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US Army Waypoint 2028

WestIsle

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Seems like the US is moving somewhat away from brigades and back into divisions. Below are the different types we can expect.



Interesting how Canada is keeping to the understrength brigades which will include many assets that only need to be deployed in a division or at least in lower quantities.
 

Infanteer

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They were watching the Russians do it 5 years ago.

Who designs a complete formation dedicated to crossing a river under contact? Strange....
 

markppcli

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Interesting how Canada is keeping to the understrength brigades which will include many assets that only need to be deployed in a division or at least in lower quantities.
In what way are the Brigades under strength, do you mean by the units assigned or the actually manning of those units ?
 

daftandbarmy

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They were watching the Russians do it 5 years ago.

Who designs a complete formation dedicated to crossing a river under contact? Strange....

Replace 'river' with 'ocean' and that pretty much describes the US Marines, doesn't it?
 

FJAG

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Seems like the US is moving somewhat away from brigades and back into divisions. Below are the different types we can expect.



Interesting how Canada is keeping to the understrength brigades which will include many assets that only need to be deployed in a division or at least in lower quantities.
A very interesting post. I'm mulling the reason for this. I note the following:

Penetration Div:
  • BCT Paladins grouped in div arty bde and an ERCA GS bn added;
  • combined arms bns back up to four companies 2 tank/2 inf
  • BSBs retained (but I expect the FSC for the BCT arty bns will move to the arty bde - but no organic MLRS;
  • a robot combat vehicle company in each bde
  • a new div cav sqn BUT this seems to be an overall cavalry reduction because each BCT has a three cav troop/1 tank coy cav sqn now for a total of 9 cav troops and 3 tank coys - this is going down to 6 troops and a surveillance company - I expect this is where the additional tank companies in the bde's are coming from - not sure where the six extra inf coys are coming from
  • interesting if each cav troop goes half and half tanks and Bradleys - this ups the net tank count in the div by 12 tank platoons (4 companies or 1.3 bns);
  • engineers up big time
Heavy Div
  • not sure if these combined arms bns are 2x2 coys or 2x1/1x2 coys, bde Cav sqns remain with no div cav sqn.
  • only 2 ABCTs + 1 Stryker bde - interesting;
  • only three close support arty bns with no GS bn - no MLRS;
Light Div
  • Inf BCTs change cav sqn to cav troop;
  • div adds a tank bn which looks like a better than MGS but not as good as an Abrams ;
  • again no arty GS bn nor HIMARS;
  • from 3 IBCT engr bn to just two divisional ones!!!
Joint Forcible Entry Div -Abn
  • Inf BCT change cav sqn to cav troop and loose engr bn
  • div cav sqn added
  • div tank bn added
Joint Forcible Entry Div - Air Asslt
  • same as above;
  • looks like 101 may gain an assault hel bn
There are some changes here which are notable (such as the return of 2x2 combined arms battalions) and the return to certain divisional control such as artillery and engineers. The cavalry changes were probably necessary to give the div better control of cav resources in a div battle and make sense. Leaving the BSBs with the BCTs also makes sense.

The existing div HQs, however, were already set up with Div Arty HQs to comm and and control both BCT arty as well as attached arty bdes or bns. I presume FSO and observer teams will still be affiliated with and stay with their manoeuvre bns. Same with sustainment bdes and engineer bdes and manoeuvre enhancement brigades. Can't see much improvement there.

I can see what they are doing, I'm just not so sure it was overall necessary. I expect 3 Corps at Fort Hood will have one or more of the Penetration Divs.

🍻
 

TangoTwoBravo

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They were watching the Russians do it 5 years ago.

Who designs a complete formation dedicated to crossing a river under contact? Strange....
Penetration Division - the new Panzer Division. Booyah!

Anyone catch the Canadian flag on the wall?

So I guess we'll also be getting a new staff section - the G39.
 

WestIsle

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In what way are the Brigades under strength, do you mean by the units assigned or the actually manning of those units ?
The manning of the units is hugely under strength and the infantry battalions lack proper CSS outside of recce. The armored recce battalions are really 1 tank regiment, 1 LAV regiment, and an armored car regiment. The 3rd battalions are actually just 2 companies and are not mechanized to the mec brigade doesn't contain the 3 dedicated maneuver elements. Engineer Regiments depend on what brigade youre in and the artillery is literally one battery of guns split in 2. Thats just off the top of my head but yeah thats pretty under strength
 

KevinB

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The manning of the units is hugely under strength and the infantry battalions lack proper CSS outside of recce. The armored recce battalions are really 1 tank regiment, 1 LAV regiment, and an armored car regiment. The 3rd battalions are actually just 2 companies and are not mechanized to the mec brigade doesn't contain the 3 dedicated maneuver elements. Engineer Regiments depend on what brigade youre in and the artillery is literally one battery of guns split in 2. Thats just off the top of my head but yeah thats pretty under strength
CMBG's are theoretically very robust Medium formations - on paper.

1 CMBG has all the tanks.
Each Inf Reg't can only realistically field a full BN,
Engineers are missing a lot of equipment
Artillery - well the Regular Force Arty of 2022 have less tubes than 1 RCHA did in the 90's.
No GBAD
No Modern ATGM
No IFV
No AH

Realistically Canada can field a poorly equipped Bde, by robbing it's other Bde's - and pulling in some Reservists.
 

markppcli

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The manning of the units is hugely under strength and the infantry battalions lack proper CSS outside of recce. The armored recce battalions are really 1 tank regiment, 1 LAV regiment, and an armored car regiment. The 3rd battalions are actually just 2 companies and are not mechanized to the mec brigade doesn't contain the 3 dedicated maneuver elements. Engineer Regiments depend on what brigade youre in and the artillery is literally one battery of guns split in 2. Thats just off the top of my head but yeah thats pretty under strength
So both lol. I think in terms on “on paper” their fairly robust.

GBAD should be procured but is that a Bde or Div asset?

Combat Support Coys - agreed and I don’t think the reserve mortar platoons is really that workable if a solution.

Tanks - yeah agreed, although all wheeled Bdes put us on par with many of our peers in NATO and some rivals ( China).

Artillery - Hard yes, need more guns.
 

MilEME09

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So both lol. I think in terms on “on paper” their fairly robust.

GBAD should be procured but is that a Bde or Div asset?

Combat Support Coys - agreed and I don’t think the reserve mortar platoons is really that workable if a solution.

Tanks - yeah agreed, although all wheeled Bdes put us on par with many of our peers in NATO and some rivals ( China).

Artillery - Hard yes, need more guns.
GBAD - depends on the system the procure and its capabilities.

Support coys - we need to diversify more too, mortar platoons are nice but given what's old is new again. Pioneer, anti-tank, etc....

Tanks- we really need more, just even in terms of spares, if we lost a tank, that's it, there's nothing to replace it.
 

Kirkhill

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A very interesting post. I'm mulling the reason for this. I note the following:

Penetration Div:
  • BCT Paladins grouped in div arty bde and an ERCA GS bn added;
  • combined arms bns back up to four companies 2 tank/2 inf
  • BSBs retained (but I expect the FSC for the BCT arty bns will move to the arty bde - but no organic MLRS;
  • a robot combat vehicle company in each bde
  • a new div cav sqn BUT this seems to be an overall cavalry reduction because each BCT has a three cav troop/1 tank coy cav sqn now for a total of 9 cav troops and 3 tank coys - this is going down to 6 troops and a surveillance company - I expect this is where the additional tank companies in the bde's are coming from - not sure where the six extra inf coys are coming from
  • interesting if each cav troop goes half and half tanks and Bradleys - this ups the net tank count in the div by 12 tank platoons (4 companies or 1.3 bns);
  • engineers up big time
Heavy Div
  • not sure if these combined arms bns are 2x2 coys or 2x1/1x2 coys, bde Cav sqns remain with no div cav sqn.
  • only 2 ABCTs + 1 Stryker bde - interesting;
  • only three close support arty bns with no GS bn - no MLRS;
Light Div
  • Inf BCTs change cav sqn to cav troop;
  • div adds a tank bn which looks like a better than MGS but not as good as an Abrams ;
  • again no arty GS bn nor HIMARS;
  • from 3 IBCT engr bn to just two divisional ones!!!
Joint Forcible Entry Div -Abn
  • Inf BCT change cav sqn to cav troop and loose engr bn
  • div cav sqn added
  • div tank bn added
Joint Forcible Entry Div - Air Asslt
  • same as above;
  • looks like 101 may gain an assault hel bn
There are some changes here which are notable (such as the return of 2x2 combined arms battalions) and the return to certain divisional control such as artillery and engineers. The cavalry changes were probably necessary to give the div better control of cav resources in a div battle and make sense. Leaving the BSBs with the BCTs also makes sense.

The existing div HQs, however, were already set up with Div Arty HQs to comm and and control both BCT arty as well as attached arty bdes or bns. I presume FSO and observer teams will still be affiliated with and stay with their manoeuvre bns. Same with sustainment bdes and engineer bdes and manoeuvre enhancement brigades. Can't see much improvement there.

I can see what they are doing, I'm just not so sure it was overall necessary. I expect 3 Corps at Fort Hood will have one or more of the Penetration Divs.

🍻


Recognizing that this presentation describes an evolving situation a couple of things stood out for me.


HIMARS/MLRS and LRPF -

I went looking for these and didn't find them in the Divisional Structure wiring diagrams. On the other hand I found them in the Waypoint 2028 video. At the Corps level there is an Operational Fires Command which appears to be a central coordinator for all available Joint Fires. It doesn't seem to have any permanently assigned weapons systems of its own. (cf the 11:00 mark of the video). At the 11:30 mark the video describes the Penetration Division's Artillery Brigade's three "Organic" Battalions and its "Extended Range Cannong" Battalion as engaging the enemy "with both cannon and rocket fire". To me that suggests three courses of action - the first is that all rocket fires are to brigaded at the army level and assigned to the Theater/Corps based on operational estimates. The second is that each "Organic" Divisional Battalion will be a mix of both 155s and Rockets. The third option is both options 1 and 2 - a HIMARS/MLRS Rocket battery in each divisional cannon battalion focusing on the 70 km (???) fight. And additional HIMARS/MLRS batteries brigaded, like ADA brigades, for assignment to support the fight with 6 packs of 150 km GMLRS-ER rockets and twin packs of 500 km PRSMs. Presumably the 1500 km GLCMs and SM6s will be brigaded separately.

Tanks -

The US army seems to be of the opinion that anything with tracks and a gun is a tank! At least with respect to its wiring diagrams. In the heavy and penetration divisions we can safely assume that a tank is a tank. A 70 tonne Abrams.

In the Light, Air Assault and Airborne divisions though, although there is a "Tank" battalion include in the OrBat those are explicitly defined as MPF or "Mobile Protected Firepower" vehicles. The two candidates are the 19 ton aluminum M8 Assault Gun System from BAE, rejected in 1997 in favour of dollars for Strykers, and the GDLS system, based on the well known AJAX platform. Both are armed with soft recoil 105s. In other words they are MGS infantry support guns mounted on tracks instead of wheels. And they are deployed in divisions that will move by air and on wheels.
 

TangoTwoBravo

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This could probably do with a thread split, but the US Army move to Divisions with a very much enhanced Corps is indeed quite a shift. The video, while certainly inward-focused IO, does a good job of explaining. The COIN wars since 2001 saw a shift to BCTs and lower while the demands of peer competition mean that the Corps and Div matter again. Looks like they are making a deliberate effort to defeat the various systems that a potential peer could use against a US-led force, hence the centralized CS brigades controlled by Corps and the Penetration Division. So the Corps will defeat the adversary systems to enable the Penetration division to carry out its eponymous role.

Time will tell if actual new equipment will appear in the Divisions or if the "big five" will continue to soldier on in upgraded forms. Not sure if any tank developments would really result in a different tank than the M1 being worthwhile.

Anyhoo.
 

Kirkhill

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CMBG's are theoretically very robust Medium formations - on paper.

1 CMBG has all the tanks.
Each Inf Reg't can only realistically field a full BN,
Engineers are missing a lot of equipment
Artillery - well the Regular Force Arty of 2022 have less tubes than 1 RCHA did in the 90's.
No GBAD
No Modern ATGM
No IFV
No AH

Realistically Canada can field a poorly equipped Bde, by robbing it's other Bde's - and pulling in some Reservists.


Kevin, in the Waypoint 2028 construct Canada has all the command elements necessary to create a division somewhere between the Standard Heavy (2x Tracks and 1x LAVs) and a Standard Light (3x Light Motorized Brigades each with a Recce Sqn and a divisional level three company assault gun battalion as well as a three battalion divisional level artillery brigade) We even have the elements of an Aviation Brigade.

The skeleton is there for 2 LAV brigades, a Lt Brigade, a Tank (Assault Gun) Regiment, Div Arty Bde and an Aviation Bde. We even have the incipient CSSB as a Protection Brigade with an AD Regiment among other things. Most of the Brigade level kit isn't ridiculously out of step with they kit available to the Yanks. The materiel problems increase the further from the coal face we get. But the biggest single problem as ever, as always, is the allocation of warm bodies. And that is rendered all the more problematic by the fact that the government has authorised bodies that the army can't seem to recruit or retain.
 

Kirkhill

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This could probably do with a thread split, but the US Army move to Divisions with a very much enhanced Corps is indeed quite a shift. The video, while certainly inward-focused IO, does a good job of explaining. The COIN wars since 2001 saw a shift to BCTs and lower while the demands of peer competition mean that the Corps and Div matter again. Looks like they are making a deliberate effort to defeat the various systems that a potential peer could use against a US-led force, hence the centralized CS brigades controlled by Corps and the Penetration Division. So the Corps will defeat the adversary systems to enable the Penetration division to carry out its eponymous role.

Time will tell if actual new equipment will appear in the Divisions or if the "big five" will continue to soldier on in upgraded forms. Not sure if any tank developments would really result in a different tank than the M1 being worthwhile.

Anyhoo.

And they retain the ability to rapidly split some of its divisions into independently deployable Brigade Combat Teams with capabilities in a wide variety of terrain.
 

KevinB

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Kevin, in the Waypoint 2028 construct Canada has all the command elements necessary
Colored me shocked that Canada has enough HQ's /sarcasm
to create a division somewhere between the Standard Heavy (2x Tracks and 1x LAVs) and a Standard Light (3x Light Motorized Brigades each with a Recce Sqn and a divisional level three company assault gun battalion as well as a three battalion divisional level artillery brigade) We even have the elements of an Aviation Brigade.
You don't have that force at all. It is all on paper.

Tanks - 3 Squadrons
LAV's - 6 Companies maybe 9 with reserves called up
Artillery - you have what 39 M777's - which notionally would be 3x8 gun Batteries and some spares - which used to be the guns held by an RCHA Reg't allocate to one Bde...

Honestly the force that is available is arguably smaller than 4 CMBG was back in the day.

The skeleton is there for 2 LAV brigades, a Lt Brigade, a Tank (Assault Gun) Regiment, Div Arty Bde and an Aviation Bde. We even have the incipient CSSB as a Protection Brigade with an AD Regiment among other things.
Key word being 'skeleton'
Most of the Brigade level kit isn't ridiculously out of step with they kit available to the Yanks.
Lets agree to disagree there.
The materiel problems increase the further from the coal face we get.
Material problems exist at #2 Rifleman level - but yes they increase the further up
But the biggest single problem as ever, as always, is the allocation of warm bodies. And that is rendered all the more problematic by the fact that the government has authorised bodies that the army can't seem to recruit or retain.
Bodies are no doubt an issue - but I'd argue that the CA also loves to have a lot of useless HQ's and positions that could be at the coal face are sitting in front of a computer.
 

MilEME09

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Technically we have less then 39 guns available because some would be at the arty school, and I know of atleast 1 or 2 at RCEME school.
 

Halifax Tar

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We don't have many toys, nor do we have an effective way to quickly position them anywhere or sustain them with pers and material.

Sounds like us just before WW1 and WW2.
 

FJAG

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Recognizing that this presentation describes an evolving situation a couple of things stood out for me.


HIMARS/MLRS and LRPF -

I went looking for these and didn't find them in the Divisional Structure wiring diagrams. On the other hand I found them in the Waypoint 2028 video. At the Corps level there is an Operational Fires Command which appears to be a central coordinator for all available Joint Fires. It doesn't seem to have any permanently assigned weapons systems of its own. (cf the 11:00 mark of the video). At the 11:30 mark the video describes the Penetration Division's Artillery Brigade's three "Organic" Battalions and its "Extended Range Cannong" Battalion as engaging the enemy "with both cannon and rocket fire". To me that suggests three courses of action - the first is that all rocket fires are to brigaded at the army level and assigned to the Theater/Corps based on operational estimates. The second is that each "Organic" Divisional Battalion will be a mix of both 155s and Rockets. The third option is both options 1 and 2 - a HIMARS/MLRS Rocket battery in each divisional cannon battalion focusing on the 70 km (???) fight. And additional HIMARS/MLRS batteries brigaded, like ADA brigades, for assignment to support the fight with 6 packs of 150 km GMLRS-ER rockets and twin packs of 500 km PRSMs. Presumably the 1500 km GLCMs and SM6s will be brigaded separately.
I think that it will probably be more like the current system which has some rocket resources at corps level and additional ones as part of the army in general that can be attached to a corps as required. Currently III Corps has the 75th Field Artillery Brigade with 5 rocket bns while I Corps has the 17th FAB with two bns as has the XVIII Corps have the 18th FAB with two. There are also the 41st and 210th FABs with two each in Europe and Korea respectively. Rounding that out are eight ARNG FABs which are mixtures of M777; Paladins; and HIMARS

This could probably do with a thread split, but the US Army move to Divisions with a very much enhanced Corps is indeed quite a shift. The video, while certainly inward-focused IO, does a good job of explaining. The COIN wars since 2001 saw a shift to BCTs and lower while the demands of peer competition mean that the Corps and Div matter again. Looks like they are making a deliberate effort to defeat the various systems that a potential peer could use against a US-led force, hence the centralized CS brigades controlled by Corps and the Penetration Division. So the Corps will defeat the adversary systems to enable the Penetration division to carry out its eponymous role.

Time will tell if actual new equipment will appear in the Divisions or if the "big five" will continue to soldier on in upgraded forms. Not sure if any tank developments would really result in a different tank than the M1 being worthwhile.

Anyhoo.

Aside from the obvious changes that I saw as noteworthy above, there are three things that stick out as questions which only time will answer:
  • There is no Stryker Division. The 7th Inf Div in Fort Lewis-McChord had three Stryker BCTs (two active and one from the WANG) while the 2nd Inf Div in Korea has two IBCTs (both at Fort Lewis) and, like the rest of I Corps targeted at Korea and the Pacific theatre. It will be interesting to see how these will be restructured.
  • The only division to have "robot combat vehicle" companies are the Penetration Division at the bde level. The mil symbol for it contains both a "track" and an "unmanned aerial vehicle" chevron. The whole thing is experimental right now but its still surprising to see it added in one structure and not the rest;
  • I really do not see a big change in divisional structures. There is tweaking here and there but the bigger changes are at the lower levels (such as a 2 x 2 combined arms bn). Much of this could already be done using the existing divisional headquarters and modular manoeuvre, CS and CSS bdes. The big change is the conceptual change in moving the term "unit of action" from the BCT to the div. It removes some of the ad hocery that comes with "building block" divisions and adds some doctrinal a and training stability. - It will be most interesting to see how that plays out in both the Pacific and European theatres. In Korea there is the 2nd Inf Div which as stated above has only two Stryker BCTs both stationed at Fort Lewis and which rotate personnel through Korea. Meanwhile in Europe under V Corps is only the division-like 7th Training Command with an SBCT and FAB in Germany and an Airborne IBCT in Italy. Both have additional theatre level assets in place. Again the real hallmark here is how will these organizations be restructured (i.e. how will they be redesignated and what brigades put under their command whether in theatre or elsewhere) I Corps already has a structure but it's quite modular and will probably change. V Corps is just formative. It will be interesting to see if there is a shift of formations from III Corps to V Corps.
🍻
 

Kirkhill

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Colored me shocked that Canada has enough HQ's /sarcasm

You don't have that force at all. It is all on paper.

Tanks - 3 Squadrons
LAV's - 6 Companies maybe 9 with reserves called up
Artillery - you have what 39 M777's - which notionally would be 3x8 gun Batteries and some spares - which used to be the guns held by an RCHA Reg't allocate to one Bde...

Honestly the force that is available is arguably smaller than 4 CMBG was back in the day.


Key word being 'skeleton'

Lets agree to disagree there.

Material problems exist at #2 Rifleman level - but yes they increase the further up

Bodies are no doubt an issue - but I'd argue that the CA also loves to have a lot of useless HQ's and positions that could be at the coal face are sitting in front of a computer.
Can we leave it at this?

Of all the constructs there, the one that is closest to Canada's grasp is that of a "Standard" Division positioned half way between the Light and Heavy Divisions. Divisions that are constructed for general duties under a Corps construct, or, that can throw of an independent Brigade Combat Team at short notice.

I think that Canada could get there with a bit of focus and attention to detail.
 

daftandbarmy

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We don't have many toys, nor do we have an effective way to quickly position them anywhere or sustain them with pers and material.

Sounds like us just before WW1 and WW2.

Except that, before WW2, we had two regiments that don't exist anymore:

The Royal Rifles of Canada and the Winnipeg Grenadiers.


Because, in Canada, it appears that the reward you get from a grateful country for being wiped out during a bravely fought 'forlorn hope' defensive battle, with the survivors being tortured for years after in POW camps, is to be obliterated permanently from the order of battle.
 
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