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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Military/History Related Hobbies > Orders of Battle

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Orders of Battle Orders-of-battle, TO&E's, and related information on who fought where and what they brought to the battle.

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  #46  
Old 23 Feb 17, 11:29
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Originally Posted by 101combatvet View Post
Air Assault is airborne, how is that hard to understand?
Actually, it isn't. Air Assault is landed on an LZ while Airborne is dropped on a DZ.

Big difference in delivery, concept and capabilities.
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  #47  
Old 25 Feb 17, 01:18
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On the matter of more breaching and bridging I agree that's an area that needs to be fixed by continuing production of the Abrams ABV and restarting production of the M104 Wolverine vehicle and maybe the Grizzly COV for urban operations.
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Old 28 Feb 17, 16:06
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On the matter of more breaching and bridging I agree that's an area that needs to be fixed by continuing production of the Abrams ABV and restarting production of the M104 Wolverine vehicle and maybe the Grizzly COV for urban operations.
Although the vehicles are part of the issue, the force structure to man and employ them is also required. We gutted our echelons above BCT engineer formations to form Engineer Battalion in each BCT that only has 2 engineer companies. Compare the level of engineer support we had for 101 maneuver brigades in 1989 to the level we have for ~50 now- I'll be we have much less engineering support, although I'd have to count to confirm the ratio.
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Old 28 Feb 17, 17:38
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I was once told by the Army Information Office that they converted Helicopter Companies into Battalions so they could give the Majors a chance at reaching Light Colonel. It could be the creation of two Company Engineering Battalions was following a similar logic? Maybe the Army should go back to one Engineer Company per BCT and reinstate the Division level Battalion? The Division Battalion could be large enough to furnish the assets needed. Does a Division really need an Engineer BRIGADE?

These are the same people that touted the Light Infantry Division as having a better Leader to Led ratio. When I checked on this, they actually had fewer Enlisted Men to Officers in each Company and there was an extra Captain in the Battalion. To me that says the officers back then could not handle larger groups of enlisted men.

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Old 28 Feb 17, 21:14
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I was once told by the Army Information Office that they converted Helicopter Companies into Battalions so they could give the Majors a chance at reaching Light Colonel. It could be the creation of two Company Engineering Battalions was following a similar logic? Maybe the Army should go back to one Engineer Company per BCT and reinstate the Division level Battalion? The Division Battalion could be large enough to furnish the assets needed. Does a Division really need an Engineer BRIGADE?
Well, they tested the Air Cavalry Attack Brigade (which later became the Aviation Brigade) in the 1st Cavalry Division in the mid-70s, and planned for divisional Aviation Brigades beginning with the Division 86 planning that morphed into Army of Excellence. This brigade consolidated all the various aviation in the division. I'm sure that career progression for Aviation branch officers was one of many considerations in that decision, but I doubt that it was the only one.

Your logical leap from that to the Engineer situation is significant. In the late 1980s, the Engineer Restructure Initiative had been proposed- it was tested in USAREUR and employed by VII Corps in Desert Storm before the CSA approved full implementation Army-wide in 1991. Since 2004-7, divisions no longer have a fixed structure under the Modularity designs. Instead, there are BCTs and support brigades that can be task organized as required. We DID reduce all types of BCTs to single company of engineers- it didn't work out so well in practice, so we re-instated BCT Engineer Battalions in place of Brigade Special Troop Battalions. BEBs have an Engineer-centric staff, two engineer companies, and retain the administrative control of the BCT's signal and military intelligence companies, too.

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These are the same people that touted the Light Infantry Division as having a better Leader to Led ratio. When I checked on this, they actually had fewer Enlisted Men to Officers in each Company and there was an extra Captain in the Battalion. To me that says the officers back then could not handle larger groups of enlisted men.
I'm not sure what this paragraph is trying to say. How do you improve leader-to-led, except by putting more leaders or fewer led? Your snide comments don't help support whatever point you're trying to make.
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Old 28 Feb 17, 22:27
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I take the phrase "leaders to led" to mean there were better, more efficient officers. If you say that the meaning is for officers to handle fewer enlisted men, I can handle that. Better officers and senior enlisted men can handle more people.

Touting a better leader to men ratio is not a good thing if you cut down on the enlisted men. At the time I found out about this I was reminded of a popular beer commercial:

"Less Filling, Tastes Great!"

It had Bubba Smith and several old Football Players to go with Rodney Dangerfield.

Maybe they should put an end to "improving" the Division TOE's until they decide what works best?

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  #52  
Old 01 Mar 17, 13:27
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Originally Posted by Pruitt View Post
I take the phrase "leaders to led" to mean there were better, more efficient officers. If you say that the meaning is for officers to handle fewer enlisted men, I can handle that. Better officers and senior enlisted men can handle more people.
Getting a better ratio of leaders to led means one of two things- increasing the number of leaders or decreasing the number of led. GEN Wickham's 1984 White Paper on the Light Infantry Divisions is available online here: http://cgsc.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/r...coll11/id/1446. He mentions leadership extensively, but doesn't talk about improved leader-to-led ratio. I have heard that as one of the benefits in other places. You're logic is not wrong, but there is a corollary- a leader with fewer subordinates can theoretically provide each individual with better leadership.

TOE 07015C000, a later version of the Light Infantry Battalion in the Light Infantry Division, is also online: http://www.globalsecurity.org/milita.../07015L000.htm It shows 35 officers, 156 NCOs, and 356 junior enlisted, for a total of 567, the same as the older TOE 07015L000

I was unable to find a detailed break out of either the contemporary mechanized infantry battalion or the older H-series infantry battalion. I found totals, but not the details. The battalions were significantly larger- mid-700s for the infantry battalion and mid-800s for the mechanized infantry battalion.

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Maybe they should put an end to "improving" the Division TOE's until they decide what works best?
Well, the world is always changing, and you never know for sure how something is going to work out in the real world until you try it. What works well in one place may not work at all in another environment, and the enemy always gets a vote. I'm glad we have someone thinking about the future, even if they don't always get it right.
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Old 01 Mar 17, 14:25
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I got the extra Captain in a Light Infantry Battalion from a Microfiche the Public Affairs Office sent me. There is no telling what the TOE is now. I was able to compare the Infantry Battalion Fiche to the LI Fiche. The Infantry Battalion showed about 750 men total. The local library was thrilled to see me using their Michrofiche machine. It seems no one else was! If you want more, I will have to see if an old notebook of mine made the move to here.

I don't see how the Light Infantry Company can handle casualties like the old Infantry Company. It is my opinion that they did NOT have to convert all Infantry Divisions to Light Infantry. The 10th Mountain and another Regular division going LIGHT, would have been plenty. We also seem to have converted the Guard Infantry to Light as well. The old Infantry TOE had trucks in the Infantry Battalions and the Guard needs trucks to fulfill its disaster service mission. How the 2nd and 3rd 156th will do without trucks is a mystery. Charles Jefferson, Congressman from the New Orleans area rode a Guard truck to his house to salvage some cash he had in his freezer! I bet he did not tip the Guardsmen either!

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  #54  
Old 01 Mar 17, 16:47
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I got the extra Captain in a Light Infantry Battalion from a Microfiche the Public Affairs Office sent me. There is no telling what the TOE is now. I was able to compare the Infantry Battalion Fiche to the LI Fiche. The Infantry Battalion showed about 750 men total. The local library was thrilled to see me using their Michrofiche machine. It seems no one else was! If you want more, I will have to see if an old notebook of mine made the move to here.
I'm sure that I can dig them up here, but I'll take a look at anything you have. As you might have figured out, I'm a data geek.

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I don't see how the Light Infantry Company can handle casualties like the old Infantry Company. It is my opinion that they did NOT have to convert all Infantry Divisions to Light Infantry. The 10th Mountain and another Regular division going LIGHT, would have been plenty. We also seem to have converted the Guard Infantry to Light as well. The old Infantry TOE had trucks in the Infantry Battalions and the Guard needs trucks to fulfill its disaster service mission....
I don't think we ever did convert the ARNG to the light MTOE, except for the 29th ID(L). Even the Airborne and Air Assault divisions were heavier than the LIDs (6th ID, 7th ID, 10th MTN, 25th ID and 29th ID). The ARNG infantry battalions maintained a modified version of the old H-series org, then converted to modified Air Assault MTOE (with an AT company), and then everyone converted to the IBCT organization. The LID organization was extremely light- so light, that there was a known requirement for a habitual plug of corps units for it to function at all. But it met the requirement of 10,000 men and whatever # of C-141 sorties.

I also see little point in light infantry in the ARNG. Other than parachute assault, light infantry is best is severely restricted terrain, and there isn't all that much of that. I'd argue that our IBCTs, with full field artillery battalions, motorized cavalry squadrons, engineer battalions, etc, are really a lightened version of Was de Czeges "line infantry", not really "light infantry". I think that the ARNG would be better served with about 60-70% SBCT-like organizations and 30-40% ABCT like organizations.

Side Note 1: Yes, I know the original SBCT put the MGS in a platoon in each rifle company, not a fourth company. We've since failed to buy the required number of MGS and consolidated them with the ATGMs into a single weapons troop in the cavalry squadron. With the exception of the failure to get the required number of vehicles and the decision to have combined arms companies instead of all of the armor soldiers in a single company in the battalion, I think the original structure was better.

Side Note 2: I'm not wedded to the Stryker vehicle, but I like the motorized, infantry-centric organization with heavy emphasis on mobile, protected direct fire. I'd be just as happy with a BCT that had AMPV-based infantry squads and Abrams in the same structure (3 companies of infantry, 1 company of tanks), M113 and M8 AGS, there are any number of systems, the balance of infantry carriers to direct fire systems is more important to me.

Edited to add: The lack of ability to absorb casualties is often a criticism of the 9-man rifle squad, and most of the current US Army infantry structures. There are some good monographs on the development of the rifle squad on DTIC and the CARL library. I'd prefer an 11-man squad, with two 5-man fire teams plus a squad leader, or even the USMC 13-man squad. Lots of ability to discuss that level of detail.
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Old 04 Mar 17, 20:13
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The lack of ability to absorb casualties is often a criticism of the 9-man rifle squad.....
One of the studies I read mentioned that squads in Vietnam were not able to keep a fire team structure if they were less than eight men. Below that level the squad was used like a big fire team. That means it could fire or maneuver but not effectively fire and maneuver.

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.....and most of the current US Army infantry structures.
The two battalion brigade?

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There are some good monographs on the development of the rifle squad on DTIC and the CARL library.
Paul Melody and Timothy Karcher.

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I'd prefer an 11-man squad, with two 5-man fire teams plus a squad leader, or even the USMC 13-man squad. Lots of ability to discuss that level of detail.
The USMC seems to have been satisfied with its squad TOE since 1944 while the Army has tinkered with its squad TOE. Some of that probably has to do with the capacity of APCs and helicopters.
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Old 04 Mar 17, 21:34
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One of the studies I read mentioned that squads in Vietnam were not able to keep a fire team structure if they were less than eight men. Below that level the squad was used like a big fire team. That means it could fire or maneuver but not effectively fire and maneuver.
The Commonwealth armies use an 8-man squad (they call it a section), by making the section leader part of one of the fireteams. IMO, a 7-man squad can still fire and maneuver, barely, with a squad leader and two teams of 3. I don't think its optimal, but it is POSSIBLE. Below 6 men, I think you MUST consolidate into a single fireteam.

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The two battalion brigade?
That's part of it, although we've solved that problem. All of our BCTs now have three line battalions, although some of them are ARNG battalions in active BCTs (the OCONUS IBCTs).

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Paul Melody and Timothy Karcher.
I recognize those names- certainly, COL Melody's monograph is one of those I was referring to. There are more than two.

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The USMC seems to have been satisfied with its squad TOE since 1944 while the Army has tinkered with its squad TOE. Some of that probably has to do with the capacity of APCs and helicopters.
Certainly.
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Old 05 Mar 17, 12:38
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Below 6 men, I think you MUST consolidate into a single fireteam.
I would say at six men. I've always thought it made a certain amount of tactical sense for the dismounts in a mechanized platoon to deploy as four fire teams directly under the platoon leader instead of trying to form two rifle squads after un-assing the Bradley. Four biggish fire teams of five or six men each are certainly within the platoon leader's span of control if he dismounts. Just use a box/square formation or a diamond formation with a fire team at each point and the platoon leader in the middle whenever possible.

I never served a day in a mech platoon but I suspect it more or less happens that way part of the time anyway, especially if the platoon is understrength. But to codify that idea would mean that dismounted doctrine would be slightly different in mech than it would be in light and Stryker. And the Army likes for everything to be the same.

Off topic, I know.
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Old 05 Mar 17, 13:03
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I would say at six men. I've always thought it made a certain amount of tactical sense for the dismounts in a mechanized platoon to deploy as four fire teams directly under the platoon leader instead of trying to form two rifle squads after un-assing the Bradley. Four biggish fire teams of five or six men each are certainly within the platoon leader's span of control if he dismounts. Just use a box/square formation or a diamond formation with a fire team at each point and the platoon leader in the middle whenever possible.

I never served a day in a mech platoon but I suspect it more or less happens that way part of the time anyway, especially if the platoon is understrength. But to codify that idea would mean that dismounted doctrine would be slightly different in mech than it would be in light and Stryker. And the Army likes for everything to be the same.

Off topic, I know.
Yes, at 6 men. 7 can still be two teams of three, plus a SL. 6 must be one team. My poor phrasing.

Never been mech, don't know. Seems like giving the PL & PSG both a jump gunner, and dismounting them both is the way to go. You've got two section leaders (SSGs) that should be able to handle the two mounted sections, which should be operating in support of the grunts, anyway. In my mind (and I've never been mech, either, except as a pre-training PVT in a M113 mech company. I guess we were still technically mech for a couple of months after I got back from OSUT, but my first drill was when we turned in our tracks), its just a powerful, maneuverable weapons squad that can carry you, too. Infantry missions, at their heart, are conducted by rifle squads. Putting a PL & PSG on the ground, with three 9-man squads, is where it counts, unless you can get to 11-man squads. Vehicles then become a problem, as you noted.
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Old 06 Mar 17, 17:35
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Infantry missions, at their heart, are conducted by rifle squads.
Of course.

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Putting a PL & PSG on the ground, with three 9-man squads, is where it counts, unless you can get to 11-man squads.
I agree; however, I remember the mech manual showing two TOE squads under the platoon leader for dismounted ops. I believe the SOP was for the platoon leader to dismount and the PSG to stay mounted.

The reason was because the Brads held a max of six dismounts. There were four Brads in the platoon but that did not equal 24 squad members because it had to include the medic, RTO, FIST, etc. So there were never enough squad members among the dismounts to form more than two TOE squads.

Quote:
Vehicles then become a problem, as you noted.
Cross loading squad members on different vehicles is not ideal but you gotta do something.
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Old 06 Mar 17, 18:12
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The reason was because the Brads held a max of six dismounts. There were four Brads in the platoon but that did not equal 24 squad members because it had to include the medic, RTO, FIST, etc. So there were never enough squad members among the dismounts to form more than two TOE squads.
Not a mech guy, but the newest Brads are supposed to have seats for 7 dismounts, so 28 in the platoon's 4 Brads. The TOE calls for 3 rifle squads of 9, so 27 in the platoon. That leaves one seat, but the platoon still has an RTO and can expect at least medic attached. I believe that platoon FOs are gone from mech companies, but that's gone back and forth. Bottom line, if the rifle squads are full (which they are not likely to be) then the Bradley platoon (with attachments) cannot all fit in the platoon's 4 Brads.
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