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Just How Much "infantry work" in the artillery?

MrGnr27

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For what it's worth.........

1. We used to train as infantry in the Airborne Battery because we had to. However, we did not train ourselves. We received first rate
    instruction from 2 CDO in all phases of war.

2. Did the same thing after the move from Edmonton to Pet. The Para Bty was given the necessary honing of infantry skills by both 2
    and 3 CDO.

3. I would like to point out that this trg was more than the basic field skills cited in the attatched thread.

4. The Guns, in turn, gave the grunts some much-needed instruction in Tgt Grid procedure.

5. The aim was not cross training; rather, it gave us Gunners the necessary skills to " get on with it " should the need arise. It gave our
    supported arm the same benefit. Ultimately, it gave us a mutual understanding of our respective lots.

I have been deployed in an " infantry " capacity.  In the OP, I lived with, and moved with, the Cbt Team, and the Bn. However, in this experience, I have always left the "closing with the enemy" to the death techs. It's their bread n' butter !!

Just some idle musings before "LIghts Out"......
 
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:salute: just from my own experience, i worked very close with the infantry for a couple of years, and those were the best years of my career. i was in a op party, i've jumped with them, done several dismonunted combat team attacks. the foo party would be in the rear or with the commander, and when we got a contact from recce, we had to run to the front to get observation of the enemy. my point is nobody does the infantry job like the infantry, but there are a few that get to experience it.
 

3rd Horseman

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Lets face facts .....we are Gunners not Inf. It takes years of good training from other well trained Inf to be ready and able to close with and destroy the En. As for us Gunners the same to, short crse or desire will not cause an Inf Coy to be good Gunners over night. With that said we can do very well in specific situations as Inf. Those situations have already occurred and live proud in our history.

  IMHO I think that Gunners can operate as Inf on overseas operations and do very well but only in specific situations. During the early 90s many papers were written and argued on the subject by Gunners and Pooh poohed by Inf and dismissed as if we were wannabees and trying to horn in on some good goes (Bosnia) that were happening at the time. The reality was that we were not and still are not trained to the level required to operate as Inf. I'm not saying that the odd section or even Platoon could not re-role and do well, just that at the higher level formations and maneuvering as Inf is not in the capabilities of our senior ranks at both Officer and SnrNCO levels. It is my belief that we as Gunners in formations above Platoon can operate as Inf on Operations that require us to defend but not maneuver. Infact Gunners probably defend better than anyone, that is our bread and butter...but maneuver no way.

I  don't think examples of Gunners on IFOR SFOR missions as Inf are good examples since the war was over and the reality of fighting was long since gone, thus the experiment is flawed, in the case of Cyprus...well that goes without saying  boring!

There are cases of Gunners doing very well in the def on operations, example Bosnia 95 when all ops were captured or abandoned by Inf the only Coy to hold its ops was the gunners. In the Inf Coy areas the only ops held had gunners leading the individual ops except one and they were shamed into holding it as the only Inf Op left in the Canadian Sector.

As for snipers and all that....no doubt if you have a good shot in your Op and your at the front and a sniper is needed, of course the natural choice would be the good shot regardless of cap badge...necessity is the mother of invention.
 

GO!!!

Fallen Comrade
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FOO TECH G11 said:
Damn right Rocky 31

We do the same amount of infantry work if not more in the OP's. There are 2 OP's normally to each BG and at a minimum 3 companies for that BG. Each time a company goes out, a OP must go with them to be there fire support. Also we currently have 6 OP Parties supporting 2 Infantry BN's and a Armoured (?) Sqn here in Petawawa so we are always gone or out in the field doing the Combat Team stuff. Then we come back and have to go out with our respective batteries to do battery then regimental level exercises.

So, as for what slick guy thinks he might know about the guns, take it from the gunners on the front line with the infantry and armoured, we do the same amount, if not more of the infantry type stuff.

Ubique

If by "front line" you mean driving around in a G-Wagon and playing commando correcting our radio procedure, yeah you bet ::)

Camming your face and having a Bdr carry your 522/HF around behind you does not constitute "infantry type stuff" so stop leading the kid on.
 

STA Gunner

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In all fairness, not too many people have done the "infantry stuff" for years.  Not even the infantry.  So the sly remarks about bombing around between combat teams holds just about as much water as saying that you need an infantry company, rather than a gun battery, or armoured squadron, to conduct framework patrolling around Glamoc.

But when it comes down to the seizing of a trench, clearing a position of enemy, destroying an enemy advance, the infantry are the ones who have trained, and hold the skillsets and weapons optimised for this.  Of course, the direct fire support, indirect fire support, mobility and counter mobility support and ISTAR support will help them in their tasks.  But it goes both ways.  When it comes to stopping an enemy armoured attack, the infantry will support the DFS in their job.

That does not preclude anyone from foresaking the skills that the infantry member, section or platoon offer.  As a gunner picture this:

1. the FOO party has to get into a position of observation.  They move to the flank and climb a hill.  Near the top, they come under fire from an enemy FOO party who is using the same hill for their OP.  Time for a trench clearing assault.  Who does it?  The FOO party.

2. the gun position sited nicely in a woodline.  An enemy platoon with vehicle support attacks a flank and starts to consolidate.  The GPO has to lead an attack to clear that platoon out to relieve the pressure so that the guns can withdraw to an alternate position.

3. the ammunition crews move from the BSA to the gun battery areas.  They come under attack from a hasy ambush laid out by the enemy.  They have to fight their way through the ambush, and continue to suppress that position preventing further damage.

These are all true (1. Falklands 1982, 2. Vietnam 1968, Iraq 2003), and we as gunners could use these examples as proof that we need to train more in this vein.  But we also must keep in mind that we are not infantry, and will not be the first ones called into clear the village, when it comes time.
 

GO!!!

Fallen Comrade
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STA Gunner,

My response was intended to dispell the notion that so many people on this site have that the job of an infanteer is simple, easy, and should be considered a "secondary" task to all of their "real" duties.

I've responded to other threads where Air Force techs are claiming to want to "patrol like the infantry" and "secure their own bases". This holds about as much water as the FOO/FAC claiming to be more of an infanteer than the infantry, which is, bollocks.

Wandering around with a rifle and TV does not make you an infanteer, even if you know G32's frequency, any more than Infanteers practicing calling for fast air on their PLQ makes them a Air traffic controller. All soldiers must know how to use their rifles, but a competent shot and an infanteer are miles apart, in terms of skills, mentality, training and equipment.

And before you say that I don't know what I'm talking about, I've escorted FOOs, seen them in action (in theatre and on lots of exes) and pardon my saying, but every FOO I've seen in action would be in a body bag, shallow grave or enemy hands if he did not have an infantry escort.
 

3rd Horseman

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GO I agree with you and my post above  supports your point....easy on the blanket statement of FOOs.. I never had an Inf escort ever and survived the harshest battle fields we have been in thus far since Korea.
 

STA Gunner

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GO!!  Please read my post again.

I did not denigrate the role of the infantry.  I said that the Gunner can and must learn some infantry skills so that the gunner can do his/her job without requiring the infantry escort.
 

gunslinger

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Interesting topic....there are valid points all round. However i have to agree that we Gunners have to be able to react in an Infantry role if required and do so in a professional manner. Now, that is not to say we can do the job better than the grunts..far from it, that would be like saying they can bring our guns into action quicker than us. It is a fact that arty soldiers are capable of being re-roled if needed...but the actual nitty gritty of trench clearing, platoon, coy attacks etc are the bread and butter of the Infantry and will continue to be as such. The Bty i serve in is a dismounted one..we have LG1's and the Mortars. We have done a lot more Infantry type Ex's  in the last 3 yrs as all we do is hump the tubes around to different base plate locations. In these exercises we actually do recce patrols as well as our standard clearing patrols, fibua drills etc etc. We do not do these skills for the purpose of upstaging the Infantry, but out of the need to keep up with the Infantry in soldier skills thus making for a much for professional and competant fighting force.


Ubique

 
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