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The Value of Force on Force Training

Infanteer

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Found a few good articles in a recent edition of the US Army's Infantry Journal.  One was a montage of tactical scenarios from the NTC written by two OCTs.  You can find it here:

http://www.benning.army.mil/infantry/magazine/issues/2017/APR-JUN/pdf/INFMAG_APR-JUN17.pdf

I've included an excerpt encompassing one of the scenarios.  It demonstrates the value of good force-on-force training:

Ambush at Bravo Pass

The lead element of the Stryker infantry battalion, the task force scouts, moved north mounted on its Strykers through the tight mobility corridor commonly referred to as “The Passage to India” or “PTI.” They had not made direct-fire contact yet. If all went according to the plan, they would move north through the PTI and then turn west through Bravo Pass into Echo Valley. Once in Echo Valley, they would continue moving northwest toward the FSS Gap where the battalion would destroy a defending enemy mechanized infantry company. All was going well so far. In fact, it was eerily quiet. Why hadn’t they at least received some enemy indirect fires? The lead Stryker Reconnaissance Vehicle (RV) reported over the battalion’s operations and intelligence (O&I) net that there was a mine-wire obstacle crossing Bravo Pass. Before the S2 could reply, the trail vehicle of the scout platoon was destroyed by an enemy AT-13. They were trapped! All four of the platoon’s vehicles were stacked on top of each other in a column formation with less than 50 meters between each RV. The lead vehicle was immobilized by the obstacle, and the trail vehicle was a burning hulk. Bravo Company, also moving in a tight column, approached behind the scout platoon. In less than five minutes its lead, fifth, and tenth ICVs were also destroyed by AT-5 fires. It was almost as if the AT-5 gunner was picking every fourth vehicle after the lead ICV to engage. To compound matters, the destruction included the catastrophic loss of two rifle squads, a weapons squad, two Javelins, and two M240B machine guns. A platoon was gone just like that. The remainder of Bravo Company’s Infantrymen dismounted from their ICVs. The cold realization set in that they were in the middle of an L-shaped ambush.

An understrength enemy infantry platoon was positioned on the northern wall of Bravo Pass. They were the ones who destroyed the scout RVs with AT-13 fires. With the lead vehicle trapped against the obstacle and the trail vehicle destroyed, it was just a matter of time before they finished off the remainder of the scouts. Meanwhile, a pair of enemy BRDM-2s with AT-5s was positioned approximately three kilometers to the northeast. They had let the scout RVs pass by without a sound, and then they began picking off the Bravo Company ICVs starting with the lead vehicle and then working on every fourth vehicle afterwards. They didn’t have to traverse their sights very far from one ICV to the next. Similar to the scouts, Bravo Company had been traveling in column with only 50 meters separation between vehicles. Despite the complex, canalizing terrain, Bravo Company had not dismounted its Infantrymen. The company thought it had a free ride through the passes and that the scouts would provide them advanced warning of any pending attack. Unfortunately, they had closed to within 200 meters of the trail scout vehicle so by default the scouts were no longer a forward reconnaissance element. They were now “canaries” falling by the wayside, providing only a few precious seconds of advanced warning of the impending disaster. While the Bravo Company’s Infantrymen poured out of their remaining ICVs and attempted to locate the direction of the ambush, the battalion mortars went into action. The task force commander knew he had to get some suppression and obscuration between his column and the enemy defending the obstacle in Bravo Pass. Although they did not score any enemy battle damage, the mortars did provide effective suppressive effects and obscuration. The enemy’s dismounted AT-13 gunners had to preposition, and the obscuration allowed the sappers from the attached engineer platoon to move forward to the obstacle. 

They were efficient breaching the mine-wire obstacle and within 15 minutes reported having a lane created. Through all of the excitement of breaching the obstacle while in direct-fire contact, they didn’t notice that 800 meters to their west an enemy Family of Scatterable Mines (FASCAM) minefield was being deployed to reconstitute the blocking effect in the pass. Charlie Company didn’t notice either and blindly drove through the breach lane into the FASCAM. In less than two minutes, nine ICVs with accompanying rifle and weapons squads were all destroyed. The company was combat ineffective. The Bravo Company Infantrymen were still alive, but almost all of their ICVs were destroyed from the deadly BRDMs patrolling to their northeast. They still did not know where the enemy soldiers were because they continued to mill about in the low canalizing terrain. If they had simply moved up to the high ground dominating the pass complex, they would have seen the horror that was materializing still further to their northeast. Beyond the two AT-5 BRDMs, which were now black on ammunition after emptying their rounds into Bravo Company, was an enemy motorized infantry company (MIC). It was not just any MIC, but the very one the company had hoped to attack in the FSS Gap. Now it was moving southeast down the Silver Lakes Main Supply Route (MSR) at a high rate of speed. They circled out of sight like a curious shark before turning back to the southwest and then subsequently attacking into the rear of the battalion column. Fortunately, Alpha Company, informed of the fates of the other companies, had dismounted its Infantrymen and was able to position a couple of Javelins to destroy a platoon’s worth of enemy fighting vehicles, taking the momentum out of the enemy’s attack.

Observations — Units must be in a fighting formation before they make direct-fire contact. This process starts during mission analysis with the identification of key terrain dominating complex, canalizing mobility corridors. In this case the rotational unit did not identify the terrain at higher elevations dominating PTI and Bravo Pass as being key terrain. Had they done so, they likely would have concluded that there was a distinct possibility of making contact with the enemy in either of these two locations. Identification of this probable line of contact (PLC) should have led to development of a probable line of deployment (PLD). This PLD should have served as a trigger for the task force scouts to utilize key terrain at higher elevations to gain a better vantage point to identify enemy forces in these two adjoining passes. Had they simply dismounted to the hills on either flank of the PTI, they would have detected both the enemy infantry force on the north wall of Bravo Pass as well as the two AT-5 BRDMs located further northeast of the passes.  Instead, they traveled mounted in the canalizing terrain at low elevation and were destroyed in detail. Conducting time/distance analysis of the terrain to be traversed should have also shaped planning for reconnaissance in depth. Identification of the aforementioned PLD and corresponding requirement to dismount scouts to observe the far side of the passes should have resulted in a corresponding estimate of time required to conduct reconnaissance forward of the task force main body. This did not occur, and the next company in the order of movement traveled on the heels of the scouts. The scouts now could not realistically provide the next rifle company any advance warning of enemy contact, and the lead rifle company compounded a bad situation by continuing to move into the kill sack of the enemy’s ambush.

If a unit does not have shared understanding of the enemy’s disposition, then this situation mandates that the unit utilize a movement-to-contact method of attack. This means that the battalion should have a reconnaissance element to find the enemy, a platoon-sized maneuver element to act as a forward security element (FSE), and a company minus-sized element (usually the parent company of the FSE platoon) to act as the battalion’s advance guard (AG). The battalion’s two remaining companies should be echeloned to the right and left rear respectively of the AG, creating a battalion task force wedge formation capable of reacting to enemy direct fire contact in almost any direction. The FSE is tasked with destroying the lead enemy platoon it comes into contact with and subsequently fixing the next enemy force it comes into contact with. The AG is tasked with destroying remnants of the force fixed by the FSE and subsequently fixing the next follow-on enemy force it comes in contact with. This allows the battalion commander to develop the situation and determine how to best maneuver his remaining two companies. Stryker infantry units should ensure that they dismount their Infantrymen prior to making direct-fire contact with enemy antitank systems. Units that achieve mutual, symbiotic support between ICVs and maneuvering rifle squads are most lethal. In order to accomplish this, the unit must identify PLCs (as discussed previously) to determine PLDs triggering the dismounting of Infantry forces at either an objective rally point (ORP) or assault position.

In this case, the scout platoon and Bravo Company failed to perform their duties related to reconnaissance, the FSE, and the AG respectively. However, the rapid destruction of these units necessitated a reconstitution of the FSE-AG movement-to-contact formation. The next company in the order of movement should have assumed duties as the reconnaissance-FSE-AG formation and dismounted its infantry to key terrain at higher elevation to first find the enemy in question. Then they could have subsequently fixed and destroyed the relatively small enemy force in Bravo Pass. This action in turn would have provided the battalion commander with additional time to further develop the situation and determine his next best course of action. In this case, the remaining Infantry companies were content to remain in the lower canalizing terrain which prevented them from gaining awareness about the evolving enemy situation. They spent the remainder of this battle reacting to enemy contact instead of moving to key terrain in an effort to wrestle initiative away from a relatively small enemy force.

I was fortunate enough to have my platoon destroyed in a scenario like this in Wainwright during a Maple Guardian scenario.  Fortunate because you really do learn from losing hard.  Our combat team suffered from the same problems - a feeling of invulnerability led us to charge through a defile of broken terrain surrounded by high ground in anticipation of quickly closing with an enemy in a village.  Instead, we were hammered in and on the exit of the defile.  This is basic security, and yet I've seen more than one instance of it being poorly understood/executed by commanders.

1.  Note the importance of the map recce and identifying probable contact points prior to stepping off.  A commander should be able to do this from his turret in a pinch if he has to.  This is good "snap training" a leader can conduct with his/her subordinates in a pinch with a map.  This wasn't done because the commander being training situated his estimate - he assumed the enemy would be sitting on the other side of the defile and built his plan around that situated estimate.

2.  Note the organization for the advance.  The US uses a system of "reconnaissance element/forward security element (FSE)/advance guard (AG)."  Canadian doctrine has a similar doctrinal concept, except that the wording is a bit muddled (there is contradiction between terminology due to an incomplete revision).  321-005 (BG in Ops) terms it a covering force and the advance guard (with vanguard (= US FSE) and main guard (= US AG)).  I think the term "covering force" for the reconnaissance element is fundamentally wrong (despite the reason given at page 9-10 of 321-005), as a reconnaissance element and a covering force have two doctrinally different missions.  In fact, the entire Recce Element/Vanguard/Main Guard should be termed "the covering force" for an advancing element.  This should look familiar to anyone who has grappled with a Soviet/Russian/Red Force element in an exercise, as the Recce/Forward Security/Vanguard was SOP for their mechanized advance. 

3.  Notice the importance of getting out your scouts/infantrymen at the appropriate time to secure high ground and assist in mounted reconnaissance.  For some reason, some mechanized commanders are reluctant to do this, and I've seen it lead to inflated (simulated) casualties on exercise as soldiers are killed/wounded while riding in the back of vehicles.

4.  This security principle, although focused on a mechanized force, is also applicable to a light force.  A light battalion, advancing through the mountains or jungle or where ever, should employ its reconnaissance platoon and a rifle company (with support) as a covering force consisting of a recce element, a vanguard, and a main guard.

5.  Force on force is the only way to bring these lessons out.  Figure 11s in a live fire environment would simply give the commander being trained the opportunity to dismount and start shooting.  Force on force is the peak of the training pyramid, hands down.

6.  This scenario also highlights the value of "training to failure."  Similar to my experience, I'm sure the commander in the above anecdote will never wish away security again.  It is probably important that every maneuver commander be exposed to a scenario like this during their command tenure to feel what it's like if they don't employ enough security on the move. 
 

Infanteer

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Here, from the first part of the article, is a great example of how successful security was employed to achieve success.

http://www.benning.army.mil/infantry/magazine/issues/2017/JAN-MAR/pdf/1)Farmer_InfAttack.pdf

Battle for Granite Pass: Engagement Area Development – “Step Zero” The Granite Pass complex loomed large to the north. With a daunting ridgeline running east to west with canalizing terrain connecting the northern and central mobility corridors, it consisted of the main pass and three other smaller choke points in the Granite Mountains. The Stryker infantry battalion task force was assigned the mission of defending the pass complex in order to protect the northern flank of the brigade and, if the defense was successful, possibly seizing it in the future to support subsequent offensive operations. Due to weather and competing collection priorities across the BCT, the battalion did not have an accurate assessment of the enemy disposition in vicinity of Granite Pass. The commander was concerned that the battalion would not get started with the steps of engagement area development if the enemy owned key terrain in the passes. The battalion treated the operation like a movement to contact. The scout platoon initiated movement at EENT (end of evening nautical twilight). Bravo Company was next in the order of movement using a forward security element-advance guard (FSE-AG) formation. The probable line of deployment (PLD) was drawn up more than four kilometers from the Granite Pass to account for the possibility that the enemy would have AT-5s in vicinity of that key and canalizing terrain. The commander gave guidance to have the Infantrymen dismount from an objective rally point (ORP) shy of the PLD. He believed they would make initial contact and realistically destroy the lead enemy platoon and fix the remainder of a company-sized force. That would help develop the situation in order to figure out how to subsequently maneuver Alpha and Charlie Companies against the remaining enemy forces if necessary. If Bravo didn’t make contact, then they would continue to secure the pass while the other two companies transitioned into engagement area development. Particular emphasis was given to ensuring the battalion mortars were third in the order of movement right behind Bravo so they were within range to echelon fires in the likely event that Bravo made contact.

The temperature dropped more than 20 degrees in less than an hour as the sun set that evening. Mountains previously baking in the hot, orange sun now turned purple in the shadows. It was still in the mid-70s, but compared to the mid-90s experienced just an hour prior the men shivered a little bit as they adjusted to the drastic temperature drop while conducting final pre-combat inspections. Shortly after 2000 hours the scouts started their movement using the cover of darkness to conceal themselves as they departed the Iron Triangle, inching their way north along the 114-wadi (a system of deep wadis that handrail the complex terrain on the south and eastern side of Granite Pass). They weren’t able to enjoy the benefits of riding in their Stryker reconnaissance variants (RVs) for very long as they dutifully dismounted at the PLD. Now dismounted on foot, they “pulled” their vehicles along in overwatch. The Strykers would trail approximately 600 meters or one intervisibility line behind their scouts. This facilitated the scouts in finding the enemy first without risking the loss of their RVs to enemy anti-tank systems. It also kept their Stryker-mounted M2 .50 caliber machine guns close enough to provide suppressive fires should they make direct fire contact with enemy infantry. Bravo Company impatiently waited until 2330 hours before initiating its own movement. Start too soon and the scouts wouldn’t have a chance to infiltrate ahead of them or provide them with information on any enemy that might be present in the pass. There was an added benefit to giving the scouts a chance to do their job. It allowed the Infantrymen to stay mounted a little bit longer. Fresh legs would be nice if this movement to contact turned into a “fight to daylight.”

It was now after midnight, and the scouts were climbing over the boulders separating the main pass and the smaller pass called “Granite West.” Less than 200 meters away, the scouts noticed movement to their north. Shots rang out; they were in direct-fire contact. The scouts hunkered down behind some boulders and immediately began calling for fire. The battalion mortars following Bravo Company went into action. The enemy answered back with their own mortars, but it was difficult to pinpoint locations for two scout teams. Bravo Company had stayed mounted following in trail behind the scout RVs, but now they dismounted their Infantrymen once they received reports of the direct-fire contact. There was no point in risking the loss of rifle squads in the backs of their Infantry Carrier Vehicles (ICVs) to an enemy AT system now that they had a better idea of where the threat was located. They were already within the maximum engagement lines of any existing AT-5 or AT-13 systems. Still it would be another 90 minutes before the Infantrymen could close the distance between themselves and the scouts. The scouts had to survive using their radios and supporting 120mm mortars. Bravo Company transitioned to a company wedge formation with the two advance guard platoons trailing the forward security element (FSE) platoon. The scouts talked the FSE onto their position, and a little after 0200 the FSE made direct-fire contact with the enemy infantry. Scouts continued to call for supporting mortar fires while the lead platoon got its M240Bs into action. Effective suppressive fires from the medium machine guns allowed the Bravo Company commander to maneuver his other two platoons to the flank of the enemy which he now determined to be a company-sized force.

The battalion mortars were having good effects. Tarantula observer coach/trainers (OC/Ts) clambered across the rocks reporting battle damage assessments (BDA) for both sides. Enemy forces that weren’t destroyed by the mortars were forced to reposition. Every time they had to reposition meant a missed opportunity to employ their AT-5s and AT-13s against the Stryker vehicles which were now visible in the moonlight. First came the 120mm mortars, then .50 cal. fires from overwatching Strykers, then the roar of the M240Bs alternating fires by section, and finally the sound of voices… the voices of rifle squads as they bounded between the huge boulders of the pass complex. It was too much, and the enemy infantry force did not have prepared positions. They had been conducting a movement to contact just like the rotational unit. Alpha Company was later committed into the fight in order to maintain the tempo of the attack. The fighting continued into the early morning with the remaining enemy forces breaking contact shortly after BMNT (begin morning nautical twilight). The Stryker task force had two platoons worth of casualties that it had to evacuate as well, but it retained control of the pass complex. The Infantry Soldiers were exhausted after fighting all night, bounding over and around “dinosaur-sized boulders” to close with and destroy the enemy. ICVs came forward to resupply fatigued rifle and weapons squads with the two most important classes of supply (water and ammunition) to keep them in the fight. Later that morning, the battalion commander would gather his company commanders and selected staff members to a point on the ground in the middle of the engagement area and identify it as the location where he wanted to destroy the enemy — step three of engagement area development. However, they wouldn’t have gotten to step three if they hadn’t first accomplished “Step Zero — Establish the Security Zone.”

Observations — Step three of engagement area development — identifying where you want to destroy the enemy — is arguably the most important step of planning and preparing for defensive operations because it shapes and drives all of the other steps of the development process. Emplacement of key weapons, obstacles, and supporting fires all revolve around step three. Rotational units often become so focused on following the steps of engagement area development that they forget the first and most important priority of work: establish and maintain local area security. During defensive operations, we often refer to this as the non-doctrinal step zero of engagement area development — also known as establishing the security zone. Only after a security zone is established can a unit accomplish the other steps of engagement area development. In this particular vignette, the rotational unit actually spent nearly 36 hours fighting to clear the Granite Pass complex of enemy infantry forces. Subsequently, the task force commander was able to accomplish the remaining steps of engagement area development; however, the unit would not see the enemy’s main attack by their assault or exploitation forces enter into their developed engagement area.

Why? Their security zone fight was so effective at stripping the enemy of their reconnaissance assets and infantry forces in vicinity of the pass complex that the opposing force (OPFOR) commander decided to attack elsewhere within the rotational unit brigade’s area of operations where he deemed he had a greater probability of success. Not only had the successful security zone fight set conditions for the battalion to conduct engagement area development, but it had also taken away maneuver options for the enemy commander. This rotational unit also correctly identified that its lack of understanding of the enemy’s disposition necessitated a movement-to-contact approach. It utilized its organic scouts followed by a platoon-sized forward security element and subsequently a company minus-sized advance guard to make contact with the smallest element possible. This allowed the task force commander to develop the situation, employ supporting 120mm mortar fires to suppress both enemy infantry and AT systems, and then maneuver the remainder of his task force against the enemy. His ability to compartmentalize (or phase) this operation (first conducting a movement to contact, followed by establishment of the security zone, and finally the execution of the remaining steps of engagement area development) allowed him to not only prepare for a defensive operation but also better posture his force to resume offensive operations when the opportunity presented itself later in the fight.  Thus, what initially seemed like a defensive operation turned into “Infantry Attacks!” at NTC.

1.  "Establishing the Security Zone" is a worthwhile principle (the article mentions it as a "non-doctrinal step" of the defence).  I've read many anecdotes of commanders in combat attacking forward to the edge of their defensive area, and then moving back to the area they wish to defend.  This ensures that defensive preparations can proceed without harrassment or a spoiling attack from an undetected enemy.  Our doctrine discusses this concept in round-about terms, but never codifies it as a single idea of "establishing the security zone."

2.  Notice the use of integral direct and indirect fires and the transition of the fight from the Recce Element to the Main Guard to the Main Body of the battalion?  Pretty good drills - the Battalion Commander's FragO and the Battalion CP's work would have been interesting to see.

3.  Another scenario demonstrating how force on force training is the peak of the ground combat training pyramid, period.  First, this action represented a meeting engagement between one side tasked to defend an area and an OPFOR tasked to prevent it.  Although "defend the pass" was the task, the battalion commander being trained did not situate the estimate, used a sound battle process that focused on "establishing a security zone" and sound organization to maintain security during a night advance.  As a result, an aggressive enemy action was successfully defeated.

4.  The freeplay aspect of force on force is important as well.  Notice, at the end of the anecdote, that the OPFOR commander decided to attack elsewhere along the brigade's defensive perimeter due to the consequences of the battalion's successful fight.  If the battalion was simply hammered by EXCON due to "a script," they would not have learned the value of strong security and the establishment of a security zone on their overall mission.
 

OldSolduer

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Although I'm not half as smart and literate as Infanteer, force on force does teach you. We went to Fort Polk in 1996 and our first mission we were truly smacked hard. The second mission went much better and on the third we were smacking them.
 

b00161400

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Just noticed this thread the other day.  I read these articles and shopped them around my unit last year.  It was good to re read them with your commentary.  A few other thoughts.

Infanteer said:
2.  Note the organization for the advance.  The US uses a system of "reconnaissance element/forward security element (FSE)/advance guard (AG)."  Canadian doctrine has a similar doctrinal concept, except that the wording is a bit muddled (there is contradiction between terminology due to an incomplete revision).  321-005 (BG in Ops) terms it a covering force and the advance guard (with vanguard (= US FSE) and main guard (= US AG)).  I think the term "covering force" for the reconnaissance element is fundamentally wrong (despite the reason given at page 9-10 of 321-005), as a reconnaissance element and a covering force have two doctrinally different missions.  In fact, the entire Recce Element/Vanguard/Main Guard should be termed "the covering force" for an advancing element.  This should look familiar to anyone who has grappled with a Soviet/Russian/Red Force element in an exercise, as the Recce/Forward Security/Vanguard was SOP for their mechanized advance. 

Completely agree with your points on terminology.  I find it funny how some people will offhandedly comment on the "differences between Russian tactics" but as you point out we, doctrinally, advance in a similar fashion.

I was struck at some of the examples of units deliberately dismounting 4 km out from complex terrain to limit their vulnerability to ATGM's even if this meant (presumably based on NTC geography) a dismounted advance across open terrain.  I would have liked to hear some more on dismounted TTPs employed to mitigate their vulnerability to IDF.  I imagine that key's to its success would be reduced visibility, employment of micro terrain as much as possible and just good ol' spacing.  I suspect an early dismount like this might be scoffed at by many in the Canadian Army.

The force on force environment often forces the Blufor to fight for every piece of key terrain.  The enemy can read the ground like you can so if you think it's a good spot for a fire base then he probably has at least thought of a way to disrupt you from occupying it.  This means that things like support elements may not be able to be task organised just to execute that specific task.  This is shown in the Urban Assault on Razish vignette where the support element also had a rifle platoon vice just heavy weapons which facilitated them in seizing the required terrain feature.

Many of the vignettes display the ability of a determined enemy to conceal anti armour weapons.  As discussed in other threads, our assumption that everything on an objective will be destroyed or suppressed when we close with it with mounted infantry is a mistake.  In open terrain like at NTC this mistake is amplified with ATGMs being able to maximise their effective range.

Spacing, or a "tactical interval" between march elements, is essential not only to security but providing decision space to the Comd.  If the Vanguard is right on the recce element's butt and they both get engaged then the commander immediately loses flexibility and is likely now committed to an operation to extract his lead elements and conduct CASEVAC and veh recovery vice acting to steal the initiative from the enemy.  Within elements, spacing must be maintained to ensure survivability and their own flexibility and between march elements an interval must be maintained to ensure elements aren't committed in disadvantageous ways.  This interval must be based on enemy weapons effects, terrain and the desired time for trailing elements to be able to react.

The Canadian Army bias for advance to contact training in IT and other venues has some benefits.  It makes us comfortable with advancing to contact and the drills associated with it including the follow on hasty attack.  Unfortunately it seems like a lot of this training is at Coy/Cbt Tm and lower and so we don't often practice with the covering force (recce elm), vanguard, advance guard, construct.  Often it seems that the answer is two cbt tms up, or two Bn's up, which likely doesn't leave much in depth to give the comd options.
 

daftandbarmy

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Hamish Seggie said:
Although I'm not half as smart and literate as Infanteer, force on force does teach you. We went to Fort Polk in 1996 and our first mission we were truly smacked hard. The second mission went much better and on the third we were smacking them.

Force on force trains the Infantry and the Armoured Corps to appreciate the Artillery, Engineers, Med, Sigs and Recce more.

F-on-F (that lasts longer than 3 or 4 hours) also makes everyone appreciate the Echelon system/ Logistics supply chain....
 

b00161400

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daftandbarmy said:
Force on force trains the Infantry and the Armoured Corps to appreciate the Artillery, Engineers, Med, Sigs and Recce more.

F-on-F (that lasts longer than 3 or 4 hours) also makes everyone appreciate the Echelon system/ Logistics supply chain....

Those are all good points.
 

Infanteer

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Lumber said:
What's "Force on Force" trg?

When two or more organizations are pitted against each other in a training scenario.  Interactions, such as combat, can be invigilated by umpires and/or instrumented systems (laser tag) to help assess outcomes for tactical decisions.

Force on Force can be quite scripted, with each side getting specific injects and tasks, or quite freeplay, where both sides are given broad freedom of action to accomplish a task, and the tactical outcome being based on what decisions each side makes both before and after contact.
 

daftandbarmy

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Infanteer said:
When two or more organizations are pitted against each other in a training scenario.  Interactions, such as combat, can be invigilated by umpires and/or instrumented systems (laser tag) to help assess outcomes for tactical decisions.

Force on Force can be quite scripted, with each side getting specific injects and tasks, or quite freeplay, where both sides are given broad freedom of action to accomplish a task, and the tactical outcome being based on what decisions each side makes both before and after contact.

The best F on F training I've ever done was playing enemy force for battalions going through the NITAT pre-deployment training, out of Stanford Plain Training Area & Hythe and Lydd ranges.

My company was responsible for delaying the deployment of one unit, which shall remain nameless, because they were basically a shambles.  Their CO was definitely not happy with me, or the NITAT Team, but he was basically told to 'about turn' and get his **** together.

It's amazing how fast people can learn when you push flaming cars into their midst, and then beat them all up, when they **** up. ;)
 

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https://www.benning.army.mil/infantry/magazine/issues/2019/Spring/pdf/13_Lally_Train.pdf

A good article on the requirement to properly manage the effects of attrition in force on force training, and the need to discourage callous and/or unrealistic tactics.
 

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Infanteer said:
https://www.benning.army.mil/infantry/magazine/issues/2019/Spring/pdf/13_Lally_Train.pdf

A good article on the requirement to properly manage the effects of attrition in force on force training, and the need to discourage callous and/or unrealistic tactics.

Interesting article, indeed. Are people getting too used to MILES? As an aside, a friend of mine was commanding our infantry school when it trailed a laser engagement system. One of the criticisms levelled at it by the instructional staff was that they were unable to properly assess commanders as they were getting killed too quickly.
 

Infanteer

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Old Sweat said:
Interesting article, indeed. Are people getting too used to MILES? As an aside, a friend of mine was commanding our infantry school when it trailed a laser engagement system. One of the criticisms levelled at it by the instructional staff was that they were unable to properly assess commanders as they were getting killed too quickly.

Lol, I would consider them getting killed to be an assessment factor all of its own!
 

Old Sweat

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Absolutely. This was one of the selling points of laser engagement.

I also once heard of a complaint from the CG of an American armoured division. He said he liked to stand on a hill and watch his tanks manoeuvre; now after they had used MILES, he couldn't see them because they stayed in the low ground.
 

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Infanteer said:
Lol, I would consider them getting killed to be an assessment factor all of its own!

Particularly when most of the hits were in the back.
 

kratz

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In a different training environment ~ not infantry, I failed people who couldn't achieve the stated POs.

When it comes to an issue of lives, whether killing adversaries, advancing your position, or saving lives.
The final outcome is the most accurate measurement.

If you fail, you didn't meet the standard.
 

daftandbarmy

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kratz said:
In a different training environment ~ not infantry, I failed people who couldn't achieve the stated POs.

And this kind of quality control can be achieved without a laser system. It's way better IMHO.
 
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