Author Topic: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?  (Read 167361 times)

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Offline Haligonian

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Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
« Reply #375 on: December 14, 2016, 21:39:55 »
The two combat teams could support each other in an attack on an enemy platoon sized outpost - one in the firebase and the other assaulting. You'd have to sort out breaching assets ahead of time, and it might be awkward if you realize that you need the third platoon to deal with the enemy position.

Isn't this a case of what you mentionned earlier on equivalent cbt power ratios between arms?  Outside of concerns on having sufficient breaching assets either of the cbt tms you've described would have the cbt power to destroy a platoon outpost with IDF in support.

It does, though, look like the CO is washing his hands of the fight and leaving it to the two OCs to figure out.

This is one of my original points on the disadvantages of the square team.

I've almost never seen a four tank troop, as some are always broken down!

I imagine this is similar to the debate about the optimal size of the section.  No matter what sized is selected, it probably won't fight that organization due to casualties.

Doesn't this then beg the question that attrition should be built in?  Perhaps trps should be 5 x tanks understanding they are likely to be more like 4 or 3 tanks.  If you go with 3 x tanks in a trp then you are likely to spend your time regrouping due to maint and attrition.  On the section side, as we've discussed before, I think the magic number might be 11.  2 x fire tms of 5 and an independent comd.  The 5 man fire teams allow them to absorb a casualty or LOB and still maintain the magic number of four and they wouldn't have to consider reorganising before the fire team is attrited down to two personnel.


I would have no issues sending an infantry platoon to destroy an enemy platoon; studies on suppression and neutralization indicate that historically, assaults are more successful when the ratio of support:assault favours the elements delivering fire support.  2 up, 1 back actually isn't very effective, and is probably more a symptom of peacetime training than wartime experience.

I presume you mean sending an infantry platoon to destroy an enemy platoon while other elements, like two other platoons, provide support?

We have seen discussion on how the Canadian and US Army use combat teams, can anyone chime in on how the Marines do this? I'd also be curious to see some discussion on the British (both army and Royal Marines) and the Germans do things to get some comparative analysis.

I thought I brought this up in my original post.  RC Palmer has most of it right but I must emphasise that the Marines do make Cbt Tms.  Coy Tms in their parlance.  On Expeditionary Warfare School we spent plenty of time doing this.  They do it the same way the US Army does by cross attaching tank and infantry sub units and sub sub units to creat Tms Mech/Tank and TF Mech/Tank.

The Marines only have 2 Bns of tanks (and another reserve Bn) each owned by one of the Divs.

As per the briefing I received on CTCC from a British former mech inf OC who commanded a Cbt Tm in the second invasion of Iraq they are a bit more flexible in their approach than the Americans but generally do it the same way by cross attaching.  They do occasionally form square cbt tms but he emphasised that this was a very infrequent event.

Offline Tango2Bravo

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Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
« Reply #376 on: December 15, 2016, 08:30:09 »
Regarding your comment on the USMC school, here on AOC during Tutorial 2 students spend plenty of time considering different grouping options within a battle group.  Remember that ATOC and CTCC are courses aimed at the sub-unit/combat team level. ATOC gives the largest combat team possible to stretch the student in terms of span of control.

If we are willing to break up an infantry company for offensive options then the grouping options certainly open up. I think our desire to have an entire company to assault an enemy platoon regardless of the number of friendly tanks blasting away is based on the concern about casualties. A single platoon will culminate quickly from a fairly small number of casualties. Based on modern experience, though, four casualties can also culminate a company and even a battalion until the casualties are evacuated. Perhaps we are a firepower based army where two-thirds are in the firebase and one-third mop up?



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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
« Reply #377 on: December 15, 2016, 12:44:01 »
Regarding your comment on the USMC school, here on AOC during Tutorial 2 students spend plenty of time considering different grouping options within a battle group.  Remember that ATOC and CTCC are courses aimed at the sub-unit/combat team level. ATOC gives the largest combat team possible to stretch the student in terms of span of control.

If we are willing to break up an infantry company for offensive options then the grouping options certainly open up. I think our desire to have an entire company to assault an enemy platoon regardless of the number of friendly tanks blasting away is based on the concern about casualties. A single platoon will culminate quickly from a fairly small number of casualties. Based on modern experience, though, four casualties can also culminate a company and even a battalion until the casualties are evacuated. Perhaps we are a firepower based army where two-thirds are in the firebase and one-third mop up?

How different from "parkie's" army.   

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"Culminate?" Does that mean cease to function? 

4 casualties is enough to stop a Company?   Is that what is considered as effective fire? 

What happened to "keep moving - leave him to the stretcher bearers"?
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Offline Haligonian

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Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
« Reply #378 on: December 15, 2016, 13:09:07 »
Regarding your comment on the USMC school, here on AOC during Tutorial 2 students spend plenty of time considering different grouping options within a battle group.  Remember that ATOC and CTCC are courses aimed at the sub-unit/combat team level. ATOC gives the largest combat team possible to stretch the student in terms of span of control.

If we are willing to break up an infantry company for offensive options then the grouping options certainly open up. I think our desire to have an entire company to assault an enemy platoon regardless of the number of friendly tanks blasting away is based on the concern about casualties. A single platoon will culminate quickly from a fairly small number of casualties. Based on modern experience, though, four casualties can also culminate a company and even a battalion until the casualties are evacuated. Perhaps we are a firepower based army where two-thirds are in the firebase and one-third mop up?

I think we certainly should be willing to break up the Coy.  This is what Infanteer was referring to.  The concern about casualties will be reduced if you have sufficient firepower on the objective.  Jim Storr talks a lot about this as does Killcullen.  It's about setting conditions for a successful attack with shock.  Shock is best achieved through HE.  Storr shows a number of studies where in cases where surprise and/or shock (surprise often leads to shock) is achieved the force ratios become drastically in favor of the attacker and generally the defenders will cease to participate.

I think a few casualties causing a coy to culminate is likely a reflection of Afghanistan TTPs where the fight literally stopped when casualties happened.  I would suggest that in these cases those units didn't actually culminate (the definition of culmination being that point at which a unit can no longer pursue offensive operations) but chose to cease operations in order to tend to their wounded.  We did Nine Liners over the Command net so in some cases it could be quite difficult to continue operations while a Nine Liner and MISTs were going out, further exacerbating the situation.

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
« Reply #379 on: December 15, 2016, 13:28:27 »
I think we certainly should be willing to break up the Coy.  This is what Infanteer was referring to.  The concern about casualties will be reduced if you have sufficient firepower on the objective.  Jim Storr talks a lot about this as does Killcullen.  It's about setting conditions for a successful attack with shock.  Shock is best achieved through HE.  Storr shows a number of studies where in cases where surprise and/or shock (surprise often leads to shock) is achieved the force ratios become drastically in favor of the attacker and generally the defenders will cease to participate.

I think a few casualties causing a coy to culminate is likely a reflection of Afghanistan TTPs where the fight literally stopped when casualties happened.  I would suggest that in these cases those units didn't actually culminate (the definition of culmination being that point at which a unit can no longer pursue offensive operations) but chose to cease operations in order to tend to their wounded.  We did Nine Liners over the Command net so in some cases it could be quite difficult to continue operations while a Nine Liner and MISTs were going out, further exacerbating the situation.

The goal has to be worth paying the price for, and speaks to the ability of our highest level political and military leaders doing their jobs, and not committing ground troops (i.e., those who will take the most casualties) to weak causes in the first place.

National survival? Hell yeah...

Fiddling around in Wherever-istan in pursuit of fuzzy goals that change with the wind?

Meh....
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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
« Reply #380 on: December 15, 2016, 13:53:58 »
......

Fiddling around in Wherever-istan in pursuit of fuzzy goals that change with the wind?

Meh....

In which case: Why bother?
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Offline RCPalmer

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Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
« Reply #381 on: December 15, 2016, 19:02:40 »
I thought I brought this up in my original post.  RC Palmer has most of it right but I must emphasise that the Marines do make Cbt Tms.  Coy Tms in their parlance.  On Expeditionary Warfare School we spent plenty of time doing this.  They do it the same way the US Army does by cross attaching tank and infantry sub units and sub sub units to creat Tms Mech/Tank and TF Mech/Tank.=

Absolutely.  I wasn't asserting that the USMC doesn't employ combat teams, just that they might be less prevalent due to the limited availability tank and engineer assets, and perhaps a greater degree of centralized control over and independent tasking of, those limited assets.

Regarding your comment on the USMC school, here on AOC during Tutorial 2 students spend plenty of time considering different grouping options within a battle group.  Remember that ATOC and CTCC are courses aimed at the sub-unit/combat team level. ATOC gives the largest combat team possible to stretch the student in terms of span of control.

If we are willing to break up an infantry company for offensive options then the grouping options certainly open up. I think our desire to have an entire company to assault an enemy platoon regardless of the number of friendly tanks blasting away is based on the concern about casualties. A single platoon will culminate quickly from a fairly small number of casualties. Based on modern experience, though, four casualties can also culminate a company and even a battalion until the casualties are evacuated. Perhaps we are a firepower based army where two-thirds are in the firebase and one-third mop up?

I that that AOC is probably the best course in an Army Officer's career path in terms of providing opportunities to exercise that flexibility of mind I mentioned.  My experience was that it was structured to allow for true estimate based decision making leading to unique, non-templated, groupings and tactical plans.  My point is that we should consider integrating this model into earlier career courses rather than introducing it to officers after a decade of service.  The other issue with AOC on this front is that the potential for experimentation and "safe" mistake making is limited by the fact that the course is focused on the planning, rather than the execution of missions, in a field training or simulation environment.  In the PRes version you only get to execute one mission in simulation in JCATS,  Ex Final Drive.  Perhaps the RegF serials do more of that kind of thing?

I guess I don't understand why we are so obsessed with seeing a "school standard" execution of highly repetitive and templated tasks in most of our leadership courses.  Anyone should be able to execute a decent attack (whether that be at Sect, Pl, or Cbt Tm level) having just watched or participated in a dozen others just like it.  Perhaps we would get a better product if we focused more on assessing the core leadership attributes and decision making skills (accepting "sloppier" execution) in situations that actually force those leaders to adapt to unique situations.  Food for thought. 

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
« Reply #382 on: December 15, 2016, 19:33:56 »
I guess I don't understand why we are so obsessed with seeing a "school standard" execution of highly repetitive and templated tasks in most of our leadership courses.  Anyone should be able to execute a decent attack (whether that be at Sect, Pl, or Cbt Tm level) having just watched or participated in a dozen others just like it.  Perhaps we would get a better product if we focused more on assessing the core leadership attributes and decision making skills (accepting "sloppier" execution) in situations that actually force those leaders to adapt to unique situations.  Food for thought.

Amen to that.

Once upon a time, in the UK, I ran a platoon attack range, live firing, with Week 20 recruits leading the platoon and filling in the section commander positions. The focus was on 'kill the enemy' versus giving an immaculate set of orders informed by an elaborate Combat Estimate. They, mostly, did a great job under average supervision e.g., 'I wouldn't shoot over that way or 2 section will be less than pleased with you'.

How did we manage to have them achieve this lofty goal? Personal example and repetition, of course. After you lead them through 5 or 10 dry and live platoon attacks, troops can figure it out, especially if you explain what's going on.

Funny... on my Phase III in Gagetown, I don't recall any of my DS ever leading any of the platoon attacks. They mostly glared and handed out various coloured chits while scribbling in books, throwing gas and arty sims at us, and generally being gigantic d&ck heads.

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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
« Reply #383 on: December 15, 2016, 19:38:31 »
RC:

Does that argue for two distinct lines of training?  One for Leaders and one for Soldiers?

It seems to me that Soldiers in Training can benefit from running drills - so that they become second nature. It may be difficult to build those skills if the guys in charge are running around saying "Oops! That wasn't what I meant."

Meanwhile the Leaders in Training can benefit from having skilled Soldiers under command doing exactly as they were ordered - with consequences to follow.

Having half-trained leaders learning/teaching with half-trained soldiers - does anybody get much useful learning done?

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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
« Reply #384 on: October 17, 2019, 17:00:31 »
Reviving the discussion with some new information. The US Army is working on  concept called "Multi Domain Task Force" (along with a multitude of other related ideas like strategic artillery) to deal with AA/AD environments and other complex problems.

While not exactly a Combat Team in the manner we think of it, the idea of integrating different elements into a formation, such as Cyber and artillery might make sense to deal with particular tactical issues. So called "Multi Domain Units" will have extended capabilities to identify and target priority enemy personnel and equipment. This will be especially useful in complex terrain and in AA/AD environments (when matched with weapons systems that can actually do something in this environment.

Army’s Multi-Domain Unit ‘A Game-Changer’ In Future War

The example in the article is a battalion sized unit, which might be thought of as a "battlegroup", how would we want to subdivide it in order to actually use it in the field? Other issues like support were glossed over in the article, how would that be handled?
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Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
« Reply #385 on: October 17, 2019, 17:45:04 »
Reviving the discussion with some new information. The US Army is working on  concept called "Multi Domain Task Force" (along with a multitude of other related ideas like strategic artillery) to deal with AA/AD environments and other complex problems.

While not exactly a Combat Team in the manner we think of it, the idea of integrating different elements into a formation, such as Cyber and artillery might make sense to deal with particular tactical issues. So called "Multi Domain Units" will have extended capabilities to identify and target priority enemy personnel and equipment. This will be especially useful in complex terrain and in AA/AD environments (when matched with weapons systems that can actually do something in this environment.

Army’s Multi-Domain Unit ‘A Game-Changer’ In Future War

The example in the article is a battalion sized unit, which might be thought of as a "battlegroup", how would we want to subdivide it in order to actually use it in the field? Other issues like support were glossed over in the article, how would that be handled?

I think what you are looking at here is a new enabler unit which is tasked at the theatre level. The particular one you are looking at is located together with 1 Corps in Washington state. Such a unit collects and collates information from numerous sources and provides effective engagement through whatever fires units/formations are assigned within the theatre.

As to support. Higher level formations (whether Div, Corps or theatre) provide support through tailor made organizations called Sustainment Brigades. 1 Corps is supported by the 593rd Sustainment Command (formerly 593 Sust Bde) which currently has a Sustainment Bn, Medical Bde and Signals Bn and would be assigned additional sustainment or manouvre enhancement brigades as required from Active, Reserve or National Guard formations.

As to deployment: no idea. Too new. I expect either the whole battalion or companies thereof could be deployed in any given theatre depending on the theatres size and scale of operations.

For Multi-Domain Operations in general see Tradoc Pam 525-3-1

https://www.tradoc.army.mil/Portals/14/Documents/MDO/TP525-3-1_30Nov2018.pdf

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Offline MCG

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Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
« Reply #386 on: October 18, 2019, 11:41:24 »
While not exactly a Combat Team in the manner we think of it ...

...

The example in the article is a battalion sized unit, which might be thought of as a "battlegroup", ...
Combat Teams are sub-unit and, while battle groups are units, I am not sure using the labels of manoeuvre organizations is the best way to picture this US Corps level asset.  If we had a "brigade group of tomorrow" thread, that would be a better place to discuss this because we do need to think about how to integrate such capabilities down to the CMBG level. In a Canadian context, we also need to understand how we would give such capabilities (or the close support of such capabilities) to an independent battle group.  Should the Canadian manoeuvre commander own the supporting "Intelligence, Information, Cyber, Electronic Warfare, & Space (I2CEWS)" capability, or does it belong as an undeclared national asset to support the whole Canadian Land or Joint TF?  I've watched Canadian brigades struggle through Wainwright and various CAX with their cognitive capacity overburdened by the management of "enablers" as they try to knife fight a peer enemy.  If we want our manoeuvre organizations (from sub-unit up through all levels of formations) to be able to act fast and think fast, then we probably want to keep them lean and organized to focus on the fight in front of them.  It is selection and maintenance of the aim. Don't organize a entity so that it has to employ and manage things that are not focused on that its aim.