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Sturgeon

The Suppressive Effect of Small Arms

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Now we're getting into terminal ballistics which is a whole separate issue than suppressive effect. As Ive stated earlier, if you want more suppressive effect just develop a 5.56 "whistling bullet". Now you have more shitting your pants effect in the same sized package with the same recoil. 

 

If you want increased terminal ballistics or barrier penetration then 7.62 NATO is pretty inefficient way of delivering your payload. I think one of the biggest aspects of the A1 family that no one is talking about is that its a "modular bullet". If the need arises you can spin up production of tungsten carbide penetrators and simply start inserting the new cores into the latest production. I think thats probably why they were pushing the pressure limits to achieve higher velocities since velocity plays a huge role in punching through armor plates. The Big Army has been pretty obsessed lately with making plate busting weapons and ammo that they're willing to overlook the more practical aspects of fielding such weapon systems...

 

 

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9 hours ago, Vicious_CB said:

Now we're getting into terminal ballistics which is a whole separate issue than suppressive effect. As Ive stated earlier, if you want more suppressive effect just develop a 5.56 "whistling bullet". Now you have more shitting your pants effect in the same sized package with the same recoil. 

 

If you want increased terminal ballistics or barrier penetration then 7.62 NATO is pretty inefficient way of delivering your payload. I think one of the biggest aspects of the A1 family that no one is talking about is that its a "modular bullet". If the need arises you can spin up production of tungsten carbide penetrators and simply start inserting the new cores into the latest production. I think thats probably why they were pushing the pressure limits to achieve higher velocities since velocity plays a huge role in punching through armor plates. The Big Army has been pretty obsessed lately with making plate busting weapons and ammo that they're willing to overlook the more practical aspects of fielding such weapon systems...

 

 

 

The acoustics of it aren't truly what instills fear. Like the artillery. If you kept hearing arty incoming and it sounded like a massive rail gun but exploded like a piddly WW1 75mm round, rather quickly the fear of the sound would evaporate. No more suppression effect. That acoustical sounds need to correspond to increased deadliness. Either in accuracy (sniper), or volume (machine gun), penetrative qualities (AP ammo), or destructive abilities (HE). Any change in small arms for the purpose of increasing suppression effect must be done under the context of getting inside the enemy's head to figure out not only what he fears but why. Not an easy thing, since an Afghan Taliban at 800 meters shooting a PKM through a loophole originally constructed in 1982 to kill Soviet troops is going to be different than a Chinese conscript PLA private, or an ISIS insurgent in Mosul, or an African insurgent in Niger. 

 

At this point, by and large, I'd disregard most of what the Big Army is doing. They want to re-play the 80s, they're actively attempting to completely rearm the Army to fight Russia conventionally, desiring to not only replace squad level small arms for very specific task of penetrating Russian body armor but more so are trying to make the case to get the funding to replace all of the Big Five (M1 tank, Bradley, Black Hawk, Apache, Patriot). I guess the Big Army, once again, self declared that its done fighting small wars, like it did after Korea, then after Vietnam, and only exists now to fight a nuclear power without nukes. So whatever happens with them, the Big Army will likely not be leading the way into the future of how to better fight infantry centric small arms engagements, because those fights can only really happen in small wars when more advanced fire support (mortars, arty, air strikes) are either unavailable or denied.  

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I dont know how I feel about the changes to the rifle squad. 12 man rifle squad with 3 3-man fire teams is a pretty big change.

 

The good: Introduction of a dedicated drone/communications operator. Finally, they're bringing a drone down to the squad level. This should do alot to boost the squad's situational awareness. 

 

Good or bad, depends: Adding a Carl Gustov to the squad. On one hand you are adding real HE capability to the squad but who's going to carry it? Is that guy also going to be carrying an M27? Can they carry enough rounds to make the Gustav worth the additional weight burden? I feel like the soviets got it right with the RPG-7 gunner just carrying the RPG and bunch of rockets. Maybe give that dude a holstered PDW like the MP7 because getting picked to carry the Gustov + M27 is probably going to be a significant emotional event. Adding a grenadier. Meh, just like in an Army rifle squad that guy is probably just going to end up being another rifleman that occasionally fires off a few rounds of ineffective HE. The DMR, sounds like its just another guy with an M27 that gets more glass and maybe more training. Technically anyone in the squad can fill that role so thats a pretty neutral addition.  

 

The bad:  The all IAR concept, Im not sure how they came up with a 300% increase in firepower when the M27 when they arent even introducing anything larger than a 30-round mag. The IAR needs atleast a Magpul D-60 to have any hope of proving enough sustained firepower to cover another fire team. Giving everyone an M4 with a heavier barrel would have roughly the same effect...

 

 

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21 hours ago, Vicious_CB said:

 

The bad:  The all IAR concept, Im not sure how they came up with a 300% increase in firepower when the M27 when they arent even introducing anything larger than a 30-round mag. The IAR needs atleast a Magpul D-60 to have any hope of proving enough sustained firepower to cover another fire team. Giving everyone an M4 with a heavier barrel would have roughly the same effect...

 

A squad with all-IARs can put out more fire at any given point in time than a squad with 3RB+SAW. Even if half the guns are down with reloads at staggered intervals, the amount of fire being put downrange is still higher.

 

Here's some interesting math for you:

 

Assuming an even RPM of 600 rounds/min (for hypothetical's sake, both the M27 and M249 are closer to 900 cyclic)

IAR

0.5 second burst, 1 second intervals, 5 second reload


.5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 5 +
.5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 5 +
.5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 5 +
.5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 5 +
.5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 5 +
.5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 5 +
.5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5

 

IAR fires 200 rounds in 83 seconds
ready to fire the next round

If we assume that reloads instead are 10 seconds, then that becomes 108 seconds

If we assume that cyclic is 900 RPM instead (with 10 second reload) that becomes 202 or 203 rounds in 93.5 seconds

 

SAW

0.5 second burst, 1 second intervals, 60 second reload
.5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + 
.5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + 
.5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 +
.5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + 
.5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + 
.5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 +
.5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 60

SAW fires 200 rounds (plus reload) in 119 seconds

If we assume that reloads are instead 40 seconds, then that becomes 99 seconds

If we assume that cyclic is 900 RPM instead (with 40 second reload) that becomes 200 rounds in 73 seconds
Keep in mind that the M249 has 2-3x the bullet spread, and that the M249 can go down (spontaneous 1-minute+ reload) at any time if the SAW gunner has to break a belt or clear a jam.

This means that in the very best circumstances for the M249 and the very worst for the IAR, the M249 puts out an average 26% more fire than the M27. In the best circumstances for the IAR and worst for the M249, the IAR beats it by 43%. This is before you consider the fact that the faster the M249 is firing (either because cyclic is higher or bursts are longer), the more often it has to reload - a task which takes a long time and essentially forces the entire fireteam to stop advancing. Reliability is also worth a mention, as a common jam with the M27 is much, much easier and quicker to clear than with an M249. M249s are also much more likely than magazine-fed weapons to experience malfunctions that take them out of the fight entirely. Further, you can arm everyone with IARs, which is impractical with SAWs, and adding M249s to a squad already armed with IARs only increases sustained firepower by 6% assuming the best case for the SAW all the time. This increase comes with a significant mobility/assaulting ability decrease, according to the "slowest buffalo" principle.

 

The problem with the USMC's plan is switching to the M27 itself. While it made a great proof-of-concept in 2011, today it's quite dated. Something like URG-I is the way forward.

 

I agree that a drum is needed moving forward, and I think that raises some questions in and of itself.

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3 hours ago, Sturgeon said:

 

A squad with all-IARs can put out more fire at any given point in time than a squad with 3RB+SAW. Even if half the guns are down with reloads at staggered intervals, the amount of fire being put downrange is still higher.

 

Here's some interesting math for you:

 

Assuming an even RPM of 600 rounds/min (for hypothetical's sake, both the M27 and M249 are closer to 900 cyclic)

IAR

0.5 second burst, 1 second intervals, 5 second reload


.5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 5 +
.5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 5 +
.5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 5 +
.5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 5 +
.5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 5 +
.5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 5 +
.5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5

 

IAR fires 200 rounds in 83 seconds
ready to fire the next round

If we assume that reloads instead are 10 seconds, then that becomes 108 seconds

If we assume that cyclic is 900 RPM instead (with 10 second reload) that becomes 202 or 203 rounds in 93.5 seconds

 

SAW

0.5 second burst, 1 second intervals, 60 second reload
.5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + 
.5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + 
.5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 +
.5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + 
.5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + 
.5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 +
.5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 1 + .5 + 60

SAW fires 200 rounds (plus reload) in 119 seconds

If we assume that reloads are instead 40 seconds, then that becomes 99 seconds

If we assume that cyclic is 900 RPM instead (with 40 second reload) that becomes 200 rounds in 73 seconds
Keep in mind that the M249 has 2-3x the bullet spread, and that the M249 can go down (spontaneous 1-minute+ reload) at any time if the SAW gunner has to break a belt or clear a jam.

This means that in the very best circumstances for the M249 and the very worst for the IAR, the M249 puts out an average 26% more fire than the M27. In the best circumstances for the IAR and worst for the M249, the IAR beats it by 43%. This is before you consider the fact that the faster the M249 is firing (either because cyclic is higher or bursts are longer), the more often it has to reload - a task which takes a long time and essentially forces the entire fireteam to stop advancing. Reliability is also worth a mention, as a common jam with the M27 is much, much easier and quicker to clear than with an M249. M249s are also much more likely than magazine-fed weapons to experience malfunctions that take them out of the fight entirely. Further, you can arm everyone with IARs, which is impractical with SAWs, and adding M249s to a squad already armed with IARs only increases sustained firepower by 6% assuming the best case for the SAW all the time. This increase comes with a significant mobility/assaulting ability decrease, according to the "slowest buffalo" principle.

 

The problem with the USMC's plan is switching to the M27 itself. While it made a great proof-of-concept in 2011, today it's quite dated. Something like URG-I is the way forward.

 

I agree that a drum is needed moving forward, and I think that raises some questions in and of itself.

 

Hmm, Ill probably have to go over this later when I can focus on the numbers better but just looking at the field manuals. 

 

For the M249 from FM 3-21.8    https://www.marines.mil/Portals/59/Publications/FM 3-21.8 The Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad_7.pdf

Rates of Fire:

Sustained................................................. 50 rounds a minute in 6- to 9-round bursts, with 4 to 5 seconds between bursts (barrel change every 10 minutes).

Rapid ....................................................... 100 rounds per minute, fired in 6- to 9-round bursts, 2 to 3 seconds between bursts (barrel change every 2 minutes).

Cyclic ....................................................... 850 rounds per minute, continuous burst, barrel changed every minute.

 

I latest figures I saw for the M27:

Rates of Fire

(a) Cyclic Rate of Fire. 700-900 rpm.

(b) Sustained Rate of Fire. 36 rpm at 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

Im going to assume 2-3 rnd bursts here since the HK416's recoil impulse is worse than the M4's making anything more than 3 rnds a waste of ammo. I

 

I just thought of this now but using 2-3 rnd bursts basically means a non-existent beaten zone. Meaning you cant really do any of the types of fires from the machine gun theory talked about in the FM. 

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24 minutes ago, Vicious_CB said:

 

Hmm, Ill probably have to go over this later when I can focus on the numbers better but just looking at the field manuals. 

 

For the M249 from FM 3-21.8    https://www.marines.mil/Portals/59/Publications/FM 3-21.8 The Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad_7.pdf

Rates of Fire:

Sustained................................................. 50 rounds a minute in 6- to 9-round bursts, with 4 to 5 seconds between bursts (barrel change every 10 minutes).

Rapid ....................................................... 100 rounds per minute, fired in 6- to 9-round bursts, 2 to 3 seconds between bursts (barrel change every 2 minutes).

Cyclic ....................................................... 850 rounds per minute, continuous burst, barrel changed every minute.

 

I latest figures I saw for the M27:

Rates of Fire

(a) Cyclic Rate of Fire. 700-900 rpm.

(b) Sustained Rate of Fire. 36 rpm at 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

Im going to assume 2-3 rnd bursts here since the HK416's recoil impulse is worse than the M4's making anything more than 3 rnds a waste of ammo. I

 

I just thought of this now but using 2-3 rnd bursts basically means a non-existent beaten zone. Meaning you cant really do any of the types of fires from the machine gun theory talked about in the FM. 

 

Leave machine gun theory to the machine guns, which have AGs and ammo bearers, not the automatic rifles.

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7 minutes ago, Sturgeon said:

 

Leave machine gun theory to the machine guns, not the automatic rifles.

 

I get that an IAR is not a MG but those IARs will eventually be asked to do MG things because you cannot expect to have support from your weapons platoon all the time. And when that happens it will be an Oh Shit! moment for their new all M27 concept. Think Wanat bad. 

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7 hours ago, Vicious_CB said:

 

I get that an IAR is not a MG but those IARs will eventually be asked to do MG things because you cannot expect to have support from your weapons platoon all the time. And when that happens it will be an Oh Shit! moment for their new all M27 concept. Think Wanat bad. 

"When one needs a machinegun, one needs it very badly.".

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8 hours ago, Vicious_CB said:

 

I get that an IAR is not a MG but those IARs will eventually be asked to do MG things because you cannot expect to have support from your weapons platoon all the time. And when that happens it will be an Oh Shit! moment for their new all M27 concept. Think Wanat bad. 

 

Tripods aren't carried at the squad level anyway, so I don't see much of a difference here.

 

Speaking of Wanat, that battle is a very good example of M249s and M240s going tits up - which is why the M4s were pushed so hard in the first place. And we won Wanat, overwhelmingly. 

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And for the record, I do think it's a good idea to give unit commanders the authority to add MG teams to the squads if they feel it's necessary. But make it an actual MG, with an actual tripod, and at least one supporting team member (AG).

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18 hours ago, Sturgeon said:

 

Tripods aren't carried at the squad level anyway, so I don't see much of a difference here.

 

Speaking of Wanat, that battle is a very good example of M249s and M240s going tits up - which is why the M4s were pushed so hard in the first place. And we won Wanat, overwhelmingly. 

 

the m240 ran out of ammo so i wouldnt exactly call it going tits up. 

and the m249 is supposed to be able to change barrels so you can actually keep cyclic up longer but for some reason it wasnt done here.

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On 6/10/2018 at 9:24 AM, Sturgeon said:

 

Tripods aren't carried at the squad level anyway, so I don't see much of a difference here.

 

Speaking of Wanat, that battle is a very good example of M249s and M240s going tits up - which is why the M4s were pushed so hard in the first place. And we won Wanat, overwhelmingly. 

 

That excellent weaponsman article was more about the M4 failures its seemed. But I have no doubt that M249s and M240s went down if they were going cyclic without barrel changes. I was talking about Wanat in the context of almost being overrun ie. every gun going cyclic trying to do final protective fires. And how much worse an M27 would have done considering its poor thermal management compared to a belt-fed or even an M4 due to where it dumps its gas(Although the M27 gets around that by adding pure barrel mass)Just comparing sustained 50 rpm for the SAW vs 36 rpm for the M27, I think put in the same situation at Wanat the M27 would have fared far worse in trying to keep up both sustained and cyclic rates of fires. 

 

I dont advocate running a tripod with a SAW since you can still keep a pretty tight 6-9 rnd beaten zone with just a bipod while still being able do the types of fires that require an effective beaten zone. 

 

On 6/10/2018 at 2:24 PM, Sturgeon said:

And for the record, I do think it's a good idea to give unit commanders the authority to add MG teams to the squads if they feel it's necessary. But make it an actual MG, with an actual tripod, and at least one supporting team member (AG).

 

Agreed, Im all about that arms room concept, like going all M27s for fighting in an urban environment.

 

Yep, belt feds should be crew served at least in the general purpose forces because unless you are a highly trained SOF member who actually gets the range time to be proficient at running the SAW alone, you are not getting the full capability of that weapon. For example all SAW gunners in the Rangers have to qualify WITH the SAW in the shoot house to the same standards as the guys with M4s. How feasible is that with a regular Joe or Marine? Probably not.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Vicious_CB said:

That excellent weaponsman article was more about the M4 failures its seemed. But I have no doubt that M249s and M240s went down if they were going cyclic without barrel changes. I was talking about Wanat in the context of almost being overrun ie. every gun going cyclic trying to do final protective fires. And how much worse an M27 would have done considering its poor thermal management compared to a belt-fed or even an M4 due to where it dumps its gas(Although the M27 gets around that by adding pure barrel mass)Just comparing sustained 50 rpm for the SAW vs 36 rpm for the M27, I think put in the same situation at Wanat the M27 would have fared far worse in trying to keep up both sustained and cyclic rates of fires. 

 

I dont advocate running a tripod with a SAW since you can still keep a pretty tight 6-9 rnd beaten zone with just a bipod while still being able do the types of fires that require an effective beaten zone. 

 

Sounds like the guys at Wanat didn't really have time for barrel changes, so how does having a changeable barrel help you in that scenario?

I can see the argument for giving an IAR open/closed bolt capability, though.

When I talk about IARs, usually I am not talking about the M27. When I mean M27, I usually say M27. IAR is a more general term.

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4 minutes ago, Sturgeon said:

 

Sounds like the guys at Wanat didn't really have time for barrel changes, so how does having a changeable barrel help you in that scenario?

I can see the argument for giving an IAR open/closed bolt capability, though.

When I talk about IARs, usually I am not talking about the M27. When I mean M27, I usually say M27. IAR is a more general term.

 

No, it doesnt because you dont need one. The M249 is capable of essentially linking together all the ammo you can realistically carry (750-850 rounds) and firing it in one continuous burst. Thats far greater than any IAR is capable of even if you can get 200 round drums to work. 

 

Some MRBS/MRBF numbers http://weaponsman.com/?p=9194

 

That LWRC IAR entry had one but didnt get adopted. Considering the USMC cared more about getting a M16 replacement than getting an actual IAR it was doomed to fail. They could have just cheaped it out by taking existing M16A4s, slapping HBARs and heavy duty gas tubes, giving them full auto selectors and you would have gotten them capability. Probably alot more controllable than the HK too.  

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32 minutes ago, Vicious_CB said:

No, it doesnt because you dont need one. The M249 is capable of essentially linking together all the ammo you can realistically carry (750-850 rounds) and firing it in one continuous burst. Thats far greater than any IAR is capable of even if you can get 200 round drums to work. 

 

Some MRBS/MRBF numbers http://weaponsman.com/?p=9194

 

If we're talking company level outpost defense, then nobody has any objection to 5.56mm belt feds. That's why they got relegated to company commander's discretion in the USMC. If we're not talking outpost defense, then what ganja are you smoking?

 

I swear to god, every conversation I have with SAW apologists goes the same way.

 

34 minutes ago, Vicious_CB said:

That LWRC IAR entry had one but didnt get adopted. Considering the USMC cared more about getting a M16 replacement than getting an actual IAR it was doomed to fail. They could have just cheaped it out by taking existing M16A4s, slapping HBARs and heavy duty gas tubes, giving them full auto selectors and you would have gotten them capability. Probably alot more controllable than the HK too.  

 

"The USMC" really implies that there is only one person involved. In reality, the IAR program was built on a coalition of interests - some of whom wanted an M16 replacement, but most of whom were serious about the IAR as such.

 

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7 minutes ago, Sturgeon said:

 

If we're talking company level outpost defense, then nobody has any objection to 5.56mm belt feds. That's why they got relegated to company commander's discretion in the USMC. If we're not talking outpost defense, then what ganja are you smoking?

 

I swear to god, every conversation I have with SAW apologists goes the same way.

 

 

"The USMC" really implies that there is only one person involved. In reality, the IAR program was built on a coalition of interests - some of whom wanted an M16 replacement, but most of whom were serious about the IAR as such.

 

 

Not sure about apologist but Im definitely pro belt-fed at the squad and fire team level. Since this was mainly a suppression thread under what context do you want to see all IARs? At what level do you put a SAW?

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Just now, Vicious_CB said:

 

Not sure about apologist but Im definitely pro belt-fed at the squad and fire team level. Since this was mainly a suppression thread under what context do you want to see all IARs? At what level do you put a SAW?

 

I'd like to see a 13-man squad with 3 fireteams, all armed with some sort of lightweight IAR (like URG-I+LPVO, etc) one of which is a scout/support fireteam that can swap out for a belt fed and larger DMR if need be. 5.56mm belt feds would be company level assets used primarily for defensive actions.

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6 minutes ago, Sturgeon said:

 

I'd like to see a 13-man squad with 3 fireteams, all armed with some sort of lightweight IAR (like URG-I+LPVO, etc) one of which is a scout/support fireteam that can swap out for a belt fed and larger DMR if need be. 5.56mm belt feds would be company level assets used primarily for defensive actions.

 

In this scenario, is there any meaningful difference between a 12/13-man USMC squad with one SAW-equipped fire team and a 9-man Army squad with an attached 3-man MG team? The only one I can think of is that the USMC platoon commander knows that that the de facto MG teams are “his” and not toys that the company commander is passing around.

 

IMHO, instituting a more flexible platoon organization and arms room concept would address these deficiencies way better than merely throwing gear at the squads. If I were SecDef Mattis for a day, I'd change the TO&Es such that the infantry platoons, Army and USMC, include at least a couple 5-man MG teams and at least a couple 5-man CG/Mortar teams. I like 5-man building blocks because they make it easier to go all Generation Kill and have each squad roll around the AO in a couple of humvees or together in a single 10 + 2 APC. My notional 60-man infantry platoon that might look something like this:
 

(3) x 10-man Infantry squads including:

  • (1) x squad leader
  • (1) x assistant squad leader
  • (4) x riflemen
  • (2) x grenadiers
  • (2) x assault gunners

 

(2) x 5-man MG Teams including:

  • (1) x team leader
  • (1) x machine gunner
  • (1) x assistant gunner
  • (1) x ammo bearer
  • (1) x marksman/spotter

 

(2) x 5-man CG/Mortar Teams including:

  • (1) x team leader
  • (1) x CG/Mortar gunner
  • (1) x assistant gunner
  • (1) x ammo bearer
  • (1) x marksman/spotter

 

(1) x 10-man Platoon Command Section

  • (1) x platoon commander
  • (1) x platoon sergeant
  • (2) x RTOs
  • (2) x drone operators
  • (2) x medics
  • (2) x runners/drivers

I’d give the platoon commanders and/or squad leaders a good bit of flexibility to decide how they want to organize their squads at the fireteam level. In close terrain (e.g., urban environments), they could organize each squad into two balanced 5-man fireteams with the squad leader leading one fireteam and the assistant leading the other fireteam (team leaders might be designated on an ad-hoc basis or based on experience). In more open terrain (e.g., Afghanistan), they could organize into a 5-man fireteam including both assault gunners and another 5-man fireteam including both grenadiers. The “arms room” concept would be desirable because the assault gunners and grenadiers could be equipped differently in each scenario. In the balanced fireteam scenario, each assault gunner could carry something like a Knight’s LAMG or M27 IAR and each grenadier could carry M320s on their hips. In open terrain, the assault gunners could draw a GPMG from the armory, with one assault gunner acting as the assistant gunner, and the grenadiers could similarly draw a CG or 60mm mortar from the armory. I figure the GPMG would probably be used as an LMG on a bipod and the 60mm as a “commando" mortar.

 

On top of flexibility at the fireteam level, the platoon commander would also know that he can count on having at least a couple of MG teams and a couple CG teams to play with. Like the grenadiers, I’d give the CG teams the option of drawing CGs or 60mm mortars from the armory but employing the 60s off the tripods were possible. I'd put a couple of gunnery sergeants at company level to oversee training of the MG and CG/Mortar teams, essentially acting as respective MG and CG/Mortar platoon leaders on training evolutions.

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7 hours ago, Gripen287 said:

 

The “arms room” concept would be desirable because the assault gunners and grenadiers could be equipped differently in each scenario. In the balanced fireteam scenario, each assault gunner could carry something like a Knight’s LAMG or M27 IAR and each grenadier could carry M320s on their hips. In open terrain, the assault gunners could draw a GPMG from the armory, with one assault gunner acting as the assistant gunner, and the grenadiers could similarly draw a CG or 60mm mortar from the armory. I figure the GPMG would probably be used as an LMG on a bipod and the 60mm as a “commando" mortar.

 

On top of flexibility at the fireteam level, the platoon commander would also know that he can count on having at least a couple of MG teams and a couple CG teams to play with. Like the grenadiers, I’d give the CG teams the option of drawing CGs or 60mm mortars from the armory but employing the 60s off the tripods were possible.

 

The arms room concept is terrible if you start looking at more than just the platoon level.

 

worst case scenario your platoon has 

6 cg, 6 60mm mortars, 3gpmg, 3 m27 and 2 60mm mortars with tripods + associated ammo to carry extra. at that point you might aswell simply add a few m4s and you have yourself a new platoon and simply equip all platoons for a specific role.

 

additionaly all your grenadiers now have to be trained on 3 special weapons rather than 1 and your mortar teams on 2 rather than one. so youre increasing your training requirements quite a bit for no real benefit.

 

and lastly it messes with logistics. there is no way for logistics to predict what ammo you will use because it could be lots of 7.62 and 5.56, some 40mm and cg rounds or it could be loads of 5.56 and 60mm mortar rounds.

 

 

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On 6/10/2018 at 2:37 AM, Vicious_CB said:

 

I get that an IAR is not a MG but those IARs will eventually be asked to do MG things because you cannot expect to have support from your weapons platoon all the time. And when that happens it will be an Oh Shit! moment for their new all M27 concept. Think Wanat bad. 

 

At Wanat, most of the MGs, including all of the M249s, stopped working. Which was why M4s were being used as SAWs, because the SAWs had died already (because they're beat up weapons). 

 

The manner in which the SAW is used, it will not be able to duplicate an M240 anyway. On its best day, its not as reliable. SAW gunners don't carry enough ammo, rarely a spare barrel. They rarely have the support of an AG to assist them. If a squad's fight comes down to the SAW and no other platoon or company enablers, the M249 will not rescue them, the GWOT proved that pretty well. 

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1 hour ago, holoween said:

 

The arms room concept is terrible if you start looking at more than just the platoon level.

 

worst case scenario your platoon has 

6 cg, 6 60mm mortars, 3gpmg, 3 m27 and 2 60mm mortars with tripods + associated ammo to carry extra. at that point you might aswell simply add a few m4s and you have yourself a new platoon and simply equip all platoons for a specific role.

 

additionaly all your grenadiers now have to be trained on 3 special weapons rather than 1 and your mortar teams on 2 rather than one. so youre increasing your training requirements quite a bit for no real benefit.

 

and lastly it messes with logistics. there is no way for logistics to predict what ammo you will use because it could be lots of 7.62 and 5.56, some 40mm and cg rounds or it could be loads of 5.56 and 60mm mortar rounds.

 

 

 

As it is, the Grenadier, an 11B or 0311, will have numerous weapons they must be trained on. 

 

And what do you mean about logistics? Are you referring to an MCO type conflict against Russia where Class V gets pushed down? Every other type of conflict, like the GWOT, it gets pulled. You need specific ammo, request it and it gets delivered (in theory). And all that stuff, 5.56 ball, 5.56 linked, 7.62 linked, 7.62 match (for DMR and snipers), 40mm GL, 40mm HVGL, .50 cal, 60mm mortar, 84mm Carl Gustaf rounds, etc., all of that was already successfully delivered before to middle-of-nowhere COPs in A-Stan, in the sort of deployments that truly tested the logistical system. Going to IAR actually means streamlining it more, getting rid of 5.56 Linked, which frees up space for other stuff (like Carl Gustaf rounds). 

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26 minutes ago, holoween said:

worst case scenario your platoon has 

6 cg, 6 60mm mortars, 3gpmg, 3 m27 and 2 60mm mortars with tripods + associated ammo to carry extra. at that point you might aswell simply add a few m4s and you have yourself a new platoon and simply equip all platoons for a specific role.

 

I think you're overstating the difficulty of storing a handful of extra weapons systems in a COP or gun truck and understating the difficulty of "simply" adding the manpower (and the logistics that come with it) of a weapons platoon to the company. Moreover, a weapons platoon might train together, and they might move together, but they're hardly ever going to fight together because every squad leader is going to be clamoring for support from a GPMG, CG, or mortar team. 

 

To keep the company at around 200 men, my company would have three 60-men platoons and a HQ but no weapons platoon. The weapons platoon is essentially distributed amongst the maneuver platoons. I think that has a few advantages. First, company HQ doesn't need to constantly make decisions as to which requests for weapons platoon assets get approved and which don't. Second, each platoon leader has an all-arms, all-effects combat team that should let him steamroll enemy squads, even if they're dug in. Third, I think my the maneuver squads would have a chance to develop better teamwork with the GPMG team and CG/mortar team that'll be supporting them. 

 

1 hour ago, holoween said:

additionaly all your grenadiers now have to be trained on 3 special weapons rather than 1 and your mortar teams on 2 rather than one. so youre increasing your training requirements quite a bit for no real benefit.

 

It's not as if they must be trained on the additional weapons systems. It's also possible that one grenadier might be certified on the CG and the other might be certified on the commando mortar (likewise wrt the gunner and assistant gunner on the CG/Mortar team). I view giving the Joes/Grunts a couple more goals to work towards as being an advantage. 

 

1 hour ago, holoween said:

and lastly it messes with logistics. there is no way for logistics to predict what ammo you will use because it could be lots of 7.62 and 5.56, some 40mm and cg rounds or it could be loads of 5.56 and 60mm mortar rounds.

 

This stuff is small potatoes compared to requirements for artillery shells, fuel, and water. It might be a challenge to provide all of hit, but hardly insurmountable. 

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11 minutes ago, Duncan said:

 

all of that was already successfully delivered before to middle-of-nowhere COPs in A-Stan, in the sort of deployments that truly tested the logistical system. 

 

11 minutes ago, Gripen287 said:

 

I think you're overstating the difficulty of storing a handful of extra weapons systems in a COP or gun truck

 

if the basis of evaluation is on how it would perform in afghanistan then yea i dont see a big problem.

however id say that taking afghanistan as a basis for how to organise anything is a bad idea.

 

18 minutes ago, Gripen287 said:

understating the difficulty of "simply" adding the manpower (and the logistics that come with it) of a weapons platoon to the company. Moreover, a weapons platoon might train together, and they might move together, but they're hardly ever going to fight together because every squad leader is going to be clamoring for support from a GPMG, CG, or mortar team. 

 

To keep the company at around 200 men, my company would have three 60-men platoons and a HQ but no weapons platoon. The weapons platoon is essentially distributed amongst the maneuver platoons. I think that has a few advantages.

First, company HQ doesn't need to constantly make decisions as to which requests for weapons platoon assets get approved and which don't.

Second, each platoon leader has an all-arms, all-effects combat team that should let him steamroll enemy squads, even if they're dug in.

Third, I think my the maneuver squads would have a chance to develop better teamwork with the GPMG team and CG/mortar team that'll be supporting them. 

 

nothing you say is directly wrong yet id argue your idea is bad. however to do that properly i need some time so for now ill quickly answer the points you brought up and then get to writing up what i think is wrong with your idea.

 

if every sl wants a gpmg just give them one? the us has the only military that doesnt have gpmg organic to its squads.

a cg can be substituted with other weapons on the squad level but i do ike the idea of a dedicated cg team for every platoon

blowing up platoons to such a size has a tendency to overload the pl 

taking away company level assets wastes the cc 

simply doing company level training would have similar effects.

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1 hour ago, holoween said:

if the basis of evaluation is on how it would perform in afghanistan then yea i dont see a big problem.

however id say that taking afghanistan as a basis for how to organise anything is a bad idea.

 

Supplying tiny company, sometimes company (-) COPs in the middle of nowhere Afghanistan with helicopter air lift on a weekly basis is about the very worst supply situation the US military could find itself in. If it can do it there, keep the myriad of company level weaponry supplied with ammo, then it can do it in other conditions. 

 

If you want to state otherwise, provide an example of what you're talking about. MCO against Russia in the Baltics? Fighting Chinese in Taiwan? What and where? 

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2 hours ago, Gripen287 said:

 

I think you're overstating the difficulty of storing a handful of extra weapons systems in a COP or gun truck and understating the difficulty of "simply" adding the manpower (and the logistics that come with it) of a weapons platoon to the company. Moreover, a weapons platoon might train together, and they might move together, but they're hardly ever going to fight together because every squad leader is going to be clamoring for support from a GPMG, CG, or mortar team. 

 

To keep the company at around 200 men, my company would have three 60-men platoons and a HQ but no weapons platoon. The weapons platoon is essentially distributed amongst the maneuver platoons. I think that has a few advantages. First, company HQ doesn't need to constantly make decisions as to which requests for weapons platoon assets get approved and which don't. Second, each platoon leader has an all-arms, all-effects combat team that should let him steamroll enemy squads, even if they're dug in. Third, I think my the maneuver squads would have a chance to develop better teamwork with the GPMG team and CG/mortar team that'll be supporting them. 

 

 

It's not as if they must be trained on the additional weapons systems. It's also possible that one grenadier might be certified on the CG and the other might be certified on the commando mortar (likewise wrt the gunner and assistant gunner on the CG/Mortar team). I view giving the Joes/Grunts a couple more goals to work towards as being an advantage. 

 

 

This stuff is small potatoes compared to requirements for artillery shells, fuel, and water. It might be a challenge to provide all of hit, but hardly insurmountable. 

 

 60 man platoons? Great if they are assault platoons expected to storm Okinawa and expecting to get whittled down quickly through attrition. But think about it this way. A platoon leader, a 22 year old whose only command training comes from schools, will be in command, his only help being one senior NCO. Commanding half a modern company is going to be outside his ability. Besides that, it would completely change the dynamics of any operation. Rarely does any mission require a minimum of 60 men to accomplish it. Often times its a struggle to find work for even the full platoon. Many of recent wars, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, are squad leader wars. Think of the headache of arranging a platoon patrol with vehicles when 60 men need to be moved. Logistics would be harder. 

 

With modern force multipliers, things need to get smaller, not bigger. In WW1 and even WW2, platoons were generally thought to be the smallest realistic tactical unit capable of operating independently. Later, squads started doing it. Now we have fire teams separated from one another in squads by sometimes hundreds of meters. We can get away with this because we're not fighting near peer, not taking massive casualties, but more so because we're decentralizing command and control to lower levels, because we have better comms and navigational aids, and because weapons are deadlier now than ever before, more accurate, more responsive, so greater force multipliers. 

 

Like the new USMC squad. I doubt they wanted to go to three 3 man teams, but they didn't have a choice if they wanted to add drone operators and an assistant squad leader to the squad without going to Congress to try to beg for more manpower. Three small teams is still more maneuver than two big ones, it still allows the SL to spread out his squad and still maintain control through NCO team leaders. And with a 12 man squad, they can still change it up and go with two 5 man fire teams plus SL plus drone operator, and two five man teams is what most studies since WW2 have recommended anyway. Add in the increased lethality from new weapons, new tactics, and new tech (comms for everyone, UAV in every squad), they can lose a little in manpower while still remaining capable. 

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