Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Sunday, March 26, 2006


This is coolbert:

Evidently there has already BEEN a degree of ferment in the area of TO&E for what are called intermediate brigade combat teams [IBCT]. Independent units that have an organic combat capability and are readily deployable.

Using the M113 APC as the base vehicle for such an IBCT is not new
either. This has and is being gone over, right now, in Iraq. Has created a lot of interest in some circles.

It would be suggested that this is a blast from the past and is not to be taken
seriously, using the M113.

The way to go for the "experts" is the Stryker vehicle, currently the base vehicle for the Army's current concept of things.

Anyhow, here is from the StrategyPage web site a forum entry on the subject of the TO&E of a M113 equipped IBCT.

I will contrast at least my combat arms ideas of such a brigade with this TO&E as proposed.

Here it is:

"I'm gonna go ahead and post a watered down verison of my ideas
for the TO&E of a M-113 equipped IBCT.

Each company contains:

3 platoons @ 4 M-113 infanty carriers and about 40 dismounts.

[this would be a rifle platoon of four squads, ten men ["dismounts"] per squad. My proposal was a platoon would consist of three rifle squads of ten "dismounts"]

1 M-113 carrying 7 man sniper team, commanded by company XO.

[I had not included a sniper team my TO&E, but then my TO&E was a work in progress.]

1 Fire Support Platoon with:

Mortar Section-2 M125s with 81mm mortar.

Mobile Gun Platoon- 4 M113s with 90mm cannons in turrents( similar
vehicle used by South Korea).

[my fire support platoon, called a weapons platoon, would have the same number of M113, but task tailored, i.e., .50 caliber MG, 40 mm cannon, 81 mm mortar, ATGM.]

Also each company includes:

1 command and control vehicle.

one Fire Support Vehicle to call in air and artillery fire,

one M113 based ambulance.

and a few trucks and Hummvees for logistics and utility roles.

[Trucks and Hummvees were not a consideration for me. I wanted to go totally with all M113 APC and not wheeled vehicles.]

3 companies form 1 battalion.

[I wanted four companies per battalion. So that an "infantry square" concept can be employed by the brigade.]

Each battalion also features:

a repair section with 4-6 repair and recovery vehicles.

additional EW and C2 vehicles.

[EW=electronic warfare, C2=communications and command.]

a larger medical section with 4 ambulances.

and a mortar platoon with 4 M125s mounting 120mm mortars.

[the 120 mm mortar would be found in the weapons company of each battalion in my TO&E.]

Also, trucks, HUMMVEES, and other vehicles as needed.

[again, the desire is to have an all tracked brigade of APC's, no supporting wheeled vehicles.]

3 such battalions are the core of the IBCT.

[my TO&E was to have four battalions of combat arms, again, so as to use the "infantry square" concept.]

Also attached are:

[attachment here is not clear. Is this for each battalion or at the brigade level?]

1 Tank Destroyer Company with:

3 platoons with 3 M901 ITVs (improved TOW Vehicles).

[it is not clear if this means three platoons with three ITV's per platoon. [nine total.]]

and one FSV.

[In my TO&E, ITV's would be found in the battalion weapons company or the brigade fire support battalion.]

1 Cavalry Squadron with:

[a squadron is a battalion size unit. My cavalry unit was a troops strength unit, i.e., company sized.]

3 Recon Troops with:

[a recon troop is a company sized unit.]

13 M113s .

1 Heavy Company Task Force with:

2-tank platoons with 4 Abrams per.

1-mech infantry platoon with 4 Bradleys.

1-headquaters element with 1 Abrams and 1 Bradley.

1 Surveillance troop with:

UAV's and UGV's, trucks, HUMMVEES, and a few M113s to carry equipment.

[UAV=unattended aerial vehicle, UGV=unattended ground vehicle].

[my cavalry troop would be strictly APC with attachments for fire support from brigade as necessary. NO gadgets and geegaws for the Ghurkha cavalry troop would be contemplated. Ghurkhas rely upon the human factor, NOT the technological factor!!]]

2 engineer companies with:

M113s, bulldozers, dump trucks, earhmovers, bridgelaying equipment, Hummvees, and trucks.

[Engineers I have not given consideration to.]

MP company with:

23 Uparmored Hummvees and 10 Armored Security Vehicles.

[MP's I have not given consideration to.]

1 Artillery battalion with:

3 howitzer batteries with:

[a battery is a company sized unit.]

8 M198 155mm howitzers (to be replaced with M777 light weight howitzers when they enter service).

[This is eight tubes per battery?? It is not clear?]

[these are towed howitzers. NOT the Paladin self-propelled variety I would prefer for my IBCT!!]

1 rocket battery with 8 HIMARS truck mounted Artillery Rocket Launchers.

[I had made no consideration for HIMARS as it it truck mounted.]

Also includes M113s to carry supplies, C2 vehicles, trucks and Hummers, Firefinder radar section, and other support units.

Air defense company with:

[an air defense company is more correctly called a battery.]

16 Avenger air defense vehicles.

[Avenger is the Stinger mounted on a Hummer.]

10 2-man, man portable Stinger teams [MANPADS].

[it is not mentioned how the AD battery is configured, i.e., how many platoons of how many squads!]

1 Logistics battalion with:

trucks, Hummvees, and M113 cargo carriers.

Also, Civil Affairs, administrative, command and other attached units.

[I have not given consideration to logistics, a support battalion, civil affairs and such. NOT YET!!]

This force is considerable easier to deploy than a heavy brigade and even a Stryker Brigade given the M113's greater transportability.

Plus the force is much more survivable and lethal than MVL [??] or Dingo equipped forces.

Also all but the 90mm gun carrier version are in/have been in US service, similar gun carrier designs have served with other nations though. This simplifies logistics and training.

All M113s have been retrofitted to M113A3 standard including:

* "external fuel tanks, more powerful engine, improved tracks and suspension, spall liners, and provisons for appligue armor."

[improved M113's of the type currently being fielded in Iraq right now. Including slat and applique armor and a souped engine which will be required for the increased weight commensurate with such additional equipment.]

* "Also the vehicles have receieved much of the sensor and computing technology of the Strykers and 'digital' heavy forces already in service."

[to include a CLAWS type RWCS?]

Note: The ICVs are armed with one man powered turrents fitted with a .50 cal MG and a Mk 109 4o mm grenade launcher. This combines firepower with lower logistical burden.

The Cavalry Vehicles are fitted with 25mm cannons in low profile turrents, upgraded sensors and communications, and 4 scouts. They also function as direct fire support vehicles with their chain guns."

[my cavalry APC's would be armed with only the .50 caliber, additional 7.62 mm MG, and forty mm cannon.]



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