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Mechanized Infantry Discussion

Infanteer

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https://www.benning.army.mil/infantry/magazine/issues/2019/Summer/pdf/6_PF_VanWie.pdf

A good article from Infantry.  Interesting use of data by the authors.  Their thesis is kind of "well no s**t, Sherlock" in that more practice and experience in the vehicle leads to more effective turret engagements.

Of note, the authors recommend that the Infantry adopts a mech-specific MOS or makes senior NCM positions in mech units (Pl NCO or higher) require mandatory previous experience in mech units.  In Canada, the Infantry Corps recently reviewed its employment structure, and avoided either of these COAs for mech forces due to the lack of flexibility they impose on career management.  The authors also state that new Infantry Officers should be sent to a Bradley Leaders Course before arriving at battalion - in Canada, we do this with the way our Officer progression is structured, requiring all Infantry Officers to pass the IODP 1.2 Mechanized Platoon Commander Course before being considered at Operational Functional Point (OFP) and being posted to a battalion.

This means mechanized leaders have to think of other ways to ensure their crews receive optimal training.  Infantry Battalions probably have to consider ways of separating their dismounted and mounted elements for training, and determining when to "meet in the middle" and combine after crews have gained a level of proficiency in the turret and the sections/platoons have gained a degree of proficiency with their hands-and-feet skills.
 

dapaterson

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In the Canadian Army, is that common across Reg and Res, or is it Reg F only?  If we increasingly want "plug and play" from the Res F, we need to align both individual training and collective training to provide the requisite exposure and experience.
 

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Infanteer said:
https://www.benning.army.mil/infantry/magazine/issues/2019/Summer/pdf/6_PF_VanWie.pdf

A good article from Infantry.  Interesting use of data by the authors.  Their thesis is kind of "well no s**t, Sherlock" in that more practice and experience in the vehicle leads to more effective turret engagements.

Of note, the authors recommend that the Infantry adopts a mech-specific MOS or makes senior NCM positions in mech units (Pl NCO or higher) require mandatory previous experience in mech units.  In Canada, the Infantry Corps recently reviewed its employment structure, and avoided either of these COAs for mech forces due to the lack of flexibility they impose on career management.  The authors also state that new Infantry Officers should be sent to a Bradley Leaders Course before arriving at battalion - in Canada, we do this with the way our Officer progression is structured, requiring all Infantry Officers to pass the IODP 1.2 Mechanized Platoon Commander Course before being considered at Operational Functional Point (OFP) and being posted to a battalion.

This means mechanized leaders have to think of other ways to ensure their crews receive optimal training.  Infantry Battalions probably have to consider ways of separating their dismounted and mounted elements for training, and determining when to "meet in the middle" and combine after crews have gained a level of proficiency in the turret and the sections/platoons have gained a degree of proficiency with their hands-and-feet skills.

Seems reasonable.  Wouldn't it be nice if the Canadian Army actually had a Corps specialized in turret skills and mechanized warfare that could supply a pool of qualified personnel to man the LAVs?
 

ballz

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Infanteer said:
This means mechanized leaders have to think of other ways to ensure their crews receive optimal training.  Infantry Battalions probably have to consider ways of separating their dismounted and mounted elements for training, and determining when to "meet in the middle" and combine after crews have gained a level of proficiency in the turret and the sections/platoons have gained a degree of proficiency with their hands-and-feet skills.

This what I always argued *should* be happening but the institution is in its own way in far too many ways to actually do this. Basically our crews got zero actual training other than the one live-fire range a year prior to fall Lvl 2-4 (other than what is inherent to driving their platoon around on exercises / ranges, but that is not actually training your crews that's employing them).
 

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dapaterson said:
In the Canadian Army, is that common across Reg and Res, or is it Reg F only?  If we increasingly want "plug and play" from the Res F, we need to align both individual training and collective training to provide the requisite exposure and experience.

Is what common?
 

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Chris Pook said:
Seems reasonable.  Wouldn't it be nice if the Canadian Army actually had a Corps specialized in turret skills and mechanized warfare that could supply a pool of qualified personnel to man the LAVs?

Turret skills do not belong to a single Corps, nor should they.  In our Army, the infantry, the armoured, the artillery, and the engineer branches all utilize and train in turrets.  What you are saying is akin to stating that anyone using a C6 should be an infanteer.
 

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Infanteer said:
Is what common?

"requiring all Infantry Officers to pass the IODP 1.2 Mechanized Platoon Commander Course before being considered at Operational Functional Point (OFP) "

 

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No.  OFP for Reserve officers is IODP 1.1 Dismounted Infantry Platoon Commander's Course.  It's the same with the DP 3B for Sgt to WO.  This is an obvious hurtle to integrating reserve elements above the section level.  There have been some discussions in the Corps about ways to get around this through organization/C2, but for now, the requirement is "go do the course" if the Reservist was to command a mechanized organization.
 

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dapaterson said:
"requiring all Infantry Officers to pass the IODP 1.2 Mechanized Platoon Commander Course before being considered at Operational Functional Point (OFP) "

That's only for Reg Force. PRes is OFP at 1.1 and rarely go on 1.2.

I guess this ties into the other thread where we discussed giving the PRes LAV 6.0s. Personally, while I get your point, I think the idea you're getting at is just not realistic / practical / worth the resources it would take.
 

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Or should the end-state be asymmetry in the Res F?  Units within say 200km of a Reg F base with LAV will be trained and given opportunities to get experience with mechanized vehs; those without that proxmity assigned other specialities? 

Discussions need to encompass both full and part time and understand strengths and weaknesses of both.  ANd avoid wishing away problems, or pushing them down the road as "too hard".
 

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Infanteer said:
Turret skills do not belong to a single Corps, nor should they.  In our Army, the infantry, the armoured, the artillery, and the engineer branches all utilize and train in turrets.  What you are saying is akin to stating that anyone using a C6 should be an infanteer.

And yet the article you posted talks about the need for practice to achieve skills.  Are all those turrets being used to best effect? Do we really want to draw time away from primary skills so as to turn everyone into a half-assed tanker?  While at the same time blackhat skills erode?

You are going to have something like just under 1000 Lav 6s and 500 TAPVs with something like 100 MBTs and AEVs.  That calls for something like 4800 Drivers, Gunners and VCs and another 100 loaders. In additions you have all those mechanics and electricians and storesmen and POL types and their vehicles that need their own mechanics and fuel etc.  Throw in the Command structure and the Sigs and Int types and there goes your whole army. 

And you haven't deployed a single C6 or ATGM on the ground.  Or emplaced a single M777.

(OK.  So I've gone hyperbolic on you). 

The question is, just as with the C6, do you care if the turrets are being used to optimal effect?  Should C6s all be employed to the SF standard of the Machine Gun Corps?  Or is it enough that the turrets, like the C6s, improve the capabilities of troops as they engage in their primary duties - however those are defined?

 

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dapaterson said:
Units within say 200km of a Reg F base with LAV will be trained and given opportunities to get experience with mechanized vehs; those without that proxmity assigned other specialities?

I would like to know what people who come up with these ideas think the Reg Force does infantry does, because apparently they think there's just hordes of troops and leadership collecting dust in Battalions with nothing better to do than train the PRes.

I assure you, the Reg F would be happy to have more people, and in fact we tried at 2 RCR for 2 years, offered out the olive branch and got very little interest in it.

As I mentioned up thread, we can't even train our own LAV crews / keep them trained. Now we're talking about using limited resource to train PRes soldiers on LAV skills that they, in most instances, won't even be willing/able to show up for an exercise and use them giving any actual pay-off for the investment.


dapaterson said:
ANd avoid wishing away problems, or pushing them down the road as "too hard".

First you'd have to convince me that there is a "problem" to wish away. What exists in our situation assessment that provides a compelling argument for why we need PRes to be trained as LAV crews?

Secondly, any solutions to that problem, if it exists, are not limited by how "hard" it is but whether or not it's a waste of resources given what we must achieve vice what we *want* to achieve.

Chris Pook said:
And yet the article you posted talks about the need for practice to achieve skills.  Are all those turrets being used to best effect? Do we really want to draw time away from primary skills so as to turn everyone into a half-assed tanker?  While at the same time blackhat skills erode?

You are going to have something like just under 1000 Lav 6s and 500 TAPVs with something like 100 MBTs and AEVs.  That calls for something like 4800 Drivers, Gunners and VCs and another 100 loaders. In additions you have all those mechanics and electricians and storesmen and POL types and their vehicles that need their own mechanics and fuel etc.  Throw in the Command structure and the Sigs and Int types and there goes your whole army. 

And you haven't deployed a single C6 or ATGM on the ground.  Or emplaced a single M777.

(OK.  So I've gone hyperbolic on you). 

The question is, just as with the C6, do you care if the turrets are being used to optimal effect?  Should C6s all be employed to the SF standard of the Machine Gun Corps?  Or is it enough that the turrets, like the C6s, improve the capabilities of troops as they engage in their primary duties - however those are defined?

Turrets for the other arms besides Armoured and infantry aren't really there for offense. I don't see why the guns and engineers need expert gunners. Even if in the infantry, there are actually only a few select ways I would employ the LAVs in an offensive capacity (notwithstanding the current practice to think the LAVs should fight like tanks) and it wouldn't require expert gunners, just aggressive gunners and lots of turrets.

The mech infantry in Canada would benefit largely by having the crews fall under the LAV Capt instead of belonging to a platoon, so the LAV Capt and LAV Sgts can work on LAV / Crew stuff, while the platoons can work on dismounted stuff, and then they marry-up to work on being a mechanized sub-unit. Similar to what Infanteer mentioned further up (or perhaps exactly what he was getting at).
 

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ballz said:
The mech infantry in Canada would benefit largely by having the crews fall under the LAV Capt instead of belonging to a platoon, so the LAV Capt and LAV Sgts can work on LAV / Crew stuff, while the platoons can work on dismounted stuff, and then they marry-up to work on being a mechanized sub-unit. Similar to what Infanteer mentioned further up (or perhaps exactly what he was getting at).

There was an article in the Canadian Army Journal that proposed something like that.

http://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2016/mdn-dnd/D12-11-16-2-eng.pdf
 

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Chris Pook said:
And yet the article you posted talks about the need for practice to achieve skills.  Are all those turrets being used to best effect? Do we really want to draw time away from primary skills so as to turn everyone into a half-assed tanker?  While at the same time blackhat skills erode?
....
The question is, just as with the C6, do you care if the turrets are being used to optimal effect?  Should C6s all be employed to the SF standard of the Machine Gun Corps?  Or is it enough that the turrets, like the C6s, improve the capabilities of troops as they engage in their primary duties - however those are defined?

You're setting things in black and white - the crew in the turret is either strictly career focused on turret skills, or isn't proficient at all.  It doesn't actually work like that, and even the original article speaks to other ways to achieve proficiency.  The Infantry Corps has opted for its own way, which leaves it to units, vice career structures or policy, to ensure time and pers management is managed to create proficiency.
 

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ballz said:
The mech infantry in Canada would benefit largely by having the crews fall under the LAV Capt instead of belonging to a platoon, so the LAV Capt and LAV Sgts can work on LAV / Crew stuff, while the platoons can work on dismounted stuff, and then they marry-up to work on being a mechanized sub-unit. Similar to what Infanteer mentioned further up (or perhaps exactly what he was getting at).

Not opposed to that at all.

LAV Capt is a Company position.  So 14 or 15 LAVs under command.  42 to 45 Crew.  That makes it the largest "platoon" in the company.  A platoon that supplies transport, comms, surveillance and fire support.

So, if the Company acts in a dismounted role (15 LAVs x7 = 105) who supplies those capabilities to the Company?    Or are those capabilities duplicated amongst the GIBs, reducing the number of deployable rifles still further?

And Infanteer, I am setting things in black and white.  I find it helps me define the boundaries of debate, define the operational envelope, by establishing what is possible and what is not possible.  Beyond that we can argue the 50 shades of gray for a very long time.


Edit:  With respect to supplying and training the LAV crews - why not have them go through the RCAC school before being posted, with blackhats, to infantry regiments to wear the regimental capbadge.  Green berets, Maroon berets and Black berets, all in the same unit.
 

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Chris Pook said:
LAV Capt is a Company position.  So 14 or 15 LAVs under command.  42 to 45 Crew.  That makes it the largest "platoon" in the company.  A platoon that supplies transport, comms, surveillance and fire support.

That's why you'd place your top 3x Captains (below A-jobs / Coy 2ICs) as LAV Capt.

EDIT: Correction to the above, I'd say 13 LAVs / 39 people. The OC and Coy 2IC LAVs and crews would remain part of the Coy HQ and while I'm sure they'd piggy-back off of the LAV training, I don't think I'd put them under the LAV Capt.

Chris Pook said:
So, if the Company acts in a dismounted role (15 LAVs x7 = 105) who supplies those capabilities to the Company?    Or are those capabilities duplicated amongst the GIBs, reducing the number of deployable rifles still further?

Which capabilities are you talking about? The company hasn't lost any capability.

Chris Pook said:
Edit:  With respect to supplying and training the LAV crews - why not have them go through the RCAC school before being posted, with blackhats, to infantry regiments to wear the regimental capbadge.  Green berets, Maroon berets and Black berets, all in the same unit.

Having seen what happens to courses when they're run at Battalions, I was an advocate of having the courses run at schools (I don't care much the colour of beret they come back with... although I think both the Infantry and Armoured would much prefer a infanteer with a LAV Gunner course continue wearing his green beret). It then just becomes a question of manpower... is it just going to be more incremental taskings to provide staffing at schools, or are we going to permanently change the numbers on the establishment. Either way, it's the Battalions that get stripped, but it would need to be hashed out.

Infanteer said:
You're setting things in black and white - the crew in the turret is either strictly career focused on turret skills, or isn't proficient at all.  It doesn't actually work like that, and even the original article speaks to other ways to achieve proficiency.  The Infantry Corps has opted for its own way, which leaves it to units, vice career structures or policy, to ensure time and pers management is managed to create proficiency.

It's been tossed around by more than a few people. Perhaps it was for FORCE 2016, but the CO of the Infantry School (who, corrrect me on this, is also the ex-officio Director of the Infantry Corps? It's some ex-officio position for the corps) also proposed it.
 

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"Which capabilities are you talking about?"

I was reckoning on the LAV Platoon not deploying with the Company if the terrain or tasking didn't favour its deployment.  Or would you deploy the platoon without its vehicles?  In which case the Company would still be deprived of the transport and logistic support of the vehicles, the comm support, the EO/IR systems and the fire support of the 13 to 15 Bushmasters and equal number of C6s-SF /(Coax).  And if you stuck a pair of ATGMs on each turret you would be depriving the OC of 26 to 30 ready ATGMs with a greater number of stowed rounds.

If the LAVs don't deploy then the Coy/Bn needs a transport element, a log element, a sigs element, a surveillance element, a DF Heavy element, a DF Medium element and an AT element to compensate for their loss.

Or the task gets tailored to acknowledge the loss of those capabilities.
 

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Chris Pook said:
"Which capabilities are you talking about?"

I was reckoning on the LAV Platoon not deploying with the Company if the terrain or tasking didn't favour its deployment.  Or would you deploy the platoon without its vehicles?  In which case the Company would still be deprived of the transport and logistic support of the vehicles, the comm support, the EO/IR systems and the fire support of the 13 to 15 Bushmasters and equal number of C6s-SF /(Coax).  And if you stuck a pair of ATGMs on each turret you would be depriving the OC of 26 to 30 ready ATGMs with a greater number of stowed rounds.

If the LAVs don't deploy then the Coy/Bn needs a transport element, a log element, a sigs element, a surveillance element, a DF Heavy element, a DF Medium element and an AT element to compensate for their loss.

Or the task gets tailored to acknowledge the loss of those capabilities.

The company would always deploy with it's LAVs. Depending on the mission, the OC can choose to use LAVs, use light infantry, use both, etc. None of that is a change from current. If the OC gets a task to go do something LAVs can't do / participate in, he leaves the LAVs in a hide (with the LAV Capt) and goes dismounted, or uses them for cut-offs/security, etc. The sustainment for the dismounted troops is as it always is... it wasn't unusual, for us anyway, to be doing dismounted ops as a mech company.

If the platoon gets a task, the OC can decide whether or not to attach a 4x LAVs / crews OPCON to the Pl Comd from the LAV Capt to conduct the task, if it's suitable, or he can task the LAV Capt to provide transport if it's going to be a dismounted task but requires transport to "x drop-off."

 

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If the company always deploys with its LAVs doesn't that preclude it from being employed in an Immediate Reaction Force?

We don't have the transport to lift the LAVs in a timely fashion, nor do we have floating warehouses or pre-positioned stock.  I reckon it would take at least a month to immediately deploy a LAV battalion.
 

ballz

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Chris Pook said:
If the company always deploys with its LAVs doesn't that preclude it from being employed in an Immediate Reaction Force?

We don't have the transport to lift the LAVs in a timely fashion, nor do we have floating warehouses or pre-positioned stock.  I reckon it would take at least a month to immediately deploy a LAV battalion.

We were just talking about how a mechanized infantry battalion could operate, to what would be best suited to force generate for an international tasking. Suffice to say, you seem a bit all over the map.
 
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