- Reaction score
I'd never heard anyone say it fared better than a LAV and agree with you that it probably wouldn't. I know the upgrade included a heavier suspension and bolt on armour but have no idea if any of that went to the belly and even if it did it would still be a flat bottomed box.The M113/TLAV is a deathtrap -- I don't know who doctored the story to suggest it faired better against IED's than a LAV - but an aluminum box isn't something anyone wants to be in. It has neither the design (Box) nor the material construction (Aluminum) to be protective vehicle - it is tracked - so it has some decent terrain qualities to it.
I wouldn't call it a death trap though in spite of pictures like this:
Anything once hit can go that way. The armour was meant as a fragment catcher and up to 7.62 mm if I remember correctly. It shouldn't be used as a combat vehicle. I don't think it was ever really meant to be anything other than a high mobility, slightly protected transport vehicle with the fighting elements dismounting well short of effective direct fire.
We did use the Grizzlies in that role (with the LG1) and the M548 (with the L5). I can't recall the M113 ever being used and the only concern I would have would be the towing pin configuration as to the how far you could open the door with a gun attached - but since it worked with the Grizzly, my guess is it would work with the M113.I wonder how it would do as a Gun Tractor? Actually serious there - as it can tow - sure the dismount action rear (or right etc) would be a bit of a goat rope with troops needing to go through the door vice the ramp (unless there was a releasable shackle that one could drop/lower the gun - drive forward and then drop the ramp.
In Afghanistan they used trucks to pull the guns (mostly because they also needed to carry ammo) but used TLAVs to transport the bulk of the gun detachment under armour. As you might guess, the preferred method of moving guns when they had to be moved was by CH-47.
I don't know if you've come across the book Relentless Struggle down south. It was commissioned by Reserves 2000 which as you might know is a lobbying group of senior Militia officers mainly from the Toronto area to show how their actions over the years has saved the Reserves. IMHO Reserves 2000 is also part of the problem because they fanatically continue to hang onto every cap badge. Their primary solution is to fund and expand many more reservists into the existing footprint ... and oh yeah, equip it as well.I started as a reservist - I think there are enormous unrealized potential in the reserves.
However - that requires significant changes to the Res Structure - and given the CF has been resistant for years - as well as no parliamentary support for legislation with teeth for the reserves - I don't see the Reserves as currently viable unless that changes.
The problem lies between Reserves 2000's unrealistic expectations and stubbornness (which is pushed up to the government through pressuring their local MPs), and the CF's Reg F pushback because while the Reg F likes individual augmentees, they have absolutely no use for formed reserve units. What's left is an uneasy truce which accomplishes zip and moves no agenda forward.
As I said before, we have the personnel authorizations and funding for the equivalent of two divisions and the equipment of one. You could as a phase 1 reorganize the reserves to mirror the four Ref brigades and share equipment during the summer. In phase 2 you would slowly grow the equipment. The Reg F wouldn't like that because of the additional wear and tear on equipment and Reserves 2000 wouldn't like it because such a reorganization would reduce the number of reserve units from 126 (or so) poorly established and manned ones to 30 (or so) fully established and manned ones. Obviously there are also many other fundamental changes needed.
I also think that every branch of the Army needs a certain sized core that is the repository of its corporate knowledge and which validates that through constant practice. That needs a certain number of full-timers.Years ago in Cyprus a buddy and I where drinking - he said if he was king (this was in 92 keep in mind) all the CBT ARMS pers would be reservists - and the only full time forces would be Maintenance and Supply -- I thought he was crazy - he did allow to retain the CAR and support in the Reg's - but he suggested that if the res was structured correctly - then it would serve the CF's needs fine.
I think he was a lot more right now than I did then.
For me the repetitive demise and rebirth of artillery STA and air defence and the long lag between reformation and what I would call final operating capability were major object lessons. I feel that way about tanks and armoured infantry (as you might have noticed) which is barely holding on to the skills of proper combined arms operations. Infantry mortars and pioneers are another. I'm sure that there are many more examples of skill sets that have been sacrificed on the alter of cost cutting and PY reshuffles.
Obviously there are also many other fundamental changes needed. Personally I think they are relatively simple ones which require very few legislative changes (the biggest would be much better employment protection legislation). Most of the changes are regulatory or policies well within DND's authority to make unilaterally.BUT - it requires a massive change in the CF -- I don't see the Senior Leaders or Political support for something like that.
We do.See we agree on a lot of things as well