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Thread: Mechanized Infantry Perceptions 2010

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    A point to recall is not the raw skills, they're easy -- it's the cognitve skill enhancement and, even more importantly, muscle memory that become important to survival and success in intense combat and that argues for specialization.
    The development of this muscle memory requires repetitive and ongoing practical/physical training.

    Is there enough time (and live ammunition) being made available for this purpose or is there a tendency to focus on the more 'sexy' aspects of soldiering?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tukhachevskii View Post
    Which is probably why the British army got rid of the arms plot (rotating units through different roles). Personally I always thought it was a good idea rotating units which acquired experience of different roles and equipment. Perhaps those with experience of the arms plot would like to chime in? Wilf's idea seems similar in intent although I don't know if it would work (sounds a little too SF inspired) plus the cost may be prohibitive (which was one , if not, the reason it was cancelled IIRC).
    The funny thing is I seem to recall that one of the reasons the arms plot was cancelled, apart from cost, was that it disrupted soldiers lives having to relocate constantly thereby destroyed family life. But intriguingly I don't recall the Army ever saying that the arms plot WASN'T a good idea. I never could figure out why the equipment couldn't be rotated rather than the troops. But as the great Ken White has pointed out long service troops can not only handle it its a good thing for the forces.

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    There's a psychological problem associated with rotating equipment.

    I'll explain this with the same story as used to teach it to me years ago:

    There were two large taxi cab companies in a city. One company is known for its nice, clean taxis and the other one for rotten, smelly taxis. The vehicle types are the same, the drivers are quite exchangeable (age, gender, ethnicity ...).
    The difference? The clean taxi cabs belong to one driver, while the other company lets its drivers drive a different taxi every day.


    Similarly, the (if I remember correctly) USN solved its major aircraft readiness issues decades ago by assigning one or two aircraft to one senior mechanician each, giving him responsibility for it. The mechanicians who previously worked based on assigned tasks (sent to aircraft x to replace spare part y) began to care about the state of "their" aircraft. This extended into black market activities to scrounge spare parts and working much more hours per week than official.


    Equipment that requires care or is exposed to much wear should NEVER be rotated, but be assigned to a organisational unit (if not individuals) permanently.

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    On a sidenote I think the Luftwaffe used a system in which 1-2 mechanics were assigned to a pilot rather then to his aircraft. (Aircrafts losses IIRC being higher then those of pilots). Only specialized tasks would be addressed by specialists at various levels of the organization. According to the various pilots the system worked well and the bonds between the pilots and 'their' groundcrew were usually very strong with all the resulting positive results...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    There's a psychological problem associated with rotating equipment.

    I'll explain this with the same story as used to teach it to me years ago:

    There were two large taxi cab companies in a city. One company is known for its nice, clean taxis and the other one for rotten, smelly taxis. The vehicle types are the same, the drivers are quite exchangeable (age, gender, ethnicity ...).
    The difference? The clean taxi cabs belong to one driver, while the other company lets its drivers drive a different taxi every day.


    Similarly, the (if I remember correctly) USN solved its major aircraft readiness issues decades ago by assigning one or two aircraft to one senior mechanician each, giving him responsibility for it. The mechanicians who previously worked based on assigned tasks (sent to aircraft x to replace spare part y) began to care about the state of "their" aircraft. This extended into black market activities to scrounge spare parts and working much more hours per week than official.


    Equipment that requires care or is exposed to much wear should NEVER be rotated, but be assigned to a organisational unit (if not individuals) permanently.
    Holy crap, I agree with Fuchs on something. The end is near.
    Reed
    Quote Originally Posted by sapperfitz82 View Post
    This truly is the bike helmet generation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tukhachevskii View Post
    As... Ken White has pointed out long service troops can not only handle it its a good thing for the forces.
    Mmm. If I said that, it wasn't exactly what I meant. Yes, they can handle it and yes for a small long service Army it makes sense from an economic and versatility standpoint -- but for the reasons Firn, Fuchs and Reed11B mentioned as well as in line with JMA's comment above it is not universally a good thing. It is also not even possible much less advisable in periods of intense war and high casualties.

    These bear repeating: "Yet again, it's a METT-TC and situational issue -- there is advisedly NO one size fits all in warfare." and "...it's the cognitve skill enhancement and, even more importantly, muscle memory that become important to survival and success in intense combat and that argues for specialization."

    Regrettably the answer to JMA's question is, as I expect he knows, all too often the emphasis is on the more 'sexy' aspects -- and the things that are easier and cheaper to train. The US Army did a good job for a while in providing enough Ammo and the right kind of training but my sensing is that it will too easily slip back into old and bad habits of mediocre training. Good units will persevere, the poorer ones will not..

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    Quote Originally Posted by reed11b View Post
    Holy crap, I agree with Fuchs on something. The end is near.
    Reed
    Resistance is futile.

    Quote Originally Posted by Firn View Post
    On a sidenote I think the Luftwaffe used a system in which 1-2 mechanics were assigned to a pilot rather then to his aircraft. (Aircrafts losses IIRC being higher then those of pilots). Only specialized tasks would be addressed by specialists at various levels of the organization. According to the various pilots the system worked well and the bonds between the pilots and 'their' groundcrew were usually very strong with all the resulting positive results...
    I did not see any such thing in the modern Luftwaffe, and I was in close combat with a ground crew unit for a while during the 90's. I never saw them in contact with pilots, never saw them leave for meetings with pilots - what I saw was that the small unit leader assigned tasks and an Oberfeldwebel, possibly an Unteroffizier and one enlisted helper went with a toolbox and a spare part to the bunker where the minor repairs would happen. Bigger repairs (such as replacing an engine) were done in a large maintenance building and there was still rather a tasking top-down by the small unit leader.

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    Default tasking and retasking is different to rotating whatever

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    There's a psychological problem associated with rotating equipment.

    I'll explain this with the same story as used to teach it to me years ago:

    There were two large taxi cab companies in a city. One company is known for its nice, clean taxis and the other one for rotten, smelly taxis. The vehicle types are the same, the drivers are quite exchangeable (age, gender, ethnicity ...).
    The difference? The clean taxi cabs belong to one driver, while the other company lets its drivers drive a different taxi every day.
    However to make money that clean cab with regular driver have to carry passengers who use all the cab's amenities but are not involved in its maintenance. A better analogy would involve a back-country tour bus with driver and leader/organiser/cook because then the passengers – like an infantry section – do lots of dismounted work except maintaining the bus.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    Similarly, the (if I remember correctly) USN solved its major aircraft readiness issues decades ago by assigning one or two aircraft to one senior mechanician each, giving him responsibility for it. The mechanicians who previously worked based on assigned tasks (sent to aircraft x to replace spare part y) began to care about the state of "their" aircraft. This extended into black market activities to scrounge spare parts and working much more hours per week than official.

    Equipment that requires care or is exposed to much wear should NEVER be rotated, but be assigned to a organisational unit (if not individuals) permanently.
    It's easy to erect a straw target and promptly knock it over but suggest you read what was written. My item stressed that - except for the austere trucklike and closely held PMV - infantry-carrying APCs, AIFVs and 'BW's should be operated and operationally maintained by specialist 'armoured corps' crews.

    The concept that a particular crew of driver, vehicle commander and gunner(s) should be rotated together or individually across vehicles or vehicle types is entirely your idea.

    By contrast the infantry does most of its work dismounted and at a short to very long distance from its armoured transport vehicles. If that absence is prolonged then it makes operational and financial sense for that unit of vehicles together with crews to be re-tasked and attached elsewhere.

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    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    The talk was also about units rotating roles, and consequently rotating equipment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Compost View Post
    ... My item stressed that - except for the austere trucklike and closely held PMV - infantry-carrying APCs, AIFVs and 'BW's should be operated and operationally maintained by specialist 'armoured corps' crews.
    However, the US Army tried that for a number of years after World War II and while not totally unsatisfactory, two glaring problems did occur causing the concept to be discarded.
    By contrast the infantry does most of its work dismounted and at a short to very long distance from its armoured transport vehicles. If that absence is prolonged then it makes operational and financial sense for that unit of vehicles together with crews to be re-tasked and attached elsewhere.
    That's one and it's the biggest problem. The concept places the carriers at the whim * of not only the organization that owns the carriers but the next higher headquarters. Carriers tended to be yanked or moved at inopportune times occasionally leaving units both exposed and relatively immobile as well as Carriers sometimes being left 'unprotected.'

    A second problem was the Carrier organization naturally placed a premium on protecting its vehicles (and crews) while the transported unit was more concerned with their folks and the their mission. This led to discord at Squad / Section, Platoon, Company and higher levels on occasion -- said discord extending to deliberately damaged carriers by uncontrolled transported Troops and precipitous and unauthorized abandonment of transported troops by carriers units. A side issue was that individual carrier crews often had no real grounding in the mission and thus, in event of loss of their transported Infantry were often at a loss on what should be done.

    A minor issue is that in event of a thrown track or other mechanical problem where help to the crew from the transported element would have been beneficial, the transported lacked the knowledges and skills needed and so, often, several Carriers were out of action so that the crews could combine to work on one while the hapless Infantry just stood and watched.

    None of that is to say that such a system does not work at all, it merely indicates that as is true of any compromise, there are minor issues that affect outcomes. A smaller, more cohesive Army might not have any of those issues. Then again, it might...

    * One can say that whim (or misplaced priorities) has no place in combat operations, that all troops should be better disciplined and that the joint mission should drive the behavior of all concerned. One can say all that. Whether one can get a bunch of random, thrown together humans under the stress of combat and with no particular loyalty to each other as occurs in large Armies to behave so properly is another issue...

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    Well-trained infantry can furthermore make use of the mothership concept (additional equipment in the vehicle) in order to be versatile without carrying all stuff all the time.

    The mothership concept doesn't work well if dismounted element and vehicle element are separated much. You might end up having the heavy AT stuff in a vehicle 20 km behind and higher command expecting you to set up an ambush against armoured recce because your TO&E tells them that you're capable of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    The talk was also about units rotating roles, and consequently rotating equipment.
    OK now realise you were writing about post 22. And agree rotating complex equipment without trained operators is counter productive.

    However there is at least one ready alternative. In some garrison districts (US) and in any small heavily populated country (Germany and UK) some light infantry battalions presumably receive useful familiarisation in infantry-armour operations by regularly training and exercising with a tank company/squadron plus AEVs, ARVs and possibly AVLBs. All of that heavy armour would invariably come with crews.

    Surely such short duration loan, attachment or whatever of heavy armour could be productively complemented by similar loan or attachment of armoured carriers complete with crews from an armoured or mechanised infantry battalion. And if the loan involved a 6-passenger (!!) Lynx, then the ‘excess’ from two light infantry sections might be combined in a third such vehicle.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    http://www.army.gov.au/lwsc/docs/Owe...l_Infantry.pdf

    Possible? - sure.

    Good idea? - Probably only for small armies (smaller than corps-sized).
    Looking back at post 10 can see that you were in part correct there also but with bolded provisos as below. (How’s that for a restrained type of compliment ?)

    Small armies should standardise on ‘light’ infantry units and employ them interchangeably (with frequent training and exercise) as light when foot-mobile and/or motorised in PMVs, as mechanised when in APCs (crewed by armour specialists), and armoured when in AIFVs and ‘BCs’ (similarly crewed by armour specialists).

    Obviously believe larger armies would be well advised to do the same. Why ? Because presumably if they are consistent AEVs and AVLBs are crewed by combat engineers, while ARVs (with driver, commander and mechanics) are entirely crewed by auto mechanics.

    Similarly if AIFVs and APCs are entirely crewed by infantry then the vehicle crew for artillery observation carriers consists entirely of artillerists etc etc. So before long almost every specialised arm is operating and maintaining its own carriers. That makes for a large number of sub-specialties.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    However, the US Army tried that for a number of years after World War II and while not totally unsatisfactory, two glaring problems did occur causing the concept to be discarded.That's one and it's the biggest problem. The concept places the carriers at the whim * of not only the organization that owns the carriers but the next higher headquarters. Carriers tended to be yanked or moved at inopportune times occasionally leaving units both exposed and relatively immobile as well as Carriers sometimes being left 'unprotected.'
    My comment was
    If that absence is prolonged then it makes operational and financial sense for that unit of vehicles together with crews to be re-tasked and attached elsewhere.
    Prolonged was intended to mean days or weeks rather than hours. However, concede such exposure and reduced mobility could occur but only if that type of staff work had not previously managed to cause a unit’s destruction.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    A second problem was the Carrier organization naturally placed a premium on protecting its vehicles (and crews) while the transported unit was more concerned with their folks and the their mission. This led to discord at Squad / Section, Platoon, Company and higher levels on occasion -- said discord extending to deliberately damaged carriers by uncontrolled transported Troops and precipitous and unauthorized abandonment of transported troops by carriers units. A side issue was that individual carrier crews often had no real grounding in the mission and thus, in event of loss of their transported Infantry were often at a loss on what should be done.

    A minor issue is that in event of a thrown track or other mechanical problem where help to the crew from the transported element would have been beneficial, the transported lacked the knowledges and skills needed and so, often, several Carriers were out of action so that the crews could combine to work on one while the hapless Infantry just stood and watched.

    None of that is to say that such a system does not work at all, it merely indicates that as is true of any compromise, there are minor issues that affect outcomes. A smaller, more cohesive Army might not have any of those issues. Then again, it might...

    * One can say that whim (or misplaced priorities) has no place in combat operations, that all troops should be better disciplined and that the joint mission should drive the behavior of all concerned. One can say all that. Whether one can get a bunch of random, thrown together humans under the stress of combat and with no particular loyalty to each other as occurs in large Armies to behave so properly is another issue...
    The change to all-volunteer regulars and ‘genuine’ reservists has presumably assisted in reducing such unnecessary abandonment and also vandalism.

    But perhaps infantry designated as mechanised or armoured do tend to behave like travellers on a luxury busline, where each crew and passenger seat can cost more than $500K or E500K......

    Nonetheless that sort of thing is unlikely on a back-country tour bus because there – excepting any sick or decrepit – dismounted passengers are commonly expected to help with wheel changes and with levering and pushing the bus out of muddy ground.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    Well-trained infantry can furthermore make use of the mothership concept (additional equipment in the vehicle) in order to be versatile without carrying all stuff all the time.

    The mothership concept doesn't work well if dismounted element and vehicle element are separated much. You might end up having the heavy AT stuff in a vehicle 20 km behind and higher command expecting you to set up an ambush against armoured recce because your TO&E tells them that you're capable of it.
    Light infantry do not have to move extra loads by backpacking. There are many types of small self-powered load carrying vehicle such as the 2-wheel cross-country motor bike and ATVs with 3, 4 and 6 wheels. If such vehicles are not available or usable then – provided the AT load is breakbulk to say 80kg - infantry can use manually pushed/pulled load carriers with side-by-side wheels that resemble foldable golf trolleys or in-line wheels that look like stripped down mountain bikes.

    The small self-powered vehicles may have to be moved in a truck or on a trailer. The conceptual push/pull load carriers might when unladen be simply tied onto the sides, roof or rear of a GS truck, PMV, APC or whatever.

    After this its time to get back to my mound of books, notes etc and get gassed up for some other topic.

  13. #33
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Busses in the mud often do not respond to Driver and Passenger exertions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Compost View Post
    Similarly if AIFVs and APCs are entirely crewed by infantry then the vehicle crew for artillery observation carriers consists entirely of artillerists etc etc. So before long almost every specialised arm is operating and maintaining its own carriers. That makes for a large number of sub-specialties.
    Yes it does and it is noteworthy that Armies in peacetime tend to reduce the number specialties for ease of 'management' and then increase the number exponentially in war due to need (and training time available)...

    Generalists work acceptably in peacetime; they do not do well in heavy combat or long duration wars -- one cannot get enough of them.
    However, concede such exposure and reduced mobility could occur but only if that type of staff work had not previously managed to cause a unit’s destruction.
    Been my observation that the general quality of Staff work is in fact that poor -- but that's not poor enough to lead (too often...) to the destruction of units.
    The change to all-volunteer regulars and ‘genuine’ reservists has presumably assisted in reducing such unnecessary abandonment and also vandalism.
    Actually, the reverse is true. Conscription provided US Forces with a more mature and better behaved force. However, the issue of abandonment is not predicated on the character of the force but a flawed premise that external support is as good as organic capability. It never is. As for the vandalism, not so much that as it is:
    But perhaps infantry designated as mechanised or armoured do tend to behave like travellers on a luxury busline, where each crew and passenger seat can cost more than $500K or E500K......
    Yes...

    Unless it's their bus...

    On this,
    Nonetheless that sort of thing is unlikely on a back-country tour bus because there – excepting any sick or decrepit – dismounted passengers are commonly expected to help with wheel changes and with levering and pushing the bus out of muddy ground.
    Of course -- but changing a power pack isn't muddy ground. Neither is replacing a thrown track simply a matter of manual laborers.

    The larger point is that transported troops do not own the transport and thus tend to feel little to no responsibility toward it nor do they know how to do the various tasks involved with keeping the vehicle running well. Consider also that a two or three man crew is not of adequate size to care for any vehicle other than a designed for purpose (and thus expensive) a simple wheeled vehicle. A Squad or Section that has to care for their vehicle can and will do so.
    Light infantry do not have to move extra loads by backpacking. There are many types of small self-powered load carrying vehicle such as the 2-wheel cross-country motor bike and ATVs with 3, 4 and 6 wheels. If such vehicles are not available or usable then – provided the AT load is breakbulk to say 80kg - infantry can use manually pushed/pulled load carriers with side-by-side wheels that resemble foldable golf trolleys or in-line wheels that look like stripped down mountain bikes.

    The small self-powered vehicles may have to be moved in a truck or on a trailer. The conceptual push/pull load carriers might when unladen be simply tied onto the sides, roof or rear of a GS truck, PMV, APC or whatever.
    That's all been done by many Armies. I've loaded and driven walking alongside Mechanical Mules and pulled Machine Gun Carts. None of those work all that well either. Great theoretically but practical failures.

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    The issue should not be the driving. Driving is fairly easy.

    Maintenance is a much bigger issue.

    When my unit goes to the field we average one mechanical failure every four hours. If I didn't have crews that knew their tracks, we'd never get them repaired. The maintenance section doesn't have enough people to do the work. I've watched my crews repair damage in hours, with no mechanic on site.

    Single tracking Soldiers (11B, 11M, 11H, etc) is a great idea. It lets them be experts. Single tracking NCOs would work. Single tracking Officers would work, until they assume a BN or BDE CMD that they don't understand. As long as we track every officer as though he might one day be CJCS, we have to provide a well rounded experience for them.

    And example would be the BDE CDR that expects every vehicle in the BDE to be inspected by the BDE SDO and SDNCO, twice every night. That works when you command a light unit that has some LMTVs and HMMWVs.

    When you have 800 pieces of rolling stock, it doesn't work. It simply illustrates the disconnect between the light and heavy worlds.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    Originally Posted by Compost
    Similarly if AIFVs and APCs are entirely crewed by infantry then the vehicle crew for artillery observation carriers consists entirely of artillerists etc etc. So before long almost every specialised arm is operating and maintaining its own carriers. That makes for a large number of sub-specialties.
    Yes it does and it is noteworthy that Armies in peacetime tend to reduce the number specialties for ease of 'management' and then increase the number exponentially in war due to need (and training time available)...

    Generalists work acceptably in peacetime; they do not do well in heavy combat or long duration wars -- one cannot get enough of them.
    Understand you believe light infantry should be able to packpack everything, yet make expedient use of transport units that operate ATVs, GS trucks, utility helicopters etc.

    However, light infantry may on occasion have to operate in conjunction with heavy armour. In that role particularly, and also in others, it would be useful for light infantry to have expedient use of armoured vehicles such as APCs and AIFVs that are better protected and more capable than austere PMVs.

    How are light infantry to train and exercise for and operate in such roles if the temporary detachment of APCs and AIFVs from mechanised and armoured infantry units is nor appropriate, permissable or whatever ?

    One solution would be some (small) number of armoured transport units equipped with APCs and AIFVs.

    Are there other solutions that do not involve some degree of sharing with mechanised and armoured infantry units ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Compost View Post
    However, light infantry may on occasion have to operate in conjunction with heavy armour. In that role particularly, and also in others, it would be useful for light infantry to have expedient use of armoured vehicles such as APCs and AIFVs that are better protected and more capable than austere PMVs.
    First, we need to define exactly what 'light' Infantry happens to be. To me, the word light means just that. They are lightly equipped to include few to no assigned vehicles and are more highly trained than normal infantry. They are expected to be foot or opportunity mobile. They are incapable of extended operations and their use is conjunction with Armor should be extremely rare. A US example would be airborne units and the former 7th Inf Div (and not the Tenth Mountain Division which is a hybrid)

    Just plain Infantry, OTOH, is a different case. They posses and routinely use vehicles, have greater staying power and will frequently work with Armor (most US Infantry prior to 1980 fit this, today the closest US fit to this category are the Stryker Brigades). Armored Infantry (or Mechanized Infantry) is yet another variation ans they have even more staying power, more and heavier assigned vehicles and routinely work with Armor. Today, most US infantry is in this category today though we seem to continue adding Stryker Brigades....

    We can then proceed to this:
    How are light infantry to train and exercise for and operate in such roles if the temporary detachment of APCs and AIFVs from mechanised and armoured infantry units is nor appropriate, permissable or whatever ?
    For true Light Infantry, the answer is rarely and with the aid (and vehicles) in training of heavier Infantry units. Pretty much the same for Infantry while Mech Infantry has organic carriers and could / would assist the others.
    One solution would be some (small) number of armoured transport units equipped with APCs and AIFVs.
    We tried that and it did not work well for us. Other Armies may have more success -- or a greater need to do something along that line.
    Are there other solutions that do not involve some degree of sharing with mechanised and armoured infantry units ?
    Not of which I'm aware.

    We have, from time to time, successfully 'mounted' Light Infantry for specific operations -- the 82d Airborne Division elements in Iraq (but not so much in Afghanistan other than the dangerous and unnecessary MRAP...) come to mind, they were assigned and successfully employed vehicles in Iraq then reverted to pure light infantry tasks and few to no vehicles when elsewhere.

    As always, METT-TC.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    First, we need to define exactly what 'light' Infantry happens to be. To me, the word light means just that. They are lightly equipped to include few to no assigned vehicles and are more highly trained than normal infantry. They are expected to be foot or opportunity mobile. They are incapable of extended operations and their use is conjunction with Armor should be extremely rare. A US example would be airborne units and the former 7th Inf Div (and not the Tenth Mountain Division which is a hybrid)
    Since the utility of pure, un-augmented light infantry seems to be rather limited. Perhaps we need to look at reconstituting most of them as "just plain infantry" units. I realize we are doing this, to some extent, with the Stryker brigades, but even these are "deployability challenged", fairly expensive, and not suited to certain types of conflicts (e.g. Afghanistan).

    Maybe we need to look at a TOE that mounts most or all "light" infantry on HMMWVs or trucks.

    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/m...g=content;col1
    http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc...f&AD=ADA339420
    http://www.dtic.mil/cgi-bin/GetTRDoc...c=GetTRDoc.pdf

    The resulting organization would train to fight dismounted, but also have organic vehicular mobility. HMMWVs are much lighter and cheaper than Strykers, and have more utility as logistics platforms.

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    Quote Originally Posted by B.Smitty View Post
    Since the utility of pure, un-augmented light infantry seems to be rather limited. Perhaps we need to look at reconstituting most of them as "just plain infantry" units.
    Or you can use light infantry to their strengths. Dominate areas where vehicles are unsuitable (the mountains inside Afghanistan), conduct persistent, economy-of-effort security operations around rural populations and fight the enemy on his own terms (light, away from predictable routes and in areas he doesn't expect it).

    If one uses Loss-Exchange-Ratios as a guide, one light-infantry platoon placing an ambush deep in Indian country can be worth an entire Bn of Mech Inf who are limited to driving back and forth along a single route for a month.

    It is very situationally dependent, but the flexibility and utility offered by light inf should, I strongly believe, be retained. Keep the 'MRAP mentality' out of the picture, and aim at being able to raise, train and deploy a range of competent and audacious infantry forces (SF/Cdo, light, motorised, mech, armd). Inevitably the roles will never be as clear cut in practice, but I would much prefer re-rolling a Light Infantry unit into a motor or mech role than trying to tell Mr Back-seat-Trooper that he needs to re-enact Marius's mules.

    WRT the culture of equipment care, tough force-on-force training will drive home the validity and necessity of combined-arms operations and even the dumbest grunt will realise that those APC-things are actually really good if he doesn't want to assault 600m on his guts, deflect 7.62mm on his own accord and wants a lift home afterwards. A competent and professional unit will be able to care for the equipment they employ if they have sufficient 'belonging' to the wider group. There are problems if units are affected by tribal divisions that see little universal cohesion, and this will manifest itself in both poor tactical/technical performance and poor equipment maintainence. While Fuchs is right that reassigning ownership and responsibility will work some of the time, it won't always be a possible solution. Good training, on the other hand, will always be a relevant solution.
    '...the gods of war are capricious, and boldness often brings better results than reason would predict.'
    Donald Kagan

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris jM View Post
    Or you can use light infantry to their strengths. Dominate areas where vehicles are unsuitable (the mountains inside Afghanistan), conduct persistent, economy-of-effort security operations around rural populations and fight the enemy on his own terms (light, away from predictable routes and in areas he doesn't expect it).
    I was reading some comments made by Mike Sparks (I don't know much about him, but he seems to be controversial) regarding infantry and it's use. He doesn't seem to have much use for light infantry claiming only about 10% of the earth's land mass is not easily accessible, which would require true light infantry. His reasoning seems sound.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 01-26-2012 at 09:05 PM. Reason: fix quote

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    Council Member ganulv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gute View Post
    He doesn't seem to have much use for light infantry claiming only about 10% of the earth's land mass is not easily accessible, which would require true light infantry.
    10% of a dollar is .10˘ but 10% of our planet’s surface area is about 51,000,000 km2.

    Quote Originally Posted by SethB View Post
    If I didn't have crews that knew their tracks, we'd never get them repaired. The maintenance section doesn't have enough people to do the work. I've watched my crews repair damage in hours, with no mechanic on site.
    I know a fellow who was an LAV crewman and he has described a relationship with the mechanics that didn’t sound to me to be outright antagonistic but apparently wasn’t exactly cozy, either.
    If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. – Mark Twain (attributed)

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