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Infantry Tactics

Infanteer

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I dug around, but couldn't find a generalist thread in these forums.

https://www.benning.army.mil/infantry/magazine/issues/2018/OCT-DEC/pdf/7_Kearnes_NTC.pdf

A good article about a Light Infantry Company on a rotation to the NTC at Fort Irwin.  The three points that stuck out to me were:

1. Setting an SOP where the Company Comd led the movement and attacks by night, and handed over to the 2IC (XO) to manage the defence by day, allowing the Coy Comd to rest and plan.  An interesting division of labour, and one that would involve some trust.

2. The centrality of the ATGM system to a Light Infantry element operating against a mechanized adversary.  Note that the felt the Javelin, in these environments, should be pushed down to the Section (Squad) level - basically, each section exists to protect a missile.

3. The continued effort to shed weight off the infanteer.  I liked the point about the SOP about wearing just flak vest with no plates - it stripped off ballistic protection but didn't really strip off discomfort and weight as the soldiers still carried a vest.  Still, in an environment with an artillery threat, the flak vest may be required.  Note that an e-tool was essential for all personnel (something I still believe) in and that the job of leaders is to strictly define the ceiling of what is carried, and not the floor - ie. kitlists need to describe only those items which are carried, and not the bare minimum; only in this way can you prevent 120lb rucks.
 

Underway

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Infanteer said:
kitlists need to describe only those items which are carried, and not the bare minimum; only in this way can you prevent 120lb rucks.

That seems antithetical to the army unspoken SOPs.  Buy as much of your own kit as possible and cram it into your pack.  Coffee presses, cool camping gear...  What about my extra socks?  My own personal way of "surviving" in the field with the tricks and gear that help me out?  And then layer on the plates, ammo etc...
 

Infanteer

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https://www.benning.army.mil/infantry/magazine/issues/2019/Summer/pdf/4_PF_Battjes.pdf

Another good one from Infantry - from an Mech Inf Battalion Commander's experience at NTC.  A few notes:

1.  The author states that if mech infantry cannot manoeuvre on foot - supported or unsupported by its vehicles - than it is not providing full value to its higher HQ.  The "so what" is that mechanized infantry need to do forced marches and all that "foot stuff."

2.  As with the previous article, the author states the centrality of the ATGM to small unit tactics in a mechanized environment.  He even argues that the Mech Platoon should be reorganized into a 2x 12-man Squad (Section) organization with 3x 3-man Rifle Teams and a 3-man Support Team in each.  There are some pros and cons to this, but the salient point is that the riflemen exist to protect crew-served weapons.

3.  The article spoke to "infantry pure" operations - it must not be forgotten that a primary task for the infantry in combined arms operations is to provide dismounted protection for tanks.

4.  The author states that the primary threat to infantry to be considered should be adversary personnel carriers.  I disagree with this assumption; if the fighting in Ukraine is any sign of things, then adversary indirect systems will remain the number one threat to infantry forces.

In the end, the author is critical of the new ABCT design which features a 2:3 ratio of mech infantry to tank elements.  This isn't the first time in history that I've seen organizations be criticized for lacking boots on the ground.
 

daftandbarmy

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The Americans, of course, have done alot of work on Infantry Lessons Learned from the Falklands Conflict. I like this one because it mentions alot of the deficiencies in training and equipment that I heard from those who were there on the battlefield.

Conversely, this quote nicely sums up the main themes of why the same people told me that the British Infantry ultimately triumphed:

‘It is noteworthy that some analysts laid part for the blame for the Argentinian defeat on their American training which ‘had taught them to rely too heavily on resources rather than human endeavor.’

The British Infantry in the Falklands Conflict: Lessons of the Light Infantry in 1982 and their relevance to the British Army at the turn of the Century.

https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a367931.pdf
 

Jarnhamar

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[quote author=Infanteer]

2. The centrality of the ATGM system to a Light Infantry element operating against a mechanized adversary.  Note that the felt the Javelin, in these environments, should be pushed down to the Section (Squad) level - basically, each section exists to protect a missile.[/quote]

I think this is a great idea. With how saturated the battle space is with vehicles I think light infantry is almost useless without some kind of anti-armor capability. If not ATGMs then at least 84mm's with the new predictive sights at section level.



We recommend that future leaders accept the risk and create different mission configurations: rucksack only, assault pack only, IOTV with assault pack, and IOTV only.

I really like this. Give leaders on the ground the ability to choose. Benefits of mobility vs protection can be capitalized.
I can't see the CAF doing this though. People would be screaming that if you get injured while not wearing your body armor and plates you won't be covered by SISIP.

The following are further recommendations beyond IOTV posture for Soldier load plans based on our lessons learned. Wet-  and  cold-weather  gear  beyond  a  poncho  and  poncho  liner is unnecessary, especially when Soldiers sleep in their mandatory Joint Service Lightweight Integrated Suit Technology (JSLIST).

It looks like they're suggesting using CBRN suits as sleeping bags.  The minute suits are opened up from their packaging they start to degrade. Sweating in them and sleeping in the sand and dirt with them is going to further degrade them. And damage them. I understand economy of effort (sleeping on your body armor instead of thermarest) but this suggestion seems pretty weird.
 

dapaterson

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Infanteer said:
2.  As with the previous article, the author states the centrality of the ATGM to small unit tactics in a mechanized environment.  He even argues that the Mech Platoon should be reorganized into a 2x 12-man Squad (Section) organization with 3x 3-man Rifle Teams and a 4-man Support Team in each.  There are some pros and cons to this, but the salient point is that the riflemen exist to protect crew-served weapons.

Is this infantry math?  3x3 + 4 = 12?
 

Infanteer

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dapaterson said:
Is this infantry math?  3x3 + 4 = 12?

Lol, its Sunday, leave me alone!  That should say a 3-man support team.
 

brihard

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Infanteer said:
3. The continued effort to shed weight off the infanteer.  I liked the point about the SOP about wearing just flak vest with no plates - it stripped off ballistic protection but didn't really strip off discomfort and weight as the soldiers still carried a vest.  Still, in an environment with an artillery threat, the flak vest may be required.  Note that an e-tool was essential for all personnel (something I still believe) in and that the job of leaders is to strictly define the ceiling of what is carried, and not the floor - ie. kitlists need to describe only those items which are carried, and not the bare minimum; only in this way can you prevent 120lb rucks.

It’s long past time to move the Green Army to newer ballistic plate technology. The 20+lb ballistic plates we’ve been wearing forever have been overtaken by much, much lighter stuff. You can get nearly the same protection (and arguably as much battlefield-relevant protection) from plates that are a fifth the weight. They already exist in the supply/procurement system...
 

Jarnhamar

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Brihard said:
It’s long past time to move the Green Army to newer ballistic plate technology. The 20+lb ballistic plates we’ve been wearing forever have been overtaken by much, much lighter stuff. You can get nearly the same protection (and arguably as much battlefield-relevant protection) from plates that are a fifth the weight. They already exist in the supply/procurement system...

I don't think there is any interest in using the green army beyond parades and second hand CANSOF training missions.

But you're right, some of the stuff out there is way lighter and a higher ballistic rating- including being able to withstand multiple hits.
 

kratz

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Sadly,

We need another hot conflict before there will be a budget for new items like this.

The line for the "wish list" starts to the left. 
I wish I was sarcastic.
 

daftandbarmy

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Brihard said:
It’s long past time to move the Green Army to newer ballistic plate technology. The 20+lb ballistic plates we’ve been wearing forever have been overtaken by much, much lighter stuff. You can get nearly the same protection (and arguably as much battlefield-relevant protection) from plates that are a fifth the weight. They already exist in the supply/procurement system...

The fact that we always tend to talk more about better body armour etc, as opposed to better weapon systems, selection and training, and overall offensive capabilities, is a good example of where our 'mindset' challenges are when discussing Infantry matters in Canada.
 

brihard

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daftandbarmy said:
The fact that we always tend to talk more about better body armour etc, as opposed to better weapon systems, selection and training, and overall offensive capabilities, is a good example of where our 'mindset' challenges are when discussing Infantry matters in Canada.

I see us talk about better weapon systems, selection, and training here frequently enough. Armour happened to come up, and when I see an opportunity to shave ~16lbs off a soldier's individual kit by substituting a single piece of PPE, that's worth mention.
 

quadrapiper

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Brihard said:
...an opportunity to shave ~16lbs off a soldier's individual kit by substituting a single piece of PPE...
To allow its replacement with 16 lbs of some other item, yes?
 

ballz

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quadrapiper said:
To allow its replacement with 16 lbs of some other item, yes?

No doubt, but that's 16 lbs of something that might make you more effective like ammo, water, or yes even snivel kit, as opposed to 16 lbs of something that helps restrict your ability to breathe and is no longer required if you had the lighter plates.

No matter what technology they find, including exoskeletons, the soldiers load probably will not lighten on his body. Humans trying to kill humans will take whatever advantage they can, and after all the technology the remaining advantages are whatever the human body can provide you with. Being stronger and able to bring more resources to the fight will remain an advantage, and so it won't be cast aside.
 

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Interesting. 

I recall reading at some point that a key change in the capability of the infantry during WWI was the ability to project HE mass.  Either by rifle grenade, or grenade.  An infantry unit without the ability to project HE is no-where near as effective as one which can. 

Considering the current equipage of troops - the HE projectors we currently employ in typical infantry units are:  M72, M203, hand grenades

Putting a Javelin in an infantry section is a hugely effective capability - and making the section responsible for 'defending' that capability is exactly what they exist for. 

Interesting.
 

tomahawk6

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The rifle company was supported by division FA.The WW2 infantry squad was larger than current squads. The infantry in ww2 had mortars,the bazooka,rifle grenades and machine guns.The rifle company today has more firepower but is also smaller in size. The smaller size means that the company being smaller is less able to sustain casualties and remain combat effective.
 

daftandbarmy

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tomahawk6 said:
The rifle company was supported by division FA.The WW2 infantry squad was larger than current squads. The infantry in ww2 had mortars,the bazooka,rifle grenades and machine guns.The rifle company today has more firepower but is also smaller in size. The smaller size means that the company being smaller is less able to sustain casualties and remain combat effective.

Some interesting discussion on that subject here: The Evolution of the Squad
 

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observor 69

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Just wondering; how do drones fit in avoiding threats to forward parties/ scouts ?
 

daftandbarmy

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Baden Guy said:
Just wondering; how do drones fit in avoiding threats to forward parties/ scouts ?

Looks like the USMC has done some thinking about that:


Marines Reorganize Infantry For High-Tech War: Fewer Riflemen, More Drones

◾Each rifle squad will get its own quadcopter mini-drone to scout ahead and a drone operator to run it. But the squad will shrink from 13 Marines (three fire teams of four plus a squad leader) to 12 (three fire teams of three plus a command team of squad leader, assistant squad leader, and “squad systems operator”). Every rifleman will carry the new M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle (IAR), complete with flash suppressor, instead of the lighter and less powerful M4 or M16.

◾Each rifle platoon will also get a specialist drone operator. They and the platoon leadership will also get the M27.


https://breakingdefense.com/2018/05/marines-reorganize-infantry-for-high-tech-war-fewer-riflemen-more-drones/
 

Jarnhamar

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Doesn't 3x fire teams of 3, plus squad leader, assistant squad leader, squad systems operator and also specialist drone operator make 13?

Is the squad systems operator also the drone operator?
 
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