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Old 02-19-2009   #21
RJ
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The big Marine Infantry Squads (13 x 3) = 39
Platoon Ldr, Platoon Sgt, Radioman x 3 = 9 = 126
Weapons platoon to reach the 180 figure is 54
personnel for MG sections and assorted items that
fly thru the air and go boom and a Plt. Ldr, Plt. Sgt and Radioman.

Ability to absorb casualties, cover more ground in defensive postions and in the assualt. Firepower volumne 1/3 higher than the 9 man US Army Squad.

Six and a half decades of proven combat power and effectivness.

This ground has been covered in the Squad thread. Especially the first four pages of that tome.

The conversation petered out because the ground had been plowed to dust.


I'm still looking forward to the 12 man Marine Squad critique based on a tour in Afganistan.

It makes the platoons only 3 men lighter and the 180 reduced to 171 at the standard Company level.

A mere pittance in power loss, but perhaps an efficency under fire drop without 9 stand alone Squad Leaders fighting their 3 - 4 man Fire Teams.
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Old 02-19-2009   #22
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Default RJ, thanks for the details

Unfortunately, I didn't see the specific details on the company size before, so I do appreciate that. And you did answer the question on the size of the company - big companies are doable. Since the Marine squad (as you pointed out unchanged in 6 1/2 decades) may be changed, this discussion is definitely not over. Sounds like even the USMC isn't completely satisfied or sees room for improvement?

However, while I understand that other armies have the squad leader also leading one of the fire teams (all of them perhaps smaller squads, i.e., 8 men), I see the Marine squad as much more optimal, especially with a focus on more decentralized operations. As the SL starts performing duties typically identified with a platoon commander (in a COIN environment), he will have less time to directly deal with the 3 men in his fireteam. Plus, with this big a squad, it definitely seems advantageous to have the SL free to look at a larger picture. I am not sure where the benefit is, other than reducing 27 junior Marines from each battalion structure.

This seems to be nickel and diming the manpower - be careful where this leads, as the US Army went this way several decades ago, and look at where we are now!

Question: Where are the FO/ANGLICO the company uses, or is the platoon commander/platoon sergeant and squad leaders expected to do all their own call for fires? Are they in the weapons platoon or attached from a supporting artillery unit, as the Army does? Corpsmen the same way or within the battalion? When scheming my company structure, without attachments such as a commo guy for the HQ and 5 medics and the forward observer element, the total size is 184, right in line with what the Marines are at now.

Thanks.

And Ken, not trying to insult your intelligence or experience , just wanted to break out the whole gamut of duties/missions that tend to get lost in the sauce by higher HQs.

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Old 02-19-2009   #23
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Default Nay, not a prob.

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And Ken, not trying to insult your intelligence or experience , just wanted to break out the whole gamut of duties/missions that tend to get lost in the sauce by higher HQs.
Thanks again for the effort, I learned some specifics, some new things I hadn't thought of and got some thoughts confirmed. Good laydown for many of us, I suspect. Done similar things, yes -- but in a different place and time with different gear and rules; every war is different and thinking there's nothing new is dangerous. Since I'm violently opposed to both violence and danger, learning is where it's at.

Ungrammtical but correct...
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Old 02-20-2009   #24
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Default Rethinking Redux

Happened to run into this old (1984) MG article, which seemed interesting to me for the pros and cons raised - and the author, then CPT T X Hammes.
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Old 02-22-2009   #25
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Thanks for the Redux - here we are 25 years further down the Squad debate role and the United States Marine Corps is still using the Big 13 man squad and considering a 1 man reduction to a 12 man squad.

Does anyone know exactly what the set up is on the expirmental 12 man squad that is being looked at?

Was the stand alone Squad Leader over 3 Fire Teams the casualty?

I doubt if Sgt. Stryker would approve.

"Sgt. Stryker says "lock and load" Says the first fireteam leader to the rest of the squad as their Peter Boat approaches the beach in the John Wayne epic "Iwo Jima"

Ken White may have been the model for John's role in that great film.

Semper Fi, KW!
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Old 02-22-2009   #26
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Cool God'll get you, RJ. Actually, my career in the Corps

was more like Forrest Tucker's role in Sands. The perennial Corporal, I screwed off a lot unless I really had to do sumpn...

Semper Fi, yourself. Guns up...

P.S.

I'm with you; seen a lot of different organizations and the old K Series Marine Rifle Company worked as well as any and better than most. Great for training young NCOs, the Army squad with two fire teams doesn't do as well. We also agree on MG Platoons...

Last edited by Ken White; 02-22-2009 at 04:50 AM. Reason: P.S.
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Old 02-22-2009   #27
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I believe the 12-man squad that was being considered consisted of two fire teams and a C2 team. I can't remember the proposed make up of the C2 team. Was it SL, FO, RTO, and Corpsman?

I believe the change was intended to make the squad more of a stand alone unit for LIC, COIN, etc. I don't know if the USMC is still considering the change.

That's the best I remember from the reading I've gone; but, likely, I've gotten some details wrong. Someone in the know chime in and correct me.
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Old 02-22-2009   #28
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was more like Forrest Tucker's role in Sands. The perennial Corporal, I screwed off a lot unless I really had to do sumpn...
But you saw the light and was born again.....as a paratrooper NCO!
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Old 02-22-2009   #29
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Tankersteve posted -

Question: Where are the FO/ANGLICO the company uses, or is the platoon commander/platoon sergeant and squad leaders expected to do all their own call for fires? Are they in the weapons platoon or attached from a supporting artillery unit, as the Army does? Corpsmen the same way or within the battalion? When scheming my company structure, without attachments such as a commo guy for the HQ and 5 medics and the forward observer element, the total size is 184, right in line with what the Marines are at now.

Back in the day FO's and Anglico teams were attached to the CO. HQ. Today, Squad leaders and even Fire Team leaders are trained to communicate with Artillery and FAC's. I have read about junior NCO's handling communications often enough that they could tell who the pilots were by their voices as well as their "handles" in the march up the Bagdad.

Rifleman,

The old ratio was one Corpsman for each platoon, with a Senior Corpsman atttached to the Company. 5 per company. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since Vietnam and a lot of communication gear has been introduced to the rank and file. Attaching a Corpsman to a specific Squad is how it is done. I don't think they would become a member of the squad T/O.

Tanker Steve,

One of the Marine Infantry NCO building blocks has always been the Squad Leader position. This is the first major step in developing Junior NCO to grow up to become Marine Gunnery Sargents. I don't think the ARMY has a corresponding rank that compares to Gunnery Sgt. They have the same pay grade, of course, but the responsibility and efficiency levels are much different.

Ken White posted -

"P.S.

I'm with you; seen a lot of different organizations and the old K Series Marine Rifle Company worked as well as any and better than most. Great for training young NCOs, the Army squad with two fire teams doesn't do as well. We also agree on MG Platoons... "

Thanks, Ken. I firmly believe the early responsibility for 12other Marines is the keystone of every senior Marine NCOs career. It teaches you the importance of discipline and how to think fast and outside the box when under great stress. And I believe the Big Marine Squad will remain a cornerstone in the Afghan War for applying power and absorbing punishment while coninuing the fight.

Last edited by RJ; 02-22-2009 at 09:36 PM.
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Old 02-22-2009   #30
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Default Nah...

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But you saw the light and was born again.....as a paratrooper NCO!
I just grew up.

A teeny bit.
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Old 02-25-2009   #31
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Thanks for the Redux - here we are 25 years further down the Squad debate role and the United States Marine Corps is still using the Big 13 man squad and considering a 1 man reduction to a 12 man squad.

Does anyone know exactly what the set up is on the expirmental 12 man squad that is being looked at?

Was the stand alone Squad Leader over 3 Fire Teams the casualty?

Semper Fi, KW!


No, no don't worry the lone SqLdr has not been KIA.

The shift was part of what was Distributed Ops & has now shifted to Enhanced Company Operations.

The Marine Infantry Platoon remains at 44, 43 Marines & 1 Corpsman.

3x 13 man Squad, + Radio Operator, Plt Guide, Plt Sgt, & Plt Cmdr.

What changes, is the ability to shift the Plt Structure to best exploit opportunities.

At that time one boot fr/ each squad will shift to the HQ section creating 2 Plt C2's.

C2-A: Plt Cmdr, RTO, Plt Gde, & 1 of the Rifleman.
C2-B: Plt Sgt, Corpsman, 2 other Rifleman.

3x 12man Squads: The Squad now becomes a 2 team Manuever element but the SqLdr technically doesn't join the 3rd team he still moves independently directing the actions of the 2 manuever tms.

The 3rd tm however form a C2 Cell: The Fire Team Ldr now becomes the Fires Coordination Chief, 1 of the Rifleman becomes the Squad Radio Operator, & the other Rifleman is the Combat Lifesaver.

There's even talk of bringing the Loose Rifleman in the C2 back as the Squad DM to provide overwatch.



This might really freak you out.

There's even talk of splitting the squad even further into 6 man elements to Operate like 6 man Sniper teams for tracking, disruption, & sabotage bringing back the Old "Hunter/Killer Teams" fr/ the Vietnam War.
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Old 02-25-2009   #32
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Quote:
This might really freak you out.
Sure does. So if I get this right, 20 out of a total of 44 now form 5 seperate 4 man HQ elements within the platoon?!?! To lead 6 x 4 man fire teams.
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Old 02-25-2009   #33
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This might really freak you out.

There's even talk of splitting the squad even further into 6 man elements to Operate like 6 man Sniper teams for tracking, disruption, & sabotage bringing back the Old "Hunter/Killer Teams" fr/ the Vietnam War.

Wilf,

Take heart bud. If true, someone's listening. Not exactly what you propose but getting closer. They didn't day, "Patrol Base Infantry" or, "Fire Team Group" but they're getting close to your concept.

A little bit of RLI influence in there too, maybe?
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Last edited by Rifleman; 02-25-2009 at 06:41 PM.
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Old 02-25-2009   #34
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Commar posted - The shift was part of what was Distributed Ops & has now shifted to Enhanced Company Operations.

"The Marine Infantry Platoon remains at 44, 43 Marines & 1 Corpsman.

3x 13 man Squad, + Radio Operator, Plt Guide, Plt Sgt, & Plt Cmdr.

What changes, is the ability to shift the Plt Structure to best exploit opportunities.

At that time one boot fr/ each squad will shift to the HQ section creating 2 Plt C2's.

C2-A: Plt Cmdr, RTO, Plt Gde, & 1 of the Rifleman.
C2-B: Plt Sgt, Corpsman, 2 other Rifleman.

3x 12man Squads: The Squad now becomes a 2 team Manuever element but the SqLdr technically doesn't join the 3rd team he still moves independently directing the actions of the 2 manuever tms.

The 3rd tm however form a C2 Cell: The Fire Team Ldr now becomes the Fires Coordination Chief, 1 of the Rifleman becomes the Squad Radio Operator, & the other Rifleman is the Combat Lifesaver.

There's even talk of bringing the Loose Rifleman in the C2 back as the Squad DM to provide overwatch.

This might really freak you out.

There's even talk of splitting the squad even further into 6 man elements to Operate like 6 man Sniper teams for tracking, disruption, & sabotage bringing back the Old "Hunter/Killer Teams" fr/ the Vietnam War."

Commar - No freaking out is allowed in the Marine Infantry!

Actually your telling me, nothing has changed. We always had the ability to reconfigure the platoons for different situations.

Pulling a single rifleman from each Squad doesn't disrupt the three manuever elements (Fireteams) at all. They still function as 3 fireteams under the direction of the Squad leader. They retain 3 automatic weapons and 35 rifles including the squad leaders rifle. The Marine Big 3 FT Squad was designed to accomodate casualties expected during the Island Campaigns in the Pacific during the beach assualt phase.

Your "The 3rd tm however form a C2 Cell: The Fire Team Ldr now becomes the Fires Coordination Chief, 1 of the Rifleman becomes the Squad Radio Operator, & the other Rifleman is the Combat Lifesaver." seems to me to be whimsical and a big reduction in the force application 12 man squad can provide. Fires Coordination Chief (What is the Plt. Cmdr. going to do. Or the SL himself? )

Squad Radio Operator. I suspect todays Squad Leaders can already communicate with their fellow Squad Leaders should the need arise. (Shouting useta work for me. or sending a rifleman as a runner if electronics are jammed, and hand and arm signals worked in the line of sight mode very well)

The SL might have helmet or handheld comm gear that can specify Company, Paltoon or Squad nets in todays world.

Explain what a Combat Life Saver is????. We useta call them Corpsmen.

And while some think the (DM) Designated Marksman is a new deal, the Marine Rifle Squad Leader knew who his best shots were and utilized them for long range killing fire when the opportunity presented itself. The DM designation today lets other Marines know that the new guy who transfered in from another Regt. or Division was rated a superior shooter.

When you said the third team becomes 3rd C2 Cel?

Is that the short team from each Squad? The numbers don't work if the third team becomes C2-C The Squad has become your standard 9 man Meck and Lite Infantry Squad
not two bigger elements of 6 and 5 + the SL = 12.

C2-A: Plt Cmdr, RTO, Plt Gde, & 1 of the Rifleman.
C2-B: Plt Sgt, Corpsman, 2 other Rifleman.
C2-C: Fires Coordinator Chief, Squad Radio Operator, Combat Life Saver.

Does this mean that the Right Guide can't be the Fires
Coordinator? Or the Plootoon Sgt.

Seems to me that the message may have gotten garbled during the sorce translation.

Perhaps someone can clairfiy the juggling!

Especially this description of the squad becoming two 6 man elements, er, one 6 and one 5 men elements with an independent SL, should he not want to join one of the elements.

The Irish have a new whiskey on the shelves now. It comes from County Down. It is called "Feckin Irish Whiskey" - I kid you not! That bottle sells in PA for $23.95

I will venture to guess that someone has been tasting that particular brand because as described above the is fecked up.

Does the US Army have people in the infantry who are called Fires Coordinators, Squad Radio Operators and Combat Lifesavers?

If this has been a test and I tripped the winning lever -

I will accept a bottle of Powers Gold Lable Irish Whiskey.
It is two bucks cheaper than Feckin Irish Whiskey and it is much smoother. Dangerously smoother!
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Old 02-26-2009   #35
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Default Belay that, RJ

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Actually your telling me, nothing has changed. We always had the ability to reconfigure the platoons for different situations.
I'm too old to go memory trippin'.

Howsomeever, I have run a squad with two five man Fire teams (me, SL as one FTL -- short three people, no other Corporals); have run two FT, a seven man assault element with two Cpls and all three BARs in a Base of Fire Team for four with me going where I could do the least harm...

Several other variants. I recall one effort of three weeks or so where we had a Platoon with a PSgt (Acting Plat Cdr), RTO and with five or six teams with four to six people. Whatever worked.
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Explain what a Combat Life Saver is????. We useta call them Corpsmen.
Different. Cbt Lifesaver is the 0311 with some medical training and an IV pack to give immediate first aid. varies from unit to unit, in the Army some have one per FT, some get almost everyone qualified; the Corpsman or Medic is still with the PL/PSG. It works in these FID situations, is less likely to do so in a war of movement against a peer opponent; then it'll be "get his ammo and keep moving..."
Quote:
And while some think the (DM) Designated Marksman is a new deal, the Marine Rifle Squad Leader knew who his best shots were and utilized them for long range killing fire when the opportunity presented itself. The DM designation today lets other Marines know that the new guy who transfered in from another Regt. or Division was rated a superior shooter.
True, J. M. Hayes, Commanche from some little town outside of Lubbock comes to mind. I got him one of those '03s with a Unertl scope and he almost cried when they picked it up to send back to Quantico for re-scoping.
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Does the US Army have people in the infantry who are called Fires Coordinators, Squad Radio Operators and Combat Lifesavers?
Yes, no (All god's chillun got radios) and yes.
Quote:
I will accept a bottle of Powers Gold Lable Irish Whiskey. It is two bucks cheaper than Feckin Irish Whiskey and it is much smoother. Dangerously smoother!
Upgrade your game, RJ Good bourbon costs more but it's worth it...

Semper Fi

Or is that Semper Stimuli today...
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Old 02-26-2009   #36
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When you said the third team becomes 3rd C2 Cel?

Is that the short team from each Squad? The numbers don't work if the third team becomes C2-C The Squad has become your standard 9 man Meck and Lite Infantry Squad not two bigger elements of 6 and 5 + the SL = 12.

C2-A: Plt Cmdr, RTO, Plt Gde, & 1 of the Rifleman.
C2-B: Plt Sgt, Corpsman, 2 other Rifleman.
C2-C: Fires Coordinator Chief, Squad Radio Operator, Combat Life Saver.

Does this mean that the Right Guide can't be the Fires
Coordinator? Or the Plootoon Sgt.

Seems to me that the message may have gotten garbled during the sorce translation.

Perhaps someone can clairfiy the juggling!

I'll give a shot... 1st keep in mind that this is going to be at levels of Dispersion well BEYOND any previous Infantry Plt. The Plt's could be Operating at anywhere fr/ 5km-50km+ fr/ the Company or BN.

Each Squad could be patrolling at anywhere fr/ 1-10km from the PltCmdr/PltSgt. Each Fire Team at up to a km fr/ the SqLdr.

The EACH Squad becomes:
2x 4 man Fire Teams
1x 4 man C2 team made up of:
1x SL
1x Fires Chief(former 3rd tm ldr)- Draws up complex Fire Mission including Level II CAS, much like a 0861 Fire Support Specialist(lite).
1x Squad RTO- Operating at extended ranges the Sqd will need a VHF band to talk back to the Plt & SATCOM to reach back for Fires.
1x Combat Life Saver


Each Sqd when Dispersed will set up this way, to cover large swaths of land.

The Plt Cdr & Plt Sgt will each form separate Plt Command Cells:
Switching ON/OFF relieving each other they will control the overall actions in the AO 24/7. Everything fr/ Processing Intel, to assigning targets, to Handle Logistics, etc. basically operate like a CO HQ.



[/QUOTE]Especially this description of the squad becoming two 6 man elements, er, one 6 and one 5 men elements with an independent SL, should he not want to join one of the elements.[/QUOTE]

They haven't really released many details on this one yet. It was going to be utilized but is now on the shelf but is still being introduced, though not to the extent it was orignally designed to be utilized in. It is being intro'd in a package w/ the new program COMBAT HUNTER.

In the CH program Marines learn to conduct Advanced Forms of Observation & Surveillance, Camouflage & Concealment, Stalking &Tracking, & Individual Profiling of whole towns & villages. Building Profiles on suspicious individuals & activities fr/ a concealed position for capture & disruption.

The Closing event is breaking into 6man Tracking teams to track an Individual for capture or elimination.



[/QUOTE]Explain what a Combat Life Saver is????. We useta call them Corpsmen.[/QUOTE]


Combat Lifesaver is a program the Corps started in '02. 1 Marine fr/each squad is trained in CL Course which was basically a Combat Medic Course (lite).

Needles for IV, Trachea tubes for breathing etc. its a very in depth course. I believe the Army requires it now also.





Also K.I.M. this also ties into the future Concept of the "SC MAGTF" in which 1 Marine BN each would be spread across a whole Theater Command in Company sized Detachments.

These CO-DETs would be based either at sea or in friendly nations around particular regions and send out Plt sized Dets to various nations in that region to conduct various FID training missions.

These would be 6mth Deployments w/ certain Regiments Specializing in certain Regions therefore sending the same units to the same areas continuously, developing a Repoirte w/ the locals, but most importantly vital constant intel.
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Old 02-26-2009   #37
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COMMAR,

Thank you for the indepth explaination. My apologies, for being terse and a little edgy. I think I'm becoming a curmudgeon.

I really appreciate the peek at this new concept. It is an eye opener. The Afghan War will be the proving ground for this application of force by Squad sized units..

With the ability to call upon Artillery and Air will really multiply the Squads impact and in turn the wider dispersal of Squads will allow a Platoon do the work of a Company, or even a Battalion if the stars are lined up right..

The Second Marine Division is standing up a Marine Expeditionary Brigade for Afghanistan this Spring/Summer and I hope some of the units in that MEB will employ the concepts listed above.

And the US Army is sending its first Stryker Brigade there as well.

Interesting times. A lot of new "stuff" to get the wrinkles
smoothed out.

The Fires Coordinator, Combat Lifesaver and Squad radio operator now make sense.

Thanks again!
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Old 02-26-2009   #38
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Wilf,

Take heart bud. If true, someone's listening. Not exactly what you propose but getting closer. They didn't day, "Patrol Base Infantry" or, "Fire Team Group" but they're getting close to your concept.

A little bit of RLI influence in there too, maybe?
Eyh! As long as the thinking gets out there, I'm happy. I'm not so much interested in the detail as the thinking that gets put behind it.

What they'll end up with is an organisation that fits the culture, and that IS important, but it's not necessarily best practice.
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Old 02-26-2009   #39
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With the ability to call upon Artillery and Air will really multiply the Squads impact and in turn the wider dispersal of Squads will allow a Platoon do the work of a Company, or even a Battalion if the stars are lined up right..

The Second Marine Division is standing up a Marine Expeditionary Brigade for Afghanistan this Spring/Summer and I hope some of the units in that MEB will employ the concepts listed above.


You've actually seen light flashes of it in one form or another since '04 Marines went into Anbar & started Distibuting Plt's out in COPs 60-70mi fr/the BN HQ.

It was seen & proven effective in Full Glory in a deployment of a Platoon that attached to the US Army's 10th Mtn in '06.

But its doubtful if they'll fully unleash it again for a few yrs, although Combat Hunter is standard PTP now. They want to get all the bugs worked out of the "Enhanced Company Operations", ECO Concept, before they fully expose it.

I don't see that happening until they solve Logistics & that won't be for another few yrs. They have alot of good ideas in the works but it will be 1-3yrs until they're proven effective.


Actually a few of the Log ideas are slated to be proven in A'stan next yr. One is the Ultralite J-PAD, the GPS guided parachute resupply system of about 200-700lbs of gear.

Another is the AH-6X "Little Bird" UAV slated to be able to carry 4 Marines, weapons, & over 2,000lbs of payload AUTONOMOUSLY. Now that is some serious Juice.

At about $5mil a pop, even at 10, if you could get 3-6 of them allocated per Dispersed Company it would change the game. They can be used for Log & Resupply, Manuever, CasEvac, Weapons Platform, Surveillance & Reconnaissance, the possibilities are endless..


"Future Weapons" video clip.
http://awwar.com/Military-Weapons/Ai...ittle-Bird-UAV
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Old 02-26-2009   #40
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COMMAR said:
Quote:
"Combat Lifesaver is a program the Corps started in '02. 1 Marine fr/each squad is trained in CL Course which was basically a Combat Medic Course (lite).

Needles for IV, Trachea tubes for breathing etc. its a very in depth course. I believe the Army requires it now also.
The Army introduced the program in 1985, firmly pushed it into full execution in 1988. Troops from the 82d on an MTT to get Canada's first rotation to Kandahar were responsible for the Canadians also adopting the program.

We can all learn from each other.
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