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Old 09-22-2008   #41
Ken White
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Default True. But...

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At least they make good staffers.
Last job I had a LTC working for me who was that, a good Staff guy, however, he was ADA and an Aviator and thus was er, conflicted???
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Old 09-23-2008   #42
William F. Owen
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The one good thing about the new proposed org is that it does have a much more robust infantry presence than the current BCT's, and back to three maneuver BN's as well.

Below is a slide I pulled from Knox's website. Full brief is here.
It may have more infantry, but there are some very flawed assumptions underpinning the idea.

I am sure it was done by good and patriotic men, but it seems to reflect a world and style of operations they would would like to believe in, rather than one, that empirical observation shows to us.

Here is one little gem of "illogic"

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Operates for three days at high operational intensity and up to seven days in a medium to low operational environment before it must be resupplied
So "high intensity" is defined as something that is 3:7 versus medium of low. - and that is for ammunition rates, as batteries, water and rations, all have to resupplied regardless. I am assuming fuel/POL is also in there somewhere.

Someone may want to read Julian Thompson's assessment of logistics operations in the Falklands, before assuming those ratios
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- 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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Old 09-25-2008   #43
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Bliss took the worst hit...

Lost all Div AD Bns... that's right all... all those BSFVs, Avengers, HUMMV mounted manpads with their radios, 50cals, and night vision gone.

You can say what you like, but all that's left is Patriot and a Bn of Avenger pure.
I think that the deletion of ADA is also very, very short-sighted.
Sure, the US hasn't had to face a real air threat in... many decades, but ADA has, since WWII, provided excellent service protecting convoys, "rear" areas (meaning anything behind the front line trace) and generally serving as additional combat power in an Army that, paradoxically, seems to be throwing more and more personnel into HQ, staff, and intel functions. Those Linebackers had 25mm cannon, M240's, armor, and mobility that would have been valuable additions to the anemic HBCT - sure, the above sounds more like the mission of the MPs, but the M1117 is not as well armed or protected...

I think that the combat power ADA units provided was overlooked.
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Old 09-26-2008   #44
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It may have more infantry, but there are some very flawed assumptions underpinning the idea.
I can see quite a bit of farce in that document, and I am of the "high intesity" warfare mindset.

My favorite:
In the "backup" section, under RSTA squadron, the first mission includes the words "find/fix threat". A unit with handful of JLTV's, some Scout helos and UAV's can hardly "fix" any threat larger than a squad...

...and I can never figure out why people are so in love with "organizing by threes", you could save a surprisingly large number of headquarters staffers across the Army simply by adding one more subordinate unit at each level. From what I have seen, a good commander can handle four, five, six or more units just as well as three, and a bad one will screw it up, even if there are only two subordinate units. Heck, more subordinates almost forces a commander to, well, "command", instead of being the "platoon leader for each platoon". At anything at battalion level and above, I really don't want to hear about "span of control" - that is why BC's and up have a staff with a couple of other field-grade officers to ride herd on everything.
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Old 09-26-2008   #45
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...and I can never figure out why people are so in love with "organizing by threes", you could save a surprisingly large number of headquarters staffers across the Army simply by adding one more subordinate unit at each level. From what I have seen, a good commander can handle four, five, six or more units just as well as three, and a bad one will screw it up, even if there are only two subordinate units. .
This vexes me some as well. What I do know, with some certainty, is that spans of control shrink under stress. Spans of command are less prone to stress, so can be handed off, and then returned later, but I am not sure that that theory fits with how field formations actually work, at least in my limited experience. - which is why I am far more interested in basic principles of organisation, than I am in TOEs.
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- 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.
Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition
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Old 09-30-2008   #46
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I am fascinated that anyone outside the branch noticed much difference in the 21B world.

One of the largest setbacks I have seen since the transformation is the total loss of skill level 2 knowledge. Sappers know almost nothing about their job now (this intuition was recently confirmed by a sapper instructor who has witnessed a steady decline in the past two years) and there does not seem to be an easy fix for this.

I think the recent push to build the JSS's and COP's in Baghdad speaks for 21B applicability in the COE.
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Old 05-06-2014   #47
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Worth having another look at the 'Odom option' I suggest.


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This post may belong in the "History Channel" - or there may be another thread covering Tom Odom's 2005 article (if so, I apologize for posting here).

Found Tom Odom's 2005 article, "Transformation: Victory Rests with Small Units", in surfing to another article found in a reading list, which led to the index here:

http://usacac.army.mil/CAC/milreview...exmayjun05.asp

I was struck by what seemed a similarity in the platoon structure proposed in the article, and the company structiure of the Compagnies franches de la Marine (CFM), the independent companies of the [Ministry of the] Marine. Those companies, many serving in Canada, were of platoon size.

The force structure adopted by the CFM in Canada served them well for 70 years (1685-1755).

The theoretical CFM TOE was something like this:



That is a total of 50 men (65 after 1756) - plus commissioned officers and cadets.

The reality was different, because of the reduction in the number of private soldiers. The number of officers and NCOs was not reduced, perhaps a bit enhanced.



Lorimier apparently was a second generation Marine - depending on how one interprets "capitaine dans les troupes de la marine" vs. "capitaine de marine" in ca. 1700 French usage.



The same construct also appears in the field, with an even larger ratio of officers (15, including cadets) to soldiers (20, presumably including NCOs) in an expedition where Cloron de Blainville was the capitaine mentioned below.



Of course, they had to ride herd on 180 Canadians (who probably had their own militia officers), and the 30 Indians.

A balanced view of the French-Canadian militia is found in Jay Cassel, "The Militia Legend: Canadians at War, 1665-1760", in Canadian Military History Since the 17th Century, Proceedings of the Canadian Military History Conference, Ottawa, 5-9 May 2000 (National Defence 2001), pp. 59-67.

Cassel notes (pp. 63-64):



I suspect that CFMs were augmented by engaging individual Canadians at the going rate for voyageurs (which was much higher than a soldier's pay). If so, the CFM included both regular military and what we today would call PMC's. Of course, the "civilian" engags were subject to the military command structure; so, various present-day legal issues were avoided. Have to research that one further.

I'm curious if, in researching the article, the CFM was considered. Not saying it should have been considered, since citation of a 300+ year old military concept is not likely to impress the PTB.

BTW: I liked the article - and studied it.
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