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AAB 2012 sign of things to come

FJAG

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Loachman said:
The used CH47Ds bought for Afghanistan were not retained. We are getting a whole Squadron (450 Squadron) of brand-spanking-new CH147Fs, fifteen total. 450 Squadron has already stood up in Petawawa, and will begin flying next year. There is a thread about this elsewhere.

Excellent news.  :)
 

FJAG

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jeffb said:
If we fought any sort of organized army at all, or even insurgents with any of the whole host of MANPADs such as SA-18, SA-7 (of which there are somewhere around 60 countries that operate) SUAVs and down are not going to be very useful.

In my mind I think that the BG being deployed in a coalition in a Syrian type conflict would easily need a few dets of LCMR (call that a Troop), a few MRRs (another Troop), a full HALO suite (yet another troop) and a few SUAVs to augment the gun battery. The composite battery that brings along LCMR and HALO to augment SUAV just isn't going to cut it.

No quibbling about the LCMR, MMR or HALO but disagree on SUAV. No doubt they're vulnerable but that doesn't make them useless. That only teaches we need to treat them more like ammunition and carry many spares (and/or develop better countermeasures/hardening)
 

GnyHwy

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I've been waiting to jump in on this one, and now have my place.

Old Sweat said:
My fault for not being more clear. Our organization has two gun, one FOO and one STA battery. The FOO battery has at least 12 FOO parties which is a lot for a BC to train. This can be worked out, especially with the two gun battery BCs. I asked one, who had been a FOO on Medusa, and he had concerns re putting his hand on his heart and telling his supported battalion commander that the FOOs he got from the FOO battery were up to snuff. That has got to be worked out. However two gun batteries allow for four fire units which is an advantage over the RAA model, I think. The STA battery was radar, sound ranging and UAV troops.

This is leading us to some answers.  Yes, 12 FOO parties is far too much a BC to train.  Especially when the BC that will take them to war is the BC of a gun bty and doesn't see them until field training.  As well, Rampage has hit some very good points as well.

rampage800 said:
You take a group of pers who have more serialized kit then anyone in the Regt but you don't give them PYs for a QM
You give them almost all the LAVs in a Regt but never thought to create PYs for a MT
You send all the FOO parties in the Gun Btys to the FOO Bty but none of the desks, chairs, computers go with them,
You have more arty Snr NCO's and MBdrs then btys almost twice their size but you don't create a BSM PY and;
When HR Trg starts up the FOO Parties go back to the Gun Btys which is where they came from in the first place, hmmmmmm.

We have half arsed this, mostly by what I would think is keeping a hard grip on the traditional regimental structure. 

Just to be clear, I am in favour of the current FOO Bty structure.  Not as extreme as the RAA, but somewhere in betwen our old and the RAA.  The current smozzle is no where near it.  Mostly because we haven't given it a fair shake. The issues that Rampage has stated are some of the reasons that it has resulted in a dog's breakfast.

Here are few of my thoughts and I'm sure I will have people that want to reach through the screen at swing at me, but I will say them anyway.

Why even have a Maj at the gun bty at all?  Do we really need a Maj commanding 2 gun troops while his FOOs are being trained by someone else?  We have always had a Capt in charge of the guns.  He was called the BK.  If the BC is at the guns during war, he isn't doing his job.  Why should they be there in garrison?

Why not have 3 Majs in the OP Bty as fire support officers (FSO) with one being senior?  Or would that make too much of a bun fight?  Seems reasonable to me, the BCs are training their FOOs on a regular basis, and the shooters are somewhat separated like the RAA.  I could see some dissension because of this, but people just need to grow up.

The current structure has lead to FOOs being trained by another Maj who is not even going to war.  Further that Maj who has trained them has no place in the fire support CoC. WTF? 

With 3 Majs in the FOO Bty, all the SACs get their FSO, and the guns don't have a Maj micro managing them.  The US BCs are Capts, and FSOs are totally different persons. 

As far as NCMs go, it's fairly simple.  Those in the FOO Bty remain their and do the job they have always done, and once they become a WO they become an FSCC WO.  When a bty goes to war the FSCC WO comes from the FOO Bty right along with his FSO, a Maj and they command the guns, who are commanded by the BK. There are a lot of training days that go into making an experienced FSCC WO, and I don't think it's right for a person to fly up the gun stream, get promoted to WO and all of a sudden become an FSCC WO.  WTF?  It's not fair to the guys who have the FOO time, and it's not fair to the troops they are supporting.  They simply aren't going to be as experienced, even if they are a very switched on soldier.  The guys who will have the experience to be a good FSCC WO are the ones who came up through the ranks of the FOO parties, suppporting Cbt Tms, then BGs, then Bdes.  Oh yes,  and the senior FSCC WO?  He is an MWO.  Perhaps the Bde FSCC WO?
 

Bird_Gunner45

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jeffb said:
I think that this great if we are only facing a threat without any real indirect fire capability such as the Taliban. However, if we find ourselves fight a North Korea, Iran, Syria, etc which would have more guns then we would, a composite STA Troop would not cut it. This is especially true when all of our fancy UAVs get shot down in the first hour leaving us with only LCMR, MRR and HALO. Even in Kosovo NATO lost somewhere around 40 UAVs. Afghanistan taught maneuver commanders some great lessons about UAVs but the air threat against a UAV there was basically nonexistent. If we fought any sort of organized army at all, or even insurgents with any of the whole host of MANPADs such as SA-18, SA-7 (of which there are somewhere around 60 countries that operate) SUAVs and down are not going to be very useful.

In my mind I think that the BG being deployed in a coalition in a Syrian type conflict would easily need a few dets of LCMR (call that a Troop), a few MRRs (another Troop), a full HALO suite (yet another troop) and a few SUAVs to augment the gun battery. The composite battery that brings along LCMR and HALO to augment SUAV just isn't going to cut it.

The SUAV would be EXTREMELY difficult to engage and destroy with a MANPAD type AD system mostly due to the ability to visually acquire and track the target.  A MUAV would be impossible. 

That said, the UAV can be VERY useful even in a high AD threat environment.  The US uses UAVs for SEAD in their doctrine as the engagement of a UAV discloses the location of the enemy AD unit (guaranteed to be a radar cued SA-9 or something higher level like that) allowing for it to be destroyed by air or MLRS with the loss of no one. 

If we deployed only a BG than we would likely require 3 x LCMR dets (1/Combat Team) and MUAV.  SUAV, HALO, and MRR are Div level assets (we pushed HALO down to Bde for Force Generation, and well, it stuck there) and a BG would have little in the way of a real target for them to be useful.  As Infanteer alluded to, Arty is controlled at the highest level, and commanded at the lowest, so the Afghan model of shooting 2 guys on a road has to be forgotten.  SUAV can range 100km/GCS, HALO has a 25km frontage and can detect 50km in depth, and the MRR will have a 75-175km range.  These are not the toys of a BG.  LCMR and HALO do not augment UAVs.  LCMR and HALO can be used to cue a UAV to a target for ID purposes, but certainly not augment it as each type of kit has completely different capabilities.  The MRR is a completely different matter, as no one has even sat down and decided if it will be a CB radar primary and Air surveillance secondary, air surveillance primary and CB radar secondary, or who will move them (Does ASCC issue move orders for air surveillance and ISTAR/STA CC for CB?)

I would even argue that Afghanistan taught manoeuvre commanders great lessons about UAVs. Having been a SUAV Tp Comd overseas, I found that the commanders were almost paralyzed by them... the amount of data that they could have with 3-4 different platforms going was almost too much, and it became relied on too much.

Infanteer- as for your thoughts on keeping a pool of PYs at 4 AD to wait until an AD shooter comes online again, I tend to agree with you.  Even within the arty we have enough vacant positions to make it difficult to justify a REGIMENT for leased UAVs, radars that dont exist, and an ASCC function that anyone could do since it's not trained anywhere in the system until DP 2, and even then, trained immensely poorly.  I woudl rather see my former Regiment go out with dignity than in the whimpering fashion that it seems destined for.
 
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