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Whats in your platoon?

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posted on Jul, 29 2005 @ 08:45 AM
This is a thread for people to describe what they feel would be the ideal basic tactical unit, aka the platoon. You can describe the number, the equipment, however, you dont have to use actual weapon models. You can also describe their basic functions, such as movement, defense, offense, and other missions.

Please remember that this isnt a "Exorobot with missle launchers for my squad" type of thread. If you dont think you can describe a working model for a platoon, dont respond. At the same time, you can be creative, and change the well known rules if you feel it would be more effective, such as having fewer men, or less heavy weapons, etc.

The unit can be leaning toward one of these traits, or try to be a balance of each.

Mobility, firepower, command and control, logistics, stealth, cost effectiveness, or any other traits you deem valuable.

posted on Jul, 29 2005 @ 08:56 AM
What particular kind of platoon are you talking about?

posted on Jul, 29 2005 @ 09:18 AM
A standard squad of men that would not be broken down further and would represent the ideal mix of capabilities.

posted on Jul, 29 2005 @ 09:45 AM
Right then, this is going to get good..............

I would have a kind of support group, an engineering one that woulds go ahead of the infantry and take down/lay mines, set up designated kasevac and recce points. In other words, model the battlefield in my favour.

In the terms of actual troops, any number really, whatever job they have to carry out determines the number of men.

If they are setting up a designated recce point, about three men dropped in by chute/chopper, one sets up, the other two lay down some cover if need be. You get the message, the bigger the job, more men. Simple.

Now for the weapons they would carry, I did consider the good old L85 but it does have its problems. Can be unreliable at the worst of times as well. My second thought was an MP5, compact and easy to use, but only has 9mm ammo and not the best range in the world. So that counts both the L85 and MP5 out.

My other choice (no matter how much I dont like the French, I love this weapon) the FAMAS G2. On its own, its a good weapon, nice and light, the range isnt too good (about 450m) but whack a 40mm M203 on and it can be handy. It also comes in many versions, sniper for example.

I know Im droaning now, but I liked the sound of the XM-29, has a 20m launcher on the top and can also fire 5.56mm rounds. Is a bit bulky, and of course isnt ready yet, so thats out.

I finally settled for the possible replacement to the L85, the H&K G36. Its light and can fire in single, burst and full auto so making it much better than the L85, it can also be fitted with a 40mm grenade launcher, the M2O3 I presume, but I am not too sure. If all the squad has one though they wont be completely battle ready. One of the team can be equipped with a Minimi for a better cover than the G36.

Thats my platoon, I know I concentrated on their weapons more, but I am fixing my surfboard fins on at the moment and it takes ages so I couldnt be bothered to go out of ATS to find any extra info on anything else. Just using my noggin.

posted on Jul, 29 2005 @ 09:54 AM
Its prefectly fine to simply say "a fast firing MG" instead of trying to find the gun of choice. This topic is more about doctrine that equipment. Squad tactics, composition in terms of duties, and methods of attack and defend, reflecting their strenghts in the various traits.

You did metion airdropped points, so you sound like rapid advancement, since you didnt mention any heavy weapons, they would be very quick. Probably ideal for light urban combat too.

posted on Jul, 29 2005 @ 10:00 AM
Just the basics....

1- M60 gunner

1- M203 Grenadier

4- People with M16's on fully auto

rest on M-16 semi-auto

this is your basic platoon formation.

[edit on 29-7-2005 by nathraq]

posted on Jul, 29 2005 @ 10:04 AM
Well dont get creative or anything. Once again, not what is the established squad, but what you think would be ideal and their tactics, and if you rally feel the current one is best, you dont have a single suggestion to improve it? And not equipment but tactics.

posted on Jul, 29 2005 @ 10:33 AM
the platoons tactics is interwoven with the company's tactics, which in turn is interwoven with the battallion, brigade or division, and so on.

posted on Jul, 29 2005 @ 11:09 AM
I actually dont see the point in everyone having a fully automatic weapon, if they get jumped its good, but using it all the time is plain dumb. Accuracy decreases and everything, one accurate shot at a time is much better.

Back to the squad talk, my platoon is a fast in and out group, they go in, set up the battlefield, stay in the recce points and radio back to the gunners who can in turn obliterate the enemy with minimum risk of casulties.

I did say that it would be an engineering group, its kinda right but it can also adapt to the current situation and do anything a normal squaddie can and more. They are the SAS really, just a bit less sneaky.

I done a bit of reading up on transport/armour and have come to the conclusion that my platoon will have a small unit of attack helicopters, probably Apaches just in case my team run into any serious armour/bunkers/anything big and scary that a block of Semtex cant sort out.

For aerial support, nothing on the offensive front but either a C-130J (I thik thats the latest model?) or a Nimrod. The plus of having a flying 'HQ' as it would be is that it can move around the battlefield in real time and can even lay in some heav ordanance if need be. Geo-terrain anylists can map out the battlefield and support ground forces and everything would be hunky dory.

The usual engineering vehicals will be on hand as well, with some Challenger Twos to lend a hand when the situation turns ugly.

I know it sounds more like a small army, but it is actually quite a small force really, only about 50 men. Of course there will be more in the aircraft but they dont really count.

Ill do some tactics of my platoon later.

posted on Jul, 29 2005 @ 11:25 AM
This is the kind of thing I was getting at! A new twist on tactics, and we can reflect upon its strenghts and weaknesses later.
Im getting bored waiting for posts, so i'll describe my "ideal squad."

Fire support, and alot of it.

Mostly in terms of single or double heavy machine guns (.50 cal) per 12 man group. Heavy and not mobile by any means, they give excellent support for advancing troops, who can be armed with automatics or not. They also carry a mortar at all times.
Focus on automatic weapons and long range support. Infantry simply support the MG's while they move and thus the MG is the center of the squad. This gives them superiority on the battlefield by being able to saturate the area with small arms and MG fire, either to advance, delay enemy action, or engage a rushing force.
Thus, they would always attempt to leapfrog MGs to cover each other. Slow advancing, but secure. Defending a position would be very effective, since this forces the enemy to engage our position, which is guarded by the non-mobile, but deadly heavy weapons.
Close range combat shouldnt even be required due to the range in which the MG can subdue enemy forces, but the rest of the squad has light weapons for ambushes and covering each MG.

posted on Jul, 29 2005 @ 01:00 PM
I though we were only talking about a platoon size force?

there is no way every platoon, standing alone, will have a .50 gunner. Every company may have one, and it is designated to a certain platoon within the company.

True, it is not feasible for every soldier, in a platoon, to have their weapons set on automatic, as this wastes ammo, and hampers accuracy.

Now to tactics:

Starting with a regular company of say, 4 platoons, we might have (2) Rifle Platoons(with 1 M-60each), (1), Mortarman Platoon, and (1) headquarters platoon.

Scenario: trying to push an enemy assault back, while gaining unheld territory. The enemy is company sized, with small arms, and no artillery or air support.

Gameplay: Both rifle teams set out to engage the enemy. The mortarman platoon, since the enemy is too close to engage with shells, performs the duty of a 3rd rifle platoon, and holds the center position. Headquarters platoon is behind the fighting, holding communications with Battallion, and treating the wounded.

Platoon1 advances front and left, to try to flank the enemy. Platoon2 advances front and right, to achieve the same goal. Platoon3(mortarmen) holds the center, laying cover fire and trying to draw the attention from the other 2 platoons.

Now, the goal of any rifle platoon is to move the heavier guns forward as fast as possible. As the M-60's advance and get closer, this tends to push the enemy back. As the enemy get pushed back, the two flanking platoons meet continue to push from the sides, as platoon3 advances forward.

( this is my little drawing, heh)

And that is your basic, and I mean basic, tactics of an Infantry assault. I did not include artillery, air support, mechanized units, tanks,etc.

What also decides the tactics is if the platoon is offensive, or in a defensive position. Are they setting up an ambush, or waiting for an assault?

posted on Jul, 29 2005 @ 01:27 PM
Why cant a platoon have a heavy machine gun, especially when thats basically the platoon, and the other 10 men are only supporting and protecting it. In fact, this means they dont need long range weapons but smaller sub machine guns to deal with ambushes and for spraying bullets.

You sound like a very conservative method of rifle fire and maneuver...hmmm
I take it you place alot of value on soldier marksmanship too?

posted on Jul, 29 2005 @ 02:23 PM
BRM (basic rifle marksmanship) is the basis and requirement for every soldier.

Infantry companies are set up differently, according to their needs. What I presented is very basic.

A platoon can't have 10 machine gunners in it. This is illogical. Wastes too much ammo, and the firing is much more erratic.

One of the basic purposes of an offensive is to push the enemy back. But this is not true in all cases.

To really get down to it, the scenario is more like air bombardment to soften up the target and cause confusiuon and fear, follwed by an artillery barrage, while the tank and mech units push forward, followed by your basic infantry, MP's for prisoners, and support units.


posted on Jul, 29 2005 @ 05:17 PM
I find the Norwegian infantry platoon to be a very versatile unit that has decent firepower.

It is still trained to mainly face a possible invasion from Russia, even though officially this is no longer the case. Hence the bulk of the standing army (national service) is still concentrated in the north.

The ordinary rifleman has the 7,62mm AG3 (H&K G3A3 made under license), some of them with a 40mm grenade launcher mounted. As you know the 7,62mm NATO round is a very powerful round that has good penetration and also a good range. The downside is that each soldier carries fewer rounds due to the weight (100 rounds is the standard load-out).
The G3A3 is an utterly reliable weapon that can withstand a great deal of punishment.

To be honest I would prefer to go to war with a 7,62mm weapon rather than a 5,56mm weapon.

The machinegun squad is equipped with the 7,62mm MG3 to provide support and covering fire. A number of soldiers would carry additional ammunition for the MGs. The MG3 is still a very effective weapon.

The anti-tank squad is now equipped with the Eryx anti-tank missile system, before that they were equipped with the 84mm M2 Carl-Gustav recoilless cannon. Although the Carl-Gustav is an old system the new rounds for it were still very effective. Each cannon had a crew of two; the second bloke carried an additional four rounds for the weapon. On top of that members of the rifle squads will carry additional rounds.
The Eryx is a more effective weapon better suited to the modern battlefield. It is also lighter than the Carl-Gustav.

All infantry units in Norway are motorised, equipped with the BV-206 tracked vehicle. It was armed with a 12,7mm “Browning” M2HB heavy-machinegun (on a soft mount) that can be dismounted if the situation requires it. The weapon uses a very effective multiple-purpose round combining armour-piercing and incendery functions. The multi-purpose round is useful against both lightly armed vehicles, personnel, and other equipment.

On top of this the rifle platoon is also equipped with the M72A3 LAW anti-tank rocket propelled grenade. It is still effective against lightly armed APCs and soft skinned vehicles.

As for tactics; the infantry here is trained mainly to operate in mountainous terrain and in arctic conditions. I was not in a rifle platoon myself so I am not that familiar with the tactics used in assault and defence (I was a member of a pioneer platoon).

As for stealth; the Norwegian army battalion often plans and initiates offensive operations in total radio silence. Often companies will use field telephones instead of radios to keep in contact with each other.

The combat fatigues supposedly have a low infra-red signature, and the camouflage pattern itself is very effective in the Norwegian landscape. In winter the soldiers will obviously use white camouflage. Hiding in snow is very easy and it is very hard to spot a person.

The basic number of soldiers in a rifle platoon is around 30 members, and is broken down into a platoon staff element, 3 rifle squads (each with an MG) and an anti-tank squad.

On the whole I find the Norwegian rifle platoon to be effective and to have quite good equipment. It can deal with a wide range of ground threats effectively. The equipment is not as modern as that of the US or British armies, but it is perfect for the requirements of the army here.

posted on Jul, 29 2005 @ 08:36 PM
The 8-10 man Squad is the basic infantry unit. With heavy weapons further parted out by section (4-6) and attached to squads or held as a base of fire reserve by the platoon commander.

It is not at all unreasonable for a platoon of some 30-50 men to have multiple heavy weapons sections with Light or General Purpose MGs in them, in addition to the SAWs of a normal infantry squad.

While not definitive, the following is pretty good at giving a general understanding of unit breakdowns-

In terms of fire vs. maneuver, the big question is whether you're operating on a NATO model with all maintenance and logistics organic to the unit structure. Or a WARPAC one in which an external as much as (H&M) parent organization is responsible for generation of transport etc.

To which I would add that you are looking at various requirements for different operating conditions. An occupational force needs to be heavy on manpower so that you can rotate personnel on and off high intensity missions and even out to 'safe territory' (Mmmmmm, Thailand...;-) for true regeneration. In the field R&R just doesn't happen where 'the field' is anyplace that an alien looking face could be a friend or foe based on how many friends you have with you or what time of day it is.

OTOH, in a highly maneuver-biased force, it doesn't pay to have a large manpower percentage of the TOE (Table of Organization and Equipment) at all. Because inevitably you have to pay for additional vehicles in the form of additional automotive specialties to support them and additional CS/CSS (Combat Support/Service Support) to keep them supplied.

Since I despise the notion of throwing myself in a snake pit and daring the locals to 'be my fwiend' as we are now attempting in New Babylon; I will state that my preference is for an all vehicle force that can 'either/or' deploy with a hybrid scout like the Shadow/RSTV or a good solid track like the 113A4/A5.

These vehicles have inherent advantages in being immediately suitable if not already configured for 'hybrid' propulsion which looks set to double their ranges and provide useful electrical generation capacity for the first generation of laser and MMW weapons.

They are also, respectively, light enough to be slung and small enough to go internal on a CH-47 or V-22.

While neither platform is really capable of toe:toe slugouts against main force opponents, they are quite capable of (masted sensor and remote weapons station as well as composite armor) being made fairly hardy in the face of 'urbanite' attacks in a COIN war.

That said, their principle use, other than transporting the platoon itself, is going to be as the vertical launch cell and UAV controller platform to support what is called 'Netfires'. A combination of longrange (60-80km) guided rockets. And a 200km range turbojet targeting platform. Both about the size of a Hellfire missile.

Such is the way you attack enemy armor OR support actions against the likes of the Taliban. By firing into a nest of them from a position beyond their practical ability to leave boobytraps/mines or directly attack.

As a 'pooled' alternative to Netfires; I would go with the 120mm breachloading armored mortar system shown here-

The reality being that missiles were first introduced because a lack of GPS for 'unassisted' postlaunch targeting, along with the extremely harsh acceleration environment of tube fired (i.e. Copperhead etc.) on munitions guidance packages made it hard to justify gun launched PGM.

Now GPS is standard, while 'high value target' munitions like the antiarmor Stryx and Merlin give you autonomous millimeter wave homing onto mobile point targets like tanks from as much as 12,000 meters of lob compared to the 3.5 klicks that an equivalent caliber fires directly from said MBT.

Furthermore, the mortar, provided it's not caliber overmatched by mainforce weapons like SPH's, gives you a more useful weapon for the infantry mission, whether it be firing HE superquick/airburst or smoke and gas into areas where you cannot afford to drop even a 500lb LGB.

Also available is a denial or passage sensor monitoring option inherent to cannistered sensor/mines which allow you to continuously monitor remote areas.

All of which is completely beyond a missiles 'hit or miss, it's 40 grande a pop' forte`.

Comparitively, any ABF or 'advance by fire' infantry missions will be _solely_ as trailing/recovery and command element protective support of robotic forces like Talon-SWORDS and R-Gator.

It being these platforms that will provide the principle investment, penetration and reduction of target objectives so as to minimize the number of men spread out or channelized as a 'tempting targets' to irregular forces.

It also reduces the requirement for overwhelming fires as you have TIME to pick your targets with conventional, well ammunitioned, rifle caliber, weapons like the M249 or M60E4. Mounting them on a pedestal with vastly steadier aim.

You still have to take the dirt under contestment but damned if it's required for it to be a meat grinder.

Everything a man does, be it shooting or healing or 'talking to the locals', a _machine_ does better than you.

Indeed, do any of you speak Arabic? Farsi? A dialect thereof? How many GI Joe Averages from 'Middle America' do you imagine are any different?

Now go look at-

And wonder what a system like that would be like if hooked up to a speech synthesizer. If we are too the point where _a robot is doing the talking_ then we are well beyond the level of 'human interactive combat'.

WHY then expose troops to direct fires when YOU are the enemy among /them/? And your very (vulnerable) presence is what incites a desire to coup-kill?

I guarantee you MY platoon would not have many effectors which bled. Because you shoot a robot and it's video camera will identify you and your whole household as even as it dies. And while it may very well reincarnate three days later. _YOU WON'T_ when the house you live in is leveled around your ears.

This is a thread for people to describe what they feel would be the ideal basic tactical unit, aka the platoon. You can describe the number, the equipment, however, you dont have to use actual weapon models. You can also describe their basic functions, such as movement, defense, offense, and other missions.

Please remember that this isnt a "Exorobot with missle launchers for my squad" type of thread. If you dont think you can describe a working model for a platoon, dont respond. At the same time, you can be creative, and change the well known rules if you feel it would be more effective, such as having fewer men, or less heavy weapons, etc.

The SWORDS unit can in fact mount an M202 FLASH flame weapon, an M249 Minimi 5.56mm SAW or M240 7.62mm GPMG, an M82 or M107 .50 special purpose rifle, a Mk1 MGLS grenade launcher, an AT4 or M72 LAW, and various palletized 'cargo modules' including smoke generators and armor segments.

This is NOT science fiction. It is something designed to provide a fires based capability as the first step towards _replacing_ the majority of direct combat infantry on a battlefield that is now (randomly) either empty or too dangerous for their 'securing dirt' presence.

The unit can be leaning toward one of these traits, or try to be a balance of each.

In fact, the reality is that it's better to hire the guns from locals for a specific merc type mission which brings the enemy to battle and the slaughters them, irrespective of 'allied' casualties.

The difference then being that _if you are serious_ you will have preplanned the mission to the extent that you can then 'brown shirt' retire your partisan levvied militia in favor of a policing force which is pretrained before the war to fulfill the followon law enforcement mission.

'Infantry' then being _fire support_ units whose principle role is to provide a targeting and tasking interface with missile or airpower based forces 'up the chain of command' (no matter the uniform color) during the conflict. Ensuring that, even if casualties are heavy, you at least _win decisively_ by assuring that enemy losses are much worse.

While, in peacetime, their role is to secure _U.S._ interests (installations and key transit choke points) so that contract civillians are not captured and butchered as being 'uniformed and therefore illegal combatants' acting as agents of U.S. federal interest (i.e. mercs).

The latter is particularly important when you realize that only the most sophisticated of equipment and engagement modes can protect large area targets like pipelines and refinement facilities. While the attempt to make all 'terrorists' into criminals, denying them the rights of the Geneva and Hague accords, has only set up U.S. civillian equivalents to be given the same treatement. Even if their mission is _entirely_ logistical/humanitarian.

They just make too easy a counter-exampled target.

Mobility, firepower, command and control, logistics, stealth, cost effectiveness, or any other traits you deem valuable.

The Marines think that the Battalion is about the smallest UA or unit of action that can be stood up for independent ops. While I don't necessarily agree with this on a manpower delivery vs. sustained combat effectiveness _specialist mission_ level, nor do I really believe in the mix and match method by which the current USAr Medium/Objective Force 'brigades' are being created (a little armor from here, a little policing from there, some mine clearance from over there...).

The key is probably somewhere inbetween, with a force construct that is organically familiar with all it's component missions yet able to deploy individual units _unsupported_ because they are wisely restricted from direct combat ops (Contempt Of Engagement) and mounted on a flexible TOE that allows for one UA to undertake 2-3 different, SPECIFIC missions with a substantially better 'deployment provisioning' (rapid if not prepacked pallet count) than is currently the case today.

A large part of this is going to be inherent to ditching heavy, maintenance intensive, armor units. A part is going to require RIMA level reenvisioning of how and where you commit forces to missions where logistical as much as combat attrition (sustainment) is going to be a difficult.

At a political/doctrinal level, it may particularly mean fighting 'perceived obsolescence by maintaining one mission set/unit force structure that is specific to a given role. While developing another that can later crosstrain the sibling UAs it shares a given organizational TOE with.

i.e. reinvention as a graduated molt process. In this, going with units as small as a platoon may allow for faster concept:demonstration:capability rephasement _at cost_ than trying to bring an entire unit architecture online with the same capability, at once.

If there is one thing U.S. soldiers still excel at it is adapting to new methodologies which are well enough proven that 'another grunt' can convey not simply the equipment training but the procedural requirements for optimum employment of 'the new approach'.

In this, having your technology testbeds be 'rather smaller' than a 9th ID type artifice makes your exploratory and (if needed) prototyping phases much more concurrent for misstep vs. teething determinancy from among a larger number of total paths that represent alternative solutions.

Brainstorming is all well and good. But brainstorming /whether you need to fix what isn't known as much as broken/ can only occur if the alternatives are more than 'damn the torpedoes!' or 'that's nice...' (hurry up and decide to do nothing).

One thing is certain and that is that the rate of change is only going to increase as military missions explode while induction plummets in the face of what a wilely assymetric enemy can do with a simple garage door opener. Doing more, 'at cost' (man as the most expensive single element in any TOE) will thus be critical to not merely retaining utility and survivability in a morphing world. But to maintaining a RANGE of not-now considered important enough to teach as a collective skillset at either Basic or advanced schooled infantry courses. If you don't provide a broad enough foundational 'open mindedness' towards noncombat related skill acquisition as a function of making combat itself simple and standoff limited in it's tactical complexities; you cannot building-block expand your mission set after the fact. Maybe this is a good thing. But I doubt it.


posted on Jul, 29 2005 @ 11:26 PM
........You could of just kept your mouth shut as I said in the very beginning of this topic, instead of posting one of your famous long as hell posts.

posted on Jul, 30 2005 @ 04:15 AM
Another Man's Treasure

Originally posted by Raideur
........You could of just kept your mouth shut as I said in the very beginning of this topic, instead of posting one of your famous long as hell posts.

Long, yes, but I thought it was a great post.

And I'm not the only one.

Amplifying Remarks

Edit: I suppose some explanation is in order.

Despite the lack of quote blocks and witty, boldface subheadings (you know I'm a big fan of those
), ch1466's post was considered so good that it received triple applause. In other words, three different members applauded this post.

That includes me, and I applauded the post knowing full well that two other members had already applauded it.

In light of the fact that this was the second applause I've given out in over six weeks as a Councilor, one could correctly infer that I was duly impressed.

Put another way, ch1466 received 50% more applause for one post than I have given in my entire career as a Councilor. Meanwhile, I can't remember the last time I saw a post get triple applause.

I think numbers like that speak for themselves.

It really is an awesome post, though opinions may rightly vary about that, as is the time-honored custom of these esteemed forums.

But I carefully considered the significance of the decision for several minutes before hitting the “Applause” button. This was not an impulsive act, but a very rare and distinct honor.

ch1466, nicely done.

[edit on 7/30/2005 by Majic]

posted on Jul, 30 2005 @ 07:46 AM

I'm sorry if I irritated you for no cause but even if I find some of your thread briefs to be a little...generalist; you do pick interesting and topical subjects. If I had seen a specific ch1466-go-'way! in your sig or opening, I would have restrained myself from posting.

Thank You. As soon as I get a working U2U messaging ability I will try and contact you, off thread. Unfortunately at this point, I am getting various administrative and applause PMs that pop as Error 404s so I have to post this here. Working on a fix...


posted on Jul, 30 2005 @ 11:50 PM
That seemed like a well thought out and informative post, 1466. I particularly like the idea of giving squads voice recognition translators, as it would allow them to communicate more easily with locals without having to have someone that actually speaks the language. Sometimes the most important things in a military operation have nothing to do with killing people.

posted on Aug, 3 2005 @ 06:21 AM
Here I can cheer U up m8.
The MP5 also comes in 5,56mm and 10mm, so firer away

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