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Old 03-08-2009   #41
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The widely disbursed platoons and squads could be protected by this new artillery concept in Afganistan 24/7.

The Marine Corps Times posted this today about a Marine Reserve artillery battery in Helmand Provience

The reservists with Battery D, 2nd Battalion, 14th Marines, had been at Camp Barber only three weeks in February when they conducted a successful field test of their High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, a first for any Marine unit operating in Afghanistan and a sign of what’s in store for the insurgency there, officials said in a news release.

HiMARS is more advanced than a traditional howitzer, Maj. Frankie P. Delgado, battery commander, said in the release. With its three-man crew, the system cradles six 200-pound rockets. Its range can exceed 40 miles, and the rockets, guided by a Global Positioning System, are accurate to within 26 feet.

Has the US Army used HiMARS in Iraq or Afganistan?

Any pros or cons on the rockets and their accuracy would be appreciated.

Will the Squad or Platoons be the FO elements for this 40 mile radius weapon?
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Old 03-08-2009   #42
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Has the US Army used HiMARS in Iraq or Afganistan?

Any pros or cons on the rockets and their accuracy would be appreciated.

Will the Squad or Platoons be the FO elements for this 40 mile radius weapon?
Dunno, but the UK has been using GMLRS for the last 2 years. Last I heard, airspace de-confliction meant that missions took about 12 mins from request to attack.

Remember rockets attack in the low trajectory, so there are issues there, but in this day an age, it's not much of a step forward.
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Old 03-08-2009   #43
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Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
Dunno, but the UK has been using GMLRS for the last 2 years. Last I heard, airspace de-confliction meant that missions took about 12 mins from request to attack.

Remember rockets attack in the low trajectory, so there are issues there, but in this day an age, it's not much of a step forward.

Accuracy differences between the systems are indeed significant steps forward.
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Old 03-08-2009   #44
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What is the re-load time for the 3 man crew handling 6 200 pound rockets?

Can the individual six pack's handle multiple targets?

What's the TOT at maximum range of a rocket?

How fast can a battery shoot and scoot?

Can the rounds (rockets) be lazered to the target?

Can the launchers be sling hauled by helo and what is the smallest helo in the inventory capable of lifting them?
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Old 03-08-2009   #45
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Accuracy differences between the systems are indeed significant steps forward.
For MLRS it's a step forward but for we've had <8m accuracy for some time. I think Copperhead, was around during GW1 and there has been a similar Russian systems in service for the last 5 years.

I fully accept it's an improvement, but it's not a game changer. Go back 30 years and 207mm artillery could hit bridges and individual vehicles, in the low trajectory, though it required some adjustment of fire.
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Old 03-08-2009   #46
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What is the re-load time for the 3 man crew handling 6 200 pound rockets?
Doesn't MLRS have an auto-loader?
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Can the individual six pack's handle multiple targets?
Yes
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What's the TOT at maximum range of a rocket?
Well over 1 minute according to someone I know.
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How fast can a battery shoot and scoot?
I think the "battery" is now one vehicle.
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Can the rounds (rockets) be lazered to the target?
The Israelis have had a laser guided MLRS round for some time.
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Can the launchers be sling hauled by helo and what is the smallest helo in the inventory capable of lifting them?
I think CH-47 can sling lift HiMARS.
You may want to look at this
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Old 03-08-2009   #47
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For MLRS it's a step forward but for we've had <8m accuracy for some time. I think Copperhead, was around during GW1 and there has been a similar Russian systems in service for the last 5 years.

I fully accept it's an improvement, but it's not a game changer. Go back 30 years and 207mm artillery could hit bridges and individual vehicles, in the low trajectory, though it required some adjustment of fire.


Wilf,

I totally disagree on the terms of the game changing or not, and here is why:

In this day and age, low CEP delivery systems have everything to do with the decision to employ those fires in the midst of a collateral damage calculus. I don't think Copperhead is really a player when you look at the comparative ranges involved, and the target designation requirement. You don't need to designate with the rocket systems.

HIMARS and the GMLRS rockets it employs are like night and day when compared to a Copperhead round, when you take into account the GPS guidance package.

In this day and age...in our small wars...we are frequently presented with a tactical problem that doesn't allow for adjusted fires. Pin-point accuracy (yes, a relative term) is required.

And as for airspace deconfliction, I'm not so sure that the rocket systems present a different problem than standard tube artillery. The three forms of deconfliction remain the same whether the round is dumb or not - lateral separation, separation by time, and separation by altitude. Determining the rocket path and telling aircraft to stay above or to the side of that path is an easy proposition, even if the rocket is going to alter it's course enroute; the stay-above has to be easy to plot and account for. Clearance delays are likely imposed due to the nature of the C2 system employed, not the calculations involved. Tighten up the procedures and all you have to deal with is flight time.

Am I a rocket fanatic? No...but if I can be ranged by rocket artillery where tubes cannot play, I''m not going to look down my nose at the support.
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Old 03-08-2009   #48
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Originally Posted by jcustis View Post
Wilf,

I totally disagree on the terms of the game changing or not, and here is why:
So what we might be "disagreeing" over is the expression "game change?"

GMLRS is a good thing, but it's just one stick in the golf bag, and it's advantages are all relative - that is my point. GMLRS is not, in and of itself going to alter how the infantry work. I base this purely on an historical perspective.

There are numerous precision fires technologies, such as Loitering Munitions, GPS and laser guided weapons and even armed UAVs which will all bring highly reactive accurate supporting fires to the combined arms battle, but as you yourself have alluded, the challenge remains the C2/C3I.
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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 03-09-2009   #49
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Default GMLRS and

Gents,

Army used GMLRS, from tracked MRLS launchers, extensively in Iraq. I am not sure if it is used in Afghanistan yet although I am pretty sure that either the 82d or 18th Airborne artillery were to get the HIMARS.

In Ramadi, the GMLRS allowed one to drop an entire building with very little damage to adjacent buildings. I have a great video feed of a GMLRS destroying a car being used by an IED emplacement team. So if you want to talk about accuracy, it can take out a stationary car on a city street.

Tube artillery is right in the game. Copperhead is pretty much forgotten as designating with a laser and getting the correct reflection angle was apparently more work than it was worth. Now we have Excalibur with the same capabilities as GMLRS but with less range and a greatly reduced warhead size.

All this does is give the commander multiple options, with different warheads providing different collateral damage radii. And yes, there really is an upper airspace deconfliction piece when shooting GMLRS.

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Old 03-09-2009   #50
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Originally Posted by tankersteve View Post
Gents,

Army used GMLRS, from tracked MRLS launchers, extensively in Iraq. I am not sure if it is used in Afghanistan yet although I am pretty sure that either the 82d or 18th Airborne artillery were to get the HIMARS.

In Ramadi, the GMLRS allowed one to drop an entire building with very little damage to adjacent buildings. I have a great video feed of a GMLRS destroying a car being used by an IED emplacement team. So if you want to talk about accuracy, it can take out a stationary car on a city street.

Tube artillery is right in the game. Copperhead is pretty much forgotten as designating with a laser and getting the correct reflection angle was apparently more work than it was worth. Now we have Excalibur with the same capabilities as GMLRS but with less range and a greatly reduced warhead size.

All this does is give the commander multiple options, with different warheads providing different collateral damage radii. And yes, there really is an upper airspace deconfliction piece when shooting GMLRS.

Tankersteve
Steve,

I coordinated in that GMLRS you mention on the Racetrack. A week prior 1/6 MAR lost 4 marines to an IED which annihlated a HMMWV at that very location. It was some sweet payback. The leaked video doesn't show nearly the detail we had. (which is a good thing) If the Marines hadn't had called in the strafing run, I'm sure the locals would have thought the IED exploded on the emplacement team. It was perfect.

(BTW, that video was leaked by someone, and shouldn't have been, but it's out there now)

In Ramadi, I held the record (at the time) in theater with 22 GMLRS missions shot through the RFCT TOC. We liked it for all the reasons you mention. I think this was covered in another thread awhile back, but I mentioned that commanders liked the option of destroying rooms without destroying the building, among other things.

Niel
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Old 05-16-2009   #51
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Red face Just Another Asset

Well, this is my first post on a forum. Cut me some slack, please!

I'm a strong believer in using all assets at my disposal. If HiMARS is one of them then I must learn to use it at its fullest. However with a 40 mile range, who has control of them. If it's a Battalion or higher FO then I can see it's usefulness. However, what if it is some scared 2lt who feels he's in over his head trying to manage the additional assets of his platoon and he has found out that the proverbial stuff hit the fan? How does it help him and his platoon when it adds orders of magnitude of difficulty to his job?

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Originally Posted by jcustis View Post
Wilf,

In this day and age...in our small wars...we are frequently presented with a tactical problem that doesn't allow for adjusted fires. Pin-point accuracy (yes, a relative term) is required.
This is the problem that Israelis have had recently everytime that they have tried to use their well reguarded prowess. They have the ways and the means to defeat any Mideast power and the HAMAS should be no match for them. However, Hamas hides its assets within centers of civilian populations. The Israelis are hamstrung because they are sensitive to world opinion and one rocket that goes out of its chosen path can ruin their whole day.

Ever since Stalin's Organs and Nebelwerfers, the idea of artillery rockets have had a certain appeal. The Newer versions such as HiMars are unbelievable accurate and have longer ranges than anything before them. However, are they only to be used in Fulda Gap senearios or Afganistan type battles where a little colateral damage isn't a great game breaker? And again it comes down to the skills of the soldier that calls in the mission order. If a unit is that seperated from its parent group, wouldn't a airstrike be a better action? The HiMars rocket system maybe accurate but it's still dumb. It can only react to the coordinates that are given it by who's ever on the ground.

Sorry for the long post. I'm not trying to demean 2lts. God knows, I was there once. However, it is in light of my experiences that I learned to ask questions. Because it is your butt on the line, not the tactical genius that came up with system.
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Old 05-17-2009   #52
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I'm a strong believer in using all assets at my disposal. If HiMARS is one of them then I must learn to use it at its fullest. However with a 40 mile range, who has control of them. If it's a Battalion or higher FO then I can see it's usefulness. However, what if it is some scared 2lt who feels he's in over his head trying to manage the additional assets of his platoon and he has found out that the proverbial stuff hit the fan? How does it help him and his platoon when it adds orders of magnitude of difficulty to his job?
I think it's a mistake to assume that the design, capabilities, and application of any modern weapon system is based primarily on logic, because the evidence suggests it is not.

However, how to apply weapons capability in support of a platoon, should not be something that worries the 2nd Lt. If it does, then something about the training, organisation and communications is very wrong.
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Old 05-17-2009   #53
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Originally Posted by AlexTX ret

I'm a strong believer in using all assets at my disposal. If HiMARS is one of them then I must learn to use it at its fullest. However with a 40 mile range, who has control of them. If it's a Battalion or higher FO then I can see it's usefulness. However, what if it is some scared 2lt who feels he's in over his head trying to manage the additional assets of his platoon and he has found out that the proverbial stuff hit the fan? How does it help him and his platoon when it adds orders of magnitude of difficulty to his job?

Responce by William F. Owen.

I think it's a mistake to assume that the design, capabilities, and application of any modern weapon system is based primarily on logic, because the evidence suggests it is not.

However, how to apply weapons capability in support of a platoon, should not be something that worries the 2nd Lt. If it does, then something about the training, organisation and communications is very wrong.

Gentlemen,

After 7 years of war, I suspect that any well trained Marine Coproral could be capable of handling the details of a fire mission describe above.

And in the Hindu Kush, I do not believe that the ability to surround yourself with innocent populations, whilst attacking a small Platoon outpost, or combat patrol would be an option.

I have a sense the young men in the fight are a lot more capable of any group we may have belonged to or worked with, if we have been retired or seperated from the Armed Forces for more than 10 years.

If the Marines are comfortable with Reserve artillery units firing support missions for their infantry units, I doubt they would allow them the responsibility they have given them with this new to the Marine Corps weapons system.
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Old 05-18-2009   #54
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Gentlemen, pardon the missed "un" in uncomfortable

If the Marines are uncomfortable with Reserve artillery units firing support missions for their infantry units, I doubt they would allow them the responsibility they have given them with this new to the Marine Corps weapons system.
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Old 05-18-2009   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RJ View Post
Originally Posted by AlexTX ret

Responce by William F. Owen.

However, how to apply weapons capability in support of a platoon, should not be something that worries the 2nd Lt. If it does, then something about the training, organisation and communications is very wrong.

From RJ

After 7 years of war, I suspect that any well trained Marine Coproral could be capable of handling the details of a fire mission describe above.

(snip)

I have a sense the young men in the fight are a lot more capable of any group we may have belonged to or worked with, if we have been retired or seperated from the Armed Forces for more than 10 years.

If the Marines are comfortable with Reserve artillery units firing support missions for their infantry units, I doubt they would allow them the responsibility they have given them with this new to the Marine Corps weapons system. (I assumed the "un" in uncomfortable already
I added both quotes because both bring up good points.

I bow to people who are invoved in military operations in the here and now because the last conflict I was in was Gulf War 1. I retired soon after that.

However, I have reservations about the fundamentals from listening to present day veterans.

After observing my boy's training, I feel it is much more situation oriented. The training I recieved was better suited to WW2, Korea and the plains and forests of Europe. Not exactly the thing I needed leading a Airmobile rifle platoon in the Vietnam.

But no matter how long I've been out, the fundamentals haven't changed. A unit leader is about leading soldiers into combat. If you have a good noncom supporting you, the better you're able to accomplish your mission. However,
your whole reason for being is to lead. It's your butt that will end up in a sling if something goes bad. Of course "fragging" is not an option lower ranks have to voice their opinion of your abilities.

The more a unit leader is straddled with optional assets that have to be dealt in "real time", the more he is distracted form his primary mission which is to lead.

The modern day soldier is much more motivated and mission focused than any that I saw in my time in service outside of such groups the airborne, rangers or their earlier bretheren, LRRPS. This can only be a good thing though I have heard of failures do to leaders overreaching their mission parameters or simply getting over their heads. This is where experience becomes more important than ever.

However, I've observed an exercise or 2, and the walk through that I witnessed was impressive. Nevertheless, I saw experienced officers abducating a lot of their responsibilities to lower leaders as they managed the extra tasks their positions required them to attend to. The one thing that I learned as I rose through the ranks was to simplify my job as much as possible. Not run away from responsibilities, just attach priorities to what must be done and then do it. The more missions we give our leaders to do (a leader has a finite amount of attention span to acomplish the tasks he needs to fulfill) the less he's there to accomplish is primary mission which is fighting his unit.

As far as calling in a fire mission, present day protocals have made it so simple that possibly a girl scout with a bit of brains could do it. Also, be it tube or rocket batteries, the Fire Control Officer position, while more and more important, has been stream lined so that he can more easily deal with multiple fire missions. I personally wouldn't be afraid that my artillery assets were reservist. I think that RA and NG/Reservist get basically the same training, so a reservist battery ability lies less with training and more to do with experience. However, the major component is the soldier who called in plotted the target position and called in the mission.

Also, I can accept that as I rose in rank, my focus changed as to priorities I used to evaluate my unit. In my opinion, unfortunately, it wasn't the better leaders that got my attention, it was the leaders that failed to live up to the Armies expectation of what their job performance should be. For in the end, I couldn't get rid of them so I had to find was to make them as competent as possible. And anything that weakened their already weak situlational awareness was something to be worked around not welcomed.

I'm sorry for such a long post. I've probably shown my age as many younger officers thnk of me as some sort of dinosaur. (However, "Barney" I am not) Also, I realized as a young officer, I had a great failiing, I couldn't keep my mouth shut. Why it didn't affect my performance reports I'll never know.
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Old 07-21-2009   #56
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Interesting. I used to love to debate the finer points of Platoon and Company TO&Es, wondering if adding/subtracting one or two soldiers here or there would make a difference. Then I actually commanded a platoon and found that:
1. Our doctrine is extremely disjointed - I can look in 3 different manuals (Bn/Coy/Pl) and find 3 different line diagrams for what a Platoon and/or Company should look like;
2. You never get a TO&E Platoon in garrison - vacant spots, courses, or other events mean your platoon is always different than the prescribed version;
3. You never get a TO&E Platoon in the field - casualties, leave (Canada pulls guys out of theater for a few weeks of leave on each tour), atts/dets, vehicles going down - you name it; it turns your 40-man organization into a 28-man or a 44-man in a flash. You work with what you got, not with what sounded good over beers in the Mess; and
4. Mission will always dictate - Getting tied to TO&E could take away from this. "Well, I have 3 Sections (are term for "Squads"), so I have 3 Tasks for this Mission". The mission may best be handled with 5 elements (busting up sections) or 2 (putting 2 together).

....This has led me to the belief that a TO&E's main purpose is twofold - administration and affiliation. Not tactics. The administrative part fills the legal requirements of "who is responsible for this guy" and "who manages his career, etc, etc".

The affiliation function is more interesting. I've found that each level fills a certain sociological function. A Platoon is "the family" - everyone knows everyone else. The Platoon Commander knows all his soldiers (or at least he should) and their specifics. All the troops know eachother and what is going on. The Company is "the clan" - companies have real personalities - platoons have personalities too, but these are often really shaped by the Company; you have a general idea who everyone is and recognize them. Experience is usually defined at the company level (Remember when we were in A Coy and we did that raid?). Battalions are "the neighbourhood" - you work in the same building but, for the large part, you don't know everyone. However, it is your neighbourhood, it is better than anyone elses, and it defines "where you were in the Big Army" at any point in time. Anything else is "Big Army" and really doesn't have a factor on day to day soldiering (aside from the more esoteric things like Regimental/Division identity).

I guess this is where the "So What?" comes into play. The So What? is that a TO&E is merely a start point - how you manage soldiers not actually fighting and what you (try) to launch to the fight with. Once you launch, princples, more than line diagrams, become the important thing.

1. Span of Control - Platoons are probably the size they are (and have been since their inception at the beginning of the 20th century) for a reason. I'm not talking about 8 or 9 or 12 man squads. I'm talking about roughly 40 dudes against 60 dudes/80 dudes/100 dudes. As a Platoon Commander, I've commanded, with atts, 7 other organizations that more than tripled the size of my Platoon. I never really "commanded" these guys (although there was a legal command relationship involved), but rather gave them my intent and some guidance (after questioning them on what they brought) and sent them on their way. I did this because it was not physically possible to command that many guys. I can command 3-5 NCOs who can command 3-5 dudes (or a Section with their 2IC). I can, through command, exhibit a degree of control over the other odds and sods that came out, but I really focussed my "command" on those 3-5 dudes. Otherwise, span of control would break down. So, in designing a TO&E for a Platoon, keeping it from 35-45 personnel is prudent.

2. Flexibility - Different missions require different tools for the job. In our Rifle Platoons, the commanders have (or at least should) 2 GPMGs, a 84mm Recoiless Rifle, a 60mm mortar and, these days, a DM Rifle. Depending on the mission, I can pick which 1 or 2 systems I need. I've seen this described as the "tool-box" or the "golf-bag" approach and it is really good. Give me a host of tools and I'll pick which one best suites the specific tactical problem. TO&Es should apply this approach to skillsets as well. I'm lucky enough to have a wide variety of skillsets in my NCOs. One guy is Urban Ops Instructor and knows all about angles, stacking, searching and breaching. Another guy is Gunnery Instructor which means he is a SME in vehicle gunnery. Another guy was Advanced Recce/Mountain Ops which meant he was the "Light Fighter". Having this variety of skillsets enabled the platoon to have the "toolbox" for different tactical problems. So, in designing a Rifle Platoon TO&E, the primary organizing principle after Span of Control should be Effects and the equipment and personnel required to employ those effect. A TO&E should prescribe the weapons and skillsets that are allocated to the Platoon "Golf Bag" so as to ensure effectiveness in any tactical scenario.

3. Fire and Movement - As long as your organization can do this and do it well, it will fight and it will win. It doesn't matter if an Section has 8 or 9 or 12 men. If it can do this, it should be good to go. If all that other stuff above comes into play and your using 7-man sections (as Canadian Dismounted sections are, ideally) you still see success. Heck, I've heard of 4 guys with a LAV III shooting them in being an effective tactical grouping. Therefore, in designing a rifle platoon TO&E, having enough leadership to be able to effect this (2-3 guys per section) is vital - it doesn't matter if they have 5 bayonets or 11.

4. Rule of Fours - For some reason I've found that conducting a mission usually forces you to adapt a "Rule of Four" even if your organization is built around a "Rule of Three" or a "Rule of Five". It could be "Assault, Support, Depth, Reserve" or "Assault, Firebase, Specialist, Security" or "Forward Security, Main Body, Close Security, and Rear Security". None of these elements are permanent nor are they the same size. This "rule" isn't a hard and fast rule, and there are always exceptions and variations, but I found that four offered the most flexibility in return for effort. So, in designing a TO&E, encouraging a "Rule of Four" for a Platoon is good - this means four Sections that can be grown/shrunk as the situation dictates.

Therefore the ideal Platoon is 35-45 guys, has about 8-12 NCOs with a "golf bag" of weapons and skillsets and can apply a "Rule of Four". Anything beyond that doesn't really affect the effectiveness of such an organization.

I believe these principles apply across the spectrum of conflict (ie: there is no such thing as a "COIN Platoon") and at the Company Level as well (just up the numbers).

Well, I'm rambling. There it is for y'all to take apart.

Cheers,
Infanteer

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Old 07-21-2009   #57
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Default All makes sense to me.

So no pick apart from here. I also have always found that fours make more sense than the triangular bit. There may be some who come along to debate esoterics but basically, you've figured it out -- what ever works for you is okay.
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Old 07-21-2009   #58
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....This has led me to the belief that a TO&E's main purpose is twofold - administration and affiliation. Not tactics. The administrative part fills the legal requirements of "who is responsible for this guy" and "who manages his career, etc, etc".
That is largely correct, yet the tactical employment of the platoon is nearly always used to justify it's structure.

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1. So, in designing a TO&E for a Platoon, keeping it from 35-45 personnel is prudent.
Really? I think that is a very general statement, and I'm not sure it gets us further down the road, but let's run with it.

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2. A TO&E should prescribe the weapons and skillsets that are allocated to the Platoon "Golf Bag" so as to ensure effectiveness in any tactical scenario.
The Golf Bag sounds good, but it's usually a cop out for "we don't really knows what we do." See my article here. The Golf Bag has to have set limits, or else it degenerates into outfitting GI-Joe for the next game.

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3. . Therefore, in designing a rifle platoon TO&E, having enough leadership to be able to effect this (2-3 guys per section) is vital - it doesn't matter if they have 5 bayonets or 11.
OK, that makes sense.

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4. So, in designing a TO&E, encouraging a "Rule of Four" for a Platoon is good - this means four Sections that can be grown/shrunk as the situation dictates.
DGD&D in the UK commissioned a DERA report to support the "Rule of 4" in doctrine and found there is no Rule of 4. It's an opinion based on opinion. It simply does not exist, and there is no evidence it works.

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Therefore the ideal Platoon is 35-45 guys, has about 8-12 NCOs with a "golf bag" of weapons and skillsets and can apply a "Rule of Four". Anything beyond that doesn't really affect the effectiveness of such an organization.
Ideal Platoon? You've got some huge margins in there, for something "ideal."
I'd say 24-30, with 6-8 Officers/NCOs and a very basic weapons set.
I think the "ideal" will remain elusive, and alter given context.

However, I largely agree with your approach, especially focussing on the platoon and "some assembly required". There is some good indications that this does work, but it does require some pretty deep education at all levels to get people to be able to apply it in a large number of very different conditions.
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Old 07-21-2009   #59
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Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
Really? I think that is a very general statement, and I'm not sure it gets us further down the road, but let's run with it.
I guess that is as specific as I cared to get - I've worked with 7, 8, 9 and 11 man sections on the ground to some extent and have found that it really doesn't make a huge tactical difference.

Quote:
The Golf Bag sounds good, but it's usually a cop out for "we don't really knows what we do." See my article here. The Golf Bag has to have set limits, or else it degenerates into outfitting GI-Joe for the next game.
Interesting article - Canada has, at least since the adoption of the AR series/Minimi and GPMG in the 80's, maintained alot of those systems (M-72, 60mm mortar). However, we are experiencing some foolishness as a simple, lightweight mortar is being replaced by a heavy, computerized AGL with electronic ammunition (just begging for Murphy to intervene there).

The "Golf Bag" approach is, in my opinion, a sound one. My "HQ Section" has - at any time - 3 to 5 soldiers. In the carrier we keep a mortar, a GPMG (with more in the other cars), a recoilless rifle and - now - a DM rifle.

The sections are pretty much equipped with what they have, but the Platoon has some options. With those soldiers, I can decide if I need indirect or direct suppression, precision fire, or a big-boom at, more or less, 600-800 meters, to support the sections. I guess the strength of the "Golf Bag" is that I have more capabilities than simply "1 x GPMG Team" dictated by a line diagram or having a debate between whether a Platoon Weapons Det should have a 60mm mortar or a second GPMG. It allows the commander to decide.

Quote:
DGD&D in the UK commissioned a DERA report to support the "Rule of 4" in doctrine and found there is no Rule of 4. It's an opinion based on opinion. It simply does not exist, and there is no evidence it works.
I guess I stuck that one in on the end to plug my view - but I think it works as a general principle. I found that when, for whatever reason, a platoon or company was denuded of that 4th maneuver element that it made things alot harder.

Quote:
Ideal Platoon? You've got some huge margins in there, for something "ideal."
I'd say 24-30, with 6-8 Officers/NCOs and a very basic weapons set.
I think the "ideal" will remain elusive, and alter given context.
I've found it harder to sustain operations with less than 30 guys as you can't rotate troops off of task to rest. Keep in mind that I also account for our vehicles, which chew up 12 guys in change for a phenomenal capability set.

I guess the thrust of my post was that the ideal isn't something we can pin down to exact numbers. Your ideal platoon has just as wide of arcs as mine (which I am assuming is your purpose). What I was really getting at is I don't think a Platoon with 36 guys is going to be more or less effective than one with 44 guys (same with a Sect of 8 vs a Sect of 12). A well trained and equipped Sect of 8 will kill a Sect of 12 guys lacking in those departments. So I guess if we wanted to discuss the "ideal" Sect, Platoon and Coy we should look at capabilities and how to most effectively set a unit up to manage those capabilities.

Cheers,
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Old 07-21-2009   #60
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Originally Posted by Infanteer View Post
The "Golf Bag" approach is, in my opinion, a sound one. My "HQ Section" has - at any time - 3 to 5 soldiers. In the carrier we keep a mortar, a GPMG (with more in the other cars), a recoilless rifle and - now - a DM rifle.
It is sound, if you don't end up taking a knife to a gun fight. We used to keep an 84mm and a GPMG in the 432s, but we could always de-buss carrying all weapons. When weapons are getting left behind, there is the top of a slippery slope.
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I've found it harder to sustain operations with less than 30 guys as you can't rotate troops off of task to rest. Keep in mind that I also account for our vehicles, which chew up 12 guys in change for a phenomenal capability set.
Yep. Good point. Other ways to skin that cat, but can't argue with your logic.

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I guess the thrust of my post was that the ideal isn't something we can pin down to exact numbers. Your ideal platoon has just as wide of arcs as mine (which I am assuming is your purpose).
Concur. We have to compare like with like.
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Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

- 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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