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FORCE 2025: Informing the Army’s future structure

markppcli

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Who knows how far down the chain they will go. Could be extremely useful in urban combat for seeing what's behind the fence, in the next compound or even down the hall. Agreed though that at the lower levels their utility will be as sensors not weapons.

From the CS aspect I'm surprised that an automatic mortar launched loitering munition round hasn't been developed. Something like a Patria Nemo turreted 120mm mortar that can select a Loitering Munition as one of the "ammo" types available to the crew....HE, Smoke, Illumination, PGMM, Loitering Munition...whatever round gives the needed effect.
I think the ISSP evaluations had sections commanders saying they found it to be to much for them to handle, in terms of cognitive overload. I can’t imagine a section level drone is going to help. This is rapidly going outside of force 2025 though.
 

MilEME09

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I think the ISSP evaluations had sections commanders saying they found it to be to much for them to handle, in terms of cognitive overload. I can’t imagine a section level drone is going to help. This is rapidly going outside of force 2025 though.
only way I could see it working is part of the weapons det or HQ element having a man portable UAV. If we put to many toys and kit into the sections, we will load them down too much, and potentially take away training from war fighting basics.
 

GR66

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Sensor overload is a real thing, not only for the Section commander, but also on the back-end hassles it creates in a C5ISR scenario.

Where does the feed link into? How is that feed routed? Is it secure/encrypted? Who wants the info (Section, Pl, Coy, Bn, etc.) ? How much bandwidth will it eat up? How much battery does it eat up? How much weight does it all add to the poor fucker humping it onto the objective?

I remember seeing the initial trials for the ISSP at GDLS in Calgary and I brought up these questions without solid answers from anyone involved.

New tech is awesome, but how much is to much?
Maybe part of the problem is thinking that all intel must pass up the chain to higher levels. Maybe sometimes the people on the scene need a tool to see something with other than the Mk I eyeball. Just like like night vision devices were once a rare, specialist device they have now become a common tool for general use.

Just like what you see in your night vision goggles or your rifle scope isn't transmitted up the chain, you don't necessarily need every other vision enhancement device becoming a unit ISR node. A micro UAV doesn't have to be treated differently than any other vision enhancement device like a flashlight, binoculars or a mirror for looking around a corner.

I think the ISSP evaluations had sections commanders saying they found it to be to much for them to handle, in terms of cognitive overload. I can’t imagine a section level drone is going to help. This is rapidly going outside of force 2025 though.
Agreed though that this is a thread derail.
 

Kirkhill

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I think the ISSP evaluations had sections commanders saying they found it to be to much for them to handle, in terms of cognitive overload. I can’t imagine a section level drone is going to help. This is rapidly going outside of force 2025 though.

Mark, both you and rmc might find this article interesting if you haven't already seen it. It addresses the USMC squad reorg and specifically mentions adding positions to handle information.

The traditional Squad Leader just had to look to the front, and keep his three team leaders in line. The new Squad Leader gets an Assistant Squad Leader as well as a Systems Operator.


A dedicated assistant squad leader ensures the fire teams all have adequate leadership without tacking a second job onto any of their responsibilities.

At the same time, the assistant squad leader can accomplish mission-critical tasks that could take away from the squad leader’s ability to control his squad in combat. Specifically, the assistant squad leader can now manage comms with command and manage and coordinate fires, leaving the squad leader to focus on the fight. Coordinating fires means communicating to relay target information and friendly positions for artillery, mortar, and air strikes, among others. These tasks are essential in a fight, but can take away from a squad leader’s situational awareness, and as a result, their ability to lead their squad.

...The assistant squad leader can now manage these tasks and others on the squad leader’s behalf. If I was a squad leader, my assistant would be helping to complete a variety of combat and logistical tasks like medical evacs, tactical sight exploitation, and POW handling. At the same time, the assistant squad leader will be receiving valuable training for a future role as a squad leader themselves.

The newly created position of Marine Systems Operator replaces the position of radio Marine. While the System operator will be tasked with carrying the squad’s radio, they will expand into other systems as well.

This includes the use of quadcopter-based reconnaissance devices. These small ‘drones’ allow a Marine squad to enhance their situational awareness with discretion. It promises to be the new eyes of the squad leader and enhance their capabilities in urban warfare by providing an overhead view of the battlespace that wasn’t previously available at the squad level. This stealthy tool can spot threats ahead of time and provide general recon without risking members of the Marine rifle squad.


Obviously this results in a larger squad/section (15 total, 16 when you include the medic) that won't fit into a LAV - They would fit into 3 LAVs though. So maybe we are talking about replicating the Marine Squad organization but with the Platoon?

Three six-man teams and then the existing Pl HQ with a UAV with the Pl Cmd det or the Weapons det?

Any how.

Cheers.:geek:
 

daftandbarmy

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Mark, both you and rmc might find this article interesting if you haven't already seen it. It addresses the USMC squad reorg and specifically mentions adding positions to handle information.

The traditional Squad Leader just had to look to the front, and keep his three team leaders in line. The new Squad Leader gets an Assistant Squad Leader as well as a Systems Operator.







Obviously this results in a larger squad/section (15 total, 16 when you include the medic) that won't fit into a LAV - They would fit into 3 LAVs though. So maybe we are talking about replicating the Marine Squad organization but with the Platoon?

Three six-man teams and then the existing Pl HQ with a UAV with the Pl Cmd det or the Weapons det?

Any how.

Cheers.:geek:

FWIW....

We tried deploying multiples of 3 x 6 man teams, trying to defeat a specific RCIED threat, in a rural environment.

Even with experienced troops it was rather unwieldy.... a Jug F8ck, actually.

So we just went back to 3 x 4 man teams and 'good fieldcraft' ;)
 

Kirkhill

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FWIW....

We tried deploying multiples of 3 x 6 man teams, trying to defeat a specific RCIED threat, in a rural environment.

Even with experienced troops it was rather unwieldy.... a Jug F8ck, actually.

So we just went back to 3 x 4 man teams and 'good fieldcraft' ;)
So what would you think about three LAVs with crews and the modernized USMC Squad?

9+16 = 25 in 30 Seats.
 

FJAG

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I don't want to stop a good debate about the infantry section (albeit it should be in the infantry thread), but isn't the size of the Canadian mechanized infantry section pretty much settled by the fact that we have a herd of hundreds of LAV 6.0s and they have a crew of 3 and room for 7 dismounts.

We keep debating what the section size should be or how we can make it fit but essentially the vehicle dictates what the section is and to a certain extent how it fights. We should stop fighting the problem and simply accept the reality and move on to the real question: What should the platoon look like?

With four vehicles you can carry some 28 dismounts, regardless of how you organize the sections and the platoon hq. If more dismounts are needed then maybe a platoon should go to five vehicles providing 35 dismounts. Within that envelope - 4 or 5 vehicles, with 12 to 15 dedicated vehicle crews and from 28 to 35 dismounts you can start organizing how to arm the vehicles and men and how to fight as teams. There are enough people to offer many options including sufficient people to handle specialty tasks and crew served weapons.

With a section of seven dismounts you have numerous options: a leader and two three-man fire teams; a leader and three two-man fire teams; a leader and a four-man fire team and a two-man weapons team; etc etc. It shouldn't be that hard to find an optimum combo within that.

While the LAV settles the size of the section for mech units, nothing says that a LIB section has to be the same although one can still start with the same ten men and allocate the three "crewmen" as a weapons det while the seven "dismounts" operate the same way as for a mech LAV section.

🍻
 

Kirkhill

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I don't want to stop a good debate about the infantry section (albeit it should be in the infantry thread), but isn't the size of the Canadian mechanized infantry section pretty much settled by the fact that we have a herd of hundreds of LAV 6.0s and they have a crew of 3 and room for 7 dismounts.

We keep debating what the section size should be or how we can make it fit but essentially the vehicle dictates what the section is and to a certain extent how it fights. We should stop fighting the problem and simply accept the reality and move on to the real question: What should the platoon look like?

With four vehicles you can carry some 28 dismounts, regardless of how you organize the sections and the platoon hq. If more dismounts are needed then maybe a platoon should go to five vehicles providing 35 dismounts. Within that envelope - 4 or 5 vehicles, with 12 to 15 dedicated vehicle crews and from 28 to 35 dismounts you can start organizing how to arm the vehicles and men and how to fight as teams. There are enough people to offer many options including sufficient people to handle specialty tasks and crew served weapons.

With a section of seven dismounts you have numerous options: a leader and two three-man fire teams; a leader and three two-man fire teams; a leader and a four-man fire team and a two-man weapons team; etc etc. It shouldn't be that hard to find an optimum combo within that.

While the LAV settles the size of the section for mech units, nothing says that a LIB section has to be the same although one can still start with the same ten men and allocate the three "crewmen" as a weapons det while the seven "dismounts" operate the same way as for a mech LAV section.

🍻

Why do we restrict the organization to 1 section per LAV?
It requires 2 TAPVs to carry a section.
Recce Tps have long used 2 vehicles as a base element and up to 8 vehicles in a Troop.
And why do we have to fill the vehicles?
And, wrt the unwieldiness of the 6 man section vs the 4 man team, the Danes and Swedes are happy enough with the 6 man section and the Swedes are working with 3x 6 + 1 Grd Leader = 19 dismounts carried in 3 vehicles. Again, for reference, the USMC Squad is 15 marines and a corpsman.

So why do we do things the way we do them? And are there alternatives?

WRT discussing the Size and Capabilities and Needs of the Infantry Section and Platoon, and by inference the Company and Battalion is a thread about Force Structure - everything is connected to everything. What capabilities can the Infantry bring to the fight on their own? And what capabilities are better supplied by other arms and branches? And what duplications and redundancies are necessary?

WRT to the latter - if the Ukrainian situation is showing anything it seems to be showing that the answer is not 60mm mortar or 40mm GMG it is both and anything else that will get the job done because you never know what you are actually going to have in your hands to fight once the enemy gets a vote.

There is a school solution - but neither the Ukrainians nor the Russians have their school resources. They are fighting with whatever, and whoever, they can get their hands on.
 

markppcli

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The
Why do we restrict the organization to 1 section per LAV?
It requires 2 TAPVs to carry a section.
Recce Tps have long used 2 vehicles as a base element and up to 8 vehicles in a Troop.
And why do we have to fill the vehicles?
And, wrt the unwieldiness of the 6 man section vs the 4 man team, the Danes and Swedes are happy enough with the 6 man section and the Swedes are working with 3x 6 + 1 Grd Leader = 19 dismounts carried in 3 vehicles. Again, for reference, the USMC Squad is 15 marines and a corpsman.

So your taking around your multi vehicle answer. A section commander is in charge of his vehicle and both his groups. We try to limit commanders to 3 maneuver elements, as that’s approximately the cognitive limit.
 

Kirkhill

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So the USMC solution is one Squad HQ and 3 Fire teams
The Recce solution is 2 vehicles and a dismount team
The Swedish solultion is a Platoon Ldr (mounted) with 3 vehicles carrying a Ground Leader and 3 small sections of 6.

The 3 Swedish Sections + Ground Leader = 19
The 3 USMC Fireteams + HQ = 16
 

FJAG

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So the USMC solution is one Squad HQ and 3 Fire teams
The Recce solution is 2 vehicles and a dismount team
The Swedish solultion is a Platoon Ldr (mounted) with 3 vehicles carrying a Ground Leader and 3 small sections of 6.

The 3 Swedish Sections + Ground Leader = 19
The 3 USMC Fireteams + HQ = 16

I'm starting to lose the plot here. On the one hand you are talking a large USMC section on the other a small Swedish platoon. I really can't see where a two-car recce patrol has anything to do with the thing.

To get back to your question "why do we restrict the organization to 1 section per LAV?" It's because its what one person can conveniently and optimally manage. It frankly doesn't matter what we call things; its how they are used.

Tanks and recce vehicles work in groupings of pairs to provide a cover element while the other moves. We aggregate those pairs into teams of pairs and so on.

Infantry need to be slightly more flexible because not every man carries the same weapon but still, they essentially work in pairs (or fire teams) and groupings of such pairs into assault groups or bricks or whatever. The basic concept at that level, a firebase to cover a manoeuvre element holds true throughout whether we talk a WW2 Brit ten-man section with its Bren gun team or a German nine-man gruppe with an MG34/42 team or a US twelve-man squad with its BAR team.

One thing that came out of WW2 was the mechanization of German Infantrie into Panzergrenadiere. The primary halftrack in use, the Sd.Kfz 251 could carry ten and the gruppe was divided into two MG34/42 teams (one of five (including the gruppen Fuehrer) the other of four men). Two machine guns provided a more symmetric approach as teams traded back and forth between manoeuvre and fire support.

At a certain point, once there is a force large enough to require a reserve or depth, we switch from the pair concept to threes.

I think basically there are some constants built into this. Firstly a section is whatever size can fit into one vehicle and be easily commanded by one leader; second the section internally builds up in pairs to provide internal fire and manoeuvre capabilities regardless of what weapons it has and how many there are in the section; and third, at some level, usually immediately above the section, you introduce a concept of threes to form a reserve/depth which, at each progressive level, is a grouping easily manageable by one leader.

🍻
 

KevinB

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I’d argue that the Mechanized Section makes more sense in two vehicles.
1) The loss of one vehicle doesn’t eliminate the Section or it’s mobility
2) It allows for Section movement to do bouncing over watch.
3) For dispersed positions it provides vehicle redundancy.
4) In terms of the LAV 6.0 it allows for a 12 (2x6 or 3 x4 teams ) soldier dismounted section , plus a local language specialist and medic at the section level. For a total of 14 dismounted personnel.
5) At the PL HQ level is allows for a second LAV to be a CCP / Emergency Recovery vehicle - and/or an ATGM system if you don’t give every LAV an ATGM UA turret.

Sure it doubles the hulls required and increases the logistics and maintenance burden - but it vastly increases the fire power and sustainability of the section, platoon and company in the fight.
 

markppcli

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I’d argue that the Mechanized Section makes more sense in two vehicles.
1) The loss of one vehicle doesn’t eliminate the Section or it’s mobility
2) It allows for Section movement to do bouncing over watch.
3) For dispersed positions it provides vehicle redundancy.
4) In terms of the LAV 6.0 it allows for a 12 (2x6 or 3 x4 teams ) soldier dismounted section , plus a local language specialist and medic at the section level. For a total of 14 dismounted personnel.
5) At the PL HQ level is allows for a second LAV to be a CCP / Emergency Recovery vehicle - and/or an ATGM system if you don’t give every LAV an ATGM UA turret.

Sure it doubles the hulls required and increases the logistics and maintenance burden - but it vastly increases the fire power and sustainability of the section, platoon and company in the fight.
You’re talking about an 8 car platoon. 60 persons. That’s enormous, and it’s dispersion would be almost a kilometre across. Too much for a Pl frankly. Yes we can loose a section from a LAV going down, but six people is six people no matter how you look at it. Besides we have depth to fill that gap.

A section is a single entity, with we group then together they will get used as two independent entities and we might call them teams but for all intent and purposes they’ll function as a section. Show me an 8 car platoon and I’ll show you two “Demi platoons” do exactly what we expect platoons to do.
 

KevinB

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You’re talking about an 8 car platoon. 60 persons. That’s enormous, and it’s dispersion would be almost a kilometre across. Too much for a Pl frankly. Yes we can loose a section from a LAV going down, but six people is six people no matter how you look at it. Besides we have depth to fill that gap.
It’s big yes, but the concept isn’t separating the section by much - no the standard gap between section LAV. If you are still concerned perhaps drop a section from the platoon / 6 vehicles 48 Pers, which isn’t crazy for a platoon.
A section is a single entity, with we group then together they will get used as two independent entities and we might call them teams but for all intent and purposes they’ll function as a section. Show me an 8 car platoon and I’ll show you two “Demi platoons” do exactly what we expect platoons to do.
6 dismounts is pretty light on the ground especially in any complex terrain. I’d rather opt for more vehicles to give the section more bodies on the ground to act like a section not a glorified fireteam.
 

Kirkhill

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@FJAG

You're not losing the plot. Nor have I.

My point is largely what you have stated. Different armies do things differently with different names for different purposes.

Yet they still manage to fight effectively. And the better ones continue to fight effectively even when the parade strength sold to the accountants no longer applies.

You ask why I include the Recce Patrol. You then cite the Panzergrenadiers as a model. But ....

In the Recce Patrol the vehicles are integral to the team. They define how the job is done. In the absence of the vehicles the job changes. Likewise for the Panzergrenadiers, a highly specialized corps of infanteers created to work with the Panzers and supplied with vehicles to allow them, and their kit, to keep up. Did the Panzergrenadier vehicle decide the size of the section or did the section decide the vehicle?

And in Canada's case, where we apparently want a general purpose infantry that can fight effectively with or without its LAVs are the Panzergrenadiers, , a suitable model? Or should we be looking at the Fallschirmjaeger? Or how about bog standard infantry?


When we go back the origins of the modern platoon we find that it was an organization of indeterminate size, subject to reorganization, created to conform to the needs of the moment in the trenches of 1917 and influenced by the lack of trained soldiers and junior leaders, both commissioned and non-commissioned.

We also find the admonition " It is not possible to lay down a correct line of action for all situations which may arise on the battle field." It was a guide, to assist inexperienced commanders in making decisions.

From there we some how have ended up with setting organizations in stone.


I don't know what the right answer is. Largely that is because I don't believe there is a right answer. There is only the answer that meets the needs of the situation.








INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE TRAINING OF PLATOONS FOR
OFFENSIVE ACTION , 1917 .

The instructions herewith are in extenso of those contained in Section IV, paragraph 5 of S. S. 135, Instructions for the Training of Divisions for Offensive Action, and must be read in conjunction therewith.

In the last-mentioned document it is laid down, as a result of recent experience, that the platoon is the unit in the assault.
The organization of a platoon has been decided in G. H. Q. letter O. B./1919, dated February 7, 1917. The guiding principles of this organization are that the platoon shall consist of a combination of all the weapons with which the Infantry are now armed, and that specialist commanders for Infantry are undesirable.
The adoption of a normal formation for the attack has been necessitated partly by the shortness of the time which is available for training, and partly by the lack of experience among subordinate commanders.

This pamphlet has been drawn up with a view to assisting platoon commanders in training and fighting their platoons. It is not possible to lay down a correct line of action for all situations which may arise on the battle field, but it is hoped that a careful study of the instructions herein contained may assist subordinate commanders to act correctly in any situation


PART I. - ORGANIZATION AND TACTICS .
1. ORGANIZATION OF A PLATOON .

The platoon is the smallest unit in the field which comprises all the weapons with which the Infantry soldier is armed . It has a minimum strength , exclusive of its headquarters , of 28 O. R. and a maximum of 44 O. R. If the strength falls below the minimum , the platoon ceases to be workable , and the necessary numbers will be obtained by the temporary almalgamation of companies , platoons , or sections under battalion arrangements .

Taking an average strength in the sections of 36 0. R. , a suitable organization would be as follows :

Headquarters — 1 officer and 4 0. R ....... 4
1 section bombers - 1 N. C. O. and 8 0. R. ( includes 2 bayonet men and 2 throwers ) . 9 (7-11)
1 section Lewis gunners - 1 N. C. O. and 8 O. R. ( includes Nos . 1 and 2 ) ....... 9 (7-11)
1 section riflemen - 1 N. C. O. and 8 0. R. ( picked shots , scouts , picked bayonet fighters ) .. 9 (7-11)
1 section rifle bombers — 1 N. C. O. and 8 0. R. ( includes 4 bomb firers ) . 9 (7-11)
 

Kirkhill

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It’s big yes, but the concept isn’t separating the section by much - no the standard gap between section LAV. If you are still concerned perhaps drop a section from the platoon / 6 vehicles 48 Pers, which isn’t crazy for a platoon.

Interestingly enough 48 is the number of a 1917 British Platoon at full strength (4x 11 + 4 in the HQ).
The 13 man USMC Squad fitted into a 43 man platoon.
The new 15 man Squad will be part of a 49 man platoon, 53 with corpsmen.

Conversely, 50 men has also been a Company organized under a Captain. Or 64 in a Squadron. Or a Troop in some armies.

6 dismounts is pretty light on the ground especially in any complex terrain. I’d rather opt for more vehicles to give the section more bodies on the ground to act like a section not a glorified fireteam.
 

Brad Sallows

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3 x 7 of rifle, LMG, over-and-unders; no additional crew weapons.
1 x 7 of crew weapons (3 teams of whatever is mission appropriate).
No additional people or vehicles.
 

daftandbarmy

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3 x 7 of rifle, LMG, over-and-unders; no additional crew weapons.
1 x 7 of crew weapons (3 teams of whatever is mission appropriate).
No additional people or vehicles.

Point Agree GIF by Ford
 

Brad Sallows

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Yeah, that's the obvious oversight. Pl comd, Pl WO, pl signaller, pl medic. Maybe no easy solution without a fifth ride.

[Add: but also be practical and assume 3 or 4 LoBs.]

[Add: and this is old ground. Deja vu. I recall hearing at the 39 CBG "PD" (CMX/CAX) weekends over 20 years ago, comments from Reg F inf officers recently posted in (to Res F units or HQ) who had been working with the then-new LAVs. The same old questions/discussions: how big should the dismount element be? Which of the I/C and 2I/C remains with the vehicle, and which dismounts? Etc. I suppose they must've known what they were doing. My answer: continue to provide enough training money for the companies to exercise a lot of different scenarios, every year, so that all of the "it depends" variations are worked through, using the as-is equipment and people.]
 
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