Thursday, October 13, 2011

Time to reorganize the US Army again. Bring back Light Infantry!

The US Army reorganized in order to follow the Transformation banner back in the early 2000's.  It was the wrong move.  They decimated there light infantry formations and started to reform around the Stryker IFV.

With the US reoreinting toward the Pacific, its time for the US Army to get its head out of the sand, watch to see where the wind is blowing and realize that for a myriad of missions --- LIGHT INFANTRY MAKES SENSE!

Couple Light Fighters with Combat Aviation Brigades, USMC MEU's and Special Operations and you have a force that can deploy anywhere...especially if they partner with USAF lift in the same way that the USMC teams with the Navy.

The Army got itself into a situation where it is either a medium or heavy force.  That is not the answer.  Light Infantry should form the backbone of the force with Heavy forming the remainder.  The Stryker formations are a concept who's time has come and gone.

Light Fighters own the night!


  1. Hmm, I have to disagree with you there. Light infantry is good at getting there quickly, but inevitably needs to be heavily plussed up to be anything more than an immobile speed bump.

    Stryker units are still very valuable, infantry-centric formations, IMHO. They are far more mobile once in theater than light infantry. They also possess greater firepower, protection and communications, while being a much lighter logistics burden than heavy units.

    It's all about having the right clubs in your bag. You can play an entire round with a driver and a pitching wedge, but you won't score very well.

    If anything, we need to re-conceive an infantry unit that's lighter than the Stryker brigade, but heavier and more self-sustainable than light infantry.

  2. isnt 10th mountain a light infantry unit? albeit specialized but is that kind of the unit you are thinking of?

  3. I think light infantry is great...quickly moved and can pack a punch, but I think the stryker brigades are a positive move with a bright future. Especially when you combine all the components together the mobile gun being my favorite.

    In fact...the brief given to 2nd assault amphibian bn a few days ago talks about the future fielding of the marine personal carrier (with the stryker being the possible choice used) by the AA bns. The failure of the efv is going to really hurt the AA bns.

  4. Strykers as the next Marine Personnel Carrier? Doubtful especially since its not amphibious...i'd love to know who gave that brief to 2nd AABn cause they must be smoking crack. everything i've read points to the Patria offering being in the lead but that whole house of cards was built on the back of the EFV being super expensive and a need to have alternate lift. with the Marines going to the affordable Amphibious combat vehicle then i see the MPC concept going away.

  5. The 2nd aabn co did. I was there, we talked about upgrades for the AAVP7, the already being fielded C7 upgrade, and the MPC. While I am leaving the community after 7 years to go to Anglico, I have a lot of time invested in the gator yat-yasing to hear about the possible changes comming its way

  6. Hey forget the AAV discussion!


    pretty high speed. hope you're not married, you won't be did you swing that? you should be heading toward a B-billet...right? how'd you weasel out of recruiting or the drill field:))

  7. I am married, but that's the life she knew she was getting. I lat moved over to fo. I already had my jump wings and my ranger tab thanks to a ett tour I did with the army. As for a b billet, lots of marines have made careers without b billets, I would rather stay with the fleet and keep my mos cred high, I have lots of outside experices in there with the ett deployment. I have my hist list toghter just in case and it has both of those at the bottom

  8. misread your bad...oh and congrats again..

  9. I was assigned to the 3rd ranger bn, as part of my ia billet, as such they sent us to airborne, air assault and we did all our workups with them. Was a great time, even though the mountains sucked hard corps compare to other deployments

  10. jonfraizer04,

    The MGS is certainly a welcome capability, but the implementation leaves a lot to be desired, from what I've read. Cramped interior, lack of direct top-vision for the crew, only 18 rounds in the vehicle...

    It's too bad the Cockerill CT-CV 105mm turret post-dates the MGS requirement. It looks like a better solution, at least spec-wise.

    I started toying around with a light infantry formation with full vehicular mobility using the HMMWV troop carrier variant. Anyone want to take a guess how many troops an M1152A1 or Recap could usefully carry, while retaining good offroad mobility, for an extended period? I've seen as many as 10 in pics but they looked pretty cramped and the suspension was sagging. 6-8 seems more reasonable.

    My thought is, start with the standard Stryker platoon dismounted element of 46 (HQ - 5, 3 x Squads - 27, Weap - 7) and add 6 drivers. Split them between 6 HMMWV troop carriers with 8 per vehicle (2 up front and 6 in back).

    Assume a GVW for a HMMWV Recap of 14,000 lbs (maybe a bit low). 6 x 14,000 = 84,000lbs.

    A Stryker platoon, OTOH, has 4 x ICVs. 4 x 36,250lbs = 145,000 lbs.

    So the HMMWV-based unit weighs about 58% of the Stryker unit. A single C-17 could carry two full HMMWV-based platoons vs less than one Stryker platoon (three Strykers). Recaps also would be CH-47 transportable at GVW and perhaps even UH-60 sling-able over short distances, if lightly loaded.

    Using Recaps might allow you to have the option of adding perimeter and underbody armor, but clearly it would be less well protected than a Stryker unit. For firepower you could put three swing-arm mounts in back with one M240 that stays with the vehicle, and have SAW or MG gunners mount their M249/M240s on the other two.

  11. Correction: A Stryker platoon dismount element is 39 soldiers with 7 vehicle crew.

    The HMMWV dismount element would be the same, with 6 drivers for a total of 45.

  12. B.smitty,
    Here's my problem with using humvees instead of a apc/ifv setup. Having been in both during conflicts, the firepower, protection, shock power that comes with a armored fighting vehicle such as the lav, stryker, aav highly outweights the problem with air mobility that comes with it.

    There are always pro's and cons to a vehicle set up. And while the myers stryker isn't the most spacious the shock power that thing can give a lightweight unit is Awsome. It's all about how you use something. I would be the first person to tell you how crappy a aav is in both open and urban combat. But you use that thing in unison with a tank team and mounted infantry you can bring pain.

  13. Damn autocorrect.on my phone, myers means mgs...

  14. jonfraizer04,

    I agree completely, humvees are very sub-optimal fighting vehicles.

    Unfortunately, right now our options for a rapidly air deployment are either some light infantry variant (including airborne), or SBCTs. Stryker units are heavy enough now that they aren't very air deployable. And light infantry units typically lack mobility.

    For the most part, what I propose is already done with infantry units in theater anyway. I just added 6 drivers to allow the most of the platoon to dismount.

    I would take a page out of the SOF manual and equip the humvees with swing arm door mounts and provide the unit enough M249s or M240s to put a pair on each humvee, in addition to a .50 cal or Mk 19 up top.

  15. Rapid air deployment is just hard to meet...almost makes you wish they could just pull a page out of starship troopers (the book..not that crappy movie)and give us some suits!

  16. It is hard to meet. But humvees aren't that expensive. So adding enough to ensure organic mobility for light infantry wouldn't cost that much.

    You're right, Mobile Infantry is the ultimate expression of strategic deployability. One of my favorite SF books of all time. Too bad the movie butchered it. Co-ed showers be damned.


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