating broadly the way that the Brigade Recce Troop and Landrover Coys of 3 RM Cdo are operating, the WMIK equipped Paras operated and the RAF Regiment operate, not to mention the Australian SAS in their 6x6 Peretie Landrovers in Al Anbar.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Infanteer on April 07, 2007, 10:28:48
Light forces (those not tied to vehicles) do have a role.  However, they are not fit to be the permanent ground owners of a BG AO in Afghanistan.

That makes the most sense to me.  And we have a nice, new tan-hatted unit standing up to fit that bill.

As for the rest of the Army, I'm still not convinced that this dichotomy is as strong as some insist.  3VP and 1VP get their recruits from the same gene pool.  I don't see how any has a monopoly on some special mindset; getting troops motivated to fight the right types of battles in any terrain seems more a function of leadership than what type of boots you are going to wear.  Granted, there will be specializations that will need to be maintained (ie: MOI, Crew Commander), but are these necessarily a function of battalion organization?  Can this not be somehow cadred within battalion organization and/or career cycles within the mech/light companies?

I still maintain that the USMC manages to maintain a good all around generalist infantryman that is able to successfully plug into a variety of roles along the spectrum of conflict.  Anything requiring more in terms of skillsets is perhaps better off being cached into a specialized unit (ie: CSOR) especially when budgets, PY's and resources for the conventional army units is considered.

As well, there is a side discussion on Counterinsurgency Operations on this page that to me seems to be a bit of a red herring.  A light infantry platoon commander can just as easily light up a school and lose a war as any other branch/unit type.  Conversely, we have a good example of the British Army Armoured Unit led by its "modern Lawrence of Arabia" on the Iraqi-Iranian border taking one of the most innovative approaches to his tactical situation as I've seen to date.  This seems to be something of a higher level than simple unit organization and, again, more a function of leadership; irregardless of whether you are a mountain-ops god or a commander of a 70-ton MBT (think 3AD in Iraq), if you are going into a COIN fight, you are going to need to be steered towards a certain approach through training and preparation by your leadership - is this necessarily a function of capbadge or specialization?  Again, like the light/mech debate above, this level can only be taken so high in conventional units that draw from a common gene pool and operate within their own boundaries - higher specializations (language, culture, etc) are probably best cached into units that can afford to go down that narrow road (ie: US SF).

Of course, I may be out to lunch, but that's what makes sense to me right now....

Infanteer
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Chris Pook on April 07, 2007, 15:12:29
To Armour or Not to Armour......

Came across this photo of the Iraqi Army in Ramadi.  Turreted Humvee, therefore presumably up-armoured, the tires seem to be the type used on the heavier vehicles but that could be my imagination.

No Doors.

http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110009900
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: RecceDG on April 09, 2007, 17:38:50
Quote
Up until WW1 infantry battalions weren't internally differentiated nor was there much external differentiation.  They were all formed bodies of disciplined soldiers broken into 8-10 companies.  They would be trained to dismount from boats, ride camels or horses as the case required.  Cavalry troopers were trained to fight dismounted with the same weapons the infanteer used.  The whole army morphed to suit strategic, operational and tactical needs.  The same Army fought Metis, Ashanti, Zulus, Pashtuns, Boers and Germans and the Mehdi's Armies at Khartoum and Omdurman.  A long service Sergeant at Mons in 1914 could be expected to have operated against all those foes using all available transport performing everything from crowd control and ceremonial duties to patrolling and high intensity, industrial warfare.

Bring back the generalist.

Nice in theory, but more difficult in practice.

That worked in the post Brown Bess, pre-Maxim days when you didn't need formed and drilled mass formations like you did with muskets (which required specialized training for the Infantry) The brass cartridge rifle made everybody into a skirmisher. The only weapon systems you had were rifle, bayonet, grenade, sword, and pistol - so everybody not Artillery could get the same basic training. Tactics could adjust to fit the local situation, but weapon systems were static.

That ended in WW1 with the invention of first the machine gun, then later the tank. You get weapon systems that are overly complex and specialized to teach to everybody, and that trend has only accelerated since.

Now we have C7, C8, Pistol, Grenade, M72, M206, C9, C6, M2, Carl Gustav, 60mm mortar, Eryx, TOW, 25mm chain gun, 105mm and 120mm tank main guns, shotguns, 2 or 3 sniper rifles... that's just off the top of my head. There's just too many weapon systems to make everybody proficient at everything.

And the turret stuff has a whole slew of supporting equipment and FCS to cover. It's not much of a stretch between C9 and C6, but there is a big difference between firing the C6 off the bipod and firing C6 as the coax weapon out of a Leo or LAV.

There's also a big difference between the employment of weapon systems off vehicles vice employing weapons with your boots on the ground. The division of the combat arms into Infantry (thems that fight on their feet) vice Armoured (thems that fight from a vehicle) makes a lot of sense from a training and employment perspective.

Where I think the "mistake" was made (if you want to call it that) is when we started putting Infantry Sgts and MCpls into vehicle crew commander positions (especially turreted vehicles) and started requiring them to pick up the "Armour" skillset of fighting a vehicle *in addition* to their boots-on-the-ground section commander role. That's too much to absorb, and you compromise one skill in favour of the other.

I don't know why that happened; my history isn't that good. Maybe the Armoured Corps may have turned up their noses at a job that wasn't tanks - if so, shame on us! But it doesn't really matter anyway. Better we learn from the here and now and put in a here and now solution:

Give the Armoured Corps the LAVs (and all future APCs) Driver, Crew Commander, and Gunner (if there is one) are all blackhatters. Let the Infantry concentrate on the Infantry tasks instead of being spread so thin over such a wide skillset.

DG
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: George Wallace on April 09, 2007, 21:30:49
As an Armour Guy, both Recce (Jeep, Lynx and Coyote) and Tanker, I find the above post to be a lot of hogwash.  It is far from accurate and full of false premises.  Infantry have had turrets on vehicles before and have once again.  They had turrets on their Grizzlies (sure you can naysay, but they were still turrets) as well as turrets on their Coyotes (while their Recce Platoons had them).  As for being proficient on a number of weapons, that is quite possible and achievable.  The statements about firing a C-6 from a turret and then from a Ground Mount or Flex are also flawed.  Yes techniques may differ, but the principles of Gunnery do not change. 

As for putting Armour Crews in the vehicles, has been discussed in other topics, but shouldn't be taken as a valid point.  Both Armour and Infantry use differing tactics, so putting Armour in Infantry vehicles serves no benifit to either Branch.  Any suggestion to have Armour crew all LAVs is only the thoughts of the desperate. 

Anyway, I am sure that many others are going to cut the above post to even smaller pieces.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: GAP on April 09, 2007, 21:51:20
This may be all moot.....aren't the armour guys getting some new toys?
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Technoviking on April 10, 2007, 16:58:49
Firing Coax is different from light role, yes, but so is SF role from light role.

But, as GAP points out, this may all be moot soon.

Who knows?
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: RecceDG on April 10, 2007, 22:50:03
Quote
As an Armour Guy, both Recce (Jeep, Lynx and Coyote) and Tanker, I find the above post to be a lot of hogwash.

George, I'm hearing this from the *infantry* guys.

We are asking infantry section commanders to suddenly pick up the skillset of an armoured crew commander, while still requiring him to do his infantry section commanding job.

And we're not just talking about the physical skills of moving tactically and turret gunnery; we're talking about all the vehicle maintainence, recovery... all the other fun stuff that goes along with being mounted.

It's too much. It takes time away from practicing the infantry combat skills they need when fighting dismounted. The time spent adapting to the vehicle and the turret would be better spent - again, I'm hearing this from them - on getting ever more proficient at the infantry skills they need once dismounted.

Meanwhile, you have this entire corps whose purpose in life is the manouvere, fighting, care and feeding of armoured vehicles who are being under-utilized. We *have* the skillset required to fight the LAV. It's part of our normal career progression. No stretching-thin of skills required.

There is no good reason why the driver, crew commander, and gunner of a LAV-III couldn't be blackhatters, trained to pick up and deliver the infantry on the objective and then fight alongside them in support once at the objective. All it takes is working out some SOPs and command and control issues - which, happily, our Aussie cousins have been doing for years, so we can learn from them and not have to invent the wheel ourselves.

The Armoured Corps could then have Sabre (Tank) Recce (Coyote/Nyala/whatever we think is the next great Recce platform) and "Dragoon"* (APC - LAV-III) specialties, all based around the common skills of moving, living, and fighting out of vehicles.

*No implication that the RCD would get this role by choosing this name; it's just a good historical term to fit the APC role)

DG
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: George Wallace on April 10, 2007, 23:13:38
Sorry.  I don't buy your arguments.  I have seen the poor lessons learned with the Cougar, and the poor decisions made in its' employment later.  The Cougar was not a Tank and was a very poor Tank Trainer.  Armour skills were lost or poorly taught with the Cougar.   We were very lucky that we were never truly faced with a desperate and well equipped enemy when we deployed it overseas.

The LAV is not a Tank, nor is it a real "Manoeuvre" AFV.  It is an APC.  Do not give it to Armour to use as part of a Manoeuvre Element.  Do not give it to Armour so that they can learn poor lessons on a vehicle that is NOT A TANK. 

If you keep promoting this line of thought you are degrading the Armour Corps.  You are degrading the Infantry Branch.  The LAV is an Infantry vehicle.  Just as the Grizzle was, and the M113, and the Universal Carrier.  Just because it is a piece of 'machinery' does not make it 'Armour'. 
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Mortar guy on April 11, 2007, 08:31:41
You know, it's funny how you and George use words like "hogwash" and that you two have cornered the market on "reality" and "logic". I am an RCR officer. I wrote an article on this very topic and you would be absolutely stunned at the number of Officers and Senior NCOs who agree with what I wrote and what RecceDG is saying. I get emails on a fairly regular basis from officers and NCOs across the Army, who I've never met, telling me how they agree 100% that the need to crew LAVs is sapping the dismounted skills out of the infantry. I have discussed this with Cols and Cpls, Infantry and Armoured and many agree that our current way of doing things is not ideal from an individual trg point of view.

Here's my take on the logic: there is one Corps in the Army that trains on, and fights in, armoured vehicles from Battle School to release. Why do we now have another Corps, who are supposed to be the experts at the dismounted fight, now spending 2/3 of their precious training time learning how to fight armoured vehicles? You guys complain about a dissolution of skills that would occur if you were forced to crew the LAVs and I can't help but chuckle a little. What exactly do you think happens when you ask an infanteer to suddenly forget what he knows about dismounted skills and become an ersatz blackhatter!? Tankers crew armoured vehicles and their damned good at it. We can be good at it too but it comes at a price and that price is a greatly reduced capability to do things like airmobile ops, MOUT, patrolling, etc. There's only so much time in the training calendar.

I just don't buy the argument that asking tankers to switch from the Coyote to the LAV will be the death of the Armour Corps. They have the same bloody turrets so from an IT point of view its a piece of cake. As for TTPs, so you need to learn a different routine on the Advance to Contact or during the Assault. Big freaking deal! Those different TTPs are still in armoured vehicles. It's not like we're asking you to suddenly learn how to fight dismounted.

Anyway, I highly doubt you two will ever change your minds but just remember that there is a substantial and growing body of people who don't see things your way.

MG
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: George Wallace on April 11, 2007, 09:19:57
Here's my take on the logic: there is one Corps in the Army that trains on, and fights in, armoured vehicles from Battle School to release.

I can understand this, but unfortunately with the loss of the Tank and this new "Wheeled Version of the Army" Armour has lost its' way.  Skills sets are being lost.

Why do we now have another Corps, who are supposed to be the experts at the dismounted fight, now spending 2/3 of their precious training time learning how to fight armoured vehicles? You guys complain about a dissolution of skills that would occur if you were forced to crew the LAVs and I can't help but chuckle a little. What exactly do you think happens when you ask an infanteer to suddenly forget what he knows about dismounted skills and become an ersatz blackhatter!? Tankers crew armoured vehicles and their damned good at it. We can be good at it too but it comes at a price and that price is a greatly reduced capability to do things like airmobile ops, MOUT, patrolling, etc. There's only so much time in the training calendar.

Who commanded all those Universal Carriers, 3/4 ton trucks, M113's, Grizzlies, Coyotes, and now the LAVs before and currently in the Infantry Bns?  Why has this suddenly changed?  I have seen reasons why Armour should or could command and crew those vehicles.  I have seen the bun fights as too who is going to actually command the vehicle. 

Why are we at this state?  I would point at the fact that the Armour has nearly, if not totally, lost its role of 'close support' and is trying to validate its' existence.  Being bus drivers does not solve the problem of providing close, intimate support to the Infantry.  It is a loose/loose situation for the Cbt Team.  LAVs are not Tanks.  They are Light Armoured Vehicles.  Currently we are in a situation where they are capable of "filling the bill", but will they be that capable if fighting intensified and escalates? 

Are you now suggesting that Armour now develop yet another 'sub-trade' to go along with Tanker and Recce, and create the Armour Personnel Carrier Regiment, like we had in WW II (the Kangaroos)? 

I just don't buy the argument that asking tankers to switch from the Coyote to the LAV will be the death of the Armour Corps. They have the same bloody turrets so from an IT point of view its a piece of cake. As for TTPs, so you need to learn a different routine on the Advance to Contact or during the Assault. Big freaking deal! Those different TTPs are still in armoured vehicles. It's not like we're asking you to suddenly learn how to fight dismounted.

I disagree greatly with you here.  I don't like the picture of giving up a heavily armoured vehicle for one that is lightly armoured, to give the support that the Infantry need.  There is a reason for them to be 'heavy'.  I don't want to get into the Coyote, not being a Recce vehicle, but a Surveillance vehicle.  Who really cares if the turrets are the same on the Coyote and the LAV?  The tactics are different and methods that vehicles are employed are different in Armour and Infantry.  The only thing I get from this argument, is that Armour guys are smarter and more capable to adapt to changing situations.  I can agree with that.   ;D

In all seriousness, for Armour to take over the role of 'Bus Driver' for the Infantry, does nothing to either Branch.  It detracts from the Infantry.  It degrades the capabilities of Armour.  The Infantry should man the LAVs and be complimented by a proper Armour vehicle, a tank, to provide them the heavy, close, intimate support that they need.  We are beginning to see that happen now in Afghanistan.  Both LAV and Leo complimenting each other.

The Lessons Learned about the value of the 25 in the past, were bad lessons, that arose out of desperation and the initiative of the Troops on the ground.  It worked well enough to keep them alive.  Does that make it an ideal solution?  No.  There are better ways.  Unfortunately, we as Canadian Soldiers have always taken and used our initiative to make up for our shortcomings and make things work.  There are better ways of doing things, such as planning ahead for those contingencies.  We need the proper equipment to do the job.

For those who are claiming that Tanks are relics of the Cold War, and that we don't need them since the Wall came down; open your eyes.  The world is not a safer place.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: RecceDG on April 11, 2007, 10:32:43
Quote
most likely the "infantry" personnel you are hearing that from are from the E&K Scots

Who?

Those guys just share the same armouries as we do. I never talk to them. The "Infantry guys" I am hearing this stuff from are PPCLI and RCR, guys with tour experience.

My history and social net are much deeper than can be gleaned from a quick read of my profile.

Quote
Who commanded all those Universal Carriers, 3/4 ton trucks, M113's, Grizzlies, Coyotes, and now the LAVs before and currently in the Infantry Bns?

Are you seriously going to compare a universal carrier to a LAV-III?

Over time, the thing we call an "APC" has gotten increasingly complex, to the point now where the LAV turret is for all intents and purposes a tank turret. It has an FCS of similar complexity to a tank. You've got thermal sights, you've got laser range finders, you've got a stab, and if we had the Aussie version, we'd have dynamic lead too. OK, so the gun is smaller and there's no loader - that's a tank turret nonetheless.

Even Grizzly didn't have a tenth of the complexity that's in a LAV turret. It's night and day. The skillset of fighting out of a LAV turret has way more in common with Leo than Grizzly.

Quote
I would point at the fact that the Armour has nearly, if not totally, lost its role of 'close support' and is trying to validate its' existence.  Being bus drivers does not solve the problem of providing close, intimate support to the Infantry.

Nobody is talking about giving up tanks. For that matter, nobody is talking about giving up Recce either.

Instead - given that the LAV would accompany the infantry if not ON the objective, at least NEAR the objective, you are INCREASING the amount of close support tasks given the Corps. A LAV putting coax and 25mm fire down is most certainly providing 'close support'.

Quote
Are you now suggesting that Armour now develop yet another 'sub-trade' to go along with Tanker and Recce, and create the Armour Personnel Carrier Regiment, like we had in WW II (the Kangaroos)?

Yes, that is exactly it. The Aussies do it (I think they never stopped), the Brits are now seriously considering it, and the argument for us following suit is so strong as to be overpowering.

The amount of skill overlap between the Tank/Recce/Dragoon roles is still huge - you need to know how to move tactically, operate a turret, live on a radio net, occupy a hide, do maintainence, yadda yadda yadda. The differences are in the employment of those skills - tanks, to destroy the enemy by fire and manouevre. Recce to find the enemy and gain information about the ground. Dragoons to get the infantry to the objective and then provide integral close support during the fight. There's more in common between these roles than there is difference.

DG
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: George Wallace on April 11, 2007, 11:06:57
Are you seriously going to compare a universal carrier to a LAV-III?
A rather asinine comment.  I am saying that Infantry have been 'mechanized' and capable of using complicate machinery and weaponry for quite some time and have over the years increased their abilities.  Just like it would be silly to compare a Sherman to a Leopard.  Are you implying that Infanteers are stupid and incapable of doing what previous members of the Infantry Branch have done? 

Over time, the thing we call an "APC" has gotten increasingly complex, to the point now where the LAV turret is for all intents and purposes a tank turret. It has an FCS of similar complexity to a tank. You've got thermal sights, you've got laser range finders, you've got a stab, and if we had the Aussie version, we'd have dynamic lead too. OK, so the gun is smaller and there's no loader - that's a tank turret nonetheless.

NO.  It is only a turret.  A turret that is mounted on an APC. 

Even Grizzly didn't have a tenth of the complexity that's in a LAV turret. It's night and day. The skillset of fighting out of a LAV turret has way more in common with Leo than Grizzly.

Back to the Sherman and the Leopard.   ::)  The skillset of fighting a LAV has more in common with fighting a M113 with a .50 Cal than it does a Tank.  Sorry, but you are way out in the back 40 on that one.

Nobody is talking about giving up tanks. For that matter, nobody is talking about giving up Recce either.

Instead - given that the LAV would accompany the infantry if not ON the objective, at least NEAR the objective, you are INCREASING the amount of close support tasks given the Corps. A LAV putting coax and 25mm fire down is most certainly providing 'close support'.

To employ a LAV like this is suicide.  It should be employed as the M113 was when we practiced Mech Infantry tactics.  If it is going to approach or roll onto the OBJ, then it had better have the close intimate support of Tanks.  To use it in your example, as the only armoured vehicle is sheer stupidity.

Yes, that is exactly it. The Aussies do it (I think they never stopped), the Brits are now seriously considering it, and the argument for us following suit is so strong as to be overpowering.

If I am correct, they are not taking Armour soldiers only to do this.  The Brits, as you site, have been doing this for years with their Saxon 'armoured bus'.  They were 'owned and operated' by the Royal Army Service Corps.........or what we would call MSE OPs.

The amount of skill overlap between the Tank/Recce/Dragoon roles is still huge - you need to know how to move tactically, operate a turret, live on a radio net, occupy a hide, do maintenance, yadda yadda yadda. The differences are in the employment of those skills - tanks, to destroy the enemy by fire and manouevre. Recce to find the enemy and gain information about the ground. Dragoons to get the infantry to the objective and then provide integral close support during the fight. There's more in common between these roles than there is difference.

You give too much credit to Armour soldiers.  I have known few who have felt comfortable doing 'all trades', but I have know many who felt competent in one; either Tanks or Recce, but seldom both.

Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Technoviking on April 11, 2007, 11:34:42
Jumping in here, and hopefully can keep it civil (PS: I love this discussion)

As an infantry officer, I am of the opinion that the LAV 3 APC remain crewed and operated by infantrymen.  The armour corps does indeed pride themselves on the use of AFVs, but let's face facts: although the LAV 3 and the Coyote have identical turrets, their method of use is substantially different.  Having said that, so is the use between a Coyote and a Leopard C2.

Can armour crewmen learn to fight the LAV as an APC?  Damn right they can!  After all, it's not like there's a genetic pool of Canadians out there who are born to be tankers, others as infantrymen.  If it's a learnable skill, then it can be mastered.

The armour corps currently is having difficulty manning their squadrons and troops.  Now, suppose that "they" take over the turrets (and driver hatches) of the LAV APC fleet?  Assume 18 companies of LAVs out there, each with 15 LAVs and each with a crew requirement of 3 per LAV.  That's 810 crewmen that would be "transferred" to manning LAVs.  Ouch.


Having said that, however, that's 810 "instant" infantrymen, and I totally agree that THAT is a persuasive number!

Let's look back a few years.  In the late 1990's, the fourth rifle coys were struck from the OOB for our battalions, in order to cut back PYs, etc.  Still, on deployment, our doctrine called for four companies, so we then started robbing peter to pay paul (yes, it happened before that, I know.)  Then, later, to save even more PYs, our mortar platoons, pioneer platoons and anti-armour platoons dissappeared.  THAT decision is biting us in the arse as I type this.  I don't know if there is any going back (any time soon), but a decision has to be made.

IF you want mechanised infantry, it's an expensive bill, and you better be ready to pay it.  That is both money and personnel.
Want to save PYs and avoid the current trend of robbing battalions to flesh out those deploying?  My personal recommendation would be to strip the 3rd battalions from the OOB (for now, or at least reduced to nil strength).  That leaves six battalions.  Given the transfer of men and material, it "might" be a savings in all the robbing going on out there, but even with a six month deployment, a unit would head out the door every three years.  Too soon for deployments?  I don't know: as 2 VP.  They've had companies in what, 3 straight deployments now?  Don't they make up a TF in the near future?  Yikes!

Anyway, just my opinion on the matter, and it's worth exactly what you paid for it: nothing

;D
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Chris Pook on April 11, 2007, 12:10:54
Now the "mindset" argument is gravitating from the light/mech/armd infantry discussion to the infantry/armoured discussiion.

Are you talking about the roles of the weapons systems or the roles of the units?

Because if you are talking about the roles of the units then one answer might be to permanently insert a "Close Support Platoon" of 11 Leo 2s into every LAV Infantry Battalion, to accompany the 11  Coyotes of the Recce Platoon (one of the original organizations considered when the Coyote was introduced)  while at the same time inserting a "Dragoon" Squadron or two into every Armoured Regiment.

If you are talking about the roles of the systems then organize around the platforms the way that Helicopters and Aircraft are organized.

The question that still keeps cropping up seems to be essentially this: If you are going to "train as you fight" and you have to organize for the fight, can you afford to organize and train specific configurations on a permanent basis for every fight?  Short answer is "No".   Everything needs to be kept flexible.  If the Armoured Corps doesn't want to be "bus drivers" for the Infantry, or limit its manoeuvering capability to the walking pace of dismounted troops then perhaps the Infantry needs to organize its own Armoured School to teach its troops how to operate Coyotes, LAVs and Leos.

The Armoured Corps can then take on the task of operating an Infantry school to train its Dragoons in the mounted role and they can concentrate on high speed manoeuver and leave the close assault to the Infantry along with operations in complex terrain.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Journeyman on April 11, 2007, 12:21:39
.... inserting a "Dragoon" Squadron or two into every Armoured Regiment.
Sounds like Assault Troop being resurrected. ;)
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Chris Pook on April 11, 2007, 12:39:22
Sounds like Assault Troop being resurrected. ;)

Aye, right enough JM.

PS - this from the Brit Malcycee on the MBT thread:
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With Tankers retraining to crew Warrior and transport the Infantry, it seems like the MOD are thinking ahead to FRES...
http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,24311.msg555004.html#msg555004

PPS by the way - I don't see any reason why not to organize along "mindset" lines as opposed to "platform" lines. Likewise I don't see reasons why not to do the opposite.  Both require trade-offs. Both require the maintenance of "max-flex" to cover the seams that the enemy will inevitably exploit.  In fact it is likely to be the enemy's exploitation of those seams and the resulting Ad Hoc patch that will drive organizations, TTPs and doctrines and become the new orthodoxy.  Germany's static tanks - the pill boxes of WW1 - drove the battalion structure that we hold as sacrosanct today.  Germany's "blitzkrieg" drove the Cold War Divisional/Corps/Army structure.

PPPS - and then I take my leave - "Mother" had machine guns.  "Matilda" had a 2-pounder.  The PT-76 had something like a 73mm.  All tanks even though some were light tanks and couldn't drive in on the enemy as close as an Abrams or a Leo2 or a Challenger.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: 3rd Herd on April 11, 2007, 14:42:09
Couple of points:

With the AVGP's turret weapons (.50 cal and GPMG) came with the required ground mounts, they were not just "turreted weapons". From memory the HMG course required that you be able to fight both from the turret and the ground. This was accomplished by marrying up AVGP drivers courses with HMG courses. The ground mounts were a pain as I take it with the LAV there is equipment space premium. Add into the mix of the Carl G also being carried in the AVGP to be used either in the dismounted role or being fired from the vechicle through the top back hatches. At one point there was some discussion of mortars doing the same but again from memory the gas tank location was one of the main obstacles hence the use of M113s or the 3/4 ton.

In the delima of who gets what or who's job is what, here is what the Russian solution is as of the 1 September 2006:

"In the late 1980s, the Soviets began forming combined arms battalions, which had organic tanks, BMPs, and artillery. The combined arms battalion allowed units to train for mutual support continuously, instead of only during scheduled exercises. However, the combined arms battalion required seasoned commanders who could deal with the training, supply, and maintenance demands of this complex unit. Soviet junior officers were usually younger and less-experienced than their Western counterparts when they commanded at various levels--although they tended to command longer during a career. The combined arms battalion experiment failed due to its complexity, internal turmoil in the army, and leadership challenges." Onto the adventure in Afghanistan where "The terrain worsened the problem of the tactical gap and, in the areas where the tanks could go, tanks and BMPs were often separated and unable to support each other. In the mountains of Afghanistan, the tanks were often left behind and the BMPs and BTRs had to accomplish an independent mission they were not designed for. The Russians decided that the tactical gap between tanks and mechanized infantry is almost inevitable."

However, "To ensure the survivability of tanks, they needed a new system that was built like a tank, but provided mutual close combat support. The new system should provide protection against enemy antitank weapons, infantry, strong points, helicopters, and fixed wing aviation. The new system needed to be an integral part of the armored unit, but it could not be a modern T-35 with five turrets and multiple weapons. The Russian answer was the BMPT tank support vehicle. It was not an infantry fighting vehicle (BMP) and the Russians were not discounting the value of mechanized infantry in the combined arms team. They were recognizing that the mechanized infantry may not be at the critical point at the critical time.  

"The BMPT will be part of the Russian armor forces. Initial tactical employment envisions putting one BMPT with two tanks in the field and two BMPTs with one tank in city fighting. "This is probably not the final answer. The BMPT engages secondary targets allowing the tanks to deal with enemy tanks and strong points. The mix will depend on the situation, but a standard platoon deployment of three tanks and one BMPT is most likely"."Russia believes that tracked tanks have a future and that the BMPT will ensure their survivability and future"

Other points:

1)"The Soviets never fielded enough light infantry to match the quality light infantry of the Mujahideen."

2)"The biggest danger to the RPG gunners was infantry accompanying tanks, so they tried to take out tanks that were out of immediate infantry support range. Further, RPG gunners usually were accompanied by supporting snipers and machine gunners and an assistant RPG gunner carrying an assault rifle. These could protect the RPG gunner from enemy infantry. When practical, the best way to protect ground vehicles from the RPG is to put infantry well forward of the vehicles to find and destroy the RPG gunners. Combat vehicles should stay out of urban areas or areas dominated by overwatching terrain and tall trees until the infantry has cleared and posted the area."

From SA:

"South African and Namibian forces fighting Angolan guerrillas in Namibia during the 1980s learned to give the RPG a wide berth. Their standard drill, when traveling in an armored personnel carrier and encountering Angolan guerrillas with an RPG, was to immediately begin driving around the guerrillas in an ever-widening circle. They would fire into the circle with automatic weapons. The moving vehicle was harder for the guerrilla RPG gunner to hit and the soldiers were able to exploit their mobility and firepower. Dismounting troops to advance on guerrillas while the stationary personnel carrier provides supporting fire is a good way to lose the carrier."

In the tank verses the APC role the "THE BATTLE OF CUITO CUANAVALE:Cuba's Mythical Victory provides us with "The SADF/Unita force started mopping up the last groups of men left when the tanks suddenly joined in, causing chaos and sending the lightly-armoured Ratels and Casspirs fleeing in all directions. Once the South Africans had found cover in the bush, however, they began to fire anti-tank (HEAT) shells at the tanks, which were at a disadvantage with their long gun barrels in the bush. The Ratels, realising they had the advantages of speed and manoeuvrability, began to circle round the tanks, enticing them into chasing the armoured cars in ever-smaller cricles until the Ratels were able to come in behind the tanks and fire. By the end of the engagement 5 tanks had been destroyed and over 250 Fapla soldiers killed, for the loss of 8 dead and 3 destroyed armoured cars on the SADF side. The South Africans, after their initial shock at encountering the tanks, had adapted their tactics and proved that their armoured cars could cope with tanks by a combination of fast movement and accurate shooting, tactics reminiscent of those used by the Boers against the British over 80 years earlier".

Source:

Grau, Lester W. "The RPG-7 On the Battlefields of Today and Tomorrow" Infantry, Foreign Military Studies Office, Fort Leavenworth, KS . May-August 1998

Grau, Lester W. "Preserving shock action: a new approach to armored maneuver warfare".Armor. 9/1/2006 

THE BATTLE OF CUITO CUANAVALE: Cuba's Mythical Victory http://www.rhodesia.nl/cuito.htm


Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: RecceDG on April 11, 2007, 17:10:27
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I am saying that Infantry have been 'mechanized' and capable of using complicate machinery and weaponry for quite some time and have over the years increased their abilities. 

And the INFANTRY are saying that the cost of learning to deal with all this extra complexity is a reduction in the skills that go along with boots on the ground.

There is only so much training time, and the time it takes to make a proficient crew commander and gunner - as you well know George - is nontrivial. Time spent learning those skills is time NOT spent learning other skills.

And the modern infanteer is not short on skills to master. The battlefields are getting more complex, not less. It is getting harder to train "leg" infantry, not easier.

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Just like it would be silly to compare a Sherman to a Leopard.

But it isn't - there's a huge set of skills that cross over between Sherman and Leopard. A Leo operating in a degraded FCS mode isn't all that different from a Sherman in terms of the basic set of skills. It's a conversion course at worst.

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NO.  It is only a turret.  A turret that is mounted on an APC.

Who CARES what it is mounted on? A turret is a turret is a turret. Gunnery is gunnery. The differences between LAV and Leo are differences in SCALE, not type.

(OK, so we cheaped out and our LAV/Coyote turrets don't have dynamic lead; small potatoes)

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The skillset of fighting a LAV has more in common with fighting a M113 with a .50 Cal than it does a Tank.

How do you figure? How is standing chest-high in a hatch gripping a flexible machine gun and firing over open sights ANYTHING like a lase-to-range main gun engagement through the thermal sights?

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To employ a LAV like this is suicide.  It should be employed as the M113 was when we practiced Mech Infantry tactics.  If it is going to approach or roll onto the OBJ, then it had better have the close intimate support of Tanks.  To use it in your example, as the only armoured vehicle is sheer stupidity.

Who said ANYTHING about the "only" armoured vehicle?

A LAV is NOT a tank. It is not a tank replacement. It is an infantry support weapon, but it is not the ONLY infantry support weapon; part of the toolbox but not the only tool.

But there is a lot more in common between crew commanding and fighting a LAV and crew commanding and fighting a tank, than there is between crew commanding and fighting a LAV and leading an infantry section in a dismounted firefight. The tank crew commander, the recce crew commander, and the "Dragoon" crew commander all have similar, not identical jobs. But there is little to no overlap in the skillset of a infatry section commander and an armoured vehicle crew commander (besides the pedantic like "fire personal weapon" and "battle procedure")

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If I am correct, they are not taking Armour soldiers only to do this.

And you would be wrong. I know for a fact that the 12th/16th Hunter River Lancers (an Armoured unit) have had the APC role for quite some time, and recently traded in their M113s for something new.

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The Brits, as you site, have been doing this for years with their Saxon 'armoured bus'.  They were 'owned and operated' by the Royal Army Service Corps.........or what we would call MSE OPs.

So what? Am I supposed to look down my nose at the MSE Ops?

*OUR* APCs have full-fledged turrets on them. Does it not make sense to man those turrets with the people who eat, drink, sleep, and breathe fighting mounted out of turrets?

And a little more role diversification wouldn't hurt the Corps either, so we can keep our heads above water the NEXT time somebody thinks you can go to war without tanks.

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You give too much credit to Armour soldiers.  I have known few who have felt comfortable doing 'all trades', but I have know many who felt competent in one; either Tanks or Recce, but seldom both.

The imagine what its like for an infanteer who has to be proficient in radically different skillsets. If we in the Corps have people who are a better fit in one subrole or another, where if you squint at them hard enough it's the same job (have you never heard someone say that the best recce vehicle we ever had was the Leopard? I've heard CO RCD say that a couple of times) how hard is it on somebody to become a master of such wildly divergent skills?

It's not enough that a given soldier be CAPABLE of doing a job; we're all capable or we wouldn't be doing this stuff. Technically, I've been "capable" of acting as an infantry section commander since BOTC. But there is a HUGE difference between being merely "capable" of doing a job, and MASTERING it. The people we put in harm's way should be masters of their craft. In order to make them masters of their craft, they have to practice, practice, practice. And when the practice is spread over too wide a skillset, then you don't get mastery.

DG
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Journeyman on April 11, 2007, 18:43:56
My personal recommendation would be to strip the 3rd battalions from the OOB (for now, or at least reduced to nil strength).

WTF?! You got so used to bandying about brigades and divisions on AOC that you glibly toss 1/3 of our combat strength?

If there's a god, let him strike you down now!!  








I'm waiting


Fine time for the atheists to be proven correct   >:(

OK, I hope Jorgie hobbles over to your office and *****-slaps you into the middle of next week. Heresy.  ;)

While I see this thread as the sort of discussion one has at the liars' table in the mess, you've got to be kidding about losing the 3rd Bns! Hell, we're hard pressed to run PCF courses and the like with what we have, and you want to reduce even that down time between taskings?  :-\
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Technoviking on April 11, 2007, 20:08:50
WTF?! You got so used to bandying about brigades and divisions on AOC that you glibly toss 1/3 of our combat strength?

If there's a god, let him strike you down now!!  








I'm waiting


Fine time for the atheists to be proven correct   >:(

OK, I hope Jorgie hobbles over to your office and *****-slaps you into the middle of next week. Heresy.  ;)

While I see this thread as the sort of discussion one has at the liars' table in the mess, you've got to be kidding about losing the 3rd Bns! Hell, we're hard pressed to run PCF courses and the like with what we have, and you want to reduce even that down time between taskings?  :-\
ZAP!!!!!!!!!!!!


Wow, that was close!

Was I being sarcastic?  Yes.  However, there is a problem with having to rob Peter to pay Paul (a la 2 VP).  But to me getting rid of the thirds would make as much sense as having the armour corps man all armoured vehicles.

I don't know what the solution is (other than what Infidel_6 has suggested: RETENTION focus!)  We have one hell of an Army, and letting them all slip out without so much as a handshake is a shame.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled lightning bolt fest ;D



Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Technoviking on April 12, 2007, 09:42:24
After a night's sleep (restless as it was), and now to not be sarcastic.

First: Is there a manpower shortage across the army?  Yes
Problem: Crewing APCs is taking 3 soldiers/section away from the dismounted fight.  Compounded with the training bill to get people qualified (19 days for Turret Operator, 10 days for LAV 3 Crew Commander, 19 or so for LAV 3 Driver plus Airbrakes, driver wheel, etc) and multiplied by 45 APCs in three companies across a battalion is 135 persons not able to dismount without losing that LAV.  45 gunners = 855 training days in total for them, 45 crew commanders = 1305 training days for them (not including their leadership training) and a similar amount for the drivers is one hell of a training bill.
Solution: SEP (Someone Else's Problem).  IMHO we cannot "wish away" that training/manning bill to the armour corps (or anyone else for that matter). 

IF you want to have mechanised infantry, you better be ready to pay the bill. 

So, to rehash it, assume 18 LAV companies of 15 vehicles each (across the army).  810 soldiers right there.  Assume 10 % replacements, that's another 81 soldiers, for a total of 891.  Also assume that they are all fit and DAG "Green".  Ouch.

I don't think it would be wise to wish away the "problem" of manning the vehicles to someone else. 

So, focus instead on retention, recruiting and training.  We need numbers, and we simply cannot have someone else drive us around AND do their primary jobs of tanks and recce.  Even if that decision were made to have someone else man the LAVs for the infantry, it would take a LONG time to get them up and running and trained up on the use of the LAV as an APC vice a "bigger Coyote with more GIBs".

Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: 3rd Herd on April 12, 2007, 14:19:49
If you can find it:
Haworth, W. Blair The Bradley and How It Got That Way: Technology, Institutions, and the Problem of Mechanized Infantry in the United States Army :Greenwood Press, 11/30/1999

Next,
one of the reasons I tossed the South African experiences into this mix was at a certain point in time the SADF was faced with severe manning problems. This to the extent that as new vehicles such as the Ratels were coming off the assembly line, male college students were climbing on board, test driving, test firing weapons systems, stocking vehicles then driving them off to the FEBA. More than once these students found themselves in combat on their vehicle delivery runs. Again in the siege of Leningrad, vehicles were driven direct from the factory to frontline combat by workers. Infantry fighting vehicles are property of the infantry and crew training will be dealt with most likely the same way it always has: you, you, you ,you and you are on the LAV/AVGP/ M113 drvs course(depending on era), after that course finishes you, you, you, you and you are now on the HMG/Turret Crse (again depending on era), finally you, you and you are now on the vehicle commander course. If memory serves me right we ran three back to back dvr/HMG courses when the AVGPs came on line. Followed a year later again, 'voila' the Bn was no longer light infantry but mech. It would be interesting hearing from some of the 'tread heads'  from the 2nd in the conversion they went through in getting the M113s.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: RecceDG on April 12, 2007, 14:20:29
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IMHO we cannot "wish away" that training/manning bill to the armour corps (or anyone else for that matter).

Ah, but the Armoured Corps assumes that training bill for every one of its soldiers no matter how they are ultimately employed. Every single trooper will, through the course of their career, get the driver training, turret/gunnery training, and ultimately crew commander training "for free" instead of as an addition on top of their usual trades training.

This actually makes it *cheaper* to crew those LAVs, because you aren't training those crew members in all the Infantry skills before you provide the LAV stuff. An "off the shelf" Crewman is already trained to crew that LAV, or worst-case, just needs a conversion course to teach the differences between the vehicle he was trained on and the current model APC - which is also cheaper than a full-blown, "start-from-scratch" course.

It also helps address the manpower shortage (assuming sufficient recruiting, which admittedly is one hell of an assumption) by providing some parallelism to training, by routing your future LAV crewmen through the Armoured School for DP1/DP2/DP3 where your section members will be at the Infantry School for DP1/DP2/DP3. Not only are you not "supertraining" your infantry by adding the vehicle skills on top of their core skills, you aren't forcing the Infantry School into running vehicle skills courses as a duplication of the Armoured School's courses.

C-S-A-105, Ad Hominum and Ad Verecundiam advances your argument not a single metre.

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The gunner or CC in our LAV turret lases, reads off the range in their readout, applies the appropriate aiming mark in the ballistic Cougar-style sight to the target, then fires.  It is, essentially, an estimated engagement with some technology helping the range estimation.

Exactly. So, in other words, a LAV main gun engagement is conducted almost identically to a Cougar main gun engagement, at least in terms of procedures. Meaning that the Cougar turret skills are directly transferable to LAV turret skills. And the Cougar itself was purchased as a "tank trainer" meaning that it was thought that Cougar turret skills were close enough to Leopard turret skills to make the training effort (and lower operating costs of Cougar vice Leopard) effective.

In other words, our own Corps thought that a Cougar turret (for that matter, the entire Cougar experience) was close enough to Leopard to treat them nearly identically for training purposes. So if Cougar approximates Leopard and LAV approximates Cougar, then LAV must approximate Leopard (in terms of skillset to operate them, not role <- this should be obvious, but I'd better state that explicitly lest someone accuse me of calling a LAV a tank) 

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that having the Reserve Armour Corps soldiers crew infantry LAVs will be the Corps' saviour.

At no time did I state anything of the sort. Given my druthers, I'd stand up a new Reg Force Armoured unit to fill this role, and then re-role 1/3 of the existing Reserve armoured units as "Dragoons" to augment the Reg Force core. We have way too big of a recruiting problem in the Reserve to be able to fill this type of job unaided.

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However, to relegate the collective knowledge held by what has been called "the combat arm of decision" to a ferry service for LAV passengers will push us through a door that will likely be one way.  It will also push the infantry back into what has been derisively called "thinking at a walking pace and C-7 range, no further, no faster" rather than thinking larger and faster, which I think will do them a disservice as well.

Again, you miss the point:

1) Nobody is suggesting that the Corps abandon the Tank and Recce roles. We are diversifying and filling an obvious niche. This is not a zero-sum game.

2) The Infantry do not lose their ability to "think mechanized" because, even though they aren't driving/gunning/crew commanding, they are still fighting mechanized. They're still there; the intent is not empty LAV driving around while the Infantry walk. Instead, by not forcing the Infantry to foot the training bill, you INCREASE the amount of exposure they get to mechanized warfighting, because you can cycle multiple Infantry units through the same "Dragoon" unit.

3) The snobbery I keep seeing about "bus drivers" and "ferry service" and comments in a similar vein does a disservice to everybody. The soldiers who crew LAVs, be they blackhatters or pongos, serve every bit as honourably as those in any other combat arm. A potential "Dragoon" who gets his section to the debussing point and then shoots them onto the objective is performing a function every bit as respectable as the tank crew who shoots on the same objective or the recce crew providing flank guard or the outer cordon. I see absolutely no loss of honour or glory or whatever else for the Corps to provide this function.

DG
DG

 
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: George Wallace on April 12, 2007, 14:39:51
3) The snobbery I keep seeing about "bus drivers" and "ferry service" and comments in a similar vein does a disservice to everybody. The soldiers who crew LAVs, be they blackhatters or pongos, serve every bit as honourably as those in any other combat arm. A potential "Dragoon" who gets his section to the debussing point and then shoots them onto the objective is performing a function every bit as respectable as the tank crew who shoots on the same objective or the recce crew providing flank guard or the outer cordon. I see absolutely no loss of honour or glory or whatever else for the Corps to provide this function.

You just don't get it.  Just like there are different mindsets between Mech Inf and Light Infantry; there are different mindsets between Tankers and Recce.  Don't even think of anyone who has been in Cougars as being of the same mindset as a Tanker.  They are not. 

We are talking about a Mech Infantry mindset now being adopted by Armour.  Why?  Mech Infantry guys already have that mindset.  Why do you insist on taking 810 Armour guys and teaching them Mech Infantry tactics/mindsets?

Oh!  By the way, you are completely out of the picture with your statement: "A potential "Dragoon" who gets his section to the debussing point and then shoots them onto the objective is performing a function every bit as respectable as the tank crew who shoots on the same objective ...."  The Tank doesn't just shoot on the same objective, it rolls through the Objective providing intimate support to the infantry.  Tanks do not sit back and shoot on the objective.  The Zulu vehicles from the Mech Infantry do that.  Something Mech Infantry have been doing for years, and continue to do today.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Technoviking on April 12, 2007, 15:30:24
Ah, but the Armoured Corps assumes that training bill for every one of its soldiers no matter how they are ultimately employed. Every single trooper will, through the course of their career, get the driver training, turret/gunnery training, and ultimately crew commander training "for free" instead of as an addition on top of their usual trades training.
This actually makes it *cheaper* to crew those LAVs, because you aren't training those crew members in all the Infantry skills before you provide the LAV stuff. An "off the shelf" Crewman is already trained to crew that LAV, or worst-case, just needs a conversion course to teach the differences between the vehicle he was trained on and the current model APC - which is also cheaper than a full-blown, "start-from-scratch" course.
It also helps address the manpower shortage (assuming sufficient recruiting, which admittedly is one hell of an assumption) by providing some parallelism to training, by routing your future LAV crewmen through the Armoured School for DP1/DP2/DP3 where your section members will be at the Infantry School for DP1/DP2/DP3. Not only are you not "supertraining" your infantry by adding the vehicle skills on top of their core skills, you aren't forcing the Infantry School into running vehicle skills courses as a duplication of the Armoured School's courses.
True enough that Armoured Corps soldiers will all train up on driver, gunnery and eventually crew commander.  Having said that, with the reincarnation of the tank, the Armoured Corps will (I predict) split into two "mindsets" once again: Recce and Tank.  Coyote crew commanding and Tank Crew Commanding are just not the same.  As one example, think of "withdrawal under contact".  The Recce guy will think of "under contact" as being "visual contact", whereas the tanker will think of "under contact" as "firing APFSDS-T rounds into the bad guys as we fall back."  Subtle difference?  No, not really.  LARGE difference.
While I agree that an "off the shelf" crewman can be employed as a gunner in the LAV 3 (turret operator qualified, of course), I disagree that an off the shelf crewman can be employed as either a gunner or crew commander in a LAV 3 (whilst supporting infantry, of course).  Coyote does not equal LAV 3 in terms of driving, and same goes for RECCE crew commanding and LAV 3 Crew Commanding, where you have close in engagements, are manoeuvering as part of a combat team, with your dismounted section on one side of the vehicle, indicating targets to you, and vice versa.
I disagree that it addresses manpower shortages, for as I stated, the armour corps does not have 810 Pte/Cpl/MCpl/Sgts available now, or anytime soon for that matter, to man these LAVs.  [sarcasm] Given that your "off the shelf" crewman are somehow not gainfully employed, I would argue that they rather be employed as GIBs (hey, they all have SQ and know how to do a section attack, so fire them in the back!) [/sarcasm]
Given the relatively recent influx of infantrymen and an infantry officer into the IG team, there is very much indeed paralell of training in gunnery (at least).  In fact, there is only ONE course for 25mm gunnery now: Turret Operator.  A tpr from 12e RBC can do the same course at the same time as a 1er R22eR soldier and a 5e RALC gunner.  The divergence is (correctly) at the crew commander level (DP3A ARCC for Armour, LAV APC Crew Commander for Infantry and Engineers and FOO (?) For Artillery).
Now, let us NOT forget that the infantry are much more than a collection of dudes with rifles, and that "infantry jobs" are much more than carrying said rifles.  Not every infantry soldier will get a MG course, or a PSWQ, or Recce Patrolman, or in the old days, Mortar, Pioneer, Anti Armour.  Each of these skills, along with driver, radio operator, etc, are all part of the skillset known to infantryman.  Just because the LAV 3 and the Coyote are similar (with identical turrets) and just because there is a manpower crunch right now, there is no reason to parcel off the vehicles to a corps that is quite busy in their own right.

Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Technoviking on April 12, 2007, 15:38:13
It also helps address the manpower shortage (assuming sufficient recruiting, which admittedly is one hell of an assumption) by providing some parallelism to training, by routing your future LAV crewmen through the Armoured School for DP1/DP2/DP3 where your section members will be at the Infantry School for DP1/DP2/DP3.
I forgot to address this part. 

Our infantrymen get their DP1 at the AATCs, DP 2 at the units, and only DP3+ at the Infantry School  (Officers are different, of course).
All in all, there is not a HUGE training bill to get people up to speed as a gunner.  In fact, of all courses you mention, although the turret operator has the IG Team as the C of E, it is NOT an "Armour School" course.  Crew Commander certainly is, but it certainly isn't the same course as the infantry crew commander course.  (DP3A ARCC is HUGE compared to the 10 day Crew Commander - Inf).
There is certainly a recognisable stream for persons in the infantry: some go mech-heavy, while others go light-heavy (or intense, I should say?).  Mountain Ops Instructor: Infantry Course?  Basic Para: Infantry Course?  Basic Comms: Infantry course?  (C of E for that: Armour School, not the C and E school!)  Pathfinder: Infantry Course?  Heck, with exception of the basic para, Turret Operator is shorter, AND turret operator can be done at the unit.


In the end, it's logistics that wins any arguments.  In this case, the Armour is NOT going to now, or ever, give up 810 qualified drivers, gunners and crew commanders just to drive the infantry, engineers and artillery around.

Speaking of artillery, given that the FOO and the FAC ride the turret to use its tools to help their trade, how do we address THAT issue?
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Chris Pook on April 12, 2007, 16:33:06

Speaking of artillery, given that the FOO and the FAC ride the turret to use its tools to help their trade, how do we address THAT issue?


Easy enough - permanently assign a battery of gunners with SPHs to each LAV Battalion along with the Leos of the Direct Fire Support platoon I alluded to above and give all of them Green hats and Infantry cap badges. They will conduct the walking pace - C7 range battle.

Likewise the Armoured Corps should get SPHs and gunners in Blackhats to complement their LAV mounted Dragoons to conduct their broad, sweeping, high-speed manoeuvres for which their mindset best suits them.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: ArmyRick on April 12, 2007, 17:07:55
Having talked to a cbt engineer friend of mine who just got back from the a-stan, he told me his LAV crew were all RCD. A gunner, commander and driver, all 011. Guess some of this thought is happening.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: George Wallace on April 12, 2007, 19:54:51
Having talked to a cbt engineer friend of mine who just got back from the a-stan, he told me his LAV crew were all RCD. A gunner, commander and driver, all 011. Guess some of this thought is happening.

This was the solution that they came up with when we rushed more Engineers off to Afghanistan for mine and IED Clearance and gave them LAVs for protection.  As they had no LAVs, nor LAV qualified pers in their Regiment, they crewed the vehicles in Afghanistan with Armour soldiers.   Things done in the typical Canadian Army way....."use your initiative - get it done".

I am sure that with time, and the eventuality of Engineers getting LAVs in the Regiments in Canada, then they too will be getting LAV D&M and Gnry Crses.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Technoviking on April 12, 2007, 19:58:41
Having talked to a cbt engineer friend of mine who just got back from the a-stan, he told me his LAV crew were all RCD. A gunner, commander and driver, all 011. Guess some of this thought is happening.
As George said, the Engineers weren't LAV qualified.  This was due to several circumstances, not the least of which was that they were close to "last in line" to get them.  So, time was short, no time to train up crews, so...find some crews elsewhere.  One time solution.
4 ESR is chock-full of LAV qualified troops and officers.  
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Bubbles on April 16, 2007, 00:52:09
http://www.army.forces.gc.ca/caj/documents/vol_08/iss_2/CAJ_vol8.2_04_e.pdf

A very interesting article summing up the work of the Light Forces Working Group thus far (the article was written about 2 1/2 years ago, but is still very relevant).

An excerpt:
"When comparing light and medium forces envisaged for the Canadian Army the LFWG
determined that there is a difference between light and LAV infantry. The FEC of the
Army of Today dated 31 Mar 04 indicates that light forces will not be expected to rerole
to medium for an operation as has sometimes been the case in the past. Similarly,
it was determined that the re-rolling of LAV based infantry to light would be equally
inappropriate as this type of Infantry without their LAVs does not equal light infantry as
some would have you think. LAV infantry without their APCs become at best
dismounted infantry or motorized infantry if they are provided wheeled transport.
Light Infantry remains a different capability due to their mindset, greater specialization,
different skill sets and light equipment. Notwithstanding, the Army, at least in the short
term, has adopted a philosophy that a LAV infantry company minus their APCs will
equal a light infantry company for force employment in order to make the managed
readiness program work."

...and the official concept for light forces:

"Light Forces will be developed that are scalable
from company to battalion size task forces
tailored to conduct full spectrum of operations in
complex terrain and environments. They will be
resourced, equipped and trained to conduct and win in Blocks 1,2 and 3 when
executing the full range of conventional missions/tasks and to support to SOF in
their operations. They will be employable alone or in conjunction with medium
forces forming light coy and bn sized Task Forces (TF) to conduct operations.
These light TF will be based on light infantry and will have all five operating
functions resident within commiserate to the operating environment / threat
anticipated. (approved by ACDB 3 Mar 05)"

(Although the preceeding probably belongs in All Arms Light Forces, the thread hasn't been touched in about 2 years and I figured it was safest to place here.)
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: MCG on April 16, 2007, 01:49:45
I am sure that with time, and the eventuality of Engineers getting LAVs in the Regiments in Canada, then they too will be getting LAV D&M and Gnry Crses.
The Engr on the previous tour crewed their own LAV.  However, we had to cut-back guys' summer leave to do it. 

I don't know what the current roto is doing.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Mortar guy on April 26, 2007, 09:56:07
Wow, great debate! I go away on the Combat Team Commander's Course and miss all this good stuff!

George, I have to say that your method of debating here is getting a little old. Instead of slamming RecceDG and others for 'not knowing anything' or 'talking out of their lane', why don't you just explain your position based on your knowledge of LAV tactics, infantry training, and modern (i.e. post LAV III introduction) combined mechanized operations? That would certainly be more productive and less hypocritical. I think I see why you will never agree with RecceDG or I. It's because you are convinced that the LAV is just an M113 with wheels.

All good arguments from everyone but I can tell you that my latest experience in the field these past 3 weeks has confirmed my belief that LAV trg comes at a cost for the infantry. The sub-unit I trained with that was decent (but far from great) at LAV tactics was utterly horrible at dismounted skills and likewise, the sub-unit that was very good at dismounted skills had a long way to go before they could be considered competent with the LAV. It was interesting because that exercise was the embodiment of this argument and it was plain for all to see that you could not be skilled at both LAV and dismounted tactics given the very real limitations of training time and resources. The soldiers and NCOs in each coy even stated as much when I asked them.

Now, I think much of this debate is taking two distinct paths:

1) The LAV is just an APC like the M113 or the Grizzly. The infantry manned those so why can't they crew the LAV III?

and

2) It would be too hard in terms of PY's to transfer the LAVs to the Armd. Also, it would be a great loss of prestige for the Infantry and we would be reduced to plodding dolts while everyone else gets to have some real mechanized fun.

Well, for point 1, I don't know how to respond to that one other than to say go crew a LAV for a day! I was brought up in M113s and Grizzlies and the complexity of the vehicle is incredible. Comparing the Grizzly to the LAV is like comparing a Cessna 172 to a Boeing 777. We never did any crew drills in the Grizzly or the M113; we had no thermal, stab, TACNAV, etc. Anyway, all this has been said before and I suppose it won't change some people's opinion about how complex the LAV is. I will say this though - why is it that we are one of the few western armies that doesn't crew their IFVs with a different MOC or sub-MOC than the GIBs? Do we know something everyone else doesn't? No, we don't. In fact, the LAV was introduced with very little official thought (although a lot of unofficial debate) about who would crew the thing. We took Grizzly bns, changed absolutely nothing with regards to TO&E and made no adjustments to career progression or employment of the infanteers.

For point 2, this reeks of cap-badgism. Actually, most of this debate has centered on what's best for one Corps over another. I would take the driver-gunner-crew commander PYs right out of the inf bns to form these LAV Sqns. So the infantry is 800 pers smaller, at least the bns left would be able to focus their training on infantry skills rather than slowly decompose into the Second Best Armoured Corps in Canada as is now happening. I would rather have smaller Bns with more focussed trg, supported by very competent crews than be stuck with the status quo. I would form 6 LAV Sqns, each with 3 Troops of 16 LAVs. The personnel would be the PYs currently assigned to LAV crews anyway (i.e. Troop Leader - LAV Capt, Sect Comd - LAV Sgt etc.). The only new positions would be 6 Majs to Comd the Sqns, and don't tell me we couldn't find 6 Majs if someone was to seriously comb out NDHQ! I am not wedded to the idea that the LAV crews must be Armd but they must train solely on the LAV. Call them 031B if you like, I don't care. However, creating a new sub-MOC seems far less efficient than giving this task to the Corps that already specializes in crewed vehicle training and tactics.

LAV Sqns could be affiliated with inf bns although this need not be permanent. In my view, this would mean that every inf bn would be light if need be, but could be mech with a LAV Sqn attached. Combined arms trg would happen all the time (just like it does now).

Anyway, that's enough. We're just going to keep arguing in circles, no doubt. It's funny that the more experience I get with LAVs and combined arms operations, the more I think we are headed down the wrong path with the status quo. Oh well, the infantry crewed the M113 in the 70s, why can't we crew the LAV in the 21st century!? Long live mindless inertia!

MG
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Technoviking on April 26, 2007, 10:04:34
MG:
Though mindless inertia is a thing to behold ;D, I'm with you that it certainly is NOT a thing of beauty.

One argument you make for a "sub MOC" is worth looking at.  Having said that, I must sue you for perjury of my ideas (I know you have a mind-reading satellite network scanning my brain for ideas!).  I'll PM you an early draft paper I was writing for Prelims for AOC (and then abandoned when that requirement was deleted/amended)

One point about the skills of the infantrymen manning the LAVs you saw: I doubt that it's systemic due to the complexities of the LAV, but rather to the system of how often we train.  Fighting combined arms is a complex affair, irrespective of the tools invovled.  I'll agree 100% that the LAV 3 certainly ain't no "Fancy Schmancy M113".  As you said, apples and oranges (or was it Cessnas and 767s?)  Anyway, have a look at the paper, hope you have fun on the CTCC Course (the extra "course" is intentional: Ask Cayle, he loves crap like that!)


Talk to you soon!


Captain Sensible
(formerly "Hauptmann Scharlachrot") ;D
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: ArmyRick on April 26, 2007, 16:06:49
Mortar Guy, I think your arguments are good. LAV IIIs are more complex than the grizzly or lunch box with tracks.

25mm Chain gun, with 7.62mm Coaxial MG, stabilized is alot different than the old APCs IMO.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: GAP on April 26, 2007, 16:55:53
Great arguments and responses, but.................how realistic is it that anything will change?
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: ArmyRick on April 26, 2007, 20:30:18
How about this idea.

Stand 8 CH back up as a regiment (with squadrons at each brigade). Go with the formation that Mortar Guy recomended and have 8 CH responsible for crewing LAVs.

Maybe it is time to start creating new MOCs
For example
Tank Crewman
LAV Crewman (Trained either LAVIII or Coyote) or Create a third MOC Recce Crewman (Coyote only).

It seems other armies have divided up their armour corps into seperate trades, why can't we do it?

The personal will be added in over say a 3 to 6 year starting up period.

Thoughts?
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Journeyman on April 27, 2007, 00:31:08

I offer only a very diffused (not yet thought through) thought, in that I see similarities between your proposal and how army aviation evolved in the US Army. Essentially, the LAV and helicopter provide mobility, firepower, sensors, logistic capability....et al. I see the potential for similar career paths developing for those crewing the weapon platform - - but sadly, at this stage I also see the same issues of bureaucratic/staff college templates/corps inertia squandering good opportunities and ideas.


Oh, and Alex, I see your cynicism landing you in a DEU-wearing staff position for your sins   >:D
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Mortar guy on April 27, 2007, 00:34:31
Bob,

Been there, done that. I was too cynical for those jobs and was asked to leave because I kept yelling "bullshyte!!" in meetings.

 8)

MG
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Thucydides on April 27, 2007, 03:20:42
Since my experience in Combat teams dates back to the Grizzley/Cougar era I will not get directly into this, but rather ask a question regarding training time with advanced kit.

To my knowledge, the US Army National guard operates M1/M2 combat teams and has a full suite of modern artillery weapons as well and trains once a month. Nordic nations use very up to date equipment like the CV-90, Striv 122 (Leopard 2A6 varient) and Finnish 8X8 AFV's very similar to our LAVs; most conscripts only see their vehicles during the two week training camp they attend once a year. The IDF operates a vast and varied fleet of AFV's with mostly reserve soldiers, and while I can't remember off hand how often they parade, I do know that prolonged call ups are detrimental to the Israeli economy, so they probably don't do it more often than our US or Nordic counterparts.

Given that, I can't see why we seem to be arguing about the amount of training our Regular Force soldiers get (given they have far more training time than reservists), or even why there is such resistence to giving Reserves the kit since other nation's Reserve forces can use similar kit with limited amounts of time devoted to training. I would suggest that we may really need to look at streamlining how we train our soldiers instead.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Technoviking on April 27, 2007, 10:16:21
How about this idea.

Stand 8 CH back up as a regiment (with squadrons at each brigade). Go with the formation that Mortar Guy recomended and have 8 CH responsible for crewing LAVs.

Maybe it is time to start creating new MOCs
For example
Tank Crewman
LAV Crewman (Trained either LAVIII or Coyote) or Create a third MOC Recce Crewman (Coyote only).

It seems other armies have divided up their armour corps into seperate trades, why can't we do it?

The personal will be added in over say a 3 to 6 year starting up period.

Thoughts?
Thoughts: the system, as it is, isn't broken, but rather perhaps has a flu.  (Does that make sense?)
Anyway, forget for a moment that LAV 3s and Coyotes aren't employed the same way.  Just for a moment.  Okay, that moment is gone, because although the turrets are virtually identical (differences are so minor they aren't worth mentioning here), the SYSTEM that is the LAV 3 APC is employed in a manner wildly different from the Coyote.  Yes, both have eight wheels, a GM Delco turret, but the game ends there.  One is a surveillance vehicle crewed by specialists in mounted surveillance.  The other is a Mechanised Infantry Combat Vehicle (MICV) (perhaps debatable, but I'll use this term for now).  The MICV is designed, or rather employed, to fight as part of a four vehicle platoon, which in turn is part of a 15 vehicle company, or even larger combat team.  The Surveillance vehicle is employed to fight as part of a two-vehicle patrol, which in turn is part of an eight vehicle troop.  The MICV is employed to support dismounted troops around it.  The surveillance vehicle is employed to fight in self defence only.  So, although it's been pointed out the comparing M113/AVGP to LAV 3 is like comparing CDs to Mustangs (or something like that), comparing the LAV 3 to the Coyote is a similar fallacy.

So, how to "fix" or "heal" the system?  Some tools would help, such as a stand-alone crew trainer.  More importantly would be a mind-set that would establish a career path that sees a soldier either mechanised or light throughout his or his career (with some exceptions, naturally).  Nothing worse than taking a guy or girl who's been "light" all their career and then tossing them into the back of a LAV 3.  Train, train train is all I can say.  This applies not only to "mech" skills, but ALL skills.  Heck, we've heard criticism of the mech skills out west, but I imagine that musketry skills are also sadly lacking, as well as the proper employment of MGs, patrolling, etc so forth and so on.

So, instead of radically changing the system, I would offer that a moderate sedative first be applied, and then the gradual injection of medication.  (These are metaphors for first focus on training that needs to be delivered and then introduce badly needed tools such as stand-alone crew trainers).

Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: tank recce on April 27, 2007, 12:05:28
Here’s a wild concept. Rather than re-role us to R031B, why not cross-train us in the use of the LAV, in order to ALSO use us as “Dragoons” (to borrow a designation coined above)?

(The following caveats apply – I’m not too up on how a Reg LAV infantry Bn organizes itself, or how often it deploys for FTXs. I’m outside my lane, please take the concept and gently correct the errors made in good faith)

Presented for your consideration – a Battalion of Regular Mech Infantry, deployed on exercise for 4 weeks. Call it 1RCR, with A, B and C Coys. Along comes A and B Sqn GGHG, coming out to play on one of the weekends. A Sqn provides 15 LAV crews for A Coy, B Sqn borrows C Coy’s LAVs and deploys 2x 8-car troops doing recce stuff (there may be one or two GWagons in the mix, depending on VOR, etc).

A Coy does Mech Inf, with their crews getting a few days refresher training in running around with rifles.
B Coy does Mech Inf with their own crews.
C Coy does light stuff for the weekend – OBUA, rappelling, etc.

There are 4 "was-heavy" Res Armd  units in Ontario; each could take a different weekend. (The QYR being such traditional recce types, they wouldn’t have any truck with actual armoured vehs –  ;D) On the following month, 1RCR is back in the shacks and 3RCR deploys to the field. Out we come again for our monthly FTX - A Sqn does recce, B Sqn does Dragoon. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Advantages Reg Inf – refresher training time for the LAV crews on foot infantry stuff
Advantages Res Armd – REAL training on REAL equipment. Full stab with LRF?? Holy ****!! I’ll gladly drive a bunch of pedestrians about for the chance to work with that stuff!

Concerns – Who pays for the courses? Who pays for the weekends? (Salaries and rats are obvious. How about fuel, ammo, parts & maint?) Can we routinely deploy that many people? (Real, working AFVs? I think we’d do ok!)
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Technoviking on April 27, 2007, 12:16:21
First up: not a reservist task to "taxi about" the mech infantry units.  If it were reservists, well, they could be armour, infantry, whatever, for they will not have the time to train up on the vehicles for the basic courses (driver, turret operator, crew commander) and then to train up on the collective training to master their skills.
This is NOT a slag against reservists: the regular force isn't doing this that well right now, hence this thread. 

Having said that, they are Infantry Vehicles.  Full stop.  Crewing them and fighting them IS an infantry skill, just as is bayonet fighting, musketry, patrolling, conducting section attacks, machine gunning, and so on and so forth.

What needs to be done is NOT organisational change, but rather the training mindset.  It CAN be done, I've seen it done and it works.  It just takes time and does not do so at the expense of "other" infantry skill sets.

(as an aside, imagine arguing taking away recce platoon from the infantry, after all, let's see THEM conduct a company attack)

(Poor example, but since our support platoons have all been destroyed, the old argument would have been to not have mortar platoons as it detracted from "infantry" skills)

Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: aesop081 on April 27, 2007, 12:19:30
Pardon my intrusion but....

Did we not waste, when we had Grizlies, a perfect oportunity to sort out all these issues in preparation for something like the LAV 3 ?
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Technoviking on April 27, 2007, 12:27:56
Pardon my intrusion but....

Did we not waste, when we had Grizlies, a perfect oportunity to sort out all these issues in preparation for something like the LAV 3 ?
Yes we did.
Go here for more info:
http://www.regimentalrogue.com/papers/21st.htm
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: tank recce on April 27, 2007, 12:33:51
First up: not a reservist task to "taxi about" the mech infantry units.  If it were reservists, well, they could be armour, infantry, whatever, for they will not have the time to train up on the vehicles for the basic courses (driver, turret operator, crew commander) and then to train up on the collective training to master their skills.
This is NOT a slag against reservists: the regular force isn't doing this that well right now, hence this thread. 

Having said that, they are Infantry Vehicles.  Full stop.  Crewing them and fighting them IS an infantry skill, just as is bayonet fighting, musketry, patrolling, conducting section attacks, machine gunning, and so on and so forth.

What needs to be done is NOT organisational change, but rather the training mindset.  It CAN be done, I've seen it done and it works.  It just takes time and does not do so at the expense of "other" infantry skill sets.

Is it the mindset, or the time & ca$h available for the training?

Could other reservists function as LAV crews? Hell, yeah! While maintaining their core skill sets? Hell, no! If 2RCR can't maintain LAV and bayonet skills in the same soldier, what chance do the 48th have?? I agree with Hauptma Captain Sensible and CSA-105, that the Reg Armd should not be doing this. They have tanks and Coyotes to keep them busy, and not enough time on either.

We, the G-Wagon-driving red-headed step-children, are the only ones who could do such a thing with the Inf as a means of developing and maintaining our own core skill sets.

I'm not saying it should be a "task", so much as a modus vivendi. We get the desperately needed skills, and the opportunity to use and maintain them. 1RCR gets the opportunity to maintain bayonet skills in its LAV crews.

This is something the reg Inf could probably take or leave. I'd be hard-pressed to come up with a better deal for the SWAT black hats.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Technoviking on April 27, 2007, 12:51:24
"Could other reservists function as LAV crews? Hell, yeah! While maintaining their core skill sets? Hell, no! If 2RCR can't maintain LAV and bayonet skills in the same soldier, what chance do the 48th have??"

Actually, 2 RCR had kick-*** LAV skills AND bayonet skills at one time.  I don't know about now, but I imagine that they still do.

You "red-headed step children" (that's a good one: can I use it sometime? :D) do indeed need a niche, and the LUVW with MG atop is a sad attempt, IMHO.  You deserve better.  But that is probably for someone else to posit ideas.  I would argue, however, that for anyone to be "good" at mech, then no matter who crews the LAVs, they better be fully posted to the mech unit, for although the crews need to train "all the time" with the veh's, so too do the dismounts, for once you get out the back, it's not exactly the same as what the light fighters do.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Chris Pook on April 27, 2007, 13:06:45
So now you are heading towards 4 Corps?

Armoured handling tanks and lt armd surveillance.
Mech Infantry handling the Dragoon role
Light Infantry handling "traditional" dismounted infantry skills
Commandos handling raids?

Doesn't that just increase cost and complexity and increase the number of exploitable seams that need to be papered over? If you create 4 Corps with 4 separate missions each Corps seems likely to write its own doctrine that favours its own perception of who best it can be utilized.  That seldom seems conducive to jointness. Based on the current discussion ( and the previous ones about lt vs SF or Inf vs Armd or Army vs Navy vs Air Force) it seems  more likely to just create more divisions as people debate how best to crack a nut - hammer, chisel, screwdriver or nutcracker supplied by the lowest bidder.

I thought the tendency was to integrate capabilities at increasingly lower command levels not to give Staff more bureaucracies to play with.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: tank recce on April 27, 2007, 13:34:52
Actually, 2 RCR had kick-*** LAV skills AND bayonet skills at one time.  I don't know about now, but I imagine that they still do.
I don't doubt the Bns as whole units maintain a good selection of skills; my concern (purely from reading anecdotes on this very thread; my last experience with Reg Inf was my ISCC back in '88) is that of the individual, and even the small group. There was a memorable anecdote here recently by... CSA-105? (brain gone blank) describing the sight of two different platoons. One did very well mounted, but poorly once the ramp dropped. The other was a gong show until they dismounted, at which point they showed just how sharp their foot skills actually were. I may have mis-remembered, and await correction by the individual who posted the war story!  ;)

I'd be less concerned about getting "good" at mech, so much as developing a basic level of competence in mech ops so that we wouldn't actually be a detriment to the hosting org, while at the same time developing my armd skills (and my crew's) to the best I can within our time constraints.

Red-headed step-children - If we wouldn't be mistaken for MPs, I'd consider a red flash behind the capbadge...  ;D
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Technoviking on April 27, 2007, 13:56:10
So now you are heading towards 4 Corps?
Armoured handling tanks and lt armd surveillance.
Mech Infantry handling the Dragoon role
Light Infantry handling "traditional" dismounted infantry skills
Commandos handling raids?
I wouldn't go that far.  In fact, I would argue for less change, more "status quo", but really walking the walk in terms of what we do now (or are supposed to do)
Armd = tanks and armd recce surveillance
Infantry = mech and light infantry (battalion dependant: the focus of this thread)
"Commandoes" = ?

Anyway, about mech inf, the veh is more than a ride, it is just another weapon (albeit a big one) in the toolbox.  It means a different style of fighting, and ergo thinking.  But just wishing away the crews to the armoured corps is not the way to go.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: TCBF on April 27, 2007, 23:19:41
I appear to have started a tempest in a teapot.

 :D

 "...rather than slowly decompose into the Second Best Armoured Corps in Canada as is now happening..."

- I still think the solution lies in simplifying our administration rather than simplifying our professions.  The Brits will re-role Chally 2 regiments into Recce and back every few years, I don't see why our Infantry cannot transition from PCF to PCF.  Turrets are like bicycles: once you learn to ride them, you don't forget (but you WILL skill fade!).

- Those who disagree with my way of thinking will want to reform the First Canadian APC Regiment, or independant squadrons thereof.
But: can an army this small afford over-specialization? 

Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: ArmyRick on April 28, 2007, 00:14:43
Good point. I went 6 years without touching a 81mm mortar, then I got a good refresher and within 2 weeks, I was back on track with my skills learned previously.

I have only done a brief intro to LAV III turret so I don't know if a damn good refresher would work. More opinions?
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Technoviking on April 28, 2007, 11:01:00
(not Surveillance, Capt Sensible, that is just an element of recce)
Noted and known.  I didn't put my sarcasm smiley on for that.  I'm just lamenting that although we have a great surveillance vehicle, we don't really have a good recce vehicle...as it were....

back to the thread :D
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: Infanteer on April 29, 2007, 13:36:14
Anyway, forget for a moment that LAV 3s and Coyotes aren't employed the same way.  Just for a moment.  Okay, that moment is gone, because although the turrets are virtually identical (differences are so minor they aren't worth mentioning here), the SYSTEM that is the LAV 3 APC is employed in a manner wildly different from the Coyote.  Yes, both have eight wheels, a GM Delco turret, but the game ends there.  One is a surveillance vehicle crewed by specialists in mounted surveillance.  The other is a Mechanised Infantry Combat Vehicle (MICV) (perhaps debatable, but I'll use this term for now).  The MICV is designed, or rather employed, to fight as part of a four vehicle platoon, which in turn is part of a 15 vehicle company, or even larger combat team.  The Surveillance vehicle is employed to fight as part of a two-vehicle patrol, which in turn is part of an eight vehicle troop.  The MICV is employed to support dismounted troops around it.  The surveillance vehicle is employed to fight in self defence only.  So, although it's been pointed out the comparing M113/AVGP to LAV 3 is like comparing CDs to Mustangs (or something like that), comparing the LAV 3 to the Coyote is a similar fallacy.

I don't think anyone is disputing this fact.  However, is it unreasonable to expect that a well-trained soldier could understand and transition accordingly, especially when given the proper workup time to deal with skill fade (the bike analogy mentioned by Kat and Rick seems apt).  The infantry accomadates for the difference with its recconaissance and offensive/defensive roles (ie: there is a difference between recce platoon and a rifle platoon) but 031 soldiers are capable of transitioning between the two.

Infanteer
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: MCG on April 29, 2007, 13:49:06
.. there is a difference between recce platoon and a rifle platoon but 031 soldiers are capable of transitioning between the two.
Same with AAP.  Same with Mortar Pl.  So, it should be possible with LAVs.  Maybe each company should group them into a LAV Platoon while in garrison.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: KevinB on April 29, 2007, 16:27:12
Infanteer -- I will argue that people in TOW, and Mortars did suffer significant skill fade in the bayonet skills.

  I do think that if the Armoured are not to crew the LAV fleet that the 031 trade needs to add a 032 subset as LAV crewman.  You cannot do both jobs to a standard that the CF prides itself on maintaining.


Secondly WRT Iraq -- the US Mil (and NG) has cooks and bottlewashers driving Hummer convoys playing IED hunter -- you can jam a square into a round hole IF you use enough force -- but its not a good idea.


Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: tomahawk6 on April 29, 2007, 17:33:57
Mechanized/motorized units and light infantry units are two seperate beasts. I dont feel that they can be mixed. This is one reason that the US Army has seperate formations for heavy forces, medium forces and light. In a small Army with 9 infantry battalions I think it would be possible to dedicate 3 battalions to mechanized warfare and mount them in Bradley/Warrior IFV. Three battalions could be in LAV's and 3 battalions in the light infantry role with only trucks for transport. Ideally the light infantry battalions would be ferried around the battlefield in helicopters. It works great for us. But the CF has one key factor that dictates the nature of its forces and that is money. If I was a Canadian planner I would probably forget the pure LI role in favor of 6 LAV battalions and 3 Warrior/Bradley battalions. I would have LI battalions in the Pres because they would be unlikely to deploy outside of Canada and would be used in emergencies inside Canada and as filler for the regular battalions. A LI soldier is well grounded in his role as a rifleman and can exit a LAV or IFV as well as an infantryman who does it all the time. For the most part whether you are transported to the battle in a LAV or an IFV in most cases you exit the vehicle to fight and the vehicle supports you in that role.
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: TCBF on April 30, 2007, 02:13:55
Once "The White Paper Turned Brown" and we saw the writing on the wall and began packing our 'Redball' and 'Greenballs' to leave Germany, the big debate was on re-forming the Army after losing the forward deployed Brigade (4CMBG).  Logistic logic suggested a - wait for it - light, medium and heavy brigade army.  Trouble was: everyone (but us) was screwing their collective heads further and further into their butts looking for a way to cash in on our already spent "Peace Dividend."  Hence, even Corporals doing the most rudimentary threat matrix in their heads on a 10 km run realized that a heavy (Leo/M113) brigade would be a target rich environment for those wanting to cut the army and dispose of our Cold War doctrinal baggage at the same time.

Thus, the second best solution (logistically, even though our top-rung RCEME types told Gen Gervais - the CDS - that is was 'supportable') was politically the best solution, as spreading the tanks among the brigades ensured equal access for professional all-arms development among them and made it harder to disband our tracked capability in one fell swoop. Especially since three balanced brigades would cost the same, whearas a heavy one with all of the ADATS, Leopards, etc. would stand out fiscally like a turd in a punch bowl.

Although those political conditions do not exist AT THE MOMENT, things can change quickly at that level.

Also:  tour rotation requires re-rolling non-standard units.  Remember the Cdn AB Regt almost going to Morocco?  When that was canned, they were promised the next mission.  What came up next?  Somalia - a wheeled AFV/heavy SUV/light track task if ever there was one.   Credit where credit is due:  they did a far better job there than this country will ever give them credit for, but the point is that well balanced general purpose forces across the board are our best bet for roto main force units, other wise you get a real training crunch transitioning to your new "TO & E"

Do we need light and SF?  Desperately so, but not as part of a brigade where they will stay constantly under equiped and mal-trained for the conventionaly mounted tours they will deploy on.  Strap them on to conventional Battle Groups by all means, don't build a BG around them.



Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: HatMan on January 16, 2012, 01:15:22
I was wondering if anyone had opportunity to see what british Rm are doing with their structure.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commando_21

ommando 21 organised each RM Commando unit into six sub-units, styled companies. Each company was subdivided into troops; note that a “troop” is the RM nomenclature for a platoon rather than for an individual soldier. The new structure was presented as giving the RM more firepower, more mobility, more information, more flexibility and more fighting power. According to open-sources each Stand Off Combat Company was to have a field strength of five officers and 78 other ranks, and each Close Combat Company was to have five officers and 98 other ranks. Under the Commando 21 re-organisation the overall strength of each of the three units was originally stated to be 692 all ranks.[2]
The companies are:
Command Company
Main HQ
Tactical HQ
Reconnaissance Troop (includes a sniper section)
Mortar Troop (9 Barrels of 81 mm) (Includes 4 MFC pairs)
Anti-Tank (AT) Troop (Milan—to be replaced by Javelin ATGW)
Medium Machine Gun Troop
One Logistic Company
A Echelon 1 (A Ech1)
A Echelon 2 (A Ech2)
FRT
RAP
B Echelon (B Ech)
Two Close Combat Companies
Company Headquarters (Coy HQ)
Three Close Combat Troops (Troop HQ, 3 Rifle Sections, Manoeuvre Support Section)
Two Stand Off Companies
Company Headquarters (Coy HQ)
Heavy Machine Gun (HMG) Troop (0.5" heavy machine guns)
AT Troop
Close Combat Troop
[edit]Command Company
The Command Company is responsible for command, control, communications, computation, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (C4ISR). It also was organised to include a machine gun troop, the unit’s mortar and anti-tank troops, together with the reconnaissance troop.
[edit]Logistics Support Company
The Logistic Support Company manages administrative and logistic activity.
[edit]Close Combat Companies
Each of the two Close Combat Company is similar to the previous RM rifle company, having 3 platoon sized troops, but each troop, in addition to three rifle sections, has a manoeuvre support section of five men equipped with General Purpose Machine Gun, Long Range Rifle and 51 mm Mortar.
[edit]Stand-Off Combat Companies
Each of the two Stand Off Combat Company has a Close Combat Troop identical to those in the Close Combat Companies. It also was organised to have an Anti-Tank Troop with 6 MILAN anti-tank weapons and a Heavy Machine Gun troop with 6 0.5in Heavy Machine Guns.

Let me know of what you thinks and if it possible for CF to try replicate or modify to your own needs. Thanks
Title: Re: Mech infantry or all light infantry with some Armd APC units?
Post by: ArmyRick on January 16, 2012, 18:10:31
Your several years out of date on this one. There is a post dealing with RM CDO 21 and ideas/concepts. Give me some time and I will see if I can find it and put a link here.