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Infantry Tactics

Kat Stevens

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Blah blah.

Ever ben a 2Lt with 10-40 weeks training in charge of dangerous people on a mission that cannot fail?

As I get older, I find I have less patience for this rote denegation of people who are doing their jobs....because of their designation.
No idea what that feels like, sorry. Message received. Out.
 

daftandbarmy

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Maybe we need to recruit Incels for this. They'll already come with a good level of aggression and have no significant attachments to worry about. Might be some Op Honour issues there but if we keep them deployed away from everyone else ...

🤔

It's pretty clear that part of this re-entry into former 'outposts of Empire', in a long term physical presence kind of way, is a message to China that their Belt and Road initiative will have a few Sleeping Policeman along the way. Similar messages are likely aimed at Russia and Iran.

The downside will be sustaining this effort, financially and otherwise. The retreat from Empire since WW2 was been largely driven by an effort to save costs. One of the reasons the British kept the Gurkha regiments around for so long was that they were a cheap and reliable method of securing key colonial terrian, like Hong Kong. I assume they're planning on training and standing up local forces (as they did with the Gurkhas), using the Ranger units, to act as force multipliers outside of the UK.

Concurrently, I'm guessing that we'll see a new Golden Age for mercenaries and contractors of various types, of course. A good example is the Loan Service arrangement the UK has with Oman, where British officers and NCOs lead Omani units, and provide other support.
 

FJAG

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It's pretty clear that part of this re-entry into former 'outposts of Empire', in a long term physical presence kind of way, is a message to China that their Belt and Road initiative will have a few Sleeping Policeman along the way. Similar messages are likely aimed at Russia and Iran.

The downside will be sustaining this effort, financially and otherwise. The retreat from Empire since WW2 was been largely driven by an effort to save costs. One of the reasons the British kept the Gurkha regiments around for so long was that they were a cheap and reliable method of securing key colonial terrian, like Hong Kong. I assume they're planning on training and standing up local forces (as they did with the Gurkhas), using the Ranger units, to act as force multipliers outside of the UK.

Concurrently, I'm guessing that we'll see a new Golden Age for mercenaries and contractors of various types, of course. A good example is the Loan Service arrangement the UK has with Oman, where British officers and NCOs lead Omani units, and provide other support.

One thing about those types of clandestine and semi-clandestine deployments is that make convenient targets for local malcontents as well as opfor clandestine actors. That said, pairing SAS with MI6 sends a powerful message. One wonders what the RoE will be like. Are we back to 1950s/1960s Europe?

🤔
 

daftandbarmy

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One thing about those types of clandestine and semi-clandestine deployments is that make convenient targets for local malcontents as well as opfor clandestine actors. That said, pairing SAS with MI6 sends a powerful message. One wonders what the RoE will be like. Are we back to 1950s/1960s Europe?

🤔

UKSF and MI5/6 have been working together for years. I have no idea why they think it's important to make an announcement about it right now, unless they're just trying to send a warning of some kind.
 

FJAG

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UKSF and MI5/6 have been working together for years. I have no idea why they think it's important to make an announcement about it right now, unless they're just trying to send a warning of some kind.

It strikes me a bit like when US Tier 1 HQs and folks were starting to get worn out during mid Iraq and Afghanistan and they started dialing up what the Ranger Regt and SF Groups and even Marine SF (not to mention non-Team 6 SEALs) were starting to be tasked with simply to spread the work load around and to leave the true Tier 1 guys set aside for the trickiest jobs.

I've thought for a long time that 2 CMBG should become a light brigade (perhaps somewhat restructured) and together with CANSOFCOM deal with almost all (except for Latvia which is heavy metal) of our international deployments involving military advisor/training. That would leave 5 brigade mechanized for peacekeeping etc stuff and 1 brigade armoured for Europe/Latvia. (But then we'd have to change the whole way we do MRPs)

🍻
 

daftandbarmy

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It strikes me a bit like when US Tier 1 HQs and folks were starting to get worn out during mid Iraq and Afghanistan and they started dialing up what the Ranger Regt and SF Groups and even Marine SF (not to mention non-Team 6 SEALs) were starting to be tasked with simply to spread the work load around and to leave the true Tier 1 guys set aside for the trickiest jobs.

I've thought for a long time that 2 CMBG should become a light brigade (perhaps somewhat restructured) and together with CANSOFCOM deal with almost all (except for Latvia which is heavy metal) of our international deployments involving military advisor/training. That would leave 5 brigade mechanized for peacekeeping etc stuff and 1 brigade armoured for Europe/Latvia. (But then we'd have to change the whole way we do MRPs)

🍻

Which further suggests that the theoretical and strategic underpinnings of Special Forces, and their 'helpers', are not yet well developed:

"Identifying the “theory” gap​

The rise to military prominence of SF in recent years has been unprecedented, but it is a phenomenon that has unfolded with relatively little mainstream scholarly attention in the great debates about modern strategy. Looking closely at the core strategy conversations and discussions of the last two decades, from fourth-generation warfare,9 risk-transfer warfare/spectator-sport war,10 and most recently, hybrid warfare,11 reveals little sustained interest. The paradox of SF is that while popular social fascination has never been higher and increases annually, the theoretical foundations have remained relatively stagnant. Put simply, it has not moved much further from early thinking when these units were first created nearly 80 years ago.12 SF may have become the preferred military “first responders” for advanced powers into international affairs in the twenty-first century, yet they are perhaps the most underexplored aspect of military studies from a theoretical perspective, with barely a scrap of weighty strategic thought13 to guide their employment. There is no Clausewitz14 or Galula15 (to take just two examples) of special forces and they are barely visible in the staples of contemporary military theory. This state of affairs begs large and pressing theoretical questions as to whether this relatively new dimension of warfare merely supplements, supports, and sustains traditional approaches or if it has the potential to transform the use of force between powerful nation-states. Without substantial theoretical exploration, the latter will always remain a largely undiscovered country with the odd accidental incursion (the Afghan Model in 2001), with little recognition of its significance."

 

FJAG

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Which further suggests that the theoretical and strategic underpinnings of Special Forces, and their 'helpers', are not yet well developed:

"Identifying the “theory” gap​

Interesting when you think about it. Most of the advances do seem to have more to do with advances in technology and the integration of multi-disciplinary agencies breaking down silos. I guess that's a "theoretical foundation" advance in it's own right. The Russians seem to have advanced the concept of incorporating a blended, escalating continuum of special to conventional forces quite well. Is it the theory that is missing or is it that we question the morality of using it to its potential? Special Forces have a limited role in peacetime, defensive warfare.

🍻
 

Kirkhill

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And at the same time we are contemplating Gray Zone Warfare do we also need to keep an eye on Conventional Warfare in this Multi-Domain construct?


Army graphic


Do we need to adjust the LAV Battalions? Can we rely on the vehicles more and redistribute the manpower so that we put fewer troops in the section vehicles in order to man more vehicles?

Instead of 10 troops per section in a vehicle, or even 3 in the crew and 6 in the section can we contemplate crews of 2 and a team of 4 in a vehicle? With the extra troops going into dedicated support teams like ATGMs, MUAS, EW, Swarm/FOOFAC, Recce?


Army Still Too Focused on COIN

Can an army, any army, walk both sides of the street at the same time?

Or does it need to split into a Gray Army to fight the Constabulary Wars and a Green Army to fight the Conventional Wars? Both Armies are going to be short of bodies and will have to optimize their potential with available technologies.

One really interesting item from the graphic is under Summary of Organizational Changes, item 3.

Add ... Additive Manufacturing ... to BSB

3D printing in the service battalion.

Which gives rise to this thought

1618165039739.png
1618165214259.png

What if you could print your UAS at the launch point? And manufacture your explosives. Fuel is locally available from existing diesel needs.

Then all you have to do is transport the motor/sensor/controller package and assemble.
 

daftandbarmy

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And at the same time we are contemplating Gray Zone Warfare do we also need to keep an eye on Conventional Warfare in this Multi-Domain construct?


Army graphic


Do we need to adjust the LAV Battalions? Can we rely on the vehicles more and redistribute the manpower so that we put fewer troops in the section vehicles in order to man more vehicles?

Instead of 10 troops per section in a vehicle, or even 3 in the crew and 6 in the section can we contemplate crews of 2 and a team of 4 in a vehicle? With the extra troops going into dedicated support teams like ATGMs, MUAS, EW, Swarm/FOOFAC, Recce?




Can an army, any army, walk both sides of the street at the same time?

Or does it need to split into a Gray Army to fight the Constabulary Wars and a Green Army to fight the Conventional Wars? Both Armies are going to be short of bodies and will have to optimize their potential with available technologies.

One really interesting item from the graphic is under Summary of Organizational Changes, item 3.



3D printing in the service battalion.

Which gives rise to this thought

View attachment 64885
View attachment 64886

What if you could print your UAS at the launch point? And manufacture your explosives. Fuel is locally available from existing diesel needs.

Then all you have to do is transport the motor/sensor/controller package and assemble.


A good Army should be able to do it all, and switch back and forth as required, pending some conversion and training time investment.
 

FJAG

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The SBCT graphic is an interesting one for several reasons:

1 The move to a CEMA cell and adding EW is self explanatory and a good move;

2. moving Anti-armour from the Engr Bn to the cavalry squadron is also interesting. It originally was in the Engr bn as an administrative issue while being employed as a brigade resource. Moving it into the cavalry sqn shows a shift towards a more cohesive and coordinated cavalry/anti-armour fight

3. moving to three wheeled eight gun artillery batteries shows a more protected, more mobile, more flexible fires component.

4. up-gunning some coy Strykers to 30 mm shows more of a capability to take on light armoured vehicles

5. I'm neutral on the MGS replacement because I'm still not sure that the US Army knows what it wants it's direct fire assets to actually do in an SBCT - direct fire support or mini tank.

Note that the initial concept for the SBCT was to move under armour and fight on foot while the ABCT was designed to fight mounted. There seems to be a subtle shift albeit that the Stryker is still too light in armour to go to a full mounted fight.

What most bothers me about this model is that is designed for 2028 to 2040. That is entirely too long a horizon. IMHO this should reflect an interim model more targeted to the 2025 to 2030 timeframe with a much more advanced model being planned for the 2028 to 2040. There are entirely too many equipment capabilities and tactical changes on the near horizon that will quickly supersede this structure. I know one can't turn an organization as large as the US Army on a dime but ...

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FJAG

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A good Army should be able to do it all, and switch back and forth as required, pending some conversion and training time investment.

To me that means equip and train for the heavy fight peer fight with all the enablers that requires.

You can't take a light bn and make it heavy armour overnight.

Takes me back to my hobby horse. You need a small light to medium trained and equipped full time force to meet the day to day peacetime missions that the country chooses to take on and a large and heavy equipped and trained reserve force to meet the wartime missions that the country can't avoid being involved in.

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daftandbarmy

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To me that means equip and train for the heavy fight peer fight with all the enablers that requires.

You can't take a light bn and make it heavy armour overnight.

Takes me back to my hobby horse. You need a small light to medium trained and equipped full time force to meet the day to day peacetime missions that the country chooses to take on and a large and heavy equipped and trained reserve force to meet the wartime missions that the country can't avoid being involved in.

🍻

I'm not sure what they do now, but the British Army used to do it all the time. Switching from Type A (Armoured) to Type B (Non-armoured) and back again, while adding in a NI tour or something like that in between, was all accomplished with relative ease.

Heavy artillery units in Germany re-roled to infantry and deployed, very successfully, to Northern Ireland in a few months. Heck, 1 PARA even switched from Airborne Assault to a Mountainous Arctic Warfare role, including adding a troop of Scimitar CVRT crewed by the Recce Pl, within a couple of months as I recall.

This is an important skill set for commanders, staff and troops at all levels that we neglect developing at our peril, IMHO.
 

Kirkhill

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A good Army should be able to do it all, and switch back and forth as required, pending some conversion and training time investment.
Continuing to think ... bad news I'm afraid.

IF one army is to do it all shouldn't it at least be configured to be able to prosecute both a Gray Route and a Green Route and be able to switch the main effort when necessary?

ie. Shouldn't we commit to an organization that provides a Light/Special/SF capability and a Medium/Heavy capability structured in such a way that some portion of each is prepared to move to the alternate route. And provide a useful reserve that can provide a main effort, given time to accommodate?

I think that is what you are saying the Brits prepared for and, I believe, based on my understanding of the current reviews, is what they are currently set up for. It can be argued if they are doing too much of this and too little of that but they seem to prepare for both and organize permanently established centres of excellence for both.
 

FJAG

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I'm not sure what they do now, but the British Army used to do it all the time. Switching from Type A (Armoured) to Type B (Non-armoured) and back again, while adding in a NI tour or something like that in between, was all accomplished with relative ease.

Heavy artillery units in Germany re-roled to infantry and deployed, very successfully, to Northern Ireland in a few months. Heck, 1 PARA even switched from Airborne Assault to a Mountainous Arctic Warfare role, including adding a troop of Scimitar CVRT crewed by the Recce Pl, within a couple of months as I recall.

This is an important skill set for commanders, staff and troops at all levels that we neglect developing at our peril, IMHO.

So do the Americans from time to time and Canada certainly revels in its ability to be "agile".

My point is that you can't reroll unless the equipment is there and there is sufficient time to adjust. A heavy force, a medium force and a light force each has different equipment and tactics. Some capabilities simply do not exist in the structure of each force and need to be invented from scratch.

Canada currently is a medium force that feels it can become an armoured force by simply adding a tank squadron or two to make it a heavy peer-to-peer force. That's a hallucination. We are missing so many things that we aren't even a real medium force anymore.

I get back to my position. Anyone with even a mild understanding of world events knows that a peer level fight is much more likely these days then it was in the 1990 when we started this whole capability divestiture thing. It doesn't even have to be Russia or China. There are numerous forces out there with heavy armour and air power long before we get to the question of new weapon systems.

We can't afford to turn the three reg brigades into heavy ones and since the likelihood of using a heavy brigade or two is relatively low compared to the more routine day to day light and medium ops.

In short, we need a properly equipped heavy capability. It's costs and the fact that its likelihood of use is low dictates that it be a force largely made up of and kept in reserve.

🍻
 

daftandbarmy

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Continuing to think ... bad news I'm afraid.

IF one army is to do it all shouldn't it at least be configured to be able to prosecute both a Gray Route and a Green Route and be able to switch the main effort when necessary?

ie. Shouldn't we commit to an organization that provides a Light/Special/SF capability and a Medium/Heavy capability structured in such a way that some portion of each is prepared to move to the alternate route. And provide a useful reserve that can provide a main effort, given time to accommodate?

I think that is what you are saying the Brits prepared for and, I believe, based on my understanding of the current reviews, is what they are currently set up for. It can be argued if they are doing too much of this and too little of that but they seem to prepare for both and organize permanently established centres of excellence for both.

It takes a whole of military effort, of course, viz:

Want to train a unit for COIN? Send them off to NITAT in either Ballykinlar, Hythe and Lydd or Germany. About 8 weeks.

Want to train a unit for Jungle Warfare? Two choices of Jungle Warfare school - Belize or Brunei. About 4-6 weeks.

Want to prepare a unit for Armoured warfare? Head to the BATUS in Canada, or Germany. We sent our Recce Pl to Bovington and within a couple of weeks they were doing live fire battle runs down the range at Lulworth Cove with Scimitar. I went along for the ride, which was awesome!

1 PARA deployed to Norway and, within 6 -8 weeks of arriving, we had a well trained battalion of ski troops, formed from people who had never seen snow deeper than their ankles before. None of them had skied before either.

For our final exercise at Sandhurst our company deployed to Cyprus and spent two week in the mountains on an extensive COIN focused exercise. At one point I was the OC and had a troop of Saladin armoured cars under command. I'd never seen them before, outside of a Tamiya model kit of course. I didn't need weeks of training to learn how to to use them, just a chin wag and a map exercise with a few people who knew what they were doing.

In Canada we tend to overcomplicate everything, I think, to placate various empires built around the 'mystique of the expert.' It's not that hard, really.
 

CBH99

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It takes a whole of military effort, of course, viz:

Want to train a unit for COIN? Send them off to NITAT in either Ballykinlar, Hythe and Lydd or Germany. About 8 weeks.

Want to train a unit for Jungle Warfare? Two choices of Jungle Warfare school - Belize or Brunei. About 4-6 weeks.

Want to prepare a unit for Armoured warfare? Head to the BATUS in Canada, or Germany. We sent our Recce Pl to Bovington and within a couple of weeks they were doing live fire battle runs down the range at Lulworth Cove with Scimitar. I went along for the ride, which was awesome!

1 PARA deployed to Norway and, within 6 -8 weeks of arriving, we had a well trained battalion of ski troops, formed from people who had never seen snow deeper than their ankles before. None of them had skied before either.

For our final exercise at Sandhurst our company deployed to Cyprus and spent two week in the mountains on an extensive COIN focused exercise. At one point I was the OC and had a troop of Saladin armoured cars under command. I'd never seen them before, outside of a Tamiya model kit of course. I didn't need weeks of training to learn how to to use them, just a chin wag and a map exercise with a few people who knew what they were doing.

In Canada we tend to overcomplicate everything, I think, to placate various empires built around the 'mystique of the expert.' It's not that hard, really.
I wish I could like this 1000 times.

Keep It Simple has always been great advice for accomplishing most things. We really do complicate things and get in our own way.
 

daftandbarmy

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I wish I could like this 1000 times.

Keep It Simple has always been great advice for accomplishing most things. We really do complicate things and get in our own way.

If we can train a 17 year old soldier to be paratrooper in 3 weeks, we should be able to re-role a whole unit within 6-8 weeks if we needed to.

Just sayin'...
 

CBH99

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So do the Americans from time to time and Canada certainly revels in its ability to be "agile".

My point is that you can't reroll unless the equipment is there and there is sufficient time to adjust. A heavy force, a medium force and a light force each has different equipment and tactics. Some capabilities simply do not exist in the structure of each force and need to be invented from scratch.

Canada currently is a medium force that feels it can become an armoured force by simply adding a tank squadron or two to make it a heavy peer-to-peer force. That's a hallucination. We are missing so many things that we aren't even a real medium force anymore.

I get back to my position. Anyone with even a mild understanding of world events knows that a peer level fight is much more likely these days then it was in the 1990 when we started this whole capability divestiture thing. It doesn't even have to be Russia or China. There are numerous forces out there with heavy armour and air power long before we get to the question of new weapon systems.

We can't afford to turn the three reg brigades into heavy ones and since the likelihood of using a heavy brigade or two is relatively low compared to the more routine day to day light and medium ops.

In short, we need a properly equipped heavy capability. It's costs and the fact that its likelihood of use is low dictates that it be a force largely made up of and kept in reserve.

🍻
In an ideal world, I don't think anybody disagrees with you.

However, given our size & lack of leadership when it comes to introducing new capabilities in an efficient and timely manner... how much of a heavy force can we really contribute if SHTF?? Ignoring supporting assets for now, even in an all-out war, we could only contribute maybe...40 tanks in total?

So while I do totally agree with you, I would suggest that given our current realities of budget/lack of forward thinking leadership - perhaps we instead choose to excel at light/medium ops, both of which are extremely important and used more frequently. And while we may be able to support allied heavy forces somehow, maybe focusing on excelling at light/medium ops would be more fruitful, given our currently equipment loadout? (LAV 6, TAPV, etc)


(Sorry, I feel like my post was probably better off in another thread. No intention to derail - beyond exhausted here, sorry folks)
 

Kirkhill

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Simple it is I guess
It takes a whole of military effort, of course, viz:

Want to train a unit for COIN? Send them off to NITAT in either Ballykinlar, Hythe and Lydd or Germany. About 8 weeks.

Want to train a unit for Jungle Warfare? Two choices of Jungle Warfare school - Belize or Brunei. About 4-6 weeks.

Want to prepare a unit for Armoured warfare? Head to the BATUS in Canada, or Germany. We sent our Recce Pl to Bovington and within a couple of weeks they were doing live fire battle runs down the range at Lulworth Cove with Scimitar. I went along for the ride, which was awesome!

1 PARA deployed to Norway and, within 6 -8 weeks of arriving, we had a well trained battalion of ski troops, formed from people who had never seen snow deeper than their ankles before. None of them had skied before either.

For our final exercise at Sandhurst our company deployed to Cyprus and spent two week in the mountains on an extensive COIN focused exercise. At one point I was the OC and had a troop of Saladin armoured cars under command. I'd never seen them before, outside of a Tamiya model kit of course. I didn't need weeks of training to learn how to to use them, just a chin wag and a map exercise with a few people who knew what they were doing.

In Canada we tend to overcomplicate everything, I think, to placate various empires built around the 'mystique of the expert.' It's not that hard, really.
It takes a lot of effort.
It is simple.

Four COIN schools
Two jungle schools
Two or three armoured schools
One Arctic and Mountain school
A Para school
A Marine Commando school
A few Special Forces schools

A Special Forces group
A Marine Commando Brigade
An Airborne Brigade
A Security Force Assistance Brigade
A Ranger Brigade (Army Special Operations Brigade)
Two Light Brigades
Two Heavy Brigades
A Deep Strike Recce Brigade
An IA Cyber Brigade

A Light Div HQ
A Heavy Div HQ
An Int Div HQ

An Allied Corps HQ.

Aye. You're right. Looks simple enough to me. 😁
 
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