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Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?

pbi

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I am with a majoor on this. The tank is going. Start thinking about how we can do to the tank what the onward march of military technology finally did to the horsed cavalryman: turn them into dinosaurs by developing ways to kill them effectively (or otherwise degrade their combat effectiveness) without using another tank. The Mujahadin did pretty well  against a largely mechanized enemy: unless we are planning to fight M1s, we will probably mostly be engaging lesser systems, so we should be able to come up with some good ideas ourselves. We are so stuck on the idea of the tank that we cannot imagine fighting without it. We better start. Cheers.
 
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Tanner

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"Now for something completely different"  Let's consider Area Domination as a form of offense. Send WELL SUPPORTED Infantry FOO/FAC teams (not Cbt Tms) under a coordinated attack program utilizing Sat Imagery seize or dominate Key Ground, isolate En forces. A well supported FOO/ FAC Infantry Tm could take advantage of Wpn systems not available to the Cbt Tm.

This is all under the assumption that we would have DEDICATED Air support in the form of AH and FA to augment the loss of tanks. Air support also has the advantage of being able to tailor wpn packages to task, they require far less support systems than armour, move faster, etc.

Consider the Mujaheddin and what they could have done with Air Support. Avoid the hard points and focus on sp. We would act like SEAL Teams, except utilizing highly trained Infantry Tms prepared to do business if required. That is the future.

 

KevinB

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Unfortunately without tanks or (an acceptable reasonable hand drawn faximile) we are screwed.

Having been in a LAVIII in an urban envronment in Afghanistan I make no misguided beliefs about its abilities or survivability.
Given our current status of forces we have no skill sets to operate w/o tanks (no pioneers, Fast Air or Attack and [real] Ulitily Helicopters)

With that realization we unfortunate will have to accept working a part of a composite Brigade or simply and susinctly putting it to out allies that for each of our Brigade deploed we have the need for an ACR to be cut to us.






 

a_majoor

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It's not that I think tanks are going the way of the dinosaur, just no one is going to buy us any.
 

AZA-02

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how many years of experience do u guys have, what u say seems so logical
but i couldnt understand most definition, anyway i wish i could figure out plans like that.  ???  :salute: :cdn:
 

Acorn

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Tanner said:
"Now for something completely different"   Let's consider Area Domination as a form of offense. Send WELL SUPPORTED Infantry FOO/FAC teams (not Cbt Tms) under a coordinated attack program utilizing Sat Imagery seize or dominate Key Ground, isolate En forces. A well supported FOO/ FAC Infantry Tm could take advantage of Wpn systems not available to the Cbt Tm.

Don't assign too much credit to overhead IMINT.

Acorn
 

a_majoor

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Tanner might be on to something, but it seems too much of a throwback to the WWI dictum of "Artillery destroys, Infantry occupies". Even in Afghanistan, SF operators with GPS and Sat phones could call in airpower within minutes of detecting a target, but still needed Northern Alliance troops to occupy the ground the B-2 strikes just cleared...

Anyway, if we start doing business that way, the bad guys will operate in places that are hard to shell or bomb (as we are already seeing with Jihadis and the "Mahdi Army" shooting from Mosques and hospitals, or Palestinians using ambulances as logistics and trooplift vehicles). I can also imagine shelter technology evolving rapidly to protect troops from such threats, so we still need a way to force the bad guys out of the places they have dug into.
 

pbi

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a_majoor said:
It's not that I think tanks are going the way of the dinosaur, just no one is going to buy us any.

Who's to say they aren't? No weapon system lasts forever, except of course the Infantryman. Our thinking needs to be along the lines of answering the question: "How to be as lethal as possible, without tanks" rather than dwelling on "Oh my God we've got no tanks so we're screwed". We are professional soldiers so we better start figuring it out. It will require a major shift in our way of thinking because we have all been brought up with tanks.

KevinB said:
Having been in a LAVIII in an urban envronment in Afghanistan I make no misguided beliefs about its abilities or survivability.

Using LAVs (or MGS) in ways that guarantee their destruction by hand held systems is not really what I had in mind either. I think our focus has to be on the lethality of the dismounted soldier, backed up by effects from systems that fire from defiladed positions(possibly exposing only a sighting mast head). The issue of how to cross the open ground in front of an objective (if, in fact, there is any open ground) will have to be solved without the tank.  Perhaps more precisely targeted supporting fires might fill the bill.

On the issue of not wanting to ask Allies for MBT support, I would not be so quick to dismiss that as "begging". If we offer high-quality, well-equipped and trained infantry, the Alliance partner might be only too happy to give tank sp. It seems to me that in Iraq at the moment it is the quality Infantry that are in short supply. not the MBT battalions. Cheers.
 

Kirkhill

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I think our focus has to be on the lethality of the dismounted soldier, backed up by effects from systems that fire from defiladed positions(possibly exposing only a sighting mast head)

http://www.army-technology.com/projects/efogm/
http://www.army-technology.com/projects/fennek/

Is this the kind of teaming you are thinking of?

 

McG

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Imagine the Coyote surveillance mast being used to guide in NLOS missiles from an MMEV and making precision kills against an enemy position without exposing a single one of our soldiers to a direct fire threat.
 

Infanteer

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McG said:
Imagine the Coyote surveillance mast being used to guide in NLOS missiles from an MMEV and making precision kills against an enemy position without exposing a single one of our soldiers to a direct fire threat.

Now, imagine that same setup getting taken out by a few goat-herders with RPGs....ain't war hell.
 

McG

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That's why it is all arms.  The infantry worry about the goat herders, and the "system of systems" engages the big targets beyond the next ridge (and the one after that too).
 

Infanteer

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McG said:
That's why it is all arms. The infantry worry about the goat herders, and the "system of systems" engages the big targets beyond the next ridge (and the one after that too).

Well, at least I know I have a job now... :)

baa-aaa-aaa-aaa....

pbi said:
On the issue of not wanting to ask Allies for MBT support, I would not be so quick to dismiss that as "begging". If we offer high-quality, well-equipped and trained infantry, the Alliance partner might be only too happy to give tank sp. It seems to me that in Iraq at the moment it is the quality Infantry that are in short supply. not the MBT battalions. Cheers.

I think you are on to something here PBI.   Until I can rebuild the Army in my image, we have to find something to "sell" in the short term.   Since the idea of "selling" Peacekeeping is repulsive to any professional soldier, perhaps light and flexible infantry, supported by light and mobile combined arms support - assets that can be injected into situations across the spectrum of conflict - is the objective.

Kind of like the Swiss.   From their mountainous Helvetian hideouts, they were never up to playing the heavy, mounted, shock cavalry game that the rest of Europe was into.   Instead, they "sold" their Pike, which along with the Condotieri, was to become all the rage in Europe and eventually displace the mounted Knight as ruler of the European battlefield.

The question is, should a combat team that attempts to "sell" this focus on fancy mechanized systems?   Should acquisition instead shift towards a greater variety of hand-held systems, air-portable systems (ie: by tac-hel), and a decent Army chopper as well?   Should our doctrine move away from mass and firepower of the Brigade to a more dispersed, unconventional force?
 

pbi

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The question is, should a combat team that attempts to "sell" this focus on fancy mechanized systems?  Should acquisition instead shift towards a greater variety of hand-held systems, air-portable systems (ie: by tac-hel), and a decent Army chopper as well?  Should our doctrine move away from mass and firepower of the Brigade to a more dispersed, unconventional force?

The more I think about it, the more I think that this may be the way to go, a;lthough I'm not too comfortable with the term "unconventional". We should probably keep some residual"heavy" capability for a protracted or general conflict, but I think we could safely put this capability in the Army Reserve if we enhance that force's readiness and maintenance capabilities  somewhat.

Is this the kind of teaming you are thinking of?

FOG-M is exactly what I had in mind. I think that in the future, systems like FOG-M will break down the rigid distinction we maintain between direct and indirect fire support, so the function will simply become "fire support".

Kind of like the Swiss.  From their mountainous Helvetian hideouts, they were never up to playing the heavy, mounted, shock cavalry game that the rest of Europe was into.  Instead, they "sold" their Pike, which along with the Condotieri, was to become all the rage in Europe and eventually displace the mounted Knight as ruler of the European battlefield.

Just as the mounted knight eventually met his nemesis in the pikeman and then the arquebusier, I think that one day the tank will meet its nemesis in the Infantry soldier armed with a system that costs a fraction of what an MBT costs to purchase and sustain, has a much smaller CSS footprint, and can be moved in any manner in which we would move an Infantry soldier. This Infantry soldier will probably not be able to do this alone-a heavier fire support system of some kind will have to support him by suppressing enemy infantry, and perhap by scattering FASCAM in the path of the enemy tanks. Cheers.



 

Infanteer

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pbi said:
Just as the mounted knight eventually met his nemesis in the pikeman and then the arquebusier, I think that one day the tank will meet its nemesis in the Infantry soldier armed with a system that costs a fraction of what an MBT costs to purchase and sustain, has a much smaller CSS footprint, and can be moved in any manner in which we would move an Infantry soldier. This Infantry soldier will probably not be able to do this alone-a heavier fire support system of some kind will have to support him by suppressing enemy infantry, and perhap by scattering FASCAM in the path of the enemy tanks. Cheers.

It has to be Power Armour....with integral flamethrower and Y-rack for launching A-Bombs.

Mobile Infantry is the wave of the future.
 

pbi

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It has to be Power Armour....with integral flamethrower and Y-rack for launching A-Bombs.

Bring back the Davy Crockett!!  :threat: Cheers
 

Infanteer

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pbi said:
although I'm not too comfortable with the term "unconventional".

My mistake, I recognize that the use of the term "unconventional" in a military discussion would imply turning the forces into a bunch of JTF guys riding camels and wearing black pajamas.... :)

By "unconventional" I meant units that could break down easily and provide a wide-range of combined arms capabilities at a unit/sub-unit level (PRT is one thing that comes to mind) as opposed to the beautifully sculpted, rigidly segmented brigades we love to stretch thin (and the doctrine to match).

We should probably keep some residual"heavy" capability for a protracted or general conflict, but I think we could safely put this capability in the Army Reserve if we enhance that force's readiness and maintenance capabilities somewhat.

I think so to.  It seems to be that the heavier assets could be part of a Reserve/Reg "break in case of fire" capability

 

pbi

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Yes-that is all pretty well along the lines I have been thinking of. Cheers.
 

a_majoor

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We can sort of do that now, but until there is some revolutionary advance in energy storage or distribution systems, man portable systems will still be limited in range and effect. The mass and volume of such systems has to decrease as well, since there is a limit to how much a soldier can carry and still be effective. Another generation of "smartness" will also be needed for the rounds; just imagine a tired and frightened infantryman attempting to "snap shoot" a target with his "Mr. Fusion" powered portable rail gun and an unguided kinetic energy projectile....

This kind of ties up the ideas from other threads: We need a White paper to tell us what to plan for, funding to buy the proper kit and train the right numbers of troops to do the job as defined, and organizational changes to do the job better and faster. Tanks and heavy systems are not in our future for now, nor have I heard any serious discussion about purchasing such systems, so we are left to try to lash together a tactical doctrine using what tools we can get our hands on.

 

KevinB

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McG said:
Imagine the Coyote surveillance mast being used to guide in NLOS missiles from an MMEV and making precision kills against an enemy position without exposing a single one of our soldiers to a direct fire threat.

McG said:
That's why it is all arms.  The infantry worry about the goat herders, and the "system of systems" engages the big targets beyond the next ridge (and the one after that too).

Uhm....


I agree with PBI we have to shift into a W/O Tank mode and make it work.

As one of those Infanteers with his ass hangin in the breeze as it where I am hoping we can work this out sooner than later.  However w/o a large influx of captial equiptment I don't see it working.  We can play LI-SOC with the JTF all day w/o tanks but for anything more than SOF type missions we need a cabability that we dont have --> Firepower.



 
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