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C3 Howitzer Replacement

Kirkhill

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So Thagg, Grog and Urk are in dire need of Co-Ordination - Command, Control and Communications (I'll leave Intelligence out of it and assume that they can all see the Mammoth of Interest).

We are in agreement.

But....

What caliber is Grog's Spear?  What is the weight of Urk's rock?

Why does Urk have a rock at all?  Why not another spear? Is it the same calibre as Grog's spear?  How about if Grog had a fixed "warhead" while Grog's has a detachable head?  Does Grog have an atlatl?  Is that what makes him the Fire Support specialist?  Or do both Urk and Grog have the same weapons and Thagg just allocates jobs on the basis of his perception of their relative skills?  And while we're at it - Does Thagg have a spear?  Is it functional? If so why isn't he using it? Or is it entirely ornamental so that he can direct traffic ---- withouth the Mammoth perceiving his evil intent.


Does labour have to be permanently divided or should we be planning for more adhocery?

 

Kirkhill

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Posted before seeing your post FJAG ... point taken but I think my last question stands.  Do we need to develop a more flexible approach?  One not tightly bound by shibboleths of the past?
 

FJAG

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Chris Pook said:
Posted before seeing your post FJAG ... point taken but I think my last question stands.  Do we need to develop a more flexible approach?  One not tightly bound by shibboleths of the past?

I like flexibility, but some tasks are complex and need extensive training and practical experience while  others can be logically grouped and studied together as a field. In most cases we don't gain enough experience in a broad area of skills or knowledge to become truly capable of switching back and forth between.

I agree that we should not be bound to the past. Hell, I'm one of those folks that actually think that Space Force was a good idea. I also firmly believe that tactical helicopters should not be part of the air force just because they fly (or for that matter that you need to be an officer to be a pilot) I don't believe that you first have to train as a rifleman to be a mortarman or anti-armour gunner or to be trained as a gun number to be a counter-mortar radar operator. The trouble is that if you want flexibility in a battalion then everyone should first train as a rifleman.

All that to say that past shibboleths should not govern how we go forward. But true flexibility is hard to achieve. What we should do is to see if there are existing fields that new capabilities naturally fit into, whether there are old fields that can either disappear or be converted to new usage.

To get back to the topic of this thread, we have 39 reserve field batteries (not to mention 18 reserve reconnaissance regiments and 49 reserve infantry battalions) with inadequate equipment that desperately needs replacing. There are numerous artillery centric capabilities that the CAF needs such as additional brigade level artillery (from light to armoured); above brigade level artillery (long range guns, rockets, missiles); air-defence; counter-battery acquisition (radars, ew based, etc); even coastal anti-ship defence to give everyone a specialty and a purpose in life. The issue for this thread is to replace the ubiquitous C3 training aid with the specialty equipment needed in order to build these capabilities and to create the appropriate organizational structure for both training and operational deployment.

Personally I see some of the new hunter-killer drone (air and ground) and long range anti-armour capabilities (including missiles and long range cannon and rocket delivered weapons) as a recce force function as they fall into the skill set of operating semi-independently in forward areas which already does.

Infantry for me is for the close-in fight (although a layered capability ranging from TOW to rifle and short range drones and cooperating with tanks, are in my mind part of that close-in fight)

So, yes. I tend to stay somewhat within stove pipes but don't stand against new trades/specialties being established. For example, an anti-armour specialty trade that could be posted both to recce squadrons or infantry battalions; or a drone operator trade that could form troops or platoons attached to armoured, artillery or infantry units (especially if drone gathered intelligence is to be collated, evaluated and, in part, actioned across all stove pipes)

The problem that you and I both see is the avarice for PYs that permeates the Reg F establishment. No one is about to give up one battalion in order to form an experimental battle group and thereafter a drone corps. Everyone wants a pyramid shaped career structure that leads to CDS or CAF CWO.

:cheers:
 

FJAG

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Apropos of nothing in particular:

123386309_987870778390239_3876482463351996834_n.jpg


:whistle:
 

Colin Parkinson

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This is a interesting video a guided hit on the vehicle (BM-30 Smerch) shows minimal damage and the crew begins to prepare to move by lowering the launcher, then become aware of another munition approaching, were they appear to get out of harms way and the weapon takes out the armoured cab.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WeRnA0Z908M&feature=emb_logo
 

a_majoor

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Chris Pook said:
What caliber is Grog's Spear?  What is the weight of Urk's rock?

Why does Urk have a rock at all?  Why not another spear? Is it the same calibre as Grog's spear?  How about if Grog had a fixed "warhead" while Grog's has a detachable head?  Does Grog have an atlatl?  Is that what makes him the Fire Support specialist?  Or do both Urk and Grog have the same weapons and Thagg just allocates jobs on the basis of his perception of their relative skills?  And while we're at it - Does Thagg have a spear?  Is it functional? If so why isn't he using it? Or is it entirely ornamental so that he can direct traffic ---- withouth the Mammoth perceiving his evil intent.

Those are actually questions for the doctrine and procurement threads  ;D

And on the cold tundra 30,000 years ago, Thaggs cousin was scratching into the side of "Glacier.ca" on the replacement spear thread, bemoaning the fact they were still using flints from the previous inter-glacial period....
 

quadrapiper

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FJAG said:
I like flexibility, but some tasks are complex and need extensive training and practical experience while  others can be logically grouped and studied together as a field. In most cases we don't gain enough experience in a broad area of skills or knowledge to become truly capable of switching back and forth between.
Would a good model be to define roles from the infantry squad, and then infantry company and battalion, outward?

Take line of sight firearms as their default tools, figure out what artillery- air defence-, and engineering-esque etc. capabilities should exist within those formations, then build other trades' "jurisdiction" around capabilities and equipment too unwieldy for infantry or too complex to be treated as an additional tool/secondary duty/within-trade specialization.
 

FJAG

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quadrapiper said:
Would a good model be to define roles from the infantry squad, and then infantry company and battalion, outward?

Take line of sight firearms as their default tools, figure out what artillery- air defence-, and engineering-esque etc. capabilities should exist within those formations, then build other trades' "jurisdiction" around capabilities and equipment too unwieldy for infantry or too complex to be treated as an additional tool/secondary duty/within-trade specialization.

Somewhat like a Marian Roman Legion and its immunes and auxiliaries.

Immunes were legionary soldiers who possessed specialized skills, qualifying them for better pay and excusing them from labour and guard work. Engineers, artillerymen, musicians, clerks, quartermasters, drill and weapons instructors, carpenters, hunters, medical staff and military police were all immune soldiers. These men were still fully trained legionaries, however, and were called upon to serve in the battle lines when needed.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_legion

The Auxilia included light cavalry, archers, slingers, and scouts.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auxilia

:cheers:

 

Kirkhill

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Thucydides said:
Those are actually questions for the doctrine and procurement threads  ;D

And on the cold tundra 30,000 years ago, Thaggs cousin was scratching into the side of "Glacier.ca" on the replacement spear thread, bemoaning the fact they were still using flints from the previous inter-glacial period....

;D  :cheers:
 

GR66

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FJAG said:
snip

We clearly need a tool kit. Something akin the mortars for infantry intimate fire support; armoured indirect fire capability to support the brigade across it's entire front; and hunter-killer devices (drones or remote controlled ground vehicles) for equipment destruction missions. Similarly we need above brigade systems such as long range guns, rockets and missiles to take out deeper enemy systems such as artillery, command and control facilities, anti-air facilities, sustainment elements etc.

The only problem that I see is prematurely wedding ourselves to one system or type of systems like we did two decades ago. Our problem seems to be that we think only at the battlegroup level (and not very well at that judging by our experience with mortars, anti-armour and pioneers). Peer conflict goes far beyond that. "Agile" is a terrible counterproductive buzzword that deludes us into thinking that we can create a single all-singing, all-dancing force.

:cheers:

Maybe we've got it backward.  Our deployments are typically Battle Group sized and our Defence policy doesn't even envision providing the capability of deploying a Brigade sized force.  Yet we organize our Army into Brigades (and Divisions!) and treat Battle Groups as ad hoc units that we cobble together whenever they are required.

Maybe we should instead organize our Army inBattle Groups.  Give them the proper tools to dominate THAT fight and treat the Brigade level assets as the ad hoc elements.

Would that change the types of weapons we pick and who we give them to? 
 

Kirkhill

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FJAG said:
I like flexibility, but some tasks are complex and need extensive training and practical experience while  others can be logically grouped and studied together as a field. In most cases we don't gain enough experience in a broad area of skills or knowledge to become truly capable of switching back and forth between.

I agree that we should not be bound to the past. Hell, I'm one of those folks that actually think that Space Force was a good idea. I also firmly believe that tactical helicopters should not be part of the air force just because they fly (or for that matter that you need to be an officer to be a pilot) I don't believe that you first have to train as a rifleman to be a mortarman or anti-armour gunner or to be trained as a gun number to be a counter-mortar radar operator. The trouble is that if you want flexibility in a battalion then everyone should first train as a rifleman.

All that to say that past shibboleths should not govern how we go forward. But true flexibility is hard to achieve. What we should do is to see if there are existing fields that new capabilities naturally fit into, whether there are old fields that can either disappear or be converted to new usage.

To get back to the topic of this thread, we have 39 reserve field batteries (not to mention 18 reserve reconnaissance regiments and 49 reserve infantry battalions) with inadequate equipment that desperately needs replacing. There are numerous artillery centric capabilities that the CAF needs such as additional brigade level artillery (from light to armoured); above brigade level artillery (long range guns, rockets, missiles); air-defence; counter-battery acquisition (radars, ew based, etc); even coastal anti-ship defence to give everyone a specialty and a purpose in life. The issue for this thread is to replace the ubiquitous C3 training aid with the specialty equipment needed in order to build these capabilities and to create the appropriate organizational structure for both training and operational deployment.

Personally I see some of the new hunter-killer drone (air and ground) and long range anti-armour capabilities (including missiles and long range cannon and rocket delivered weapons) as a recce force function as they fall into the skill set of operating semi-independently in forward areas which already does.

Infantry for me is for the close-in fight (although a layered capability ranging from TOW to rifle and short range drones and cooperating with tanks, are in my mind part of that close-in fight)

So, yes. I tend to stay somewhat within stove pipes but don't stand against new trades/specialties being established. For example, an anti-armour specialty trade that could be posted both to recce squadrons or infantry battalions; or a drone operator trade that could form troops or platoons attached to armoured, artillery or infantry units (especially if drone gathered intelligence is to be collated, evaluated and, in part, actioned across all stove pipes)

The problem that you and I both see is the avarice for PYs that permeates the Reg F establishment. No one is about to give up one battalion in order to form an experimental battle group and thereafter a drone corps. Everyone wants a pyramid shaped career structure that leads to CDS or CAF CWO.

:cheers:

Took a moment to get back to you.  I'm reminded of a conversation that I had years ago with a Fallschirmjaeger veteran under whom I worked years ago.  The subject was the same but in a different context.  Al was all about flexibility and wanted everybody in his plant to be able to do everybody else's job.  Probably easy to understand given that his war saw him move from Crete to Russia to Italy and finally Belgium, getting picked up in the vicinity of Bastogne for a traffic offence (apparently he was redirecting traffic signs).  Anyway....

We were arguing about the need for flexibility.  At the time I was playing soldiers with the Calgary Highlanders and was all about the need for structure and pointed out that both amoebae and people had structures.  I was all about the need for a skeleton to hang things from and firm instruction.  Al believed in organic transfer of skills just by letting people live and work and do with people that can.  Milk receivers became pasteurizers. Mortar men became machine gunners.

Later I came to appreciate Al's position.

I also began my love affair with slime-mold - a highly adaptive society that sometimes is highly structured and sometimes in as amorphous as an amoeba - as needs must. 

Historically I found my parallel in the War of Austrian Succession and the concurrent and subsequent French and Indian Wars.  One army, the British, was capable of holding two ideas in its mind simultaneously and fielded units that could fight alongside Frederick's Prussians in rank and file and also fight in loose formations in close country in the Americas.  An army that incorporated Grenadier Guards along with Rangers and Highlanders.  The army of both Cumberland and Howe, of woodentops and lightbobs - the army of Ligonier, Chevalier, Mascarene and Prevost.

In the Canadian context I would reference the Mounties - who started life as a rank and file organization of mounted rifles and morphed, and metastacized, into a policing force based on one and two man cells. As needs must.

Another old geezer that keeps poking his head up on this site from time to time keeps nattering on about Bell Curves and Normal Distributions.  Pictorial descriptions of what populations look like normally.

191a8f604b04f7b6e4a80d04db881c12798856f7.svg


Myself I tend more to see the world in Chi squared terms.

pzE_0qRjY7vkbJD40eRbiI9FeMw1kqQJAsE4AMDO7HOmHOhoAq3d40vDH8_9ZpmLpesWA2J8BdH1DjbBSt2RN74L5_0SPmACmr9v5q8siCW_nU-RXQnZV8bgsYqwwjRDPUOBdrEuPn4Yww


Normal is what happens when the world carries on naturally and there are no external influences.  I like to think that we can influence the natural and shove the normal bell to create a world a little more to our liking.  One that fits our needs a little better.

Chi Squared can be shoved a little so that it conforms to the well-known 80-20 rule.  Define your 80-20 split as you wish it is not the same as the 50-50 split of the normal bell.

I would like to think that we could find a way to shoving our population into an 80-20 chi squared distribution.  We may only achieve 75-25 or 85-15 but we can surely make the effort and achieve a suitable change.

What would my 80-20 army look like? Probably much like yours.  But rather than cramming things into the fixed confines of silos, stove-pipes perhaps we can perceive the hat-badges as skeletal structures like bones, or re-bar.  We add capabilities to the bare bones, strengthening them, allowing them to adapt new technologies, techniques, even if it means that they overlap in some places.  And try to avoid gaps.

It is not an army of which the accountants would be enamoured because it allows, even encourages, inefficiencies.  I mean, the government already supplies you a tank killing system.  How many tank killing systems do you need?  And why do you need something new?

80-20?

80% defined, structured, attached to the bare bones, the re-bar.  20% amorphous, undefined, experimental, loosely associated but still attached to the defined structure attached to the bare bones.

And yes we do agree that the Reg force's appetite for structured PYs in silos does it no favours.



 



 

FJAG

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GR66 said:
Maybe we've got it backward.  Our deployments are typically Battle Group sized and our Defence policy doesn't even envision providing the capability of deploying a Brigade sized force.  ...

I agree that we have it backwards but IMHO it's the defence policy that needs to change to re-embrace the brigade. I'm sure that SSE is the way it is because our military leadership is telling the government that this is all we can do with the dollars you give us. Personally I think we could do a lot more.

Chris Pook said:
... 80% defined, structured, attached to the bare bones, the re-bar.  20% amorphous, undefined, experimental, loosely associated but still attached to the defined structure attached to the bare bones. ...

In my mind CANSOFCOM makes up that 20% (I admit it's not a full 20% but it fulfills the concept). I agree that we should add a larger element to become the "experimental". And again, I think a good portion of the 80% structured elements should be in the way of a stand-by reserve force.

Mods - This discussion should in large part move to the Reserve Restructure thread.

:cheers:
 

Kirkhill

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FJAG said:
I agree that we have it backwards but IMHO it's the defence policy that needs to change to re-embrace the brigade. I'm sure that SSE is the way it is because our military leadership is telling the government that this is all we can do with the dollars you give us. Personally I think we could do a lot more.

In my mind CANSOFCOM makes up that 20% (I admit it's not a full 20% but it fulfills the concept). I agree that we should add a larger element to become the "experimental". And again, I think a good portion of the 80% structured elements should be in the way of a stand-by reserve force.

Mods - This discussion should in large part move to the Reserve Restructure thread.

:cheers:

I don't know if I see CANSOFCOM in the same light.  Not unless it moves trainers and TTPs into the Line Regiments.

"It was finally decided in December 1797 to raise a fifth battalion for the 60th Royal Americans from the foreign, predominantly German, rifle corps still serving with British forces as a Jäger battalion. Here it must be stressed that, of course, Riflemen differed from the generality of light infantry in that they had a specialist role as sharpshooters.... Consequently, on 30 December 1797, 17 officers and 300 rank and file of the chasseur companies of Hompesch's Light Infantry under their existing Lieutenant-Colonel, Baron Francis de Rottenberg, were so constituted."[10] The British light infantry companies proved inadequate against the experienced French during the Flanders campaign, and in the Netherlands in 1799, and infantry reform became urgent.[11] "So useful had the fifth battalion proved, that in 1799 a rifle company was attached to each of the red-coated battalions of the 60th: the first, second, third, fourth. At the same time, a further two battalions of Germans were raised to serve as Riflemen and dressed in green, becoming the sixth and seventh battalions of the 60th.... By late 1799 the British Army, albeit in its 'foreign' regiment, the 60th, already had in excess of three battalions of Riflemen and the Duke of York needed little additional evidence that a specialist 'British' rifle corps was now long overdue."[12]

Shorncliffe System

In 1801, the "Experimental Corps of Riflemen" was raised (later designated the 95th Rifles), and a decision was made to train some line regiments in light infantry techniques, so they might operate as both light and line infantry. Sir John Moore, a proponent of the light infantry model, offered his own regiment of line infantry, the 52nd Foot, for this training, at Shorncliffe Camp.[13] Thus, in 1803, the 52nd became the first regular British Army regiment to be designated "Light Infantry".[14] They were followed shortly afterwards by the 43rd Foot; several other line regiments were designated "light infantry" in 1808.[15]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_British_light_infantry

Now Burgoyne, Howe and Moore et al had things easier than our COs because they owned their battalions and could refit out of their own purse if they saw fit.  Howe could decide to trim tricorne hats to baseball caps, cut the tails off of coats, swap white pants for grey and get rid of stocks and gaiters and not have to worry about being charged for destruction of government property.  Patrick Ferguson could decide to buy a battalion set of breech loading rifles of his own design.

But isn't that the point - advances in craft came from the freedom to experiment, to colour outside the lines?  And when better to experiment than when nobody is shooting at us?
 

a_majoor

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I'm not sure how far you can go with "amorphous" in this, or almost any context. While Odysseus was able to deal with diverse threats like the Sirens, the Cyclops and the Suitors, he was preternaturally cunning, and had overwatch from his patron Athena, Goddess of Wisdom and Strategy. Finding that sort of combination is always a bit difficult. Even your last post about Rifles and Light Infantry sort of proves the point - virtually everyone had seen or heard of rifles, and anyone with even the most cursory experience in the field recognized that flat, open terrain was the exception, but how few officers put all the pieces together? You list 3 out of how the literally hundreds of officers in the British Army. Of course the same observations can be made for the Navy and the Air Force (and in the future, the Space Force) of seeing the parts but not putting them together.

Trying to put a little organization or categorization might help at least define what you are trying to do (remembering exceptions and edge cases). For example, you could define capabilities by range bands, i.e. an Infantry Battalion has the band from 0-8km, taking into account the range of mortars. You could shift that a bit further, but beyond 10km, the Infantry no longer have the intrinsic ability to see what they are shooting at. Of course every capability needs to be able to deal with the "0" range band, especially today in the age of 4GW, Hybrid War and Unrestricted Warfare, which is why I am not enamoured of the "keyboard warrior" idea. Sometimes you need to get off the couch, put down the X Box controller and grab a rifle or side arm from beside the Doritos bag in a great hurry.

Since artillery has traditionally handled the longer range bands, and roles of suppression and destruction of the enemy, there is nothing wrong with giving them the special tools and training to reach out and touch people. If you use a Star Trek transporter to beam HE into a target 20km away, you are still doing the job of artillery. The Infantry types beaming explosives into targets with hand held transporters aiming with the MK-1 eyeball are still doing Infantry jobs, the artillery will still need more specialized tools and techniques to acquire the target, identify it, calculate various factors like the rotational speed of the galaxy and so on before energizing.

I would tend to believe the "amorphous" stuff can be handled by either specialized subunits integral to the unit (recce platoon and the sniper det, the Pioneer Platoon, Mortar Platoon and ATGM Platoon in the traditional Infantry Battalion served those functions) or specialized units entirely (Hobart's "funnies", CJIRU).

Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled discussion...
 

GR66

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GR66 said:
Maybe we've got it backward.  Our deployments are typically Battle Group sized and our Defence policy doesn't even envision providing the capability of deploying a Brigade sized force.  Yet we organize our Army into Brigades (and Divisions!) and treat Battle Groups as ad hoc units that we cobble together whenever they are required.

Maybe we should instead organize our Army inBattle Groups.  Give them the proper tools to dominate THAT fight and treat the Brigade level assets as the ad hoc elements.

Would that change the types of weapons we pick and who we give them to?

Maybe not strictly Battle Groups, but perhaps more of a combined arms Regimental organization.  It could give you the Heavy/Medium/Light mix that FJAG has proposed and would give you a more formal grouping of the different combat arms which would allow for the kind of integration and experimentation with weapons and tactics that we're apparently not seeing in our strictly organizational Brigade groupings.

It might also mean that instead of a single weapon system to replace the C3 you might have a variety of systems depending on the composition/role of the Regiment you are supporting (or perhaps as a separate Brigade/Divisional level asset).
 

MilEME09

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Really a Brigade is a battle group, we just created battlegroups to justify the structure of the smaller forces we usually send else where. The CAF needs to work back upto being able to deploy a brigade when required. Imagine if an entire CMBG actually deployed? commanders would have a lot more flexibility to complete their missions.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Speaking about the need for doctrine, here is a good example of doctrine not being related to reality. It's long, get your favorite drink https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsTJ4KyIZ5U&t=2486s
 

FJAG

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Colin P said:
Speaking about the need for doctrine, here is a good example of doctrine not being related to reality. It's long, get your favorite drink https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsTJ4KyIZ5U&t=2486s

To me it's also a good lesson on what happens if your troops do not have the equipment to train on prior to being committed to battle and that the peacetime logistics system must be equipped and trained to support large scale operations before hostilities commence.

:cheers:
 

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Thucydides said:
...

I would tend to believe the "amorphous" stuff can be handled by either specialized subunits integral to the unit (recce platoon and the sniper det, the Pioneer Platoon, Mortar Platoon and ATGM Platoon in the traditional Infantry Battalion served those functions) or specialized units entirely (Hobart's "funnies", CJIRU).

...

I don't disagree.  Now if only they would be funded and given latitude (Responsibility, Authority and Budget).  Try doing things differently. 

My condolences to the Logistics and Procurement departments.
 
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