Author Topic: Modular Manoeuvre Battalion  (Read 20021 times)

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Offline Thucydides

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Modular Manoeuvre Battalion
« on: June 30, 2005, 00:13:36 »
2Bravo and I are thrashing very related topics on the "Combat Team of Tomorrow" thread, and I have come to realize that:

a: 2Bravo's sunglasses are preventing him from seeing the brilliance of my plan; and

b: we were looking at complimentary capabilities.

Briefly, the starting point was the question "how can we conduct the assault without tanks?". The LAV series of vehicles supports a rather startling range of variations (you should see the strange things which drive down the streets of London from time to time from the GD plant), but the laws of physics place a total limit on what you can do, and no LAV can replace a gun tank.

I have raised several "technical" means to supplement tank fire, usually PGMs which can strike from outside the range of most conventional weapons, and organizational changes to support manoeuvre to and from contact, as well as making the emphasis during contact into breaking the enemy through deep and accurate supressing fire.

2Bravo has proposed a "Cavalry" organization which acts like the "Mounted Rifles" of old, capable of doing screening, patrolling and flanking tasks, as well as more limited combat capabilities. Read the Combat Team of Tomorrow thread and Armoured Cavalry threads to see the various arguments.

What I am thinking is since both these capabilities exist with existing LAV based platforms, what is really different is the roles and organizations. The Cavalry operates above the ISTAR threshold, using long range surveillance systems and long range weapons to identify the enemy and shape the battle by fire, rather than engage in close combat, while the Combat Team needs to operate below the ISTAR threshold, able to trounce enemies who emerge from complex and urban terrain where they are masked from surveillance and Intelligence assets. (This is oversimplifying so the idea is clear).

In the Modular Manoeuvre Battalion, we would group all arms assets so they can train and work together for maximum cohesion. Cavalry teams would be formed to do the screening, flanking and patrolling tasks, while Combat teams would be formed to operate where the terrain (physical or social or both) do not support the ISTAR concept. You could even imagine a Cavalry team and Combat team working together, with the Cav team letting the Combat team pass through and take the lead for defile drills, wood clearing or limited urban ops (such as forming cordons to isolate pockets of enemies).

For the simplest conceptual model, a Marine LAV Coy would approximate the layout of a Cavalry team (3X pl LAV infantry carriers, Weapons platoon with LAV-TOW and 81mm mortars on LAVs, + the Headquarters elements), while a Combat team would resemble the SBCT Infantry Coy (3 X pl LAV infantry, 1 pl MGS [ with a heavily redone MGS that can fire on the move and carries sufficient ammo], 1X mortar det + Headquarters elements) The Cavalry team would be loaded with surveillance assets, while the Combat team would be loaded for bear.

A robust CSS Coy would accompany the Modular Manoeuvre Battalion, and feature "Bison" type logistics vehicles and "Armoured HMMVW" analogues for escort duties. The Headquarters Coy for the entire conglomeration would serve as the ISTAR CC and information clearinghouse for the deployed teams, and possibly hold a few assets on its own (D&S Platoon, TUAV Pl, counterbattery radar section and Pioneer Pl are some candidates).

This will be rather larger than a present day Infantry battalion or Armoured regiment (but hey, we are going to be 5000 men bigger, right?  >:D), although not too big to be totally unwieldy. When deployed as a complete package, this Modular Manoeuvre Battalion would be quite flexible, and able to adapt to changing contingencies in theater.

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 MCG

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Re: Modular Manoeuvre Battalion
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2005, 14:58:42 »
For the simplest conceptual model, a Marine LAV Coy would approximate the layout of a Cavalry team (3X pl LAV infantry carriers, Weapons platoon with LAV-TOW and 81mm mortars on LAVs, + the Headquarters elements), while a Combat team would resemble the SBCT Infantry Coy (3 X pl LAV infantry, 1 pl MGS [ with a heavily redone MGS that can fire on the move and carries sufficient ammo], 1X mortar det + Headquarters elements) The Cavalry team would be loaded with surveillance assets, while the Combat team would be loaded for bear.
These seem very much the same to me except that the Cav Tm has TOW while the Cbt Tm has MGS.  What are the assets that you see making these different?

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Modular Manoeuvre Battalion
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2005, 22:07:07 »
The Cavalry team would be optimized with surveillance assets; I might have a Coyote surveillance tp in place of one of the Infantry platoons (although given the set-up/take down times of the mast, this might not be feasible). The other primary difference would not be apparent at first; Cavalry TTPs would be different from Combat team TTPs.

The other thing I didn't get into in the first post was the relationship between the engineer/pioneer troops and the Combat team; Combat teams would have priority for engineer assets to reduce fortifications and improvised bunkers (the expected state of affairs).

Like I said in the initial post, this idea is a bit more nebulous, but the primary idea is that we can have similar assets grouped together for training and administrative purposes, but working together constantly so teams can be "mixed and matched" for the local situation. A Modular Manoeuvre Battalion could have been configured in the Cavalry role during the initial phase of OIF, reconfiguring one team to Combat team formation while advancing through villages and BUAs, then reconfiguring to Combat Teams when forming cordons outside major urban areas.  The Cavalry assets which are withdrawn would be redeployed to assist the Combat teams with long range surveillance for general SA and long range PGM fire from the LAV-TOWs.

In a way, this would be a good model for the so called TSSU (Tactical Self Sufficient Unit), since it is internally self contained, and can deploy with minimum attachments.
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 Tango2Bravo

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Re: Modular Manoeuvre Battalion
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2005, 08:49:26 »
I guess the crux of my position (besides always wearing shades) is that the LAV based team without tanks is not really suited for heavy engagements.   To me, the LAV based force is a Cavalry team regardless what it is called.

A Coyote Sqn on its own is a Recce organization that can find things out.   A LAV Company on its own (even with TOW and MGS) has a very limited ability to assault and take on prepared positions but it can clear out small elements, destroy OPs, and hold ground, in addition to patrolling tasks etc.   Put a Coyote Sqn and a LAV Coy together and you can conduct Cavarly tasks, which to me involve providing security for other forces.   Coyotes find enemy recce, the LAV infantry take them out.   The Coyotes detect enemy irregulars in Toyotes and motorcycles coming for the flanks of a Coalition force, the LAV infantry take them out.   The Coyotes find the enemy counter-attack coming from a built-up area to the flank of our coalition drive, the LAV Infantry deploy to block them.   Big tasks (which involve the fusion of both Coyote and LAV):

     a. screening

     b.   guards

     c. zone reconnaissance to include the destruction of enemy security positions

     d.   rear area security

In a warfighting situation we would be operating with coalition allies who have the means to deploy what we used to call Combat Teams.   Let's not try to do everything.   If we are in a situation where we are fighting from bunker to bunker we are probably in a situation best left for a combat team with M1s or Challengers.

Whether the Cavalry unit has pure sub-units working together or composite sub-units can be worked out later.  

Cheers,

2B

p.s. Happy Canada Day!

« Last Edit: July 01, 2005, 08:59:28 by 2Bravo »
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Offline Michael Shannon

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Re: Modular Manoeuvre Battalion
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2005, 00:29:27 »
    Iraq has shown that the key to mounted maneuver is still protection not firepower or mobility. Arguing about whether to shoot the enemy with a missile or a shell is interesting but irrelevant. The key is can the enemy brew up your vehicle with a RPG-7 and how big a command detonated mine does he have to use to do the same thing. This is the problem with LAV. It is vulnerable to a whole host of weapons that barely inconvenience a modern MBT. It is fine to talk about standoff weapons but a clever enemy will shorten the engagement ranges by use of terrain and you're back at having to slug it out. Luckily in Iraq the enemy seem not have use of anything like a Milan. Will that always be true?

    CMTC has an interesting dilemma. How far to you dumb down the enemy? A clever enemy combat team fighting on it's own ground and armed with simulated MBTs and ATGW will be able to crush a LAV equipped bn in the attack. It's quite possible that even a force armed only with RPGs, mines and small arms will be able to fight the LAV force to a standstill. The results could be counter productive. Your unit is going on ops and you spend three weeks being pummeled, how's your morale?

   How much lee way will the enemy force have? How much deception can they use? Who has the initiative? What is the force ratio? How are Cdn commanders to react to casualties? We've seen what casualties actually do to Cdn ops in Afghanistan. I assume we will suspend reality on this score.

   Can you imagine the mayhem a hundred keen troops given free rein will play? I must admit free play enemy would be fun but I think there will be considerable constraints placed on the enemy. We can't embarrass the CO can we.

   

Offline pbi

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Re: Modular Manoeuvre Battalion
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2005, 09:18:33 »
 AMajoor: I've been absent from most of these tactical configuration debates (largely because I would   be bringing a stick to a knife fight...) but I wanted to comment that your idea of a "modular manouevre battalion" is somewhat along the lines of the rough concept I presented in my "Combat Branch" article, although I purposely did not make reference to specific pieces of kit, but rather to needed capabilities. IMHO the nature of threats and engagements can change so rapidly that "pure" units are largely obsolete except possibly as a force generator (and even then, why not live and train like you fight?). The DFSU, to a limited extent, is a step toward this idea, particularly as it is beginning to break down the idea of what capbadge does what and in what organization. To me the question is not: should the Armour do this or should the Arty crew that; instead it is about what systems should be operated in what grouping. The structure and MOSIDs (if indeed we still require separate MOSIDs in the Cbt A as opposed to sub specialties...) should fall out of that. Great debate.

BTW in the not too distant future 38 CBG will be sending out a joint Bde/Wpg Police Svc recce party to study the Tilston Armoury sit. I am no longer in 38 CBG but if I was, we might have had a chance to meet .

Cheers.
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Modular Manoeuvre Battalion
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2005, 21:04:40 »
I have been thinking along the lines of a combined arms Manoeuvre Battalion for a while, but it never came into focus before. I agree with 2Bravo and pbi about the inability of a LAV team to face off with a peer opponent or conduct deliberate assaults as a matter of course; but then again, I might be in a LAV facing the need to do an assault one day, and most certainly my brother Infantrymen, Tankers, Engineers and Gunners will be facing that dilemma, so we need to collect our thoughts and prepare for that time today.

Perhaps more qualification is in order: I do not forsee the LAV Combat Team doing direct assaults against a dug in Motor Rifle Platoon, but rather being equipped and prepared top do limited assaults against enemy forces would operate the way the Somalis did in "Blackhawk Down" or the Jihadis do today. Small parties of enemy who attempt to engage at short range using cover and concealment to hide from the ISTAR suite will be the biggest threat that Western forces face in the near to mid future.

While a Combat team in Merkavas and Achzarits would be the ideal, we do not have them, and will not for at least a generation. Organizationally, a LAV Modular Manoeuvre Battalion would allow the grouping of assets to train together and become cohesive as a team. The roles would be biased in favor of the Cavalry Team just due to the nature of the equipment, and the plug and play aspect of swapping Coyotes for Infantry and Guns for PGMs, as well as brining the Pioneer/Engineer assets forward allows the unit to quickly reconfigure to deal with defiles, small woods clearings, hamlets and small BUAs without having to stop and wait for the Allies to come up. Even if the Combat team triggers an action that requires the committing of allied forces, we have the ability to keep the initiative and control the action, rather than have to stop and wait, allowing the enemy to set the terms of the engagement.

Like the Combat Team of Tomorrow, I am looking for an organizational structure and TTPs which are flexible enough to be applicable in many situations, and also to be somewhat independent of the type and nature of the equipment. If the force is mounted on Toyota Land Cruisers or M-1s and Bradley's, there should still be common elements of organization and doctrine they can share. LAVs are in the middle of the scale (Medium forces), and so the force commander should remember both the advantages and limitations of the LAVs when committing the force.
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: Modular Manoeuvre Battalion
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2005, 22:37:46 »
Interesting.

I beleive the the US army is going with modular units
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Modular Manoeuvre Battalion
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2005, 11:31:50 »
MMB 1.1

I have thought a bit more about some of the technical and organizational aspects of the MMB, and reached a few conclusions:

1. The Coyote is the here and now vehicle we have for recce, but the American Stryker Recce varient is closer to what we need. Instead of an elaborate mast which takes 30-40 min to set up and take down, we need a "periscope" which the crew commander can deploy and retract at will. The Stryker Recce isn't ideal either, they put the surveillance sight head on the OWS mount, reducing the vehicle's firepower (although as a plus it does carry dismounted scouts). I can actually visualize a Coyote 2 with a sight head in an armoured box attached to a rigid "arm" hinged on the rear left flank (laying flat against the driver's side when not in use). This presupposes either eliminating some capabilities in the current surveillance suite, or forcasting smaller sight/sensor units inside the box. This would also go well with 2Bravo's streamlined operator station, and between the two refinements, the Coyote 2 could have some dismounts and more internal stores.

2. For the here and now MGS, we would be best served with a LAV hull mounting a 90mm GIAT turret, since it overcomes almost all the limitations of the LAV-105 and can carry 32 rounds for the main gun.

3. Shuffling the various elements around might not make much sense in a fast moving environment, perhaps a MMB should have two Cavalry Teams and one Combat Team as permanent groupings, plus the HQ and CSS Coy. For flexability, I would leave the Pioneer Platoon in the HQ Coy, to be attached or detached as needed (they might go forward to assist the Cavalry Team digging in if we are forced on the defense, for example).

4. A Cavalry team would then consist of 2 X Infantry platoons, 1 X Recce/Surveillance troop and a Weapons troop with the PGM and Mortars, plus a HQ section.

5. The Combat team would have 3 X Infantry platoons, a "Gun platoon" and a Mortar platoon plus a HQ section.

6. CSS Coy would be organized in the field to have five "Support Platoons", which are complete packages of transports, bowsers, MRTs, ambulances and escort vehicles.

7. HQ Coy is still undefined at this point.
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 Zipper

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Re: Modular Manoeuvre Battalion
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2005, 04:05:40 »
That last thought made some good sense Majoor. Something along the lines of combining some of your ideas with 2B's would make alot more sense and give a unit much more in the way of flexability. Although I still wonder where your going to get the personal from (not to mention the vehicles) to pull it off? I really like your alternative MGS as well.

Either way, your unit is going to still have to operate above the ISTAR threshhold regardless of how much "combat team" capabilities you give it. A LAV is just not able to survive a close contact. Whether it is a Somalia (Blackhawk down) example where we would be ground up in no time, or that of a Bosnia/Croat/Yugo example where we would definatly be holding the short end of the stick. Any complex terrain would be a bad scene.

As 2B has said. We're just going to have to accept our limited access to capabilities and make due as best we can. The Cavalry idea (including your MMB) is the best one for what we have or will have in the near future. Until hell freezes over, we're stuck with playing wonder cop and rear area lacky to the big boys.
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Modular Manoeuvre Battalion
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2005, 23:13:23 »
That last thought made some good sense Majoor. Something along the lines of combining some of your ideas with 2B's would make alot more sense and give a unit much more in the way of flexability. Although I still wonder where your going to get the personal from (not to mention the vehicles) to pull it off? I really like your alternative MGS as well.

An MMB can resemble the "New and Improved" LdSH(RC) with elements coming from multiple "force generator units", but all wearing the same beret. More appropriately in my mind is everyone in the MMB has the same cap badge as well (if you really want to be fanatical about uniforms etc. they can have a "pocket patch" for the parent Corps; I'm pretty flexible that way).

Quote
Either way, your unit is going to still have to operate above the ISTAR threshhold regardless of how much "combat team" capabilities you give it. A LAV is just not able to survive a close contact. Whether it is a Somalia (Blackhawk down) example where we would be ground up in no time, or that of a Bosnia/Croat/Yugo example where we would definitely be holding the short end of the stick. Any complex terrain would be a bad scene.

We will be above the ISTAR threshhold, but the bad guys aren't, so we need to figure out the "best" way to deal with this given what we've got. When you are appointed MND, the same org chart and TTPs can be applied to the surplus Leopard 2 and PUMA IFVs you are going to purchase for us  ;D Actually, LAVs haven't been that bad in Iraq, certainly it hasn't turned into a horror story, just the usual teething problems with new kit and shaking out the TTPs to amplify the strengths and mask the weakness.

BTW, the up armoured HMMVWs used by Task Force Ranger in Somalia provided sterling service, absorbing multiple hits from small arms, MG fire and RPGs and still going long enough to get the soldiers out of the fight. (the guys who had the most trouble were the dismounted elements attempting to secure the crash sites). A LAV has somewhat more protection and lots more firepower than the HMMVW, but is also a lot bigger, with all that implies. LAVs have to be used differently, I think the MMB is the way to go, maybe there are different ideas?

Quote
As 2B has said. We're just going to have to accept our limited access to capabilities and make due as best we can. The Cavalry idea (including your MMB) is the best one for what we have or will have in the near future. Until heck freezes over, we're stuck with playing wonder cop and rear area lackey to the big boys.

Funny, the Jihadis preferentially go hunting in the "rear area", since M-1 and M-2 based combat teams are just too tough to deal with (plus they bring lots of friends along, like AH-64s and A-10s). The premier fighting vehicle in Iraq right now is probably an up armoured HMMVW manned by the MPs doing convoy escort. Given a choice I would rather be in a LAV doing convoy escort and rear area security.
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 Zipper

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Re: Modular Manoeuvre Battalion
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2005, 00:52:07 »
An MMB can resemble the "New and Improved" LdSH(RC) with elements coming from multiple "force generator units", but all wearing the same beret. More appropriately in my mind is everyone in the MMB has the same cap badge as well (if you really want to be fanatical about uniforms etc. they can have a "pocket patch" for the parent Corps; I'm pretty flexible that way).

Agreed. If your going to go "combined" arms, go all the way. As I've said before, Cavalry (or MMB) being black berets and the other Infantry units being coverted into light units is probably the best way for us to go.

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We will be above the ISTAR threshhold, but the bad guys aren't, so we need to figure out the "best" way to deal with this given what we've got. When you are appointed MND, the same org chart and TTPs can be applied to the surplus Leopard 2 and PUMA IFVs you are going to purchase for us   ;D Actually, LAVs haven't been that bad in Iraq, certainly it hasn't turned into a horror story, just the usual teething problems with new kit and shaking out the TTPs to amplify the strengths and mask the weakness.

You think I could one day? ;D Doubt if my red tory leanings would go very far these days with such polarization.

Agreed the LAV's have done fairly well in Iraq. But they also have had unlimited money and support too. Do you think we could afford either? 

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I think the MMB is the way to go, maybe there are different ideas?

I think your on the right track along with 2B. Now if only the people who count would actually see the wisdom and sense of it all.

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Funny, the Jihadis preferentially go hunting in the "rear area", since M-1 and M-2 based combat teams are just too tough to deal with (plus they bring lots of friends along, like AH-64s and A-10s). The premier fighting vehicle in Iraq right now is probably an up armoured HMMVW manned by the MPs doing convoy escort. Given a choice I would rather be in a LAV doing convoy escort and rear area security.

Well to answer that properly would have to go into alot of political stuff, and we know where that usually ends with us. ;)

No irregular force is ever going to be totally stamped out with a regular force unless you go to complete martial law. Issues have to be addressed and solved in order for those who wish to use violence for their political ends to lose enough support to not have people agreed with them in some way, shape, or form. So regardless of what vehicle you use, we know the answer to that already.
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Offline ArmyRick

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Re: Modular Manoeuvre Battalion
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2005, 08:11:53 »
As far as dealing with "Snakes" or "wolves in sheeps in clothing" (The terrorist that go after rear echelons, support pers, etc)...
Complete martial law? Yeah right.  When the CF operates in security or intervention type missions, we usually have a mandate approved by NATO, the host nation, etc.  We are not a super power that can implement its own rules as we go along.  We have to learn and operate in theaters with the snakes...

Some ways of finding out what is going and being able to deal with it? A good HUMINT element (That has decent language and cultural training), CIMIC (Employed properly they can gain alot of very usefull info meeting with the locals), Various surveillance equipment (UAV, Coyote, troops dug in OPs looking over towns) and having soldiers on patrol keeping their eyes and ears open while on patrol.

Lesson learned while I was in Bosnia (Not intentional), children fed candy will talk alot about what the locals are up to.
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 Thucydides

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Re: Modular Manoeuvre Battalion
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2005, 09:41:25 »
Some ways of finding out what is going and being able to deal with it? A good HUMINT element (That has decent language and cultural training), CIMIC (Employed properly they can gain alot of very usefull info meeting with the locals), Various surveillance equipment (UAV, Coyote, troops dug in OPs looking over towns) and having soldiers on patrol keeping their eyes and ears open while on patrol.

These elements are very important, but I see them as being part of the "higher" formation, not intrinsic to the MMB. Certainly MMB troops in Cavalry or Combat teams will need to know how to work with attached CIMIC and HUMINT elements while performing their tasks, and the MMB HQ will be able to access feeds from Battlegroup level UAVs and other systems (as well as feed their own information out to Battlegroup)

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Lesson learned while I was in Bosnia (Not intentional), children fed candy will talk alot about what the locals are up to.

Your next posting will be Comd of the "sweets" det! Seriously, little tricks like that are good "lessons learned" for troops heading over on OPs; combined with cultural awareness (giving out pork rinds to Afghan kids might not go over very well...) even a casual encounter on dismounted patrol could have big payoffs.
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 Zipper

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Re: Modular Manoeuvre Battalion
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2005, 14:15:20 »
As far as dealing with "Snakes" or "wolves in sheeps in clothing" (The terrorist that go after rear echelons, support pers, etc)...
Complete martial law? Yeah right.   When the CF operates in security or intervention type missions, we usually have a mandate approved by NATO, the host nation, etc.   We are not a super power that can implement its own rules as we go along.   We have to learn and operate in theaters with the snakes...

Some ways of finding out what is going and being able to deal with it? A good HUMINT element (That has decent language and cultural training), CIMIC (Employed properly they can gain alot of very usefull info meeting with the locals), Various surveillance equipment (UAV, Coyote, troops dug in OPs looking over towns) and having soldiers on patrol keeping their eyes and ears open while on patrol.

Lesson learned while I was in Bosnia (Not intentional), children fed candy will talk alot about what the locals are up to.

Completely agree with you Rick. And that is my point.

An MMB (or regular unit) will never be able to hunt down and destroy a irregular unit that has the "hearts and minds" of a population using conventional "violent" means.

Its those going in with candy for the kids, knowing the local language, and showing them that we're there to help them that will slowly over time erode the support base of the fanatics. Its not guns that will win the terrorist war, but education and attitude changes on the parts of the populations in question that will do so.

Its hard to do that when there are typical military attitudes that it will be strength that prevails, as opposed to the soft glove approach. Everytime we kill one of their brothers/sisters/dads/cousins twice removed/etc on a hunt for "terrorist", we breed a new generation of them. And this is not just on the ground with the units themselves, but in the attitudes of our governments towards their countries.

But taking this back to the regularly scheduled program...

So going back to the other thread Majoor (2B) on the Russians thoughts on things. How do you see incorporating a weapon big enough to bunker bust within a LAV Cav (MMB) idea since a LAV can only carry so big a punch? Do we take on such a role if necessary, or do we avoid such things and just pin said resistance down until a heavier unit comes up to take care of it?


Nulli Secondus - Second to none

"You hit somebody with your fist and not with your fingers spread" - Heinz Gudarien

"Milli Vanilli wern't frauds, they were prophets" - Ed the Sock on modern music.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Modular Manoeuvre Battalion
« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2005, 14:55:41 »
The MMB is there to deal with the dedicated Jihadis (or conventional enemies) who's "hearts and minds" can only be changed with the application of high speed metal. In 2/3 of a "Full Spectrum Op", the MMB will be running dismounted patrols, establishing OPs, lurking in camp as the QRF and doing mounted patrols as part of the "rear area security" task in the AOR.

When the gloves get suddenly dropped, the MMB has the flexibility and configuration to take appropriate actions. In conventional war, it is already configured to get the most out of the existing suite of manpower and equipment.

Bunker busting will be a difficult problem for the Combat Team (the Cavalry Team is presumed to be able to avoid, screen with fire and manoeuvre around), but they will have the MGS in whatever form (105mm "as is", 90mm turret if you buy it through me); dismounted Infantrymen armed with 84mm Carl G, Javelin or Spike missiles, 40mm grenades; and elements of the Pioneer platoon with whatever hardwear they can bring to the fight (sliding a bangalore torpedo through the firing slit of a bunker should provide a moment of excitement for everyone inside). The Combat Team also deploys with mortars, 81mm smoke to mask bunkers and conceal the movement of elements of the team, and HE if a good shot can be made to destroy the bunker.

Extra help should be available through the Battlegroup; I would hope if a Combat Team is formed or dispatched there are some Engineers available to add extra muscle, as well as artillery, helicopter or air assets and so on. In the future, the LAV 3.5 could have provisions for small Fire and Forget missiles attached to the turret or weapons station, that would be another club in the bag. Finally, the Combat Team should have enough firepower to hang in there until allied forces can arrive if there is a much bigger than expected contact. Remember, the LAV Combat Team presupposes you are dealing with an enemy who chooses to hide and engage with "hit and run" tactics, not that you are going to dig out a mechanized Infantry platoon (those sorts of scenarios the Cavalry will screen and the Combat Team will dig in and prepare to defend).
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 Cdn Blackshirt

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Re: Modular Manoeuvre Battalion
« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2005, 16:43:33 »
     Iraq has shown that the key to mounted maneuver is still protection not firepower or mobility. Arguing about whether to shoot the enemy with a missile or a shell is interesting but irrelevant. The key is can the enemy brew up your vehicle with a RPG-7 and how big a command detonated mine does he have to use to do the same thing. This is the problem with LAV. It is vulnerable to a whole host of weapons that barely inconvenience a modern MBT. It is fine to talk about standoff weapons but a clever enemy will shorten the engagement ranges by use of terrain and you're back at having to slug it out. Luckily in Iraq the enemy seem not have use of anything like a Milan. Will that always be true?

      CMTC has an interesting dilemma. How far to you dumb down the enemy? A clever enemy combat team fighting on it's own ground and armed with simulated MBTs and ATGW will be able to crush a LAV equipped bn in the attack. It's quite possible that even a force armed only with RPGs, mines and small arms will be able to fight the LAV force to a standstill. The results could be counter productive. Your unit is going on ops and you spend three weeks being pummeled, how's your morale?

     How much lee way will the enemy force have? How much deception can they use? Who has the initiative? What is the force ratio? How are Cdn commanders to react to casualties? We've seen what casualties actually do to Cdn ops in Afghanistan. I assume we will suspend reality on this score.

     Can you imagine the mayhem a hundred keen troops given free rein will play? I must admit free play enemy would be fun but I think there will be considerable constraints placed on the enemy. We can't embarrass the CO can we.

I raised this issue before but no one seems to be addressing it.  From my civvie viewpoint the best analogy I can come up with for urban combat is that those environments are equivalent to the holes you find in the rocks in Arizona or Nevada.  You know that there are a lot of rattlesnakes, you just can't tell which holes have them.  Ergo, when I stick my hand in a hole my primary concern is "Will this glove protect me if there's a big frickin' snake?"  If "No", then at no time would I think it too bloody smart to put my hand in the damned hole.  Additionally, if I did put my hand in the hole wearing a cotton glove, and got bit by said large snake, would I not have earned a comment to the effect of: "Well, what the hell did you think was going to happen?"

Bottom Line:  Perhaps (I'm sure you guys will educate me soon enough ;D), the above model would indicate if you're unable to take the first shot in a LAVIII, then LAVIII's from a doctrine and planning standpoint should not be placed in an urban environment and should be restricted to the outskirts where they gain the additional safety of distance.

That all being said, my own opinion is that there is a fairly simple solution.  You create a two-tier system with a ratio of 4:1 between your light to heavy units and specify roles.
1)  Light Armoured Personnel Carriers (LAV-III's) - for Convoy Escort and Rear Area Security (and possible encircling movements if fighting another military if uparmed with BILL2 or equivalent.
2)  Heavier Armoured Vehicles (based on the Israeli model or protection first and mobility second) - for securing and patrolling hi-threat urban environments (obtain 3 bids: Strv122 & CV9040 / M1A2 & M2A2 / Challenger 2 & Warrior)

That's my random neuron fit for the day.....

Cheers all,



Matthew.  :salute:

P.S.  Since it would be smart for the enemy to attack you at your weakest point in order to maximize casualties, it would also be interesting to explore the possibility of uparmouring as many of your combat support vehicles as you could afford to, and ensure they always have some sort of convoy protection.   In particular for the most dangerous areas, perhaps a couple of cargo varient of the Bushmaster 4 x 4 with caging for RPG's would be effective: a flat-bed, a water tanker, a fuel tanker and an ambulance.
IMPORTANT - 'Blackshirt' is a reference to Nebraska Cornhuskers Football and not naziism.   National Champions '70, '71, '94, '95 and '97.    Go Huskers!!!!

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Modular Manoeuvre Battalion
« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2005, 18:53:34 »
I raised this issue before but no one seems to be addressing it.  From my civvie viewpoint the best analogy I can come up with for urban combat is that those environments are equivalent to the holes you find in the rocks in Arizona or Nevada.  You know that there are a lot of rattlesnakes, you just can't tell which holes have them.  Ergo, when I stick my hand in a hole my primary concern is "Will this glove protect me if there's a big frickin' snake?"  If "No", then at no time would I think it too bloody smart to put my hand in the damned hole.  Additionally, if I did put my hand in the hole wearing a cotton glove, and got bit by said large snake, would I not have earned a comment to the effect of: "Well, what the heck did you think was going to happen?"

Since this seems to be analogy day; You go to Arizona to collect rocks as your family business. You know about the rattlesnakes, but your wife will only buy those cotton gardening gloves to support her Uncle's  store. It isn't an issue, she says, because you've never been bitten (well OK, it was only a few small bites).

You still have to go rock collecting, so now you need to think of better ways to get around. You learn the language of the other animals and ask them where the snakes are, carry a big first aid kit and a satellite phone, poke a stick into each hole and learn to wear your gloves "doubled up".

Quote
Bottom Line:  Perhaps (I'm sure you guys will educate me soon enough ;D), the above model would indicate if you're unable to take the first shot in a LAVIII, then LAVIII's from a doctrine and planning standpoint should not be placed in an urban environment and should be restricted to the outskirts where they gain the additional safety of distance.

Actually the MMB would preferentially operate in this fashion, but the Jihadis or whatever enemy we postulate need to be isolated and driven into small pockets and restricted from moving. There still needs to be a means to deal with them should they find a way to work thier way into your position, or you need to pass through an area of complex or urban terrain.

Quote
That all being said, my own opinion is that there is a fairly simple solution.  You create a two-tier system with a ratio of 4:1 between your light to heavy units and specify roles.
1)  Light Armoured Personnel Carriers (LAV-III's) - for Convoy Escort and Rear Area Security (and possible encircling movements if fighting another military if uparmed with BILL2 or equivalent.
2)  Heavier Armoured Vehicles (based on the Israeli model or protection first and mobility second) - for securing and patrolling hi-threat urban environments (obtain 3 bids: Strv122 & CV9040 / M1A2 & M2A2 / Challenger 2 & Warrior)

The government isn't showing much interest in getting that second tier, so we have to find out how to do the job with tier one.

Quote
P.S.  Since it would be smart for the enemy to attack you at your weakest point in order to maximize casualties, it would also be interesting to explore the possibility of uparmouring as many of your combat support vehicles as you could afford to, and ensure they always have some sort of convoy protection.   In particular for the most dangerous areas, perhaps a couple of cargo varient of the Bushmaster 4 x 4 with caging for RPG's would be effective: a flat-bed, a water tanker, a fuel tanker and an ambulance.

Indeed, the CSS and Headquarters elements of the MMB need some more thinking and refining. Any thoughts?
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 Cdn Blackshirt

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Re: Modular Manoeuvre Battalion
« Reply #18 on: July 11, 2005, 20:08:11 »
Okay, here's my civvie solution.

Deal with the primary threats of an urban environment one-at-a-time.

RPG's/ATGM's - Three Part Solution:
1)  Acquire enough Predators with Hellfire/Firescout's/Whatever to provide 100% coverage for your area of operations.  Issue the order in advance that if an operator sees a guy with an RPG-7 getting into a truck, take the shot.  Advise the population in advance of the order so that there are no surprises.
2)  Create a significant deterrent effect with the weapons at your disposal.  By that I mean that turrets should be seen to be scanning ahead on the road and along the sides in upper and lower floor apartments.  Unless the attacker really wants to die (at which point they likely would've strapped on a suicide vest), they'll likely keep their head down and wait hoping for softer targets later (which you would hope not to provide). 
3)  Build a passive armour system focused on defeating shaped charges.  Use the Israelis, the Americans, the Russians, whoever, but test a couple of systems and buy the best one that money can buy and get it strapped on ASAP.

IED's - Outside the box:
Take a 20 of the AVGP's and fit them out as remotely piloted pathfinder vehicles.  Mount a series of passive/active sensors  imagers on the front of the vehicle focusing on the road, curbs and roadside equipment.  [It would look something like a spider's head when you were done].  You could also mount an extension from the lower front of the vehicle that would turn with the front wheels that collected air and brought it back into the vehicle for processing in an effort to "sniff" for explosives residue.  My understanding is that of all things apparently Wi-Fi frequencies have an excellent ability to penetrate and could be usable to identify the difference between solid concrete and an IED.

Gotta run....it's dinner time.

Cheers all,



Matthew.    :salute:
IMPORTANT - 'Blackshirt' is a reference to Nebraska Cornhuskers Football and not naziism.   National Champions '70, '71, '94, '95 and '97.    Go Huskers!!!!

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Modular Manoeuvre Battalion
« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2005, 00:26:28 »
Wow, what are you having for dinner?

Ideas 1 and 2 are more ROE type issues, and while possible would tend to conflict with the "hearts and minds" paradigm western forces tend to use. (This isn't always the case, there is a signifigent amount of support for the "Get them by the short and curlies; and their hearts and minds will follow"). Given the right circumstances, this is a distinct possibility in really out of control areas like the "Tikrit Triangle". This would presuppose Combat Teams moving with Cavalry teams providing long range sensor and PGM coverage.

Idea 3 is well under way, Strykers have demonstrated the "birdcage", and LAV sized vehicles can also mount ceramic plates (demonstrated on MGS prototypes), or even "Non Explosive Reactive Armour" (NERA), which is basicly a steel box with a plastic material under pressure inside. When penetrated, the plastic attempts to squirt out of the hole, disrupting the projectile or HEAT jet to a certain extent and degrading the penetration. Various sorts of active armour are also under development for LAVs, although I would not want to be near a vehicle mounting such a device in combat.

Your idea to find IEDs with remote "sniffer" devices is very interesting, I'm sure the sensor technology is there, but the remote vehicle is still a long way away (see: http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/technology/techwed_darpa_040225.html)

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 Zipper

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Re: Modular Manoeuvre Battalion
« Reply #20 on: July 12, 2005, 02:51:06 »
Jeez Matthew, that was a great idea. Doesn't the LAV series of vehicle have an NBC recce varient? Maybe something like that could be further kitted out?

As for the remote control? Very cool and hopeful.

Well we could also say we already have a tier 2 force. Its called our Allies (US and Britain) and almost everyone else in NATO, Commenwealth, etc.

Nulli Secondus - Second to none

"You hit somebody with your fist and not with your fingers spread" - Heinz Gudarien

"Milli Vanilli wern't frauds, they were prophets" - Ed the Sock on modern music.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Modular Manoeuvre Battalion
« Reply #21 on: July 17, 2005, 22:28:12 »
One thing which would make the MMB much more expensive to field is the issue of protected CSS. We could assume the enemy are bad shots like the Somalis, but this is a very dangerous assumption indeed.

Logistics would have to be handled by armoured transport vehicles; using the LAV family as a baseline we would see a LAV III hull converted into a "Bison" type vehicle, or perhaps a "pick-up truck" with an armoured front, and attachment points on the back for various "camper tops" (Ambulance, CP, Fuel Bowser, MRT, palletized cargo and ammunition packages, etc.). As with the other members of the family, these would also have to be fitted with slat armour cages or other protective devices, but only armed with an RWS carrying a C-6 or AGL. Getting around would require armed escorts, perhaps MPs or RPs mounted in armoured HMMVWs or whatever analogue you care to name.

If we have the MMB with two Cavalry teams, one Combat team, a Headquarters company and a Service Support Company, then the Service Support Company should be configured as five platoon sized support packages, one to each company and one in reserve (following the old Service Battalion dicatate of supporting yourself as well). The CSS troops would be well trained in battle drills, and the support model would be fast moving DPs to support manoeuvre warfare as opposed to static CSS hardpoints.
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 Zipper

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Re: Modular Manoeuvre Battalion
« Reply #22 on: July 17, 2005, 23:33:18 »
Good idea Majoor.

A "Bison" like LAV III would be perfect for most of the mentioned jobs, and having an armoured front compartment on the flat bed model would be great.

Don't the others already exist as models? And if so, then we wouldn't be remaking the wheel, just buying them off the shelf.
Nulli Secondus - Second to none

"You hit somebody with your fist and not with your fingers spread" - Heinz Gudarien

"Milli Vanilli wern't frauds, they were prophets" - Ed the Sock on modern music.

Offline MCG

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Re: Modular Manoeuvre Battalion
« Reply #23 on: July 18, 2005, 01:12:52 »
A "Bison" like LAV III would be perfect for most of the mentioned jobs
That would be the US Stryker ICV.

Offline Zipper

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Re: Modular Manoeuvre Battalion
« Reply #24 on: July 18, 2005, 13:53:10 »
Thanks MCG. Nice icon by the way. ;D

So lets take our pick of whats there and go with it.

http://www.gdls.com/

Nulli Secondus - Second to none

"You hit somebody with your fist and not with your fingers spread" - Heinz Gudarien

"Milli Vanilli wern't frauds, they were prophets" - Ed the Sock on modern music.