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Offline Thucydides

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Infantry of Tomorrow
« on: December 06, 2004, 15:04:04 »
There are a lot of threads with different ideas about how technology, organization, education etc. will change the nature of the Infantry. The best one to start is probably "Thinking about the Section Attack" http://army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,18270.120.html, but "Combat team of Tomorrow" is also relevant http://army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,22245.0.html.

I will throw out the first idea: make the dismounted Infantry section 9 men strong, split into 3 X 3 man groups. Two assault groups will be equipped with automatic rifles and 1X M203, while the third "support" group will have the C 9s and rocket launchers, or alternatively, a C-6 and rocket launchers.

Section tactics will involve "one foot on the ground", with the assault groupss in front and the support group in the rear. Should the enemy be identified, the primary tactic would be for the support group to fix them while the assault groups attempt to outflank them either left, right or both sides. The primary effect is to attempt to collapse the enemy morale when they realize they are flanked or surrounded on three sides.

Platoon tactics would emphasise "stacking" the three sections, keeping the flanks tied in or informed of the platoon location, and rapidly pushing through and cutting off enemy positions, rather than direct assaults. The Pl Comd would trail the lead section and be responsible for vectoring in additional support when needed, and "setting up" the follow on sections for passing through the lead section.

The 2I/C's job would change in this scenario, he would have the ERYX and Mortar teams to deal with harder targets and enemy counter attacks. The other job would be dropping off the supply "package" as the Pl support Det passes by the reorging sections.

Mounted tactics would be similar, with the vehicle adding its firepower to the support group.

This is a very bare bones proposal, but it does not require a radical change in equipment or manpower (sections and platoons are only slightly bigger), and a nine man section could fit (a bit uncomfortably) in current LAVs.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2017, 14:01:07 by kratz »
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Infantry of Tomorrow
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2004, 15:43:44 »
A support robot would be interesting, butI am not sure robots are ready for the Infantry battle just yet, though, and I would be reluctant to have a device which requires the attention of a soldier to guide or program in a hot situation. With current state of the art I would actually expect it to be a sort of "ammo caddy" programmed to follow the 2I/C carrying the extra supplies. Later developments could include sentry/scout devices and weapons platforms like you suggest.

Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline X Royal

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Re: Infantry of Tomorrow
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2004, 17:20:10 »
Sounds like you are slipping back to the old C1/C2 section attack drills a little. Not that I totally disagree. To give the section commander the option to use what ever tactics they feel is best for the given situation only makes sense. Flexibility can prove effective but would require extra practice within the section to be usefull.

Offline Infanteer

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Re: Infantry of Tomorrow
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2004, 17:32:31 »
Funny, me and a couple of fellow soldiers, wasting time away in the guard shack, figured the 3x3 section was the way to go as well.

It seems that a 9-man section with 3-man teams has a distinct advantage over the current format - more agile and less command and control from the section commander.   I remember playing around with 3-man fire teams while waiting for the range in Wainwright, they progress alot quicker because guys are taking two bounds before they have to provide covering fire.   As well, the Section Commander isn't required to give the "Group, Group, Group" command - if he figures the section should break up, a single command will change a 9-man section into 3 operating fire teams.   It may seem trivial, but its one less thing for the Section Commander to burden himself with in a fire-fight.

However, this is only applicable when using the linear, frontal scenario.   As you said, tactics should also consist of "foot-on-the--ground" suppression and flanking maneuvers at the section level.   As such, I think the need is to be flexible.   If the Section Commander feels the tactical situation warrants it, he can change the organization as he sees fit.   Eg:

1 support (3 pers), 2 assault (2x3pers)
1 support (3 pers), 1 assault (6 pers) - this would be better if taking on single, stronger objective
1 support (5 pers), 1 assault (4pers) - perhaps a scenario demands grenadiers to provide suppressive fire while the riflemen maneuver for the assault.

All in all, flexibility is the key.

As well, two other points:

-   I see you mentioned rockets.   Do you advocate bringing something like the RPG to the section level tactics - al la OPFOR tactics?

-   How do we want to set up the sections administratively?   Are we going to have the Section Commander in charge of one fire team and two leadership qualified troops (be they Master Corporal or Corporal) in charge of the other two (with the titular 2ic taking the support team) - or should we move to a the way the Americans work things with a Section commander in charge and his two subordinates each in charge of a 4-man fire team?   Is this an important issue to look at?

Finally, Platoon tactics should play a role in how we form the sections - which you were keen to bring up.   The Maneuver Warfare Handbook (which I used in "Thinking About the Section Attack") brings up an interesting approach to Platoon and Company tactics.   Platoons and Companies would be composed of three elements; a penetrating (assault element), a support element, and an exploitation element.   

In the platoon context, one would assume that these tasks would be divided equally amongst the 3 sections in a platoon, but I could see a commander wanting to split the penetration and supporting roles between a single section + the support section (C-6, Carl G) while putting two sections in the exploitation element to push through and capitalize on the gains of the firefight as quickly as possible.

Again, flexibility should be the key.

But this begs the next question - where should we balance the scales between flexibility and hard-wired organization?   Should we define the number of soldiers in a fire team, or would it be more conducive to just give a platoon commander A x leaders and B x soldiers to use as he sees fit.   I am sure this notion of balance must be taken into consideration, as everytime we "write something in stone" it tends to become seen as "the way" - intended or not.   Conversly, you need a certain amount of pre-set organization to give the language of doctrine any real meaning, otherwise we risk losing any form of coherent "dialogue" between different commanders.   This level of balance is probably pretty important.

Finally, should mech tactics and light infantry tactics be seen as two separate entities?   Does the loadout (and thus tactical approach) or a group of groundpounders change when all those Zulu callsigns are flying around, delivering much more iron on the bad guys.   As opposed to the light infantry, where the sections and platoons are the main event, the dismounted infantry pulls a secondary role in a combined arms battle.

Anyways, just some random thoughts.   Looks like this thread should be a good one.

Cheers,
Infanteer
« Last Edit: December 06, 2004, 17:36:56 by Infanteer »
"Overall it appears that much of the apparent complexity of modern war stems in practice from the self-imposed complexity of modern HQs" LCol J.P. Storr

Offline KevinB

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Re: Infantry of Tomorrow
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2004, 20:29:23 »
I'd look more at Maj Lizotte's article on the Light Inf Building block and go with a 4 man brick as the base formation.

Get rid of the section in its entirety as a set formation and deal with 8 man and 12 man elements as large blocks that can be fit together as needed.



 
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Offline Infanteer

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Re: Infantry of Tomorrow
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2004, 20:31:48 »
Which article is this - the one on the MEUSOC capability?
"Overall it appears that much of the apparent complexity of modern war stems in practice from the self-imposed complexity of modern HQs" LCol J.P. Storr

Offline KevinB

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Re: Infantry of Tomorrow
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2004, 20:44:59 »
Yeah - either that or it was from the LI working group meetings

 
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Offline KevinB

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Re: Infantry of Tomorrow
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2004, 20:52:47 »
My big push for the 4 man comes from its fit when working with SOF types.

 IMHO the section attack in the up, he sees me (and shoots me dead), down is archaic.

 No-one is going to fight a prepard postion battle in this day an age - for the US Air Force will reduce it to rubble - thus we had better listen and learn - and we are not going to fight a mid-high intensity war without the US or Brits (we can't... maybe if we had Abrams and Bradely's but we dont but the same "we shall not be the lapdog of the imperialist aggressors" types have ensure that militarily we are - pardon my rant...)

For raid's and precision house clearing and inner and outer cordon work for SOF surgical house clearing HR work - the 4 man det is a lot easier to work - 4 men also fit into a LAVIII as dismounts with the addition of a sensor op (Coyote+) 4 men also fit nicely into a SUV/GWagon or Hummer.

 We also use 4men as the LR and MR Sniper dets (in theory at least...) and 4 men for recce dets.

 Not to mention 4 men with kit actually fit in a  CH146  ;D
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Offline Michael Dorosh

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Re: Infantry of Tomorrow
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2004, 21:02:49 »

 Not to mention 4 men with kit actually fit in a  CH146  ;D

My first reaction to Sgt Majoor's comment about 9 men fitting in the LAV was "with winter kit?"  Then I thought "what about a Griffon"?  Even I have been on a winter ex in a Griffon - it was cozy in there.
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Offline KevinB

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Re: Infantry of Tomorrow
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2004, 21:07:38 »
6 troops with winter kit don't fit in the back of a LAV (at least not well) heck 7 people back there with summer kit on sucks.

Infanteer - I might have screwed up that article with another one he did (not sure if it published yet) he used to post ont he Army board and we corresponded a bit (he had been DLR5 (weapons) prior)
« Last Edit: December 06, 2004, 21:19:22 by Infanteer »
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Offline Infanteer

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Re: Infantry of Tomorrow
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2004, 21:20:13 »
Yeah, I remember him as "Tarawa".  He had some really good posts on that gong-show board.  Ever try and coax him over here?
"Overall it appears that much of the apparent complexity of modern war stems in practice from the self-imposed complexity of modern HQs" LCol J.P. Storr

Offline KevinB

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Re: Infantry of Tomorrow
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2004, 21:30:06 »
I did try - not sure where he is now.

 We were mods of the next gen Army board before it got the plug pulled (it was never publically released from my understanding) - I am not sure if I have a current email (IIRC he is still attached to the USMC and not DIN searchable - but I'll look tomorrow)

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Offline Matt_Fisher

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Re: Infantry of Tomorrow
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2004, 23:11:31 »
Very interesting topic.

Being in an organization that bases the squad (section) around 3 identical fireteams and a squad leader I can say that there are definite advantages and disadvantages to this organization.

Each squad is composed of 3 fireteams of 2 riflemen, 1 grenadier (fireteam leader-Cpl.) and 1 M-249/C9 gunner.
The squad is commanded normally by a Sgt. who will adjust his position within the squad depending on the mission.  He remains independent of any particular fireteam so he can direct the actions of the squad in its entirety.

Right now there is some discussion being done in the Marine Corps regardig reorganizing the rifle squad, a big proponent of change is CWO 3 Jeffrey Eby, Marine Gunner for the 7th Marine Regiment.  He's published several pieces in the Marine Corps Gazette on the subject:
http://www.mca-marines.org/gazette/2004/04eby1.html
http://www.mca-marines.org/gazette/2004/04eby2.html

One of the things that he argues for is consolidating the M-249 at the squad/section or even platoon level to lighten up the squad/section.

I like the idea of adopting a "NATOized" version of the RPG-7 for use at the squad/section level as a replacement to the M-72/AT-4.

I'm looking forward to seeing where this thread will go. 

Offline pbi

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Re: Infantry of Tomorrow
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2004, 23:29:48 »
Quote
No-one is going to fight a prepard postion battle in this day an age - for the US Air Force will reduce it to rubble

Really? What was Fallujah? Cheers.
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Infantry of Tomorrow
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2004, 23:39:05 »
I like the idea of having the section commander "independent" of the group/team. If you have a switched on Number One rifleman, he can be your bodyguard while you fight the section, but if you dont...Some ideas I have seen floated in the CF included having the C-9 go to alpha team, which I think misses the point, I should be fighting the section not directing one machine gun.

Flexibility is the key, like Infanteer has pointed out, the section commander has several premutations avaible with the 3x3 basic format, and the platoon commander has the same withing the platoon.

Fire support with an RPG 7 would be good, but there are a huge selection of weapons out there, my point is simply give the support group the ability to fix the enemy. 2 X C-9's provides volume of fire, 1 X-C6 has better range/penetration and a rocket launcher can deal with improvised bunkers and light armour (up to a point). Even a volley of M-72's will fit the bill, and if things are beyond the section's abilities, the platoon commander should be right behind setting up the platoon attack, bringing the platoon support group up with the ERYX (or whatever replaces it) and so on.

I am also thinking in terms of adjusting the focus of the Infantry battle. We are taught to "close with and destroy" the enemy, and think of this in terms of physical destruction. If our training and tactics could be targeted against their will to fight i.e. their morale, I think we would be much better off. We would be able to advance faster, defend more effectively, require a smaller logistics footprint, and also have a big "leg up" in the propaganda war (fewer friendly and civilian casualties, less opportunities for instances like the Marine shooting the insergent on TV etc.) This would be very difficult to quantify, however.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline George Wallace

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Re: Infantry of Tomorrow
« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2004, 23:50:51 »
I am also thinking in terms of adjusting the focus of the Infantry battle. We are taught to "close with and destroy" the enemy, and think of this in terms of physical destruction. If our training and tactics could be targeted against their will to fight i.e. their morale, I think we would be much better off. We would be able to advance faster, defend more effectively, require a smaller logistics footprint, and also have a big "leg up" in the propaganda war (fewer friendly and civilian casualties, less opportunities for instances like the Marine shooting the insergent on TV etc.) This would be very difficult to quantify, however.

I think you have lost me here.  Are you talking about picketing and bypassing the enemy strongpoints?  I think if you loose the "Close With and Destroy" then you will be left to fight a guerrilla war with insurgents popping up everywhere at will and prolonging a war.  This is happening in Iraq today.  It happened in Vietnam.  Different wars, I know, but the lessons are there to be studied and improved upon.  I would suggest that the "Close With and Destroy" aspect of War Fighting not be thrown out, as if it is then the likelyhood of a Guerrilla War developing is greatly increased.

GW

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Offline Enfield

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Re: Infantry of Tomorrow
« Reply #16 on: December 07, 2004, 01:50:58 »
I think there is a lot of merit to bypassing 'hard point's in the enemy lines, at least for the initial attack. Why waste time, ammo, and lives attacking a bunker when it can be avoided, cut off, isolated, and dealt with at leisure? This was a doctrime used by the American on a theatre level in the Pacific in WW2, and on a tactical level by the Germans in 1918. Initial assaulting forces can focus on maximum penetration- rather than concentrate on destroying the front crust of enemy combat forces, go deep, isolate the front line positions, and hit the arty positions, the supply lines, the command posts.

I think we have to get away from the entire concept of doing a section attack across praries. Like KevinB said, by the time the CF arrives, the USAF will have erased any major enemy position. And a war, like we train for in places like Wainright, Shilo, Pet, Gagetown, doesn't appear to be on the horizon anytime soon. Built up terrain, close quarters combat, figting in areas with civilian populations, peace enforcement, etc., should be the focus, not closing with Russian Motorized Brigades and holding the Fulda Gap. The platoon as a whole needs to be organized into blocks that are usable as combat teams, security elements, fire support, or whatever. Maybe we need to examine the 3 Block War and design a section that can transition between those three roles smoothly?
I've read descriptions of Israeli platoons that indicate they carried a mind boggling variety of weapons to deal with the different situations they encounter. Britain, for a time in the Falklands, pushed the C6's all the way down to the section for extra firepower. I've seen the Table of Organization for Canadian platoons in 1917, and it shows more diversity and flexibility in weapons systems than we do today. There is certinly more to life than 3 equal 8 man sections doing "up he sees me down" in an extended line across the prarie....

I find the idea of the 3 man team very interesting, but also like the adaptability of the four man brick. How would they be armed? Ideas?

 
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Offline dglad

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Re: Infantry of Tomorrow
« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2004, 02:25:20 »
Now THIS is getting to be an interesting thread.  The Brits use "multiples", which are essentially 4-man bricks, very successfully in N Ireland.  The advantage is the ability to change shape, such "shapeshifting" being the best means of defence in the modern security environment, while allowing the flexibility for commanders at all levels to adapt to the immediate situation.  If needed, the multiples, or bricks, or whatever you want to call them, can fight much like conventional sections, or they can add and multiply in different patterns.  The job of the platoon leadership is to coordinate what's going on and ensure linkage to the higher intent.  The disadvantages, off the top of my head, are a potentially wider span of command at pl level and attendant risk of diffusion or disunity of effort, a higher trg bill for junior leaders, and a potential loss of fundamental cohesion at the soldier level as the platoon is broken into smaller peaces.  However, I think that all of these can be overcome.  Worth thinking about, for sure.
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Offline Infanteer

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Re: Infantry of Tomorrow
« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2004, 03:30:29 »
A few issues I didn't get to address before going to work.

My big push for the 4 man comes from its fit when working with SOF types.

I think we need to be careful with this one.   There is a difference between a JTF2 assaulter and a private fresh out of battle school.

Quote
IMHO the section attack in the up, he sees me (and shoots me dead), down is archaic.

"Brock suspected the Iraqis were in tight, hidden in the folds of the earth.   He led the squad over the footbridge and turned them on line to sweep the close-in field.   Immediately the firing increased, and the squad went flat.   Brock and Russell split the squad into two teams and advanced by short rushes, getting up, running, dropping down, sighting in, looking for a target, then getting up again, repeating the drill over and over."

Bing West and MGen. Ray Smith, The March Up - Taking Baghdad with the United States Marines - pg 164.


Sound familiar?

I don't think we can immediately throw the standard frontal attack into the dustbin.   As I've argued extensively in "Thinking about the Section Attack", it is not the be-all of section level tactics - but it still has its uses.

The key is to find a section level organization that can do this and do raids, cordons, air-assaults, and CCO well.   While doing so, we must ensure that a reasonable level of command-and-control can be used, that small-group cohesion can thrive and develop, and that the chain-of-command can remain intact.

Quote
No-one is going to fight a prepard postion battle in this day an age - for the US Air Force will reduce it to rubble

Both Douhet and Curtis Lemay argued that 50 years ago, trying to get rid of the Army as a whole.   We're still here, and despite the convictions of some air-power enthusiasts, the Army still holds the ball when it comes to destroying the enemy.   Just ask the Serbian Army about that when they decided to leave Kosovo in good order.

Quote
thus we had better listen and learn - and we are not going to fight a mid-high intensity war without the US or Brits (we can't... maybe if we had Abrams and Bradely's but we dont but the same "we shall not be the lapdog of the imperialist aggressors" types have ensure that militarily we are - pardon my rant...)

Yup.   As PBI has mentioned, the development at the lowest level of the US is bound to destroy some cozy preconceptions alot of us hold up here.

That's why we have this forum.   :)

Quote
For raid's and precision house clearing and inner and outer cordon work for SOF surgical house clearing HR work - the 4 man det is a lot easier to work - 4 men also fit into a LAVIII as dismounts with the addition of a sensor op (Coyote+) 4 men also fit nicely into a SUV/GWagon or Hummer.

We also use 4men as the LR and MR Sniper dets (in theory at least...) and 4 men for recce dets.

Not to mention 4 men with kit actually fit in a   CH146   ;D

This "rule of four" makes some sense, although I would caution against letting the cart drive the horse (defining numbers by seats in the car).


I am also thinking in terms of adjusting the focus of the Infantry battle. We are taught to "close with and destroy" the enemy, and think of this in terms of physical destruction. If our training and tactics could be targeted against their will to fight i.e. their morale, I think we would be much better off. We would be able to advance faster, defend more effectively, require a smaller logistics footprint, and also have a big "leg up" in the propaganda war (fewer friendly and civilian casualties, less opportunities for instances like the Marine shooting the insergent on TV etc.) This would be very difficult to quantify, however.

On of the basic tenets of the maneuverist outlook - in many situations it can be the desired approach.   That is why I supported the 3-element platoon and company structure that Lind layed out.   The exploitation element is the largest, allowing the greatest mass possible to bypass the fight and get into the enemies rear area (and hence, his decision cycle).

However, there is two caveats:

1)   Sometimes, the operational situation unfolds in a manner that demands "physical" battle on the tactical level.   For some reason, I don't think Marines could bypass enemy strongpoints in Fallujah to "drive on to their center of gravity".   I would venture that the insurgents barricaded up in a mosque or a school was the "center of gravity".

2)   As well, I still think it is essential to maintain the notion that the infantry's role is "to close with a destroy the enemy".   Sure, we should emphasize that "destroying" the enemy can occur on the physical level (manpower and equipment), the mental level (cohesion and morale), or the moral level (will and conviction) - but the motto of the Infantry keeps in focus the notion that the grunts exist to get into close battle.

As well, I am all for notions of organization that will help to reduce both the logistical footprint and flatten out the "command hierarchy" that places friction on decision cycles; ie: levels of command which would slow action and reaction - reduce abilities to "advance faster" and "defend more effectively".  I'm reading The Soldier's Load and the Mobility of a Nation by SLA Marshall and the importance of logistics seems to be more and more pronounced.

Finally, I'm seeing many different ideas coming out here - organization at different levels (section, platoon, company), numbers, C2 relationships, equipment, doctrine and tactics.   Perhaps we should try and hone in on one thing at a time lest we get swamped with all the possibilites of the subject.

Any suggestions?
« Last Edit: December 07, 2004, 03:35:22 by Infanteer »
"Overall it appears that much of the apparent complexity of modern war stems in practice from the self-imposed complexity of modern HQs" LCol J.P. Storr

Offline Infanteer

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Re: Infantry of Tomorrow
« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2004, 04:16:16 »
Very interesting topic.

Being in an organization that bases the squad (section) around 3 identical fireteams and a squad leader I can say that there are definite advantages and disadvantages to this organization.

Each squad is composed of 3 fireteams of 2 riflemen, 1 grenadier (fireteam leader-Cpl.) and 1 M-249/C9 gunner.
The squad is commanded normally by a Sgt. who will adjust his position within the squad depending on the mission. He remains independent of any particular fireteam so he can direct the actions of the squad in its entirety.

I'm hoping this doesn't seem trivial, but I'm interested.   Right now, I can see a few options for Canada's Infantry:

8 man section - 4 x 2 man FT in 2 even groups (current organization)
9 man section - independent Section Commander; 2 x 4 man "Bricks"
9 man section - 3 x 3 man FT in 3 even groups
10 man section - independent Section Commander; 3 x 3 man FT

Would we want to go larger then 10 men?   Does anyone see any real differences between TO&E's?

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Right now there is some discussion being done in the Marine Corps regarding reorganizing the rifle squad, a big proponent of change is CWO 3 Jeffrey Eby, Marine Gunner for the 7th Marine Regiment. He's published several pieces in the Marine Corps Gazette on the subject:
http://www.mca-marines.org/gazette/2004/04eby1.html
http://www.mca-marines.org/gazette/2004/04eby2.html

One of the things that he argues for is consolidating the M-249 at the squad/section or even platoon level to lighten up the squad/section.

Good articles, I enjoyed them.

This was interesting:

"The company organized into assault, support, and security elements during company live fire attacks. The M240G machinegun section and the 60mm mortar section were placed in general support of the company. Company F routinely tasked the platoon with the LMS configuration as the support element. The ability of this platoonâ ”and the mass of fire its LMS could produceâ ”provided the suppression needed to allow the company's M240G machinegun and 60mm mortar sections to get into action without risking a survivability fight.

Company F used the platoon with its LMGs consolidated into LMG FTs as the company's assault element. As with Company G the LMG FTs proved adept at generating local support by fire positions, allowing the maneuver rifle teams to safely close the critical last 100 yards to the objective. As expected the ARs with the FTs provided them with the versatile automatic weapon needed in the assault role."


Both C-9 Fireteams in a Section and C-9 sections in a Platoon were successful when each was used in a role that maximized its potential.   Again this points to flexibility - a platoon commander should be able to organize along either line depending on what is mission and task is.

As well, I liked what the last few paragraphs contained.

"The Marine Corps should never stop looking at ways to increase the lethality of Marines and their weapons. The increase of night vision capability and squad-level communications assets represents the latest steps in that search. Indeed, the fact that these force multipliers are already in place presents the infantry with even more questions as weapons lethality increases.

For example, if the historical paradigm of increased lethality resulting in increased dispersion holds true, then current communications and doctrinal capabilities allow the traditional infantry FT to be separated into autonomous two-man buddy teams. Canada, which is equipped with almost the exact same infantry weapons systems as the United States, already utilizes such organizations. Their infantry sections (squads) are broken down into four-man fire groups (FTs) consisting of two-man FTs (buddy teams)."


I always thought "buddy team" sounded so fruity, but oh well.   It's interesting to see him praise our current 2x2x2 organization, which we seem to be arguing against here?

"2/7 believes that the next step in increasing the lethality of the rifle squad does not consist of replacing the M249 SAW. Rather, squad lethality, both quantitatively and qualitatively, can be greatly increased in two very cost-effective ways. First, the M249 SAW should be used in the LMG role for which it was designed, not the ad hoc AR role for which it was purchased. Second, to ensure that each rifle FT possesses the automatic weapon necessary for the close combat fight, a true AR should be acquired.

As threat forces match the firepower of the current rifle squad, the Marine Corps must maintain the innovative edge for which it is famous. While experimentation is still required, the evaluations undertaken by 2/7 definitively indicate that the Marine Corps should place the M249 into an LMG role and add a true AR to the squad's inventory."


The crux of the articles - what do you guys think?   We tend to use the C-9 as an "Automatic Rifle"; the fact that we stick a C-79 onto it seems to attest to this fact.   We've argued here and on other threads for the consolidiation of the C-9's in the section level.   Should we match this with the introduction of a dedicated automatic rifle?

I guess we could always reissue the C-2 bra.

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I like the idea of adopting a "NATOized" version of the RPG-7 for use at the squad/section level as a replacement to the M-72/AT-4.

I do to.   Something lighter then the Carl G (which can remain a platoon level asset) which is light, reloadable, and simple to clean and maintain.   The fact that it is probably one of the deadliest weapons of the insurgent should point to its success in meeting these requirements.   Time to introduce the role of a dedicated Rocketeer?
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Infantry of Tomorrow
« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2004, 11:08:58 »
Lots of good points so far.

I am not wedded to the idea of 3X3X3 sections, but am pointing out some simple alternatives. Adding three more riflemen to a platoon is much easier than, say, advocating a 12 man section. The arguments for a modular structure built around 4 man "bricks" are also persuasive: we might be in for a mud wrestling match between advocates of a British style system based on "4" and a Marine system based on "3" man teams. Since each force has had operational experience using these structures, there are lots of lessons learned to explore.

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Sometimes, the operational situation unfolds in a manner that demands "physical" battle on the tactical level.  For some reason, I don't think Marines could bypass enemy strongpoints in Fallujah to "drive on to their center of gravity".  I would venture that the insurgents barricaded up in a mosque or a school was the "center of gravity".

Attacking the enemy morale is an important aspect of war, I hope I didn't come off sounding like that should be the only aspect, when all else fails, we still need to get in there and force the enemy out at the point of a bayonet. However, we have concentrated exclusively on the direct assault, which is costly in logistics, manpower and time, and has the potential to hand the enemy propaganda victories (like Peter Arnot's infamous [and never confirmed] allegation that an American officer told him "We had to destroy the villiage in order to save it").

Finding the enemy center of gravity is a higher level task than the section or platoon in battle, and I would suggest the evidence so far about Fallujia suggests the Americans did a great job in the set-up for the battle. The Jihadi leaders fled through the loose cordon during the build-up phase, leaving the fighters uncoordinated and possibly demoralized before the first Marines entered the city. Parallel actions in the surrounding area further disrupted the Jihadis by killing or capturing them before they could establish new cells outside of Fallujia. Section and Platoon tactics in that case involved mopping up local strong points rather than a grinding "Stalingrad" or "Ortona" type battle.

We also need to get a bit father out of the box. Maybe the level of organization should be the platoon or even company, like some of the examples Infanteer has raised. That would bring up a lot of interesting changes in training, TO&E, tactics and so on. Infanteer has raised a crucial question: how do we organize to transition seamlessly between tasks in a "three block war" scenario?
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Re: Infantry of Tomorrow
« Reply #21 on: December 07, 2004, 16:40:01 »
Okay maybe I did not ellaborate very clearly.  I don't consider the Wainwright/Sufield section and Platoon attack likely to occur in the near future...

 Section and Pl attacks in build up ares - I do - however gaining lodgement and operating in built up area the 4 man team is a more flexible building block than a 8 or ten man section.  The idea is with the four members one can be a specialist - breacher,DM,LMG,cooms,medic etc.  I fail to see why it requires more leadership trg  - we used to have no hook private runing section attacks (live) during the RV days.  I dont like the sepaerate leader idea as it make us inflexible in that set piece.

I actually prefer a 12man section for Light Inf ops (adding a DM, C6team and a medic).

As for the Cav issue - I dotn see hwy a 011 crew cannot be a team with a 031 dismount section - but it make it more flexible to be able to conduct different type of missions that the curent set-up - it takes away from the inf system to expectthem to specialize in both light in vehicle operations 9crewing a LAV is a full time job and it will degrade your light skills accordingly)

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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Infantry of Tomorrow
« Reply #22 on: December 08, 2004, 11:45:57 »
I don't consider the Wainwright/Sufield section and Platoon attack likely to occur in the near future...

A section chases an enemy out of a building. The bad guy runs across the open field/parking lot in the back where some of his buddies are waiting...Even in an urban environment there will be some areas where traditional fire and movement might be appropriate. I can walk through areas of London where you abruptly transition from built up areas to vacant lots, green space or large parking areas, and I think most cities and towns have similar conditions

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Section and Pl attacks in build up ares - I do - however gaining lodgement and operating in built up area the 4 man team is a more flexible building block than a 8 or ten man section. The idea is with the four members one can be a specialist - breacher,DM,LMG,cooms,medic etc. I fail to see why it requires more leadership trg - we used to have no hook private runing section attacks (live) during the RV days. I dont like the sepaerate leader idea as it make us inflexible in that set piece.
 

The consideration here is there is a need for more leaders, since each brick needs to be able to operate effectively on its own. Some possible ppermutationswould be 4 leader (team leader and 2I/C per brick); 3 leaders (3 X 3 man teams, 1 per team); 4 leaders (3 X 3 man teams, Section commander + one leader/team) and so on.

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I actually prefer a 12man section for Light Inf ops (adding a DM, C6team and a medic).

Would this be a platoon with two large sections, or a 40+ man platoon with 3 large sections and the HQ section?

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As for the Cav issue - I dotn see hwy a 011 crew cannot be a team with a 031 dismount section - but it make it more flexible to be able to conduct different type of missions that the curent set-up - it takes away from the inf system to expectthem to specialize in both light in vehicle operations 9crewing a LAV is a full time job and it will degrade your light skills accordingly)

The arguments go both ways. I favor having the crews being part of the same team "cap badge" wise, perhaps just having a different career progression than the dismounts, but that is more of a preference for morale and esprit de corps reasons than anything else.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

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Re: Infantry of Tomorrow
« Reply #23 on: December 08, 2004, 14:42:58 »
Thank you guys...am learning a lot here. I have a question though:

Would issuing a 7.62 mm version of the C7 as a DMR help or hinder a section?
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Re: Infantry of Tomorrow
« Reply #24 on: December 08, 2004, 15:11:55 »
The vast knowlege on this site is amazing, please continue.