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  • Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    Good God, do you supply the instructors and OPFOR also? There must be a line up to get in there.
    I'd sign up!
    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
    Mark Twain

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    • Kato,

      Love going to Hammelburg...the hot chocolate from the kantine on a cold February Day was sublime!

      Fun fact about Hammelburg...it pretty much was/is the German FT Benning...i.e., home to the Infantry School. During WW 2 it also had a POW camp. In that camp was a young US Army combat engineer from Chicago. PFC Leonard Lukachevski had come ashore at Normandy in the 1st wave to clear obstacles on OMAHA Beach. He would fight with the 1sy Infantry Division across France and Belgium for the rest of the year. He was captured during the Battle of the Bulge and ended up at Hammelburg. That Soldier ended up becoming a Catholic priest and an Army chaplain and LTC Lukachevski was out division Chaplain when I served in the 1st Division (Forward). He would always come find troops in the field and spent time visiting with us.

      On one of our trips to Hammelburg he came and visited us and told us stories of his life as a Kriegie. He also told us about the raid to try to spring Patton's son-in-law and how it turned into a bit of a shitshow. While Father Luke didn't go along with Task Force Baum, he did escape...for about 3 hours. He was badly malnourished so had like no energy and was easily rounded up.

      Here is a photo of Father Luke later in life...a truly great man, Soldier and priest! And BTW, combat engineers of the 1st Engineer Battalion who went in with the 1st waves at OMAHA were awarded the CIB along with Infantrymen per order of the division commander MG Clarence Huebner, for their outstanding service and courage. Father Luke was extremely proud of that CIB and loved spending time with the Infantry battalions
      Last edited by Albany Rifles; 02 Apr 21,, 14:19.
      “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
      Mark Twain

      Comment


      • Click image for larger version

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        “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
        Mark Twain

        Comment


        • Originally posted by kato View Post
          Instructors and OPFOR are provided - GÜZ Altmark has somewhere around 1,000 soldiers and civilian employees (fluctuates a bit, with modernization of systems it's rather going down a bit).

          OPFOR within that is a 680-man reinforced mixed battalion with one medium infantry, two mechanized and one tank company. It's a standing separate force not drawn from other units. When not used in military outfit they are available (trained) to roleplay as civilians too.

          A company-sized unit at GÜZ tracks the fighting via full electronic surveillance for analysis - besides the shooting they track the positions of every soldier and their status on the battlefield. For presentation besides larger-scale auditorium buildings there are also truck-based mobile units available which can basically use a couple large-scale screens to present analysis to troops in the field.

          Besides Schnöggersburg as a larger site the Altmark combat training center also includes a smaller village ("Hottendorf") with 50 buildings about 4 km away - which in itself is as big as MOUT training sites elsewhere, and can be used separately on its own - and about five small individualized building setups that emulate mostly Afghan and Kosovarian hamlets so that the landscape isn't really empty.
          The Altmark site was originally a Nazi artillery range reused and massively expanded by the Soviets postwar, at some points used in exercises by up to 20,000 soldiers. The Bundeswehr took it over in the 90s and built a new base there, the training grounds are usable since about 2007 after it was cleared of UXO. Besides its main base it also has three troop camps spread around the 230 km² site.


          As for a line, well yeah, it's continuously in use - typically in around 20 preset exercise timeframes per year of about 10-14 days each. Primary regular user besides German units is the Dutch military. Norwegian and Belgian troops also have used it before. Most of the time it's a single battalion training there, but the size also allows battlegroups - e.g. the EFP Battlegroups that we send to the Baltics do their certification courses there with around 1100-1400 men. About 25,000 soldiers train there per year now.

          Technology-wise it's largely limited to militaries that use German systems though (it uses Rheinmetall AGDUS) - the US Army supposedly looked into it in 2015 when Schnöggersburg started building and found their simulator systems are not compatible.


          P.S. Found the official finishing date - the remaining construction is planned to be handed over in June, with full operations across Schnöggersburg starting in July.
          Is there such a thing as training porn?

          Chimo

          Comment


          • Since Albany Rifles mentioned the 231st Gebirgsjäger on the last page...



            -------------

            Also:



            Longer video of Schnöggersburg being presented to journalists during a NATO VJTF exercise - i.e. a show exercise. Presented by the Inspector General of the Army.

            In the beginning they're observing a mixed battalion (tanks and IFVs) from an artificial hill set up for such purposes about 2.5 km from the town. They move to Schnöggersburg itself after about 7 minutes where they're set up on a rooftop for observing the fight moving into the town itself. There's a lot of explanations of the actual show combat in German sufficiently muddled that Youtube can't transcribe it into subtitles to trranslate. If includes a 4-minute explanation to the scenario itself though.

            Scenario shown in town is basically that the troops clear out out a vital street crossing where an enemy platoon - fireteams spread around multiple buildings and some APCs with machine guns - has been spotted blocking this position. Attacking units are a German and a Norwegian mechanized infantry platoon, a German motorized infantry platoon (each getting different buildings to attack) and a Norwegian tank platoon (pretty much only blocking the street northwards).
            Stated target is to clear out the street crossing to allow the rest of the troops - two companies, mostly tanks - to move through it in order to take the airfield north of the town. Further OPFOR is infantry with vehicles that has been spotted in positions inbetween Schnöggersburg and the airfield, but is not relevant to the immediate situation; just bypassing the crossing would place troops inbetween these two OPFOR groups though. During the fight at the street crossing the remaining troops form up on the outskirt of Schnöggersburg while two Tiger helicopters are used to screen for a possible hostile counter-attack.

            The next 20 minutes are pretty much drowned out in gunfire and smoke grenades.

            Here's a still photo shot by another journalist from that rooftop, showing an OPFOR soldier moving in on the Norwegian vehicles with an anti-tank rocket on a rooftop - he was shot shortly after.
            Click image for larger version  Name:	panzer.jpg Views:	0 Size:	91.1 KB ID:	1572973
            Last edited by kato; 03 Apr 21,, 12:10.

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            • Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
              Is there such a thing as training porn?
              Should i mention that there are...
              • buildings specifically prepared to serve for insertion of airborne troops during exercises (i.e. helicopter landing on rooftop)
              • an artificial river - with four bridges that can move to make a crossing temporarily inaccessible. As in, you don't tell the troops that that bridge may not be used, you move the bridge so they actually can't use it and don't tell them.
              • (besides the subway...) 600m of sewers with several dozen access points that infantry could use to move undetected through the city
              Last edited by kato; 02 Apr 21,, 23:03.

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              • That is absolutely evil ... I'd sign up too.
                Chimo

                Comment


                • Below is an article on the current state of German artillery and planned future concept. Since it's a bit lengthy cut it down to the planned structures in below quote - the rest is worth a read too though.

                  Note bolded parts with regard to future equipment development.

                  https://www.edrmagazine.eu/german-ar...-fires-concept
                  German Army: the Future Fires Concept

                  [...]

                  Within this new organisation, which should be in place by late 2031, artillery assets will be considerably increased. “In the future there will be a total of three artillery regiments, one for each division, and one MLRS battalion. In case of National or Alliance Defence the assets of each artillery regiment will be split to form three Artillery Task Forces at Brigade level and one at Division level”,” LTC Leitner explains. The latter will be made of two howitzer batteries, one rocket launcher battery and target acquisition assets, therefore not much different from nowadays battalions, while Brigade artillery TFs will field only howitzers, and will also feature Joint Fire Support coordination elements. The German Army transformation will take place with a phased approach. Milestone 1 aims at having a Brigade fully operational for National and Alliance Defence by 2023; this date coincides with Germany taking the leadership of the NATO VJTF (Very High Readiness Joint Task Force). Milestone 2 will bring one Division at full level, with its three manoeuvre Brigades and divisional support troops; this is planned for 2027, hence the name “Division 2027” to the structure. “The new Division will be better able to perform robust and agile operations in high intensity combat, and to do so it will be readily available, capable of fighting, interoperable and sustainable. The final structure will be reached by late 2031, and at that date we want to have the three operational Divisions with a total of eight Brigades, with all necessary additional support units also at Corps level,” LTC Leitner says.

                  [...]

                  New standard and precision ammunition will be acquired, and also the target acquisition system will be further developed; reconnaissance depth, endurance and accuracy, as well as number of available target acquisition systems will be increased. “Digitalisation, higher combat strength, greater ranges, and improved dual capabilities, will all feature in Division 2027, development being however a permanent process. The project for the antitank mine missile with a range in excess of 80 km and that of the Intruder UAS, which will operate at more than 300 km, are underway albeit in the very early stage. Another future project will be a loitering ammunition for precise target engagements in deep enemy-controlled areas. We also need more fire support for the Brigade. This is the reason why we require a considerable number of other guns in addition to the PzH 2000,” LTC Leitner illustrates. The main requirements for this new gun are high rate of fire, high mobility, even over hundreds of kilometres, and protection, a range up to 75 km with HE projectiles or 100 km with precision ammunition, and a high degree of automation, a wheeled solution being envisaged.

                  Numerous proposals mostly based on the Boxer chassis were made by the German industry in the past years. That said, LTC Leitner underlines that the backbone of the German tube artillery will remain the PzH 2000; “It was purposely developed for Cold War scenarios, to strike masses of mechanised troops, and still bears comparison with most modern self-propelled howitzers. However, after years of service, there are aspects that have to be modernised,” LTC Leitner says without revealing more details, although automation might well be part of the upgrade package, based on the technology insertion that is part of the increase of the German artillery effectiveness, which will also bring with it an increase in servicemen.

                  [...]

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by kato View Post
                    Should i mention that there are...
                    • buildings specifically prepared to serve for insertion of airborne troops during exercises (i.e. helicopter landing on rooftop)
                    • an artificial river - with four bridges that can move to make a crossing temporarily inaccessible. As in, you don't tell the troops that that bridge may not be used, you move the bridge so they actually can't use it and don't tell them.
                    • (besides the subway...) 600m of sewers with several dozen access points that infantry could use to move undetected through the city
                    I'm with the Colonel....what a spectacular training ground!!!

                    When I was in Doughboy City in Berlin I remember getting in a firefight in their sewer system. The guy with the M60 machine gun opened fire right in front of me. I couldn't see or hear shit for an hour!!!
                    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                    Mark Twain

                    Comment



                    • 50 buildings in Schnöggersburg are apparently equipped with a simulation system called MASIE built by RUAG - or rather, there are sets to equip 50 buildings with it, these can be uninstalled and moved to other buildings.

                      MASIE consists of:
                      - sensors on walls and doors detecting simulated direct fire impacts from vehicles and heavy infantry weapons (compatible with simulation systems NATO-wide)
                      - systems that simulate weapon effects for the soldiers deployed there - smoke, noise, visual effects
                      - detection sensors that triangulate the exact position of all soldies within the building
                      - cameras (daylight, IR) for recording the exercise for analysis

                      RUAG also delivered a C-IED training system to GÜZ in 2016 which basically consists of coupled laser terminals (to "strike" nearby soldiers) and pyrotechnic charges throwing up a cloud of powder. It's intended for use "indoors, outdoors and on the body" (as in yes, there's explicitly a suicide vest version).

                      Comment


                      • Official map of Schnöggersburg used during exercises:

                        Click image for larger version  Name:	schnÃöggersburg1.jpg Views:	0 Size:	180.2 KB ID:	1573009

                        I.e. the version that's not showing too much detail, just a general orientation. It's shown to e.g. visitors, and probably also depending on scenario to troops.
                        • Red on top left is the industrial area, violet is "destroyed buildings", the dot inbetween them is the container slum settlement. On the outskirts of the industrial area is the (freight) train station. Offhand the area across the rail south of the station is a small refinery or oil depot or similar. The train station is not actually connected anywhere.
                        • The grey, blue and mint areas are the builtup residential areas of Schnöggersburg - mint is the "suburban expansion", blue is a "highrise area" (well, not really that high, but they're around 6 floors or so), dark grey is the more densely structured "Old Town" district.
                        • South of Schnöggersburg an area will be converted into farmland with some farms (light green). Additionally two forests will be planted here, obstructing sight lines towards the town
                        • The wider road along the east side is a multi-causeway highway. The "Tankstelle" marked area is a gas station - actually more like a highway rest stop with significant parking areas.

                        Elements not shown in this map are:
                        • The subway : runs from the blue circle to the larger square on the northern edge of the mint area.
                        • The airfield : located 1 km out of town to the north. 1700m grass runway (has landed C-160s, can be used by A400M) and a helipad plus some buildings.
                        • The helifield : Opposite the stadium is the "hospital" of Schnöggersburg. The grey area to the southeast of the Stadium is the associated (fully usable) helipad.
                        • The barracks : there is an area simulating an "army camp" in Schnöggersburg. It's between the two parallel lines north of the blue section.
                        • The prison : the area where red borders grey, with the green dots implicating trees is actually a walled-in camp with watchtowers

                        The empty area towards the slum enclosed on all four sides is actually simply off-limits. That's where the main cell station for Schnöggersburg is located, used in actual radio communications across the Altmark training grounds. Among the lighter green farm area the easternmost of those "enclosed fields" seems to be filling a similar actual function - the enclosure is the exact same size as those for the cell stations spread around the training grounds, but there's no radio tower installed here. There are about 8 cell station areas like this, the next ones otherwise are 2 km south and 2 km west of Schnöggersburg respectively.

                        The VJTF show exercise in the video earlier took place next to the "A" in "Altstadt".
                        Last edited by kato; 05 Apr 21,, 22:33.

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                        • That is amazing!!! What an incredible training set up!
                          “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                          Mark Twain

                          Comment


                          • For a different training area:

                            Wildflecken will become the new central training area for German "Home Defense Regiments". Three other training areas, yet to be decided, will provide regional training.

                            Under that moniker the Bundeswehr is currently planning to build up reserve territorial infantry forces again. Planning is for 5 battalion-sized regiments by 2025 - in theory - 16 regiments by 2032 with 21,000 reservists. These regiments will be under command of SKB, the Joint Support Force - hence also Wildflecken being the primary site (as the main training base for SKB).

                            Wildflecken has served as the home base for the "State Regiment Bavaria", a prototype set up over the last 18 months to test the new concept. It collects three existing reserve companies (infantry) in Franconia around Wildflecken and adds a new Staff/Supply Company (HQ platoon and logistic platoon) and "Support Company" (reconnaissance platoon engineer platoon and a heavy weapons platoon). Setting it up was somewhat hampered by the pandemic - since the companies are actively deployed for that purpose - with a final full regiment-wide exercise for the prototype regiment and its five companies planned for end of 2021. In October 2020 four of the companies already trained together for a week at Wildflecken (with the UN Training Center providing the heavy weapon support component).

                            The regiment due to its reserve status doesn't have a particularly wide footprint. At Wildflecken they occupy a single building for the few active soldiers, a storage hall for its material and parking space for 10 trucks. The reservists serving in it are activated about 28 days per year for training. Since the beginning of April 2021 the Bundeswehr has begun recruiting general volunteers without previous service - these get a condensed 7-month active duty time (3 months basic, 4 months MOS training) and then serve in the regiments for the next six years.

                            Given that the sites where MOS training (those 4 months) is performed for reservists for these regiments are Wildflecken, Berlin, Delmenhorst (next to Bremen) and Schortens (next to Wilhelmshaven) it is likely that the other three "yet to be decided" training areas for the regiments will be exactly these three - colocating them with the main SKB logistics base (two RSOM battalions), the SKB guard battalion (regiment-sized) and the Air Force infantry regiment.
                            By population distribution and location of current reserve companies this isn't particularly apt though - it would make more sense to e.g. set up one in Stetten and one in Sennelager.
                            Last edited by kato; 07 Apr 21,, 13:24.

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                            • Thanks for the update.

                              And Stetten & Sennelager make perfect sense.
                              “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                              Mark Twain

                              Comment


                              • The existing companies for these five regiments will be renamed "Heimatschutzkompanien" (home defense companies) in June. The current name is "Regionale Sicherungs- und Unterstützungskräftekompanien" (regional security and support force companies). The new name is the same that was used for rear area infantry companies during the Cold War. The state regiments will equvalently be named "Heimatschutzregimenter" (home defense regiments), also used for rear area infantry in the Cold War.

                                There are currently 30 of these companies, with 6 more planned to be raised in the next few years.

                                The companies previously were under the command of 16 "state commands" (one per state) with a variable number of companies. The state commands - and their subordinate about 500 district and county-level commands as well as liaisons in neighboring countries - will continue to exist, but will be able to concentrate on their role for coordinating civil-military cooperation.

                                Map on likely AoR of the five regiments:

                                Click image for larger version

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                                Dark Green = Company site - ca 7 per regiment
                                +1/+2 = Company to be newly raised in this state
                                Red = Training Facility (Basic/MOS) - ca 2 per regiment
                                Yellow = State Command / State Capital - 16 total
                                Blue (Wildflecken) = Training Grounds / Regiment Staff

                                The staff for the five regiments and the four main training facilities will be raised "following existing training grounds".

                                There aren't all that many training grounds (large-scale) left in Germany. Removing those co-used with Allies as well as Nordhorn (Air Force bombing site) and Putlos (seaside artillery training range) it becomes a pretty simple decision process:

                                Bavaria regiment - Wildflecken (chosen site), Hammelburg
                                Southwest regiment - Heuberg
                                West regiment - Munster
                                Coastal regiment - Jägerbrück
                                East regiment - Altengrabow, Klietz, Oberlausitz, Lehnin

                                For the East regiment it is in my opinion likely that Berlin will be chosen for the regiment command staff for political reasons, with no primary training grounds due to there being training grounds everywhere anyway.

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