In his 1997 book Breaking the Phalanx Col. Douglas Macgregor suggests ways that the army can reduce its tail, increase its number of combatants and, most importantly, develop a more efficient and responsive command structure. Currently the Army uses a system essentially unchanged from World War Two. It assumes that the position of the enemy is known, rear areas are relatively safe and that there is time for a prolonged build up of force. While such conditions continued to exist when the enemy changed from Germany to Russia this is no longer the case. Operations in the future are more likely to be of an expeditionary nature. Significant force needs to be projected globally.
One of Macgregor's suggestions is that the army be reorganized into Groups of around 5,000 men, and that such groups be directly controlled by a Joint Task Force Command (JTFOR), a single integrated operational command structure that also integrates Air Force, Navy and Marine units to create a combined, coordinated force. A good idea on how JTFOR would work can be gained by looking at the four component sub-commands:-
Sustainment. This is responsible for keeping the elements of the force supplied.
IISR. Intelligence, Information, Surveillance and Reconnaissance. Responsible for the force's intelligence gathering, processing and distribution. IISR would use satellites, UAVs, Airforce reconnaissance planes, special forces, SIGINT and covert HUMINT agencies such as the CIA, DOD, NSA
Maneuver. This would be responsible for the close combat elements. This includes Infantry, Armour, medium range Artillery and Close air support aircraft.
Strike (or Deep Strike). This controls long range attack assets. As well as long range artillery it also controls airstrike and naval bombardment systems.
Each of these four sections is commanded by a Major-General or equivalent. Commander of the JTFOR is a Lt-General or equivalent.
The idea of changing the army into Groups has not been well received by some. Groups are usually described as being "between a brigade and a division in size". I think this statement does cause problems in that some people interpret it to mean that a single Group can do the job of a division. It is probably better to think of a Group as a reinforced brigade/ autonomous brigade/separate brigade/ large brigade etc. Interestingly, at 5000 men a Group is of similar size to a Roman Legion. Current US army doctrine states that a Separate brigade can have up to five maneuver battalions so Groups are in fact brigade size. That's the theory, but as the Colonel Macgregor points out:-
(in common practice) "......brigade in US Army usage is a Colonel level command of roughly 2300 in garrison and reinforced to 3500 in war. The Brigade battlegroups in the British Army of 5,000 or more are closer to what I am suggesting."
You can use the term Brigade, Separate Brigade, Reinforced Brigade, Brigade Combat Team, Group or even Legion for such a formation. I'll use the term Group for the simple reason that it is less typing.
One objection to the proposed Group system is that it will destroy decades of divisional tradition and esprit. This is quite a valid concern. To the American soldier the Division is regarded in much the same way as the Regiment to a British soldier. This comparison also suggests the solution to the problem:- that the division becomes an administrative and training structure, providing battalions that are used to form Groups. This is the function of modern British Infantry Divisions. They have no role as field formations and are administrative in function. Such a policy also allows a system of unit replacement rather than replacement of individuals.
Group Command and Overall structure. A Combat Maneuver Group is designed to be a capability-based force module that includes Close combat, Stand-off attack, Armed Reconnaissance, embedded joint C4ISR and Sustainment elements. It is commanded by a Brigadier-General with a Colonel as Deputy Commander and another as Chief of Staff. C2 is divided into
Maneuver (including PSYOPS)
Sustainment (including Personnel and Logisitics)
Civil Affairs and Public Awareness
Each of these sections is commanded by a Lt-Colonel.
Battalions. Most battalions within a Group will have a Local ADA platoon. The form of this unit will vary with availability and the type of battalion. In some battalions it will just be several squads of Stinger or Starstreak teams with transport vehicles. In other units it will be automated systems such as Avenger or Linebacker. An intermediate system would be Stinger or Starstreak teams riding on a M113 equipped with an anti-aircraft cannon. Battalion level ADA platoons will be structured to increase their utility when there is little threat of air attack. Missile equipped units will preferably have dual use systems such as ADAT or Starstreak, and where possible will supplement their missiles with gun systems. Gun-equipped ADA systems will be configured so they can also contribute to actions against ground targets.
Infantry-Orientated battalions include an engineer platoon in their support company. This unit is mainly equipped for demolition and mine clearing. British Infantry battalions already have an assault-pioneer section at company level, and this is an alternate arrangement.
In a heavy mechanized battalion both the Tank crews and the infantry will be members of the same battalion. This ensures that Armour and Infantry are used to working together to form a cohesive combat force. In a cavalry unit both tanks and infantry will be part of the same troop (company), as is the current practice. In other mechanized battalions they may be in separate companies. Personnel in the battalion may be rotated through different duties within the battalion so they serve time as tankers, IFV crews and as dismounts. This promotes better understanding of the capabilities and applications of the different components in the force
All maneuver battalions will have an organic platoon of mortars. In Armoured or Cavalry forces these will be some form of 120mm system. Infantry-Orientated Battalions may have 81mm,120mm or a mix of the two.
C4I Battalion. All Groups have a C4I battalion. As well as being the main information gathering structure of the Group it is also responsible for information distribution both to the components of the Group and to other groups and JTFOR.
Signals and EW Company(s)
Command and control coy
Air Defence Battery.*
Non-LOS Coy UAVs**
*C41 battalion includes a ADA battery that is used to protect the group. This may be several Local SAM platoons but is more likely to contain a mix of longer range systems such as ADAT or Rapier with 40mm LVFV90 or 35mm Skyranger. An alternate arrangement would place the Group ADA unit in the Artillery/Strike battalion which would have better maintenance and targeting systems to support the unit.
**In many proposed Group structures the Non-Line of Sight company contains a unit of EFOGM. In my proposed structure this has been moved to the Artillery Battalion where it can make better use of that formation's Target acquisition systems. In a Group that has a battalion/squadron sized Reconnaissance component UAVs may instead be found in those formations. Armed UAVs or UCAVs would probably be controlled by the Strike Battalion.
The battalion may also have a Route Reconnaissance Platoon with either M3 CFVs or M113.
Cavalry Battalion (LRSG) Cavalry Battalion (LRSG) forms the main maneuver elements of LRSG.
Scout Helicopter Platoon.
Attack Helicopter Platoon.
Transport Helicopter Platoon
Three Armoured Recon Companies.
Three Scout Platoons each of six M3s Medium CFV or two Tankita and four M113s.
Tank Platoon of six to nine medium tanks with 105-120mm.
Engineer Section in medium ESV.
120mm Mortar Section from H&S Coy.
Headquarters and Support Company.
Armoured Vehicle Launched Bridge (two).
120mm Mortar Platoon.
ADA - Flak tanks and Area Defence Jammers.
Infantry Battalions Infantry Battalions are organised as described elsewhere and are used in various ways. The can be formed into Groups/Infantry Brigades which may or may not include an Artillery, Cavalry or Armoured Battalion. Battalions of Infantry may be added to an Armoured or other form of Group. Infantry Companies may also attached to other battalions. Infantry units can be patched to customise their capabilities. An Infantry battalion acting in isolation or as part of another Group is supported by a Service Support Company (Infantry) which includes a small force of trucks, light tracked vehicles (Millenibren or BV206) and ADA systems (such as Troubadour). If an Infantry Brigade is formed these Support Companies are formed into a Battalion.
Combat Sustainment Battalion (CSB).-also know as the Group Support Battalion, Logistics Battalion or Log Batn. Present in all groups. In some groups this formation may have its own unit of helicopters for Medevac and vertical replenishment. Many CSBs will have a Escort and Patrol company.
Engineer Battalion Many Groups will include an Armoured Engineer or Combat Mobility battalion. Some Groups have Engineer companies as part of the Maneuver Battalions.
Artillery Battalion or Strike Battalion Termed a Strike Battalion to illustrate that it also controls assets in addition to traditional Guns and Rockets. This Battalion also coordinates Airstrike and Naval Gunfire (NGF).
Target Acquisition Battery
Three to four batteries of tube artillery. Either 105mm or 155mm, towed or SP depending on unit.
Ratio of tube artillery to MBRLs may differ from that suggested above. MBRL has several advantages over conventional guns including reduced manpower needs and simpler handling of ammunition so in the future we may see the Strike Battalion fielding more MBRL than conventional guns. The developement of new types of warhead and rocket packs in other calibres compatible with existing MBRL systems will further increase the usefulness of these weapons. The MBRL components of the Battalion would be ATACMS-capable.
It is possible that systems such as HIMARS could also be mounted on M1108s for increased mobility.
*The Helicopter company has 12 UH60s, some of which could be used to launch missiles and act as ARA
**The Strike battalion could also include systems such as armed UCAVs. The TAIFUN has a two to four hour loiter time and can carry a 25kg Shaped Charge warhead.
Maneuver Groups are likely to be used for the full spectrum of military operations, from Major Theatre Warfare to Counter-Insurgency, Peacekeeping and Humanitarian Aid. The usefulness of artillery in such roles will vary. For major conflicts Maneuver Groups are likely to be deployed alongside Strike Groups containing battalions of Tube artillery, MBRL/ATACMS and possibly Anti-tank and/or Air Defence systems. The Strike battalion of the Maneuver Group should therefore have systems that compliment rather than duplicate those in the Strike Group. It should also have systems that are useful in missions where Strike Groups are less likely to be present. For example, in counter-insurgency operations application of artillery needs to be more judicious and massed artillery formations are less likely to be needed. Long-range precision strikes will probably play a greater role. For these reasons I suggest that the TOE of the Strike Battalion organic to the Maneuver Group be modified.
Target Acquisition Battery
Local ADA platoon
Battery of 155mm SP guns using a system such as Soltam Rascal or Mk F3-type M113. Battery also contains several vehicles mounting medium range MBRL systems. It is possible that MBRL systems may be in the majority with only a couple of conventional guns being held.
Battery of towed 105mm Anti-tank guns. These can be used for both direct and indirect fire and can easily be moved by helicopter. Such guns can use guided rounds such as the LAHAT missile. Roles for these weapons include base defence and attacking targets too hard for MBRL attack. ATGs can also be used to fire special purpose rounds such as Starshells.
Anti-tank missile battery using system such as EFOGM or Polyphem. Also offers long-range precision strike capability.
Group ADA Battery. Systems selected so in absence of air threat they can also be used in an anti-tank or fire-support role.
UCAV Strike unit with TAIFUN. Offers additional precision attack capability.
This Battalion may have its own Helicopter Company as described above.
Airborne Groups. The Airborne forces are the first wave of the United States' Rapid Deployment or Crisis Reaction Forces. Recent terminology designates such forces as part of the "Contingency Corps". Because of their nature such groups will need special facilities and support units. It therefore makes sense for several such groups to be placed in the same location and under the control of the same administrative division. The obvious choice for this is the 82nd Division, which would also administer Airborne qualified support units. It is highly likely that most of the battalions of a group will be from the same regiment, so many airborne groups can legitimately be called Regimental Combat Teams. The role of the Airborne forces is such that often all the groups in a division will be sent against the same objective. The 82nd will therefore sometimes fight as a "traditional" field division, the only difference being that it is directly under JTFOR control rather than extra tiers at Corps and Army levels.
Macgregor designates these Groups "Airborne-Air Assault" with a helicopter and UAV equipped Recon Batn, four Paratrooper Batns, a Strike Batn, C4I Batn and CSB. The Airborne-Air Assault Group would be co-located with the assets it would need, such as the Aviation Group and Patch units such as the CAB(ABN).
In view of the increased need to project forces globally at short notice it is suggested the US has eight to nine Airborne-Air Assault Groups, one based in Europe and the others in CONUS.
Recon battalion. *
3-4 Paratrooper battalions **
Artillery battalion ***
*The Recon battalion has a company of 12 OH-58D Scout helicopters and a company of three UH-60s and a UAV detachment for Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Designation. Ground vehicles of various types might also be added to this battalion. Alternately the battalion may have two Air Troops (helicopters) and two Ground Troops. It also has a air-mechanized Pathfinder platoon.
**The Paratrooper battalions are either Infantry or Airborne-mechanized. Infantry battalions have a scout platoon and heavy weapons company equipped with light vehicles. Rifle companies may utilize AEBs or attached vehicles. Infantry battalions may have a CAB(ABN) attached for increased mobility and protection. Airborne-mechanized battalions have organic M113 and Wiesel vehicles. Such a battalion may include a company of M8 tanks. At least one battalion in each airborne Group is Airborne-Mechanized or has a CAB(ABN) attached. When warranted Guard Battalions may be deployed instead of Paratroop Infantry.
*** The Airborne artillery battalion utilizes air-dropable systems. These are either towed or mounted on HMMWVs or M1108s. The parent division has a large pool of systems so additional or alternate batteries of heavy mortars or Short-range rocket launchers may be added to the battalion. The parent division also has an Aviation Group, Engineer battalion, Carrier Attachment Battalion and Anti-tank battalion. Units from these may be attached to the Group, depending on the mission.
To quote Col. Macgregor:- The LRSG.....is a bridge to the future spearhead of land warfare. The LRSG is a 'dispersed mobile warfare' design explicitly organized for rapid decisive operations inside a joint force. It employs manned and unmanned aircraft and sensors forward with ground maneuver elements to provide the coverage needed to exploit the formation's potentially devastating, precise firepower. Along with strategic and tactical mobility, the LRSG has the precise striking power, superior mobility, and survivability.....to drive any enemy force on the ground into kill zones for joint precision strikes. If the enemy disperses to avoid strikes, the formation can mobilize sufficient combat ower on its own to destroy any enemy that it is likely to encounter today or in the years ahead.
There would be three LRSGs based in the CONUS and ready for immediate global deployment on a rotational basis.
3 Battalions of Armoured Cavalry (LRSG). **
Engineer battalion including 24 ACEs.
*The C4I Battalion of a LRSG includes a Light Company and Surveillance Company structured as detailed for the Cavalry (RSTA) Battalion. The LRSG C4I battalion also includes a company-sized M8 tank reserve.
**Various possible organisations for the Armoured Cavalry Battalion are possible. An alternative to the Cavalry (LRSG) TOE already suggested would have three Ground troops/companies each of nine M8 tanks (two platoons), thirteen M113-IFVs (two Scout platoons), two M577s, 2 Medic-carriers and 3 x120mm carriers/Assault Gun-mortars. As well as using lighter vehicles the organisation of the LRSG Cavalry Battalion differs from that of the current Heavy Cavalry Squadron/Battalion by not having a reserve tank company. Instead the C4I Battalion of the LRSG includes a single reserve Tank company of fourteen M8s. In place of the Reserve Tank company the Cavalry Battalion has an Air coy/troop of 12-16 Scout-attack helicopters and 2 UH60. This Air Troop is also responsible for the Battalion's Reconnaissance UAVs. The Medium Cavalry Battalion/Squadron (LRSG) also does not have an artillery battery instead relying on the Groups' Strike Battalion.
Alternately the battalion will be of the structure suggested here. Either the ground company has two Tank platoons, two Scout platoons with Tankitas and M113s, LRVs section, an Engineer squad, tracked CSS platoon and Mortar section or it has a Tank Platoon of Nine Tanks, three Scout/Infantry platoons each of two Tankitas and four M113s and an Engineer squad, tracked CSS platoon and Mortar section. There would be an Air Troop, Surveillance company, Support company that might included mortars, 105mm howitzers, EFOGM and ADA. The Air troop would instead be composed of AH-6 Scout-Attack birds and ACH-47 heavy lift/gunships.
***An alternative is to have a battery of artillery with each cavalry battalion and the Air coy/troops formed into their own battalion. This organization more closely resembles the current Armored Cavalry Regiment TOE but the reverse is more in keeping with the role of this Group. The LRSG Strike Battalion would most likely have six MLRS/ATACM, UCAVs (300), four MD-600 Helicopters and six armed UH60s.
*3 companies of 9 M1 and 14 M3 Bradley CFV, 1 company (17-20 tanks) of M1 Abrams MBT, Platoon of nine 120mm mortar carriers, Air recon troop including both helicopters and UAVs (16 OH58D and three UH60). Surveillance Company with SIGINT and Ground Surveillance Radar assets. Alternately the Heavy Maneuver Group will have a Medium Cavalry Squadron or a Cavalry (RSTA) Battalion.
** Two companies of M1 MBTs (36-42 tanks total) Two companies of M2 Bradley mounted Armoured infantry. One company of Armoured Combat Engineers. May include a Heavy Assault Gun platoon, M3 CFV or M113 Scout platoon, 120mm Mortar platoon and Starstreak or Linebacker platoon. The Combined Armoured Battalion is described further here.
***3 or 4 batteries of 155mm SPH or Heavy assault guns. One battery of MBRL. UCAV battery. EFOGM battery. A Heavy Maneuver Group is likely to include a Gun and Missile battalion attached in theatres were there is a strong threat of enemy armour.
Theatre Strike Control Group. This is based on an idea of Carlton Meyer's. The Theatre Strike Control Group provides assets to support the mission of several Deep Strike Groups.
Squadron of 20 Observation/ Light Attack aircraft such as Buzzards or ARA battalion
Airborne Counterbattery Sensor battalion. Helicopters or Light Aircraft mounting systems to detect enemy artillery or ADA systems.
Cruise Missile battalion. Equipped with Ground-launched Tomahawk missiles with non-nuclear tactical or submunition warheads. Also co-ordinates naval tomahawk attacks and naval gunfire.
Theatre High Altitude Air Defence Group or Theater Air and Missile Defence Group Defensive umbrella to protect the ground elements of other groups. Has capability to destroy Theatre Ballistic Missiles (TBMs) as well as enemy Aircraft and UAVs.
C4I battalion, including Joint Tactical Ground Station
4 Patriot PAC-3 Battalions, each of four batteries of 8 launchers.
One battalion of Patriots may be replaced by a THAAD battalion of two 9 launcher batteries. Other systems such as HAWK or SLAMRAAM might also be used by this Group.
Mountain Warfare Group Mountain Warfare Groups are garrisoned in high altitude areas to reduce acclimatization time when deployed. Mountain Warfare Groups are co-located with an Aviation Group.
Infantry Battle Group. Infantry are used for the full spectrum of military operations and to reflect this the organisation of the Infantry Group must be flexible and versatile. For this reason the Group will probably occur in many different configurations, depending on role (MOUT specialists, Border defence etc). Groups of infantry will probably be formed for any situation where man-power is more desirable than weight of armour. One possible role of the Infantry Group is to take over duties from deployed Airborne Groups to free them up for global deployment. Ideally the infantry battalions will be of the configuration I suggest here, allowing them to configure as mechanized, motorized, air-mobile etc as the mission requires.
4 Infantry Battalions**
*Acts as a recon unit and mobile reserve. Configuration will vary. This element may be an Infantry Battalion equipped with Motorbikes, Bicycles, trucks and HMMWVs. It is also possible that the Infantry Group may have a Tank/Combined Armour Battalion, Heavy Cavalry Squadron or LRSG/Medium Cavalry Squadron instead of or in addition to the Mobile battalion.
**Scout platoon and heavy weapon company are motorized. Addition of a helicopter unit gives the battalion air-assault capability. Attachment of a CAB or Patch unit creates a light mechanized unit. Ideally the Infantry battalions will be of the proposed MR type TOE
***The Artillery battalion may not be included in some groups. It may be replaced by an additional Infantry battalion or a Infantry Heavy Weapon battalion that includes a battery of heavy mortars and other support weapons.
Airmobile Assault Group. Col Macgregor's proposed force did not have distinct Airborne and Air-mobile Groups but instead had the Airborne-Air Assault Group, a unit of Parachute-qualified troops that is co-located with a Aviation Group and trains in helicopter operations. There is potential for an Airmobile group of non-parachute qualified troops, and a possible structure for this is suggested here. It is possible that a light infantry force could be Patched into this configuration. It is possible that a Group sized Airmobile unit is not needed in most theatres and the Airmobile force will be of Recon/Pathfinders, one or more infantry battalions and between a battery and battalion of artillery.
The Airmobile Assault Group is usually garrisoned with an Aviation Group. The main mission of the Airmobile Group is as a vertical envelopment or Quick Reaction Force. It can also serve as infantry or as a medium mechanized group. All systems in the Airmobile group can be moved by helicopter. Some battalions of an airmobile group may also be Airborne qualified.
Recon battalion. *
3-4 Airmobile battalions **
Artillery battalion ***
*The Recon battalion has two Air Troops and two Ground Troops. It resembles that of the Airborne Group but there may not be a Pathfinder platoon. Usually the Pathfinder platoon of the attached Aviation Group(s) will select and prepare LZs.
**The Airmobile battalions are either Infantry, Air-motorized or Air-mechanized. Different types of battalion may be found in the same group. Infantry battalions have a scout platoon and heavy weapons company equipped with light vehicles. Rifle companies may utilize AEBs, ATVs or attached vehicles. Infantry or Paratrooper battalions may have a CAB attached for increased mobility and protection or may be converted to motorised or mechanised forces by Patch units Air-motorized forces are mounted on HMMWVs that can be transported by UH-60s. Airmobile-mechanized battalions have organic M113 and Wiesel vehicles. Each battalion has a platoon of Tankitas and a platoon of 120mm Assault gun-mortars. These systems can be moved by CH-47s.
*** The Airmobile artillery battalion utilizes helicopter transportable systems. These are either towed or mounted on HMMWVs or M1108s. Heavy mortar and MRLS carrying vehicles can be quickly positioned by helicopters and deliver indirect fire to suppress air defenses.
Aviation Group It is possible that some Aviation groups will have a reduced number of personnel and be used to Patch Infantry or Paratrooper battalions to convert them into Airmobile formations.
2 Attack/Escort battalions each with two companies of 12 AH64, a UAV company and a maintenance company.
2 battalions each of two companies of 15 UH60, a company of 8 A2C2S and a maintenance company
1 heavy lift battalion with two companies of 16 CH47
Platoon of 3 medical UH60 .
Strength of 50 AH64, 76 UH60, 32 CH47. Group also includes a CSAR (Combat Search and Rescue) detachment and at least one platoon of Airborne Mechanized Pathfinders.
Aviation Strike Group Force of attack and recon helicopters. Approximate strength of 100 aircraft. Aviation Strike group may also include Fixed wing MAS aircraft.
4 "Pink" Battalions each of 9 RAH66 + 15 AH64 or 15 UH60 + 25 AH64
Anti-tank Battalions ATGW or mixed Gun and Missile systems. GAMB Battalions are equipped with multi-purpose ATGMs and Anti-tank guns. Can be used to increase the anti-armour capability of a brigade. The Battalion's weapon system also have other applications such as point defence and counter battery work. Most likely found in JTCs that are likely to face an armoured threat.
Armoured Maneuver Battalions or Task forces. (Task force is one or two Combined Armoured battalions with CSS and Artillery and/or Heavy Assault Guns added)
Heavy Armour Support Battalions. Used to reenforce Infantry Groups etc. Three companies of 17 tanks (53 per batn), 6 Heavy Assault guns and one company of M113 or M3 scout vehicles.
NBC warfare/Decom/Hazmat Battalions
Electronic Warfare Battalions
CAB and Motor transport Battalions. CABs have also been termed as TAB or Tracked Armoured Battalions. The CAB is a unit of M113s that can be attached to a non-mechanized force to provide it with light track armoured mobility. Each company of a CAB is configured to move a battalion of infantry or the equivalent. CABs are also trained to operate as Light tracked cavalry
FEEDBACK Scott Miller of the Dominant logistics site writes: In case it is of interest to you, I've got a list here of the items currently missing or unsaid with the groups that will need to be provided in some fashion. This may be by inclusion within the group or by adding these as additional support resource units - there's a number of different ways it can be achieved but this is what's missing:
1. No mention of medical support other than medevac. I would normally assume that you are putting this in the CSB but then you refer to it as a log battalion and I've never seen anyone refer to medical as log so I'm not sure. Keep in mind that this has to go well beyond basic medical to include surgical, X-ray, mental health, dental, and other medical missions. This is especially critical for those units dealing in OOTW and peacekeeping. Nothing wins over the locals like medical support.
2. There really isn't any signals infrastructure included in the formation. You have one ISR company but this is going to be tied up with intel and recon missions - you don't want to be sidetracking them with the signal relay mission or something is going to fall by the wayside, especially with the increasing pace of jamming technologies and infowarfare. Unless this support is coming from another unit, you're either going to need a serious boost in aviation assets or two additional signal companies for comms relays.
PW: In order to keep things simple I didn't bother to mention structures that would be very similar to current organisation. Medical assets and signals would be in all the usual places you'd expect. I've changed the entry on the C4I component to show how this will handle most of the Groups EW and Comm needs. This article was written fairly conservatively since the idea was to get across the Group concept. Ideas evolve, and my own ideas of the internal structures of the various battalions have moved on a little since this was first posted. I'd advocate a lot more of the army should be MR battalions and that it should include at least a Brigade/Group of SIF, for example. Also I'd structure the Cavalry Battalions of the LRSG more along the lines proposed in my Medium Cavalry article
SM: 3. Artillery needs are largely a matter of personal preference and tend to be pretty subjective. On that note, whether or not what you are proposing for arty will meet the needs of the formations you are proposing is debateable. My biggest concern would be the ability of the arty in your proposal to meet the needs of the lighter and airmobile forces that lack the organic firepower of the strike and maneuver forces. A single battery of MLRS and a single battery of EFOGM seems a little light for long-range fires in these groups. I think your tube batteries are fine but I'm not sure if the other two would be sufficient. I understand that additional groups can be added but these formations seem a little light on overall firepower given they are the most mobile of the units and the least protected.
PW: Many of the battalion structures I now propose include an EFOG element in the AGTM platoon. I'm always open to suggestions on improving firepower. A current Heavy Division has two batteries of MLRS for three brigades, and a Light Division has none. The structure above actually increases the number of MLRS available.
SM: 4. I'm not sure that a single detachment of MPs is sufficient for these types of groups. Whether it is OOTW, peacekeeping, or high enemy desertion rates like what is happening now in Iraq, the role for MPs in today's forces is rapidly increasing - and anything that MP detachment can't handle means bringing in additional forces or pulling infantry from the maneuver battalions.
PW: Currently a Division has a single company of MPs, so a Platoon or Detachment with each Group is equivalent. There may indeed be a need for more MPs, and also for security troops such as E&P or the proposed Gamma detachments. These would be drawn from Resource Force brigades, groups or regiments. Fort Drum has been suggested as a good garison for the MP brigade, allowing the 10th Div to move to a real mountain environment.
SM: To meet your overall support requirements for the groups you are proposing, if they will have any realistic self-sufficiency, you're going to need a support system that is going to combine what the U.S. currently calls a Main Support Battalion, a Forward Support Battalion, and an Aviation Support Battalion. It would look something like the following:
1 forward supply company to sustain the maneuver force 1 rear supply company for warehousing and support of rear units and the forward company 1 forward maintenance company for the manuever force 1 rear maintenance company for heavy maintenance (engineer, MHE, track, and turret systems) 1 rear maintenance company for light maintenance (wheeled vehicles, misc automotive systems like ROWPU and fuel pumps and power generation) 1 rear maintenance company for C & E (communications and electronics) 1 rear maintenance company for aviation support (UAVs and helicopters) 1 rear maintenance company for artillery support (guns and missiles) 1 forward medical company for triage, ambulance, and other medevac 1 rear medical company for major medical support (previously mentioned needs and major medical supply)
So far, we're at 10 companies and haven't addressed any CAB or Escort and Patrol forces. Plus there will obviously need to be a headquarters formation to manage this group and anything more than minor transport needs will require an additional company as well (like HET support for moving armor and major engineering pieces).
In the lighter formations, you can probably meet these needs with about 600 to 800 personnel, in the maneuver groups you're looking at 1500 to 2000 personnel just in these units that would make up the CSB. Realistically, you want to go with something on the lines of a support brigade because otherwise you are putting way too much mission into a single battalion. There's just no way that any single commander could sufficiently manage this many missions in a single formation, it just isn't realistic.
PW: The original articles did include Combat Support Groups that would fill the role of the Support Brigade that you suggest. I just forgot to include them, (Doh!).
SM: Personally, and this is just me, I would go with divisions for the light and medium forces (three of each) to allow for a full three brigades to provide a rotation for long-term missions but build them properly. Breakdown the really big stuff into "groups" similar to what you are proposing (and have a small quantity of airmech) and then move the left-over materials into Resource battalions
PW: Scott also points out that the Heavy Armour Resource Forces I suggest could be organised as field regiments, which is a good point. My inclination would be to reorganise so that Bradleys and Abrams are organic to the same battalions, as I've proposed here and here. He also makes a case for moving all Abrams and most artillery systems to separate Fire Support Regiments that would be added to the regular Divisions or Brigades as needed. Breaking the Phalanx" has been well received in other armys, and is required reading in many Military colleges. The French army has already eliminated the Division as a field formation. The current restructuring of the German army has eliminated the Corps level of command and has all of the Seven or so Divisions controlled by a single Army command. These Divisions are supported by an Artillery brigade, an ADA brigade, an Engineer Brigade, an NBC brigade and two CSS Brigades. The Divisions are 10,000 man units with two brigades. Three Divisions have the option of raising a third reserve brigade in time of great need. Most brigades have three to four combat battalions, an artillery battalion, an armoured Engineer battalion and a CSS battalion. The Division has a armoured recon battalion and a Signals battalion, so if these are divided between the two brigades the result is a structre very similar to the Macgregor Group
My current feeling is that most Maneuver Groups should have a standard structure of a C4I batn, CSS batn, Artillery Battalion, Engineer Battalion and two to four combat battalions. Combat Battalions would be MuRo-type battalions, Medium or Heavy cavalry or Combined Armour battalions or any appropriate combination. Certain Regiments in the Resource forces would have the same structure, but all of the battalions would be organic to the unit.
Reed Judd-Dyer writes:- Just finished reading the BCG webpage. Very, Very similar to what I am proposing. A couple of things to possibly consider. In response to many of Scott's comments, it should be pointed out that your model (like my model) uses Col Mac's proposal as the base and that a key component of Macgregor's proposal was Joint Commands and Operations. This means that services that provide better mobile medical services (Navy and Airforce) are likely to do so, as well as help in many other areas. Macgregor's concept (and as far as I can tell, yours and mine) focuses the Army expeditionary forces on doing what the Army is good at, instead of trying to do everything. One thing that I did not see was any Aviation support organic to the Groups excluding the Strike battalion. I feel strongly that while aviation brigades and Patch units are good ideas, the Groups should have organic aviation assets for med-evac, overwatch, and emergency CAS. Another thing that I think would help reduce complexity would be if you incorporated my National Guard proposal. My National Guard proposal is based on enhanced battalions geared towards civic missions and non-maneuver sustainment operations. My National Guard units are based on Battalions since they tend to have battalions regionally based already, and that is how National Guard usually deploys. Since the common civic missions for National Guard troops are already disaster relief, riot control, S&R, and law enforcement assistance, and likely future missions include peacekeeping, border patrol and force protection, why not structure and train the National Guard units for the mission? Training active duty army units for these missions reduces their effectiveness for combat ops. In order to facilitate the battalions ability to do these missions I am proposing that they have MP, Aviation, Medical and Engineer assets available. This would assist in recruiting and would increase regional civic mission effectiveness. Another factor I would propose would be to use William's modular structure of 3-5 man Teams and a Platoon that is Team based instead of squad based. Companies can be based on 2-5 platoons and battalions can be based on 2-5 companies. The MP, Aviation, medical and engineer assets would ideally be company based, but could be anything from a platoon to two companies depending on regional need and recruiting. This would reduce the minimum manpower requirement that force National Guard battalions to raid other battalions for manpower in-order to deploy. By eliminating expensive Armor formations and tail-heavy brigade structures, National Guard units should be less expensive to maintain while be being better at their actual missions. This is just a brief outline of my National Guard proposal, so if you have any questions feel free to ask. I think they would eliminate your need for the LILB Infantry groups.