Friday, September 21, 2018

Army converting two Stryker Brigade Combat Teams .... what does this tell us about future fights?

via Business Insider.
The Pentagon is making a military-wide shift to prepare for a bigger, more intense fight against a peer or near-peer competitor, and the latest part of that shift means big changes to the mission and makeup of two Army units.

The Army announced on Thursday that the 1st Brigade Combat Team of 1st Armored Division, based at Fort Bliss in Texas, will change from Stryker Brigade Combat Team equipped with Stryker armored vehicles to an Armored Brigade Combat Team outfitted with tanks in spring 2019.

The service also said that the 2nd Brigade Combat Team of the 4th Armored Division, based at Fort Carson in Colorado, will change from an infantry brigade to a Stryker brigade in spring 2020, adding about 500 personnel and hundreds of the eight-wheeled armored vehicles.
Story here. 

These moves by the Army should spark a bit of debate inside the Marine Corps.

What has the latest hotness been?  Fighting in large urban areas.  The city fight is suppose to be the future right?

Well according to doctrine that is an infantry playground.  Armor plays a part but they're supporting elements.

So the idea that the Army would toss an infantry brigade and make them Stryker units is a head scratcher.  Especially since I thought the 4th Armored Division had a Pacific mission set (could easily be wrong...going by memory and it's early morning here).

1st Armored grabbing back an Armored Brigade Combat Team makes nothing but sense.  They've historically been the big sticks of the big Army.  I get that but note that "rapid deployment" seems to be taking a backseat of getting there as fast as we can and then WINNING once we hit ground.

What is the thinking?

It goes back to the makeup of future forces.  The Army seems to be headed back to a "full mechanization" model.  Regular Infantry seems to be a dying entity in their formations.

Not positive but the Army will only have 3 pure infantry divisions left.  The 82nd, 101st and 10th Mountain (not sure about these guys).  Everyone else will be mechanized.

Is that the future?

Does the Army see a future where conventional infantry must be mechanized in order to survive unless its specialized, meaning either Airborne, Air Assault or Mountain troops? 

If so then how does Marine Corps infantry fit into the future?  Should we consider it specialized?  An amalgamation of Amphibious/Mech/Heliborne/Shock Troops (old term Shock Troops, haven't heard Marines described that way in years but it was once commonplace)?

I would love to know the Army's a professional setting...not to some reporter that doesn't know the questions to ask.

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