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Trigger Puller Boots on the ground, steel on target -- the pointy end of the spear.

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Old 01-04-2008   #41
Ken White
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Default On that we can agree...

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. . .
4. Task organisation works. We know this, so why fixate on fixed numbers for any other reason than budgets. I may have a 120 man platoon, but that does not stop me generating a 75 man fighting patrol under a skilled platoon commander.

5. As concerns "Patrols", I just refuse to get stuck in the 1915 phraseology that has held back infantry doctrine for nearly 80 years. We can do things better and also do better things. US/UK Infantry doctrine is till stuck in a WW2 set piece conventional battle mindset, that is retained for emotional and organisational reasons. If I were to subscribe to this mindset, I would be failing in my attempt to try and improve the wider understanding of infantry operations.
Particularly the last paragraph...
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Old 01-04-2008   #42
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5. As concerns "Patrols", I just refuse to get stuck in the 1915 phraseology that has held back infantry doctrine for nearly 80 years. We can do things better and also do better things. US/UK Infantry doctrine is till stuck in a WW2 set piece conventional battle mindset, that is retained for emotional and organisational reasons. If I were to subscribe to this mindset, I would be failing in my attempt to try and improve the wider understanding of infantry operations.
Quick question. Does the "denial of the same to the adversary" argument hold in an urban environment where the enemy patrols in plainclothes and you do not? If not, what's the solution or alternative?
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Old 01-04-2008   #43
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Quick question. Does the "denial of the same to the adversary" argument hold in an urban environment where the enemy patrols in plainclothes and you do not? If not, what's the solution or alternative?
Sure as hell. If you can prove that someone is conducting unarmed or even armed reconnaissance, then you can detain or, if necessary, kill them.

How someone dresses merely effects the how you detect them. It does not alter the need to detect them.
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Old 01-04-2008   #44
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Sure as hell. If you can prove that someone is conducting unarmed or even armed reconnaissance, then you can detain or, if necessary, kill them.

How someone dresses merely effects the how you detect them. It does not alter the need to detect them.
No argument there, but I'm asking how feasible it is to deny the enemy the ability to patrol under those conditions and what, if any, measures the force can take to mitigate the disadvantage.
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Old 07-28-2014   #45
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I have and they are linked in other threads. - or some that others may point you at.

A.) A lot of the criticism of my ideas as outline in the "Fire team Group" is valid in the context that some state. So I am not dismissive of the critiques, nor are any of my insights necessarily greater than those who think I'm full of sh*t. but what sh*t I am full of, I know very well!

B.) My ideas have moved on a bit in the last 5 years. I think a Platoon has to be able to adjust its organisation based on Mission, Threat, Terrain etc. The article that is often cited was written to provoke debate.

C.) I believe that the Core Functions - Find, Fix, Strike, and Exploit are a very strong basis on which to train and organise. A Platoon that adheres to that is in, IMO, pretty good shape.

D.) Doctrine, training, education and leadership, matter far more important than precise Squad or Platoon Size.

E.) and I currently think a platoon should be about 30 men, organised into 3 x 10 man sections. Each Section contains a Recce Group and Weapons Group (6 & 4?).
1 Section is lead by the Platoon commander, and a L/Cpl.
2 Section is lead by the Platoon Segreant and a Corporal.
3 Section is lead by a Corporal and a L/Cpl.
If necessary,
The Platoon can form as two "Multiples". The Recce Multiple is the 4 x 5 man teams under the Platoon commander, two L/Cpls and a Corporal.
The Weapons Multiple is 2 x 5 Man teams under The Platoon sergeant and a Corporal.
It sounds like you are a Marine. Don't know alot about Marines, except what I learned from my cousin, who was an E-6 at Pendleton. It sounds like you are talking about a recon platoon, because you have x 20 men dedicated to reconnaissance. You have another x 10 men dedicated to weapons, and I assume those weapons have to be along the lines of machine guns and anti-armor systems. This is x 30 men. O.K., so you have two 10-man recon elements and a 10-man weapons element. If you are using weapons during a recon mission, you're not going to last. That means the "eyes and ears" of the battalion commander are going to be put out of commission; that combat information off of which the S-2 can deduce "actionable intelligence" is going to be cut off; and that toes are going to be tagged. On the other hand, if you're talking about a x 30-man rifle platoon, there's no need for x 20 recon men. The Corps has a number of x 32-man platoons already, and for their force structure this is not bad because you need small units to fit everybody on amphib ships, AAV's, etc. Small, sufficiently mobile units with a very high degree of lethality are what I think the Army & Marines are looking for in the future. Marine squads have three fire teams totaling x 13-men, x 14 with a Navy Hosp Corpsman. Each team has a machine gun, SAW or newer M-27, TL, grenadier, and a rifleman. If you are thinking " x 30-man rifle platoon" you should take this into consideration to reorganize a x 41-man platoon into a x 30-man platoon. If you're thinking recon, they aren't fighters unless they get caught by the enemy. I'm not trying to be critical, just throwing a few thoughts your way. Maybe an x 8-man weapons section, (x 4 Bravo 240's) with three x 6-man teams having a TL, x 2 SAW/M-27 gunners, a grenadier, and x 2 riflemen for a total of x 26. Add a four man platoon HQ Group of the PL, PSG, Corpsman, and RTO and you have a x 30-man platoon with a very high degree of lethality. Hope you consider it, especially as far as part C) of your writing above goes.

Last edited by novelist; 07-28-2014 at 12:41 AM.
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Old 07-28-2014   #46
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Wilf, is a Brit - an ex NCO I believe - who no longer posts here.

With respect to him and a number of others who have indulged in speculative theory around here their lack of wartime experience undermines their contributions to such debates.

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It sounds like you are a Marine.
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Old 07-29-2014   #47
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Well, I just came to this sight yesterday and lance corporal is a Marine rank. Please excuse my failure to recognize my mistake.
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Old 07-30-2014   #48
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Wilf, is a Brit - an ex NCO I believe - who no longer posts here.

With respect to him and a number of others who have indulged in speculative theory around here their lack of wartime experience undermines their contributions to such debates.
JMA
Your first comment may be accurate but it was also mindless kidney punching. Your second comment was mostly valid and is a cautionary to me as a self-appointed commentator and incidentally an ex-reserve infantry NCO.

Overall and usefully demonstrating one hazard of self inflation the phrasing of your post revealed a Blimp with bile line showing. Donít bother to respond because my future reading will exclude anything attributed to you.
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Old 07-31-2014   #49
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Much of these discussions - about the organisation and structure of fire teams/sections/platoons etc - is a waste of time.

What trumps most arguments or motivations for change is the constraints of military budgets.

Thereafter all your planning and training can be undone minutes into the first battle.

Let me explain.

Take the 4th Battalion of the Somerset Light Infantry - as part of the 43rd Wessex Division - experience in the taking of Hill 112 for example.

Out of its original strength of 36 officers and nearly 700 other ranks, The 4th Battalion, The Somerset Light Infantry, received reinforcements of 15 officers and 541 other ranks, between the 5th and 18th July 1944 leaving it below its full strength. This is admittedly a radical case.
(source 18 Platoon by Sidney Jary)

So how long will all these theoretical organisations and structures survive after battle is joined?

The answer is how do the units taking casulaties adapt. The key lies in the abilities of the officers and NCOs - who survive - to show initiative and get on with what they have got. History provides those interested with many examples of how soldiers have risen to the challenge in the most dire situations.
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