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FORCE 2025: Informing the Army’s future structure

Kirkhill

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So I would argue for their organic inclusion for a few reasons:
Firstly I don't think you gain anything from creating a "carrier squadron" beyond confused chains of command and confusion. I base this off my time in New Zealand and watching two Lts (the LAV Tp Ld and the Infantry Pl Cmd) argue over who was in charge of the mission, the dismount, and the vehicles. Leaving them internal mitigates this. Of course this is just an example, there were other examples of just not understanding each others jobs and the inefficiencies of that, the advantage being they were much better crewmen than I'll ever be but I digress.​
Secondly is the mobility; even if we were to dismount further out the ability to gather mass and then disperse to platoon hides after if greater if you have mobility beyond your feet.​
Third organic at the platoon and section level allows us to have crew redundancy without having to hold them in a CQ or where ever else. We all have an extra driver and gunner and can keep the biggest gun in the fight.​
The Bradely Cav variant is actually gone, has been for a while now. The new orbat has 4-5 dismounts per Bradley in the Armoured Bde Cav Sqn. And while yes, all vehicles are of course vulnerable to ATGMs and tanks, they are protection against all manner of small arms and indirect fires when you do need to assault that dug in position. I'll take the risk of an ATGM strike over the option of foot slogging to the objective under mortar and MG fire. Similarly just because you're moving to an objective doesn't mean the LAV is expected to engage tanks, ideally your tanks and engaging their tanks.

PS Bradely's armour is much less than some newer vehicles., Puma jumps to mind.

Just curious though. How is this problem managed when the battalion is carried operationally by RCAF rotary and fixed wing assets, or RCN boats or even Service Battalion trucks? And is there an agreed standard within the battalions on the roles of the LAV Captains and Sgts once the Rifles have dismounted?
 

TangoTwoBravo

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A truck, ship or helicopter delivering infantry to a spot hopefully out of contact from which they then go fight is different than an armoured vehicle that manoeuvres the infantry in contact with the enemy.

Stepping back from the micro of whether the section leaves one or two people in the turret, who and how do we intend to fight? Are we building a force that can do everything from peacekeeping (think UNIFIL as a modern example) to counter-insurgency (Kandahar) to conventional fighting (which could include fighting 2nd/3rd world Armies or conventionally armed and enabled proxies). Do we build units and formations that can do all three? Do we specialize?

We also need to realistic if we are talking about Force 2025. Don't expect "blue sky" planning where anything and everything can change. Its also quite soon in terms of organization.

I took part in Capability Development Experiment 10 (CDX 10) in early 2011 that envisioned a force in 2020 (we didn't predict COVID, but it was still a bad year). I was a Tank Sqn OC in a Battlegroup in a simulated (JCATs and VBS) Horn of Africa. The BG faced an insurgency as well as a hostile neighbouring state. The Battlegroup was dispersed to fight the insurgency, following ADO principles with one Troop of panzers attached to each company and me hanging out with a Troop "in reserve." The neighboring unfriendly state then destroyed one our of dispersed combat teams with a conventional attack that our BG could have easily handled had it not been spread across the countryside. By the time we were able to mass it was too late. Experiments are just that and we can read too much into them, and perhaps the results just accorded with my confirmation bias that mass wins. Mass doesn't mean parking your tank squadron or battlegroup in a leaguer inviting destruction by any number of different fire systems. Penny-packeting, though, is an invitation to defeat in detail against someone willing and able to mass at the decisive time and space.

Phew - that feels better.
 

Kirkhill

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A truck, ship or helicopter delivering infantry to a spot hopefully out of contact from which they then go fight is different than an armoured vehicle that manoeuvres the infantry in contact with the enemy.

Stepping back from the micro of whether the section leaves one or two people in the turret, who and how do we intend to fight? Are we building a force that can do everything from peacekeeping (think UNIFIL as a modern example) to counter-insurgency (Kandahar) to conventional fighting (which could include fighting 2nd/3rd world Armies or conventionally armed and enabled proxies). Do we build units and formations that can do all three? Do we specialize?

We also need to realistic if we are talking about Force 2025. Don't expect "blue sky" planning where anything and everything can change. Its also quite soon in terms of organization.

I took part in Capability Development Experiment 10 (CDX 10) in early 2011 that envisioned a force in 2020 (we didn't predict COVID, but it was still a bad year). I was a Tank Sqn OC in a Battlegroup in a simulated (JCATs and VBS) Horn of Africa. The BG faced an insurgency as well as a hostile neighbouring state. The Battlegroup was dispersed to fight the insurgency, following ADO principles with one Troop of panzers attached to each company and me hanging out with a Troop "in reserve." The neighboring unfriendly state then destroyed one our of dispersed combat teams with a conventional attack that our BG could have easily handled had it not been spread across the countryside. By the time we were able to mass it was too late. Experiments are just that and we can read too much into them, and perhaps the results just accorded with my confirmation bias that mass wins. Mass doesn't mean parking your tank squadron or battlegroup in a leaguer inviting destruction by any number of different fire systems. Penny-packeting, though, is an invitation to defeat in detail against someone willing and able to mass at the decisive time and space.

Phew - that feels better.

Glad you feel better :giggle:

I will stipulate that the point of debarkation matters - and whether or not that point is under fire (like a Hot LZ?). Is that a doctrinal matter or that a matter of risk management by the local field commander at the time?

And I thoroughly agree with your second para. Why, What and How are indeed the critical points.

WRT the "defeat in detail" or "en masse" - isn't there an answer in terms of the speed, precision and effectiveness of any QRF? And isn't Artillery the fastest of the reaction forces available? Their ability to precisely neutralize threats to dispersed forces seems to be one growing capability that doesn't seem to be getting the attention this civvy would give it. Equally their ability to react over long ranges with Cannons, Missiles and Rocket Assisted Take Off UAVs extends the area of the umbrella under which dispersed forces could more securely operate.

But given that the enemy is considering playing the Long Range, Non-Contact game as well then the concurrent development of an Air Defence umbrella would seem to be in order.

If anybody were asking I would be suggesting putting my efforts on 4th Artillery Regiment (General Support) for both LRPF missiles and Air Defence and co-ordinating development with the RCN's CSC efforts.


Edit and for the record - 2 vs 3 in the vehicle, the integration of the GIBs, LRPFs and ADO, and the roles of the RCN, RCAF and CANSOF - all parts of a common spectrum, IMO.
 
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daftandbarmy

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A truck, ship or helicopter delivering infantry to a spot hopefully out of contact from which they then go fight is different than an armoured vehicle that manoeuvres the infantry in contact with the enemy.

Stepping back from the micro of whether the section leaves one or two people in the turret, who and how do we intend to fight? Are we building a force that can do everything from peacekeeping (think UNIFIL as a modern example) to counter-insurgency (Kandahar) to conventional fighting (which could include fighting 2nd/3rd world Armies or conventionally armed and enabled proxies). Do we build units and formations that can do all three? Do we specialize?

We also need to realistic if we are talking about Force 2025. Don't expect "blue sky" planning where anything and everything can change. Its also quite soon in terms of organization.

I took part in Capability Development Experiment 10 (CDX 10) in early 2011 that envisioned a force in 2020 (we didn't predict COVID, but it was still a bad year). I was a Tank Sqn OC in a Battlegroup in a simulated (JCATs and VBS) Horn of Africa. The BG faced an insurgency as well as a hostile neighbouring state. The Battlegroup was dispersed to fight the insurgency, following ADO principles with one Troop of panzers attached to each company and me hanging out with a Troop "in reserve." The neighboring unfriendly state then destroyed one our of dispersed combat teams with a conventional attack that our BG could have easily handled had it not been spread across the countryside. By the time we were able to mass it was too late. Experiments are just that and we can read too much into them, and perhaps the results just accorded with my confirmation bias that mass wins. Mass doesn't mean parking your tank squadron or battlegroup in a leaguer inviting destruction by any number of different fire systems. Penny-packeting, though, is an invitation to defeat in detail against someone willing and able to mass at the decisive time and space.

Phew - that feels better.

So you guys read up on the COIN thing in Vietnam, Rhodesia and South Africa, right? ;)
 

Kirkhill

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What would it take for the RCA to be able to drop a Type 26 CSC frigate or three into the middle of the Sahara?

1622480627126.png

General characteristics [2]
Displacement:7,800 t (7,700 long tons) (standard)
Length:151.4 m (496 ft 9 in)
Beam:20.75 m (68 ft 1 in)
Draught:8 m (26 ft 3 in)
Propulsion:
Speed:27 knots (50 km/h; 31 mph)
Range:7,000 nmi (13,000 km; 8,100 mi)
Complement:204
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Command and control
  • Surveillance & weapon sensors
    • Lockheed Martin Canada AN/SPY-7(V)1[3] Solid State 3D AESA radar
    • MDA Solid State AESA Target Illuminator
    • X & S Band navigation radars
    • Electro-optical and infrared systems
  • Underwater warfare systems
    • Hull-mounted sonar: Ultra Electronics Sonar S2150-C[4]
    • Towed sonar: Ultra Electronics TFLAS[5] (variable depth)
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
Lockheed Martin Canada RAVEN electronic countermeasures[6]
Ultra Electronics SEA SENTOR S21700 towed torpedo countermeasures
Armament:
Aircraft carried:
Aviation facilities:
Notes:
  • Flexible Mission Bay
    • Rolls-Royce Mission Bay Handling System
    • Modular mission support capacity for sea containers and vehicles
    • 2 × 9–12 m (30–39 ft) multi-role boats
    • 1 × 9 m rescue boat

Sensors not concentrated necessarily but dispersed, or at least augmented by dispersed sensors.
 

TangoTwoBravo

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Glad you feel better :giggle:

I will stipulate that the point of debarkation matters - and whether or not that point is under fire (like a Hot LZ?). Is that a doctrinal matter or that a matter of risk management by the local field commander at the time?

And I thoroughly agree with your second para. Why, What and How are indeed the critical points.

WRT the "defeat in detail" or "en masse" - isn't there an answer in terms of the speed, precision and effectiveness of any QRF? And isn't Artillery the fastest of the reaction forces available? Their ability to precisely neutralize threats to dispersed forces seems to be one growing capability that doesn't seem to be getting the attention this civvy would give it. Equally their ability to react over long ranges with Cannons, Missiles and Rocket Assisted Take Off UAVs extends the area of the umbrella under which dispersed forces could more securely operate.

But given that the enemy is considering playing the Long Range, Non-Contact game as well then the concurrent development of an Air Defence umbrella would seem to be in order.

If anybody were asking I would be suggesting putting my efforts on 4th Artillery Regiment (General Support) for both LRPF missiles and Air Defence and co-ordinating development with the RCN's CSC efforts.


Edit and for the record - 2 vs 3 in the vehicle, the integration of the GIBs, LRPFs and ADO, and the roles of the RCN, RCAF and CANSOF - all parts of a common spectrum, IMO.
A troop-carrying AFV is different than a truck which is different from a helicopter which is different from a ship. They are held and employed very differently. The trucks, helicopters and ships are a means to move around and should be held centrally for re-allocation. Plus they are much more general purpose. The AFV, whether armed with an MG or a cannon, manoeuvres the section. In the case of the 25mm (or similar) weapons it is an important part of the section/platoon's firepower. I doubt very much that a potential outcome of Force 2025 is to ditch the 25mm.

No argument about GBAD. Regarding fires, I worry much less about integrating with the CSC than about the usual coalition joint fires. We need direct fire missiles for our infantry (ALAWs).
 

blacktriangle

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Kirkkill - I wonder if it would look something like a Canadian take on the US Army's Multi Domain Task Force concept?

Perhaps it could be paired with some kind of Recce/Cavalry organization based on LAV 6.0 (including LRSS) for operations in Europe.
 

Kirkhill

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A troop-carrying AFV is different than a truck which is different from a helicopter which is different from a ship. They are held and employed very differently. The trucks, helicopters and ships are a means to move around and should be held centrally for re-allocation. Plus they are much more general purpose. The AFV, whether armed with an MG or a cannon, manoeuvres the section. In the case of the 25mm (or similar) weapons it is an important part of the section/platoon's firepower. I doubt very much that a potential outcome of Force 2025 is to ditch the 25mm.

No argument about GBAD. Regarding fires, I worry much less about integrating with the CSC than about the usual coalition joint fires. We need direct fire missiles for our infantry (ALAWs).
Not so much thinking about ditching the 25mm.. More a case of ditching the section. At least while the manoeuvre battle is being fought.
 

Kirkhill

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And who is considering the Robotic Bren Gun Carrier? Autonomous vehicle with Man in the Loop weapons station - Heli transportable carrier for light infantry. Strong enough to recover a LAV?

Heliportable

Follow Me and Return Home.

Bundeswehr tests

ATGM System

Developed by the Finns and currently being further developed by the Estonians. Apparently the Estonians are working to ensure that the vehicle cannot be high-jacked and turned against them.

 
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Kirkhill

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And the "piece de resistance"

Estonian Live Fire Ex.

A light company combined with a 6 gun D30 battery in the DF Anti-Tank role and a section of ZSU-23s mounted portee on the back of two trucks and enhanced by a pair of UGVs. One up to support a Carl-Gustav AT team and one back transporting a cabled spotter drone.

The gun line is to hold against an attacking armoured battalion.

 

Edward Campbell

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The (allied) doctrine for amphibious operations used to be (remember, please, that I retired going on 25 years ago) that the Navy task force commander retained full command of the landing force until (s)he was satisfied that the land force commander was secure on the beach.

I think that makes sense in that situation.

I do not believe we should try to equate ships with aircraft and APCs or troop carling vehicles. I think the problems of managing the "transition" when one has a carrier until and a separate combat arms force is too complicated. I think the idea of carrier regiments has one and ONLY one advantage: it may be necessary when you have insufficient resources ~ rather like a four month delay between vaccine doses.
 

Brad Sallows

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But surely the underlying supposition is that the LAV is a Fighting Vehicle?

I'm still curious what result is expected in a high-intensity conflict against a competent foe (eg. not Iraqis).
 

Kirkhill

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The (allied) doctrine for amphibious operations used to be (remember, please, that I retired going on 25 years ago) that the Navy task force commander retained full command of the landing force until (s)he was satisfied that the land force commander was secure on the beach.

I think that makes sense in that situation.

I do not believe we should try to equate ships with aircraft and APCs or troop carling vehicles. I think the problems of managing the "transition" when one has a carrier until and a separate combat arms force is too complicated. I think the idea of carrier regiments has one and ONLY one advantage: it may be necessary when you have insufficient resources ~ rather like a four month delay between vaccine doses.

I think that it makes sense to regularly co-operating forces in co-operation. It makes sense to collocate different units that will work together in close cooperation in the field to reduce the administrative burden of having them work jointly. Post marines on ships. Collocate gunners, engineers and infanteers, helicopters and gunners and engineers and infanteers, and yes tanks and close combat vehicles and gunners and engineers and infanteers.

Familiarity breeds more than contempt. Conversely, isolation is a sterile concept.

WRT the Light Armoured Vehicle as an Infantry Fighting Vehicle and further to the definition supplied by MarkPPCLI -

"The term “armoured infantry fighting vehicle” means an armoured combat vehicle which is designed and equipped primarily to transport a combat infantry squad, which normally provides the capability for the troops to deliver fire from inside the vehicle under armoured protection, and which is armed with an integral or organic cannon of at least 20 millimetres calibre and sometimes an antitank missile launcher."

The key element is the highlighted one. The difference between the M113 and the LAV is the M113 mounted the Platoon's weapons while the Platoon was in transit. The Platoon dismounted the weapons for the fight. The Battle Taxi fell in behind the lines to exfiltrate the Platoon when required. The Platoon fought on the ground.

The LAV, with its integral weapons, is not capable of dismounting its primary weapons. To get the advantage of those weapons it is necessary to Fight the whole Vehicle. You can't dig in the Bushmaster. You have to dig in the entire LAV. Once the vehicle has an integral weapon it is automatically a Fighting Vehicle, even if it has no armour at all.

It is tempting to use the available vehicles to give the footsloggers a ride but the cost of giving the warm seats in the back is it makes the Fighting Vehicle a bigger target, less manoeuverable and thus less effective in its Fighting Role and it encourages keeping the infantry on board longer than they should be.

Those THeMIS UGVs present a better means of incorporating machine cannons and ATGMs into the infantry battalion in that they operate on the same scale as the infantry - similar size, similar speed, similar concealability, similar terrain.

If the Tanks need a companion vehicle with cannon and ATGMs then I think it would only be fair to those crews to give them the same armour and manoeuverability as the tanks. Otherwise they will be picked off by Recoilless Rifles, anti-tank guns and older model tanks, ATGMs and drones while the "Modern" tanks battle it out.

If they were carrying GIBs not only do they become larger targets, the armour becomes thinner and the GIBs.... don't do well at all.



It is true that our citizenry is parsimonious when it comes to defence. We both know it was ever thus. It is unlikely to change, especially if war becomes the common rather than the extraordinary. So needs must.

The one thing it is clear that Canadians value more than their treasure is the blood of the children.

That means that an infantry-centric force is less likely to be used than a technology-centric force.

That means that infanteers will have less value politically even when they are tactically critical. We will have to hang on to those volunteers we get and make them as flexible as possible. By all means, train the infanteers to work with the LAVs, even post the LAVs and the infanteers to the same battalion. But I believe that those infanteers should also be trained to debus from helicopters. And light infanteers should equally be trained to co-operate with LAVs.

If not a Carrier Regiment per Brigade then at least a Light Armoured Fighting Vehicle Company per Medium Battalion.
 

daftandbarmy

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The one thing it is clear that Canadians value more than their treasure is the blood of the children.

That means that an infantry-centric force is less likely to be used than a technology-centric force.

So how did that work out in every war/battle that we've fought since, oh, I dunno, the Plains of Abraham?

Any war will result in a higher absolute number of infantry casualties than other arms and services. It's part of the territory.

That's why the chicks dig us, like, the most :)

Episode 5 GIF by The Simpsons
 

Kirkhill

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As long as we have the option of choosing our wars, our Kabinett wars, then the enthusiasm will only last as long as the low cost victories. We can apparently sustain the drip of the occasional loss of a pilot here or there or an SOF operator. But once we surpass the double digits, like the 158 lost in Afghanistan, then the government loses the citizenry.

I agree the frontline infantry is critical to winning wars. I also agree that the frontline infantry takes most casualties and is always in short supply.

But the Canadian public will not support dead Canadians in Estonia.

On the other hand the Estonians, don't feel they have the luxury of the debate. They are confronted with the possibility of taking on tanks with infanteers, machine guns, Carl Gustaf's, truck-mounted anti-aircraft cannons and towed gun/howitzers taking on tanks at ranges under 1 km. They don't have the time or money to wait for the perfect anti-tank solution so they are making it up as they go along and working with what they have.

Meanwhile, we debate.

If we really wanted to help Estonia, or the Ukraine, we would buy them some of the latest war-winning technologies they are asking for and let them get on with it. They have the will to fight for their land and their government.

Another way we could assist, in the future, would be to send a flotilla of CSC frigates loaded to the gunwales with Tomahawks and Air Defence Missiles and park them where they could put an umbrella over the Baltic States, Kaliningrad and St Petersburg.

Canadians will support infantry casualties (maybe) when the Second Battle of the Plains of Abraham is fought.
 
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