Author Topic: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?  (Read 161403 times)

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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
« Reply #50 on: November 16, 2004, 00:20:05 »
While attack helo's, A-10's and even Predator UAV's have proven to be effective fire platforms, they are still aircraft which are lift and weather limited. Even the mighty A-10 doesn't carry 51 105mm high velocity rounds like the Leopard C2 could, only 11 hardpoints for various missiles or bombs and 1100 rounds of 30mm (not a lot when the gun fires at 3900 RPM).

Not that I would actually turn down A-10, Cobra or even Predator support if offered, we just need to keep the limitations in mind when thinking this through. 
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline KevinB

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Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
« Reply #51 on: November 16, 2004, 00:40:05 »
Coudl we jump back to fiscal reality people.
Coulda, woulda, shoulda is fine.

But we need to do this on todays defence budget -

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

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

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

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

Learn to love your rucks boys.

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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
« Reply #52 on: November 16, 2004, 01:12:37 »
The most frustrating part of all these discussions is the assumption we have a lack of money. We (or the powers that be) have a lack of WILL. It was pointed out in another thread that the Indian Armed Forces have a similar budget, but a vastly larger and more capable force.

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

While an increase in defense spending to the "NATO standard" of 2% of GDP would be wonderful, lets really reprioratize what we are spending our 1.1% on.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline KevinB

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Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
« Reply #53 on: November 16, 2004, 01:33:38 »
a_majoor: true - we need the gov't and public to understand the Army is not in the welfare business.

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

And Do we want to be there?

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

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Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
« Reply #54 on: November 16, 2004, 03:02:33 »
The most frustrating part of all these discussions is the assumption we have a lack of money. We (or the powers that be) have a lack of WILL. It was pointed out in another thread that the Indian Armed Forces have a similar budget, but a vastly larger and more capable force.

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

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

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

And Do we want to be there?

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

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

More to ponder I guess...until then, continue dismounting from LAV and lamenting the Leo.... :-\
"Overall it appears that much of the apparent complexity of modern war stems in practice from the self-imposed complexity of modern HQs" LCol J.P. Storr

Offline pbi

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Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
« Reply #55 on: November 16, 2004, 07:16:40 »
Quote
but the lack of capability on the advance is obvious.

Really? Advance under what kind of conditions, and what kind of enemy? Do we seriously envision ourselves unilaterally fighting a mechanized enemy? More like that as part of a Coalition we will engage an enemy who has some residual armour capability, but not by ourselves. And since when are AA systems confined to the defence? I was always taught that they were an important part of the advance. Cheers.
The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools. ...

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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
« Reply #56 on: November 16, 2004, 08:27:29 »
The fighting in Falluja, and the Israeli experience in the West Bank would seem to validate the need for "shoot on the move" and high all around protection. Since we do not have this currently, and the systems coming on line do not have these capabilities either, we are back to the original point of the thread: "how do you gain lodgment without tanks?"
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline ArmyRick

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Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
« Reply #57 on: November 16, 2004, 17:33:40 »
I agree with sorting out our military and wether we like or not, the liberals do not want tanks (their the bosses). so having said that it is time to say good bye to our dearly departed friend, The Main Battle Tank (1917-2007) in CF service (RIP).
Having said that we should learn and develop a new doctrine that is more suitable to our kit. Push old school combat teams out of your mind, because if we don't have the kit, lets stay out out of the business.
If a heavy weight boxer drops down to middle weight, does he stay and try and slug out with the big boys? Hopefully not. Thats us in the CF..
We are looking at Javelin for ALAWS, maybe using a good anti-armor system will help compensate for lack of MBTs? Combined with TOW Aero and Bunker buster, maybe even advancing to fire and forget TOW?
MGS? I hope it does some good for us?
MMEV? I actually have some faith that this might prove to be a vaulable idea. The US was experimenting with LOSAT and kinetic energy missiles.
Bottom line, we must move on and get on with the business of developing new doctrine.

PS Is there a wake planned for the Late Leopard C2 MBT?
I am NOT a privileged white man by virtue of being male or white. I am privileged because I am alive and exercising my right to be who I am!

Offline Acorn

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Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
« Reply #58 on: November 16, 2004, 22:59:15 »
Our political masters may not like tanks, but it's up to our leadership to make the point. Evidently too many in our military leadership have caved on this.

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

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

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

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

The money is there, the intestinal fortitude is lacking.

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

Acorn
"Liberal societies cannot be defended by herbivores. We need carnivores to save us." - Michael Ignatieff, The Lesser Evil

Offline pbi

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Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
« Reply #59 on: November 17, 2004, 06:44:25 »
Quote
Our political masters may not like tanks, but it's up to our leadership to make the point. Evidently too many in our military leadership have caved on this.

Maybe I keep missing something (I am getting on, after all....) but where did we get the idea that politicians had anything to do with the MGS decision? The last politician I can recall who even had an opinion on tanks, was Trudeau (anti-tank) but he was smartly put in line by our allies and we bought the Leo to replace the Cent. Since then, the Govt has to the best of my knowledge ponied up to not only keep the Leo fleet but upgrade it incl the new turrets. Then, they agreed to let us deploy tanks on a "peace support mission" (or whatever it was...) to Kosovo. I have yet to hear any MND or PM (other than PET) say that we need to get rid of tanks. As far as I can tell this was totally self-inflicted, which is why it is all the more unlikely that it will ever be reversed. Start thinking how we're going to make it work. Cheers.
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The true measure of a man is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out...

Offline Infanteer

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Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
« Reply #60 on: November 17, 2004, 14:17:43 »
Maybe I keep missing something (I am getting on, after all....) but where did we get the idea that politicians had anything to do with the MGS decision? The last politician I can recall who even had an opinion on tanks, was Trudeau (anti-tank) but he was smartly put in line by our allies and we bought the Leo to replace the Cent. Since then, the Govt has to the best of my knowledge ponied up to not only keep the Leo fleet but upgrade it incl the new turrets. Then, they agreed to let us deploy tanks on a "peace support mission" (or whatever it was...) to Kosovo. I have yet to hear any MND or PM (other than PET) say that we need to get rid of tanks. As far as I can tell this was totally self-inflicted, which is why it is all the more unlikely that it will ever be reversed. Start thinking how we're going to make it work. Cheers.

Re: Self Inflicted

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

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

2) The Americans can afford to tinker around with medium forces because they still have the Heavier Assets.   We are clearly not in that league.
"Overall it appears that much of the apparent complexity of modern war stems in practice from the self-imposed complexity of modern HQs" LCol J.P. Storr

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Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
« Reply #61 on: November 17, 2004, 18:30:03 »
Infanteer,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This is longer than I intended.  :)
Jim

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
« Reply #62 on: November 17, 2004, 19:06:23 »
Isn't it true that all kit gets modified according to circumstances once battle commences?

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

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

Isn't this normal?
"Wyrd bið ful aræd"

jrhume

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Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
« Reply #63 on: November 18, 2004, 09:47:23 »
Kirkhill,

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

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

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

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

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

Jim   ::)

Offline ArmyRick

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Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
« Reply #64 on: November 19, 2004, 19:09:24 »
Jim,
Do you know anything about the future combat systems program for the US ? I checked out the united defense web site and they have a hybrid tracked and wheeled vehicles to put forth as their selection in the US FCS program.
They want to make a whole family of tracked and wheeled vehicles based on one chasis (iI think)..
Got any dirt on this one?
By the way Miss Parrish disgraced all canadians with her disrespect of you guys down south..Cheers from up north..
I am NOT a privileged white man by virtue of being male or white. I am privileged because I am alive and exercising my right to be who I am!

Offline ArmyRick

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Re: Combat Team of tomorrow?
« Reply #65 on: November 19, 2004, 19:10:49 »
Correction she disgraced herself because she doesn't represent the majority of Canadians..Cheers again..
I am NOT a privileged white man by virtue of being male or white. I am privileged because I am alive and exercising my right to be who I am!

Brock

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Mechanized Infantry Coy of Tomorrow
« Reply #66 on: March 16, 2005, 13:30:27 »
While I served with 2 RCR the mechanized infantry rifle companies were organized like this:   Each company had 3 LAV III equipped rifle platoons with 4 X LAV III each, a company headquarters with 4 LAV III, plus the company quartermaster's section and transport section with wheeled support vehicles.   We also had a VTECH AVGP-MRT (Mobile Repair Team) vehicle attached on exercise.

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

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

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

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

The Company Headquarters had 4 LAV III.   The OC (Maj), the 2IC (a Snr. Cpt), the LAV Cpt (a Jr. Cpt), and the CSM (MWO) each commanded a LAV.   The LAV Cpt rather than the 2IC would take over control of the vehicle component of the battle if the OC's went down--and the OC did in a couple of scenarios.   The 2IC was in charge of communications primarily, while the CSM was in charge of logistics and casualties for the company during battle.   Unlike the rifle platoon the company headquarters was not short of personnel.   The reaseon being is that it has no dismounts and that the company can not function effectively without the crucial command positions filled.   The LAV III Gnr/Drv positions were filled primarily by corporal/private types.   In a couple of cases the Coy Signallers and OC & 2IC signaller positions were double tasked to the OC's & 2IC's gunners.   Not normally a problem as the OC and 2IC never dismounted in our scenario....however my following posting will demonstrate the problems with company organized the way it was.

Brock

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Re: Who crews the LAV III? What are the dismount drills?
« Reply #67 on: March 16, 2005, 15:53:55 »
One of the problems that was always encountered with platoon organization was the lack of dedicated crewing of the LAVs in the company.   The LAV III is a crewed vehicle it is one component of a the mechanized rifle section, neither the dismount or the LAV by itself are fully effective without each being fully supported.   The LAV must be crewed by the same crew on a continuous basis for the crew to be effective.   The LAV gunner, driver, and crew commander can not just be swapped out at random.   Every time a LAV crew member is swapped out it takes considerable time and training together for the crew to get back up to snuff.   The drills and TTPs are a skill that must be constantly practiced to remain effective.   The armoured corps knows this and crews their vehicles this way for this reason.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Offline PPCLI Guy

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Re: Who crews the LAV III? What are the dismount drills?
« Reply #68 on: March 16, 2005, 16:18:03 »
Good posts Brock.  Thanks for the background info - as a light guy with M113 experience, I am a little in the dark about LAV.

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

Dave
"The higher the rank, the more necessary it is that boldness should be accompanied by a reflective mind....for with increase in rank it becomes always a matter less of self-sacrifice and more a matter of the preservation of others, and the good of the whole."

Karl von Clausewitz

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Re: Who crews the LAV III? What are the dismount drills?
« Reply #69 on: March 16, 2005, 16:49:11 »
Good stuff Brock.   I only have two issues:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Infanteer

"Overall it appears that much of the apparent complexity of modern war stems in practice from the self-imposed complexity of modern HQs" LCol J.P. Storr

Brock

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Re: Who crews the LAV III? What are the dismount drills?
« Reply #70 on: March 16, 2005, 18:21:43 »
Thanks for good comment infanteer.  Particularly, the one in regard to amalgamating the mechanized infantry and armoured trades.  I am keenly aware that it would be far more effective to have a single mechanized combat soldier trade than to have seperate infantry and armoured branches.  I would even go one step further to suggest their should be 2 combat soldier trades mechanized and light combat soldier.  Light and mechanized soldiers although similar in many respects have different uses and both are required.  While I believe, their is substantial difference between a light and mechanized infantry their is very little difference between heavy and medium mechanized infantry--it is more of an equipment issue.  Light soldiers are expected to be proficient in everything from air mobile, airborne, amphibious, mountain, jungle, and motorized (not the same has heavy and medium mechanized) warfare.  While it is financially easy to transform a mechanized soldier into a light soldier it is not as simple as that.  What one forgets is that both soldiers are equipment driven.  While the mechanized soldier "owns" their vehicles the light soldiers equipment is "black cadillacs" its most important equipment is helicopter which makes them equipment driven.  In addition, amphibious transport ships are required to truly enable the light combat soldier.  Furthermore, it takes time and training to get mechanized soldiers up to speed in light warfare skills.  If I had it my way, I would have a single mechanized combat soldier trade in place of infantry and armoured trades.  I might even go further, but I digress.

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

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

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

Anyway, I think we are thinking along the same lines, I just wanted to elaborate--a little--on my views.

Offline Tango2Bravo

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Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
« Reply #71 on: March 17, 2005, 21:28:04 »
Brock,

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

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

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

Cheers,

2B
Well-trained, older Panzer crews are the decisive factor for success...It is preferable to start off with fewer Panzers than to set out with young crews who lack combat experience.

 - Verbal report of Gen Balck 1943

Offline MCG

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Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
« Reply #72 on: March 17, 2005, 21:47:04 »
Brock,
Two thoughts on this,

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

On the issue of a direct fire support troop attached from the direct fire support company, why not make the DFS Tp integral to the mech company?

Offline PPCLI Guy

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Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
« Reply #73 on: March 17, 2005, 22:08:24 »
Two qoutes caught my eye:

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


and

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

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

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

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

Am I out to lunch here?

Dave


« Last Edit: March 18, 2005, 08:17:43 by PPCLI Guy »
"The higher the rank, the more necessary it is that boldness should be accompanied by a reflective mind....for with increase in rank it becomes always a matter less of self-sacrifice and more a matter of the preservation of others, and the good of the whole."

Karl von Clausewitz

Offline Tango2Bravo

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Re: Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?
« Reply #74 on: March 18, 2005, 07:55:39 »
PPCLI Guy,

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

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

Cheers,

2B

p.s. To me, the Cavalry role represents an inversion of sorts from our old method.  The tank/LAV battlegroup sensed in order to act.  The Cavalry will act in order to sense.  That act will also be limited in scope.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2005, 08:40:44 by 2Bravo »
Well-trained, older Panzer crews are the decisive factor for success...It is preferable to start off with fewer Panzers than to set out with young crews who lack combat experience.

 - Verbal report of Gen Balck 1943