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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Historical Events & Eras > Weapons of War

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Weapons of War The machinery of warfare. .

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  #1  
Old 05 May 12, 19:15
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Weapons platoon and squad

I do not believe Army rifle platoons should have a TOE weapons squad as they currently do (or did in my day). I believe rifle platoon leaders would be better served if companies have a robust weapons platoon in order to task organize weapons squads of various configurations for attachment to rifle platoons according to METT-TC.

Sometimes the platoon needs more rockets than guns, sometimes more guns than rockets, sometimes a mortar and sometimes not, sometimes a mix of crew served weapons.

Squad leaders in the weapons platoon should be senior staff sergeants trained to advise a rifle platoon leader on the employment of any crew served weapon in the company. So although a particular staff sergeant may be the machine gun squad leader in garrison, for operations he should be able to take one of his gun teams, a rocket team, and a mortar team (or any mix required) and report to a rifle platoon leader as a weapons squad.

It would help matters if the weapons platoon leader was a warrant officer from the infantry NCO ranks; something similar to the USMC gunners but one per rifle company. The Army did something similar in Special Forces with the assistant ODA leaders; they're assistant team leaders for their career. The weapons platoon leader would be similar. This WO could also serve as a capable temporary rifle platoon leader for the duration of an operation should the LT become a casualty. A WO weapons specialist would give the rifle company additional capability and stability.

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  #2  
Old 05 May 12, 19:30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KRJ View Post
Thoughts?
Does this not happen in practice in any case, that different support weapons are shared out amongst the company according to the tactical situation, rather than sticking rigidly to the platoon structure?
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Old 05 May 12, 22:19
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Yes, to an extent. But rifle platoons still have a weapons squad. I think it would be better for training and proficiency to have everything crew-served located in a weapons platoon under senior staff sergents and a WO weapons specialist platoon leader. Form weapons squads for attachment to rifle platoons as needed.
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Old 05 May 12, 22:21
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In what organization do they have a weapons squad? I don't remember any rifle platoons with weapons squads, those were all company assets....which was why I was advocating a weapons squad be integrated to bring assets to a lower level instead of concentrating them at the Company.
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Old 05 May 12, 23:53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TacCovert4 View Post
In what organization do they have a weapons squad?
The Army rifle platoon has a weapons squad. It used to be two machine gun teams and two Javelin teams. Not sure about it's current composiiton. The company did not have a true weapons platoon, just a mortar section.

I agree with you that the platoon should be the focus. But after some thought I think a task organized weapons squad would be better than a TOE weapons squad. For task organization you need a weapons platoon to draw from.
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Old 06 May 12, 00:20
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Does this not happen in practice in any case, that different support weapons are shared out amongst the company according to the tactical situation, rather than sticking rigidly to the platoon structure?
Well it did in the mob that I was in! lcm1
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