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Officer of Engineers
15 Mar 06,, 19:24
I'm going to start this forum off with a small critic over the following and invite people to throw their two cents in. I know the Brigadier is completely facinated by this book but I like to throw a few wrenches into the wheels to help see the pitfalls.


RAND | Monograph/Reports | Lightning Over Water: Sharpening America's Light Forces for Rapid Reaction Missions (http://www.rand.org/pubs/monograph_reports/MR1196/)

By: John Matsumura, Randall Steeb, John Gordon, IV, Thomas J. Herbert, Russell W. Glenn, Paul Steinberg

The fundamental strength of today's Army lies in its ability to fight and win amajor theater-level war, and this capability exists through a deliberate intent to field the most capable mechanized force possible. It is easy to argue that the Army leadership succeeded, since no anticipated enemy force can match the firepower and maneuver capability of a combined arms mechanized U.S. force, equipped with the M1-series Abramsmain battle tank, the M2-series Bradley infantry fighting vehicle, and the AH-64 Apache attack helicopter. Nonetheless, as the world continues to thaw out from the imposed stability of a bipolar superpower rivalry, the likelihood of major theater-level war is giving way to increased numbers of smaller regional conflicts and crises. New crises and conflicts are continuing to emerge around the world, and as the frequency of such events continuesto increase, so does the need to adjust the U.S. capability for direct response to, and intervention within, these situations. This book represents a compilation of research drawn from numerous studies conducted in the past few years on the topic of improving light air-deployable forces. The focus is on new operational concepts along with the underlyingenabling technologies. Three very different means for improving rapid-reaction capability are considered and analyzed in detail, with both strengths and weaknesses included in the assessment. A framework that addresses the process of designing such a force is incorporated.

There is no doubt the US has been trying to make the light forces a bit more than what they really are, mainly as an initial entry force. To get there the firstest with the mostest. Reading through this, there is an emphasis to be able to deliver a decisive force as the initial entry force.

There may be no choice in the matter. Things like the Kuwait War revealled just how unprepared light ground forces are to be nothing more than speed bumps to much larger and more powerful formation.

However, this all being said, with a solid look at these forces, even with bandaide solutions, they are not full armoured columns and could not be expected to survive such an onslaught.

Ray
15 Mar 06,, 19:40
Colonel,

I continue to be fascinated by the concept. Note: Concept.

This proves that they are not static and instead are continuously evolving.

It is basically an "Entry Force" with an eye on the Middle East scenario and basically, to put it very crudely a sort of "Firm Base" for the Heavier Forces to build up and then take the initiative.

Obviously, this force would have to bank heavily on the air power to neutralise and destroy elements attempting to oust this Entry Force.

It will be interesting to learn what Major Shek would have to contribute since he knows the Iraq War conceptually, been in it and now following the course avidly.

Blademaster
15 Mar 06,, 20:27
There is a simple solution to the problem. Just manufactore large RoRo ocean going ships in quantities of 40 - 50 and all this talk of using light force of initial entry forces would go away.

I mean take a look at the airplanes now. They are rapidly close to the cost of building ships. For instance, Airbus 380 is a 300 million dollar plane. A RoRo ship can't cost more than 500 million dollars and can carry a great deal more than the 380 can.

Prepositioning ships Concept works in the given climate of limited funds and geographical political contexts.

It seems to me that everybody is looking for the magical silver bullet that would solve every problem.

Gun Grape
16 Mar 06,, 01:11
There is a simple solution to the problem. Just manufactore large RoRo ocean going ships in quantities of 40 - 50 and all this talk of using light force of initial entry forces would go away.

I mean take a look at the airplanes now. They are rapidly close to the cost of building ships. For instance, Airbus 380 is a 300 million dollar plane. A RoRo ship can't cost more than 500 million dollars and can carry a great deal more than the 380 can.

Prepositioning ships Concept works in the given climate of limited funds and geographical political contexts.

It seems to me that everybody is looking for the magical silver bullet that would solve every problem.


The US military has been doing this since the 80s (USMC ) and 90s (Army, AF)

gunnut
16 Mar 06,, 01:32
I think people often mixed up the words "light" with "rapid reaction." Although the 2 often go hand-in-hand, they need not be.

Light infantry is needed to operate in terrain or conditions unsuited for heavy units. By the virtue of being light, they are easier to deploy. Since they are easier to deploy, they are usually the first units sent into hostile territory to confront aggression, sometimes with disasterous consequences.

A rapid reaction force need not be a light infantry unit. It can be an armored battalion/regiment, can it? A unit like that should be able to better stand up against heavy units, yet easier to deploy than traditional mechanized infantry or armored divisions.

There is definitely a place in this world for light infantry units, both for low intensity conflict and peace keeping missions. They are cheaper to operate and can access more terrain types than a fully mechanized heavy division.

At the same time we should also have smaller heavy units (I know, sounds like an oxymoron) that are air transportable. These could be attached to light infantry units as support or be the lead element of much larger and heavier units.

Thoughts?

Franco Lolan
16 Mar 06,, 02:56
Political circumstances rarely call for a rapid reaction force that is more easily deployed than a reinforced heavy division. Either paramilitary forces take part or a large buildup is the scenario.
Furthermore, despite all the talk of "light" units, they still need to go on steamships, given air assets aren't sufficient.

Ray
16 Mar 06,, 05:01
At the same time we should also have smaller heavy units (I know, sounds like an oxymoron) that are air transportable.

Colonel,

Have you got the "load tables" (i.e. how many aircraft would be required to air transport an armoured regiment) and the cost to transport per kilometer?
****************

The composition of a RRF (Rapid Reaction Force) or the "Light" Force would depend upon the threat analysis. Their task would be to form some sort of an airhead or a beachead so that the follow up forces can enter the theatre unhindered.

The air cover would be absolutely essential.

As the follow up forces come in, they would reach out and contact the enemy and "fix" them.

Thereafter as the Invasion Forces increase in strength and composition, the invasion per se will commence.

The whole Invasion, so to say, unfortunately will have to be a graduated response and the timeframe of the build up would be as per the threat analysis done prior to the Invasion and finetuned as it develops.

The mode of transportation of this graduated response will depend on the timeframe analysed and even changed to finetune the response in the event of the situation grossly be different. Of course, costs for such a change would naturally have to be accepted.

The above is easier said than done. That is why the Dick Cheney document has indicated that it would be essential for the US to have Bases at the "hot spots" or near the "hot spots" of the world. That is why the emphasis is on the Middle East where the strategic interest of the US is high!

Officer of Engineers
16 Mar 06,, 05:58
Sir,

I've asked the good Major Shek to come in on this, he would have more operational info than I on this. To the rest of you, it's just not as simple as load tables and operational cost. You have to land combat viable formations which is not always cost-effective (ie, deliver all the ammo at once instead of piece meal as required by each indivdiual platoon and company).

Gunnet,

You've ignorned one element in your post, the time required. Either you deliver a light infantry brigade in 72 hours OR one heavy battalion in 72 hours. As combat effective a heavy battalion is, it cannot do the job of a brigade, not even a light infantry brigade.

BM,

While pre-positioning is the current solution, it is NOT an optimum solution. The Americans are currently positioned against Iran, North Korea, and China. What can it do for another Rwanda - both politically and geographically. For those of you who states that Rwanda was not a US responsibility - BULLCRAP! It is EVERYBODY'S responsibility. No one can nor SHOULD standby while babies are litterally being butchered.

Blademaster
16 Mar 06,, 06:54
Sir,
While pre-positioning is the current solution, it is NOT an optimum solution.

Well the solutions that they are proposing are certainly less optimal than the pre-positioning solution for major wars.



The Americans are currently positioned against Iran, North Korea, and China. What can it do for another Rwanda - both politically and geographically.

Then a light brigade or division that you term as speedbumps would be enough for this kind of thing.



For those of you who states that Rwanda was not a US responsibility - BULLCRAP! It is EVERYBODY'S responsibility. No one can nor SHOULD standby while babies are litterally being butchered.

True some countries wanted to contribute but lacked the necessary lift. One of the two things happened: 1) They could have asked USA but didn't because they refused to submit to US command 2) US refused to submit to another country's command thereby denying the necessary lift.

Ray
16 Mar 06,, 07:09
I've asked the good Major Shek to come in on this, he would have more operational info than I on this. To the rest of you, it's just not as simple as load tables and operational cost. You have to land combat viable formations which is not always cost-effective (ie, deliver all the ammo at once instead of piece meal as required by each indivdiual platoon and company).

The load tables and operational costs would inform in a rudimentary way as to the fleet required to lift. There is more to it than that and of that there is no doubt, but this basic parameter would indicate to those who are not conversant with the nitty gritties of actual warfare as on the ground that is to be executed of the number of aircraft required for a quick response infantry vs armour.

The initial airlift and the ships afloat in the vicinity and as is already even now prepositioned (if I am not mistaken since I have read this somewhere) will look after the immediate logistic needs and thereafter the graduated build up would do the needful.

gunnut
16 Mar 06,, 07:37
Colonel,

Have you got the "load tables" (i.e. how many aircraft would be required to air transport an armoured regiment) and the cost to transport per kilometer?

Sir, I'm flattered and honored to have you confuse me with the good colonel. I'm just a civvie with some interest in military affairs. :redface:


Gunnet,

You've ignorned one element in your post, the time required. Either you deliver a light infantry brigade in 72 hours OR one heavy battalion in 72 hours. As combat effective a heavy battalion is, it cannot do the job of a brigade, not even a light infantry brigade.

Thank you for clearing that up. I was unsure of how effective a smaller heavy unit is compared to a larger but lighter infantry unit. Looks like numbers do count for something.

I believe there's definitely a need for a rapid reaction light infantry unit for any major power in the world. What happened in the first Gulf War was rare. A very large and heavily armed and armored formation on the march in an area where there was essentially no opposition. Besides North Korea, China, and Russia, what other power can muster that kind of muscle today? Most of the conflicts will be small scale rebelion type operation where humanitarian crisis is of more concern.

Ray
19 Mar 06,, 08:28
Prepositioning ships Concept works in the given climate of limited funds and geographical political contexts.


Regarding your point as also for those who wish to know more of strategic lift and the options, here is an informative article which you can google.

MOVING U.S. FORCES:
OPTIONS FOR STRATEGIC MOBILITY
FEBRUARY 1997

Happy reading. It is 117 pages long in PDF format with two columns!

But those with patience will be highly rewarded with knowledge.

Worth every minute of time taken to read.

Anoop C
19 Mar 06,, 15:14
Ray sahab,

Here is a table of load factors taken from "Combat Service Support Guide", by Maj. (Retd.) John Edwards, US Army. The 463 L pallets perhaps refer to ammo pallets. One CDS bundle is equivalent to 2000 lb load. I do not know if an aircraft can carry all this at once, or only a combination of these, subject to maximum take-off weight.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Aircraft, # of 463 L pallets, Fuel (lb), CDS (bundles), Passengers

C-130, 6, 6000, 16, 90

C-141B, 13, 9000, 40, 200

C-17, 18, n/a, 40, 102 (can have
84 more seats)

C-5A, 36, n/a, n/a, 73 (255 more in
cargo hold)

KC-10, 25, n/a, n/a, 69


I hope that helps.

Ray
19 Mar 06,, 15:39
Anoop,

Can I have the link?

Wasn't it you who gave me the link to the article that I mentioned in the above post?

We were discussing the same with regards to India, remember? Oman and all that!

This Colonel's Corner is heaven sent since good stuff can result from discussion with those who are in various armies and also military enthusiast who are knowledgeable.

Why don't you contribute regularly and make this Corner a roaring success as you do elsewhere?

Anoop C
19 Mar 06,, 15:55
Ray sahab,

You are too kind in talking me up. All I do is pick the professionals' brain and get my kicks that way!

I don't have a link to the load table because it is from a hard copy of the book. If you are interested in owning this book, I will be very happy to send you a copy - it doesn't cost very much.

The book is a mine-lode of information for civilian enthusiasts. For professionals like you, it will only be a repetition of what you already know, but in the US Army context.

More books from the same publisher can be found here. Please let me know if anything looks interesting. I bought the one on Combat Leader's Manual too (previous page in the following link, but am yet to read it):

http://www.stackpolebooks.com/cgi-bin/StackpoleBooks.storefront

Ray
19 Mar 06,, 17:01
Anoop,

It is nice of you to offer to send me the book, but I would sure hate it if it is lost in the Indian post!

Do they sell CDs on the subject?

Anoop C
19 Mar 06,, 18:08
Ray sahab,

I don't know if they sell CD, but I'll see what can be done about getting the books to you safely. I may know people who will visit Cal at the end of summer. But I would urge you to take a look at the list of books and see if you are interested in any other titles.

Bill
19 Mar 06,, 19:28
You've ignorned one element in your post, the time required. Either you deliver a light infantry brigade in 72 hours OR one heavy battalion in 72 hours. As combat effective a heavy battalion is, it cannot do the job of a brigade, not even a light infantry brigade.

True, but then, i would expect that a heavy Bn(ie an Armored TF or Heavy Cav Sqn) would be able to fully secure a major airbase/Int'l airport and then hold that airbase against nearly any attack that any realistic enemy may be able to throw at it.

When you have the USAF flying top cover a single US "Digital" Heavy Cav Sqn(M1A2/M3A3/AH64D/OH58D) fighting from defiled positions has as much combat effectiveness as most nations entire military's do.

Used in conjunction with elite Abn forces, in many cases a single US Heavy Cav Sqn and a Bn of US Rangers would be as good- nay, better than- a whole division of light infantry.

Likewise there are times that a single Inf Bn is better than a much larger armored force.(think jungle/mountain here).

It all depends on the scenario.

I do agree that what we should be doing instead of lightening up our formations is increasing our sea/airlift though(Blademaster said that above i think). I agree with that assessment entirely.

Ray
19 Mar 06,, 19:36
True, but then, i would expect that a heavy Bn(ie an Armored TF or Heavy Cav Sqn) would be able to fully secure a major airbase/Int'l airport and then hold that airbase against nearly any attack that any realistic enemy may be able to throw at it.

When you have the USAF flying top cover a single US "Digital" Heavy Cav Sqn(M1A2/M3A3/AH64D/OH58D) fighting from defiled positions has as much combat effectiveness as most nations entire military's do.

Used in conjunction with elite Abn forces, in many cases a single US Heavy Cav Sqn and a Bn of US Rangers would be as good- nay, better than- a whole division of light infantry.

Likewise there are times that a single Inf Bn is better than a much larger armored force.(think jungle/mountain here).

It all depends on the scenario.

I do agree that what we should be doing instead of lightening up our formations is increasing our sea/airlift though(Blademaster said that above i think). I agree with that assessment entirely.


Interesting.

Could you elaborate/ amplify?

Bill
19 Mar 06,, 19:40
PS to my last post:(before i engage the Brigadiers question) I do see a unique niche for a true air droppable light mechanized/light armored force, but the Stryker bdes are not the answer. It's too heavy.

The light tank was an extremely useful weapons system in some roles. It's about due for a comeback IMO.

Air Mech baby, Air mobile. LOL...

Bill
19 Mar 06,, 19:54
Interesting.

Could you elaborate/ amplify?

I'd be happy to Sir.

In which areas are you specificially interested in my musings sir?

Officer of Engineers
19 Mar 06,, 20:48
I do agree that what we should be doing instead of lightening up our formations is increasing our sea/airlift though(Blademaster said that above i think). I agree with that assessment entirely.

You're preaching to the converted here. I agree absolutely that the scenario dictates the size and composition of any intial entry force. However, there's also the issue of the standby force. I know of no armoured battalion around the world that is ready to be deployed within 72 hours. Almost all of them are light infantry, most namely because it's cheaper to man them at standby readiness than tanks.


The light tank was an extremely useful weapons system in some roles. It's about due for a comeback IMO.

How light? And what can it do that armoured humvees cannot in this role?

Bill
19 Mar 06,, 21:08
However, there's also the issue of the standby force. I know of no armoured battalion around the world that is ready to be deployed within 72 hours. Almost all of them are light infantry, most namely because it's cheaper to man them at standby readiness than tanks.

True, but that's not an insurmountable hurdle. All it would take is additional funding combined with actually making the effort. Simply a matter of commitment.


How light?

How light what sir? Afraid you'll have to be a bit more specific.


And what can it do that armoured humvees cannot in this role?

As far as what a M1/M2/M3 TF can handle that Heavy Hummers cannot, a major armored/mech inf attack comes to immediately to mind.
And troops under defiled armor would be much better protected from enemy artillery, as well as allowing US TACAIR to make drops very close to US positions, much closer than would be the case for a light/motor infantry force.

Armored forces also have the obvious inherent advantadge of being much harder to overrun as well.

If you look at the flip side of the coin, ie offensive operations, obviously in many situations the Heavy Cav sqn or Heavy M1/M2TF would be far superior to a light infantry force 3x it's size, or even a motor inf force 2x it's size.

But again, that depends on the mission and the terrain.

Officer of Engineers
19 Mar 06,, 21:33
How light what sir? Afraid you'll have to be a bit more specific.

My apologies. How light of tanks are you talking about? 10 tons? 20 tons? 40 tons? And in this role of light tanks vis-a-vi known threats (I cannot imagine such light tanks could take the punishement of a M1), what could such light tanks do that armoured HUMVEES can't? Again, with the air insert role in mind.

BTW, has there been any air lift exercise of a tank battalion?

Bill
19 Mar 06,, 23:59
An entire bn of heavy equip? Not that i know of.

The US did a company sized element during OIF, but ive never heard of any field problems that involved moving a bn sized element.

If you look at the numbers of C17s(approx 140) and C5s(126) we have, we should be able to move an entire Heavy bn sized TF(especially if it's bradley heavy) in one sortie evolution. The initial Ranger entry force as well as ammunition, support personnel, and non-outsized equipment supply would be accomplished via C-130 sorties.
The range of a fully loaded C130 would therefore seem to be about the maximum range of this sort of airborne attack. This sort of op would obviously also take up a good chunk of the Herc fleet.

Obviously a proper(ie fairly extensive) buildup from a suitable kickoff point would be critical to a timely massed insertion.

If this occured within about 100 miles of a coastline the whole thing becomes much easier as the USN has numerous unique capabilities to support such an operation if you think outside the box a bit. Along the lines of the Carrier that was cleared of it's airwing and used as a mobile and secure SPECOPS base, and then used to strike over 1000 miles inland at Afghanistan, but perhaps in this case loaded with logistical supplies and a large contingent of MH-53s and CH-47Ds for aerial resupply. It also allows the USMC to augment the US Army heavy force, and allows the USNs airpower to effect the battle too.

We have to have the flexibility of mindset to use assets imaginatively if we want to move that much steel that far in the air that fast, but we could do it.

Just airlifting an entire Heavy Bn TF into some foriegn hostile land(or a foriegn friendly land too) while at the same time parking 4 fleet carriers off their coast is a MASSIVE show of force and an unmistakable commitement of resolve. Which is pretty much the point half the time anyway.

Bill
20 Mar 06,, 00:15
As for the light tanks, i'm thinking like this:

M8 "Thunderbolt" 120mm light tank(fully C130 transportable):
http://www.checkpoint-online.ch/CheckPoint/Images/N-M8AGS.jpg

http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.combatreform.com/thunderboltfiring.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.combatreform.com/lighttanks.htm&h=669&w=1000&sz=105&tbnid=UL81FJqd2cEl9M:&tbnh=99&tbnw=149&hl=en&start=4&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dm8%2Bbuford%2BAGS%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3 Den%26lr%3D%26client%3Dfirefox-a%26rls%3Dorg.mozilla:en-US:official%26sa%3DN

Compliment them with these:
http://es.geocities.com/blindado3000/m113.jpg
And a bunch of these guys:
http://www.defendamerica.mil/images/photos/may2003/index/ii051903b.jpg

And you have a nice deep raiding force that would give forces like the 82d, 101st, 173d, and 75th some real mechanized punch and mobility. They'd also be heavy enough to use in a scouting/screening role in any high intensity conflict.(you can NEVER have too much scouting).

And all that stuff is either already in service with the US or other nation, or already fully developed and awaiting a greenlight for production.

Barring that the only way to give them an armored punch is to move in a hvy TF.

I leave it to you gentlemen which is the better route.

Shek
20 Mar 06,, 02:29
The real question isn't getting a heavy force to the fight - it's getting all the tail to the battlefield to sustain them.

For example, for the TF 1-63 AR(-) that deployed to the northern front of Iraq required 30 x C17 sorties, and had 8 x M113, 4 x M2, and 5 x M1 as its rifle company contingent, and required 150 x C17 sorties and 30 x C130 over a 45 day period. As an example of how critical this tail is, during a 50km road march within a few days of the initial insertion sorties, a heavy team of 5 x M1 and 2 x M2 had 2 x M1 go Tango Uniform and have to sit on the roadside because they were non-mission capable.

http://usacac.leavenworth.army.mil/cac/milreview/download/english/NovDec03/barclay.pdf
http://www.knox.army.mil/armormag/CameronIndex/5maddox03c.pdf

Bill
20 Mar 06,, 03:23
You'd need to figure out what the US C-17, C-5, and C-130 fleet could realistically support, determine how much you'd reasonably need, and the difference between the two(if any) would be the lift shortfall.

We have approx 140 C17s(hard to place an exact figure because they're still in production) and we have 126 C5s and 514 USAF C130s(cargo versions of all models, marine hercs excluded).
-all stats from USAF factfiles

For an armor heavy Cav TF figure 30 M1s and 14 bradleys(M2s would be my pick) 6 mortar tracks, two FDC tracks, and a troop of 9 Apaches and 3 Kiowas. Obviously MLRS and other arty would be very useful, but they would also increase the logistics footprint.

Just a matter of crunching the numbers for anyone interested, and factoring in the key variable of range from the nearest major friendly airbase and proximity to the coastline(and potentially massive resupply assets).

It is also very important to point out that defensive operations would require far less logistical support than offensive ops.

A force of M8 AGS and turreted M113s would obviously require far less fuel support than one composed of M1s and M2s, which is one of the pro arguments for a dedicated light armored/mech inf unit. It would also have the advantadge of being fully C130 deployable.

Shek
20 Mar 06,, 03:39
Don't forget about MOG restrictions and how the sequencing of your equipment will change as you bring in a heavier force, meaning that you'll bring log in faster and push back your tooth later in the air flow.

Bill
20 Mar 06,, 03:47
Those are considerations that some full bird colonel sitting in some office in the pentagon is far more qualified to address than i.

LOL.

Shek
20 Mar 06,, 03:53
Those are considerations that some full bird colonel sitting in some office in the pentagon is far more qualified to address than i.

LOL.

Amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics ;)

Bill
20 Mar 06,, 04:11
See, now i always thought REMFs talked logistics.... ;)

Gun Grape
20 Mar 06,, 05:24
What the MPF fleet brings the US

Each MEB (Combined Arms Bde) set of afloat equipment consist of 4 ships. These ships contain materials to equip, supply and support an 18,500 man MAGTF for 30 days.

The major equipment embarked (and each is a little different) is

M1 Tanks, 30
LAVs 25(including the AT and Mortar versions)
AAVs 109
M198 Howitzers 30
Tow Hummers 72
Gun Hummers 129
Other Hummers 430
Stingers 45
ROWPU 41
5/7 ton trucks 490
Heavy equipment 121

Each ship also carries around 2,000 20 foot cargo containers with everything from Beans Bullets and Bandages.

All the individual Marine needs to carry with him is his personal weapon. Everything else can come from the ship. In fact the MPF in ODS fed the Marine Bde and the Armys 82d airborne for the first month.

Each ship also has around 6 million gallons of fuel, 400 thousand gallons of potable water and a 100 thous gallon water making capability per day per ship.

The MPS Squadron also embarks 8-10 LCM-8s, 20 powered causeways, 24 non powered causeways and 4 LARC Vs for mid stream offloading when a port facility isn’t available.

The following Aircraft would self deploy or be deployed by AMC aircraft

F/A –18 36
AV-8B 20
EA-6B up to 5 by doctrine
KC-130J 12
CH-53 24
CH-46 12
AH-1W 18
UH-1N 9

The following personnel will deploy by AMC/CRAF/Charter aircraft

Command Element 900
Ground Combat Element 6,400
Air Combat Element 7000
Combat Service Support Element 3000
Navy port control group 300
Beach Group 700
Navy Port Security Group 100

This force has demonstrated in ODS 17 days to have a Bde fully deployed and combat ready in 17 days. From Warning order to mission accomplishment.

Bill
20 Mar 06,, 06:45
Unfortunately the Marines have to drop the heavy stuff off at waters edge(traipsing deep inland with LCAC has never struck me as a particularly good idea). There's no ability to insert a heavy force deep in the enemy rear unless it's via a coastline.

Bill
20 Mar 06,, 06:47
, a heavy team of 5 x M1 and 2 x M2 had 2 x M1 go Tango Uniform and have to sit on the roadside because they were non-mission capable.

Hmm, Had they just used two more sorties they could've brought in a couple M88s as part of the force and been prepared for that contingency.

But then i guess it's always 'for just a few more sorties i can......'

Shek
20 Mar 06,, 13:16
Hmm, Had they just used two more sorties they could've brought in a couple M88s as part of the force and been prepared for that contingency.

But then i guess it's always 'for just a few more sorties i can......'

But the M88s can only drag them somewhere else. They can't fix them. So now you've got to bring in your PLL and quickly follow that with your ASL, all the LHS and PLS that carry them. The engines on your lines are going to take up a bunch of room . . .

Shek
20 Mar 06,, 13:34
Just did some quick back of the envelope type calculations, and the rule of thumb that I always heard my S4 use was that M1s needed to be refueled every 12 hours, and M2s needed refueling every 24 hours. So, every day a M1 has a planning factor of 1000 gallons x 30 M1s = 30K gallons and the Bradleys have a planning factor of 200 gallons x 14 M2s = 2800 gallons, so you're at 32,800 gallons; given the rest of the ground TF, you'll be at around 35K of gas a day. Given fuel expansion while aloft, you can only transport your tanks 3/4 full, so you're going to need 4/3 times the fuelers to bring this in. That's 44K worth of gas. That's 18 HEMMT fuelers that need to be flown in a day, or 9 of large Div/Corps level fuelers. I'm not sure on the sizes, but I can guarantee that that is a minimum of 5 x C17s a day required just to keep your TF gassed up. Add in some aviation, and now you're going to shoot that number right on up there. We haven't even begun to discuss moving H20, chow, and spare parts (which will take up several C17s). Once you've figured out what your sustainment air loads will take up, you'll need to up the number to include C17 non-mission capable rates (i.e. it may take 12-13 x C17s to cover down on a continuous 10 x C17 mission). Also, depending on your scenario, you may need to double your # of C17s dedicated because you may be able to fly only in one direction a day due to the flight and ground times and/or crew rest requirements.

Hopefully, the picture that you are getting is that logistics are a real constraint, and that just flying in your initial loads is the easy part. Your tough part is sustaining a force via air.

-{SpoonmaN}-
20 Mar 06,, 13:40
PS to my last post:(before i engage the Brigadiers question) I do see a unique niche for a true air droppable light mechanized/light armored force, but the Stryker bdes are not the answer. It's too heavy.

The light tank was an extremely useful weapons system in some roles. It's about due for a comeback IMO.

Air Mech baby, Air mobile. LOL...

Would it be possible to deploy a large enough force of such configuration that would still have vehicles with the required durability and firepower?

Shek
20 Mar 06,, 14:05
PS to my last post:(before i engage the Brigadiers question) I do see a unique niche for a true air droppable light mechanized/light armored force, but the Stryker bdes are not the answer. It's too heavy.

The light tank was an extremely useful weapons system in some roles. It's about due for a comeback IMO.

Air Mech baby, Air mobile. LOL...

How do you resupply such a force? I hope you dedicate several dozen C17s to drop 5 gallon fuel cans, a boatload of fuel blivets, and a boatload of privates to transload fuel from the blivets to the fuel cans . . .

Next, how do you maintain such a force? How do you get a sufficient # of lines of PLL on the ground in order to sustain them? How do you move ammo up to them?

It's sexy to talk about airborne assaults, but there's a reason you've never seen such a force fielded before . . .

Ray
20 Mar 06,, 15:00
Shek,

Your back of the envelope calculations were real good and speaks volumes on strategic mobility.

I am still trying to wade through the article I linked in one of my post on Strategic Mobility and whatever I could read makes my mind boggle at the stupendous task it involves!

Officer of Engineers
20 Mar 06,, 15:04
Sir,

Maybe we should rename this forum, the Brigadier's Desk.

Ray
20 Mar 06,, 15:11
Sir,

Maybe we should rename this forum, the Brigadier's Desk.

Why?

It is you who has ingenuously started a very lively and educative discussion and I followed it up, so that this Colonel's Corner becomes more lively than the South Asian Forum.

And BTW, most of the threads are from your CDs that you sent me and Anoop's links!

The copyright and patents are all YOURS! But for you and your CDs my knowledge would have been half baked! You have been such a great friend in expanding my knowledge in military matters!

I am only the retailer! :tongue: :biggrin:

Good that I came to know you after that great spat we had! ;)

I benefited.

Shek
20 Mar 06,, 15:22
Shek,

Your back of the envelope calculations were real good and speaks volumes on strategic mobility.

I am still trying to wade through the article I linked in one of my post on Strategic Mobility and whatever I could read makes my mind boggle at the stupendous task it involves!

Sir,
I spent too much time hanging out with the S4 as the S1 when we were in the field, and then I spent 18 months as the S4 of my Stryker battalion when we were fielding them. Thank goodness they only needed 53 gallons every 72 hours - I was much better rested than some of my friends who were S4s for Abrams and Bradley battalions :biggrin: Of course, I didn't have my own support platoon to make things happen and had to depend upon the brigade support battalion to get things down :frown:

Ray
20 Mar 06,, 15:26
Shek,

To be very frank, I have no clue about the US appointment code.

I don;t know what is S1 S4 and things like that.

I believe even the soldiers as per their year of service get a code!

Any links that can help me learn of these codes?

Shek
20 Mar 06,, 16:05
Shek,

To be very frank, I have no clue about the US appointment code.

I don;t know what is S1 S4 and things like that.

I believe even the soldiers as per their year of service get a code!

Any links that can help me learn of these codes?

Sir,

Personnel (S1)
Intelligence (S2)
Operations (S3)
Supply (S4)
Information Operations (S5) - Doesn't exist at the battalion level - when it does, it just means that the officer has the additional duty of running the battalion store!
Communications (S6)

Ray
20 Mar 06,, 16:44
Shek,

Thanks.

Bill
20 Mar 06,, 18:37
But the M88s can only drag them somewhere else. They can't fix them. So now you've got to bring in your PLL and quickly follow that with your ASL, all the LHS and PLS that carry them. The engines on your lines are going to take up a bunch of room . . .

Sir, the guys IN the M88 can fix the majority of things likely to go wrong with an M1. My best friend growing up joined with me(actually three of us joined together) and was an M1 hull mechanic with 1st Cavalry, so i do know a bit about this particular issue. An M88 carries a full basic tool kit, and has 2 M1 mechanics aboard(The TC of course will typically be at least an E-4, ie, a fairly experienced mechanic). Most of the time, they can get the tank going again, especially if they can TS it over the radio and bring parts with them for the Bn Motor pool. If they can't, they can at least recover it so it doesnt have to be abandoned or destroyed in place, and fix it in the rear.

So to me when i say 'add two m88s', i mean add two m88s and four mechanics and their tools.

Bill
20 Mar 06,, 18:39
Would it be possible to deploy a large enough force of such configuration(light armored/mech inf airmobile) that would still have vehicles with the required durability and firepower?

With purpose built light tanks and light IFVs?

I sure think so. Of course, that is one of the questions this debate seems to be exploring.

What do YOU think? ;)

Bill
20 Mar 06,, 18:49
How do you resupply such a force? I hope you dedicate several dozen C17s to drop 5 gallon fuel cans, a boatload of fuel blivets, and a boatload of privates to transload fuel from the blivets to the fuel cans . .

Well obviously if that was what was required you would not even attempt the manuever unless you could! ;)

For a light armor force(15 ton Lt tanks and IFVs) it would be a much lower log footprint. Maybe even lower than Stryker?


Next, how do you maintain such a force? How do you get a sufficient # of lines of PLL on the ground in order to sustain them? How do you move ammo up to them?

Obviously you'd have to do all of it by air. Depending on the distance to the next closest US resupply point that could vary from mildly annoying(ie in a case where you're in range of all manner of US heliborne resupply including USN warships) to being so severe that the operation is not tenable. Operation Eagle Claw would be a decent example of such an operation.


It's sexy to talk about airborne assaults, but there's a reason you've never seen such a force fielded before . . .

There was a reason we'd never seen an armored assault before 1918 either.

Technology makes science fiction battlefield reality.

We are very close to that point with "Air Mech" IMO. We may actually already be at that point if we made an actual concerted effort to develop the capability in a well reasoned and dedicated fashion.

Even still, we were able to successfully implement the concept in actual combat with a very heavy force, albeit a small one.

To me, the bigger question is, is that a capability we actually need or want.

The phrase that probably causes the single most panic over a radio net is "Enemy tanks spotted in force in the rear!!!"

Perhaps as much as anything else, an "airmech" force would be a PSYOPS Ace of Trump.

Ray
20 Mar 06,, 19:47
If have got the drift, I have a query.

Light armour vs A tk weapons as at the beginning of the Yom Kippur war
did change the complexion of the war in the beginning.

How do you manage this?

I would not like to take the the Iraqi Army and their exploits in the Iraq War as the benchmark since they were rather pathetic!

Its 0120 hours here and so I will come back tomorrow.

Bill
20 Mar 06,, 20:07
The same way a Bradley, Stryker, LAV-25, or even an M1 survives in a high intensity environment Sir. You can even take that back to the M4 sherman vs the German 88mm AT guns of WWII.

You survive with good tactics, by bypassing enemy strongpoints, and using your own forces intelligently. Certainly a light armored/mech force would be able to fight against a heavier force, and if supported right do quite well and win decisively, but yeah, you'd probably take more casualties than a heavier force would under identical circumstances.

Ideally the light force's helo screen would locate, fix and heavily attrit any heavy armored force encountered before it entered 120mm and Javelin range anyway.

One thing i have to say is that in 1991 the Iraqi Army was viewed universally as ANYTHING but a bad army.

It was the third biggest army in the world, hardened by 8 years of war with Iran, and it's elite corps were loaded to the gills with well motivated combat hardened troops.

Sure we shattered their army with 'ease'(i would say with great effort, but whatever), but that's only because we brought a military force designed to take on a force literally 100x more capable.

That should be no knock against the Iraqis, and frankly, i doubt ANYONE would've done any better against the force that was arrayed against them.

Put the Coalition ODS force on the doorstep to India in 1991 and tell me honestly sir, how long is India going to hold on?

Anyway, the Iraqis sure fought their ballls off during OIF and ever since(on both sides), so to me this fashionable bashing of the 1991 Iraqi Army and the Iraqi people in general) is a bunch of crap.

No disrespect intended sir, but everyone involved in ODS and OIF is getting the short shaft and is not getting their due respect.

Officer of Engineers
20 Mar 06,, 22:44
The Iraqis did put up a fight but their organization and discipline leaves far too much to be desired. As I stated, Operation THUNDER RUN would not have happenned in Grozny. The Battle of Baghdad alone is a military disaster of unbeliveable screw ups. You've litterally got CNN giving you direct live feed of where the American forces were and not one artillery piece openned up.

You've got the General of the Baghdad Division running around, trying to find people who would actually fight.

The Medina Divisional HQ was abandonned along with an entire battery that has been untouched by American fire.

The Iraqis got over 6 months to prepare and the best they've done in Baghdad was a few sandbags. No one even pour concrete barriers.

When the Americans took Saddam's palaces, the Iraqis had two entire American battalions surrounded. Not a single shot was fired.

What's more, the majority of the Iraqi Army left and walked home.

Hardly an indication of a professional and determined force by any measure.

Bill
20 Mar 06,, 22:57
The Iraqis did put up a fight but their organization and discipline leaves far too much to be desired. As I stated, Operation THUNDER RUN would not have happenned in Grozny. The Battle of Baghdad alone is a military disaster of unbeliveable screw ups. You've litterally got CNN giving you direct live feed of where the American forces were and not one artillery piece openned up.

You've got the General of the Baghdad Division running around, trying to find people who would actually fight.

The Medina Divisional HQ was abandonned along with an entire battery that has been untouched by American fire.

The Iraqis got over 6 months to prepare and the best they've done in Baghdad was a few sandbags. No one even pour concrete barriers.

When the Americans took Saddam's palaces, the Iraqis had two entire American battalions surrounded. Not a single shot was fired.

What's more, the majority of the Iraqi Army left and walked home.

Hardly an indication of a professional and determined force by any measure.

And then on the flip side you have the fedayeen charging to their deaths against M1 Abrams. That takes SERIOUS motivation(and a good dose of stupidity as well).

They may have fought dumb in OIF(ok, so they did fight dumb), but they also majoritively fought hard.

PS: When the medina HQ was captured hadnt the entire Div been pretty much wiped out anyway Sir?

Officer of Engineers
20 Mar 06,, 23:15
I think that we're all in good agreement that the Iraqis could have done alot better. Fighting dumb isn't exactly a winning strategy.

When the Medina HQ was captured, signs were that it was abandonned long before the Americans wiped out the division's brigades. In their system, the divisional HQ and its force protection is the division's reserves. Obviously, the Medina did not committ their reserves.

About the only good thing I see at the strategic level is the Iraqi 51st Infantry Divison at Basra. The Division's General surrendered and most of the troops went home. His 2IC got pissed off at such disgrace that he reformed the remaining troops into a single brigade and carried on the fight.

Both the Medina and the Baghdad could have used the 51st example.

Shek
21 Mar 06,, 02:17
Sir, the guys IN the M88 can fix the majority of things likely to go wrong with an M1. My best friend growing up joined with me(actually three of us joined together) and was an M1 hull mechanic with 1st Cavalry, so i do know a bit about this particular issue. An M88 carries a full basic tool kit, and has 2 M1 mechanics aboard(The TC of course will typically be at least an E-4, ie, a fairly experienced mechanic). Most of the time, they can get the tank going again, especially if they can TS it over the radio and bring parts with them for the Bn Motor pool. If they can't, they can at least recover it so it doesnt have to be abandoned or destroyed in place, and fix it in the rear.

So to me when i say 'add two m88s', i mean add two m88s and four mechanics and their tools.

Snipe,
I know that you meant M88 w/crew. I highlighted the part that is important - your M88 doesn't carry the PLL or the ASL, and JB Weld, rubber hoses, and duct tape can only go so far (unless you're MacGyver, of course ;) ). A heavy TF has a 2:1 tail to tooth ratio, meaning that for every tank, you need 8 supporters to carry the fuel, water, ammo, spare parts, etc. That means at least four additional vehicles, and the reality is that many support vehicles actually don't even have a TC, so you're probably talking 4-6 vehicles. So, I'm not trying to pull out log footprint just to be a naysayer, but to illustrate that logistics isn't something that you can hand wave but requires real number crunching to see if the maneuver force can be supported so it can remain fit to fight.

-{SpoonmaN}-
21 Mar 06,, 03:14
With purpose built light tanks and light IFVs?

I sure think so. Of course, that is one of the questions this debate seems to be exploring.

What do YOU think? ;)

Not sure, that's why I asked. I've read about new design ideas floating around that would incorporate composites and plastics into the armour to lighten it up, but it doesn't sound cheap (then again what does these days?). I guess it's an issue of will, surely they could develope and produce the equipment needed to assemble a couple of units for these purposes (how many and how large I don't know), but the issue of cost comes into play.
It'd be real nice if Australia could create a battalion-group or some such unit for this kind of entry/raiding mission, but I doubt we'd have the airlift capability for it.
It seems our major solution for any Military deficiency is your former colleagues.

Bill
21 Mar 06,, 03:19
Snipe,
I know that you meant M88 w/crew. I highlighted the part that is important - your M88 doesn't carry the PLL or the ASL, and JB Weld, rubber hoses, and duct tape can only go so far (unless you're MacGyver, of course ;) ). A heavy TF has a 2:1 tail to tooth ratio, meaning that for every tank, you need 8 supporters to carry the fuel, water, ammo, spare parts, etc. That means at least four additional vehicles, and the reality is that many support vehicles actually don't even have a TC, so you're probably talking 4-6 vehicles. So, I'm not trying to pull out log footprint just to be a naysayer, but to illustrate that logistics isn't something that you can hand wave but requires real number crunching to see if the maneuver force can be supported so it can remain fit to fight.

So who's going to crunch the numbers to determine what the largest force heavy force the US could support in an "Airmech" type operation is?

Sure aint gonna be me, lol... :biggrin:

PS: You'd be amazed what you can fix with 100 mile an hour tape and permatex blue Sir. ;)

gunnut
21 Mar 06,, 03:48
We have always had light tanks until recently. The M3/M5 Stuart in World War 2; the M24 and M41 in the 50s; and the M551 Sheridan from the 60s until the early 90s. They were not favored because they were vulnerable to heavy units.

But I think the time has come again. We won't likely see many large armored formations in the near future. Instead we will see a lot of low intensity conflicts where a light tank with a medium sized gun can turn the tide of a battle. They aren't meant to replace heavy units, but more like to give air transportable units an armored advantage.

Light tanks also have the edge in cost savings over heavy units. Logistics are easier to cope with. Smaller personel are needed to maintain light tanks. Initial investment is also lower. It just seems like a very good idea for low intensity conflicts and asymetrical threat environment. Yeah a light tank is not as well protected as an MBT, but it certainly is more powerful than a Stryker or LAV or uparmored Humvee.

Bill
21 Mar 06,, 04:01
The 120mm armed "M8 Thunderbolt" sure seems to fit the light tank role very nicely. :)

http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/land/m8ags-002.jpg

gunnut
21 Mar 06,, 04:11
Is that the same as the Armored Gun System? I remember there were numerous candidates for this project. One of them had a high velocity 75mm auto cannon. Another was called Stingray from Cadillac Gauge (I believe). They are all light tanks with modular armor to make them cheaper to acquire yet upgradable in a hurry.

Bill
21 Mar 06,, 05:04
Is that the same as the Armored Gun System? I remember there were numerous candidates for this project. One of them had a high velocity 75mm auto cannon. Another was called Stingray from Cadillac Gauge (I believe). They are all light tanks with modular armor to make them cheaper to acquire yet upgradable in a hurry.

Yeah, the M8 was the AGS competition winner. I think it's actually based on the Cadillac Gage entry.

Ray
21 Mar 06,, 06:22
Sniper,

How long with India hold out?

Good question.

There is many aspects to fighting a war. It is just not numbers or equipment. (Example: read the comments of US pilots on the US India Joint Exercises under the COPE series. I won;t tell you, you search for it in US documents so that you know it to be the Gospel Truth).

War encompasses political leadership, generalship, operational plans, military geography, morale, state of training, state of equipment, combat experience, knowledge of the terrain and its peculiarities as pertaining to military operations, state of national economy, state of industrial infrastructure, equation with allies and a host of other issues. One could enumerate so many other aspects.

In all the above, India is not too badly off and in some aspects would score 9 out of 10!

Iraq may have fought 8 years and were battle hardened, if you wish to say so. But the long sanctions and the continuous air attacks for so many years, surely did nothing great for the Iraqi economy, nor for its fighting infrastructure which was repeatedly targeted and destroyed!

Unless an army trains, it can never be fighting fit and with depleting resources and the threat of air strikes do you think they brought out equipment in mass? What training did they do?

One can't rest on its laurels. India has fought 4 wars on variety of terrain,. Our units continually replace each other in various terrains as relief, but even if one returns to the same terrain (say the deserts) after a stint in High Altitude, it is re-learning the whole thing; more so, since a large number of personnel would be new! To feel that the unit has fought a war in the desert and therefore is in the prime, just would not do!

Then the Generalship. Iraq had good generalship in the last war? If you feel so, then in comparison, Indian generalship is being in the realm short of being God!

But then, this is hypothetical issue that you have raised of West vs India.

If the time comes, then we will see; but this much I assure you, it won't be a cakewalk as in Iraq!

Do ask your buddies about the Indian Army. Quite a few have done exercises with them and quite a few have been trained by us in High Altitude Warfare as also in Counter Insurgency.

Blademaster
21 Mar 06,, 06:29
One thing i have to say is that in 1991 the Iraqi Army was viewed universally as ANYTHING but a bad army.

It was the third biggest army in the world, hardened by 8 years of war with Iran, and it's elite corps were loaded to the gills with well motivated combat hardened troops.

Sure we shattered their army with 'ease'(i would say with great effort, but whatever), but that's only because we brought a military force designed to take on a force literally 100x more capable.

That should be no knock against the Iraqis, and frankly, i doubt ANYONE would've done any better against the force that was arrayed against them.

Put the Coalition ODS force on the doorstep to India in 1991 and tell me honestly sir, how long is India going to hold on?

Anyway, the Iraqis sure fought their ballls off during OIF and ever since(on both sides), so to me this fashionable bashing of the 1991 Iraqi Army and the Iraqi people in general) is a bunch of crap.

No disrespect intended sir, but everyone involved in ODS and OIF is getting the short shaft and is not getting their due respect.

I disagree. The Iraqi army was a paper tiger. THe only reason why it was battle hardened and survived was because Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons. By the way, the army that the Iraqi army fought against? Most of the capable and professional officers and senior NCOs were eliminated in the purges after the mullahs came to power in order to consolidate their control over the army. As a result, the Iran army was a shell of itself. Before the mullahs took over, it was projected that the Iranian army could kick the **** out of the Iraqi army in less than 3-4 months.

Then came the mullahs and the war dragged out for 8 years. If you see every battle that the Iraqi army won it was either because of chemical weapons or the Iranian army made so many stupid mistakes such as the human wave tactics against fortified positions.

Before the Gulf War, the Iraqi army did not undergo any bouts of training or exercises like a professional army would do. I would dare say that if the Iraqi Army including the Republican Guards had gone through training several times, the performance of the Iraqi forces would have been vastly different. Same thing with the Iraqi Air Force. The pilots did take training but only in terms of flying and learning how to fight and evading but never in a environment of teamwork or carrying out steps as part of a grand strategy or supporting the ground troops.

Hell, half of the Iraqi Army didn't even have proper boots or guns or uniforms by the time that the Gulf War started.

I am sorry but the idea that the Iraqi Army was a battle-hardened army was a myth. The examples that you cited were the exceptions nothing else.

Ray
21 Mar 06,, 06:33
And then on the flip side you have the fedayeen charging to their deaths against M1 Abrams. That takes SERIOUS motivation(and a good dose of stupidity as well).

Sniper,

One can say anything about Islam, but one thing one has to agree that for their religion, they will lay down their lives and even become human bombs!

I don't think in any other religion such motivation can be found.

Therefore, Fidayeens are are motivated Islamic fighter for their religion.

The Iraqi army was an army that worked for a ruthless dictator who would have no qualms in snuffing out the soldiers' lives if they did not obey his orders! That hardly is a Holy Grail for motivation.

To be frank, I am not aware of Saddam's ruthlessness, but I base my opinion on western media reports, if that can be taken as a benchmark of truth!

Bill
21 Mar 06,, 07:22
I
Then came the mullahs and the war dragged out for 8 years. If you see every battle that the Iraqi army won it was either because of chemical weapons or the Iranian army made so many stupid mistakes such as the human wave tactics against fortified positions.


And you dont think that qualifies a troop that has been on the recieving end of all those human wave charges and artillery barrages as a "hardened combat veteran"?

You try machinegunning down 150 charging Iranian zealots a half dozen different times then walk through the masses of their shattered bodies after the battle looking for intel and prisoners and tell me you're not battlehardened.

The 91 RGFC corps WAS in fact stocked to the gills with hardened combat vets that had done just that many times, exactly as i stated.

I swear to god sometimes the commentary on these internet forums is almost surreal...

Bill
21 Mar 06,, 08:01
[SIZE=3][FONT=Times New Roman]Sniper,

How long with India hold out?

Good question.

There is many aspects to fighting a war. It is just not numbers or equipment. (Example: read the comments of US pilots on the US India Joint Exercises under the COPE series. I won;t tell you, you search for it in US documents so that you know it to be the Gospel Truth).

I would like to clearly state i am specifically referring to the 1991 Coalition force commited to battle during ODS, not the force commited to OIF in 2003.

Facing the military might of 27 nations all unified under US command-
Facing complete air and naval supremacy by your opponents-
Facing two highly mobile heavy Army groups(Including six US and one British heavy division.) and a force structure specifically designed to take on the Soviet Union all but head on in conventional battle, on a global scale-
Facing that with SIX USN Fleet Carriers commited to the battle-
Facing a full USMC MAD supported by two battleships sitting offshore threatening your entire coast-
All while also facing over 3000 Allied tactical and strategic combat aircraft with massive tanking, jamming, and SEAD support-
Facing all that after a six month pre war in theater logistical buildup by your enemy-

IMO- and with all due respect- Sir, i believe you'd need the Duke of Wellington, Zhukov, Patton and Rommel all rolled into one to defeat that 91 Coalition force in open battle with the forces that would be at Indias(or literally anyone's) disposal.


Iraq may have fought 8 years and were battle hardened, if you wish to say so.

I very much wish to say so because in the case of the RGFC in 1991, the units and timeframe i specificially referred to, it is a completely accurate statement IMO.


But the long sanctions and the continuous air attacks for so many years, surely did nothing great for the Iraqi economy, nor for its fighting infrastructure which was repeatedly targeted and destroyed!

Sir, i meant that the Iraqi army in 91 was the one that underrated. That army was an intact, well funed, (and for an arab force) well trained modern mechanized army with EXTREMELY good artillery, and an 'elite' corps of men that were very much combat harderned, and all that was protected by one of the most modern and densest IADS in the entire world and what on paper at least appeared to be a fairly capable airforce(and in ODS in practice they actually proved they were fairly capable).


One can't rest on its laurels. India has fought 4 wars on variety of terrain,. Our units continually replace each other in various terrains as relief, but even if one returns to the same terrain (say the deserts) after a stint in High Altitude, it is re-learning the whole thing; more so, since a large number of personnel would be new! To feel that the unit has fought a war in the desert and therefore is in the prime, just would not do!

I have great respect for the Indian army sir, and i know a USAF IP that has personally trained many InAF pilots that says they are damned good.

IMO, you just have to consider the might of that coaltion force in 1991 Sir. That force was tailor built to kick the living crap out of the Soviet Union at the height of it's own power, and was strongly represented by nearly every member of NATO. Even FRANCE commited an Armored Division and a large air component. Even the GERMANS sent a big tornado contingent. The ground component alone was Two army groups in strength!

When you talk about taking on that force, you're de facto taking on the better part of NATO, land, sea, and air......and are talking about taking on probably the most powerful military force ever commited to war by mankind.

It was definitely not poorly led, and it had fully 180 days of combat supplies fully prepositioned and stockpiled.

gunnut
21 Mar 06,, 09:14
Sniper,

One can say anything about Islam, but one thing one has to agree that for their religion, they will lay down their lives and even become human bombs!

I don't think in any other religion such motivation can be found.


US has fought an enemy with such determination. The Japanese suicide bombs in WW2. They had the Kamikaze, which everyone knew about.

They had human torpedoes, which were their Long Lance torpedoes with a small pilot house added between the warhead and the propulsion section. Kaitan, I believe was its name.

They also had suicide charges. Japanese soldiers lacked effective anti tank weapons like the Panzerfaust or the bazooka, so they tied an explosive with a contact fuse at the tip of a long bamboo stick and charged our tanks. They were know as Banzai mines.

Japanese students were instructed to hide inside a hole dug in the middle of the road where the Americans were expected to pass. They were given a hammer and artillery shells or aerial bombs. Hit the head with the hammer if they see a US tank pass overhead. Maybe this was the Banzai mine :confused:

That took dedication!

We dealt with them. We were slightly less humane in treating the Japanese back then than we do today with the Muslim crazies. It was a different time and a different war.

Officer of Engineers
21 Mar 06,, 13:03
I don't want to get into a pissing contest about an India-US conflict but ODS could not happen to India. It is a far more larger and more powerful country than Iraq ... and far more target rich than Iraq. I really don't see the Coalition Airpower having the same effect on India. It is a far different terrain, requiring more bombs per target than the open Iraqi desert.

Shek
21 Mar 06,, 13:06
So who's going to crunch the numbers to determine what the largest force heavy force the US could support in an "Airmech" type operation is?

Sure aint gonna be me, lol... :biggrin:

PS: You'd be amazed what you can fix with 100 mile an hour tape and permatex blue Sir. ;)

I know what ghetto fixes can do - remember, I spent four months in the desert and rolling around the Tigris River Valley in an armored vehicle. However, you can only do so much, and without real spare parts, your vehicles will become bunkers after a short while.

As far as crunching numbers, that's going to be E7s and O-3s at Fort Lee, feeding the #s to an O-4, who will bless off on them, with an O-5 or O-6 briefing them. It isn't rocket science, but it does have an immediate and direct impact on what you can realistically fly in, even if you had a greatly increased # of airframes.

Officer of Engineers
21 Mar 06,, 13:09
A dated article but by the authours who started this thing

Airmechanization (http://usacac.leavenworth.army.mil/CAC/milreview/English/JulAug01/grange.htm)

Officer of Engineers
21 Mar 06,, 13:16
IMO- and with all due respect- Sir, i believe you'd need the Duke of Wellington, Zhukov, Patton and Rommel all rolled into one to defeat that 91 Coalition force in open battle with the forces that would be at Indias(or literally anyone's) disposal.

Or 173 divisions backed up 2300 aircrafts and just as much military training and experience (time spent, not quality) as the coalition.

Bill
21 Mar 06,, 13:49
India would be roadkill if NATO attacked, either that, or we've about flat wasted 5 trillion dollars in defense spending.

It does not take a rocket scientist to figure this out.

The InAF while good, is not the USAF. C'mon folks, lets be serious. The US F16 fleet alone is almost as big as the entire InAF. ;)

Shek
21 Mar 06,, 14:04
A dated article but by the authours who started this thing

Airmechanization (http://usacac.leavenworth.army.mil/CAC/milreview/English/JulAug01/grange.htm)

I think that BG Grange got the shaft big time, and I really don't know why (all the guys from 1ID that I ever talked with loved the guy), and so I deeply respect his leadership. However, notice that there isn't a single mention of the logistics structure required to support such a move or the second and third order effects of having to support such a structure.

I also like the tried and true strawman argument against the Stryker that it can't be transported with its add-on armor. At least he also states that later on in the article that neither can the M113 be transported with any add-on armor, although I do find it a bit disingenuous since the reader is left with the impression that the fact that the Stryker can't fly with add-on armor is bad, while the M113 flying without armor is only a challenge that can be fixed by putting it on a follow-on aircraft (which is the exact same solution for the Stryker).

Officer of Engineers
21 Mar 06,, 14:08
India would be roadkill if NATO attacked, either that, or we've about flat wasted 5 trillion dollars in defense spending.

It does not take a rocket scientist to figure this out.

The InAF while good, is not the USAF. C'mon folks, lets be serious. The US F16 fleet alone is almost as big as the entire InAF. ;)

There is no question that we would own the battlefield but that was not my point. My point was that it would be a much more different and much more focus campaign. We don't have enough bombs to reduce India like we did to Iraq in ODS. It would have to be more like OIF where strikes are designed for immediate impact and not shaping the battlefield for our benefit.

Unlike Iraq, however, the Indians do have enough force structures to man every approach. We will not have a situation where Iraqi divsions were caught off guard by a distraction (USMC amphibious bluff). The Indians would have extra divisions watching both the distraction and the real assualt.

We still win simply because I can't see the Indians winning the recee battle but it would be a much harder and determined fight.

Bill
21 Mar 06,, 14:16
Well yes i agree it would be a MUCH, MUCH harder(and longer) fight, but the end result is(to me at least) not even in question.

Bill
21 Mar 06,, 14:18
I also like the tried and true strawman argument against the Stryker that it can't be transported with its add-on armor. At least he also states that later on in the article that neither can the M113 be transported with any add-on armor, although I do find it a bit disingenuous since the reader is left with the impression that the fact that the Stryker can't fly with add-on armor is bad, while the M113 flying without armor is only a challenge that can be fixed by putting it on a follow-on aircraft (which is the exact same solution for the Stryker).

If one were to bolt the slat armor UNDER the chassis of the 113 and then unbolt and install it onscene, it seems to me that you could get the whole kit there on one sortie.

Yes? No?

Shek
21 Mar 06,, 15:03
If one were to bolt the slat armor UNDER the chassis of the 113 and then unbolt and install it onscene, it seems to me that you could get the whole kit there on one sortie.

Yes? No?

Only if the M113 has 40" ground clearance to spare.

20" of slat per side x 2 sides = 40"

Ray
21 Mar 06,, 16:23
Gannut,

True the Japanese were dedicated and they were also crazies too in WWII.

But it took a nuke to subdue them.

A nuke will subdue God too because this time around the way it is going, it will be a 4th of July with nukes. Nothing will survive.

That is why Ieveryone wants that Iran is stopped from acquiring nukes.

View issues in it holity and not taken to suit the argument.

Shek
21 Mar 06,, 16:32
Only if the M113 has 40" ground clearance to spare.

20" of slat per side x 2 sides = 40"

Maybe MTV's Pimp My Ride or Discovery's Monster Garage could make the necessary modifications :biggrin:

Officer of Engineers
21 Mar 06,, 17:09
Gannut,

True the Japanese were dedicated and they were also crazies too in WWII.

But it took a nuke to subdue them.

Sir,

The British Indian Army did a pretty good job without nukes. Being mechanical about killing will always win over the fanatics.

Bill
21 Mar 06,, 18:37
Only if the M113 has 40" ground clearance to spare.

20" of slat per side x 2 sides = 40"

You could certainly hinge the slat supports sir.

Use a little imagination... ;)

Hmmm, maybe i SHOULD market that idea, cause that would probably work for the Stryker too.

Blademaster
21 Mar 06,, 19:28
And you dont think that qualifies a troop that has been on the recieving end of all those human wave charges and artillery barrages as a "hardened combat veteran"?

You try machinegunning down 150 charging Iranian zealots a half dozen different times then walk through the masses of their shattered bodies after the battle looking for intel and prisoners and tell me you're not battlehardened.


You are missing what I am saying. To do what you just said doesn't require a lot of training because it involves little movement and coordination. What about manuevers and tactics that involve a lot of movement and coordination?

Witness the battle of Tawalina???(sp?) where the Iraqi forces prepared a defensive posture and dug in. Guess what? It was no good against a professional tank army. If it was the Indian Army, their defensive posture and the manner they set up the perimeter would be entirely different because they would know how a tank force perform in such a setting because they TRAINED for it.

Being a hardened combat vet does not necessarily translated to a highly skilled and trained modern force. If that was the case, the Soviets of WWII would have performed better against US forces in Gulf War. But we know that is not the case.

Because the Iraqi never trained for anything except for human waves and artillery barrages, they never could deal with manuever tactics that the US forces threw against them. Witness how the Japanese forces performed against the Soviets in WWII. They got their asses handed back to them because they never trained for the kind of warfare that the Soviets threw against them.

Against Indian forces, US forces may come out on top, but expect the Indians to give a very good fight and extract its measure of blood from US forces.



The 91 RGFC corps WAS in fact stocked to the gills with hardened combat vets that had done just that many times, exactly as i stated.

I swear to god sometimes the commentary on these internet forums is almost surreal...

Which proves my point. They NEVER TRAINED against anything else. They continued to expect this kind of tactics from the US forces when any professional soldier would know that was not the case.

I mean look at Vietcong. They were battled hardened vets but that in no way made them a real army.

Officer of Engineers
21 Mar 06,, 19:40
Witness the battle of Tawalina???(sp?) where the Iraqi forces prepared a defensive posture and dug in. Guess what? It was no good against a professional tank army. If it was the Indian Army, their defensive posture and the manner they set up the perimeter would be entirely different because they would know how a tank force perform in such a setting because they TRAINED for it.

Not a good example, Hitesh. The Iraqis were set up against a USMC amphibious landing. When VII Corps struck, they had to re-orient themselves both physically and psychologically away from the Marines and towards VII Corps, all within 48 hours. When VII Corps struck, it was a hasty defence, not a deliberate defence.

Blademaster
21 Mar 06,, 19:43
But you get the gist of what I am saying? If they had trained more using manuevers, they would have set it much better. I would bet that the InA with the given conditions that the Republican Guard went through, they would have given a far more deadly fight and they wouldn't let themselves be cut off. When they see the writing on the wall, they would have made a tactical withdrawal instead of being destroyed to the last man.

Officer of Engineers
21 Mar 06,, 19:55
I don't even know if 1 Canadian Division (even with its current setup) could have done any better. 48 hours is not alot of time to set up divisional defences. The best I could have done is throw up alot of obstacles. There was no way I could have co-ordinated KZs with the DAG in that time. The line companies would not have set up their positions yet while I'm laying my minefields. Most certainly I couldn't have dug the guns in to give them extra protection.

Also, the RG did their job. They were the sacraficial lamb to buy the time needed to get the Iraqi army back home.

Blademaster
21 Mar 06,, 20:01
Well for one thing, if it was InA or Canadians for that matter, there was no way in hell that we wouldn't know that it was VII Corps till 48 hours before they hit us. We would have at least 4 days of advance. By the way, even preparing for an USMC amphibious assault, any commander worth its salt would have known that with a VII corps facing against you from the south and USMC from the east, you best guard all your flanks and prepare for both contigencies. If I know there are two forces in the area, I would have prepare defenses for both of them just in case. The Republican Guard had all the time to prepare the defenses before the war started.

I know that's hindsight talking but there were numerous examples of facing two forces in the area and the need to prepare defenses to face both in case the one you expected didn't show up and the other one you didn't expect showed up.

Officer of Engineers
21 Mar 06,, 20:08
Actually no, the Iraqis were caught off guard. They were blinded by the air campaign. They didn't know VII Corps had moved east to bypass the Iraqi border defences at the Kuwait-Saudi border. When the ground war began, the Marines at the Kuwait border made their feint north, convincing the rest of the Iraqi commanders that the Americans are going to try to bust their defence lines.

It was an actual surprise to the Americans that the feint actually broke through and created another front. It was only another sacracfical battle at the Kuwait City Airport that the Marines were finally stopped.

They were expecting to see a drive through their lines or an amphibious landing and they saw what they expected to see. They did not go looking for what they don't expect to see. So, by the time, the RG learned of VII Corps, it was already too late.

Bill
21 Mar 06,, 20:11
To do what you just said(killing enemy human wave attacks) doesn't require a lot of training because it involves little movement and coordination. What about manuevers and tactics that involve a lot of movement and coordination?

Basic infantry tactics are named quite appropriately. They are basic because minimally trained soldiers the world over possess them.


Witness the battle of Tawalina???(sp?)

Twalkana.

[QUOTE=Blademaster] ...where the Iraqi forces prepared a defensive posture and dug in. Guess what? It was no good against a professional tank army. If it was the Indian Army, their defensive posture and the manner they set up the perimeter would be entirely different because they would know how a tank force perform in such a setting because they TRAINED for it.

I expect the Indians would do better, and i said so. In fact, i said "MUCH MUCH better".

Still nowhere near close to good enough though.


Being a hardened combat vet does not necessarily translated to a highly skilled and trained modern force.

I never said it did. I merely said the RGFC div's were stocked with hardened combat vets in 91.

Cause they were.


If that was the case, the Soviets of WWII would have performed better against US forces in Gulf War. But we know that is not the case.

You lost me.


Because the Iraqi never trained for anything except for human waves and artillery barrages, they never could deal with manuever tactics that the US forces threw against them.

I hate to point this out, but the US and NATO forces commited to ODS were hardly optimized for siege warfare against a heavily entrenched enemy sitting in a prepared defense in depth while holding a 2:1 numerical advantadge either.

Now im not gonna sit here and try to argue the iraqis were as well trained as our forces in 91, cause thats obviously not true, but the fact is that their RGFC corps really were a very competent mechanized fighting force, even if their leadership, comms or command structure was not.

The Iraqis lost at ALL LEVELS, they couldve had the best trained troops in the world and it still wouldnt have mattered all that much.



Against Indian forces, US forces may come out on top, but expect the Indians to give a very good fight and extract its measure of blood from US forces.

I've said the same thing twice. (lol, now three times)


Which proves my point. They (Iraqis) NEVER TRAINED against anything else. They continued to expect this kind of tactics from the US forces when any professional soldier would know that was not the case.

I mean look at Vietcong. They were battled hardened vets but that in no way made them a real army.

I would rather have a Bn of circa 1968 VC infantrymen armed/equipped to current US standards under my command than almost any other men on earth.

So there ya go.

IMO motivation is 10x more important than training. No, check that.

1000x more important.

And again, the US forces when they were deployed to Iraq had trained their entire careers for a MUCH different kind of fight too.

Bill
21 Mar 06,, 20:15
Actually no, the Iraqis were caught off guard. They were blinded by the air campaign. They didn't know VII Corps had moved east to bypass the Iraqi border defences at the Kuwait-Saudi border. When the ground war began, the Marines at the Kuwait border made their feint north, convincing the rest of the Iraqi commanders that the Americans are going to try to bust their defence lines.

Dont forget about 1Cav Sir. They also had a large role in the deception campaign.

It was an actual surprise to the Americans that the feint actually broke through and created another front. It was only another sacracfical battle at the Kuwait City Airport that the Marines were finally stopped.


....and they saw what they expected to see. They did not go looking for what they don't expect to see.

That works in sports too. You show someone what they expect to see and 99% of the time their butt is yours. :biggrin:



So, by the time, the RG learned of VII Corps, it was already too late.

It was too late to realign into a good defensive posture, it was not however too late for them to initiate a blocking manuever and get the bulk of the RGFC to safety, which is exactly what they did.

Bill
21 Mar 06,, 20:22
Also, the RG did their job. They were the sacraficial lamb to buy the time needed to get the Iraqi army back home.

Exactly.

Shek
21 Mar 06,, 22:04
You could certainly hinge the slat supports sir.

Use a little imagination... ;)

Hmmm, maybe i SHOULD market that idea, cause that would probably work for the Stryker too.

Actually, after thinking a little bit more, I'd say that the slat is actually about 24". Anyways, in terms of your support hinge, you'd maybe be able to cut the size around half, but not more than that, so you're still looking at needing about 20-30" in ground clearance. Additionally, you'd probably add about another hour or two the installation time.

Bill
21 Mar 06,, 22:09
If we had a pen and cocktail napkins we'd be able to design something better than the current setup in about 2 hours i betcha.

Shek
22 Mar 06,, 00:03
If we had a pen and cocktail napkins we'd be able to design something better than the current setup in about 2 hours i betcha.

Probably not. You've got the thickness of the slats themselves, you've got the thickness of your tubular steel support bars, you've got your blast shield RHD along with the support bars for them. Also, in all cases, you got brackets that are your attachment points to the blast shield/hull whose size will be one of your biggest space offenders.

The way that the slat was designed was made to be efficient in terms of packaging on a 463L (and of course, efficient in terms of defeating or minimizing the effects of RPGs).

Bill
22 Mar 06,, 04:11
I really would love to get my hands on a stryker/slat package first hand. Short of that i guess i'll have to take your word for it.

Even if 1/2 of the slat package can be stowed underneath the vehicle you're still making use of a lot of room that is otherwise completely wasted.

Gun Grape
22 Mar 06,, 04:38
I think that BG Grange got the shaft big time, and I really don't know why (all the guys from 1ID that I ever talked with loved the guy), and so I deeply respect his leadership. However, notice that there isn't a single mention of the logistics structure required to support such a move or the second and third order effects of having to support such a structure.

There was a good article a few years back by LTC Michael K. Robel concerning the logistics of a 113 based Bde and a Stryker based one. And Strykers need alot less birds that a shoebox did. IHO the Stryker had better killing ability also. Then in his conclusion he recommended the 113 because its tracked and that outweighed all the Stryker advantages.

How did Gen Grange hook up with the likes of Mike Sparks?


I also like the tried and true strawman argument against the Stryker that it can't be transported with its add-on armor. At least he also states that later on in the article that neither can the M113 be transported with any add-on armor, although I do find it a bit disingenuous since the reader is left with the impression that the fact that the Stryker can't fly with add-on armor is bad, while the M113 flying without armor is only a challenge that can be fixed by putting it on a follow-on aircraft (which is the exact same solution for the Stryker).


The same applies to either the M8 or the 120mm Thunderbolt demonstrator. Neither one a light tank, but an Armored gun.

All these weights from either the global security site UDLP/BAE or Sparks own combatreform.

With level 1 protection (arty splinters) the M8 weighed 38,900 for airborne ops. Combat loaded with level 1 protection it came in at 39,800.

To bring it up to 7.62 standard brought the weight up to 44 thous.

And combat loaded with RPG level protection took it up to 52 thous.

It had a problem with the ammunition compartment feature that failed to contain the reaction of the ammunition when struck by realistic threat weapons.

All this for the low cost of 5.5 mil each

The 120 version starts off in the 20 ton range. So all this talk of AirMechSparks
just doesn't get off the ground. No wonder none of the Army airborne generals fought for this thing.

Bill
22 Mar 06,, 05:04
LOL, takes a lotta gumption to toss arrows at a 5.5 million dollar light tank when you support an 80 million a pop tilt-rotor with a 20+ year development cycle. :confused:


"With level 1 protection (arty splinters) the M8 weighed 38,900 for airborne ops. Combat loaded with level 1 protection it came in at 39,800.
To bring it up to 7.62 standard brought the weight up to 44 thous."


Yet you think that all mission critical areas of the Osprey are protected vs 14.5mm? So Osprey has what, 5 tons of Armor then?

Interesting.

Your statistics are HIGHLY suspect IMO.

I own 2 Vests with Class IV trauma plates(ie, hardly cutting edge technology), which offer complete protection vs full power .30-06AP. Each trauma plate weighs about a pound.

To claim it would take 4200lbs of applique' armor on top of base to protect a Stingray vs 7.62AP seems to me to be EXTREMELY unlikely to say the least.

The A10 cockpit is armored to stop 23mm API, and the entire titanium tub enclosure(about the size of a compact car) only weighs 1100lbs.

Officer of Engineers
22 Mar 06,, 05:12
Globalsecurity has this


ts unique features include the use of modular appliqué bolt-on armor that is not used in a load-bearing application. The armored gun system used titanium appliqué armor. The M8 can be fitted with three levels of protection:

1. Level I against splinters
2. Level II against armor piercing small arms and small cannon fire
3. Level III against cannon up to 30mm

Its design also permits rapid installation of two additional versions of add-on, modular armor protection that allow deploying units to tailor the AGS to meet expected threats. The AGS base version weighs 19.5 tons. The level-two combat-loaded weight version is just over 23 tons, and the level-three combat-loaded weight version about 25.5 tons. The base level and level-two AGS versions are transportable on C-130 aircraft. The AGS can also be airdropped by parachute.

Bill
22 Mar 06,, 05:18
Thank you sir.

A much different tale of the tape than G.Grape suggests.



"2. Level II against armor piercing small arms and small cannon fire"
"The level-two combat-loaded weight version is just over 23 tons"
"The base level and level-two AGS versions are transportable on C-130 aircraft. The AGS can also be airdropped by parachute."

Frontal protection against light cannon(assuming this is the typical 23mm API specification) fire certainly explains the 4500lb weight gain.

Gunny, don't be a dinosaur, the 80s are over. Put down the Quiet Riot cassete and embrace the AirMech concept. ;)

PS: I sure hope you're not comparing me to Sparks or Meyers, as i ended my affiliation with both of them quite a long time ago.

Why?

Because both of them are knuckleheads that hate EVERYTHING the US military is doing and refuse to ever admit they're wrong. They also both have a penchant for taking a good concept and morphing it into a ludicris personal fantasy.

I am not like them because i have admitted i've been wrong on this and other forums many times(and many times allowed for the possibility in my posts as a debate raged), and i certainly dont hate all that the US military is doing with it's funds and doctrine, just some of it.

If you could see the times i argued with Meyers(as i used to be a contributing editor to g2mil and even wrote an article or two many years back) AT LENGTH over systems that he bashed you'd realize that not only do i not drink the Sparks/Meyers KooLAiD, but that i pissed in their punchbowl before i departed their company. :)

I've likewise debated at great length with T.Yablonski wrt the battleships when i thought a particular argument of his was stupid or misleading(which quite frankly was fairly often). He even offered me what most would consider to be a very interesting position with USNFSA which i declined to accept.

I posted my breakup with Milt Sparks here realtime when Shek first arrived, search the archive. Mike did not handle it well, lol.

-{SpoonmaN}-
22 Mar 06,, 09:20
Also, the RG did their job. They were the sacraficial lamb to buy the time needed to get the Iraqi army back home.

Yeah I guess they would have been heroes if so many of them weren't merciless killers.

Ray
22 Mar 06,, 13:30
Colonel and Sniper,

I would not like to enter this hypothetical discussion of US vs India since it will not come to pass and since I do not have Manmohan Singh and George Bush's approval to discuss the same.

However, just an input.

If India were under siege for 10 years or more, then we would know that one day the chips would be down.

We would have prepared for the inevitable war.

Further, knowing the terrain and its peculiarities (and the Indian Army already knows it since it has been defending it so ever since Independence; deployed in peacetime [ugly stability, as it is called by RAND) and fought four war), I am sure the Indian Army would be in a better position to use the terrain than any adversary who is arriving there basically with the terrain knowledge from maps and satellite photos.

In so far as laying of mines and obstacles, I am sure you know the InA capability on that subject! ;)

Further, we lay mines and deep minefields at that too against the face of the enemy and we have done so in the last four wars. They haven't failed us. Of course, they can be breached, but there is no free run and behind those minefields are an array of weaponry that is mobile and also prepositioned.

I would also appreciate if we can go back to the subject - the article Lightning over water and analyse that since that is what is the exciting issue.

And since it pertains to the US Forces, I sure would appreciate analysis by US Army personnel since they have been there and done that.

InA has not done it as yet in its classical form.

Gun Grape
22 Mar 06,, 23:39
Thank you sir.

A much different tale of the tape than G.Grape suggests.

Much Different? DId you read both our post? Can you divide by 2?

Weights in Colonels post/ weights in GGs post

Level 1 19.5 tons /38.9 thous ( 19.45 tons)

Level 2 23 tons /44 thous (22 tons)

Level 3 25.5 ton/52 thous (26 tons)

yea I was way off;) Short a ton on level 2 and over half a ton on level 3.

At 36.5 thous lbs being the max normal allowable payload and 42 thousand being the max allowable payload of a C-130H/J I dont see too many level 2 AGSs being delivered by C-130s. Info from the USAF fact sheet.

http://www.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?fsID=92



Maximum Allowable Payload:
C-130E, 42,000 pounds (19,090 kilograms)
C-130H, 42,000 pounds (19,090 kilograms)
C-130J, 42,000 pounds (19,090 kilograms)
C-130J-30, 44,000 (19,958 kilograms)
Maximum Normal Payload:
C-130E, 36,500 pounds (16,590 kilograms)
C-130H, 36,500 pounds (16,590 kilograms)
C-130J, 34,000 pounds (15,422 kilograms)
C-130J-30, 36,000 pounds (16,329 kilograms)






Gunny, don't be a dinosaur, the 80s are over. Put down the Quiet Riot cassete and embrace the AirMech concept. ;)

I was into Stevie Ray Vaughn back in them days. And as long as I have functioning brain cells I refuse to embrace AM stuff.

And BTW You say that Air Mech units can be supplied by air. That is one of the tenents.

Please explain how they can do it with a mech force but you think that the OMFTS concept (light inf force) cannot be logistically sustained using the same method?
Especially when the MC will have 30 days worth of Class 1-5 in theater?

Bill
22 Mar 06,, 23:42
"Please explain how they can do it with a mech force but you think that the OMFTS concept (light inf force) cannot be logistically sustained using the same method?
Especially when the MC will have 30 days worth of Class 1-5 in theater?"

It's already been done.

In combat.

The difference between OMFTS and AM is A) one of scale(OMFTS is a MUCH more grandiose concept that envisions a much larger element than i do for AM), and B) An AM force by default(if used as i propose) will always have a major logistical hub ALREADY BUILT IN- ie the captured enemy airbase.

IMO we PROVED beyond a shadow of a doubt at Khe Sahn that the US can keep a major garrison force supplied under even when totally surrounded and cut off from all land routes. Compared to an AM force, the garrison at Khe Sahn was many times larger and harder to keep resupplied.

And what you misrepresented was the level of protection offered by Lvl II. 23mm frontal/7.62 all around is a hell of a lot different than 'To bring it up to 7.62 standard brought the weight up to 44 thous.'.

44 thous is the weight with 'light cannon frontal protection'.

Here are some more AGS mobility stats from GloSec:

"In its base armor configuration, it can be low-velocity airdropped from a C-130 aircraft. The AGS was the Army's only armored vehicle specifically designed for delivery by air. As such, it is considerably lighter than traditional main battle tanks and, though well armed, it is not intended to fight other tanks alone. The AGS is capable of Low Velocity Air Drop (LVAD Parachute) or more conventional roll-on/roll-off delivery by airlift aircraft. A C-130 can carry one AGS, while the larger C-141, C-17, and C-5A can carry two, three, and five AGSs respectively."

And let me paint you a picture: 15 C130s touch down on a recently captured enemy airbase.

14 of them drop their ramps and out roll level 1 M8s ready for combat. The 15th drops it's ramp and offloads the modular armor packages, an extra basic load for each M8, and the support personnel.

The "It wont fit with the extra armor" argument has never really swayed me, not even when it was used against stryker.

And AM has a DEFENISIVE role that no one ever seems to think about. If i drop a mech force deep into your rear in one of your airbases in conjunction with Rangers or Paras it is MUCH better defended than with just light inf forces alone. That makes it much less likely the enemy can wrest it back, or that he'll even try.

Those M8s dont have to roll so far as 1 mile from the FOB you just captured to be an effective blocking/ denial force.

I would also point out that the typical airbase(such as is likely to be the target for a major AM insertion) has massive tankage of AvGas and JP5 on hand. The m8s multi-fuel diesel can run on both.

Officer of Engineers
23 Mar 06,, 01:52
We would have prepared for the inevitable war.

Sir,

Forgive me for not elaborating but I, like you, wish to avoid a pissing contest that does nothing but alot of chest beating and frankly, chest beating hurts. I will just say that I have a very, very narrow definition of victory in the NATO-India scenario and will leave it at that. The definition is simply a measure of capability, not of resolve, to which we all agree would be a much more serious and also unmesureable factor.

However, this being said, your post did raise a very, very interesting point within the confines of this thread. What will NOT panic you, Sir, if an American force suddenly appear where you're not expected?

You are the only one amongst us who has experience and expertise at the division level.

Obviously, an Indian Army infantry division have no fear of a single Ranger company trying to hold an airport. Even the Taliban forced a Ranger retreat when they took Khandahar airport for the 1st time.

What kind of force would "panic" you?

Bill
23 Mar 06,, 03:16
"What kind of force would "panic" you?"

If i may offer my decidedly less experienced opinion, IMHO probably the single biggest problem with fighting the US is that a good chunk of the time you are denied the information even required for you to formulate the opinion that you should be panicking to begin with.

The second biggest is the US's nearly prohibitive night time fighting advantadge.

Another interesting -and perhaps even critical- problem i feel that is presented when facing the US in battle is the American peoples aversion to large scale casualties.
Because of the inherent reluctance of senior US military commanders to put themselves in a position to suffer heavy casualties it is very difficult to even get the US to engage you at all on terms that allow the fight to be decisive for your side.

If the US does engage your forces in a decisive battle you can bet your bottom dollar it's because they are 99% confident they've got you set up to be anhillated in detail.

India is probably about as good a force that exists outside the US today when you factor in size, tech level, motivation, and training, but they just dont have the budget to be able to compete across the entire spectrum. No one does. The US just takes the fight to an enemy from too many different angles and at too many levels- and oft times from too far away- for anyone to compete in open warfare/battle.

Guerilla type campaigns are of course another story entirely.

Anoop C
23 Mar 06,, 04:00
Thinking back to Op. Desert Shield/Storm, in the context of the lengthy mobilization, why didn't Iraq try to disrupt that build-up? Didn't they have the capability via Scuds? Surely they couldn't have believed that an attack was not forthcoming, given the build-up!

Officer of Engineers
23 Mar 06,, 04:03
If i may offer my decidedly less experienced opinion, IMHO probably the single biggest problem with fighting the US is that a good chunk of the time you are denied the information even required for you to formulate the opinion that you should be panicking to begin with.

The traditional recee-by-death has not lost its effectiveness no matter how costly it is.

Officer of Engineers
23 Mar 06,, 04:03
Thinking back to Op. Desert Shield/Storm, in the context of the lengthy mobilization, why didn't Iraq try to disrupt that build-up? Didn't they have the capability via Scuds? Surely they couldn't have believed that an attack was not forthcoming, given the build-up!

It was never in the cards for Saddam. His forces had to stick to the roads for any navigation.

Bill
23 Mar 06,, 04:15
The traditional recee-by-death has not lost its effectiveness no matter how costly it is.

Please elaborate sir.

Anoop C
23 Mar 06,, 04:25
Colonel,

Do you mean that Iraq was blind to the entire mobilization (as opposed to the famous left-hook)? If that's true, in the hypothetical India-Coalition scenario, the best chance India has is when the build-up is nascent, not after it is completed. Unlike the Iraqi AF which didn't even take to the skies, the IAF would have (and suffered a lot of attrition, to be sure).

Actually, I believe the USAF's near total dominance of the skies is their biggest asset, followed by the ability of the USN to influence the battle on land, followed by the large number of ordnance all fighting arms can afford to expend, followed by the US Army's vast experience in logistic support.

Anyway, back to the real meat and potatoes of the thread......

Officer of Engineers
23 Mar 06,, 05:40
Please elaborate sir.

In OIF, 90% of the combat was the traditional meeting engagement. We've discussed this before. 3ID ran into more ambushes than it was allowed under our doctrines.

3-7Cav was met by an entire brigade from the Medina Division. What would've happenned if that was a Russian Tank Regiment or an Indian Armoured Brigade? 3-7Cav represents the heaviest that we could have reasonably expected to air insert. That is not all, the ENTIRE Medina division moved and while airpower took its worth, NONE of the Medina's brigades was deemed combat ineffective until 3ID hit them head on.

And ALL of this was GROUND action, not air insert.

So, in other words, within the expected timeframe, would the Brigadier panic or would he send an entire armoured brigade to find out what's landed unexpectedly? The Brigadier is not a stupid man (NOT by a long shot). Within the timeframe, he could either expect a light infantry brigade OR a heavy armoured battalion.

Either way, the Brigadier can expect an answer from his recee brigade reports that they wiped out the air insert force OR he looses contact and knows that something big enough and nasty enough to kill an Indian brigade is in that area ... and he can react accordingly - recee by death.

Officer of Engineers
23 Mar 06,, 05:46
Do you mean that Iraq was blind to the entire mobilization (as opposed to the famous left-hook)?

No, not true at all. CNN was Iraq's best intel. FAR more than I would have liked. Frankly, far more than I would have tolerated.


If that's true, in the hypothetical India-Coalition scenario, the best chance India has is when the build-up is nascent, not after it is completed. Unlike the Iraqi AF which didn't even take to the skies, the IAF would have (and suffered a lot of attrition, to be sure).

It really, really depends on the scenario. ALL of this is hypotheritical. And we're speaking as if India does not have any friends and that is NOT true by any stretch of the imagination. Russia could certainly provide intel and it is not beyond reality that China might side with India.


Actually, I believe the USAF's near total dominance of the skies is their biggest asset, followed by the ability of the USN to influence the battle on land, followed by the large number of ordnance all fighting arms can afford to expend, followed by the US Army's vast experience in logistic support.

It all depens on the scenario. Short of nukes, the US does not have the bomb numbers required to reduce India like they did Iraq.

Gun Grape
23 Mar 06,, 06:34
"Please explain how they can do it with a mech force but you think that the OMFTS concept (light inf force) cannot be logistically sustained using the same method?
Especially when the MC will have 30 days worth of Class 1-5 in theater?"

It's already been done.

In combat.

Where?, When? Are you thinking of TF 1-63s insertion in friendly held northern Iraq?
You are aware that they contracted fuel through civilian carriers from turkey.

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0PBZ/is_6_83/ai_112482141


Expeditionary Logistics

The U.S. Army is experienced with resupplying a light force by air, but EUCOM and CENTCOM planners had two limitations to overcome before Operation Airborne Dragon could commence: How could they sustain an armored force that would require up to 10,000 gallons of fuel per day? And, how could they provide resupply of bulky repair parts that are difficult to transport into a theater where there is austere logistical support?

USAREUR helped EUCOM and CENTCOM planners overcome these two logistical challenges. The contracted use of commercial carriers from across Europe--and from Turkey in particular--solved the problem of fueling the force. USAREUR and the U.S. Air Force in Europe (USAFE), both familiar with the region, negotiated line-hauled fuel from Turkish companies into northern Iraq. Special Operations Command coordinated for Kurdish factions inside Iraq to secure the commercial fuel movements into northern Iraq.

Not exactly "Air supplied" From deployment in april to may
approximately 150 C-17 sorties and 30 C-130 sorties flew into the Iraqi theater of operations from Germany to keep TF 1-63 supplied with sustainment supplies.




The difference between OMFTS and AM is A) one of scale(OMFTS is a MUCH more grandiose concept that envisions a much larger element than i do for AM), and B) An AM force by default(if used as i propose) will always have a major logistical hub ALREADY BUILT IN- ie the captured enemy airbase.

Then you don't understand OMFTS if you think its only for large scale operations.
OMFTS is the basic doctrine that can be applied from a company size SPMAGTF up to Corps level. What OMFTS doctrine have you actually read?




And what you misrepresented was the level of protection offered by Lvl II. 23mm frontal/7.62 all around is a hell of a lot different than 'To bring it up to 7.62 standard brought the weight up to 44 thous.'.

44 thous is the weight with 'light cannon frontal protection'.

Or what is commonly referred to as 7.62 protection. Cause thats what everything but the engine compartment has.

No more of a misrepresentation than you assigning 23mm to a statement
that only says small cannon.




And AM has a DEFENISIVE role that no one ever seems to think about. If i drop a mech force deep into your rear in one of your airbases in conjunction with Rangers or Paras it is MUCH better defended than with just light inf forces alone. That makes it much less likely the enemy can wrest it back, or that he'll even try.

Those M8s dont have to roll so far as 1 mile from the FOB you just captured to be an effective blocking/ denial force.

I would also point out that the typical airbase(such as is likely to be the target for a major AM insertion) has massive tankage of AvGas and JP5 on hand. The m8s multi-fuel diesel can run on both.

No he just bombs/shells the crap out of those fuel storage points on his former airbase and craters the runway. What does he have to loose? He has already lost the use of the airport anyway. One WP round in the fuel farm should do it.

So now he has fixed you in place. Destroyed all that "extra" fuel you thought you could use. And the fuel fire probably did damage to the facilities. So if you do get birds in he has lowered your MOG rate, further degrading your capabilities.
IOWs hes fixed you in place. Send a few real tanks in as a blocking force and you no longer matter.

Gun Grape
23 Mar 06,, 06:38
Either way, the Brigadier can expect an answer from his recee brigade reports that they wiped out the air insert force OR he looses contact and knows that something big enough and nasty enough to kill an Indian brigade is in that area ... and he can react accordingly - recee by death.


The oldest game in town. Sometimes you have to earn your intel with blood :frown:

Bill
23 Mar 06,, 06:44
Either way, the Brigadier can expect an answer from his recee brigade reports that they wiped out the air insert force OR he looses contact and knows that something big enough and nasty enough to kill an Indian brigade is in that area ... and he can react accordingly - recee by death.

Gotcha.

I look at this whole deep air attack battle as parts of a whole, not just as stand alone units.
Taken each by themselves the various airmobile/insertable units in the US arsenal are capable, but have weaknesses. Combined, they can be used to form a very large well balanced force deep in the enemy rear.

Example:

In reality the heaviest unit we can put into an enemies rear via air is not a Hvy Cav Sqn, it's an AAslt Div., and in many cases it is many times more capable than a single Hvy Cav Sqn as an overall force. The one thing the 101st lacks is heavy armor, and THAT is the role of the Heavy Sqn you dropped deep into the enemy rear to secure that FOB/FARP for the 101st's huge Apache contingent.

Phase 1- Ranger airborne or direct air assault to sieze airbase
Phase 2- Immediately after initial securing of runways mechanized force begins flowing in
Phase 3- 101st Abn makes massed air assaults siezing(or at least interdicting) all key land approaches to the FOB, establishing multiple AH64 FARPS in airbase perimeter.

The 101st reinforced by a mechanized bn/Sqn and a Ranger Bn operating out of a major airbase is not a force anyone would want in their rear.

I would even go so far as to call that a nightmare scenario.

The 101sts ability to strike out from that location in all directions in huge leaps and bounds closing LOCs and/or seizing key chokepoints while still leaving the base secured by a credible combined arms force would pose enormous problems for any enemy.

The deep FOB/FARP is an established tenet of US battlefield doctrine. Adding a mechanized force to the mix merely gives you that many more capabilities and options where they can do proportionately far more good- Deep in the enemies rear.

Bill
23 Mar 06,, 06:45
The oldest game in town. Sometimes you have to earn your intel with blood :frown:

I am a much bigger fan of "reece by not getting spotted".

LOL.

Seriously though, the very nature of the reece screen is not to commit to a pitched fight, but to remain fluid and shadowy, always at the edge of the enemy's ability to see/affect you. Doesn't always work that way, but that's the way we like to do it. Much safer........

gunnut
23 Mar 06,, 06:57
Thinking back to Op. Desert Shield/Storm, in the context of the lengthy mobilization, why didn't Iraq try to disrupt that build-up? Didn't they have the capability via Scuds? Surely they couldn't have believed that an attack was not forthcoming, given the build-up!

In my layman's opinion, Saddam was a politician first. He took a calculated risk in invading and occupying Kuwait. That risk was US's political will, not military will, to engage him half a world away over some small desert emirate.

He didn't push his luck because he knew there's no way he could stand up to the combined weight of NATO. NATO was what he would face should he move his forces south and invade Saudi Arabia. Europ relies heavily on Middle East oil. Disrupt the supply is like throwing rocks at a hornet's nest.

Saddam was banking on not pushing his luck to earn him brownie points with the west. Hey, I could have screwed you guys over but I didn't. Be nice to me and I'll keep the oil flowing. Unfortunately for him Bush Sr. was not an appeaser.

Bill
23 Mar 06,, 07:18
Where?, When? Are you thinking of TF 1-63s insertion in friendly held northern Iraq?

Yep, i sure am.


You are aware that they contracted fuel through civilian carriers from turkey.

That is the definition of the term "Thinking outside the box".

Ie, proof that there is more than the usual way to tackle a problem.

You'd have likely scoffed 'bah, we cant do it'. The planners that did it simply thought outside the box.

I commend them for it.


Not exactly "Air supplied" From deployment in april to may
approximately 150 C-17 sorties and 30 C-130 sorties flew into the Iraqi theater of operations from Germany to keep TF 1-63 supplied with sustainment supplies.

And not exactly a purpose designed light airmobile mechanized force either.

Nor does that represent a particularly large overall % of the USAFs total lift capacity.

The m1 is a fuel pig we know, the m8 however, is not, and neither is the stryker(neither is the 113 for that matter), so obviously a more purpose designed force would be a much smaller logistical burden.

You apparently forget that what you are condemning as folly is already largely in place with the stryker bdes.

Adding M8s or the Stryker MGS or for that matter M1s to the mix only adds yet another capability, i fail to see your objection.

Air Mech is already a reality. A specialized niche yes, but a reality. It is not any one system or vehicle, it is a concept.

And IMO, it is a damned sound concept as long as you know when to apply it and have vehicles well suited to the task.


Then you don't understand OMFTS if you think its only for large scale operations.

Did i say "Only"?

Why no, no i did not...


OMFTS is the basic doctrine that can be applied from a company size SPMAGTF up to Corps level.

That's what the press brochures say at least...


What OMFTS doctrine have you actually read?

Is there more than one? If there is i'd love to read those too. :rolleyes:


Or what is commonly referred to as 7.62 protection. Cause thats what everything but the engine compartment has.

Typically it will be frontal protection vs the heavy caliber weapons, and the rear(ie the engine) and flanks will be protected vs the lighter calibers. Armoring the frontal glacis/turret to protect vs 23mm takes a hell of a lot more armor than vs 7.62, so naturally it is much heavier. Regardless, your statement that "Lvl II" was protection vs 7.62 only was obviously incorrect.


No more of a misrepresentation than you assigning 23mm to a statement
that only says small cannon.

That is the smallest WP cannon in use.

Typically that is the cannon round that US vehicles/aircraft are claimed to be proof against(Ie- apache, A10). The only size smaller than 23mm is 20mm and that's only used by western nations(or clients), so no.....nothing disingenous about my statement at all.


No he just bombs/shells the crap out of those fuel storage points on his former airbase and craters the runway.

Panama and Grenada are living evidence that that is not likely to be the case.
The idea is for the enemy to not be sitting there with a detonator in his hand waiting for you. You know....suprise and all that....

And i dare say that if the US is attacking that airbase at all it's because the USAF has at least local command of the skies(1st night of the war or no), which precludes the enemy bombing it.

Also, without accurate spotting data(or comms) from observers onscene, any enemy arty fire will be largely inneffectual if even possible.

If the fire is accurate it will be treated the same as any other arty fired at US forces. Ie it will be located and counterbatteried by TACAIR, MLRS, or ATACMS.

War is dangerous, risk and death are part of it....even for Americans.

On top of that, major airbases are IMMENSE in size, so the enemy would have the bomb/shell a WHOLE LOT of things to close the base even temporarily.



What does he have to loose? He has already lost the use of the airport anyway. One WP round in the fuel farm should do it.

Have you ever seen the fuel farm on a major airbase?

No one WP round would not do it. 1 tank sure. All of them? And what about the really big underground ones that airforces seem to love precisely because they're much harder to take out?

I mean seriously...


So now he has fixed you in place. Destroyed all that "extra" fuel you thought you could use. And the fuel fire probably did damage to the facilities. So if you do get birds in he has lowered your MOG rate, further degrading your capabilities.
IOWs hes fixed you in place. Send a few real tanks in as a blocking force and you no longer matter.

LOL, yeah....cause all those Apaches i brought with me that are wandering all over his rear killing everything that moves wont matter, and the USAF wont have any intersest in all those tanks that show up like DAY GLO TARGETS on JSTARS, and neither will all the blackhawks full of US Paratroopers closing all those LOCs the enemy needs to move that blocking force of tanks to begin with.

You act as if none of this has been done in combat before.

All of it has.

The US Army has been doing ops like this since vietnam. The only thing you're adding is a mechanized manuever element. Even if the tracks have not a drop of fuel besides 1 full gas tank you've just added a whole spitload of mobile and highly accurate pillboxes to reinforce your sercuring force and protect a critical theater asset- your newly captured FOB/FARP.

Even if the enemy destroyed(of FAR MORE LIKELY contaminated) every drop of fuel you have to think about the amount of gas it takes the 101st to make the deep thrusts that it did during ODS to begin with. It's obvious that we can put a whole lot of fuel in the enemies rear or those deep Apache raids from FOBs would be impossible. A Sqn of Apaches drinks a lot of fuel.

Shek
23 Mar 06,, 13:44
The m1 is a fuel pig we know, the m8 however, is not, and neither is the stryker(neither is the 113 for that matter), so obviously a more purpose designed force would be a much smaller logistical burden.

You apparently forget that what you are condemning as folly is already largely in place with the stryker bdes.


Snipe,
This is false. The M113 takes twice as much fuel to sustain and the M8 takes three times as much fuel to sustain. Fuel is the commodity that takes the largest amount of lift in order to sustain the SBCT, and the models show that while doable, it is a tight margin with the SBCT. Now double or triple the required amount and you can be SOL. Remember, adding air frames doesn't equal adding the same amount of lift capacity, as MOG will drive that train.

Ray
23 Mar 06,, 15:20
Along with all what you all are discussing, do read the paper below.

It is a diagnostic paper and not a a prescriptive one.


Transforming the Legions:
The Army and the
Future of Land Warfare
by
Andrew F. Krepinevich
Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments
2004

Ray
23 Mar 06,, 15:25
Colonel,

I wouldn't know what will cause one to panic.

What one must bear in mind is that India, like China, Russia and the US has what is known as "strategic depth".

Countries that have strategic depth have ample scope to absord the shock, tire out the aggressor and then take the aggressor by the scruff.

Ideal examples for understanding strategic depth would be Napoleon's Russian Campaign and Hitler's Operation Barbarossa.

Shek
23 Mar 06,, 15:35
I think the use of OIF as a historical comparison is a misleading example. We had 12 years to develop the logistical infrastructure needed to undertake the mission, 12 years of daily aircraft overflights to gather reconnaissance, 12 years of intense satellite imagery captures to develop our intel, etc. We won't always find ourselves with the ability to pull support in from three of the cardinal directions of a country that requires military intervention. We won't always have the ability to use a port that is only a few hundred miles from our main area of operations.

I'm sure I sound like a broken record, but the expeditionary nature of OIF wasn't truly expeditionary because it didn't involve having to build up the necessary logistic hubs - instead, we fell in on existing logistics hubs, and even given that, we had major issues in keeping vehicles and aircraft operational in the summer of 2003, with want of spare parts creating many hangar queens.

Ray
23 Mar 06,, 15:44
Gotcha.

I look at this whole deep air attack battle as parts of a whole, not just as stand alone units.
Taken each by themselves the various airmobile/insertable units in the US arsenal are capable, but have weaknesses. Combined, they can be used to form a very large well balanced force deep in the enemy rear.

The issue that you may consider is which would be India's rear?

The Indian Armed forces are based (in Brigade and Divisional strength) throughout India.

And add to the armed forces strength, the paramilitary which too are what you would term as combat seasoned because they too have participated in the wars as also are currently involved in anti terrorist operations.

While you may like to air insert, the question arises is for how long will those forces be vulnerable?

Then there are forces that have no 'mass or centre of gravity; and with stand alone weapons can ensure that the air insert is adequately delayed and disrupted.

The main thrust would be, even if it were a do or die situation, is to separate the combat elements effectively from their logistic support. Ideally, having caused delay and if possible disruption, allow a part of the force to move on to their objective and then cut of their logistic chain. It must be remembered that 50 tons per day of logistics is sustain each US soldier.

I read with consternation in one of the post that the US troops require water to be transported from the US to sustain them in foreign shores. If that be true, then it becomes easier to ensure debilitating the US force. Ideally, the logistic backup should be addressed all the time so as to ensure debilitating the US invasion potential.

However, in a hypothetical situation and in which the statements are made without exactitude, it really does not allow any realistic appraisal of the issue being debated.

Shek
23 Mar 06,, 15:56
I read with consternation in one of the post that the US troops require water to be transported from the US to sustain them in foreign shores. If that be true, then it becomes easier to ensure debilitating the US force. Ideally, the logistic backup should be addressed all the time so as to ensure debilitating the US invasion potential.


Sir,

We have Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Units, so bottled water isn't required, nor is it required to be sent from the US. However, for expeditionary logistics, you will transport bottled water because it stays good for longer, is easy to distribute. The question becomes when do you want to bring in the ROWPU units and the tankers that will then distribute the water - there's an upfront cost in bring all of their equipment and bringing in more vehicles and equipment that require fuel to run - I don't know at what point in an airflow is optimum to bring in the water units and bump combat equipment, but over the long run it requires more lift to keep on bringing in bottled H2O. So, there are hard decisions that need to be made, and the more logistics intensive a unit is, the harder the decisions become.

For example, in Iraq, bottled water is the preferred solution because it can be trucked in from Jordan, Kuwait, Turkey, etc. It will stay good for days/weeks in the hot environment as opposed to hours/days that you'll get out of a water trailer (because the heat causes bacteria, etc. to grow, and bottled water is inherently safer on this front). Because it can come in on commercial trucks, you aren't taxing military assets and you can keep troop numbers down (as opposed to if you were using ROWPU units) or keep them concentrated in the skills you want/need (e.g. shooters instead water purifiers). However, the ability to import bottled water won't exist for every scenario.

Ray
23 Mar 06,, 16:08
Shek,

We too have the Reverse Osmosis system.

However, the Indian soldier can also drink water from the stream, maybe not from the river, and still be OK. We can survive on rations that the VCs had i.e. rice and dal [lentil] or gur [jaggery] and chana [a pulse].

Do give me a link on how the US Army does an air insert.

Thanks.

Ray
23 Mar 06,, 16:10
I think the use of OIF as a historical comparison is a misleading example. We had 12 years to develop the logistical infrastructure needed to undertake the mission, 12 years of daily aircraft overflights to gather reconnaissance, 12 years of intense satellite imagery captures to develop our intel, etc. We won't always find ourselves with the ability to pull support in from three of the cardinal directions of a country that requires military intervention. We won't always have the ability to use a port that is only a few hundred miles from our main area of operations.

I'm sure I sound like a broken record, but the expeditionary nature of OIF wasn't truly expeditionary because it didn't involve having to build up the necessary logistic hubs - instead, we fell in on existing logistics hubs, and even given that, we had major issues in keeping vehicles and aircraft operational in the summer of 2003, with want of spare parts creating many hangar queens.

I think that sums up the issue rather well.

************


Gentlemen,

I am dying to hear some inputs and comments on the article "Lightning Over Water".

Shek
23 Mar 06,, 16:14
Shek,

We too have the Reverse Osmosis system.

However, the Indian soldier can also drink water from the stream, maybe not from the river, and still be OK. We can survive on rations that the VCs had i.e. rice and dal [lentil] or gur [jaggery] and chana [a pulse].

Do give me a link on how the US Army does an air insert.

Thanks.

Sir,
We've got iodine tablets that you can drop in your canteens to "purify" water. However, my guess is that our immune systems aren't as tough as your immune systems; hence, Montezuma's Revenge is lurking for those who travel to Mexico (outside the tourist resorts) and drink the local tap water.

Bill
23 Mar 06,, 16:15
Snipe,
This is false. The M113 takes twice as much fuel to sustain and the M8 takes three times as much fuel to sustain.

Not compared to an Abrams which is what i was comparing them too.

Compared to an M1 a M113 is very economical, and as everyone keeeps insisting, compared to a Stryker, an M113 is not economical.

Saying an M113 or M8 is economical is true as long as you realize that it was a relative- and not an absolute- statement.


Fuel is the commodity that takes the largest amount of lift in order to sustain the SBCT, and the models show that while doable, it is a tight margin with the SBCT. Now double or triple the required amount and you can be SOL. Remember, adding air frames doesn't equal adding the same amount of lift capacity, as MOG will drive that train.

I am doing my best to factor these things into the equation.

I was just a corporal sir.....

Ray
23 Mar 06,, 16:16
Ah those tablets!

Whenever they are issued to us for our exercises (training manoeuvres), they are found to be overdated! :)

I think our is chlorine and something else that removes the taste of chlorine.

BTW, do educated me on how the Expeditionary Army very rapidly inserts and deploys and activates itself in an anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) threat environment.

Bill
23 Mar 06,, 16:25
I think the use of OIF as a historical comparison is a misleading example. We had 12 years to develop the logistical infrastructure needed to undertake the mission, 12 years of daily aircraft overflights to gather reconnaissance, 12 years of intense satellite imagery captures to develop our intel, etc. We won't always find ourselves with the ability to pull support in from three of the cardinal directions of a country that requires military intervention. We won't always have the ability to use a port that is only a few hundred miles from our main area of operations.

I'm sure I sound like a broken record, but the expeditionary nature of OIF wasn't truly expeditionary because it didn't involve having to build up the necessary logistic hubs - instead, we fell in on existing logistics hubs, and even given that, we had major issues in keeping vehicles and aircraft operational in the summer of 2003, with want of spare parts creating many hangar queens.

Sir, that infrastructure exists becuase we DID do that 15 years ago during ODS.

ODS was a true "From nothing" deployment. But then, so was all of WWII, Korea, and Vietnam.

We have a LOT of practice with these sorts of massive around the world expeditionary manuevers.

I have watched this nation perform amazing feats time and time and time again. Therefore i do not look at a problem and say "We cant do this", i look at it and say what would the US Military do if someone removed the "We cant do this bug" and just DID IT?

And what you end up with is crazy schemes like having contracted trucks from turkey drive great distances into a combat zone....and it somehow always WORKS!

If you look at Overlord, then OIF, or even ODS or Inchon for that matter are NOTHING in comparison.

I feel like Roosevelt when told that we couldnt hit the Japanese.

I mean WTF would fly medium bombers off early WWII carriers? It's MADNESS.

But we DID IT ANYWAY. :)

Officer of Engineers
23 Mar 06,, 16:27
Gentlemen,

I am dying to hear some inputs and comments on the article "Lightning Over Water".

Sir,

I had thought we were discussing this topic and expanding even further outward as to what would be sufficent air insert force to "panic" the enemy. Is there anything specific you wish us to examine?

Bill
23 Mar 06,, 16:29
BTW, do educated me on how the Expeditionary Army very rapidly inserts and deploys and activates itself in an anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) threat environment.

The same way we'd insert a Heliborne infantry force on the 'digital battlefield', after extensive SEAD work and with a large armed escort, all working under standoff jamming support and being fed realtime intel from JSTARS/AWACS.

The real question is, how do you actually stop a US amphibious or AASLT force?

Cause NO US Amphibious, Airborne, or AASlt force has EVER been turned back or defeated by force of arms.

From 1941 until now, not ever, not once.

Officer of Engineers
23 Mar 06,, 16:35
Cause NO US Amphibious, Airborne, or AASlt force has EVER been turned back or defeated by force of arms.

Market-Garden
Ranger's Battle at Khandahar Airport

Bill
23 Mar 06,, 16:40
They were 'stopped' after insertion, not before.

I probably should have been more specific.

And in all honesty, the second example sucks sir. That was delta that pulled back, not the Rangers. The US Rangers stayed in the AO until relieved, and did not retreat, surrender, or flee.
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines01/1106-04.htm
(i may add more to this paragraph, im still reading about the incident to refresh my memory)

The first one though(Op MG), i agree with....although that was not a US operation, US troops did participate, so technically it counts.

But wait.....the US troops largely DID complete their missions during Market Garden didnt they?(i really dont recall, so a brief assessment would be appreciated Sir)

But even if i give you both, that's about a 99.999% success rate. ;)

Ray
23 Mar 06,, 16:44
Colonel,

I agree we are talking turkey and maybe I got distracted with the India under invasion part.

The issue that is really niggling my mind is the Transformation planned by the US for their army to change from a Frontier Army to a Constabulary army and then to the Future Forces configuration and the place the inputs from the Lightning finds it place in the jigsaw.

Sniper,

If matters not if the US has not been stopped. It cannot be a benchmark for discussion or for even planning.

For instance, given the strength, composition and high tecnology weapons and weapon platforms of the forces of the Coalition of the Willing, Iraq would be a cakewalk. Indeed the conventional part of the campaign was a cakewalk. Yet, because of terrorists and their tactics, it is turning out to be otherwise from the military standpoint. Therefore, the war won but the mission not accomplished in detail.

But will Iraq happen again? Again, it cannot be a benchmark since environment and situations changes.

Each campaign has different parameters so using a common template is being dangerously naiive.

Officer of Engineers
23 Mar 06,, 16:46
But wait.....the US troops largely DID complete their missions during Market Garden didnt they?(i really dont recall, so a brief assessment would be appreciated Sir)

The failure of the British to take Arnheim had made the American positions unattainable and thus were forced to withdraw.

Ray
23 Mar 06,, 16:48
They were 'stopped' after insertion, not before.

The end statement is what is important in any battle, campaign or war or even in US' favourite game - basketball!

Bill
23 Mar 06,, 16:51
The failure of the British to take Arnheim had made the American positions unattainable and thus were forced to withdraw.

Becuase of British failures and a bad British plan, not through any fault of their own, but yeah....i will give ya that one in a technicality Sir.

Of course at Market Garden there were no NVGs(night insertion) Helo Gunships, JDAMs, or Paveways.

Im still looking into Kandahar.

I am going to revise my statment though cause im sure plt and smaller sized elements have been turned back/stopped many times.

SO:

No solely US airborne, AAslt or Amphibious force of Battalion size or larger has ever been turned back or defeated in battle via force of arms.

That should be a much more accurate statement. The first one was just asking for trouble, lol.

Shek
23 Mar 06,, 16:55
Not compared to an Abrams which is what i was comparing them too.

But comparing it to a deployment of 6 Abrams is a bogus comparison. When you compare it to an organization where the #s have been crunched and it is still a stretch to sustain (i.e. the SBCT), and then you double or triple the fuel requirements, then you are aiming to fail.


I am doing my best to factor these things into the equation.

I was just a corporal sir.....

Don't worry - I've seen plenty of majors and lieutenant colonels who think that gas grows on trees too ;)

Shek
23 Mar 06,, 16:58
Ranger's Battle at Khandahar Airport

??? :confused: ???

Are you referring to Objective Rhino, where the plan was never to hold the airfield in the middle of the desert?

Bill
23 Mar 06,, 17:01
After having read plenty of 20/20 hindsight Operation Rhino reviews i do not accept that statement that "The Rangers were forced to Retreat from Kandahar airfield".

IMO, that is a falsehood.

Operation Rhino accomplished every single mission goal laid out for it. It was far from a picture perfect run or planned op, but it was a successful operation.
http://www.construction.com/NewsCenter/Headlines/ENR/20020225b.asp

If you have some stuff that suggests otherwise sir id happily read it.

Shek
23 Mar 06,, 17:01
Ah those tablets!

Whenever they are issued to us for our exercises (training manoeuvres), they are found to be overdated! :)

I think our is chlorine and something else that removes the taste of chlorine.

BTW, do educated me on how the Expeditionary Army very rapidly inserts and deploys and activates itself in an anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) threat environment.

Sir,
We'd just use our "beverage base powder" packages (military-speak for kool-aid) to overpower the tasted of the iodine tablets.

I'll look later to see if there are any solid presentations, but most of postings come from my experiences in planning and familiarity with N-hour sequences and air load planning.

Bill
23 Mar 06,, 17:04
But comparing it to a deployment of 6 Abrams is a bogus comparison. When you compare it to an organization where the #s have been crunched and it is still a stretch to sustain (i.e. the SBCT), and then you double or triple the fuel requirements, then you are aiming to fail.

Well barring a well planned and well thought out resupply effort, i think you're absolutely correct. And one need not neccesarily 'boost fuel requirement needs by 300%' just by introducing an armored force. Their consumption will depend how many of them there are and what you're asking them to do.

If they sit in a concentrated reserve in the center of your perimeter waiting for a counterattack that never comes they'll use almost no fuel at all.

Really as long as you can drop them on scene with a full tank of gas they're going to be very useful in a defensive role, even if you never get another drop of fuel for them for a couple days.


Don't worry - I've seen plenty of majors and lieutenant colonels who think that gas grows on trees too ;)

LOL, well then i dont feel so bad. A colonel should know better. I can claim bloody JNCO ignorance. :biggrin:

Shek
23 Mar 06,, 17:20
Sir, that infrastructure exists becuase we DID do that 15 years ago during ODS.

ODS was a true "From nothing" deployment. But then, so was all of WWII, Korea, and Vietnam.

We have a LOT of practice with these sorts of massive around the world expeditionary manuevers.

I have watched this nation perform amazing feats time and time and time again. Therefore i do not look at a problem and say "We cant do this", i look at it and say what would the US Military do if someone removed the "We cant do this bug" and just DID IT?

And what you end up with is crazy schemes like having contracted trucks from turkey drive great distances into a combat zone....and it somehow always WORKS!

If you look at Overlord, then OIF, or even ODS or Inchon for that matter are NOTHING in comparison.

I feel like Roosevelt when told that we couldnt hit the Japanese.

I mean WTF would fly medium bombers off early WWII carriers? It's MADNESS.

But we DID IT ANYWAY. :)

Snipe,
There's no question that we can do some amazing feats when we put our resources towards a goal. However, as time passes, much of the important minutae of history tends to become hazy. As Ray has pointed out, much of this discussion has been very much in the abstract and not grounded in realistic scenarios. My point is simply that there has been a lot of hoorahing over OIF, whereas many of the "lessons learned" that are being espoused do not take into account the context.

Why were we able to fly into Bashur with Airborne Dragon? Because SOF linked up with Peshmerga and facilitated an unopposed airborne assault and the supplying of the major obstacle to any vehicular based task force - gas. So, to try and triumph Operation Airborne Dragon as proof that heavy task forces are sustainable in any operation is bogus. Heck, in less than 50km you had a NMC rate for Abrams of 40%. Now take away gas, meaning you have to fly it in, bumping space for more vehicles or spare parts, and increase the size of your armored task force, where does that leave you?

Take the "lesson learned" that speed was vital to preventing destruction of Iraqi oil infrastructure and was responsible for our overwhelming success. That's been pretty decisively debunked IMO as the reason for our success in OIF. That isn't to say that it is a bad thing necessarily, but in the case of OIF, it is spin.

My point is that it's easy to overlook the hard stuff and reach conclusions that one may want to reach, and I think that our overly abstract discussion here has fallen pray to these phenomenon.

The first step, as in any mission, is to analyze the enemy. Who are the threats to the US? Iran? North Korea? China? A radical regime in Pakistan? Non-state actors, i.e. terrorist groups?

Once we determine who the enemy is, then we need to talk political objectives, as war is just the extension of politics. This will drive us to the required military objectives.

Take China, for example. Should we go to war over Taiwan? Fine, the USN and the USAF come to the rescue, save Taiwan from the evil Chinese, and then they ride off into the sunset? That briefs well, but the hard part comes next - does it lead to an even greater confrontation? Do we need to fight on mainland China then? Is Taiwan worth this risk?

Of course, there's all sorts of permutations and combinations, and so going through this drill can be very exhaustive. However, once you zero in on where you think the threats will be in the next 20-30 years, then you can properly tailor your force and devote your energies to the best solutions. Would an airmech TF of a battalion size be effective in a mainland China scenario? Iranian scenario?

Once you start at the correct starting point, then this discussion becomes less abstract and sexy, but it does become more realistic and focused on the enemy we will have to fight instead of an enemy we want to fight.

Shek
23 Mar 06,, 17:23
If they sit in a concentrated reserve in the center of your perimeter waiting for a counterattack that never comes they'll use almost no fuel at all.

Not the M1 - it burns a lot of fuel idling.

Shek
23 Mar 06,, 17:30
Really as long as you can drop them on scene with a full tank of gas they're going to be very useful in a defensive role, even if you never get another drop of fuel for them for a couple days.

Again, you cannot fly with a full tank o' gas. 3/4 a tank is the MAXIMUM in order to account for expansion at altitude. Heck, the M1 would probably go down to 5/8 between JI and loading on the plane.

Also, we haven't spoken about the air load process on the other end: movement to the DAF, JI and all its associated headaches - cleanliness, no leaks, HAZMAT certification, tie-downs, defueling, etc. - most of which are NON-NEGOTIABLE even under Chapter 3 movements. This is something that requires considerable preparation, focus, and unit time on the front end on a habitual basis in order to be on track for any N-hour sequence.

Bill
23 Mar 06,, 17:33
I appreciate the points you make in your last post and agree Shek.

It is my opinion that the operational concept of a dedicated purpose built airmech force is sound, but i do fully understand that its actual EMPLOYMENT AND USE AS INTENDED would have to be carefully executed.

In many cases, as you properly point out, a deep raiding AirMech force would be untenable. However, in many cases, it is not only tenable, but also very desirable to have around.

I realize that Airborne Dragon was a limited op with unique circumstances, but then, M1s are much heavier and more logistics intensive than a dedicated light tank would be. Is not the Stryker MGS in essence very similar to the type of vehicle i'm talking about afterall? So as you see, we now have more options ranging from heavy to light airmech. When appropriate we can put anything from a small M1 force to a much larger Stryker force in the enemy rear.

I merely wish to expand that capability with a purpose built light tank(the 82d Abn operated with exactly such a vehicle in it's TO&E for 30+ years and would benefit from a modern Lt tank) and expand our airlift potential.

Airmech is here already(if you look at the russians its been here for decades on a DIVISIONAL scale!). To me the question is how to best utilize and support that unique capability. Pretneding the capability doesnt exist as some seem to want to do seems pretty stupid.

Bill
23 Mar 06,, 17:36
Again, you cannot fly with a full tank o' gas. 3/4 a tank is the MAXIMUM in order to account for expansion at altitude. Heck, the M1 would probably go down to 5/8 between JI and loading on the plane.

Also, we haven't spoken about the air load process on the other end: movement to the DAF, JI and all its associated headaches - cleanliness, no leaks, HAZMAT certification, tie-downs, defueling, etc. - most of which are NON-NEGOTIABLE even under Chapter 3 movements. This is something that requires considerable preparation, focus, and unit time on the front end on a habitual basis in order to be on track for any N-hour sequence.

3/4, 5/8, full tank, whatever the case may be.(an external expansion tank with expansion valve such as can be found on any racecar would fully correct that problem btw)

I understand fully that in order to be most proficient at air movements that it would have to be practiced. I'm fine with that.

Officer of Engineers
23 Mar 06,, 23:40
??? :confused: ???

Are you referring to Objective Rhino, where the plan was never to hold the airfield in the middle of the desert?


After having read plenty of 20/20 hindsight Operation Rhino reviews i do not accept that statement that "The Rangers were forced to Retreat from Kandahar airfield".

IMO, that is a falsehood.

Gentlemen, I so stand corrected.

Bill
23 Mar 06,, 23:53
Just for the record sir, the Delta contingent did get roughly handled and did have to pull back under fire, but the primary overall mission(scouting kandahar AB for future use as a Major FOB) was still a success, even if a bit on the costly side(about 10 Delta were wounded including one troop that had a foot blown off, and one MH47 heavily damaged when one of the wheels was blown off on egress by enemy fire).

Of course Delta's portion of the operation was an audacious one.

They directly assaulted Mullah Omars residential fortress. Unfortunatley, he was not at home and it was heavily defended... :(

Bill
24 Mar 06,, 00:15
Would an airmech TF of a battalion size be effective in a mainland China scenario? Iranian scenario?

I think so.

Even if used in a completely conventional role a light mech TF would be an effective cavalry screen or rapid reaction reserve or exploitation force.

And i think one of the real useful missions such a force could have would be 20-30km tactical vertical leapfrog manuevers, being airlifted in Co or even Bn elements by CH47s to seal of LOCs and cut-off forward enemy positions.

This sort of thing would take an even lighter vehicle, something on the order of about 15 tons max.

At any rate, if you have a good light tank that is CH47 slingable and C130 droppable, and you have air supremacy(pretty much a given for the US) you can really get creative with the application of armor in your enemies rear. Hitting targets, performing mounted LRRPs, shuffling your forces around and in/out of the enemy rear by air to sew confusion, etc.

It's IMO a fantastic capability. The Russians sure think so. They've been doing AirMech since the late 70s.(The Invasion force of Iceland in Clancys book Red Storm Rising was a Divisional sized AirMech force as Soviet Abn Divs are actually light mech formations).

We could design a pretty nasty little 15 ton COTScentric light tank if we set our minds to it. As always its just a matter of $$$$$$$$$.

Just think of the planning problems you create for the opposition when you can threaten his rear along the entire length of the FEBA.

Bill
24 Mar 06,, 00:29
And look, the Brits have already gone and built the perfect light tank for us....
http://www.army-technology.com/projects/stormer30/
"Stormer 30 can be lifted by CH-53 helicopter and will fit into a C-130 transport aircraft."

Armament: 30mm Bushmaster II(this weapon fires the very powerful 30x173mm cartridge of the A10s GAU8/A Avenger cannon, which is much more powerful than standard NATO or WP 30mm ammunition. Using the latest APFSDS ammuniton this round offers excellent anti-armor capability beyond 1000 meters), 2x 7.62NATO MGs, 2x1 Armored TOW II in fully stabilized 2 man turret (-45 to +60 main gun elevation).
Protection: 14.5mm

It even has an American Cummins Turbo diesel engine and 30mm gun as well as firing American ATGMs, so it should be pretty resistant to the NIH syndrome. I wonder how much they cost. A lot less than a LVL II M8 i bet.

http://www.army-technology.com/projects/stormer30/images/stormer30_2.jpg

Ray
24 Mar 06,, 04:35
Sniper,

That was a neat scenario.

Now, that's talking turkey.

One question.

How many Light tanks are you leapfrogging vertically to the enemy rear?

What is your protection against A Tk weapons being used by units/elements that have no mass or centres of gravity?

Officer of Engineers
24 Mar 06,, 05:20
I've just typed a lengthy repy and my computer frozed! Sir, I will try to retype my response tomorrow but now #1 Daughter is having a hissy fit and won't goto sleep.

Bill
24 Mar 06,, 05:51
I dont know yet Sir, honestly, the whole idea is just a swirling mass of ideas in my head.

Quick, someone grab me a pen and a stack of cocktail napkins! Hurry!

LOL... ;)

Seriously though, how many i'd be able to leapfrog in how many places- as Shek has pointed out many times- depends. On a heck of a lot of things.

Not the least of which is what you do and how you array against my advance in the FEBA and the rear and deep rear, and how you've protected your flanks, or your key LOC chokepoints or LOG bases and trains. It depends on how well you deny me eyes on what you're up to. And how well i do the same. And what other assets i've got in theater, how well i can support them logistically and tactically(ie fire support), and what my ultimate objective is, etc, etc, etc.

Theoretically speaking a Sqn sized manuever element should take about 50 heavy lift helos to airlift and could be moved as far as 50nm on one hop.

The CH47F has a requirement to move a 30,000lb slung load 50nm, so obviously 30,000lb(15 tons) is the absolute maximum allowable 'combat empty weight' of all the Sqns vehicles.(The "Stormer 30" light tank i posted above is claimed to be slingable from CH53, which has a max slung weight of 24000lbs, so it should be an easy lift for a Chinook)

Even if i never use them as an aerial assault force they are a very useful screening/reserve/exploitation force, and just their presence in the theater forces my enemy to make serious adjustments to his defensive posture to counter the AirMech unit's threat.

How they would stand up to ATGMs is a matter of employment and tactics.

A modern ATGM will kill pretty much anything, so as long as 'our' light tank can match the Strykers all around RPG protection and mount 23 frontal/14.5 flank/7.62 rear armor it's going to be as well protected as anything on the battlefield short of an MBT.

The Stormer30 appears to weigh in at under 24000lbs, so if that's the case then there is a lot of room for 'mission growth', ie, the installation of additional armor, electronics and cooling, perhaps external armored tanks for enhanced range, etc, without making it too heavy for it's envisioned role(ie the 30000lb hard cieling).

Of course it doesnt have to be the Stormer 30 that we go with, though on the surface that is a very promising candidate for the missions i want us to be able to perform.

Even if you just drop one Plt into the enemy rear and disperse them their ability to act as highly mobile GFACs deep in the enemy rear would offer a TREMENDOUS capability to any commander.

Bill
24 Mar 06,, 05:52
I've just typed a lengthy repy and my computer frozed! Sir, I will try to retype my response tomorrow but now #1 Daughter is having a hissy fit and won't goto sleep.

Damn sir, i HATE when that happens!

So am i selling any of you brass laden gentleman at all on any of this stuff? :biggrin:

The more i think about what light tanks with modern C4I, optics, and long range can do the more i salivate at the entire notion of getting as many of them into the badguys back yard as possible.

It's a shame stryker is so heavy or it and MGS could do all of this already. :(

-{SpoonmaN}-
24 Mar 06,, 12:37
I've just typed a lengthy repy and my computer frozed! Sir, I will try to retype my response tomorrow but now #1 Daughter is having a hissy fit and won't goto sleep.

Don't gripe that happened to me when I was typing a 1500 word literature essay last year, I lost 1000 words and went completely insane for about fourty minutes.

Bill
24 Mar 06,, 14:54
Not the M1 - it burns a lot of fuel idling.

A turbine at idle consumes 90% of the fuel it does at WOT(floored).

How effective has the UUAPU of the A2 Abrams been in dealing with that issue Sir? Do you have any info on that you can share?

Shek
24 Mar 06,, 16:35
A turbine at idle consumes 90% of the fuel it does at WOT(floored).

How effective has the UUAPU of the A2 Abrams been in dealing with that issue Sir? Do you have any info on that you can share?

I forgot about the APU. I'm not sure what it's function/fuel efficiency/functionality is. I know on the Stryker, the APU was supposed to get slightly better fuel efficiency and save wear and tear on the engine. Well, it was comprable in terms of fuel economy, the engines didn't seem to wear that much anyways, and the APU was louder than the engine. So, as the APUs broke, they were just removed to save the weight.

Translation - I haven't a clue about the M1A2 APUs, but my guess is that you do get much better fuel economy, although I don't know whether you have full functionality of the tank (my guess is yes) or how long it takes to power up the turbine engine to move (my guess is a little bit lest you want to blow something, in which case this would be your limiting factor).

Sorry - maybe Tankervet can make us smart since he's the one with stick time in the Abrams.

Bill
24 Mar 06,, 16:53
I just did some searching on the net about the M1A2 APU. Short of the fact that it has one, there's not much out there.

That leads me to believe it works. If it had problems it would probably be all over the net, lol.

Shek
24 Mar 06,, 17:01
I just did some searching on the net about the M1A2 APU. Short of the fact that it has one, there's not much out there.

That leads me to believe it works. If it had problems it would probably be all over the net, lol.

I was talking about the Stryker APU that turned out not to be worth tweaking and was being removed, not the Abrams' APU.

shakari
24 Mar 06,, 17:02
The more i think about what light tanks with modern C4I, optics, and long range can do the more i salivate at the entire notion of getting as many of them into the badguys back yard as possible.
(

Polymer armor instead of alluminium armor can make them even lighter or -if weight be same- more protected.

Bill
24 Mar 06,, 17:24
I was talking about the Stryker APU that turned out not to be worth tweaking and was being removed, not the Abrams' APU.

I know sir, i caught that...i was just musing aloud.

Shek
24 Mar 06,, 17:40
I know sir, i caught that...i was just musing aloud.

I get that quite a bit when I'm out with my five month old daughter. I don't ever talk to myself (except when I really screw something up and will shout "f*ck me!" :biggrin:), but when I'm out with her, she'll be in the car seat inside the shopping cart (typically Lowes or Home Depot) and I'll talk to her, making people wonder if I'm crazy and talking to myself or if I'm crazy and trying to talk to them. LOL!

Most figure out quickly that I'm talking to my baby.

Bill
24 Mar 06,, 18:37
I have a ferret instead of a kid. She's not much of a conversationalist.

Much cheaper upkeep though. ;)

LOL.

sappersgt
24 Mar 06,, 18:55
I have a ferret instead of a kid. She's not much of a conversationalist.

Much cheaper upkeep though. ;)

LOL.
Does yours chew the buttons off the remote? :)

Bill
24 Mar 06,, 19:30
LOL, sure does.

I guess you've got one of the furry little critters too. :biggrin:

sappersgt
24 Mar 06,, 22:44
LOL, sure does.

I guess you've got one of the furry little critters too. :biggrin:

Ferrets aren't allowed here...I DO have a Miniature Land Otter ;) however that keeps stealing my keys. :biggrin:

Bill
24 Mar 06,, 23:04
Allowed where? In Texas?

sappersgt
25 Mar 06,, 00:29
Allowed where? In Texas?

CA. Something about infringing on the habitat of the Black Footed Ferret (Which live in Nevada where they're legal!). :confused: Way above my paygrade.

Bill
25 Mar 06,, 00:37
What a bunch of dumbshiit.

I hate treehuggers/Bambiists almost as much as i hate socialists. ;)

Officer of Engineers
26 Mar 06,, 05:30
I knew I remember the good Major already had talked about this


Orignially posted by Shek (http://www.worldaffairsboard.com/showpost.php?p=74132&postcount=138)

Chimo,
I would agree that deploying the SBCT within 96 hours is an overambitious goal given the amount of lift that would truly be available during a contingency.

One of the scenarios we trained and developed was "early entry." The thought was that a Stryker force would airland behind a forced entry force (75 RGR, 82 ABN, 101 ABN) and conduct a RIP, secure the airfield/FLS, expand the lodgement, and have the capability to conduct missions requiring operational mobility. It's been awhile since my S4 days, so I've forgotten a lot of the big picture #s of aircraft required to move the BDE, but if you needed to move a SBCT IN BN (including mechanics and a small FLE), it would take about 35-40 C17s or around 100-110 C130 sorties. This is a much more digestable number. An IN CO would secure the FLS/airfield and the other 2 x IN CO could secure follow on OBJs as needed. This capability was needed after 75 RGR secured what became Rhino Base in Afghanistan during the first televised op there. Instead, the Rangers left the OBJ and the Marine Corps resecured it a month later (and I believe they used LAV-25s; how ironic). In northern Iraq in MAR 03, a Stryker BN, or the entire SBCT would presented a much more credible threat than the small heavy package that was flown in. I don't think UAH would have had the same effect.

As far and compared/contrasted against an UAH, the Stryker provides several advantages.

1. Dismounted infantry capability. With an UAH, to get a truly dismountable 9 man infantry squad, you would need 3 UAH (3 dismounted pax per UAH plus driver and gunner). In doing this, you've now created the need for 4 additional pax to drive these two additional UAH. Obviously, something has to give here. So, a necessary compromise could be to have 2 x UAH with 2 drivers, one dedicated heavy weapon (M2 or MK-19) gunner, and a 7 man dismounted pax squad (one of the SAW gunners would mount in the second UAH's ring mount while moving and then dismount with his squad). This gives you 10 pax, 2 UAH, and 1 heavy weapon vs. 11 pax, 1 Stryker, 2 heavy weapons. With less space and a 7 man squad, you would be hard pressed to maintain the capability of both the SDM or Javelin. For the weapons squad, you would have to go from a 3 man M240 gun team to a 2 man gun team to make room for the PL, PSG, FO, and medic. You are still left with no room to carry attachments (snipers, THT, interpreters, CA) or conduct non-standard CASEVAC or even evacuate detainees or EPWs. When mounted, the PL now has 8 vehicles (even greater if you have any attachments) to control instead of 4. With the HMMWVs, your ability to dismount and remount is slower (getting in and out of a HMMWV in duty uniform vs. with full kit, seat belts angling with equipment, and C4ISR in the way [FBCB2 CPU, FBCB2 Display, PGLR] is a completely different ball game) as well as having to assemble as a squad instead of being able to dismout as a squad. My assumption is that the Army wouldn't equip wingman HMMWVs given the shortage and cost of this equipment, so you would now be left with half your element without digital communications, increasing the risk for breaks in contact and the need to disseminate analog and digital graphics (you couldn't adjust graphics on the fly as I did during ops on a regular basis - this was one the greatest things about the SBCT with 100% of combat vehicles having FBCB2). Finally, you'll lose the capability to carry all the mission essential equipment - ground penetrating radar/metal detectors, explosive detectors, SUAVs, SWORDS, urban mechanical breach kits, quickie saws, shotguns, special demo kits, etc.

2. Mobility. Cross country mobiliy of a Stryker was far superior to a light HMMWV, let alone a UAH. I believe the maddest I ever saw my 1SG was at NTC when I had the company in a wedge going cross country at 25mph. The ride in the Stryker was as smooth as a Cadillac, but my poor 1SG was bouncing around like a rag doll inside his HMMWV and he was falling back. Once he caught up when we were at a halt, he came up screaming at us to slow down and remember that he was in a f*#!ing HMMWV. Additionally, he frequently couldn't go where the Strykers could go (his HMMWV stayed inside the FOB in Iraq minus the driving it north from Kuwait at the start of our tour - when the company moved to another FOB south of Mosul, we had it shipped on a flatbed that was making a run). As far as mobility on roads, the Stryker, even with the slat armor was faster than your standard HMMWVs (I've been in one opened up on the Italian autostrada) - I can't speak for the UAH since I've never ridden in one, so I'd have to let someone else answer whether it has getup and go with the extra weight from the armor. Urban mobility is a wash I believe. UAH can fit down tighter roads, but has trouble jumping higher curves and driving over rubble.

3. Survivability. Stryker wins hands down. 14.5mm vs. 7.62mm direct fire protection. Twice the protection from underbody strikes. With slat armor and reactive armor when it's fielded, the RPG protection is invaluable. Soldiers in hatches are much more protected from IED strikes. With three soldiers in the hatches and the capability to mount light and medium machine guns with the Platt swing mount on the Stryker, it has a much greater capacity to deter attacks or defeat direct fire attacks.

4. C2. In a Stryker, you can have a leader meeting to disseminate info/orders in the protected confines, turn on the interior lights and still maintain light discipline, carry a laptop with electronic target packets, imagery software, huddle around a map. You can't do this in a UAH. Also, your FBCB2 capability in a UAH becomes a light discipline risk at night since you have windows.

The UAH option has some benefits.

1. Maintainance. The Stryker maintained an incredible OR rate for the amount of miles that we put on those things, in the upper 90%, along with a low zero balance ASL/PLL. However, tires are bigger, engines are bigger, etc. Even with a higher OR rate, you're still going to need more parts and haul capacity

2. Fuel. Stryker can go 300 miles on a 53gal tank. I don't know the specs on a UAH, but I'm sure that a UAH has much better gas mileage than a Stryker. However, with 2 UAH per Stryker, I think it would probably be much closer than one may initially think and maybe even advatage to the Stryker. LOGPAKs would take longer since you're filling up twice the amount of vehicles.

3. Driver's Training. Strykers aren't that complicated, but they are more complex than a UAH (e.g. CTIS, HMS (height management system)). Our drivers' training progam was one week. With a HMMWV, you have a shorter training period and many more soldiers that will PCS into your unit that already have a HMMWV series license (although we always required new training and road tests for the M1114 due to all the additional weight unless they had a M1114 specific license).

I think the Stryker equipped brigade, as an infantry-centric organization, provides much more capability. I didn't bring it up earlier, but the MGS platoon, whose variant's production has been ordered now, will be equipped with 105mm cannons that will provide an incredible breaching capability to the infantry platoons and an ability to fight tanks (not the preferred method, but a capability nonetheless). That's a capability hard to duplicate with a UAH (anti-tank, yes, with the TOW and soon the LOSAT, but urban breaching to that extent, no). I hope that this illustrates some of advantages and disadvantages as I see them.

Ray
26 Mar 06,, 13:38
Colonel,


Do please expand the abbreviations.

Also:

What is a pax?

Do explain this in a language for people like me who has very little idea of US tactics and operations.

Shek
26 Mar 06,, 17:11
Colonel,


Do please expand the abbreviations.

Also:

What is a pax?

Do explain this in a language for people like me who has very little idea of US tactics and operations.

Sir,

Here's a few of the acronyms/abbreviations. Let me know if there are more that you need "translated"

CTIS - Central Tire Inflation System
Pax - short of passengers
RIP - Relief in Place
FLS - Flight Landing Strip
FLE - Forward Logistics Element (slice of support BN)
UAH - Up-Armored HMMWV

Ray
26 Mar 06,, 17:45
Thanks,

RIP I thought was Rest in Peace! :eek: :biggrin:

Shek
26 Mar 06,, 18:01
Thanks,

RIP I thought was Rest in Peace! :eek: :biggrin:

That's only when speaking about the enemy, although then a new acronym would probably be more appropriate - SYIH (see you in hell)!

Officer of Engineers
05 Apr 07,, 06:11
Bump

I have new articles on this issue. Just want to remind myself here.

Kipruss
10 Apr 07,, 03:50
Thanks for the Bump. I've spent the last 45 minutes reading this fascinating discussion. Good stuff from a year ago.

WECIV
10 Apr 07,, 04:08
Nice discussion on technology. But until the US creates actual light infantry not just mechanized infantry with the title, we will keep losing wars.

W

Officer of Engineers
10 Apr 07,, 04:46
Define light infantry. Maj Shek holds a Rangers badge.

Blademaster
10 Apr 07,, 04:52
Define light infantry. Maj Shek holds a Rangers badge.

But the problem is that there are so few of them to make a difference.

Officer of Engineers
10 Apr 07,, 04:55
Do you need more than a battalion? I can think of very few scenarios that I would require more than a company, alot more where only a platoon would do. Anything more than that, a proper mech rifle coy would do more than an entire SAS regiment.

Blademaster
10 Apr 07,, 04:58
Do you need more than a battalion? I can think of very few scenarios that I would require more than a company, alot more where only a platoon would do. Anything more than that, a proper mech rifle coy would do more than an entire SAS regiment.


Yes because there are many locations to cover. Case in point: Iraq- We literally have dozens of areas to cover and a battalion can't cover all those areas.

Officer of Engineers
10 Apr 07,, 05:07
Again, what would a ranger battalion do that a STRYKER company could not do better?

Blademaster
10 Apr 07,, 05:13
More bodies on the ground. Nothing can replace the good old Mark 1 eyeball.

Officer of Engineers
10 Apr 07,, 05:15
Then you don't need them at the battalion level but at the brick level and the regular army also got a ton of those. M21 worked for a mech brigade.

Blademaster
10 Apr 07,, 05:27
Ah I see. I thought you were referring to the size of light infantry. Because the way I foresee is platoons in strength of 72 soldiers per platoon should be all over the place backed up by mechanized or Stryker RRFs.

Officer of Engineers
10 Apr 07,, 05:29
Seventy-two Soldiers Per Platoon?!?!?!?

Blademaster
10 Apr 07,, 06:45
Well that was the number during WWII. I realize that in today's age that is no longer possible. It will only be like 38 soldiers per platoon. 72 may be too large for a Lt to handle.

Officer of Engineers
10 Apr 07,, 06:48
Hitesh,

The Canadians were running around with 85 men COMPANIES during WWII.

WECIV
10 Apr 07,, 16:53
Light Infantry where fire team and squad leaders are able to think for themselves (you can out think one overly centralized officer, but you cannot out think several hundred low ranking EM who are all thinking seperately on the same CC's intent). Light infantry that does not need a logistics tail that spreads through several countries. Light infantry that thinks in terms of ambush and run and not shock and awe. Light Infantry that does not need force protection that alienates itself and creates a base of enemies, but lives amongst the ppl and uses them as its intelligence base and supply base (buy your food and such from them, build an economy). Light infantry that uses the enemies weapons instead of taking some over priced over technologically complex advanced piece of **** with it. Infantry that is like Mao's fish in the water. Infantry that does not need vehicles to move around. Infantry that harries and harrasses...attacks when the enemy is weak/tired, retreats when the attacks, etc...Draws the enemy in and ambushes it. Infantry that is willing to retreat when it conserves your men. Infantry that has light organic firepower that takes care of its own needs (why not have cheap RPG's with every infantryman). Light Infantry that does not call in aerial car bombs (PGM's) everytime it comes into contact with anything. Infantry that does not need to rely on supporting arms because it has neglected training in infantry skills. Infantry that is trained to break contact and get away if the kitchen is too hot, instead of throwing more forces and firepower into a 2GW fight for a piece of land with no strategic value. Light Infantry that is like German Light Infantry in the Spring Offensive of 1918 attacking the enemies weaknesses instead of his strengths (true CG's). Light Infantry that understands what 4GW is and trains for it. Infantry that thinks Clauswitz is crap. Infantry that thinks for itself and trains force on force on a daily basis. Infantry that understands what a defensive matrix is and can employ one (if we fight the PRC or DRK we will see plenty of them and probably get whipped as a result, our troops do not tunnel, they should learn to). Infantry that does not go to the sound of the guns only to end up in a firesack. Infantry where the NCO's lead and train it and fight it as they see fit. Infantry where ppl miles away mind their own business. Infantry without a four star command that simply sucks up manpower and money. Light Infantry where every company does not use the exact same tactics over and over and teach the enemy how to fight us (let them all have their own tactics and let troops enlist in one unit and stay there like the Brits do, it would make for corporate memory and greater professionalism). Light Infantry that does not do dog and pony shows. Light Infantry that possesses lots of snipers that are employed as trained NCO's see fit...not as untrained unimaginitive officers would employ them. Light Infantry that has more than a few plays in its book. Light Infantry that does not have careerist officers. Light Infantry that does not do PT every morning but that practices force on force every morning (and experiments with tactics, daily). Light Infantry that is imaginitive and does not keep doing the same thing over and over while teaching its enemy. Light Infantry that teaches all rates to sneak on their feet and bellies...not ride in a vehicle. Light infantry that can "out G the G." Light Infantry like Eastern Militaries possess. I think Poole says it best or Hackworth. I am sitting in Torts class so that is the best I can do while trying to answer questions from the professor :)

W

sappersgt
10 Apr 07,, 21:08
Hitesh,

The Canadians were running around with 85 men COMPANIES during WWII.

The most men my company ever had in it was 81.

Officer of Engineers
11 Apr 07,, 04:58
Light Infantry ...

And your light infantry just died when come face to face with a motor rifle regiment.

WECIV
11 Apr 07,, 05:33
No it did not because my infantry dug itself into the ground (tunneled) and hid. It sucked your vehicles into a fire sack and destroyed them using a variety of different hand held anti-personnel and anti-armor weapons. You meanwhile called in load of reinforcements, and firepower only for my force to disappear underground into its defensive matrix (waiting for you to leave). While you licked your wounds, called in the media, and declared a 2GW victory. All the while my G's were fit and ready to fight another day. Because I was not dumb enough to fight you in the open in a set piece battle and 10 yrs from now your force leaves my country because I was willing to have patience and kill you with death from a thousand cuts (showing the effects of your combined arms on the media and making you look like a bully in the world's eyes...if you get beat by a little child you look foolish...if you beat a little child you look like a monster).

W

WECIV
11 Apr 07,, 05:36
"if you get beat by a little child you look foolish...if you beat a little child you look like a monster"

Sorry I should have put quotes around that FMFM1A 4GW

W

Officer of Engineers
11 Apr 07,, 05:46
No it did not because my infantry dug itself into the ground (tunneled) and hid.

Aha! Who knows how to dig those tunnels? Not light infantry. You need engineers.


It sucked your vehicles into a fire sack and destroyed them using a variety of different hand held anti-personnel and anti-armor weapons.

You see that's a problem. You might get one or even two tanks. After that, you're toast.



You meanwhile called in load of reinforcements, and firepower only for my force to disappear underground into its defensive matrix (waiting for you to leave).

No need to go in after you. Thermobarics has proven to do a very nice job in Afghanistan and Chechnya. You seemed to forget that tunnels are traps too. Smoke is a very useful too.

And you don't want to learn what the Chinese and Afghans do to tunnel rats. They flood them.


While you licked your wounds, called in the media, and declared a 2GW victory. All the while my G's were fit and ready to fight another day. Because I was not dumb enough to fight you in the open in a set piece battle and 10 yrs from now your force leaves my country because I was willing to have patience and kill you with death from a thousand cuts (showing the effects of your combined arms on the media and making you look like a bully in the world's eyes...if you get beat by a little child you look foolish...if you beat a little child you look like a monster).

W

Not sure what you're trying to say here. There are alot of problems with your scenario.

1) I'm in your home. No matter what happens, your home is wrecked by both your action and mine.

2) I have the run of the country while you're holed up in pockets. I will leave on my accord. Not yours. In other words, when I'm tired of bleeding, I will leave but you will have to outbleed me alot more.

3) Now, none of what you wrote is applicable to the US military. Americans are not the ones who needs to be holed up waiting for the enemy. No, Americans are the ones who are going to smash the enemy in their own homes. So, why would the US military need to learn to dig tunnels to wait for an enemy that they've already killed?

4) I understand that you're reading Colonel Hackworth and to be sure, his points are valid ... when fighting a guerrilla war but the conventional war cannot be ignored. After all, it was Hanoi tanks that finally had to take Saigon, not a bunch of pajama wearing peasants with AK47s.

Stan187
11 Apr 07,, 06:21
What about the 10th Mountain? Elements of the 25th Infantry? Airborne and Air Assault? Is there anything limiting them from performing light infantry duties.

Also, WCEIV, don't confuse mechanized and motorized. Humvees and Bradleys aren't the same exact thing. And most of the mechanized infantry units are not called "light infantry"

Officer of Engineers
11 Apr 07,, 06:29
What about the 10th Mountain? Elements of the 25th Infantry? Airborne and Air Assault? Is there anything limiting them from performing light infantry duties.From my perspective at brigade, all infanteers start their jobs the second they step off the vehicle no matter where that vehicle is be it at the base or the FEBA. I have to be aware of what they have and what they don't have and have back up accordingly. While I should have air cover at all times, those infanteers without the 25mm bushmaster backing them up have the birds a little closer.

WECIV
11 Apr 07,, 07:45
Assault troops are not exactly the type of forces you want to have as your light infantry.

Often Assault troops can be a bit hasty and result in more casualties than would a properly trained eastern infantry force.

However, the USMC has made this assumption not totally true, but that could have more to do with the 3GW swing that the USMC has been attempting to get into for some time (CC’s intent and such).

10TH Mountain is the type of force for which eastern light infantry training would be ideal.

However, we do not train forces for light infantry work…

I know what a Bradley and a HMMWV is…they are just not the best way to win a 4GW.

Walking about and getting to know the ppl..letting them know you care about them and getting to know them wins wars. Getting intelligence at the street level…DNI has many good articles on this, unless of course we use the Hama Model.

Actually, Colonel, light infantry such as the superb North Koreans are used to dig these type of tunnels, true you need a infantry officer with some basic engineering training or engineering officers themselves to supervise. However, a defensive matrix could be supervised by an infantry officer if he just knew what he was doing.

I am yet too see how after one of two downed armored vehicles I am toast. That is what the Israelis thought would happen in their recent war and it was not so. Groznyy does come to mind as well…though that is a tad different (the second and stupid defense of Groznyy was not a good example of Eastern Infantry because the second time around the defensive swarms were not given the same autonomy that had eviscerated the Ruskies the first time around, over centralization is death to any organization).

Tunnels are traps and this is why we are finding blast doors in Afghanistan…some of these could also be found in the last war the Israelis just lost.

A well-constructed defensive matrix could use a modified version of the anti-tank tactics practiced by Marines in WWII and Korea and Russians and Germans in WWII.

Pop up at different times firing your anti-tank rounds at varying intervals and positions behind the tanks in your fire sack, so that the enemy never knows where you are shooting from.

A proper defensive matrix with blast doors with a central bunker and blooming lotus like connecting tunnels could have one infantryman after another pop-up fire his round slam his blast door shut only to have another guy pop-up from a different location and complete this maneuver over and over. Once you get smart or use too much supporting arms…simply button up and stay below or use an escape route.

The Japanese, Koreans, and Vietnamese were so good at building these types of matrixes and camouflaging them American infantrymen would not see them until they were right up on them. One could only imagine that properly trained Eastern Infantrymen would have the same skills today…North Korean Trained forces that fought the Israelis recently sure did.

You could flood these tunnels but a proper tunnel has an escape route and sometimes water is a bit hard to get a hold of.

As for thermobaric why would good Eastern based infantry not be carrying them? The Israelis recent foes certainly had some handy dandy hand weapons of recent vintage.

The reason you need light infantry is that they can train your conventional forces to handle such problems…we definitely do not practice what we have just mentioned nearly enough.

Not only that but Light Infantry are the only way we will win a 4GW unless you use the Hama model of 89’ vintage and that is not applicable to the world and its political climate.

Also the best means of defeating a matrix as described above and as will be found in any scrap with the PRC is light infantry. The most successful forces against Japanese Matrix Defenses in WWII were Russian Light Infantry. Being Easterners such tactics made sense to the Ruskies and they used simulated artillery barrages at night ala’ Spring Offensive of 1918 to creep onto the matrixes and defeat them without the need for heavy weapons and the sort (gasoline in air fixtures was the favorite).

You are in my home and as a Easterner I welcome that.

The Easterner is good at bringing you where he wants you and he wants you were he has shorter lines of comm and it costs you a lot of money. Think of Isreali in 73’ the Egyptians could have won that war…and it did not require the Western war machine that Israel needed. It required SAMS and light infantry with anti-tank weapons. China will not need to attack out into the Pacific…he will get you to attack into his littorals and defeat your expensive aircraft carrier battle groups with his cheap subs.

Why not get America to attack into Iraq and Afghanistan? We waste billions on a war that costs them a fraction of what we spend…and we borrow the money we need for the war from our enemies…sounds rather smart.

So what I am in pockets…so was Moa…now he is in Wal Mart.

How will you out-bleed me? Never will happen…my little army will train in other countries and recruit from the ppl your indiscriminate armored forces angered and killed…not to mention the ppl that are angry about their house being leveled by your “Precision” Bombs.

Plus, I will use the media. I will not engage you in any fixed piece battles. I will get you to use supporting arms and show what a bad country you are. Even easier with the internet. I know that Mao calls for conventional battles in the end in On Guerilla Warfare, but you and your advisers and money will be gone by that time.

Your armored forces driving around acting arrogant, trashing roads and communities, expending munitions when they do not need to, being noisy and protective to the point that they do not protect the ppl they are their to liberate will only force the populace to me.

Why not I buy food and goods off of the populace, I live in their houses, I run hospitals, courts, etc. You drop bombs on the villages while huddling your big expensive vehicles into enclaves.

Now imagine fighting a war against China how conventional do you think it will be?

True Light Infantry would give America an edge, one we desperately need.

To be sure even German Light Infantry acted like Easterners…but we won that war so it does not matter that we were tactically impotent…a win is a win, right?

There is no conventional war anymore. Hell, what is conventional war?

Fun debate, Y'all!!!

W

Officer of Engineers
11 Apr 07,, 07:53
WECIV,

I'm getting lost in your post. You're mixing alot of terms here from engineers to infantry to mech to light to Spec Ops. Skip the term light infantry. Tell me in plain English what is this soldier, how is he lead, how is he supported, and what is fighting with.

In plain English, then maybe I can understand what you're trying to say.

Blademaster
11 Apr 07,, 16:39
Hitesh,

The Canadians were running around with 85 men COMPANIES during WWII.

IIRC, in Vietnam, the size of a US platoon was nearly 72.

Officer of Engineers
11 Apr 07,, 16:48
32

Classic formations

section - 12 or two fire teams
3 sections to a platoon
3 platoons to a company
3 companies to a battalion
3 battalions to a brigade
3 brigades to a division
3 divisions to a corps

Shek
11 Apr 07,, 17:39
IIRC, in Vietnam, the size of a US platoon was nearly 72.

No. A US Army platoon would have been in the 30s, since the squads are based on 2 fire teams per squad, whereas a marine platoon, which is completely triangular, would have been in the 40s.

WECIV
11 Apr 07,, 19:04
Broke it up a bit, should help.

“What about the 10th Mountain? Elements of the 25th Infantry? Airborne and Air Assault? Is there anything limiting them from performing light infantry duties.”

Assault troops are not exactly the type of forces you want to have as your light infantry.

Often Assault troops can be a bit hasty and result in more casualties than would a properly trained eastern infantry force.

However, the USMC has made this assumption not totally true, but that could have more to do with the 3GW swing that the USMC has been attempting to get into for some time (CC’s intent and such, whereas the army is hopelessly led from the top at their man power sucking 4 star commands).

10TH Mountain is the type of force for which eastern light infantry training would be ideal.

However, we do not train forces for light infantry work…

don't confuse mechanized and motorized. Humvees and Bradleys aren't the same exact thing. And most of the mechanized infantry units are not called "light infantry"

I know what a Bradley and a HMMWV is…they are just not the way to win a 4GW.

Walking about and getting to know the ppl..letting them know you care about them and getting to know them wins wars. Getting intelligence at the street level…DNI has many good articles on this, unless of course we use the Hama Model.

Aha! Who knows how to dig those tunnels? Not light infantry. You need engineers.

Actually, Colonel, light infantry such as the superb North Koreans are used to dig these type of tunnels, true you need a infantry officer with some basic engineering training or engineering officers themselves to supervise. However, a defensive matrix could be supervised by an infantry officer if he just knew what he was doing.

Infantry actually built the fortifications that made WWI and Korea.

You see that's a problem. You might get one or even two tanks. After that, you're toast.

I am yet too see how after one of two downed armored vehicles I am toast. That is what the Israelis thought would happen in their recent war and it was not so. Groznyy does come to mind as well…though that is a tad different (the second and stupid defense of Groznyy was not a good example of Eastern Infantry because the second time around the defensive swarms were not given the same autonomy that had eviscerated the Ruskies the first time around, over centralization is death to any organization).

No need to go in after you. Thermobarics has proven to do a very nice job in Afghanistan and Chechnya. You seemed to forget that tunnels are traps too. Smoke is a very useful too.

Tunnels are traps and this is why we are finding blast doors in Afghanistan…some of these could also be found in the last war the Israelis just lost.

A well-constructed defensive matrix could use a modified version of the anti-tank tactics practiced by Marines in WWII and Korea and Russians and Germans in WWII.

These forces would…pop up at different times firing anti-tank rounds at varying intervals and positions behind the tanks in their fire sack, so that the enemy never knew where one was shooting from.

A proper defensive matrix with blast doors with a central bunker and blooming lotus like connecting tunnels could have one infantryman after another pop-up fire his round slam his blast door shut only to have another guy pop-up from a different location and complete this maneuver over and over. Once you get smart or use too many supporting arms…simply button up and stay below or use an escape route.

The Japanese, Koreans, and Vietnamese were so good at building these types of matrixes and camouflaging them American infantrymen would not see them until they were right up on them. One could only imagine that properly trained Eastern Infantrymen would have the same skills today…North Korean Trained forces that fought the Israelis recently sure did.

And you don't want to learn what the Chinese and Afghans do to tunnel rats. They flood them

You could flood these tunnels but a proper tunnel has an escape route and sometimes water is a bit hard to get a hold of.

As for thermobaric why would good Eastern based infantry not be carrying them? The Israelis recent foes certainly had some handy dandy hand weapons of recent vintage.

Now, none of what you wrote is applicable to the US military. Americans are not the ones who needs to be holed up waiting for the enemy. No, Americans are the ones who are going to smash the enemy in their own homes. So, why would the US military need to learn to dig tunnels to wait for an enemy that they've already killed?

Everything here is applicable to the US military. If we do not learn the way our enemy fights we have doomed ourselves to the end of Trinitarian society and Warfare that Clauswitz wrote of (though Clauswitz is already dead as far as being relevant, the society he wrote about will totally be extinct if we do not adapt).

The Americans have not killed nearly as many as they think in Vietnam, Korea, and Japan. If you never find the enemy or his weapons, how do you know you killed him?

Americans have the resources to possess both types of forces…it would be very wise to possess both 3rd generational and 4th Generational forces (though our current forces are definitely 2nd generational and thus doomed to failure by a force that can OODA a lot faster).

As far as being able to smash the enemy in his home…you need forces on the ground that know what is going on to be capable of that. Not only that but you need intelligence working closely with light infantry that is capable of acting quickly on this intelligence.

2nd Generational forces who use a vertical command structure and who are controlled from the top down are not capable of such actions. Horizontally controlled rather independent 4th Generational forces are capable of such actions.

One reason you need light infantry is that they can train your conventional forces to handle such problems…we definitely do not practice what we have just mentioned nearly enough.

Not only that but Light Infantry are the only way we will win a 4GW unless you use the Hama model of 89’ vintage and that is not applicable to the world and its political climate.

Also the best means of defeating a matrix as described above and as will be found in any scrap with the PRC is light infantry. The most successful forces against Japanese Matrix Defenses in WWII were Russian Light Infantry. Being Easterners such tactics made sense to the Ruskies and they used simulated artillery barrages at night ala’ Spring Offensive of 1918 to creep onto the matrixes and defeat them without the need for heavy weapons and the sort (gasoline in air fixtures was the favorite).

I'm in your home. No matter what happens, your home is wrecked by both your action and mine.

You are in my home and as an Easterner I welcome that.

The French and the Americans were in the Vietnamese home. The British were in the Indian home. The Soviets and now the Americans were in the Afghani home. The Soviets were all over their near abroad at one time. Being in a country does not mean much…in fact it means nothing.

The Easterner is good at bringing you where he wants you and he wants you were he has shorter lines of comm and it costs you a lot of money. Think of Israeli in 73’ the Egyptians could have won that war…and it did not require the Western war machine that Israel needed. It required SAMS and light infantry with anti-tank weapons. China will not need to attack out into the Pacific…he will get you to attack into his littorals and defeat your expensive aircraft carrier battle groups with his cheap subs. Similarly any future force we fight will not take us on in set piece battles, because we will pick him apart. Sadaam was an idiot, future foes will not. They will use our strengths against us and fight us where we are weak…on the low-tech level.

Why not get America to attack into Iraq and Afghanistan? We waste billions on a war that costs them a fraction of what we spend…and we borrow the money we need for the war from our enemies…sounds rather smart.

I have the run of the country while you're holed up in pockets. I will leave on my accord. Not yours. In other words, when I'm tired of bleeding, I will leave but you will have to outbleed me alot more

So what I am in pockets…so was Mao…now he is in Wal Mart.

Western forces do not have a good track record at all about out bleeding Eastern forces…especially those non-technologically advanced ones.

How will you out-bleed me? Never will happen…my little army will train in other countries and recruit from the ppl your indiscriminate armored forces angered and killed…not to mention the ppl that are angry about their house being leveled by your “Precision” Bombs.

Plus, I will use the media. I will not engage you in any fixed piece battles. I will get you to use supporting arms and show what a bad country you are. Even easier with the internet. I know that Mao calls for conventional battles in the end in On Guerilla Warfare, but you and your advisers and money will be gone by that time. That is a book we could learn a lot from.

Your armored forces driving around acting arrogant, trashing roads and communities, expending munitions when they do not need to, being noisy and protective to the point that they do not protect the ppl they are their to “liberate” will only force the populace to me.

Why would the population not like me? I buy food and goods off of the populace, I live in their houses, I run hospitals, courts, etc. You drop bombs on the villages while huddling your big expensive vehicles into enclaves.

Now imagine fighting a war against China how conventional do you think it will be?

True Light Infantry would give America an edge, one we desperately need.

To be sure even German Light Infantry acted like Easterners…but we won that war so it does not matter that we were tactically impotent…a win is a win, right?

There is no conventional war anymore. Hell, what is conventional war?

I'm getting lost in your post. You're mixing alot of terms here from engineers to infantry to mech to light to Spec Ops. Skip the term light infantry. Tell me in plain English what is this soldier, how is he lead, how is he supported, and what is fighting with

I never once mentioned special forces, because light infantry should be capable of scouting, ambushing, patrolling smart, etc.

This is a soldier that is trained daily on tactics. He does not need fancy gear.

This soldier travels light and lives off the land. He captures his ammo and RPG’s off the enemy (why blow the stuff up?). He carries a rifle that will shoot the same calibre as an AK47. He carries RPG’s and claymores and ambushes his enemy. He does not require a huge log tail.

If it gets to hot this forces high tails it out of there. A good Easterner does not find retreat to be offensive as does this force. He only fights a battle he will win. Win the battle before you fight in Sun Tzu’s words.

His leadership is career infantry…that does not have to go through the same little boy schools that officers and gentlemen and enlisted men in our military go through. They enlisted men enlist in one unit and stay there. The officers likewise are stationed in that unit and stay there. The officers are former enlisted infantry or have been infantry for at least four years in a conventional 3GW force.

The NCO’s train the troops in their squad as they see fit. Each squad his its own play book. With several plays for every situation they can think of. They practice these plays daily. This unit does not care much for running several miles in the morning…it cares more for practicing these moves every morning. Until every single member knows what to do and could take over.

These forces are taught how to navigate, scout, ambush, etc.

Commander’s intent rules the day with each unit fighting as it sees fit. No attacking linearly. If one unit needs to fall back a bit, do so. Flow like water.

In America we call these special forces…in the East they are Line Infantry. We can do much better.

And I like Poole ten to one to Hackworth. Fun debate!!! ☺

W

Stan187
11 Apr 07,, 21:16
WECIV, I honestly have no idea what you're saying.

What the hell is an Easterner? What the hell is this monolithic Easterner fighting style?

How are you jumping from light infantry COIN operations to dug in AT teams in the same breath?

So you want the tenth mountain to defeat the insurgency by digging in and shooting AT missiles everywhere?

I don't agree, this is not a fun debate. It isn't a debate at all because no one else understands what you're getting at.

Shek
11 Apr 07,, 22:22
WECIV,

Very few people have been exposed to the Fourth Generation Warfare theory, and so its terminology is unfamiliar and therefore tough to digest.

While I think 4GW has some stuff to offer, I'm not convinced that it is really anything new; instead, I see it more as just repackaging some old truths in warfare into a new framework.

As I read your posts, it seems like you are espousing to outguerilla the guerilla, which is a faulty construct for successful COIN operations, and it sets yourself up for failure against forces that are not light-infantry centric. Thus, I think there is danger in become a 4GW disciple in the extreme; however, I am not that read up on 4GW (I have stuff on the bookshelf, but haven't had the time to read it yet) and so I may be misinterpreting it.

I'll start a thread up later on to try and establish some discussion on 4GW along with its opponents.

Cheers.

Blademaster
11 Apr 07,, 22:53
32

Classic formations

section - 12 or two fire teams
3 sections to a platoon = 36 men
3 platoons to a company = 108 men
3 companies to a battalion = 324 men
3 battalions to a brigade = 972 men
3 brigades to a division = almost 3000 men
3 divisions to a corps = 12000 men



But in real life, a company would be 200 to 220 men.
battalion = 800 men
brigade = 2,500 to 4,000 men
division = 8,000 to 15,000 men
Corps = 50,000 to 120,000 men.

In GWI there were two US Corps in the theater and each one had over 120,000 men each and in GW2, one corp served and it was 110,000 or something like that. In GW2, 1st ID was like 20,000 men, 3rd ID roughly same size.

Officer of Engineers
11 Apr 07,, 23:07
But in real life ...In real life, we have something called combat support and combat service and the echelon is specifically tailored to the parent unit. In a mech company, you will have the weapons platoon wheras a jump company would only have two platoons or at best two platoons with a reduced CP platoon.

In any case, you might have make a case where a platoon is 50 people but 72 is just way too large.

Blademaster
11 Apr 07,, 23:19
In real life, we have something called combat support and combat service and the echelon is specifically tailored to the parent unit. In a mech company, you will have the weapons platoon wheras a jump company would only have two platoons or at best two platoons with a reduced CP platoon.

In any case, you might have make a case where a platoon is 50 people but 72 is just way too large.

Ah so you are saying that:

For each weapon platoon, you get a combat support and service.

For example, a weapon platoon would be 36 and a combat support/service would be 36 which would add up to 72 men. If done for each platoon, the company size would be 220 consistent with real life.

Same thing with a company but instead of a company support/service for each weapon company, you get one company support/service per 3 company thus making the battalion size of 850 to 900 men, consistent with real life.

Same thing with brigade and division.

No?

Officer of Engineers
11 Apr 07,, 23:33
Brigade is easy. Add in an artillery battalion and maybe even an AD battery, an engineering company, an ambulance company, an armoured battalion, armoured recee and a combat service company and you're up to 6000.

Shek
12 Apr 07,, 00:31
But in real life, a company would be 200 to 220 men.
battalion = 800 men
brigade = 2,500 to 4,000 men
division = 8,000 to 15,000 men
Corps = 50,000 to 120,000 men.

In GWI there were two US Corps in the theater and each one had over 120,000 men each and in GW2, one corp served and it was 110,000 or something like that. In GW2, 1st ID was like 20,000 men, 3rd ID roughly same size.

No! You are consistently overestimating the strength at the lower echelons. I had the largest line infantry company structure that is authorized in the US Army, and I owned 177 men. Light infantry/airborne companies are around 130 men, and mechanized infantry companies are around 80-90 men.

The headquarters and headquarters company in a battalion will be very large in the mech world, being around 250 soldiers, IIRC, but you're still talking battalion strengths in the 500s, not 800. Once again, the SBCT infantry battalion is the largest infantry structure in the US Army, and it is under 700 men.

Officer of Engineers
12 Apr 07,, 00:41
Major,

That's my fault. Hitesh has known me for a long time. Canadian/British Battle Groups number 900-1200.

4 rifle coys
1 HQ coy
1 cbt spt coy
1 arm'd coy
engr troop
ambulence
cbt svc troop

Shek
12 Apr 07,, 02:01
Major,

That's my fault. Hitesh has known me for a long time. Canadian/British Battle Groups number 900-1200.

4 rifle coys
1 HQ coy
1 cbt spt coy
1 arm'd coy
engr troop
ambulence
cbt svc troop

Sir,
Got it. Thanks.

Officer of Engineers
12 Apr 07,, 02:10
Oopps,

Major, it's been pointed out to me that I gave you a Battle Group which is the equivalent to an American Task Force, in short, it is an ad hoc formation (though it's been a permenant ad-hoc for a long time).

Our actual infantry battalions number anywhere from 4-600 depending on how flushed out they are (usually by stripping other battalions).

My apologies for causing any confusion.

Shek
12 Apr 07,, 02:28
My apologies for causing any confusion.

Sir,
No worries. It's my status quo anyways ;)

WECIV
12 Apr 07,, 02:40
Thanks, Shek, sounds like a fun time for all!!!

W

Blademaster
12 Apr 07,, 03:16
The headquarters and headquarters company in a battalion will be very large in the mech world, being around 250 soldiers, IIRC, but you're still talking battalion strengths in the 500s, not 800. Once again, the SBCT infantry battalion is the largest infantry structure in the US Army, and it is under 700 men.

Why are the headquarter companies so large?

Was there any attempt to increase the platoon up to 72 men in any time in the history of US? I am asking this because I am trying to figure out why I have always thought the platoon size to be 72 men. I am wondering where did I get this figure from.

Shek
12 Apr 07,, 03:25
Why are the headquarter companies so large?

Was there any attempt to increase the platoon up to 72 men in any time in the history of US? I am asking this because I am trying to figure out why I have always thought the platoon size to be 72 men. I am wondering where did I get this figure from.

The HHC for mech units will all the support elements (medics, cooks, support platoon, mechanics) plus combat elements (recon, mortar) and the staff. In a mech unit, with lots of vehicles, you'll have lots of mechanics, fuelers, ammo haulers, etc., to keep the machine running. The support platoon is upwards of 60 soldiers.

I can't imagine of any platoon having 72 men. Even if you had a purely triangular formation with 3 x 13 man rifle squads, a 12 man weapons squad (3 x MMG and 2 x AT), and then the HQ, you'd still only be up to 55. However, if you have triangular squads (i.e., 3 x fire teams), I am not aware of any historical units where you also then had an organic weapons or machine gun squad - this is always part of a weapons platoon, then.

gf0012-aust
13 Apr 07,, 01:12
I can't imagine of any platoon having 72 men.

Thats a third to a half sized company. maybe it was just a special grouping for a photo-op event?

glyn
13 Apr 07,, 16:20
I have certainly never heard of any platoon having 72 men.

Shek
13 Apr 07,, 17:36
I have certainly never heard of any platoon having 72 men.

Glyn,

It is a unique phenomenon that occurs only on the platoon leader's birthday and it's time to celebrate the good ol' fashion way by tying him up, dragging him around, and decorating him with shaving cream and all the normal things that abnormal military members do :eek:

It is vital to maintain a sense of humor so that one doesn't see repeat performances other days of celebration (insert reason here) :)

glyn
13 Apr 07,, 19:11
Glyn,

It is a unique phenomenon that occurs only on the platoon leader's birthday and it's time to celebrate the good ol' fashion way by tying him up, dragging him around, and decorating him with shaving cream and all the normal things that abnormal military members do :eek:

It is vital to maintain a sense of humor so that one doesn't see repeat performances other days of celebration (insert reason here) :)

Ah, but I was known to be a vengeful tyrant, so none of my men would have dared take liberties against my person! :biggrin: They fully realised that I had the power to curtail their liberty!!:eek: