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M1 Abrams tanks and M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, are currently “way too heavy,” and “complex” to be sustained

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the ABCTs outfitted with both M1 Abrams tanks and M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles, are currently “way too heavy,” and “complex” to be sustained and an overhaul will need to be made, Rainey told the audience.

“We built brigade combat teams, I commanded one, I commanded a division full of them,” Rainey said. “My brigade combat team was responsible for a third of Iraq, hell, everything from drinking chai to chasing Iranians. That’s not the future.

“A 30-day fight against a good enemy trying to get across a river to try to breach a five [kilometer] minefield, I think our BCT will be consumed by the flight they’re in, and if they’re not in a fight, they’re going to be consumed by staying alive,” he added.

“Over the last 20 years of fighting… we kind of got into thinking about fires as something you do to condition maneuver,” Rainey said Wednesday at the maneuver conference. “I think the future, especially in the Indo-Pacific…is going to be about maneuvering to position fires.

“That’s a big fundamental change, because that will have changes to force structure,” he added. “We only got so many people. Do you need three ABCTs [armored brigade combat teams] supported by one fire brigade? Or should we maybe look at some kind of balanced combination or is the future going to be a couple BCTs and three, integrated firing formations with organic air and missile defense?”

When it comes to the composition of those BCTs, Rainey said everything is pre-decisional, but changes will likely come. Although he dubbed the infantry BCTs as the service’s “best formation,” Rainey noted that they have 14 vehicles, and a mix of “light and motorized” formations might be better.

 
It's revenge for WW II , back when the RCA basically ran the army.
There were two good reasons for that. The first is that in order to do their job properly gunners have to study and learn how the infantry and armour (and even the engineers) and logistics do their job. And 2) being a large group we had a broad gene pool to choose from.

The first still applies. The gene pool on the other hand... is universally shrinking.

;)
 
There were two good reasons for that. The first is that in order to do their job properly gunners have to study and learn how the infantry and armour (and even the engineers) and logistics do their job. And 2) being a large group we had a broad gene pool to choose from.

The first still applies. The gene pool on the other hand... is universally shrinking.

;)

That American boss-man suggested the possibility of 3 Artillery Brigades and an Air Defence Brigade for two Infantry Brigades. Presumably, like the Marines, the infantry would just be supplying security for the Kings of Battle.

The King Restored. ;)
 
That American boss-man suggested the possibility of 3 Artillery Brigades and an Air Defence Brigade for two Infantry Brigades. Presumably, like the Marines, the infantry would just be supplying security for the Kings of Battle.

The King Restored. ;)
The Marines have been doing some good thinking in looking at the tactical role they need to fulfil within the overall strategic operating concept. Long range fires are a major feature.

There was a need for masses of artillery in the old days because of its inherent inaccuracy. That was followed by an interlude of the age of the AirLand battle where the depth fight was air force. As a result artillery went into decline.

Land launched precision rockets and missiles and loitering munitions are supplanting the air force with significantly cheaper and less vulnerable weapon systems. In the modern concept, the precision fires that can now be deployed over significantly longer ranges means that there is, once again a need for much more ground-based fires systems and the STA to make it useable. It's no longer the inaccuracy that requires the mass but the fact that the enemy can be engaged so far out and at those ranges everything is pretty much indirect and thus arty.

Battles will still be won with tanks and infantry, but wars will be won with artillery. Once people get their heads out of their ass and figure out that 37 33 M777s does not an indirect fires branch make we'll be able to progress. (or that procurement and logistics is whatever it is we currently have) But that needs new leadership at both the political and military leadership level. Some day they will figure out what they want the army to be when it grows up. The world is not a safe space.

🍻
 
To my way of thinking the artillery is a defensive weapon. Its purpose was to keep the enemy at bay. Keep it away from the castle walls. Keep it away from the harbour. Keep it away from the shores. Even keep boarders away from ships and storm troops away from the trenches.

I appreciate it is also elemental in the offense but, if I were planning a sales and marketing plan for a gun shy population I might be inclined to talk up that history.

The fact that with current technology you could resurrect Point Pleasant Battery and hit Moscow with the right munitions on the rail... not sure if that is a defensive mission. But it could be.
 
To my way of thinking the artillery is a defensive weapon. Its purpose was to keep the enemy at bay. Keep it away from the castle walls. Keep it away from the harbour. Keep it away from the shores. Even keep boarders away from ships
That’s more of a “direct fire” thing though, no? I’m not sure SWCs and such really identify as ”water Arty”.

Actually, scratch that. I would love to see someone suggest that the RCN ships are seaborne Arty and see what happens.

Anticipation Popcorn GIF
 
To my way of thinking the artillery is a defensive weapon. Its purpose was to keep the enemy at bay. Keep it away from the castle walls. Keep it away from the harbour. Keep it away from the shores. Even keep boarders away from ships and storm troops away from the trenches.

I appreciate it is also elemental in the offense but, if I were planning a sales and marketing plan for a gun shy population I might be inclined to talk up that history.

The fact that with current technology you could resurrect Point Pleasant Battery and hit Moscow with the right munitions on the rail... not sure if that is a defensive mission. But it could be.
Yeah, no.

Artillery is an incredibly useful and devastating offensive weapon.
 
That’s more of a “direct fire” thing though, no? I’m not sure SWCs and such really identify as ”water Arty”.

Actually, scratch that. I would love to see someone suggest that the RCN ships are seaborne Arty and see what happens.

Anticipation Popcorn GIF


The Board of Ordnance was a British government body. Established in the Tudor period, it had its headquarters in the Tower of London. Its primary responsibilities were 'to act as custodian of the lands, depots and forts required for the defence of the realm and its overseas possessions, and as the supplier of munitions and equipment to both the Army and the Navy'.[1] The Board also maintained and directed the Artillery and Engineer corps, which it founded in the 18th century.

Gunners, Sappers, Ships, Forts...Its all Ordnance anyway. :D
 
Gunners, Sappers, Ships, Forts...Its all Ordnance anyway. :D
Keep it in context though. The Ordnance board screwed things up so badly in the Crimean War that it was broken up in 1855.

There's a lesson here:

Furthermore, following forty years of relative peace, the army and its support services found themselves ill-prepared and ill-equipped for war: for example, responsibility for providing food, fuel and forage to troops overseas fell to the Commissariat (a branch of the Treasury which, in the years since Waterloo, had developed into an administrative division, unpractised in warfare); while the Army's land transport capability, the Royal Waggon Train, had been abolished as a cost-cutting measure in 1832.[45]

Those who don't learn from history ......

;)
 
The Marines have been doing some good thinking in looking at the tactical role they need to fulfil within the overall strategic operating concept. Long range fires are a major feature.

There was a need for masses of artillery in the old days because of its inherent inaccuracy. That was followed by an interlude of the age of the AirLand battle where the depth fight was air force. As a result artillery went into decline.

Land launched precision rockets and missiles and loitering munitions are supplanting the air force with significantly cheaper and less vulnerable weapon systems. In the modern concept, the precision fires that can now be deployed over significantly longer ranges means that there is, once again a need for much more ground-based fires systems and the STA to make it useable. It's no longer the inaccuracy that requires the mass but the fact that the enemy can be engaged so far out and at those ranges everything is pretty much indirect and thus arty.

Battles will still be won with tanks and infantry, but wars will be won with artillery. Once people get their heads out of their ass and figure out that 37 33 M777s does not an indirect fires branch make we'll be able to progress. (or that procurement and logistics is whatever it is we currently have) But that needs new leadership at both the political and military leadership level. Some day they will figure out what they want the army to be when it grows up. The world is not a safe space.

🍻
This certainly seems to be the way many people are thinking about the future of warfare, but there are some differing opinions out there.

There are a couple of podcasts on the Wavell Room website including "What if the deep battle doesn't matter?"
The modern interpretation of manoeuvre theory for warfare holds the deep battle as a central avenue to success. Indeed, Western militaries have become so invested in this thinking that force designs and procurement prioritise capabilities for this over almost anything else. Yet, as Franz-Stefan Gady points out, what if our adversary is just not structured for the type of systems warfare that successful use of manoeuvre warfare necessitates? What if the deep battle doesn’t matter, or – and this be heresy to many – centres of gravity just not relevant? Have we even thought about alternative approaches, let alone started educating the next generation of the profession of arms in them? A discussion that starts to turn our theory of battle upside down.
and "Is manoeuvre a myth?"
There is a disturbing undercurrent in Western PME – demonising anything not termed ‘manoeuvre’ or ‘manoeuvrist’ as stupid, dated and irrelevant. Ukraine’s generals have been lambasted by Western counterparts on occasion for not embracing more manoeuvrism in their strategies. Yet the reality is that manoeuvre has simply become a catch-all for almost anything to do with modern combat. Not even the guidelines provided by Martin Van Creveld really help. Peter is joined by Amos Fox as they start season 3 to pull manoeuvre apart.
and "Manoeuvre theory is in a coma"
The opportunities to use manoeuvrist theory on contemporary battlefields are scarce, if they exist at all. Professor Tony King talks to Peter about the three conditions he believes are necessary for it to be successful (movement and scale, defining will and cohesion, and delegated command). Given the geometry, topography and telemetry of today’s battlefields we would perhaps be better off educating leaders about alternatives to manoeuvrism.
What impact do these ideas have on force design decisions? Heavy vs Light, LRPGMs vs massed "dumb" munitions, concentrated vs dispersed, etc.

Edited to add: As several members here have mentioned previously we must be very careful about what lessons we take from the Ukraine war. Ukraine is not NATO and Russia is not China (or Iran or North Korea) and there is almost certainly no single type of war that we can prepare for. Each conflict will be different and will require different types of forces, strategies and tactics.

If we specialize too much in one "style" of warfare we may be very poorly prepared for other types of conflicts.
 
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This certainly seems to be the way many people are thinking about the future of warfare, but there are some differing opinions out there.

There are a couple of podcasts on the Wavell Room website including "What if the deep battle doesn't matter?"

and "Is manoeuvre a myth?"

and "Manoeuvre theory is in a coma"

What impact do these ideas have on force design decisions? Heavy vs Light, LRPGMs vs massed "dumb" munitions, concentrated vs dispersed, etc.
The answer is you need to have options for all of that.

Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock.
Everything has a counter, and you need to be able to counter the counter to the counter counter counter…
 
The answer is you need to have options for all of that.

Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock.
Everything has a counter, and you need to be able to counter the counter to the counter counter counter…
1000%. I was typing my edit noting that exact point when you made this post.
 
Keep it in context though. The Ordnance board screwed things up so badly in the Crimean War that it was broken up in 1855.

There's a lesson here:



Those who don't learn from history ......

;)
On the other hand the organization was fit for purpose for over 300 years. And none of the reorgs have been anything like as enduring.

Sometimes a bump in the road is just a bump in the road.
 
After Vietnam the US Army said - We're not doing that again.
After WW1 the Brits and the Germans said - We're not doing that again.
The French persisted with a classical defence based on the Maginot Line and the Brits and the Germans said - See we told you so.
The Russians persisted in throwing bullet sponges at machine guns along with lots and lots of really big bullets of their own.

Meanwhile the Navy, operating on dead flat terrain that could be easily undermined by sappers in submarines and overflown by bombardiers in aircraft, and forced to stay on the move, had to adopt a 4 dimensional form of war that balanced the offence and the defence. They built a form of warfare out of umbrellas and bubbles.

My concern has been that the Western way of war on land has not been adequately addressing the need for the defence. To me it is as if we have given into the belief that we will always have secure bases of operation from which we can sally at our leisure and engage whomever we choose whenever and wherever it suits us.

But we have bases. We need bases and bases will always be vulnerable. One of the most ridiculous treaties that anybody ever devised was the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty. We chose Mutually Assured Destruction over applying technology to defend against inanimate objects. Reagan's Star Wars was a stretch but now we are talking about C-RAM systems on every vehicle to knock anything that flies out of the sky. Reagan wasn't wrong. He just needed more time than he thought it would take. I believe the reason the Russians were so opposed to Star Wars is that they had no faith in their own ability to generate a comparable system. They had been importing other people's ideas since Peter the Great. Their missiles were the spoils of war and their bombs were stolen.

That is why I have been mumbling from time to time about "Frigates in the Desert". Every frigate, every sub, every carrier, task force, flotilla or fleet has to configure for all round defence all the time. Even when alongside the pier. It uses any available technology to sense everything possible. It has short, medium and long range systems to counter any threat from any aspect. It has ordnance to every purpose and its entire war is about figuring out how to bring that ordnance to bear while dodging enemy ordnance.

By contrast the army's war is dominated by imposed geometry. It operates in two dimensions on a surface. Its limits are the front, the rear and the flanks.

The subsurface war of sappers and tunnels and mines is an aberration to be dealt with on occasion. Generally speaking their has been little need to worry about what is underfoot - but that is no longer true. Toe-poppers are everywhere - laws of armed conflict be damned.

The overhead war is post 1914 phenomenon that waxed and waned because of the cost of putting bombs in the air and dropping them accurately. But now every body with a video game controller and a toy glider can be dropping HE accurately on your individual head.

The cavalry force, whether squadron or three corps army now stands revealed as a very expensive, slow moving projectile, constrained by geography and vulnerable to attack from above and below.

It also requires a firm base from which to operate and the bigger the force that bigger the base it requires and the slower it moves making it ever more vulnerable to attacks from above, below and behind. And the farther it advances the longer its lines of communications grow and the more resources it has to commit to ever defending ever increasing vulnerabilities.


@markppcli helpfully referenced US FM 7-7. In there the M113 is described as a mobile base for the squad. It was a secure storage facility for the squad that could take the squad anywhere, including over creeks and small rivers and keep them supplied for 72 hours of operations and allowed them to fight unencumbered knowing that their water, a hot meal and a warm steeping bag were right behind them. It also, like every other base, created a target which required defending. A target that was all the more valuable if the base's "garrison", the M113's squad, were all tucked up in side. The M113 was more secure when the garrison manned the battlements, supplying air guards, and its artillery, the 50, was manned and ready.


Conversely the M113 was a less valuable target when the garrison had sallied forth .


Every base needs an active defence. It needs a sally force. But it also benefits from ordnance on the battlements, ordnance that can provide bubbles and umbrellas of protection. And for fixed bases, bases that will always be occupied, ports and airports, towns, cities and countries, then the need for a permanent ordnance based umbrella or bubble becomes critical.

And the sally force, emanating from those garrisons, large force or small force, like the navy's frigates, will have to takes its bubbles along with it.


I know that people laugh at my mediaeval and ancient references. So be it. The reason I do is because I don't think the elements of struggle have changed since people retreated to caves and lit a fire to let the family get a good night's sleep. I am willing to bet that somebody with a sharp pointy stick stayed awake staring into the dark wondering if he was going to have to go out and meet the enemy or was the enemy going to come to him.

Ordnance, gunpowder in particular, was the application of technology to the defence of the realm. It made it possible to leave more people catching fish, growing crops and making plows rather than having to man the battlements. It also kept the enemy at bay, with the safe area increasing with the range of the cannons. At least until the enemy dragged their own cannons in range. But if you can see the enemy coming and your cannons can outrange their cannons, or you can bring your cannon's into action before they are in range then the threat is managed and eliminated.

Manoeuver is part of warfare. But there is an irreducible need for a solid, static defence.
 
Edited to add: As several members here have mentioned previously we must be very careful about what lessons we take from the Ukraine war. Ukraine is not NATO and Russia is not China (or Iran or North Korea) and there is almost certainly no single type of war that we can prepare for. Each conflict will be different and will require different types of forces, strategies and tactics.

If we specialize too much in one "style" of warfare we may be very poorly prepared for other types of conflicts.
That's pretty much where I'm at. If you go back to Jeffrey's original proposal for Advancing with Purpose there was one bde (1 CMBG) configured for heavy and 2 bdes for mech but even there each battalion was a mech battalion with a light company. (That concepts was slowly set aside to our current format) - and a SOF capability.

The intent was to be able to tailor a TF from any one of the brigades that could perform heavy, medium, light tasks.

It did not distinguish between manoeuvrism etc because we're quite frankly at a scale well below where that matters.

For a force like ours, what really matters is creating structures which are not so much designed to fight at large scale but instead a structure that retains the skill sets necessary for the different types of combat so that if expansion is required and available at some point then we actually have the skill sets to do the expansion.

This is why, for example, I favour having at least one brigade each of armoured, mech and light so that we develop and maintain the skill sets to organize and operate any one of those three at a brigade scale level. This is why we need an arty brigade, even if its fire units are simply C3 howitzers, so that we retain the skills to operate at the arty brigade level. And most critically why we need a sustainment brigade and a combat support brigade (even if the former is 90% ResF with COTS logistics vehicles) so that we develop and retain the skills and capabilities to deploy a sustainment operation at div/theatre level scale. Of course I prefer all of those to be equipped with SMP gear but in the absence of that I would be content (but not happy) to operate it all with ersatz gear with a plan on how to upgrade that when the need comes.

We need to be able to quickly scale up and to have expertise to work in several modes because, quite frankly the last big strategic guess the CAF made that the world was a kinder and gentler place where all we needed to concern ourselves with was failed states was just plain short-sighted Pollyannaism if not just plain stupid. (and yes, I do know the political and financial circumstances of those times - I'm open to be advised where the ultimate unfettered decisions were made)

🍻
 
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I know that people laugh at my mediaeval and ancient references. So be it. The reason I do is because I don't think the elements of struggle have changed since people retreated to caves and lit a fire to let the family get a good night's sleep.
I for one don't. My particular area of interest in military things is the Roman army. Depending on which phase of the structure you look at, you see all of the key elements of a modern army from recce, light infantry, heavy infantry, combat support elements, artillery, engineers, medical services, cavalry, logistics, command and control, signals etc all aggregated in a bde+ sized structure. Tactics varied based on weapon capabilities but the basic overarching principles on what makes a field army hum were accounted for right up to pension plans.

That said one has to take a close look at functions and structures to ensure that one doesn't stay married to one particular system just because that's the way we've done it for years. As an example, I take a look at the Canadian Service battalion and unit admin company structure and compare it to the US Bde Support Bn and its forward support companies structure. IMHO the US system is preferable both in garrison and the field because it has all the svc sp in the bde under one senior logistics commander who can better balance sp requirements across the bde. Canadian combat arms units, on the other hand, would fight to the death to retain the present structures where they "own" their own combat support.

Are we starying too far from the thread topic?

🍻
 
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