2006, in my RMAS company at least, the importance of sending REPLENDEMs ahead of time was emphasised.A fellow O/Cdt was filling a Platoon Sergeant slot during his TA Commisioning. Whatever happened he was not particularly required for a 10 minute period and it occurred to him to send a request for an ammo resupply. The Q bod turned up and grumpily handed over ammo and the paused and said "Well done". Can't think of any other occasion that I was at or heard of when ammo distribution wan't at the behest of DS after a debrief. Regulars milage may vary.
2006, in my RMAS company at least, the importance of sending REPLENDEMs ahead of time was emphasised.
Not just limited to Ammo & Water, as we discovered on the final ex - when one enterprising OCdt included a couple of crates of fizzy drink and jaffa cakes on there - upon the handing over of cash, the snacks duly appeared.
Although arctic warfare requires enormous amounts of kit to be carried, it is still the bare minimum.
There are no ‘just in case’ additions to scales, it simply isn’t humanly possible, besides nobody is expected to fight carrying the kit, which is ditched at the earliest opportunity.
Belt kit, BFO knife and ‘pocket contents’ is the norm for short term manoeuvre.
Which is an interesting quandary. Do aimed deliberate single shots, resulting in mortally wounded enemy, have a more debilitating effect than "point and shoot" for a thousand rounds, rinse and repeat. There's no doubt that suppressive fire is effective, but is it more effective than taking people out with better marksmanship? If not, can you afford for individuals to carry less ammo, a trade off for a higher kill rate? I'm not sure it's a practical exercise to be able to accureately assess that, but there must be examples where units low on ammo have held back or dominated a better equipped enemy through better shooting. Should we leave suppressive fire to the platforms and systems that have no problem carrying and expending huge amounts of ammo and improve marksmanship (and weapon sights) for individual soldiers?
I have one final question, and I realise it's going to create a hell of an argument.
Why is everyone walking everywhere?
Now I fully get walking to show a human face and interact with the locals, but can you not achieve that by dismounting in settlements, are you glued to your seats for the entirety of the patrol? Or if you absolutely must have some one covering the ground (better situational awareness I guess?), one section deployed, the other in the back for a rest?
A re you not famliar with the concept of boots on the ground? Sweeping in vehicles does little. You need a constant presence for area denial.
Afghanistan when they were trialing the British recce drones (too noisy) and subsequently with newer US versions in Iraq.May I ask where that happened?
How does a bar mine kill a tank then?
The FS was the best knife for all those times it was held between the teeth and then used to dispatch enemy sentries…Why a big knife? Two is better. A big, light one as a shield, and a short, light one, for attack.
The Fairbairn-Sykes was, in my opinion, the best knife ever made.
There was a study into the weight of infantry kit after the Crimean war (the 1850s crimean war), and it keep coming back. See this report: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/258883795_The_History_of_the_Soldier's_LoadSorry, I missed the PAYNE thread which seems to have degenerated into a bit of b1tch slapping about four years ago. I think however the general subject matter is worth keeping alive..
Payne is not, by a long chalk, the first study into the matter.. My boss during GW1 had just come back from the States where he had been working on a US project on "Lightening the load on the Infantry" under Norman Swartzkopf.. the conclusion being that you couldn’t.
I don't think this works, and we are seeing the signs of a number of underlying issues which go to the core of the problem, and that really needs to be addressed.
I think, like many problems, the real cause is the destructive interference between a number of underlying issues, in particular a poorly managed promotion system and a systemic inability to handle risk. This is a potentially fatal combination in a military context.
One is as old as the hills and is to do with the exercise of power within a chain of command. There is a clear tendency for over controlling behaviour to be tolerated in command hierarchies, particularly where individuals lacking confidence are promoted into positions beyond their level of competence. This is a well-known phenomenon, often referred to as the "Peter Principle" which states that individuals in hierarchies rise to their level of incompetence. This is exacerbated in long established organisations where the promotion system becomes normalised and gets “gamed”. What happens is that people get promoted because of their ability to play the game, rather than possess any of the actually required attributes, many of which are removed from the selection criteria as they are hard to fake. I suppose the current “fake it ‘till you make it” concept is analogous. The results you see from poorly managed promotion regimes are easily spotted; over emphasis on “generalist” traits with an inability to work with specialists, martinet and micromanagement tendencies and a generally weak and supine approach to decision making.
Modern communication methods have allowed a level of micromanagement that is almost impossible to sustain in a military context. Whilst tight information management is essential to allow you to run high efficiency tuned systems, these require extremely predictable and stable contexts in which to work. A battlefield is neither predictable nor stable and the prosecution of successful warfare is not simply based on efficiency. The key to winning wars is sustainability, which is not the same thing at all!
The outcome of micromanagement is the imposition of generalised solutions to specific problems and the removal of authority from layers of command. This cannot work. If you want your military to achieve miracles, then you need to accept the level of uncertainty this requires and grant the authority to take the required risk. This brings us back to issues of liability and autonomy and the assumption of trust.
The test of whether an individual can be held liable for their actions must always be taken in context. The whole presumption that it is possible to correctly assess risk independently of context is ridiculous, yet this seems to be the legal position. There must be some presumption of honest intent and benefit of the doubt when assessing the failure of an incident, particularly when this occurs in a recognisably hostile or hazardous environment.
We really do need to both be much more careful to select leaders (at all levels!) with the required abilities, character and judgement and then give them sufficient protection to allow them to manage the risks that face them in the best way they can.
I am, as I have said elsewhere about the limitations of remote sensors.
However, I fail to see how a patrol of knackered, pissed-off and bored types tramping down a road after a long patrol is effective?
Keep in mind my day job has me walking for 4-5 hours in a single go, with a heavy equipment vest, so I'm well aware of the mental drain you can suffer with the loss of efficiency and awareness. This is in part caused by boredom but is increased when hot (And the extremes I experience are less than the ones experienced by soldiers on patrol in somewhere like AFG. Who suffer higher temperatures and heavier loads).
Also, I pointed out in that post that if you must patrol on foot, why not have half (or a third, what ever you want) of your forces resting in the transport, while the remainder walks, then switch over at certain points.
Moving at 30mph rather than 3 enables one to cover far more ground (hence mobile multiples in NI) and affords the dismounts protection and load carrying while they move to where they're least expected / wanted by the enemy.A re you not famliar with the concept of boots on the ground? Sweeping in vehicles does little. You need a constant presence for area denial.
Moving at 30mph rather than 3 enables one to cover far more ground (hence mobile multiples in NI) and affords the dismounts protection and load carrying while they move to where they're least expected / wanted by the enemy.
Plodding around in body armour waiting to be shot at doesn't work.
Indeed.The numbers were crunched for NI in the late 80's. The type of patrol most likely to be attacked was troops mounted in vehicles, next was foot patrols with no supporting vehicles and third was combined patrols (some callsigns on foot, others in vehicles working together). The thing least likely to be attacked was any of the above that had top cover from a heli.
That survey always seemed very urban centric to us. Combined patrols worked very well when I was in West Belfast, not so much in Tyrone, Fermanagh or Armagh. There were huge chunks of rural NI where we had completely stopped using green vehicles by the mid 80's because of the losses we were taking in them. Those areas were foot patrols only because being tied to roads made us easy targets.