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Thread: Are snipers and recon still valid in infantry battalions?

  1. #221
    Council Member Culpeper's Avatar
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    Are snipers and recon still valid in infantry battalions?
    Yes; their actions can easily stop or deter anti-coalition activities in a small area. And that is whether they are present or not. The problem lies with the age old problem of company commanders reluctant to let them loose to do their jobs as they were trained.
    "But suppose everybody on our side felt that way?"
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    Quote Originally Posted by gute View Post
    The XM-25 may allow for infantry to engage targets out to 900 meters without the need for trained snipers. I know the weapon was not designed to be a sniper or DMR weapon, but this could end up being a benefit.
    A sniper is NOT the same as a squad marksman. Stealth and an ability to gather information are big parts of our job. It's why we are a battalion or higher level asset.

    There had been talk back in '05-'06 of making the XM-109 BORS site compatible with the air burst fuzed round. Now that would have made the XM-109 upper welcome in most sniper sections that already use the M-107 LRSR.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sapperfitz82 View Post
    This truly is the bike helmet generation.

  3. #223
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    Default inf battalion recce and snipers organisation ?

    The Australian Infantry Magazine Oct14 – Apr15 issue has an article on the future of the Reconnaissance, Sniper and Surveillance (RSS) Platoon in the Standard Infantry Battalion (SIB). The SIB is a light infantry unit that is also intended for mounted (integral 4x4 Bushmaster IMVs) and mechanised (attached M113 APCs) operations each usually supported by cavalry with ASLAV-25s.

    The article noted that the specialised surveillance trade in the current 49-man battalion-level RSS PL – 5-man HQ, 8-man surveillance det, four 5-man recce patrols, four 4-man sniper quads – is to be blended into both other trades to form a revised recce and sniping PL. It then proceeded to briefly examine options for that similar sized platoon to meet battalion level needs for mounted recce, dismounted recce and sniping by organising into various mixes of 4-man, 5-, 6- and 8-man squads.

    Rifle companies were mentioned only once: “SIBs of three rifle companies, each with three platoons and integral manoeuvre support sections”. There was no mention of any associated need for company recce and/or sniping assets within the battalion, nor that sniper elements also have the vital functions of forward observation (FO) and fire direction (FD) in immediate support of battalion and company operations.

    Recce and sniping certainly have a common need for covert movement. But in other respects they seem as fundamentally different as mounted and dismounted recce. On one hand it seems that specialised integral mounted recce has to be a battalion level role with (lightweight/basic) dismounted recce assigned to rifle companies. On the other hand sniping including FO and FD might be better met by company level sniper sections rather than being concentrated in and then detached from a battalion-level support company.

    It is intriguing to speculate and to learn how other ground forces are organised to satisfy light infantry needs for recce, sniping and surveillance spanning FO and FD. Hence this post.

  4. #224
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    Quote Originally Posted by Compost View Post
    The Australian Infantry Magazine Oct14 – Apr15 issue has an article on the future of the Reconnaissance, Sniper and Surveillance (RSS) Platoon in the Standard Infantry Battalion (SIB). The SIB is a light infantry unit that is also intended for mounted (integral 4x4 Bushmaster IMVs) and mechanised (attached M113 APCs) operations each usually supported by cavalry with ASLAV-25s.

    The article noted that the specialised surveillance trade in the current 49-man battalion-level RSS PL – 5-man HQ, 8-man surveillance det, four 5-man recce patrols, four 4-man sniper quads – is to be blended into both other trades to form a revised recce and sniping PL. It then proceeded to briefly examine options for that similar sized platoon to meet battalion level needs for mounted recce, dismounted recce and sniping by organising into various mixes of 4-man, 5-, 6- and 8-man squads.

    Rifle companies were mentioned only once: “SIBs of three rifle companies, each with three platoons and integral manoeuvre support sections”. There was no mention of any associated need for company recce and/or sniping assets within the battalion, nor that sniper elements also have the vital functions of forward observation (FO) and fire direction (FD) in immediate support of battalion and company operations.

    Recce and sniping certainly have a common need for covert movement. But in other respects they seem as fundamentally different as mounted and dismounted recce. On one hand it seems that specialised integral mounted recce has to be a battalion level role with (lightweight/basic) dismounted recce assigned to rifle companies. On the other hand sniping including FO and FD might be better met by company level sniper sections rather than being concentrated in and then detached from a battalion-level support company.

    It is intriguing to speculate and to learn how other ground forces are organised to satisfy light infantry needs for recce, sniping and surveillance spanning FO and FD. Hence this post.
    In the ongoing hybrid war between the Russians and Ukrainians they both are in a combat phase of sniping coupled with recon in force both in large units up to companies and down to squads/teams.

    In fact the entire Ukrainian SOF elements have shifted to a full scale guerrilla warfare mode behind enemy lines and deep recon work. Reminds me a little of the Moore's Ranger concept from 1776.

    This is an important lessons learned coming out of eastern Ukraine and affects the hybrid warfare concept that is being now seen. Totally joint deep SOF/CF operations evolving out of the immediate forward lines.

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    What arrangements do light infantry battalions in other armies employ to satisfy their needs for forward observation, surveillance, sniping, counter-sniping, fire direction, and reconnaissance ?

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    Default Moderator's Note

    There is a parallel thread Snipers,Sniping & Countering them which may help with this topic; it has been closed, but can be re-opened upon request.
    davidbfpo

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    Default Looks like the Army thinks the answer is "no."

    http://www.stripes.com/army-looks-to...anies-1.419337

    The Army is moving to cut all nine of its Long-Range Surveillance companies from active duty and the National Guard this year as part of a plan to restructure its force, Army officials told Stars and Stripes.

    The Pentagon will finalize a decision to deactivate three active-duty and six National Guard Long-Range Surveillance companies in the next 60 days.

    “Every year there are capabilities that must be added, but unfortunately this means the Army must divest some,” Army spokesman Troy Rolan said. Commanders identified operational LRS units as a low priority, he said, adding that the decision to cut LRS companies was aided by “extensive computer models using combatant commander plans to determine what the Army needs.”
    “What’s the price in blood we’re going to pay when we have to retrain soldiers to do the things we lost?” he asked.

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    Default productive ‘disestablishmentarianism’

    Disbanding Army and Guard long-range surveillance companies could free-up skilled personnel for posting to reconnaissance and observation/sniper sections in infantry battalions.

    Long-range needs seem to now be mostly assigned to RSTA and air cavalry units, and on occasion special forces.
    Last edited by Compost; 07-31-2016 at 10:32 AM. Reason: spelling error

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    Given the capabilities of conventional forces to do what current Ranger Battalions do (airfield seizures, deep raids, etc....think 82d, 101st), why not reorganize the 75th RGT in the following manner: 1-75 remains as currently organized and serves as the US Army's primary direct action/airfield seizing/ HVT raid bubbas while 2-75 and 3-75 are redistributed among the Army, active and reserve component (at division and corps levels), as LRS companies, which is part of the core function of Ranger units...? This would also reduce redundancy between current LRS companies and Ranger BN elements.
    Morgan Smiley

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    Default big and/or small picture views

    The merger of Long-Range Surveillance Companies into Ranger units would serve the apparent Joint Force practice of enlarging the extent of USSOCOM at the cost of the individual services.

    If that is continued for several more years then USSOCOM could grow to rival the USMC, and after further transfer of motivated and skilled personnel the US Army infantry battalions might be re-roled as training units.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Compost View Post
    The merger of Long-Range Surveillance Companies into Ranger units would serve the apparent Joint Force practice of enlarging the extent of USSOCOM at the cost of the individual services.

    If that is continued for several more years then USSOCOM could grow to rival the USMC, and after further transfer of motivated and skilled personnel the US Army infantry battalions might be re-roled as training units.
    That's certainly the direction we're heading.

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    Maybe peripheral, but I have added a link to a review of a book by a South African recce veteran, as it is topical and covers small team work:http://scientiamilitaria.journals.ac...view/1133/1141

    The book itself is 'Recce: Small team missions behind enemy lines' is an autobiography by Colonel (retired) Koos Stadler.

    Amazon (US) shows the English version is due to be published in December 2016 and has reviews from the Afrikaans edition, yes in English:https://www.amazon.com/Recce-Small-M...s=koos+stadler

    Amazon (UK):https://www.amazon.co.uk/Recce-Small...s=koos+stadler
    davidbfpo

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