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Thread: Roadside Bombs & IEDs (catch all)

  1. #201
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default The fact that you would suggest I 'drop'

    shows that even though you were in the Army and now read a lot, you still don't really understand that Army...

    I don't drop and give anyone 20, have not since jump school much less making SGT and that long before being a SGM. Nor did I ever 'drop' people, that's a stupid punishment or harassment that accomplishes nothing except antagonizing the troops needlessly. I have yet to see a few pushups make better Soldiers or clean a weapon or a latrine. All minor froth in any event as I'm not a SGM anymore, just an old retarded silly-villian who dang sure doesn't do pushups for anyone.

    No. I'm not quibbling, now and only rarely otherwise. I'm merely expanding on your post. I'm also pointing out that your inference; the Army did this years ago, while correct apparently inadvertantly omits the fact that the Marines got there long before the Army did and refined the process perhaps more rapidly.

    My post does refer back to the thread in the context of other recent posts and thus wasn't just another link or two posted with no real discussion. It also tried to add some context to your blind posted links and quote, thus I was trying to help, mot quibble.

    You'll note I added mention of the Air Assault II Exercise and Test. It was conducted actually after that Resolution in October of '64 but it is, I think, relevant to this thread in the sense that said test showed all the flaws later operational experience with helicopters has revealed. As I've suggested before, if you want to flood the area with links, fine -- but we would hope you had some thoughts pertaining to them to add to the link.

    In any event, I'm totally unsure what the relevance of the Howze Board being conducted before the Tonkin Resolution has to do with Vertical Envelopment and IED's as this thread has developed and I'd really appreciate knowing what that connection and point happen to be.

  2. #202
    Council Member Pete's Avatar
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    Ken, the "drop and give me two-zero" post was made in jest. I deleted it about 15 minutes after posting it when I thought it might be misconstrued--if you were offended I apologize. I enjoy the perspective and institutional memory you add to this forum and a few of the published anecdotes on the '50s and '60s I've posted here have been deliberate attempts to draw you out.

    I brought up the subject of the Howze Board because Slapout had said that air cavalry was implemented for Vietnam; Willf added his thoughts on air mobility. I was reluctant to directly contradict anyone but thought some background on how the air mobile division came to be would add to the discussion. Usually when the Army makes a ruling on a concept the basic idea has been under consideration for quite some time, often on an ad hoc basis. It's a bit like the Army R & D stuff I used to do as a contractor--there's no funding or official backing to do any work until there's a TRADOC-approved requirements document.

    In March 2003 the 11th Attack Helicopter Regiment, V Corps, took quite a beating in the vicinity of Karbala. I don't know what impact it may have had on air mobile doctrine and tactics.
    Last edited by Pete; 01-24-2010 at 12:03 AM. Reason: Spelling

  3. #203
    Council Member reed11b's Avatar
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    I have some STOL UAV plans from an old school FAC that had some published articles on UAV concepts a while back. They kind of address what Xenophon is saying though they are longer range in concept. I'll have to see if the owner of the concepts is okay with me sharing. There was a double ducted fan VTOL UAV design a few years back by the same company that was trying to make backpack vtol that was meant for resupply type missions. My though is that they would have to be able opperate autonomously to be viable.
    Reed
    Quote Originally Posted by sapperfitz82 View Post
    This truly is the bike helmet generation.

  4. #204
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    Default Pete, 11 AHR wasn't airmobile...

    They were conducting a deep attack against a brigade (I believe) of Iraqi armored forces. This was an AH-64 force. The attack was not coordinated well with any SEAD and the force got fired up quite a bit by small-arms fire, to the point that they couldn't continue the mission.

    So what is the relevance? Well, the Army seems to be forgetting about deep attacks and is focusing on Apaches conducting direct support to ground forces - and are doing an excellent job of it. If reacting to a TIC, they show up overhead, and talk to the ground force commander, telling him what he has, and for how long, and asks for an update on the situation and what the ground force needs him to do. Simple, no JTAC/Anglico to work through, on regular FM nets. If it is a preplanned mission, a bit of coord can make sure that they have the same mission graphics that the ground force is using.

    I am not an expert on Air Assault missions, I am just a big fan of the direction that attack aviation elements have gone. I would not be surprised if the deep attack has fallen completely out of favor, freeing up a lot more Apaches to work with the guys on the ground.

    By far, the easiest and most responsive aviation asset available to the ground force maneuver commander.

    Tankersteve

  5. #205
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default No problem, Pete

    Not offended, just have a long term antipathy to dropping or 'smoking' people -- idle harassment IMO. I've never seen any benefit in it. None. The concept raises my hackles and being a curmudgeon, I tend to curmudge about it...

    Thanks for the expansion on the original post, that places it in context and makes sense. Might I suggest that wasn't apparent to an old slow Dude like me. The younger folks may have instantly gotten the connection but many of my synapses have synapped...

    No need to try to draw me out, best bet is just to ask a question and I'll answer as best I can or admit I'm clueless (a frequent occurrence). Some folks post with a lot of links, I use very few. Everyone has their own techniques, which is fine but this is a discussion board where one can say what one thinks and ask questions, it isn't a forum where brevity is desired (good thing or I'd be in deep yogurt...).

    As Tankersteve says, aviation doctrine is evolving and mostly for the better. Helicopters are great items of equipment but like anything else, they have to be used as designed and the limitations have to be respected. We misused them in Viet Nam (badly in some cases) and the Karbala attack was an exercise in bone stupidity. However, we are getting better.

    Interestingly, Howze -- a former cavalryman and one of the better Generals of his era (he was the best XVIII Abn Corps Commander I've seen thus far, probably as good as was Ridgeway) was way back then adamant that attempting to directly attack ground elements with Armor and ADA using gun ships was excessively dangerous and that airmobile raids with carefully chosen LZs and the guns in support were the best use of airmobile assets...

    He also said they'd be used for log support and overflying significantly dangerous terrain or routes subject to heavy attack -- and he pushed for more heavy birds (Chinooks) versus the lighter ones (UH1 / UH60). Unfortunately, he lost that one but the Marines listened and thus are replacing their Phrogs with Ospreys and the 53E with the K model...

  6. #206
    Council Member Pete's Avatar
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    Thanks Steve. Perhaps "Aviation doctrine and tactics" were the words I should have used.

    Edit:
    Ken, I'm glad you weren't offended. For a moment there I thought you might have something against people who live in West Virginia!
    Last edited by Pete; 01-24-2010 at 02:40 AM. Reason: Added second paragraph

  7. #207
    Council Member 82redleg's Avatar
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    In preparation for "WW3 (TM)" in Europe, Aviation (specifically, attack aviation) convinced the Army that they were a maneuver branch, vice a fire support element (witness the use of the Aerial Rocket Artillery Battalion in the Vietnam-era Air Cavalry Division, vice the normal GS 155/8in composite BN). I think that Karbala finally showed the fallacy of this, and since then, attack aviation has generally been employed as a fire support asset (witness TankerSteve, and the increased emphasis on CCA).

    As a fire supporter, this is a good thing, IMHO. It emphasizes the necesity of integrating the aviation plan into the ground plan, which sometimes falls by the wayside when you treat your aviation as a separate maneuver element.

  8. #208
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Yep, they did -- and gained autonomous branch status in the process.

    That move, IMO, was as bad as making SF a branch. Both fields originally were effectively branch immaterial and Officers from all branches got to fly and do SF things -- they then rotated back to the 'Big Army" and spread their wealth and knowledge and the two specialties reaped the benefit of a far larger pool of incoming folks which forestalled a lot of bureaucracy and inbreeding. It was beneficial for everyone. The Warrants in both branches (SF later) and the NCOs provided continuity and the system worked quite well. This from a guy who actually wore Branch Unassigned brass and had no beret even if he did have an 'S' suffix on his MOS in the days prior to the 18 series...

    However, it was a pain to the Per community who cheerfully supported separate branches to lighten their workload -- great Guys, they're always giving...

    The few to many (it varied from time to time dependent upon the attitude of the Army leadership to the specialty in question) malcontents who argued for pure Branch status with the expectation that 'everything will be better, we'll be richer, we can write our own doctrine and we can control our own destiny...' have found out that it may be better in some respects but it's worse in others -- and it isn't much more wealth-showering, their doctrine is still shackled and they do not control their own destiny.

    The Army, Aviation and SF all lost a bit...

    Pete: How can anyone who reveres T.J. Jackson as one of his major Gods have anything against West by God... *

    ( * aka Byrdland )

  9. #209
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    I brought up the subject of the Howze Board because Slapout had said that air cavalry was implemented for Vietnam; Willf added his thoughts on air mobility.
    I said implemented....It was invented in about 1947 by General James Gavin and was original to be called the "Sky Cavalry Division".
    If you can fins a copy of Airborne Warfare by Gavin you will see a drawing of what looks like a Chinook Helicopter offloading what looks like a half track for WW2.

    I will try and find some links laterbut they are out there.

  10. #210
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Default Army Flying Tanks

    Pete and all go to this thread that I started awhile back to find out what we really need to defeat IED's


    http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...9251#post49251



    Also shows what the Army Air Cavalry should have for VTOL intead of Osprey thingy.
    Last edited by slapout9; 01-24-2010 at 04:15 AM. Reason: links

  11. #211
    Council Member Pete's Avatar
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    I was under the impression that Special Forces became its own branch mainly so its personnel wouldn't be discriminated against by their primary branches--perhaps the Aviation branch was brought into being for the same reason. At a Hail and Farewell in Germany as a lieutenant I sat next to the father of one of our lieutenants. He was an unassuming guy and I asked him whether he'd been in the Army, and he said yes, he'd retired as a major. Callow youth that I was, I wondered what he had done to screw up and only go that far. It was several years later when I was out of the Army that I read that Major Clyde J. Sincere of Special Forces had been awarded the DSC for his performance in a firefight in Vietnam.

    Before First Manassas Thomas Jackson fought his first engagement as a brigade commander not far from where I live in the vicinity of Martinsburg. My impression of the "foot cavalry" aspect of his operations is that it was something he had learned before the Civil War as a light artilleryman. The modern field artillery has the acronym RSOP for reconnaissance, selection, occupation of position. Jackson had his mapmaker Jed Hotchkiss and he also had his staff make him tables of distances between various points in the Valley. Thus he was planning the routes of march of his command with the same attention to detail that an artilleryman uses to plan the movements of his battery.

  12. #212
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default There were several reasons cited, yours and mine plus others.

    There was discrimination but much of it was simply that the guys were supposed to alternate SF or Flying tours and normal branch assignments and many (but not all) did not want to do normal branch assignments. This caused hair pulling by the Branch 'managers' and usually ended up antagonizing everyone involved...

    Sincere was a Mike Force guy and later SOG, long time airborne head, When Creighton Abrams died and Fred Weyand became the Chief of Staff in 1974, the Army underwent a purge of the 'Airborne Mafia' -- a lot of old parachute hands were either told to retire or given really poor assignments from which the only escape was to retire -- many did. That purge went from LTGs down into the enlisted ranks; I was flatly told I had too much overseas time, too much airborne time, too much troop unit time and that I'd never again get an airborne Assignment, would go to TRADOC -- which I'd avoided for 25 plus years and that would be followed by a reserve component advisory job -- unless I wanted to go ahead and retire. So, a lot of good folks were retired too early. Abrams wasn't nearly as anti-airborne and SF as he's been painted; Weyand OTOH was really not a fan...

    Ah, wonderful Martinsburg. Many fond memories from training at Camp Dawson a few times. Yep on TJJ -- Hotchkiss was a distant relative, mutual several Greats Grandparent was a Co Cdr in the Continental Line at Cowpens among other places and later got a land grant in Kentucky. TJJ got more brevet promotions for bravery in the Mexican War than anyone else and he was prone to put his guns where others would not...

    Speaking of guns, best Arty thing I ever saw was two M110s firing simultaneous direct fire at 350m at an unsuspecting column of troops...

  13. #213
    Council Member Tracker275's Avatar
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    Well, I was all into this thread and wanting to participate as far as the last post by TYR, however...immediately after he posted, this thread went to pieces. I wasn't able to really see where anything was going very clearly after that, because there were a few posts that were more meant for PM conversation vs. open forum.

    If this thread would like to continue in the direction that I believe the originator intended, I think that the time that TYR put into a response is well worth reading and restarting from that point. There was a lot of good information that TYR placed in there that answers a lot of questions about what would be ideal for the Afghanistan theater. Much of what he and I stated appears to be tied together real closely, and what I noticed is that although both Iraq and Afghanistan are pretty much two completely different war zones, there are many similarities. However, I'm not seeing the lessons learned within both theaters being looked at very closely by senior leadership.

  14. #214
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tracker275 View Post
    Well, I was all into this thread and wanting to participate as far as the last post by TYR, however...immediately after he posted, this thread went to pieces.
    Welcome to information age. The same happens in conversations.
    Much of what he and I stated appears to be tied together real closely, and what I noticed is that although both Iraq and Afghanistan are pretty much two completely different war zones, there are many similarities.
    Noted. Some more detail perhaps?
    Quote Originally Posted by TYR View Post
    The problem I see is that we have thrown out the “decentralize” Light Infantry concept that was developed to fight “Brush Fire Wars” for a more motorized way of getting to the battle, becoming heavier in restricted terrain and becoming less mobile and more dependent on that vehicle as a support platform in the process.
    What is a “decentralize” Light Infantry concept? In an age of good HF radios, digital comms and SAT phones I think we have to be pretty careful of our descriptions of C2, and support.
    The real issue here lies with the force protection postures and an inability to assess the comparative risks in line with the force protection policy.
    However, using the Rhodesian “Fire Force” technique as someone suggested wouldn’t have worked where I was operating just because the terrain was to extreme.
    The RLI Fire Force concept was born of necessity in not having a not enough helicopters, and very small army in a huge country. The trick wasn't the jumping out of DC-3's but the cueing of the strike action based on surveillance and intelligence. - so the "jump" was the easy bit.
    It did work well against a very low quality irregulars, but it would have had real problems had the Terrs got more MANPADs (- and they had them, but only used them on airliners) and been skilled enough to stand and fight in numbers - something they only seem to have done very rarely.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
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  15. #215
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Threads will do that. Not everyone focuses intensely...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tracker275 View Post
    Well, I was all into this thread and wanting to participate as far as the last post by TYR, however...immediately after he posted, this thread went to pieces. I wasn't able to really see where anything was going very clearly after that, because there were a few posts that were more meant for PM conversation vs. open forum.
    That's one way to do it, others may have a different take. Best solution it seems would be to just ignore the digression and say what you think is important.
    If this thread would like to continue in the direction that I believe the originator intended.
    I think he got his question answered and left...
    I think that the time that TYR put into a response is well worth reading and restarting from that point...and what I noticed is that although both Iraq and Afghanistan are pretty much two completely different war zones, there are many similarities. However, I'm not seeing the lessons learned within both theaters being looked at very closely by senior leadership.
    I suspect the last point is due to their recognition that the real answer to the original query is very much dependent on the old METT-TC factors (and, in this case, ALL of those factors) and what else is going on in the theater or area. That is, there are so many variations that the question could be discussed for a great many years with continually evolving answers. That and the fact there is no best answer...

    You and Tyr both had good points, so did several others who apparently digressed from the thread and some who did not digress also had good ideas and comments. Discussion boards are like that. The bad and the good all roil together.

  16. #216
    Council Member qp4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmedlap View Post
    Anecdotal experience...

    In 2005, we avoided and countered the IED threat by emplacing fire teams in covert positions throughout the AO. They were inserted usually at night, by way of dismounted patrols from our patrol base....
    Also in 2005 we did the exact same thing. We had a COP about 12km from our main FOB that had only three roads in, so naturally these chokepoints became one of the most contested areas in our OE. After three months of dedicated SKTs and observation by tanks, we were down to one road that stayed red and two roads that were black. The AO continued to deteriorate for the next three years (that COP was the home of both DUSTWUN events in Iraq).

    It got so bad that helicopters were being used as a transport rather than ride the roads. And as John points out:

    Having been attacked with IEDs, I am not an advocate of just driving down roads in hopes you are not blown up. However, IMO completely avoiding roads, via helicopters, erodes credibility with the people, prevents Soldiers from developing intelligence, and seeing the ground from the people's perspective. Helicopters have viable missions, but not just as troop carriers.
    And that AO that got so bad? It started to get better when we started walking everywhere.

    v/r,
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    Few are the problems that cannot be solved by a suitable application of concentrated firepower.

  17. #217
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    Im still here. You all have alot more experience in debating this issue that I do. My question came as a result of studying wars in southern africa and the measures they took to overcome the landmine issue. I think that terrain, strategy and even a landmine vs an IED demand differences in employment of troops. It is just a sick feeling to watch our casualties from IED's knowing that they werent even the result of a contact just some kid with a remote control. Keep going. I look at this board everyday and consider it an education.

    I find the above posts about landing patrols away from the target and walking to a target very interesting and in though the terrain in afghanistan might prohibit some of this, The issue still remains are we using the choppers to their fullest and are there enough ?

  18. #218
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default That varies from situation to situation

    Quote Originally Posted by zealot66 View Post
    The issue still remains are we using the choppers to their fullest and are there enough ?
    The factors of Mission, Enemy, Troops available, Terrain, Time and local Civilians will affect every operation and those factors are infinitely variable. That essentially means that we are sometimes, perhaps even often, using them to their fullest. As for enough; depends on your viewpoint. In all cases, they have to be purchased, equipped, supplied and refueled and rearmed -- it boils down to what can be afforded. I'm sure most ground commanders believe there are never enough, the aviators from all nations do the best they can with what they have and believe the ground guys do not use their air assets as well as they should. The truth as usual lies somewhere in between.

    As for setting down away from the objective, terrain is generally not an obstacle to dismounted troops (and if it is an impediment, it affects the bad guys as much as own troops) -- weather is always a factor and time becomes the issue and the (often presumed...) prohibition...

  19. #219
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default Slightly off topic

    Quote Originally Posted by zealot66 View Post
    My question came as a result of studying wars in southern africa and the measures they took to overcome the landmine issue.
    One of the minor setbacks we discovered in Afghanistan was many suspected hazardous areas were found not to be contaminated with land mines and the other side of that is the misconception that WE share the international community's goal of a mine-free end state. Just a tad un-realistic, as well as not in keeping with our current approach to mine clearance - we actually hope for a mine impact-free end state.

    The assumption is that our plans are effectively designed and managed .
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

  20. #220
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    Default Zealot - you learnt what?

    Zealot66,

    I know a few here will interested in the end product of:
    My question came as a result of studying wars in southern africa and the measures they took to overcome the landmine issue.
    I recall some Rhodesian annoyance - after 1980 - to find that the South Africans (SADF) had developed their anti-mining equipment and had not shared this with them. The SADF deployed their kit in Angola and SWAfrica - where I expect ex-Rhodesians, now in the SADF noticed. IIRC Peter Stiff authored a book on the Rhodesian counter-IED programme.
    davidbfpo

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