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FORCE 2025: Informing the Army’s future structure

Kirkhill

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More fun with numbers

Drawn from the Army and Air Defence lists of the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. Numbers were amalgamated and adjusted to Canada by population and roughly rounded.

For a sense of the numbers, ratios and capabilities and a starting point for play time.

A modernized Royal Regiment of Canadian Artillery

Patriot36HIMARS108
NASAMS-ESSM36Archer/K972
GBAD-CAMM24M77736
MSHORAD60AMOS36
ManPAD480Mortar 120216
 

TacticalTea

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Very interesting talk in here! I do have one question:

How does the US army manage and integrate air defence with its BCTs? As an example, shouldn't there be a Stryker MSHORAD troop or squadron in an SBCT? Avengers in an IBCT?

@KevinB probably best placed to answer.
 

Blackadder1916

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The CAF is more than capable of delivering a Light Bde anywhere in the world inside 72hrs based on their current capability.
Faster if we help ;)

With a wink and a nod, say no more! As if it would be something out of the ordinary. Actually, there is an already existing agreement between our two countries that can provide for that situation.

Agreement Between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America Relating to the Establishment of Integrated Lines of Communications to Ensure Logistic Support for the Canadian Armed Forces and the Armed Forces of the United States of America

While day to day operation of the ILOC is more mundane than a worst case scenario of US military sealift assets being used to transport a Canadian ground force's equipment, it's likely been considered and there's probably a contingency plan sitting in a dusty filing cabinet somewhere along with the equally dusty plan for the large scale air medical evacuation of patients using integrated assets.

A couple of articles (from 2002) about ILOC.

Canadian troops deploy to Dover to move cargo
. . .
This activation, which took place by mutual consent Dec. 5, 2001, was the first one since the Canada - United States Integrated Lines of Communication Agreement was signed in 1979.

"The agreement was somewhat used during the Gulf War and Kosovo, however (before Operation Enduring Freedom) it's never been formally activated," said Canadian army Maj. Serge Pelletier, assigned to Military Traffic Management Command headquarters. "When activated, (Canadian and U.S.) transportation resources and infrastructure blend into one."
. . .

MTMC assignment up front: Canadian officer spurs shipments to his mates in Afghanistan
. . .
Originally designed to support a NATO conflict in Europe, the agreement's mandate was widened after the Gulf War to cover any operation in which both countries participate anywhere in the world.

"The agreement is unique," said Lt. Col. Jean-Pierre Pichette, Canada's senior representative to the agreement, serving at U.S. Transportation Command, Scott Air Force Base, Ill. "It is a bilateral agreement between two partner nations which, when activated, blends the entire North American transportation infrastructure and resources into a single system."

This is also Pichette's second tour as a Canada-United States Integrated Lines of Communication Agreement officer. He worked with the agreement in the mid-1980s while assigned in Ramstein, Germany, with the U.S. Air Force Europe.

"It is activated by mutual consent," said Pichette. "It was activated for the very first time on December 5, 2001. We are now reaping the benefits of the more than 20 years we have invested in the agreement moving a steady flow of cargo to support our troops half way around the world. We are making logistics history and are setting the way for the future."

There is a key difference between the agreement and the Cooperative Airlift Agreement, said Maj. Sylvain Turbide, a Canadian officer assigned to the Air Mobility Command.

"Under the Canada-United States Integrated Lines of Communication Agreement, Canada can ship cargo on American planes according to its priority," said Turbide. "The cargo moves according to its priority, so the highest priority cargo leaves on the next plane?the country of ownership of the cargo and the aircraft does not come into play whatsoever."

The Cooperative Airlift Agreement only allows shipment on a space available basis.

The Canada-United States Integrated Lines of Communication Agreement enables Canada to take advantage of the vast American transportation resources to better support our troops deployed on operations, said Pichette.

The agreement is not only for the movement of freight, said Maj. Phyllis O'Grady, a Canadian officer assigned to the Command Surgeon's Office at U.S. Transportation Command.

"There is a health care side to it," said O'Grady. "It can also be used to transport our sick or injured troops from the area of operation back to North America." . . .
 

KevinB

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Very interesting talk in here! I do have one question:

How does the US army manage and integrate air defence with its BCTs? As an example, shouldn't there be a Stryker MSHORAD troop or squadron in an SBCT? Avengers in an IBCT?

@KevinB probably best placed to answer.
I really don't hang out with the conventional forces.
https://armypubs.army.mil/epubs/DR_pubs/DR_a/ARN31339-FM_3-01-000-WEB-1.pdf
All you need to know and a heck of a lot more on US Army Air Defense from Stinger to THAAD.

The ADAM (Air Defense Airspace Management) Cell exits in all of the BCT's as it is a Bde resource.
However the M-SHORAD or SHORAD Battalion is a Div resource, and distributed through the DIV AO as needed. The only Bde and below level assets are the Stinger's that work in two man teams - which is non an ADA specific course.
More on the intent to get more M-SHORAD https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/R/R46463/2
 

GR66

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I understand your point - but I feel remiss if I don't constantly ring the alarm bell on heavier assets for high intensity conflict.
Keep ringing the alarm. Maybe it will eventually wake someone up and we'll get those IFVs. Until then we'll have to use what we have.
See mine ;)


5 C-17 and 20 odd Herc's
I would say yes.

There would need to be a lot of sealift as well -- which would probably also be bringing heavier forces.
I've got no objection to a Light Brigade. In fact I think it's actually a good match for Canada. Working with 11th Airborne as an Arctic force for domestic defence would be a great synergy. Such a unit would also be ideal for reinforcement of the Nordic front (Finland, Sweden, Norway) in case of a conflict with Russia and Light forces would be more useful in the Pacific if ever required there as well.

I do however maintain that Medium forces are still quite useful in the less-than-war/Small War scenarios which are likely to be the more common conflicts during this new period of competition with China and Russia. At the very least I'd give the Heavy(ish) Brigade 3 x LAV Battalions along with the Tank Regiment in order to be able to have one Battle Group deployed and still have 3 x maneuver units available for a Brigade deployment if required.
The Res system needs to change regardless --
As @FJAG has pointed out the cost of units is fairly similar.
My point is IF one is an Expeditionary Army, then one needs equipment - or just cashier the PRes if you aren't going equip them.
I think everyone agrees that the Reserve system needs to change. Just no one is willing to actually make the change.

That being said, if we did free up 3 x Battalions worth of LAVs for the Reserves by reducing the Reg Force to two Brigades (1 x Heavy-ish and 1 x Light) then the only way I see making use of them for the Reserves would be to place them where there is already support available and where there is a large enough concentration of Reservists to make use of them.

You could perhaps have 3 x 30/70 Battalions (1 x Reg Force Company and 2 x Reserve Companies):
  • 1 x Battalion in Valcartier co-located with 5 Svc for support and drawing Reservists from Montreal/Quebec City
  • 1 x Battalion in Petawawa co-located with 2 Svc for support and drawing Reservists from Eastern Ontario/Eastern GTA
  • 1 x Battalion in Borden/Meaford co-located with RCEME (with support from 31 & 32 Svc) drawing Reservists from the GTA
Medium means too Heavy to Move easy - to Light to Fight ;)
Properly Equipped Light Forces can do a lot - especially in the beginning stages - but when use comes to shove you need a true heavy force -- the Medium "gap" really is a Peace Enforcement Low Intensity role IMHO.
If you are going to those -- you can put LI folks in the back of Armor Driven LAV if you need more troops.


When you look at the response to the Ukrainian Invasion -- we (USA) moved XVIII Airborne into theatre first - then V (Heavy) Corps.
 

Kirkhill

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This is from the Dutch Ministry of Defence. The dog and pony version of their kit. Layered GBAD.

1654720658105.png

Patriot
NASAMs - ESSM
Fennek - Stinger
Manpads - Stinger

The Joint Ground-based Air Defence Command (Dutch: Defensie Grondgebonden Luchtverdedigingscommando, DGLC) is a joint command of the Royal Netherlands Army, formed in 2012 after amalgamation of the Commando Luchtdoelartillerie (Anti-aircraft Artillery Command) of the Royal Netherlands Army and the Groep Geleide Wapens (Group Guided Weapons) of the Royal Netherlands Air Force. The command is responsible for all ground-based air defence tasks and consists of both army and air force personnel.[2] The DGLC employs an integrated layered air-defence approach featuring FIM-92 Stinger, NASAMS II and MIM-104 Patriot systems.

Applying this to the whole of the North Sea - Baltic Region I ended up with this for Ready To Launch Missiles

336x Patriot
492x NASAMS - ESSM
284x Iris/Crotale/CAMM
444x Vehicle Mounted ManPADs - Stinger/RBS70/Grom/Piorun
1000 ManPADs Launchers.

This land based assemblage is backed by, potentially

96x SM3 ABMs on Danish Ships
128x SM2 SAMs on Danish and Dutch Ships
364x ESSMs across the region
384x CAMMs on the recently ordered Polish Type 31s

This assumes all ships at sea and fully loaded

None of this includes missiles warehoused in inventory.



This Ground and Sea Based Air Defence System results in some 2500 Ready To Launch Air Defence Missiles - not including the handheld MANPADs. It covers everything from Large UAVs, Helicopters, Aircraft and Cruise Missiles to Ballistic Missiles.

In addition 221x F35 Lightning IIs will be flown by 5 nations with the Swedes flying 71 Gripens.

The airspace defended is 20 to 40% of Canada's.
 
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Kirkhill

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To round out the artillery effort

Anti-Ship Missiles, fired from coastal batteries, missile boats and ships at sea in the Ready To Launch mode

North Sea (Danish Approaches) - Netherlands, Denmark, Norway - Harpoons and NSMs - 208
Baltic Sea (Kaliningrad Approaches) - Sweden, Poland and Lithuania - RBS15 and NSMs - 164
Gulf of Finland (St Petersburg Approaches) - Finland, Estonia and Latvia - Blue Spear - 40

For a total of more than 412 surface targets on the water or ashore.

Again, the NSMs can be carried by the F35s meaning they are both an Air Defence and a Coastal Defence asset.
 

KevinB

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If any of you read the Congressional Report I linked above -- one chapter is...
Should there be a Legislative Provision on Future Divestment of SHOARD Capability?

Canada wasn't the only player to dump needed capabilities during GWOT
 

markppcli

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An argument in favour of reservist tankers. The British operate a “crew replacement” regiment in their Royal Yeomanry. Training extra bodies to replace shortages / losses isn’t the worst idea and the SALH are actually ideally suited to the task being in Edmonton and able to make use of simulators on a weekend or join in on exercises when able.
 

Kirkhill

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That being said, if we did free up 3 x Battalions worth of LAVs for the Reserves by reducing the Reg Force to two Brigades (1 x Heavy-ish and 1 x Light) then the only way I see making use of them for the Reserves would be to place them where there is already support available and where there is a large enough concentration of Reservists to make use of them.

There are two things that need defending: Spaces and Places.

Spaces are where the people aren't.
Places are where the people are.

There are two things from which spaces and places need defending: Things and People.

The job of defending the Spaces from Things and People is a full time job but with limited consequences in the event of failure. Permanent Surveillance, occasional patrols and scaleable QRFs that can deploy rapidly over long distances are the order of the day.

Joining up with the 11th Airborne Div sounds just the ticket.

The job of defending Places from Things is also a full time job but this one has grave consequences in the event of failure. 24/7 surveillance and instantaneous reaction with destructive force is the requirement. Especially given the risk of collateral damage in a high population and traffic area. Fortunately for Canada there aren't that many Places in Canada. Most people congregate in a very small number of Places. So the number of dedicated systems is low. Equally the greatest risk to the operators is death by boredom. The greatest risk to the population is death as a result of failure by bored operators. There is no great need for a large number of missiles, or launchers, to be permanently manned at any given Place.

Extending the NORAD system to the local level via either the RCAF or the RRCA, and RCN pickets would require a small number of professionals on permanent duty locally, with good sensors and command and control, great maintenance and a small number of missiles that are more likely to be unloaded that launched.

Something like 30 to 40 systems for Places would cover more than 90% of the People.

The final job, that of defending Places from People, that is a full time job as well. But the threat is generally managed by the civil agencies. The Army is required occasionally when the civil agencies are overwhelmed - by circumstances, the environment, the unruly or, very occasionally, the organized lethal force.

Those circumstances are rare and it is hard to justify a standing army for them. Especially when most of them don't require a standing army to deal with them. The problem, of course, is that when an army is necessary you can't just conjure it out of the ether.

In my view the ideal solution for defending the people in the places is to use the people in the places when they need defending. That means locally recruiting, organizing, equipping and training local people for local defence. It also means keeping the enrolled population at various levels of readiness. It also means maintaining a well trained, highly proficient, professional cadre locally to do two things - to react to ACP callouts instantly and to ensure there is a trained force on hand to assist them when they need additional assistance.

Where do these trained professionals come from? From field time defending the Spaces from Things and People, and defending other peoples' places and spaces.


So, domestically, we need -

A light force dedicated to the defence of Spaces - similar to the 11th Airborne Division
An Air Defence force employing Air, Sea and Ground assets to defend the Places from incoming Things
A large force of people in the Places trained and equipped by solid cadres of willing professionals - and in this sense I am thinking of the way the Mountain and Arctic Warfare Cadre relates/ed to the Royal Marines. They are both a leading edge operational element and a training element. One complements the other.

Do we need an expeditionary force?

Yes. If for no other reason than to train our professionals in the latest state of the art.

Building relations and helping out friends is a good thing too. But it isn't the first thing.
 

FJAG

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I wonder if anyone's 'done the math' on what we can fit into our strategic movement fleet, and what we can send to Europe on Day 1-30ish?
The answer is yes.

I was UEO for 2 RCHA back in 72-76 and responsible for managing the various movement tables needed to move the AMF(L) battery as well as the regiment (including its phantom F Battery at the time). Long story short - we couldn't move the regiment much less the brigade.

CAST was another story.

I presume that there are still various staff officers in units, brigades and divisions that do these jobs. It's always a saw off between "I need this" and "Yeah. But all you're getting is this."

Can we resolve these issues by lumping the 12 Combat Arms Units into a single, common combined arms Corps?

No. 🙂

The CAF is more than capable of delivering a Light Bde anywhere in the world inside 72hrs based on their current capability.
Faster if we help ;)
Not if you figure in aircraft down time, distance travelled, crew rest/limitations. I no longer have any idea how long it would take but I think 72 hours is very optimistic even if one were to take as a given that the brigade is ready and configured to move.

How does the US army manage and integrate air defence with its BCTs? As an example, shouldn't there be a Stryker MSHORAD troop or squadron in an SBCT? Avengers in an IBCT?
US Army air defence is undergoing a bit of a revival after several decades of neglect (not as bad as ours but neglect nonetheless) ADA battalions are held within ADA brigades (ADAB) which reside in Army Air and Missile Defence Commands (AADMC). Many ADA units were deactivated and almost all Avenger battalions relegated to the ARNG. Patriot, C-RAM and THAAD stayed with the Active Army.

Essentially there are no ADA units organic to either BCTs or divisions or corps. ADA resources are assigned to a specific theatre of operations and then reallocated as required.

Essentially an AADMC is allocated to a theatre to command and control all air defence resources. There is no hard and fast rule as to allocation of ADA resources below the AADMC as much depends on the size and structure of the force deployed but essentially you could anticipate an ADAB to support a division or possibly corps and ADA battalions or tailored ADA Task Forces to support a BCT with ADA batteries and platoons to be distributed throughout the BCT's AO. Remember that ADA is basically an area weapon deployed to protect high vulnerability sectors based on priority and therefore some manoeuvre units may see more and some less coverage based on the air threat.

Currently 10 AADMC covers Europe and has no ADAB assigned to it although it does have two ADA battalions, a Patriot battalion (5-7 ADAR) and an Avenger/M-SHORAD battalion (5-4 ADAR). One of the key forces is 32 AADMC which is subordinate to US Forces Command and stationed at Fort Hood and which has four ADABs with 13 ADA battalions and an additional seven THAAD batteries all of which can be reallocated to other theatres when required. There is an additional AADMC in Hawaii for the Pacific theatre and an ARNG AADMC in South Carolina.

🍻
 
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FJAG

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An argument in favour of reservist tankers. The British operate a “crew replacement” regiment in their Royal Yeomanry. Training extra bodies to replace shortages / losses isn’t the worst idea and the SALH are actually ideally suited to the task being in Edmonton and able to make use of simulators on a weekend or join in on exercises when able.
There are 5 ABCTs and 2 SBCTs in the US ARNG.

While replacement crews are a good start, more can be done when there is a will. Canada sadly lacks will.

Lets look at this from a pure cost point of view. Canada hasn't sent tanks to war in 11 years. We haven't even deployed them to Latvia. Our armoured force is at this point a stand-by force and a training vehicle. (Both of which in my mind are a necessity). We have enough tanks for a full armoured regiment but are strained on PYs. One could convert an Alberta armoured unit to a pure 2A4+/2A4M tank regiment on a 30/70 basis and still have enough RegF personnel to man the HQ and one tank squadron to stay proficient in the skills needed and to provide training support to the mech inf battalions that need to practice combined arms operations for Latvia. The other two squadrons could be manned by a small (10%) RegF element and by a large (90%) ResF members training in the summers.

That brings down the recurring annual costs of the armoured regiment to less than half as well as reduce the wear and tear on the equipment.

That could free up roughly 200 PYs to bulk out a properly organized 70/30 cavalry regiment including a squadron of 2A6Ms, one LAV Surv squadron and two recce squadrons (one RegF and one ResF). Just for the hell of it lets call the tank regiment the KOCR and the cavalry regt the LdSH.

🍻
 

IKnowNothing

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There are 5 ABCTs and 2 SBCTs in the US ARNG.

While replacement crews are a good start, more can be done when there is a will. Canada sadly lacks will.

Lets look at this from a pure cost point of view. Canada hasn't sent tanks to war in 11 years. We haven't even deployed them to Latvia. Our armoured force is at this point a stand-by force and a training vehicle. (Both of which in my mind are a necessity). We have enough tanks for a full armoured regiment but are strained on PYs. One could convert an Alberta armoured unit to a pure 2A4+/2A4M tank regiment on a 30/70 basis and still have enough RegF personnel to man the HQ and one tank squadron to stay proficient in the skills needed and to provide training support to the mech inf battalions that need to practice combined arms operations for Latvia. The other two squadrons could be manned by a small (10%) RegF element and by a large (90%) ResF members training in the summers.

That brings down the recurring annual costs of the armoured regiment to less than half as well as reduce the wear and tear on the equipment.

That could free up roughly 200 PYs to bulk out a properly organized 70/30 cavalry regiment including a squadron of 2A6Ms, one LAV Surv squadron and two recce squadrons (one RegF and one ResF). Just for the hell of it lets call the tank regiment the KOCR and the cavalry regt the LdSH.
It seems like (along with reserve reform) the big key to pulling this off is pulling the 40 A4+ out of a pooled training fleet and assigning them to Squadrons. Is that only made possible by having them all co-sited or could it be viewed general possibility?

If so, I've been thinking that the distinction between Heavy-ish (medium with tanks) and Medium during the LAV 6 bound training wheels stage is kind of needless.

Assumptions
ATGM /DF project leads to section / platoon / Mounted AT Platoon / Armoured Recce all having the proper weapons and vehicles in the proper numbers
2 CMBG becomes 2CLBG
NATO squeezes us to up presence in Latvia, preposition said properly organized cavalry regiment and Lav battalion of kit
3 PPCLI and 3 R22 dissolved to round out 1 and 2,

So of our 80 tanks, 20 in Europe, 30 each with LdSH and 12e. One fully equipped Reg squadron, 10 tanks for pool training for a 10/90 reserve squadron, so each regiment has 1x Reg Tank, 1x Reg Surv, 1x Reg Recce, 1x ResF Tank, 1x ResF Recce

NATO commitment
Stage 1- eFP Latvia roto remains the same, but pre-positioned equipment for:
Stage 2- Reforger style flyover to man Cavalry regiment and LAV battalion as core of multi-national brigade
Stage 3- Reserve component (with A Squadron's tanks) join the 2nd LAV battalion and reinforce as soon as ships can be loaded to round out the CMBG

Leaving the other CMBG for domestic use and maintaining commitments to smaller deployments, 10 tanks, one Recce Squadron, and one Lav battalion worth of kit left behind from the NATO Brigade for sustainment
 

TacticalTea

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If any of you read the Congressional Report I linked above -- one chapter is...
Should there be a Legislative Provision on Future Divestment of SHOARD Capability?

Canada wasn't the only player to dump needed capabilities during GWOT
Those two documents were an awesome read and precisely what I was looking for!

I leave this great scifi-to-reality illustration from the congressional report as a token of gratitude:
1654885665732.png
 

Kirkhill

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Some thoughts on items on the menu.

US Divs, Brigades and Battalions.

Looks to me as if we could furnish an ABCT type brigade based on a LAV Bn and the RCAC - the 3rd Regiment would be the "Cavalry Squadron" dedicated to ISR.

We could also look at supplying a Division on the lines of the 11th (5x LIBs in 2x BCTs), the 25th (4x LIBs in 2x BCTs) or even the 7th (6x LAVs)

Or even a Division with an ABCT and an SBCT (LAV) and an independent Light Brigade on the lines of the 173rd Separate.

1x Armd Div (Cdn 1945 Pattern)
ABCT (RCAC - 2x Armd, 1x ISR, RCIC - 1x LAV/CCV)
SBCT (RCIC - 3x LAV)
CCSB

1x Separate Light Bde
IBCT (RCIC - 2x LIB, 1x ISR)



1st Cav1 ABCT3 Cav Sqn4x Div11x ABCT33x CAB
1st Cav2 ABCT3 Cav Sqn
1st Cav3 ABCT3 Cav Sqn
1st Armd1 ABCT2 Armd1 Inf
1st Armd2 ABCT2 Armd1 Inf
1st Armd3 ABCT2 Armd1 Inf
1st Inf1 ABCT2 Armd1 Inf
1st Inf2 ABCT2 Armd1 Inf
3rd Inf1 ABCT2 Armd1 Inf
3rd Inf2 ABCT2 Armd1 Inf
4th Inf3 ABCT2 Armd1 Inf
4th Inf1 SBCT3 Bn3x Div6x SBCT18x MIB
4th Inf2 SBCT3 Bn
2nd Inf1 SBCT3 Bn
2nd Inf2 SBCT3 Bn
7th Inf1-2 Stryker3 Bn
7th Inf2-2 Stryker3 Bn
10th Inf1 IBCT3 Bn3x Div10x IBCT (a)30x LIB
10th Inf2 IBCT3 Bn
10th Inf3 IBCT3 Bn
82nd Inf1 IBCT3 Bn
82nd Inf2 IBCT3 Bn
82nd Inf3 IBCT3 Bn
101st Inf1 IBCT3 Bn
101st Inf2 IBCT3 Bn
101st Inf3 IBCT3 Bn
11th Inf1 IBCT3 Bn
11th Inf2 IBCT2 Bn2x Div4x IBCT (b)8x LIB
25th Inf2 IBCT2 Bn
25th Inf3 IBCT2 Bn
173rd Inf1 IBCT2 Bn
 
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