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Chariots on Fire by Maj Cole Petersen

b00161400

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While thinking on this, and swapping PMs with Infanteer I think the real question here isn't whether or not we should dismount on or short of the objective but what assumptions we want to build in to our people as part of foundational training.  Anyone can agree on extreme cases for dismounting short of the objective or on/past the objective so it's really about what "instincts" we want to build into our infantry commanders.

Like Infanteer pointed out the hasty attack is used as the base line for assessment in the army.  The seven section battle drills, the platoon and cbt tm hasty attack are all the same.  They rely on an enemy situation of an isolated enemy element (det, section, platoon) that operates in a very predictable way with little freedom of action.  Essentially a training aid.  As part of this the friendly force is generally pretty well positioned and don't need to worry about enemy IDF or air, and our air and IDF are free to operate.  This situation leads us to do things like dismounting on the objective.

Now, if this is the situation you face in real life, then, maybe, dismounting on the objective might work.  The problem is that habitually doing this creates built in assumptions, and little high end force on force training means that even in a situation where dismounting on the objective might not be appropriate there is few repurcussions.... the assault goes through, the enemy dies or runs away, and we can chalk up another win for team blue.

So, understanding our institution, how we assess, and how little high fidelity training we get, what are the best assumptions to build into the force?  I think this is the crux of the argument, and I think this is where we need to build in a bias for a dismount short of the objective.  Specifically, I'd probably suggest a point short of SRAAW range, covered and concealed, probably 300-500m from the objective depending on how the enemy is equipped.  Dismounted infantry should be able to cover this distance in 9-15 mins (and probably faster) which isn't an unreasonable amount of time for suppression.  Like our preference for training for conventional operations, we can always ramp down in intensity and dismount closer to the objective if the enemy is genuinely neutralised or lacking in anti armour firepower.  The default should be to dismount short of the objective outside SRAAW range. 

I'm not as wedded to whether or not the LAVs accompany the infantry or not.  The presence of the 25mm is of course tempting but I see a few tasks, like flank security that they could go do vice coming on to the objective with the infantry.  If the LAVs come along with the infantry then it's another 8-15 vehs that the infantry must protect while also fighting through the objective.  LAV Company Tactics identifies protected mobility as the primary role for the LAV, after that is fire support for dismounted infantry, followed by destroying other light AFVs.  So, getting the infantry there safe is the most important thing, then they can provide fire support, and they don't need to do that side by side the dismounts.
 

daftandbarmy

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Haligonian said:
While thinking on this, and swapping PMs with Infanteer I think the real question here isn't whether or not we should dismount on or short of the objective but what assumptions we want to build in to our people as part of foundational training.  Anyone can agree on extreme cases for dismounting short of the objective or on/past the objective so it's really about what "instincts" we want to build into our infantry commanders.

Like Infanteer pointed out the hasty attack is used as the base line for assessment in the army.  The seven section battle drills, the platoon and cbt tm hasty attack are all the same.  They rely on an enemy situation of an isolated enemy element (det, section, platoon) that operates in a very predictable way with little freedom of action.  Essentially a training aid.  As part of this the friendly force is generally pretty well positioned and don't need to worry about enemy IDF or air, and our air and IDF are free to operate.  This situation leads us to do things like dismounting on the objective.

Now, if this is the situation you face in real life, then, maybe, dismounting on the objective might work.  The problem is that habitually doing this creates built in assumptions, and little high end force on force training means that even in a situation where dismounting on the objective might not be appropriate there is few repurcussions.... the assault goes through, the enemy dies or runs away, and we can chalk up another win for team blue.

So, understanding our institution, how we assess, and how little high fidelity training we get, what are the best assumptions to build into the force?  I think this is the crux of the argument, and I think this is where we need to build in a bias for a dismount short of the objective.  Specifically, I'd probably suggest a point short of SRAAW range, covered and concealed, probably 300-500m from the objective depending on how the enemy is equipped.  Dismounted infantry should be able to cover this distance in 9-15 mins (and probably faster) which isn't an unreasonable amount of time for suppression.  Like our preference for training for conventional operations, we can always ramp down in intensity and dismount closer to the objective if the enemy is genuinely neutralised or lacking in anti armour firepower.  The default should be to dismount short of the objective outside SRAAW range. 

I'm not as wedded to whether or not the LAVs accompany the infantry or not.  The presence of the 25mm is of course tempting but I see a few tasks, like flank security that they could go do vice coming on to the objective with the infantry.  If the LAVs come along with the infantry then it's another 8-15 vehs that the infantry must protect while also fighting through the objective.  LAV Company Tactics identifies protected mobility as the primary role for the LAV, after that is fire support for dismounted infantry, followed by destroying other light AFVs.  So, getting the infantry there safe is the most important thing, then they can provide fire support, and they don't need to do that side by side the dismounts.

Good points.

It's called DOCTRINE...but we usually interpret that as DOGMA unfortunately.... and punish those who think outside the 'policy prison'.
 

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Colin P said:
....

I am guessing that for our current ops, a good recce followed heavy short bombardment by multiple rocket launchers and 155's to disorient the defenders while the assault is taking place during the bombardment. Perhaps 1-2 batteries reserved to conduct quick pin point bombardments on areas of defending fire without interrupting the main barrage. of course getting hung up on a minefield 1/2 there would not be good.... The other minor problem is you do not have the artillery resources to do such an assault.   

Your prescription sounds an awful lot like what we were told to expect from the Red Army.  And the the remedy was to be the same as the Germans (WW1) - dig deep and stay low until the armour rolled over the top allowing the opportunity to tackle the infantry behind.
 

Colin Parkinson

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I am a product of that era, but I am not sure how else to suppress hidden ATGM teams. It would hard to be able to stay focused on a target with an ATGM with Air bursts happening around you. Don't have to kill the ATGM (which would be nice) but suppressing their ability to engage.
 

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Manned ATGM positions are not a given, even now.

The NLOS containerised system was cancelled by the US

220px-NLOS-LS_truck.jpg

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/XM501_Non-Line-of-Sight_Launch_System

But is well on its way to being perfected by the Israelis with their Spike NLOS system

SPIKE-NLOS-SPARC-Trailer.jpg


The remote launch missile system is also well developed for NASAMs with their dispersed Multiple Missile Launchers for Air Defence.

NASAMS-And%C3%B8ya.ashx


And the US is proceeding with their own MML systems

1459529087_1.jpg


15 assorted missiles in a box that could be dropped anywhere in the battlefield.

Take the 25 km range of the Spike NLOS and add that to a 20 km range precision guided mortar launched from a vehicle mounted automated turret an I suggest that the rules of the game might be changing a bit faster that 25 years.

If the FOO accompanying your company can call up missiles from unmanned caches and precision stonks from mortars without exposing themselves, or your position, then it makes it harder for the enemy to find anything to neutralize or attack.
 

Colin Parkinson

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The majority of the systems used in the latest conflicts are basically 25 year old+ systems that have been evolutionary upgraded. Canada is just re-introducing those systems, we behind even Hezbollah in that regard. It's highly unlikely that even if the unmanned ATGM's go into production, they will be exported. So only a threat for peer to peer and then they would be in short supply. A near peer fight is likely against experienced crews firing wire guided ATGM. 
 

reveng

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I think you'd be surprised what a few good engineers can do with some $$$ and operator input.

However, the point I'm trying to drive home is that we need to be more careful in the assumptions we make.
 

Kirkhill

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A couple of highly informative videos

One on how a Swedish Armoured Infantry Battalion conducts business

One on how the Canadian Mechanized Infantry operates (Nov2020)


Edit - have lost track of the number of times the narrator said "However" when describing the Canadian Orbat. I don't recall it being said once in the Swedish Video. Presumably "That is not allowed". :LOL:
 
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FJAG

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A couple of highly informative videos

One on how a Swedish Armoured Infantry Battalion conducts business

One on how the Canadian Mechanized Infantry operates (Nov2020)


Edit - have lost track of the number of times the narrator said "However" when describing the Canadian Orbat. I don't recall it being said once in the Swedish Video. Presumably "That is not allowed". :LOL:
As usual your post got me thinking and researching. Must admit I haven't often looked at the Swedes but all things considered they meet my definition of what an army should look like.

Sweden has a little more than a quarter of our population, a third of our GDP, and has less than half of our defence budget. While their Air Force has about our fighter strength it has a much smaller aviation capability and, for obvious reasons, Sweden has a smaller navy. On the other hand it's army can muster twice the equipped armoured and mechanized brigades than Canada can because its regular force is oriented towards leading and training a large and well equipped reserve force and a small pool of conscripts. Having a vibrant defence industry doesn't hurt either.

Was anyone else left with the impression that the Swedes have doctrine for the organization of their battalions while Canada's infantry battalions seem to operate on regimental quiffs.

🍻
 

medic5

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7.2 billion as of 2019, though it is much higher today. Do they not pay their soldiers or something? Perhaps they have less than one GOFO per thousand soldiers? Or maybe their procurement doesn't involve wringing hands for decades then purchasing "interim jets" that really just complicate things for the worse?

I really like Battle Order's videos, his graphics always look nice and I appreciate his breakdowns of foreign militaries, particularly eastern ones. This one about Japan's new units is great considering the geopolitical climate.
 

GR66

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...

Was anyone else left with the impression that the Swedes have doctrine for the organization of their battalions while Canada's infantry battalions seem to operate on regimental quiffs.

🍻
This really stuck out to me in the videos as well. Without a clear doctrine how can you organize your force? How can you equip it?

There are literally hundreds of interesting ideas that come out of this site but none of those individual pieces really matter if you can't put them together into a cohesive package where they each contribute to a unified overall objective.

The government of the day decides where and when the CF may be told to fight, but the CF leadership has failed by not clearly defining HOW the CF will fight.

Maybe a logical first step would be to group all three Reg Force Brigades into a single Division. Make them symmetrical in organization. Follow a common training plan. Clarify the doctrine. Focus procurement on the equipment that strengthens your ability to achieve the goals laid out in the doctrine.
 

daftandbarmy

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As usual your post got me thinking and researching. Must admit I haven't often looked at the Swedes but all things considered they meet my definition of what an army should look like.

Sweden has a little more than a quarter of our population, a third of our GDP, and has less than half of our defence budget. While their Air Force has about our fighter strength it has a much smaller aviation capability and, for obvious reasons, Sweden has a smaller navy. On the other hand it's army can muster twice the equipped armoured and mechanized brigades than Canada can because its regular force is oriented towards leading and training a large and well equipped reserve force and a small pool of conscripts. Having a vibrant defence industry doesn't hurt either.

Was anyone else left with the impression that the Swedes have doctrine for the organization of their battalions while Canada's infantry battalions seem to operate on regimental quiffs.

🍻

Like Israel, or a neutral country like Switzerland, they need all that 'defence stuff' becasue they're in the path of any number of possible invaders. It's easier to convince (a largely homogeneous Scandinavian culture) that they need to unite around some key defence needs.

They also have their own defence industry and need to show their wares off in a good light to attract buyers. It's not cheap, though.

Us? We've got Oceans on three sides and the world's biggest (friendly) superpower next door. I'm often amazed that we continue to maintain the levels of investment and commitment to defence that we do now, even if it looks a little weak to us from time to time.
 

FSTO

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This really stuck out to me in the videos as well. Without a clear doctrine how can you organize your force? How can you equip it?

There are literally hundreds of interesting ideas that come out of this site but none of those individual pieces really matter if you can't put them together into a cohesive package where they each contribute to a unified overall objective.

The government of the day decides where and when the CF may be told to fight, but the CF leadership has failed by not clearly defining HOW the CF will fight.

Maybe a logical first step would be to group all three Reg Force Brigades into a single Division. Make them symmetrical in organization. Follow a common training plan. Clarify the doctrine. Focus procurement on the equipment that strengthens your ability to achieve the goals laid out in the doctrine.
Are you out of your mind!!!! Common doctrine......or any doctrine at all? Madness I tell you, MADNESS!!!!
 

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The things that stood out for me was the emphasis on the vehicles and automation vs manpower. (IFVs support tanks, Infantry supports IFVs)

When you first went to Afghanistan the Order of the Day was "Fill the Seats". Four LAVs resulted in a 40 man platoon and no mortars, pioneers, ATs etc. Likewise the Armoured Corps works from their 4 vehicle troop, 19 vehicle sqn upwards.

Where we get one squadron out of 19 Leos the Swedes get two companies out of 22.

Where we get three companies out of 47 LAVs the Swedes get two companies of 11 CV90s, 4 CV90 Recce, 4 CV90 AA, 8 CV90 Mor-120 and a few more necessary odds and sods out of virtually the same number

Equally we get 28 dismounts (when Treasury permits) while the Swedes make do with 19 (3x6 + 1 NCO dedicated to the ground fight (while there is also an NCO dedicated to the Vehicles)

Meanwhile the Swedes have all the toys at the Section level -

FNC - 5.56
DMR- 7.62
2x LMG - 5.56
1x GPMG - 7.62

M203 - 40mm
CG - 84mm (with full suite of ammo types)
AT-4 - Disposable AT
N-LAW - Disposable AT(H)
Anti-Tank Mines

And for mortars

With 32 operators they man 8 vehicles with two 120mm tubes each and 54 rounds on board. Automated Fire Control System.

The also have been able to find 12 bodies to operate 4x 40mm SPAAGs with onboard radars.

It isn't the money we lack. It's the decisions.



And WRT home defence. Every civil servant used to be expected to defend his desk and was armed accordingly. Likewise for people in the utilities sector. Privately employed citizens were called back to the colours for five weeks refreshers every few years. The Home Guard, separate from all of the above, trained to defend their local vital points and infrastructure - with real weapons.

Everybody got basic training.
 
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