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Thread: The Roles and Weapons with the Squad

  1. #941
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    Probably problem at squad level leadership in FDF is that while corporals (and some times sergeants) who lead the infantry squads have gone through ~112 days long reserve NCO course, on other hand assistant squad leaders, who leads squad's four+ man assault element if situation warrants it and takes charge of squad if squad leader is absent or has fallen, is given no leadership training. Squad leader picks ASS.SL from one of 6 month rank-and-file guys appointed to his squad after basic training and at begining of specialisation training period (AIT? MOS?). Althought 4 months is propably long enough of time go through all squad members to choose for proper ASS.SL. Also proper attitude might compensate any deficiencies in training.
    Only exception to this are MOUT infatry companies of Guard's Jaeger Regiment and some special and "special" forces units that have NCO as assistant squad leader.

    Also on infatry squad compositions.
    That new 9-men squad type will be used in so called regiona battlegroups, which are given specific area to do defence and delay actions. Operative brigades and battle groups will still use "traditional" 7+/-1-men squad.

    My first thoughts when I read about this new squad structure was "if they want use nine men squad divided to half-squads, they should copy us army squad with tweaking or if they want three teams they should copy USMC. Are these kinds of thoughts arrogant as served neither in US army or marines?

    And I have never received any sort of officer or NCO training or led even team sized unit (Only expection was one voluntary MOUT course for reservists. On second day in each squad everyone acted as squad leader in turns. When it was my turn to lead assault I felt like was pushed into arctic sea)
    Also how would I assemble 3x3 squad?
    If only requirement is that it should be 3x3 I would go for
    Squad leader, MG (PKM or LMG M62) rifleman (M72)
    Team leader, MG (PKM or LMG M62) rifleman (M72)
    Team leader, MG (PKM or LMG M62 rifleman (M72)
    And best shot in squad is given scope

    But if it has to be organized as command team, rifle team and MG team I would preferably go for
    Command team: Squad leader, rifleman (with APILAS or MBT-LAW), rifleman(M72?)
    Rifle team: Team leader, Designated marksman (either AR with rifle or dragunov), rifleman (with M72)
    MG team: Team leader (with M72?), Machinegunner (PKM or LMG M62), and machine gunners assistant (withM72?)
    ...
    Wall of text...
    I hope my text makes sense.
    More propably tomorrow. No I have to go sleep.

  2. #942
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default You, I and they

    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    They'll be happier and you solve the staff madness.
    wish...

  3. #943
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    It shouldn't.

    Armies that expect real wars - not petty expeditions - have to expect that even entire battalions get crushed in a matter of hours. Squads certainly have to expect multiple casualties per fight.

    An army with such expectations HAS TO have way more leaders than its TO&E requires. Squad leader need to be able to assume command of a platoon, senior enlisted need to be able to assume command of a squad.

    An infantry squad - no matter 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, or 13 men - has to have several men capable of assuming command of a squad on the spot - even do it on their own initiative seconds after squad leader became incapable.

    The difference should be marginal between a 5 and a 13 men squad, simply because platoon leaders might in the hours after a fight transfer more promising replacement leaders from one squad to another anyway.


    In the best peacetime case, you approach the personnel-constrained Reichswehr or Napoleon's Old Guard; both were essentially replacing enlisted men with NCO-capable men both in selection and qualification.
    As time passes I really do believe that armies need to be flexible with regard to organisational structure and weapons and equipment. More applicable (I appreciate) for armies that pick fights overseas than those who defend only their homeland.

    Take (Vietnam and Afghanistan) two examples for comparison where give the different enemy and the different terrain certain changes from the standard "Cold War" organisational structure of those times would have been beneficial in the particular theater.

    It seems that despite all the talk of flexibility and of adapting to local conditions no significant changes seem to get made. Is this because commanders believe in the "one size fits all" approach where current organisations are forced to fit current operational circumstances or they have neither the interest nor the ability to make the necessary changes?

    Watching a repeat of the series the Scots at War on the History Channel I note (from the parts on Afghanistan) that apart from a water overload, the insanity of lugging Javelin anti-tank missiles (at 40lbs for missile and CLU) and the obvious absurd weight of radio equipment for 2-3 km patrol much stays the same in terms of structure, weapons and equipment.

    I would have thought that by now we would have seen some (structural/weapons/equipment) innovations (probably initiated by special forces) filter their way through to the line infantry?

    ... and as I have mentioned before that most of the (mine protecting) vehicle mods could have been carried out in a local "factory" in Kabul (or suitable local place).

    Seems modern soldiers not only carry too much weight but also labour under the burden of the inflexible military procurement bureaucratic nightmare that straight-jackets modern armies.

    Is there really an ideal squad size or equipment scale? Surely you go to a new place and look, listen and learn and adapt before you have to put too many troopies in body-bags?

  4. #944
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    Default Yes...

    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    As time passes I really do believe that armies need to be flexible with regard to organisational structure and weapons and equipment...
    ...
    Seems modern soldiers not only carry too much weight but also labour under the burden of the inflexible military procurement bureaucratic nightmare that straight-jackets modern armies.

    Is there really an ideal squad size or equipment scale? Surely you go to a new place and look, listen and learn and adapt before you have to put too many troopies in body-bags?
    One would think...

    Apparently it was not meant to be...

    Several feelers out on the article. One negative back, others working.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JMA View Post
    I would have thought that by now we would have seen some (structural/weapons/equipment) innovations (probably initiated by special forces) filter their way through to the line infantry?.....

    .....Is there really an ideal squad size or equipment scale? Surely you go to a new place and look, listen and learn and adapt before you have to put too many troopies in body-bags?
    It's been suggested. That was one of Wilf Owen's big things: a platoon of 30 or so divided into big fire teams without a permanent squad organization. His idea was that you could mix and match the fire teams in various ways. METT-TC as always.

    SEALs and DELTA do it now: their 16-man troop can be employed 4x4, 2x8, 1x8 plus 2x4, etc.

    But to do it with line infantry and keep the company end numbers the same you would have to add a platoon or two to the company. Maybe that's why it doesn't catch on: it messes up the idea that a rifle company is three rifle platoons and a weapons platoon because.....well, because it's three rifle platoons and a weapons platoon, of course.
    "Pick up a rifle and you change instantly from a subject to a citizen." - Jeff Cooper

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    The TO&E is an admin-log thing, done to simplify the manning and equipping of a lot of units in a hurry, such as in the U.S. during 1942-45. At the time of Pearl Harbor the U.S. Army had Tables of Organization and Tables of Equipment, which in the early days required a lot of cross-referencing back and forth between the two. Then around '42 or '43 someone at DA got smart and decided to combine the two together into the TO&E.

    Those standard templates of organization should not drive tactics. Just because you're in a triangular straight-leg Infantry division or in an Armored division with three combat commands, it doesn't mean the organizational structure dictates tactics. Same for Pentogonal, ROAD, and whatever it is we have these days.
    Last edited by Pete; 06-21-2011 at 09:58 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    The TO&E is an admin-log thing, done to simplify the manning and equipping of a lot of units in a hurry, such as in the U.S. during 1942-45. At the time of Pearl Harbor the U.S. Army had Tables of Organization and Tables of Equipment, which in the early days required a lot of cross-referencing back and forth between the two. Then around '42 or '43 someone at DA got smart and decided to combine the two together into the TO&E.

    Those standard templates of organization should not drive tactics. Just because you're in a triangular straight-leg Infantry division or in an Armored division with three combat commands, it doesn't mean the organizational structure dictates tactics. Same for Pentogonal, ROAD, and whatever it is we have these days.
    Pete,

    I understand how we got there and I agree it should not drive tactics but it often does, doesn't it?

    One example is a Bradley platoon. With four Brads in a platoon each able to hold up to six dismounts it seems sensible to me to deploy as four big fire teams under the PL for dismounted ops. Yet, the last FM I saw called for them trying to form standard squads after un-assing the Brad. Done to stay consistent with light infantry doctrine for their dismounted ops, I suppose.

    Is that still doctrine for dismounts in the mech community?
    "Pick up a rifle and you change instantly from a subject to a citizen." - Jeff Cooper

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    The experience of World War II led the U.S. Army to become more of a massive administrative and logistical apparatus rather than a professional fighting force. It has to do with combining guys of the right MOSs with LIN numbers of equipment. In part it dates from organizing an Army in a hurry during War I. So we put together guys who graduated from shake-and-bake school training with industrial output, weapons and vehicles, and voila, we have divisions. We report on whether they're combat-ready on DA Form 2715 every month, mainly in terms of the personnel and equipment they have assigned to them.

    Much of what I've read about on SWJ/SWC has been about taking this business of forming organizations with personnel and equipment to a higher level of proficiency -- leader developent, soldier development, and tactics, tactics, tactics ...

  9. #949
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    Default the bullpup 7.62 and Thales instead of FN and HK

    Time flies and back in March 2011 I speculated that FN and/or HK might have enough corporate energy to develop bullpup variants of their 7.62mm Mk17 and HK417 rifles. Since then they have shown only modified versions of fwd-mags.

    However, in the interim Thales has upgraded its F88 variant of the 5.56mm AUG bullpup and is now offering the 5.56mm EF88 for export with additional features as the F90. It comes with a choice of barrels as the F90 carbine (407mm barrel in 700mm overall) and F90 marksman (508 in 802mm) each with optional 40mm UGL. There is also an F90 CQB carbine (360 in 653mm).

    It is possible that Thales has enough corporate energy remaining to develop a 7.62mm version of the EF88/F90. That would be a suitable outcome and reward for the apparent 멷asy as it goes or timid attitudes of FN and HK.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Compost View Post
    Time flies and back in March 2011 I speculated that FN and/or HK might have enough corporate energy to develop bullpup variants of their 7.62mm Mk17 and HK417 rifles.
    Going to war with a bullpup is like going to the beach in a Speedo. It just doesn뭪 work for Americans.
    If you don뭪 read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. Mark Twain (attributed)

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    Default That's Quote of the Week material...

    If I ever saw it...

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    Quote Originally Posted by ganulv View Post
    Going to war with a bullpup is like going to the beach in a Speedo. It just doesn뭪 work for Americans.
    Amusing response but do Americans insist on swimming everywhere in boardshorts ? Some obviously do and will continue to. However, Speedo was bought out by an American conglomerate in the 1990s.

    The F90 is probably aimed first at targets in Europe such as succeeding the 5.56mm Famas. Complementing the M16/M4 might come later.

  13. #953
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    Default Not really

    Quote Originally Posted by Compost View Post
    Amusing response but do Americans insist on swimming everywhere in boardshorts ?
    Most of us prefer no shorts but the law -- like other things -- is humorless...
    Some obviously do and will continue to. However, Speedo was bought out by an American conglomerate in the 1990s.
    We will sell it to the Chinese and you can buy it back.
    Complementing the M16/M4 might come later.
    Been done, didn't sell, thus the comment from Ganulv -- and my effective concurrence thereto.

    Why add a 'complement' to a flawed weapon anyway...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    Most of us prefer no shorts but the law -- like other things -- is humorless...
    That’s certainly a way to stress the front end. But why would any force rely mainly on a weeny 5.56mm that lacks power and range ?
    Why add a 'complement' to a flawed weapon anyway...
    To accentuate the attributes of a bullpup.

    Related topic. Believe we had sort of agreed elsewhere that 9x19mm Parabellum (plus alternate 6.5x25) was the way to go for pistols and SMGs. The other bookend could be 20x102 or less likely 20x128. The anaemic 5.56x45 will be around for a while yet. But it will ultimately be disposed of. My preference for that time is for three calibres between the bookends corresponding to infantry squad/platoon, platoon/company and company/other.

    Those three – with say a 5 percent variance – could be as follows. One: 6.6mm with 8gm projectile, MV of 825mps from rifle barrel and supersonic to about 1000m. Two: 7.62 magnum with 13.5gm, 900mps from MG to about 1500m; and three: 9.5mm with 27gm, 900mps from MG to about 2300m. That era also is certain to include some poorly designed and flawed weapons.

    And in the interim numerous commentators will continue pifing about the need for yet another rework of 5.56mm.

    The 6.6mm rifle and carbine and the 7.62 magnum and 9.5mm sniper rifles should of course be available with bullpup and alternate fwd-mag gripstocks.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 07-24-2012 at 10:12 AM. Reason: Amendment 9x19mm Parabellum added at authors request

  15. #955
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    Default Bulls and pups...

    Quote Originally Posted by Compost View Post
    ... But why would any force rely mainly on a weeny 5.56mm that lacks power and range ?
    We can agree on that.

    We can also disagree on all the rest. While your arguments make take technical sense, they are less practical militarily or tactically. I, for one never agreed to any 9mm cartridge; I've always argued for 10mm or larger for pistols and SMG. Your 6.6mm caliber is IMO too light for the Company level machinegun and so should be avoided; all small arms in a Battalion should be of one of two calibers, pistol / SMG and rifle / MG. A medium MG is also required at about 12-15mm. My observation has been that the 20mm is not an effective military cartridge (it is both range and payload limited) and the 20x102 is particularly poor. IMO 25mm is a far better top end choice. A 30mm would be better yet but the size penalty is too great unless it is restricted to Armored / Mechanized forces (which probably should occur).

    However, neither your nor my solution is likely. Nor is US use of a bullpup configuration likely (quite sensibly in my view...)...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    We can agree on that.

    We can also disagree on all the rest. While your arguments make take technical sense, they are less practical militarily or tactically. I, for one never agreed to any 9mm cartridge; I've always argued for 10mm or larger for pistols and SMG. Your 6.6mm caliber is IMO too light for the Company level machinegun and so should be avoided; all small arms in a Battalion should be of one of two calibers, pistol / SMG and rifle / MG. A medium MG is also required at about 12-15mm. My observation has been that the 20mm is not an effective military cartridge (it is both range and payload limited) and the 20x102 is particularly poor. IMO 25mm is a far better top end choice. A 30mm would be better yet but the size penalty is too great unless it is restricted to Armored / Mechanized forces (which probably should occur).

    However, neither your nor my solution is likely. Nor is US use of a bullpup configuration likely (quite sensibly in my view...)...
    However 6.6mm is spot-on for what is needed at squad/platoon level, with 7.62mm magnum at platoon/company. The bookend at 20mm is a realistic limit for a man-packable rifle type weapon to equip some pioneers and snipers for EOD and anti-material tasks.

    You surely included 25mm and 30mm as vehicle rather than man-pack weapons. US infantry already have plenty of variety and weight with 9mm Parabellum, 5.56mm NATO, 7.62mm NATO, 7.62mm magnum and 12.7mm Browning. And that's before 8.59mm magnum is added as a gap-filler or replacement.

    My last words (on this thread) regarding bullpups are a repeat from way back.

    A future that insists on the bullpup configuration would be as backward as a present that insists upon the fwd-mag.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 07-24-2012 at 10:12 AM. Reason: Request for amendment made and then deleted

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    Default What do you chaps think of this beauty...

    ... the Lightweight Medium Machine Gun in a whopping .338 calibre!

  18. #958
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    Default Blackout option

    For squad level organization, I support the USMC model. For weaponry, particularly direct fire, I would argue for a baseline of squad level weapons being chambered in 300 Blackout, while granting the squad better access to 7.62x51 weapons based on the mission and environment.

    As state-on-state conflict continues to lose utility, training and equipping for the small wars has a greater value than ever. Embodying past, present, and projected future trends, what capabilities should the infantryman뭩 primary weapon have? Former SEAL and tactical firearms trainer Kyle Defoor advocates that the modern fighting carbine should 밷e able to shoot effectively at CQB distance, take positive head shots at 100, and engage at the max distance for 5.56 - IMO 400 yds on the body. By many accounts, practical combat accuracy out to approximately 300-400 yards seems to be the common understanding for the capabilities of an infantryman and his rifle.

    Some have taken a look at the relatively new 300 Blackout (7.62x35) as a more ideal caliber due to its better terminal ballistics from shorter barrels, better intermediate barrier performance, acceptable external ballistics for the ranges considered, and better integration with suppressors. It is designed to operate reliably suppressed or unsuppressed, using supersonic or subsonic ammunition. Pairing this extremely versatile cartridge with the extreme versatility of the AR-15 platform is a natural match to arm the infantryman with a more effective weapon. At the squad level, this could materialize as a 7.62x35 service rifles, multiple auto-rifles for volumetric fire, and a squad designated marksman rifle for precision fire. By adding some improvements such as lightweight customizable free-float rail systems, improved triggers, and good optics/lights/lasers, you earn an improved AR-15 family of squad-level weapons ready to dominate at common combat ranges.

    What do we give up in terms of capabilities compared to 5.56 chambered service rifles and squad support weapons? In the case of the US Army where current M4 training/qualifications are limited to 300 yards, there is no real change in hit-probability. However, the 400-600 yard ranges where auto-rifles/SAWs and designated marksmen rifles have the capability to reach out is generally outside the envelope of capabilities for 7.62x35. Nevertheless, even with 5.56 support weapons, what we see in Afghanistan is an increasing squad level reliance on 7.62x51 based precision semi-automatic rifles, lightweight variants of the medium machine guns, and essentially heavyweight variants of light machineguns chambered in 7.62x51. To mitigate the shortfalls when compared to 5.56, the theoretical 7.62x35 armed squads would benefit from even better access to 7.62x51 weapons in order to achieve true well-rounded effectiveness from CQB distances to ranges up to 800 yards and beyond. In this sense, the squad designated marksman would be proficient at both 7.62x35 and 7.62x51 chambered precision platforms, and have both available based on the nature of the operating environment and mission at hand. Squad auto-riflemen would enjoy a similar proficiency with 7.62x35 and 7.62x51 chambered fully automatic weapons. Having 2-3 M240s available for use if needed in each squad may sound excessive at first. However, when you consider the mobile patrols in the Iraq War where each HMMWV or MRAP had a crew-served weapon mounted, it seems not so excessive.

    Basic breakdown of the two variations:

    -Squad Leader

    -TL: 7.62x35 carbine
    -Auto-rifleman: 7.62x35 auto-rifle OR 7.62x51 medium machine gun
    -Squad DM: 7.62x35 carbine OR 7.62x51 DM Rifle
    -Grenadier: 7.62x35 carbine +assorted HE weapons

    -TL: 7.62x35 carbine
    -Auto-rifleman: 7.62x35 auto-rifle OR 7.62x51 medium machine gun
    -Rifleman: 7.62x35 carbine
    -Grenadier: 7.62x35 carbine +assorted HE weapons

    -TL: 7.62x35 carbine
    -Auto-rifleman: 7.62x35 auto-rifle OR 7.62x51 medium machine gun
    -Rifleman: 7.62x35 carbine
    -Grenadier: 7.62x35 carbine +assorted HE weapons

    While I think this approach could make for some highly versatile and lethal squads, realistically it will likely be a little while before the US and NATO considers replacing 5.56 with another intermediate cartridge.

  19. #959
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    Default CLAWS and LDAM

    Some considering has apparently been already done and has lead to the US Army뭩 CLAWS (Combat Lightweight Automatic Weapon System) and LDAM (Lightweight Dismounted Automatic Machinegun) project(s).
    http://www.janes.com/article/.../us-...alibers‎
    So it is possible that within say ten years two new conventional brass, steel or aluminium cased - cartridges could be in widespread NATO/US use as successors for the 5.56x45 and 7.62x51.

    The rationale for dumping the 5.56 can be summarised almost on a thumbnail. The 5.56 is over-powered for close-quarter use and less handy than SMGs firing pistol-power ammunition. A lightweight 5.56 projectile also looses velocity and hitting power rapidly: the energy of the heaviest 77-grain sharpshooter projectile falls by more than 10 percent within each 100m from muzzle to 600m. Effective range in a carbine or para-MG is 200-250m and in long barrel weapons 350-450m. The 5.56 is generally unsuitable for echelon deployment, suppression and harassing, and as the basis of a tracer round.

    Calibre of any successor would be greater than 5.56, less than 7.62; mass of projectile greater than 5.56x45 less than 7.62x51 and of 7.62x35. When fired from an individual weapon in automatic mode such a successor round would be less controllable than 5.56 and also 7.62x35. However, automatic mode is most likely during assault, ambush and counter-ambush when rate of fire guided by adrenaline has more utility than precise accuracy.

    A successor to the 5.56 round could readily exceed its hitting power, and at longer range also that of the standard 7.62x51. For example a 123 grain 6.5mm projectile started at 2,600fps has more energy beyond 600m than does NATO뭩 147 grain 7.62 projectile started at 2,700fps. Assuming development of a companion LMG there would be little benefit in alternatively deploying a 7.62 MG such as the Mark 48 or M240 down to squad level. The 7.62x35 Blackout developed for hitting power out to about 400m is not a suitable round for a longer-ranged LMG, or a DM rifle.

    In the same general timeframe as the 5.56 successor, the 7.62x51 round could be succeeded by another more powerful cartridge that can defeat body armour at longer range. Such a 7.62 successor might be a 7.62 magnum, 7.82 magnum or even an 8.59 cartridge with a projectile of 200-plus to about 300 grains. Much lighter and less demanding than the 700 grain 12.7x99 which also requires a HMG platform that is too bulky and heavy for ready use by footmobile infantry.

    The detail on CLAWS and LDAM is brief and dates from November 2013. Have found nothing more recent. It will be interesting to see what if anything emerges.

  20. #960
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    Compost, the U.S.Army runs small arms development programs.
    It's not in the business of actually buying any small arms developed in these programs.


    This is the same as with combat and recce AFVs and helicopters. They're just not in the business of doing the step from R&D to in-service employment any more.

    Forget their small arms and AFV progams. They're all PR stunts of no relevance.

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