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What We Learned From Afghanistan(Army Lessons Learned)
Army Times ^ | July 29, 2002 | By Sean D. Naylor, Times staff writer

Posted on 07/23/2002 7:55:12 AM PDT by TADSLOS

The decision to leave artillery at home and rely on precision air power in Afghanistan left U.S. troops vulnerable, according to the officer in charge of assessing the lessons to be learned from the war there.

From October through July, U.S. forces in Afghanistan, including the 10th Mountain Division (light Infantry) and 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) battalions who fought Operation Anaconda in March, had no artillery support. For reasons still unclear, the 3rd Brigade of the 101st was told not to deploy with the 105 mm howitzer battalion that would usually accompany it into battle.

When those troops found themselves under heavy mortar fire during Anaconda, the only fire support available other than their own mortars, was close air support from AH-64 Apache helicopters and precision-guided bombing from jets.

That approach, according to a Center for Army Lessons Learned briefing obtained by Army Times, had some significant drawbacks. Not the least of these was the difficulty coordinating suppression missions - those requiring a heavy volume of fire over an area rather than against a single target - when only precision munitions were available.

"Precision guided munitions are very accurate for specific target coordinates, but not every fire support mission lends itself to the requirement for specific coordinates," says the briefing, "Emerging Lessons, Insights and Observations - Operation Enduring Freedom." The briefing primarily was based on ghainformation gathered by teams from the center who visited Afghanistan in January, March and April. The teams gathered information from Army, special operations and Joint sources.

Col. Mike Hiemstra, the Center's director, said it would be "a legitimate conclusion" to assume that, had there been a battery of howitzers on the Anaconda battlefield, the guns could have shut down al-Qaida mortars that inflicted most of the roughly two-dozen U.S. casualties on the first day of battle.

The 82nd Airborne Division troops replacing the 101st troops in Afghanistan deployed with their 105 mm howitzers.

"You could argue that we've learned a lesson and said, 'Hey, there is room for artillery on this battlefield, and there is a reason why the artillery plays a significant role in the construct of the battlefield as we envision it.' And that's a hugely important issue," Heimstra, a field artillery officer, said.

"The maneuver commander needs to be provided with a full range of fires. And if you don't provide him with that full range of fires, then you open up a vulnerability.

"Precision fires are good, but they are a piece of the pie, not the entire pie. There are still times when you don't need precise effects, you need area effects - a lot of effect, over a wide area.

"The cannon artillery system is still the only all-weather, day/night, close support fire capability available to the ground commander. By not having it there, the ground commander then has to rely on other things."

Those "other things" included mortars and Apaches, both of which proved themselves in battle, Hiemstra said. The 60 mm mortars that each light infantry company has were "very effective," according to the briefing.

But mortars have drawbacks, he said. First, they have a limited range. They also consume ammunition at a high rate, which imposes a strain on the logistics system in an austere environment like Afghanistan, Hiemstra said.

In the case of the Apache, commanders took a weapons system designed primarily for night attacks against Soviet armor formations following behind the first echelon of an attack, and by adapting quickly to the situation on the ground, used it instead for day and night attacks against close-in guerrilla targets.

The Apache's inability to hover at high altitude meant that instead of crew members firing from a hover position, as they would under normal conditions, they attacked enemy positions during Anaconda using "running gunfire," swooping down on the enemy while firing rockets and chain-gun rounds. This tactic required a greater level of coordination with ground troops, according to the briefing.

"My understanding, from the people that we've talked to, is that it worked very well," Hiemstra said.

Getting It Together

From the platoon up to the three-star general level, the war in Afghanistan has required units who do not have a habitual relationship to work closely together. This process has not always been smooth, the briefing suggests. "The Army needs to examine how it … develops trained staffs that trust each other," it states.

"Friction" between higher and lower headquarters is inevitable, Hiemstra said. "One of the ways that you help to work through that is to train together as much as you can, and learn to trust each other as a result of that habitual association."

The briefing also suggests that the pressure to keep the number of troops in Afghanistan to a minimum created some command and control (or C2) problems.

"Force caps and mobility constraints forced [the Army component of Central Command] to flatten the traditional C2 structures," the briefing states. "The flattened C2 structure supported deployment restrictions, but created C2 problems."

Normally when military members talk about "flattening" organizations, they mean removing layers of command and control. But in Enduring Freedom, the layers seemed to be present: the 101st's 3rd Brigade headquarters answered to the two-star 10th Mountain division commander at Bagram air base, who answered to Lt. Gen. Paul Mikolashek, the coalition forces land component commander. Mikolashek's boss was Central Command chief Gen. Tommy Franks.

While there was no corps headquarters in Afghanistan until XVIII Airborne Corps took over from 10th Mountain recently, there are only about 7,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan - about half of a normal division.

Hiemstra was reluctant to go into detail about the command and control problems, saying some of the command relationships are still classified. But he implied the term "flattened" referred not to missing layers of command, but rather to smaller-than-usual staffs at some levels.

"That required people to use a great deal of innovation, and find a number of workarounds, to make things work."

The Nitty-Gritty

The lessons-learned briefing does not concentrate exclusively on issues related to high-level command-and-control relationships and combat tactics. It also deals with more mundane issues.

"Field sanitation is a lost art," according to the briefing. "Units need to deploy with materials to build showers and latrines."

Since the end of the Cold War, the Army has conducted large-scale deployments to southwest Asia, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Albania and Kosovo. The notion that somewhere in the middle of this high operational tempo units have forgotten how to take care of field sanitation might strike some observers as odd.

Environmental restrictions at home posts are partially to blame, according to Hiemstra. "There are limitations in most training areas today about digging a slit-trench latrine - you can't do it," he said. "Those are environmental considerations … because you're using that same terrain to train in all the time, and so there are hygiene considerations.

"If you look at our training in the United States, we rely a lot on fixed-latrine kinds of facilities, even if it's a port-a-potty," he said. "Then you go into a very austere theater like folks are in in Afghanistan, and the local port-a-potty contract isn't there anymore.

"There's a specific discipline that goes with being able to take care of yourself in the field for a long time,… [and] we don't train to that standard in normal training here in the States."

Hiemstra noted that disease had cut a swath through Soviet and Russian forces in Afghanistan and Chechnya. "Disease and non-battle injury casualties can bring you to your knees," he said.

Other lessons learned cited in the briefing included:

** The "Gator" all-terrain vehicle has proven its worth in the mountains and the base camps in Afghanistan.

** Soldiers prefer the Camel-bak hydration system to the canteen, because it allows them to drink without fumbling with a canteen cap or forcing their eyes upward.

** The operational environment in Afghanistan places a high demand on human intelligence sources.

** Bottled water is not the solution to the challenge of meeting potable-water requirements in an austere theater.

** "Army engineers need to be trained and equipped to perform rapid runway repairs."

** The ground-laser designator being used by conventional forces is "too heavy and cumbersome for use in mountainous terrain."

** "Small, lightweight binoculars, laser range-finders and global positioning system [receivers] are indispensable."


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: afghanistan; enviralists; miltech; usarmy; utah
From October through July, U.S. forces in Afghanistan, including the 10th Mountain Division (light Infantry) and 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) battalions who fought Operation Anaconda in March, had no artillery support. For reasons still unclear, the 3rd Brigade of the 101st was told not to deploy with the 105 mm howitzer battalion that would usually accompany it into battle.

Some thoughts:

The Army preaches and trains Combined Arms Team, then fails to execute properly. Why? It was beat into my head from the time I was a young infantry lieutenant and throughout my career as a combat arms officer that you always planned, coordinated and used a range of supporting fires in depth, everything from mortars to CAS to naval gunfire, if available. Don't rely soley on one single system to support your operation. What happened that would allow this scenario to take place? I suspect it was a variety of factors, including some arrogant assumptions on CENTCOM staff's part of the enemy, and our airpower capabilities. I suspect that artillery fire supporters at the staff level either didn't weigh in like they should have or were left out of the decision making process. This is unacceptable IMO. The 101st, in particular, trains extensively with their organic fire support, slinging them in via CH-47. They could have deployed, adapted and been useful in theater supporting the task force. I can't imagine MG Dick Cody, Div Cdr, 101st not raising hell over this issue. I'm sure he did, and I'm just as sure that he was shouted down by someone with more horsepower. Unfortunate.

In the case of the Apache, commanders took a weapons system designed primarily for night attacks against Soviet armor formations following behind the first echelon of an attack, and by adapting quickly to the situation on the ground, used it instead for day and night attacks against close-in guerrilla targets.

The Apache's inability to hover at high altitude meant that instead of crew members firing from a hover position, as they would under normal conditions, they attacked enemy positions during Anaconda using "running gunfire," swooping down on the enemy while firing rockets and chain-gun rounds. This tactic required a greater level of coordination with ground troops, according to the briefing.

"My understanding, from the people that we've talked to, is that it worked very well," Hiemstra said.<

OK, I'm a bit biased here, being an old, worn out Apache driver. I'm extremely proud of these guys and the airframe. They went over there with only a Company. That's eight Apaches. Usually, you can count on six being fully operational on any given day. That's best case, and assumes you have the maintenance and logistics support tail to keep it that way. So, my hat's off to the crews and maintainers for providing the level of support they did.

I'm glad the crews adapted to the tactics. Running fire with rockets and guns is a skill we need to practice more of. It's become a lost art in the Army attack helicopter world (the Marines do this better IMO), and in this scenario is essential to provide effective supporting fires and survive. Incidentally, the aircraft that got shot up during Anaconda took some incredible hits (from RPGs), stayed in the fight and recovered safely.

Hiemstra was reluctant to go into detail about the command and control problems, saying some of the command relationships are still classified. But he implied the term "flattened" referred not to missing layers of command, but rather to smaller-than-usual staffs at some levels.

Translation: Too many chiefs at CENTCOM, not enough indians at the fight. Staffs are necessary to plan and coordinate, but reduced staffs as described here (He didn't say it, but it's the commander on the ground with the reduced staff)just adds to confusion and friction and resentment. There is a natural tendency for senior commanders to go this way. The urge is that more is better at their level, a fresh set of eyes, different outlooks, etc.. Field Commanders are the ones who need the staff in adequate levels to plan and coordinate for combat, and who hold a real stake in the outcome of their plan, not a bunch of Theater level guys sitting at keyboard terminals in Tampa.

"Field sanitation is a lost art,"

Environmental restrictions at home posts are partially to blame, according to Hiemstra. "There are limitations in most training areas today about digging a slit-trench latrine - you can't do it," he said. "Those are environmental considerations … because you're using that same terrain to train in all the time, and so there are hygiene considerations.

I'd say that environmetal restrictions are the main reason for this. You can't even go to the field to train anymore unless there's a truckload of porta-potties following you to the training area (actually, they pre-place them before you even arrive). It seems like an unimportant issue, but, for those of us who have had to make field conditions as sanitary for combat soldiers can attest, if you don't take necessary measures, you run a real risk of becoming combat inneffective. Environmentalists are putting us at risk and this needs to change. The incoming Chief of Staff is attacking this issue with Congress without much success, so far.

** Soldiers prefer the Camel-bak hydration system to the canteen, because it allows them to drink without fumbling with a canteen cap or forcing their eyes upward.

Yes these are good to have (I carried one with me in the front seat), carry more water and are more convenient, however, the bags and water line are a breeding ground for bacteria and require regular cleaning to keep from getting sick. Canteens, OTOH, are relatively easy to keep clean, are generally more durable and more easily replaced.

** The operational environment in Afghanistan places a high demand on human intelligence sources

Thanks, Frank Church. //Sarcasm off// ** Bottled water is not the solution to the challenge of meeting potable-water requirements in an austere theater

Whatever happened to iodine tablets? Sure, they make water taste like crap, but at least you won't die of thirst waiting for the next crateload of bottled Evian to reach you. We have gotten spoiled. Pure and simple.

** "Army engineers need to be trained and equipped to perform rapid runway repairs."

No s**t, Sherlock! Why send them if they can't or aren't equipped to do so. I guess they're too busy working on setting up porta-lets and shower stalls instead.

** The ground-laser designator being used by conventional forces is "too heavy and cumbersome for use in mountainous terrain."

The (lightweight) off the shelf technology is there, if only the Army will acquire it.

** "Small, lightweight binoculars, laser range-finders and global positioning system [receivers] are indispensable."

Yes, I'm sure they are, but soldiers need to learn basic field expedient ranged estimation and land navigation techniques, especially in the desert. These gadgets have a way of going tits up at the worst possible time (Murphy's Law).

Just my 2 cents...

1 posted on 07/23/2002 7:55:12 AM PDT by TADSLOS
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To: TADSLOS
Col. Mike Hiemstra, the Center's director, said it would be "a legitimate conclusion" to assume that, had there been a battery of howitzers on the Anaconda battlefield, the guns could have shut down al-Qaida mortars that inflicted most of the roughly two-dozen U.S. casualties on the first day of battle.

I'm just a lowly civillian, but I figured this out too. Where the heck was our artillery? A few hits from even the most generic of our artillery could have blown those sand monkeys off the mountains, and at a cheaper cost than risking our tankbusting Apaches. This is not to say that I'm not proud of our troops - but some of their commanders need to get their head out into the fresh air.

2 posted on 07/23/2002 8:10:42 AM PDT by egarvue
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To: Stand Watch Listen; 11B3
Ping.
3 posted on 07/23/2002 8:41:02 AM PDT by TADSLOS
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To: TADSLOS
Great post and commentary. I was wondering what your thoughts are on the Cobras that were brought in to make up for the Apaches put out of action by ground fire. I got the impression from news reports that the Cobra performed better at altitude. Is this correct? I don't know if they were mechanically better or if they, coming second, had the advantage of changed tactics.
4 posted on 07/23/2002 8:43:45 AM PDT by mikegi
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To: TADSLOS
** "Army engineers need to be trained and equipped to perform rapid runway repairs."

Feh, just call the SeaBees. They were all done with Rhino base by then, and probably bored anyway ;)

5 posted on 07/23/2002 9:27:28 AM PDT by Britton J Wingfield
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To: mikegi
I think altitude had less to do with it than the effects of payloads carried to the fight, and that the battle had matured to our advantage by the time a relief of platforms occurred.. Given the choice, I would rather have AH-1Ws supporting me in a scenario like the one in Anaconda because it's a close fight and the aircraft are harder to engage by direct small arms fire head on during running fire

USMC attack pilots are trained specifically to support Marines on the ground in the close fight of amphibious operations. AH-64s, OTOH, are designed primarily as a tank killer, and units train primarily for this mission as the ground commander's attack force against enemy massed armor in the attack, defense or counter-attack mode.

AH1W Super Cobra

AH-64A/D Apache

**Note: Although the AH-64A and D models share the same powerplant, transmission and are similar in appearance, the D model is completely different in terms of detection (radar), survivability(fire and forget missiles) and communications (digital).

6 posted on 07/23/2002 9:32:54 AM PDT by TADSLOS
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To: TADSLOS; *miltech
To find all articles tagged or indexed using

Miltech

Go here:

OFFICIAL BUMP(TOPIC) LIST

and then click the Miltech topic to initiate the search! !

7 posted on 07/23/2002 9:48:36 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: egarvue
For comments on lack of artillery and other lessons learned check the recent articles on the Miltech list!

Access at post #7.

8 posted on 07/23/2002 9:54:07 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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To: leadpenny
ping!
9 posted on 07/23/2002 9:55:37 AM PDT by Jimmy Valentine's brother
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To: TADSLOS
** "Army engineers need to be trained and equipped to perform rapid runway repairs."

Now way. They should be trained and equipped to build hostels for sightseers.

Sheesh..

10 posted on 07/23/2002 10:02:33 AM PDT by AppyPappy
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To: TADSLOS; Grampa Dave; *Enviralists
I'd say that environmetal restrictions are the main reason for this. You can't even go to the field to train anymore unless there's a truckload of porta-potties following you to the training area (actually, they pre-place them before you even arrive). It seems like an unimportant issue, but, for those of us who have had to make field conditions as sanitary for combat soldiers can attest, if you don't take necessary measures, you run a real risk of becoming combat inneffective. Environmentalists are putting us at risk and this needs to change. The incoming Chief of Staff is attacking this issue with Congress without much success, so far.

The environmentalists strike again!

OFFICIAL BUMP(TOPIC)LIST

11 posted on 07/23/2002 10:07:16 AM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach
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Comment #12 Removed by Moderator

To: egarvue
The USAF has convinced Rumsfeld that field artillery is a thing of the past. Why use reliable and proven weapons platforms when you can use whiz-bang techno-gagdets?
13 posted on 07/23/2002 10:48:11 AM PDT by Seydlitz
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To: A tall man in a cowboy hat
Well first off we are still not at war with anyone

I'd say there's a few thousand soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen operating in Southwest Asia who would beg to differ with your fine line distinction between a legislative process and what they're dealing with on the ground and in the air. Besides, this article has little to do with political and diplomatic policy. Here's one that's more appropriate for your remarks. On a Declaration of War

14 posted on 07/23/2002 10:55:13 AM PDT by TADSLOS
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To: Seydlitz
The USAF has convinced Rumsfeld that field artillery is a thing of the past. Why use reliable and proven weapons platforms when you can use whiz-bang techno-gagdets?

Perhaps they have, though I don't believe the SecDef is totally against conventional land based artillery of any type, just because he's against Crusader. There's goodness in all of these systems. It's the smart commander who kows how to use all his resources, synchronize them for maximum effectiveness and adjusts his plan when the situation dictates.

15 posted on 07/23/2002 11:00:52 AM PDT by TADSLOS
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To: decimon
The "Gator" all-terrain vehicle has proven its worth in the mountains and the base camps in Afghanistan.

What is a Gator? Not the thing that eats pets and children but the ATV Gator.

16 posted on 07/23/2002 11:08:07 AM PDT by decimon
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To: decimon

Civilian version of the GATOR

17 posted on 07/23/2002 11:14:44 AM PDT by TADSLOS
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To: TADSLOS
Good! I thought the Army was buying one of these two vehicles.


18 posted on 07/23/2002 11:26:38 AM PDT by decimon
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To: TADSLOS
Is it any wonder that Field Artillary is "The King of Battle""
19 posted on 07/23/2002 11:35:05 AM PDT by connectthedots
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To: TADSLOS
If I am not mistaken, John Deere just shut this plant (mfg. site of Gator) down in West Virginia ?? Any confirmations out there...
20 posted on 07/23/2002 11:35:52 AM PDT by Q6-God
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To: connectthedots
Aren't you a little biased?
21 posted on 07/23/2002 11:50:18 AM PDT by Fred Mertz
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To: Fred Mertz
Aren't you a little biased?

I was a IN (Mech) platoon leader for one year and a REMF for my last three years on active duty. I have no ax to grind, but also think that nothing beats a tank when it comes to direct fire applications. Nothing raises the pucker factor like seeing a tank barrel pointed at you that has plenty of 'stand-off'. The fact that one may even be able to see the round coming at them must make it even worse.

22 posted on 07/23/2002 12:15:57 PM PDT by connectthedots
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To: TADSLOS
I'll say this...the Army Times makes a good point.

I think it is indespensible to have capable artillery with you. There has got to be a middle ground between Air Mafia types and land based Jedi knights.

I agree that the future is going to see more and more suppression coming from air platforms but the Infantry still needs to have decent artillery.

Given the gene pool of Army Command & Control coming out of the Clinton years...the battle at Anaconda was a raging success.

There seems to be a trend towards desiring the impossible. "No American losses in battle". Saying that the lack of artillery led to what losses we did incure is an honest enough statement but the spirit behind it implies that had we had artillery there...we wouldnt have lost anyone.[?]

I cannot tell if this is a "Arty pusher" piece or a legitimate gripe. Eitherway...it was Army incompetence at fault and not future DoD dogma towards Arty.

Just chiming in.

23 posted on 07/23/2002 12:18:33 PM PDT by VaBthang4
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To: VaBthang4
I cannot tell if this is a "Arty pusher" piece or a legitimate gripe

It's neither, just 20/20 hindsight from the Center of Army's Lessons Learned (CALL). The 82nd deployed their artillery as part of their force package relieving the 101st. I just find it maddening that the powers that be didn't have the foresight to deploy land based artillery to begin with.

24 posted on 07/23/2002 12:26:20 PM PDT by TADSLOS
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Comment #25 Removed by Moderator

To: TADSLOS
You hit the nail on the head.

It comes down to the focus and intent of pilot training.

We [The Corps] puts our pilots through infantry school first in order to lay the foundation that they're sole purpose is what is taking place groundwise.

They learn how to orientate themselves toward terrain and enemy from an infantrymen's perspective.

So as a former Marine on the ground in an offensive or defensive combat scenario...given my choice...100 times out of 100 I select the Marine Corps piloted Cobras.

But...if I were riding on top of a transport and a grip of T-80's came rumbling over the horizon...I'd rather have the Army piloted Apaches.

Given the circumstances in Anaconda...I would have rather had the Cobras.

26 posted on 07/23/2002 12:31:24 PM PDT by VaBthang4
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To: connectthedots; Fred Mertz
IMHO this issue is caught up in Army restructuring. The ivory tower guys think armor and arty are things of the past and will be replaced by precision bombs, unmanned aircraft and computers.

A group within the Army, including, unfortunately, the Chief thinks they can preserve a role for the Army in a restructured force by giving up main battle tanks for armored cars and leaving most of the arty at home, which would give them a force transportable on C-130's and therefore be a "rapid reaction" force. Basically, they're willing to give up firepower for allegedly increased maneuverablity and mobility. Spec ops guys like Hackworth think this is great because they've been down on firepower since Vietnam and think spec ops and/or leg infantry is the answer to everything anyway.

The only thing I know for certain is that this world has not seen its last general or "world" war and it is highly unlikely the rest of the world will trade in their tanks and arty for all terrain bikes.

27 posted on 07/23/2002 12:35:04 PM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: TADSLOS
I wonder if the decision was made based on an ability or lack thereof to get the Arty to the AO initially or if it was some dreamweaving, carpet grazing, 100 Star that made the call.

???

28 posted on 07/23/2002 12:36:51 PM PDT by VaBthang4
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To: colorado tanker
The only thing I know for certain is that this world has not seen its last general or "world" war and it is highly unlikely the rest of the world will trade in their tanks and arty for all terrain bikes

Agreed. There's still plenty of Soviet era MBTs, IFVs and associated systems out there in large numbers and beligerant states with the industrial capacity to build more, requiring us to maintain heavy forces.

29 posted on 07/23/2002 12:40:19 PM PDT by TADSLOS
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To: colorado tanker
"A group within the Army, including, unfortunately, the Chief thinks they can preserve a role for the Army in a restructured force by giving up main battle tanks for armored cars and leaving most of the arty at home"

That is the first I have heard of a desire to do this "Armywide".

I do think a sizable reaction division wouldnt hurt. But doing something like that Army wide would be completely rediculous.

30 posted on 07/23/2002 12:42:42 PM PDT by VaBthang4
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To: VaBthang4
Two developments are occurring simultaneously. The first is to form several light brigades equiped with off the shelf armored car technology, already beginning production. I agree, forming a rapid reaction force while maintaining a heavy force for other threats is a good idea. I do have problems with implimentation because the initial design for the "armor" is a wheeled vehicle that won't stop a .50 cal. round but is still too heavy for a C-130.

The second development is long range planning for an Army of the "future," which at present envisions wheeled vehicles replacing the present tanks, ifv's and sp arty. The concept is the computerized battlefield of the future will be won by long range weapons (not yet designed) and airpower coordinated by computers, not needing old fashioned armored vehicles. This old dat is skeptical.

31 posted on 07/23/2002 1:01:25 PM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: Q6-God
I hope not. I recently drove my brothers gator and it was a hoot!
32 posted on 07/23/2002 1:15:16 PM PDT by bribriagain
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To: Seydlitz
Ping. I'm afraid you might be right about SecDef.
33 posted on 07/23/2002 2:12:58 PM PDT by Paul Ross
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To: TADSLOS
I suspect that artillery fire supporters at the staff level either didn't weigh in like they should have

As always, there's extraneous factors. In Ananoconda, inital planning was done by Special Forces, fire support to them is an AC-130.

I tried to get some Special troops (not army) to use convential forces as back-up using their morters. The reply was "F**K No, they'll Kill us."

Elitism has had an impact on Fire Support during this war. The US Special Forces has not exploited the advantages of conventual fire support.

I can't imagine MG Dick Cody, Div Cdr, 101st not raising hell over this issue.

I've met the man, even had him alone for 10 minutes. Hope he becomes CJCS, he's that good. And yes, 101st Arty was ready to go.

worn out Apache driver

I personnally don't don't know how the Apache Driver's during Ananconda could control the aircraft, there balls were so large, I can't see how they moved their legs (Screaming Eagle Appreciation).

: Too many chiefs at CENTCOM, not enough indians at the fight

As usual, the front line's don't have the staff's they need (can attest to 2 of the G-2s being reservists) while the higher HQ has more than enough (or maybe too much)

"Field sanitation is a lost art,"

Have to disagree. What's happened is that the Army has not trained in setting up base camps (Vietnam syndrom). Relearning old lessons.

34 posted on 07/23/2002 5:30:11 PM PDT by where's_the_Outrage?
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To: Jimmy Valentine's brother
Interesting stuff and thanks for the ping. What comes through loud and clear to me is; there must be some monumental battles going on inside and outside the Pentagon.
35 posted on 07/23/2002 6:01:52 PM PDT by leadpenny
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To: egarvue
Bump for later reading
36 posted on 07/23/2002 6:14:23 PM PDT by chudogg
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To: where's_the_Outrage?
Hope he becomes CJCS, he's that good.

Agreed. One of the few warrior Generals around.

37 posted on 07/23/2002 6:56:04 PM PDT by TADSLOS
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To: VaBthang4
Please tell me that my Corps is NOT still flying Cobras!
My God, they were flying them in the 60's!

In our war, in our terrain - the Cobras diving straight toward the enemy was both the most terrifying and beautiful sight in the world. But, in Afghanistan - I have no idea of what would be the best way to deal with the bastards in the mountains. Off hand - I can't imagine why the Cobra or newer choppers could not deal with targets in tight canyons on on the slopes.

I've seen Jarhead pilots attack in any manner necessary to approach the target with least exposure to the grunts on the ground. I've seen them dive straight down, or up the river below tree tops - or even through the trees.

Not to make too much of a point --- but it was ONLY the Marine pilots that approached our smoke close enough to visually VERIFY the positions of the Marines and the positions of the targets we were asking them to hit..... We could actually see the whites of their teeth as they smiled their recognition of our "friendly" faces..... Loved the guys... they were crazy - but we loved them all.
Semper Fi

38 posted on 07/23/2002 7:10:37 PM PDT by river rat
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To: leadpenny; river rat
I'll bet there some monumental battles going on in the puzzel palace. Some how we always fall into the trap of believing that air support can replace artillery support. Where it falls down is weather. If you look a major battle losses starting with WW II, and you'll see that over optimistic reliance on air support was a contributing factor.

And yes no one provides close air support like the Marines.

39 posted on 07/24/2002 7:17:04 AM PDT by Jimmy Valentine's brother
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