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Ricks Napkin Challenge- The Infantry Section and Platoon

IKnowNothing

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Assuming that B-GL-309-003/FP-001 is current, comparing against US/UK equivalents it seems like we're woefully undergunned on the AT side of the equation.

UK 2x NLAW per section (6x NLAW per platoon)
US Light - 2x AT4 per squad, 2x Javelin per platoon (6x AT4, 2x Javelin)
US Styker -2x AT4, 1x Javelin per squad (6x AT4, 3x Javelin)
Canada - 1x "Anti-Armour Weapon" per platoon (assuming Carl G currently?)

Even if the ATGM Replacement project pulled the trigger tomorrow to put a Javelin CLU in every platoon and 4-6 in the CS Company, the section remains naked and the platoon light overall

 

SeaKingTacco

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See my above post about validation. It doesn’t meet that so it’s not a priority.


If I ever see it used successfully in practice I’ll adjust my thinking. For any of it to be effective though I cant imagine single, platoon controlled, guns are really going to achieve the desired effects. If we organized machine gun platoons, maybe I’d see it. Either way probably outside the scope of platoon and section organization.
Partially agree. Machine guns at the section and platoon level are not meant to be playthings of the section or platoon commander.

They are supposed to be sited and/or employed as part of an integrated company or even Battalion fireplan (whether it be the attack or defence). This is the skill that has obviously been lost and does not require machine gun platoons to be formed again.
 

markppcli

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If we assume at4 as a standard armament then we can assume a proliferation of m72s. Not ideal but should work against BTRs.
 

markppcli

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Partially agree. Machine guns at the section and platoon level are not meant to be playthings of the section or platoon commander.

They are supposed to be sited and/or employed as part of an integrated company or even Battalion fireplan (whether it be the attack or defence). This is the skill that has obviously been lost and does not require machine gun platoons to be formed again.
No we integrate fire plans at coy and Bn level through mg matrixes and fire plans. It just rarely involves indirect MGs, in my experience anyways. I’d also suggest that the enemy we face is largely mechanized, and the effect of GPMG fire on the mounted assembly area isn’t likely to great.
 

Kirkhill

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That all depends on what it is, and what your platoon has.

Keep in mind the theory that a Platoon attacks a section sized entity. It doesn’t often work in reality, as the enemy gets a vote.


Sorry but I'm having difficulty getting my head around that concept.

I understand a dug in light infantry section requiring a dismounted platoon to winkle it out of its holes. You might find that situation in an insurgency.

But where else are you going to find a dug in isolated section?

And if you did find one how do you manage the assault on that section with 4 LAVs, 4 Bushmasters, 4 CoAx, 4 Pintles, 3 sections of Riflemen and a packet of odds and sods affectionately called a Weapons Det?

And what is the OC and the rest of his LAVs, Weapons Dets, Sections and Platoon HQs doing at the same time? The CO? Additional support?



It seems to me that at very least the minimal training structure should anticipate the target, dug in section, as being part of a line or locality with protected flanks that require suppressing ant the "cutting out" or isolation of the target section by tha assaulting platoon..

Or is that the scenario that is actually the baseline already?


And by the way are we assuming the dug in section is well provisioned with effective anti-armour weapons and that their flanks are likewise covered? Or are we only allowing them small arms?
 

Kirkhill

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Depends on the objective, if it’s a quick attack or deliberate, mechanized or light.

Thanks Mark. I know that you and I have difficulty with my tone. So I will apologise if I seem overly abrupt in this discussion. I am genuinely curious as to how the LAV Platoon works in the different scenarios.
 

KevinB

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Sorry but I'm having difficulty getting my head around that concept.

I understand a dug in light infantry section requiring a dismounted platoon to winkle it out of its holes. You might find that situation in an insurgency.

But where else are you going to find a dug in isolated section?

And if you did find one how do you manage the assault on that section with 4 LAVs, 4 Bushmasters, 4 CoAx, 4 Pintles, 3 sections of Riflemen and a packet of odds and sods affectionately called a Weapons Det?

And what is the OC and the rest of his LAVs, Weapons Dets, Sections and Platoon HQs doing at the same time? The CO? Additional support?
Dealing with the other enemy.
There are a lot of training scars - but the Section attack is a building block, that grows to Platoon, Coy etc.
It seems to me that at very least the minimal training structure should anticipate the target, dug in section, as being part of a line or locality with protected flanks that require suppressing ant the "cutting out" or isolation of the target section by tha assaulting platoon..

Or is that the scenario that is actually the baseline already?
Remember attacking Russian trench systems as a Bn attack?
The fire base would shift fire as you cleared the trenches - remember the flags back in the day before individual and team radios?

And by the way are we assuming the dug in section is well provisioned with effective anti-armour weapons and that their flanks are likewise covered? Or are we only allowing them small arms?
Arty and Mortars, plus air will work in accordance to the Fire Plan. Recce should have ideally identified key positions to be neutralized/assaulted first.
 

markppcli

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Thanks Mark. I know that you and I have difficulty with my tone. So I will apologise if I seem overly abrupt in this discussion. I am genuinely curious as to how the LAV Platoon works in the different scenarios.
If it’s a quick attack, ie a small (section ish) pocket of enemy located to the flanks of a combat team or a chance contact of similar size, we’re going to orient on it, suppress and close the distance before a dismount and assault through. That will mean that we move into an attack formation (Que X wings locking s foils joke here) which will generally see two cars up, hq cantered and back, and C in depth to replace any casualties / follow on task. Sections will be given their specific objectives, left of blah right of x, and the LAV Sgt will keep them in line while they advance using the terrain and maintaining fire. Get close, dismount your guys, and punch the LAVs out to occupy terrain that lets them identify and engage depth targets while the dismounted platoon clears the objective. Pick up the guys and off for debrief and cocktails.

If we’re doing something more deliberate, on a more complicated objective, then it all depends really. It could see portions of the platoon providing a fire base, the LAVs feinting while troops infil, ect. That’s more dependant on terrain and objective.
 

rnkelly

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Wow, just stumbled across this thread. Didn’t know what a “Napkin Challenge” was.

Embarrassed to say that this thread has uncovered some shortcomings in my military knowledge. As a blue-green TacHel guy I’m going to be re-reading this with a scotch tonight once the kids are in bed. Some of these posts will be exponentially increasing my reading list.

Thanks!
 

markppcli

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So going back to the original point of this thread we seem to agree one a few points:

1. The Canadian Army is, and will be for the foreseeable future, LAV based.

2. The LAV places a seven man cap on the lowest level of platoon organization which we normally call a section. (Unless you’re Kevin and you call it a team and have two fall under a Sgt)

3. Based on span of control and the practical load limits of both the LAV and Chinook, a practical limit for a platoon is in the mid 30s.

4. The sections, as it’s stands today, lack the ability to project HE / AT.

5. The main killing power of the section and platoon lie in their crew served weapons.

So it seems to me the question at hand is what weapons should be in the hands of the section commanders, what should be in the platoon commander’s pocket, and what is an adequate assault element for a section or a platoon.

Finally my question, because of our mechanized nature, becomes does it make more sense to operate a crew served MG for the section, which can provide more support while static but cannot work as an automatic rifle, or a pair of light MGs which offer less supporting fire but can bound as a pair and provide constant fire while being able to be employed as an automatic rifle when needed ?
 

Infanteer

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So going back to the original point of this thread we seem to agree one a few points:

1. The Canadian Army is, and will be for the foreseeable future, LAV based.

2. The LAV places a seven man cap on the lowest level of platoon organization which we normally call a section. (Unless you’re Kevin and you call it a team and have two fall under a Sgt)

3. Based on span of control and the practical load limits of both the LAV and Chinook, a practical limit for a platoon is in the mid 30s.

4. The sections, as it’s stands today, lack the ability to project HE / AT.

5. The main killing power of the section and platoon lie in their crew served weapons.

So it seems to me the question at hand is what weapons should be in the hands of the section commanders, what should be in the platoon commander’s pocket, and what is an adequate assault element for a section or a platoon.

Sounds about right to me.

Finally my question, because of our mechanized nature, becomes does it make more sense to operate a crew served MG for the section, which can provide more support while static but cannot work as an automatic rifle, or a pair of light MGs which offer less supporting fire but can bound as a pair and provide constant fire while being able to be employed as an automatic rifle when needed ?

I'd like to see a field trial done to answer this question. What is more effective at providing suppressive effect - two infanteers running around with C9s and engaging from the bipod or a two-pers MG team operating a C6? I'd also like to see the C6 team work with a modern, light tripod that the number 2 could quickly lay down to provide a solid base for the GPMG.
 

IKnowNothing

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4. The sections, as it’s stands today, lack the ability to project HE / AT.

So it seems to me the question at hand is what weapons should be in the hands of the section commanders, what should be in the platoon commander’s pocket, and what is an adequate assault element for a section or a platoon.
From this aspect it seems like the "easy" answer is to push Carl G's (ideally replaced with M4) down to the section, and give the weapon's det a true AT weapon.

How would you evaluate/ what would your preference be with respect to a single Carl with a mix of 6 rounds vs. the 2x AT4 the US calls for?
 

KevinB

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Sounds about right to me.



I'd like to see a field trial done to answer this question. What is more effective at providing suppressive effect - two infanteers running around with C9s and engaging from the bipod or a two-pers MG team operating a C6? I'd also like to see the C6 team work with a modern, light tripod that the number 2 could quickly lay down to provide a solid base for the GPMG.
Honestly I’ve worked a bunch with the Lw Titanium tripod, it’s garbage compared to the SF kit in use by CA and UK forces.
Sure it’s light and easy to employ, and low profile - but it isn’t a soft mount - so it’s beaten zone is significantly larger and it often has to be moved to clear casings - which means it’s tough to accurately relay on a target (read impossible) once there is smoke, impacts, and burning stuff that tends to be common place in combat.

SOCOM here has been looking at better options - it appears the SF kit isn’t made any more as I was trying to get one for a MG program, and we where going to have it remade in carbon fiber and Ti.

IMHO with a decent 1-6 or 1-8 optic the gunner off a seated in bipod is pretty effective with the M240 out past 800m in the light role - last time I was out at Crane they had been playing with rear monopods to try to give longer range stability - as the goal of the 6.5 Creedmore AMG is to allow the gunner to engage accurately from 1,200-1,600m
 

KevinB

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From this aspect it seems like the "easy" answer is to push Carl G's (ideally replaced with M4) down to the section, and give the weapon's det a true AT weapon.

How would you evaluate/ what would your preference be with respect to a single Carl with a mix of 6 rounds vs. the 2x AT4 the US calls for?
IMHO you should conceptualize the AT/Anti-Bunker Section capability based on threat.

I’m a big fan of Javelin at the section level just for the LW CLU, but you don’t need to waste Javelin on Light Armor or structures.

Ideally you’d have the M4 Carl G and AT-4 options that can be employed as necessary.

Personally I like the AT-4 over the M4, as I can have more folks volley a target and return fire isn’t isolate on the 1 Carl G guy, but the ability of the Carl G to fire different rounds as necessary is a major boon.
 

markppcli

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From this aspect it seems like the "easy" answer is to push Carl G's (ideally replaced with M4) down to the section, and give the weapon's det a true AT weapon.

How would you evaluate/ what would your preference be with respect to a single Carl with a mix of 6 rounds vs. the 2x AT4 the US calls for?
I think I prefer a Carl G as it’s less bulk and weight for the reloads even if the base weapon itself is heavier. The 751 and 551 are fairly reasonable AT rounds so you have to just adjust and task tailor the round load out.

I'd like to see a field trial done to answer this question. What is more effective at providing suppressive effect - two infanteers running around with C9s and engaging from the bipod or a two-pers MG team operating a C6? I'd also like to see the C6 team work with a modern, light tripod that the number 2 could quickly lay down to provide a solid base for the GPMG.
I would to, I just don’t know how you would ascertain what was more effective. Short of having a trench filled with PAT platoon rating the effectiveness of suppression. I think a figure skating score card system on a stick would be the most expedient.

The question on a single mg comes down to what suppresses when it has to move. Ideally it doesn’t but it will and then you’re missing your base of fire unless your assault element is capable of doing it on its own.
 

KevinB

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FWIW the US Mil also has the LW Tripod for the M249 SAW (which I generally find a terrible waste but it works pretty decently on defensive positions).

FWIW you can drop a 240 (C6) into a hog saddle
E6680B53-FFAE-42BF-8453-E0074DA3BC3B.jpeg
And it provides a decent setup. It works great in urban areas too as you can raise the legs and get decent height to depress out a window down to the street while still back in the building a bit for cover and cam.

It’s a lot more solid for an SR-25 or like 7.62 gas gun, but can work with a Mk48 or 240 if needed. It’s significantly lighter than the Ti Tripod or SF kit — but isn’t as stable and provides no recording method unless you have a recording slip head on the trip too between the hig saddle and tripod.
 

KevinB

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@Infanteer @markppcli FWIW the whole down range suppression/effective fire aspect lead the USMC to be swallowed by the Hk IAR siren.
They bought into well aimed fire - and situated the estimate/testing to show that.

It flew in the face of combat results from the USMC Scout Sniper data though…


It will be interesting to see what if anything comes out of SOCOM’s AMG program or if it will fall to NGSW and 6.8 BSA.

The draft is FOUO and I’ve been part of the feedback and testing sessions or I’d love to talk about what I think can be done to mesh the LMG/GPMG into a true LWGPMG.
 
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