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The Suppressive Effect of Small Arms

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6 minutes ago, Duncan said:

 

 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.

 

Fair enough, but a USMC platoon with the 13-man squads is already at 43 men. My 60-man platoon gains 17 men because of a slightly larger platoon HQ and two 5-man CG teams. Is it better to expect a 12/13-man squad to lug around a CG in addition to everything else or expect a platoon commander to employ a couple of dedicate CG/mortar teams? I arrived at the "super-platoon" solution in order to incorporate a couple of CGs without overloading the squads. And if, for example, it make sense to delete the two drone operators or one drone operator and one medic from the platoon HQ and add an assistant platoon commander to give that 22 year-old a bit of experience in the assistant role, , and maybe add a platoon staff sergeant, I'd have no objection. 

 

24 minutes ago, Duncan said:

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. 

 

Precisely, so is the 60-man platoon I laid out above a super-platoon or miniaturized company?

 

28 minutes ago, Duncan said:

 

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35 minutes ago, Gripen287 said:

 

Fair enough, but a USMC platoon with the 13-man squads is already at 43 men. My 60-man platoon gains 17 men because of a slightly larger platoon HQ and two 5-man CG teams. Is it better to expect a 12/13-man squad to lug around a CG in addition to everything else or expect a platoon commander to employ a couple of dedicate CG/mortar teams? I arrived at the "super-platoon" solution in order to incorporate a couple of CGs without overloading the squads. And if, for example, it make sense to delete the two drone operators or one drone operator and one medic from the platoon HQ and add an assistant platoon commander to give that 22 year-old a bit of experience in the assistant role, , and maybe add a platoon staff sergeant, I'd have no objection. 

 

 

Precisely, so is the 60-man platoon I laid out above a super-platoon or miniaturized company?

 

 

The platoon often doesn't need a dedicated CG and mortar teams, if it needs them they can grab them for the mission (or leave them back), or they can get teams attached. You're creating more billets that for many operations infantry conducts just aren't necessary. If the idea is to not overload the squads, you're just overloading the platoons even worse. and overloading companies, they will become so bloated even company commanders will have trouble maneuvering them. 

 

I really can't think of any mission I ever went on in 11 years in the infantry where 60 men could accomplish it better than what our smaller platoon could. Just the chaos of moving that monstrosity in vehicles of whichever kind, would have been a nightmare. So I ask, what mission is the 60 man infantry platoon supposed to excel at? Is there anything from the GWOT or even before that you can use as an example? Larger platoons were historically done with assault companies for specific regiments, in specific campaigns. They were very task organized to a specific mission, with very varied teams and squads, and much more varied weaponry, that were designed for very specific tasks and conditions, often being to maneuver on highly defended defensive positions while taking heavy losses. If we were planning something like the Iraqis just did, spending months clearing Mosul, task organizing infantry platoons differently, and making them much larger, could work out very well. Other times, it would be horrible. The standard MTOE is supposed to be a jack of all trades type organization. 

 

My biggest gripe is the modern Army and Marine Corps unwillingness to task organize as the situation dictates, as if should they deviate from standard MTOE for any reason, and operate outside basic doctrine, its considered blasphemy. 

 

 

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40 minutes ago, Duncan said:

My biggest gripe is the modern Army and Marine Corps unwillingness to task organize as the situation dictates, as if should they deviate from standard MTOE for any reason, and operate outside basic doctrine, its considered blasphemy.

 

As a platoon commander, would rather have to ask company command for those attachments or ask company HQ to look after your CGs and GPMGs while you're rifle squads are on some sort of ninja mission? I'm not saying that the platoon would be 60 guys forever and always. 

 

CG rounds weight 6+ pounds each. Your'e going to need several bodies to lug a useful number around. While we're at it, why not distribute the load of a GPMG team amongst 5 guys instead of 3 and give them a DMR? 

 

52 minutes ago, Duncan said:

So I ask, what mission is the 60 man infantry platoon supposed to excel at? Is there anything from the GWOT or even before that you can use as an example?

 

Assaulting a small hamlet (e.g., 2-4 structures) after maneuvering on foot through restrictive terrain?  Those 60 guys could give you two GPMGs on tripods in a support by fire position, two 15-man assault squads with 2 fireteams and a CG each, (i.e., two 15-man squads) and a 10-man squad in reserve. Battalion 81/120s or Brigade 105/155s drop smoke during the initial assault. The CGs accompanying the assault squad take out any fortified positions that could not be observed during initial reconnaissance or lay smoke if the respective assault squad needs to make a hasty retreat.

 

IDK, I'm just an interested amateur. My interest is mostly motivated by figuring out how we might best incorporate the CGs that seem like a much better solution than whatever the current flavor of interim XYZ is that DOD wants to foist on the "light" infantry to achieve "overmatch." Additionally, I'm trying to think of ways to keep combat loads under 60 pounds or so. 

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2 hours ago, Gripen287 said:

 

As a platoon commander, would rather have to ask company command for those attachments or ask company HQ to look after your CGs and GPMGs while you're rifle squads are on some sort of ninja mission? I'm not saying that the platoon would be 60 guys forever and always. 

 

CG rounds weight 6+ pounds each. Your'e going to need several bodies to lug a useful number around. While we're at it, why not distribute the load of a GPMG team amongst 5 guys instead of 3 and give them a DMR? 

 

 

Assaulting a small hamlet (e.g., 2-4 structures) after maneuvering on foot through restrictive terrain?  Those 60 guys could give you two GPMGs on tripods in a support by fire position, two 15-man assault squads with 2 fireteams and a CG each, (i.e., two 15-man squads) and a 10-man squad in reserve. Battalion 81/120s or Brigade 105/155s drop smoke during the initial assault. The CGs accompanying the assault squad take out any fortified positions that could not be observed during initial reconnaissance or lay smoke if the respective assault squad needs to make a hasty retreat.

 

IDK, I'm just an interested amateur. My interest is mostly motivated by figuring out how we might best incorporate the CGs that seem like a much better solution than whatever the current flavor of interim XYZ is that DOD wants to foist on the "light" infantry to achieve "overmatch." Additionally, I'm trying to think of ways to keep combat loads under 60 pounds or so. 

 

It doesn't even take a normal platoon to maneuver on 2-4 structures, doesn't need super platoon. Why is the platoon even assaulting something that can be easily destroyed by CAS or precision tube or rocket arty? If there are 

 

No, as a platoon leader I'd not want to have to ask for everything. But at the same time I don't want more assets than I need, let alone control. Its overkill. Very few missions need every platoon to have large numbers of CG and MG assets. When they do, almost never does every platoon need to be individually plus'd up, that's not how operations work, where often one platoon is the main effort, others are supporting efforts. Task allocating weapons at the company level, like how the Marine Corps does with a Weapons Platoon, or how the Army does with Mortars and snipers, allowing the company commander to dictate where they go based on his needs, is far cheaper and easier to control than trying to build those same assets into every platoon.

 

And at the end of the day, every single extra infantryman has to come from somewhere. Meaning either Congress approves a larger force structure, or else those bodies are removed from some place else they are currently. That was the problem the Marine Corps had. They didn't want to shrink their fire teams, but it was either go to three man, or else lose a fire team and thus the SL loses a maneuver element, or don't get the drone operator (which they want and know will be a major force multiplier). So for your 60 man platoon, where do they come from?  

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9 hours 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.

 

 

 

Arms room concept would be supported at Company or Battalion level, not Platoon level.

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