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82nd Airborne adds Light Armor

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  • Merkava188
    replied
    I remember the 82nd had used the LAV-25 from 1986-1991. I'm surprised they would want to use it again.

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  • 82redleg
    replied
    Originally posted by Tuebor View Post
    Ok, we have light "armor" for the paratroopers, but this begs the question; do we really need paratroopers this day and age? I would argue that they are an obsolete anachronism with no useful role except some special tasks (like taking airfields, but isn't that the Rangers' mission). We have some five brigades of paratroopers. Why? Modern AAA, SAMs, and MANPADs and helicopters have made mass aerial jumps unnecessary. It seems to me they are kept around for the KEWLness factor alone. I think we should keep the 173rd Airborne Brigade (but in the U.S. not Italy), maybe one battalion in the Pacific, perhaps convert one to another regiment of Rangers (which are of more use), and the others to air assault.

    I also think we can get rid of divisions. I would go to six or so corps with five maneuver brigades, an aviation brigade, two field artillery brigades, plus supporting units. The remaining aviation would be assigned to brigade aviation battalions.

    Tuebor
    Off topic, and been discussed before, but I'll bite. Paratroops are THE only way to deploy a unit from CONUS to anywhere and force an entry without an intermediate staging base or limiting your objectives to areas capable accepting an amphibious landing. Thus, the capability remains useful. Why get rid of a capability when you have it? And when it cannot be recreated either quickly or cheaply, if at all?

    Rangers are SOF, and work for SOCOM, they are not available for conventional operations.

    if you want to be able to maintain a brigade-sized force at readiness, you need to have three- one is ready, one is preparing to be the ready force, and one is recovering/refitting/taking leave, etc, and is prepared to support the deployment of the ready force. That is what the 82nd does. If you reduced that to a brigade, you can only maintain a battalion-sized force ready to deploy. If you want to reduce, you get rid of the regional brigades, but they are already two-battalion brigades.

    What you've described as "corps" are really oversized divisions, and you need another Headquarters if you are going to conduct an operation with more than two of them. The worry right now is large scale operations, meaning multi-corps, or 9-12 maneuver brigades plus anablers, and how to control that since we have no more deployable army-level Headquarters.

    Aviation is flexible enough to support multiple brigade-sized areas of operation in most cases, and gains economies of scale by consolidation. If every brigade had organic aviation, it would be far too costly in manpower and airframes to support.

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  • Pruitt
    replied
    There is a right way, a wrong way and the Army way. There has been at least an Airborne Battalion in Italy since NATO set up ACEFORCE. Now they use a two Battalion (last I saw) Brigade. The only real change I have seen is they once had an Airborne Battalion in Panama which is now gone. There have been "Airborne Infantry Battalions" in Korea and Alaska. I can't verify that they jump.

    Don't forget that many high ranking Generals have also been Airborne. Do Jump Winged Generals ever recommend deleting an Airborne Battalion when they can delete a Leg Battalion?

    Pruitt

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  • Tuebor
    replied
    Ok, we have light "armor" for the paratroopers, but this begs the question; do we really need paratroopers this day and age? I would argue that they are an obsolete anachronism with no useful role except some special tasks (like taking airfields, but isn't that the Rangers' mission). We have some five brigades of paratroopers. Why? Modern AAA, SAMs, and MANPADs and helicopters have made mass aerial jumps unnecessary. It seems to me they are kept around for the KEWLness factor alone. I think we should keep the 173rd Airborne Brigade (but in the U.S. not Italy), maybe one battalion in the Pacific, perhaps convert one to another regiment of Rangers (which are of more use), and the others to air assault.

    I also think we can get rid of divisions. I would go to six or so corps with five maneuver brigades, an aviation brigade, two field artillery brigades, plus supporting units. The remaining aviation would be assigned to brigade aviation battalions.

    Tuebor

    Leave a comment:


  • 82redleg
    replied
    Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
    I read both of the articles noted by 82nd Redleg. I think I had photocopies put away somewhere. Was it in Infantry?

    Pruitt
    Yes, it was in Infantry. The issues are noise as a free .pdf.

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  • Pruitt
    replied
    I read both of the articles noted by 82nd Redleg. I think I had photocopies put away somewhere. Was it in Infantry?

    Pruitt

    Leave a comment:


  • The Exorcist
    replied
    Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
    I recall something I have read about Mechanized Infantry, "Death Before Dismount!". Some of these guys really like riding instead of walking.

    Pruitt
    Try banging around all damned day inside one of those *******ed things, you'll be ready to kill someone just to get OUT of one them for a while!
    I know I was...

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  • 82redleg
    replied
    Read BG(R) Huba Was de Czege's articles about three kinds of infantry, published in Infantry ("3 Kinds of Infantry," Jul-Aug 1985, and "More on Infantry," Sep-Oct 1986).

    A squad carrier is an idea that is desperately needed in the current US Army IBCTs, which are an overly lightened form of line infantry that end up doing neither role well by trying to be a bastardized form of both light and line infantry.

    Googling those two articles will bring up a large number of studies and papers about the issues with light infantry and with mech infantry, most from the mid/late-80s when the US fielded Bradley and lost its line infantry.

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  • KRJ
    replied
    Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
    Aren't SOF personnel a bit older than the usual Airborne Trooper?

    Pruitt
    I hope you are just playing devil's advocate for the fun of it. Because otherwise, it appears to me that you may have joined the tilting at windmills crowd.

    Leadership, leadership, and leadership. Did I mention leadership?

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  • Pruitt
    replied
    Aren't SOF personnel a bit older than the usual Airborne Trooper?

    Pruitt

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  • KRJ
    replied
    Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
    I recall something I have read about Mechanized Infantry, "Death Before Dismount!". Some of these guys really like riding instead of walking.

    Pruitt
    I believe that's more the unofficial motto of armored cavalry than mech infantry but mech infantry has been known to say it as well.

    But it all comes down to leadership. Look at Bedford Forrest. He once (at least once) told his horse holders to tie the horses to a tree and get on the skirmish line because if the line didn't hold they wouldn't need the horses anyway. That's just one example. There are many examples of effective mounted infantry forces.

    I might add, and maybe I'm kidding myself here but I'm a former paratrooper and we've been known to kid ourselves, that an airborne force starts with a different tactical outlook and orientation. Jumping in and linking up with a light squad vehicle that has been heavy dropped is a bit different than crossing the line of departure as part of an armored task force in battle formation. It sort of goes back to the LGOP thing: little groups of paratroopers. I stand by my belief that if modern SOF can effectively use light vehicles on the modern battlefield then so can airborne infantry.

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  • Pruitt
    replied
    I recall something I have read about Mechanized Infantry, "Death Before Dismount!". Some of these guys really like riding instead of walking.

    Pruitt

    Leave a comment:


  • KRJ
    replied
    This is needed. So is a squad vehicle. It looks like a squad vehicle is going to become reality, albeit slowly:

    http://soldiersystems.net/2018/09/25...squad-vehicle/

    The Russian airborne has been motorized for a long time. In addition to a battalion of LAVs, there is no reason why the US can't afford to equip every rifle squad in the 82nd with a squad vehicle. They can be left behind if the mission is in closed terrain. If the mission is in more open terrain the vehicles will be worth their weight in gold to a light fighting force.

    The SAS figured this out in WWII and other Special Operations Forces have since followed suit and operate with light vehicles when it is advantageous to do so. And yet SOF still maintains dismounted skills. Am I to believe that airborne infantry can't do this?

    However, there is still the crowd that will say that light vehicles will automatically mean a dismounted capability loss. Horsecrap. Or that at least that light vehicles will be a liability because they can be easily destroyed. More easily destroyed than a dismounted force weighed down with "one hundred pounds of lightweight equipment?"

    I find the idea that just because an airborne force is motorized that it will automatically lack dismount skills, or that it will somehow be more vulnerable to a heavy force than it already is to be absurd.
    Last edited by KRJ; 10 Nov 18, 00:28.

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  • Pruitt
    replied
    The Stryker is heavier (18 to 20 tons), which may have been a factor. The Buford before also had issues getting inside a C-130. The finals strikes against the Buford was the issue of adding on extra armor after landing and I believe there was an issue with a rangefinder on top of the turret. If the vehicle is taller than the roof of the cargo bay, you can't get it in. I am pretty sure the LAV (12 to 14 tons) fits in a C-130, as I have seen pictures of it in a C-130.

    You could compare it to the C-17 carrying 2 M-1 Abrams. There is lots of space left over but the weight is high. I guess we will continue to see pre-positioned Brigade parks for a while. I would expect all these Armor types to go by ship. The days of hauling Sheridans by air and unloading them behind closed hangar doors in Panama were too good to last.

    I wonder if both STRYKER and LAV can be sled mounted to land on airfields?

    Pruitt

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  • 82redleg
    replied
    Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
    Will it fit into a C-130? That was an issue with the Stryker.

    Pruitt
    Stryker originally had to fit in a C-130, too. It only became an issue with the addition of the slat armor cages.

    I'm not sure why a LAV is air-droppable while a Stryker is not, but that is supposed to be the reasoning behind the choice. It may be something as simple as the necessary testing has already been completed. The 82nd had a few LAVs, in the scout platoon of 3-73 AR, around 1990-91, they went to Desert Storm with them. They were already certified for air drop.

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