Combat Team of tomorrow? Mechanized Infantry Company of tomorrow?

Kirkhill

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daftandbarmy said:
......

Fiddling around in Wherever-istan in pursuit of fuzzy goals that change with the wind?

Meh....

In which case: Why bother?
 

RCPalmer

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Haligonian said:
I thought I brought this up in my original post.  RC Palmer has most of it right but I must emphasise that the Marines do make Cbt Tms.  Coy Tms in their parlance.  On Expeditionary Warfare School we spent plenty of time doing this.  They do it the same way the US Army does by cross attaching tank and infantry sub units and sub sub units to creat Tms Mech/Tank and TF Mech/Tank.=

Absolutely.  I wasn't asserting that the USMC doesn't employ combat teams, just that they might be less prevalent due to the limited availability tank and engineer assets, and perhaps a greater degree of centralized control over and independent tasking of, those limited assets.

Tango2Bravo said:
Regarding your comment on the USMC school, here on AOC during Tutorial 2 students spend plenty of time considering different grouping options within a battle group.  Remember that ATOC and CTCC are courses aimed at the sub-unit/combat team level. ATOC gives the largest combat team possible to stretch the student in terms of span of control.

If we are willing to break up an infantry company for offensive options then the grouping options certainly open up. I think our desire to have an entire company to assault an enemy platoon regardless of the number of friendly tanks blasting away is based on the concern about casualties. A single platoon will culminate quickly from a fairly small number of casualties. Based on modern experience, though, four casualties can also culminate a company and even a battalion until the casualties are evacuated. Perhaps we are a firepower based army where two-thirds are in the firebase and one-third mop up?

I that that AOC is probably the best course in an Army Officer's career path in terms of providing opportunities to exercise that flexibility of mind I mentioned.  My experience was that it was structured to allow for true estimate based decision making leading to unique, non-templated, groupings and tactical plans.  My point is that we should consider integrating this model into earlier career courses rather than introducing it to officers after a decade of service.  The other issue with AOC on this front is that the potential for experimentation and "safe" mistake making is limited by the fact that the course is focused on the planning, rather than the execution of missions, in a field training or simulation environment.  In the PRes version you only get to execute one mission in simulation in JCATS,  Ex Final Drive.  Perhaps the RegF serials do more of that kind of thing?

I guess I don't understand why we are so obsessed with seeing a "school standard" execution of highly repetitive and templated tasks in most of our leadership courses.  Anyone should be able to execute a decent attack (whether that be at Sect, Pl, or Cbt Tm level) having just watched or participated in a dozen others just like it.  Perhaps we would get a better product if we focused more on assessing the core leadership attributes and decision making skills (accepting "sloppier" execution) in situations that actually force those leaders to adapt to unique situations.  Food for thought. 
 

daftandbarmy

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RCPalmer said:
I guess I don't understand why we are so obsessed with seeing a "school standard" execution of highly repetitive and templated tasks in most of our leadership courses.  Anyone should be able to execute a decent attack (whether that be at Sect, Pl, or Cbt Tm level) having just watched or participated in a dozen others just like it.  Perhaps we would get a better product if we focused more on assessing the core leadership attributes and decision making skills (accepting "sloppier" execution) in situations that actually force those leaders to adapt to unique situations.  Food for thought.

Amen to that.

Once upon a time, in the UK, I ran a platoon attack range, live firing, with Week 20 recruits leading the platoon and filling in the section commander positions. The focus was on 'kill the enemy' versus giving an immaculate set of orders informed by an elaborate Combat Estimate. They, mostly, did a great job under average supervision e.g., 'I wouldn't shoot over that way or 2 section will be less than pleased with you'.

How did we manage to have them achieve this lofty goal? Personal example and repetition, of course. After you lead them through 5 or 10 dry and live platoon attacks, troops can figure it out, especially if you explain what's going on.

Funny... on my Phase III in Gagetown, I don't recall any of my DS ever leading any of the platoon attacks. They mostly glared and handed out various coloured chits while scribbling in books, throwing gas and arty sims at us, and generally being gigantic d&ck heads.

 

Kirkhill

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RC:

Does that argue for two distinct lines of training?  One for Leaders and one for Soldiers?

It seems to me that Soldiers in Training can benefit from running drills - so that they become second nature. It may be difficult to build those skills if the guys in charge are running around saying "Oops! That wasn't what I meant."

Meanwhile the Leaders in Training can benefit from having skilled Soldiers under command doing exactly as they were ordered - with consequences to follow.

Having half-trained leaders learning/teaching with half-trained soldiers - does anybody get much useful learning done?

Faster on the keyboard D&B.
 

a_majoor

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Reviving the discussion with some new information. The US Army is working on  concept called "Multi Domain Task Force" (along with a multitude of other related ideas like strategic artillery) to deal with AA/AD environments and other complex problems.

While not exactly a Combat Team in the manner we think of it, the idea of integrating different elements into a formation, such as Cyber and artillery might make sense to deal with particular tactical issues. So called "Multi Domain Units" will have extended capabilities to identify and target priority enemy personnel and equipment. This will be especially useful in complex terrain and in AA/AD environments (when matched with weapons systems that can actually do something in this environment.

Army’s Multi-Domain Unit ‘A Game-Changer’ In Future War

The example in the article is a battalion sized unit, which might be thought of as a "battlegroup", how would we want to subdivide it in order to actually use it in the field? Other issues like support were glossed over in the article, how would that be handled?
 

FJAG

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Thucydides said:
Reviving the discussion with some new information. The US Army is working on  concept called "Multi Domain Task Force" (along with a multitude of other related ideas like strategic artillery) to deal with AA/AD environments and other complex problems.

While not exactly a Combat Team in the manner we think of it, the idea of integrating different elements into a formation, such as Cyber and artillery might make sense to deal with particular tactical issues. So called "Multi Domain Units" will have extended capabilities to identify and target priority enemy personnel and equipment. This will be especially useful in complex terrain and in AA/AD environments (when matched with weapons systems that can actually do something in this environment.

Army’s Multi-Domain Unit ‘A Game-Changer’ In Future War

The example in the article is a battalion sized unit, which might be thought of as a "battlegroup", how would we want to subdivide it in order to actually use it in the field? Other issues like support were glossed over in the article, how would that be handled?

I think what you are looking at here is a new enabler unit which is tasked at the theatre level. The particular one you are looking at is located together with 1 Corps in Washington state. Such a unit collects and collates information from numerous sources and provides effective engagement through whatever fires units/formations are assigned within the theatre.

As to support. Higher level formations (whether Div, Corps or theatre) provide support through tailor made organizations called Sustainment Brigades. 1 Corps is supported by the 593rd Sustainment Command (formerly 593 Sust Bde) which currently has a Sustainment Bn, Medical Bde and Signals Bn and would be assigned additional sustainment or manouvre enhancement brigades as required from Active, Reserve or National Guard formations.

As to deployment: no idea. Too new. I expect either the whole battalion or companies thereof could be deployed in any given theatre depending on the theatres size and scale of operations.

For Multi-Domain Operations in general see Tradoc Pam 525-3-1

https://www.tradoc.army.mil/Portals/14/Documents/MDO/TP525-3-1_30Nov2018.pdf

:cheers:
 

McG

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Thucydides said:
While not exactly a Combat Team in the manner we think of it ...

...

The example in the article is a battalion sized unit, which might be thought of as a "battlegroup", ...
Combat Teams are sub-unit and, while battle groups are units, I am not sure using the labels of manoeuvre organizations is the best way to picture this US Corps level asset.  If we had a "brigade group of tomorrow" thread, that would be a better place to discuss this because we do need to think about how to integrate such capabilities down to the CMBG level. In a Canadian context, we also need to understand how we would give such capabilities (or the close support of such capabilities) to an independent battle group.  Should the Canadian manoeuvre commander own the supporting "Intelligence, Information, Cyber, Electronic Warfare, & Space (I2CEWS)" capability, or does it belong as an undeclared national asset to support the whole Canadian Land or Joint TF?  I've watched Canadian brigades struggle through Wainwright and various CAX with their cognitive capacity overburdened by the management of "enablers" as they try to knife fight a peer enemy.  If we want our manoeuvre organizations (from sub-unit up through all levels of formations) to be able to act fast and think fast, then we probably want to keep them lean and organized to focus on the fight in front of them.  It is selection and maintenance of the aim. Don't organize a entity so that it has to employ and manage things that are not focused on that its aim.
 
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