Light Dragoons Battle Group?

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by RustyH, Jul 27, 2009.

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  1. During Operation Panthers Claw one of the main units appears to have been a battle group based on the Light Dragoons.

    My question is why would you base a battlegroup that was headed into the close country of the green zone on an armoured reece regiment? Is it just a sign of a shortage of infantry or was there a reason?
     
  2. maybe they used there recce skills dismounted in ops etc then led the troops in with sp from cvrt?
     
  3. Was, thinking the same do we now have Sqn's of Cav working dismounted.
     
  4. The Light Dragoons BG included two infantry coys from 2 MERCIAN and later also another one from 2 RIFLES. Two coys of ANA were operating with them (with British OMLTs from 2 MERCIAN BG). As far as I know there is only one sabre squadron of CVRT in Afghanistan. At least one troop of the Light Dragoons is being employed in a dismounted role as a fire support group for one of the 2 MERCIAN coys.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/onthefrontline/5859653/Operation-Panthers-Claw-how-British-troops-are-hunting-the-Taliban-to-the-end.html

    http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/DefenceNews/MilitaryOperations/InPicturesJointUsAfghanAndBritishOperationDisruptsTaliban.htm
     
  5. The "nameplate" on a battle group is not necessarily an indicator of how it is made up, though with most of those based on infantry battalions (with the exception of the OMLT BG) it seems to be more accurate than the one based on a formation recce regt. The Queen's Dragoon Guards preceded the Light Dragoons in Afghanistan and this article explains how they were organised:

    http://www.bfgnet.de/Home20/Herrick/1qdg.html

    The QDG Battle Group (BG) was located in the Garmsir district of Helmand Province and had around 800 soldiers operating within it, of which 214 were QDG. Although not the largest BG in terms of man power it covered the largest area in southern Helmand. The district, known as the Snakes Head due to the way it appears when viewing it on a map, is a large area of green zone that is crisscrossed with large irrigation ditches and canals and runs southwards for 65 kilometres.

    The QDG BG was a collection of many different cap badges and contains all three services, however the majority of the manpower was provided by the following; HQ, A & C Squadron (Sqn) QDG, B Company (Coy), 1st Battalion The Rifles (1 RIFLES), D Coy 2nd Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles (2 RGR) and 26 Sqn 32 Engineer Regiment. Also attached to the BG was C Coy 1 RIFLES who mentored the Afghan National Army. The QDG and BG HQ were set up in Forward Operating Base (FOB) DELHI which sits on the edge of the Helmand River and Garmsir district centre.

    1st Troop (Tp) C Sqn provided the Mastiff element to the BG. These strong and robust vehicles provided excellent protection to its crew and passengers. The troop were out on the ground almost daily, offering protection to convoys by leading them through routes into the snakes head on which the Taliban try to lay improvised explosive devices (IEDs). They do this to try and disrupt our movement and undermine the ever developing security in the area. However, it didn’t take the crews long to gain a sixth sense in finding IEDs and more often than not they were found in plenty of time and made safe by IED disposal experts. 1st Tp were also used in the offensive role, any deliberate action taken against the Taliban by the BG always involves them and their Mastiffs. Each vehicle is well armed and provides excellent fire support to the dismounted soldiers.

    A Sqn QDG were based in FOB DWYER which is a short drive into the desert from FOB DELHI. They provide reconnaissance for the BG and close support to dismounted troops in the green zone. Half of the Sqn were employed in their usual armoured vehicles of Scimitars and Spartans and the other half were mounted on the new Jackal vehicle. During operations in the green zone the Scimitars and Spartans sat outside in the desert looking into and reporting on likely Taliban positions, using their excellent sighting systems. Having the ability to stand off outside of the green zone also enabled them to use the 30mm cannon to support any friendly force action and assist in getting them out of trouble if needed.

    And further down the page:

    C Squadron deployed on Op HERRICK 9 at the beginning of September and worked predominantly in the Musa Qaleh area, in southern Afghanistan as part of Battle Group North West under the command of 2nd Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles. Musa Qaleh is about the size of Sennelager in Germany or Ammanford in Wales. Meanwhile 1st Troop C Squadron had been based with Battle Group South under the Command of the QDG. The Sennelager cavalrymen deployed to Afghanistan as part of 3 Commando Brigade.

    C Squadron deployed as a Mastiff Group, providing recce, observation posts, flank protection, intimate support for infantry ground troops to assist with their assaults as well as being involved in resupplies.
     
  6. Andy_S

    Andy_S LE Book Reviewer

    A battlegroup (a German concept from WWII: kampgruppe) is a flexible mix of units; its specific makeup is decided by its tactical tasking. By definition, then, a Dragoons battlegroup would include other units, eg infantry. Presumably, its makeup is specific to the geography it deploys in - ie the green zone - as wall as the tactical situation.
     
  7. the_boy_syrup

    the_boy_syrup LE Book Reviewer

    IIRC There was a 3 RHA Battle Group on Telic
     
  8. Sure, I understand that, but you might expect (as the initial posters did) the majority of troops in a BG to come from the unit it is named after; my posts were just to illustrate that this is not necessarily so.
     
  9. The battle group is named after the HQ element not the largest contibuting unit
     
  10. Indeed.
     
  11. The first British battle group was probably Blade Force in the Tunisian campaign
     
  12. What about the Jock Columns used in the Western Desert? Typically consisted of a battery of 25-pdrs, a coy of motorised infantry, a troop or sqn of armoured cars, and a troop of anti-tank guns, plus sometimes engineers and light ack-ack. Worked quite well as a recce or raiding force but was not too successful in serious offensive or defensive operations. Didn't tend to exist for too long either, being put together and disbanded very quickly, so maybe Blade Force is a better example.

    EDIT:

    Though Blade Force did grow in size to become about a brigade in strength:

    http://www.ibiblio.net/hyperwar//USA/USA-MTO-NWA/USA-MTO-NWA-15.html#cn12

    Blade Force was commanded by Col. R. A. Hull and consisted of: 17/21 Lancers Regiment (one modern unit formed by the merger of two former cavalry units); B Squadron, 1st Derbyshire Yeomanry; C Battery, 12th Royal Horse Artillery (mechanized); A Battery, 72d Antitank Regiment; G Troop, 51st Light Antiaircraft Regiment; one troop, 5th Field Squadron, Royal Engineers; B Company, 10th Rifle Brigade. On 18 November, additional units placed under command were: the 5th Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment; the 457th Light Battery, Royal Artillery; the 1st Parachute Battalion; and the American 175th Field Artillery Battalion (twelve 25-pounder guns). On 24 November, the 1st Battalion, U.S. 1st Armored Regiment, after coming east from Oran, joined Blade Force at Bédja