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Posted: 8/23/2006 7:22:49 PM EDT
I was reading some official Army publications today and it appears as part of their Transformation to the Future Force they plan on dropping Airborne units (no pun intended) from their Order of Battle. Here are a couple of relevant passages:

The Army plans to redesign its current division headquarters into ten commonly-configured Units of Employment (UE) “X” which will have the capability to serve as headquarters for at least six UAs (both combat and support UAs). Corps and higher level Army headquarters will also be converted into a number of UE “Y”s which are intended to conduct theater and strategic level functions. The Army’s eight current brigade/regiment designs will be reduced to three kinds of UAs - Armored, Infantry, and Stryker. The Army National Guard will have the same common UA design as the active Army but will retain a separate Scout group in addition to its
Armored, Infantry, and Stryker UAs.

What Will the Brigade Units of Action Look Like?

The Army describes their proposed brigade UAs as “smaller and more lethal” than current brigades and it would benefit from having division-level artillery and reconnaissance assets as well as some assets from corps level as part of its organic structure.32 UAs could also receive an Army aviation package from redesigned aviation units of action if the mission requires aviation assets. Based on Army briefings and discussions with the Army Staff, the following paragraphs will provide a brief overview of what the ground combat brigade UAs will probably look like.

Armored UA. The Army envisions developing 20 to 22 Armored UAs in the active Army by 2007. By 2007, the Army also plans to develop up to 10 National Guard Armored UAs.34 At present, each Armored UA is planned to consist of approximately 3,800 soldiers, and will consist of the following subordinate units:

One Brigade Troops Battalion35 including the UA staff; military police (MP) and security platoons; a signal company;36 a military intelligence company; and a joint fire coordination cell (to coordinate Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps fires in support of the UA);

One Armed Reconnaissance Battalion consisting of three reconnaissance troops and one surveillance troop and a forward support company;

Two Combined Arms Battalions with two tank companies and two mechanized infantry companies in each battalion as well as an engineer and a forward support company each;

One Fires Battalion consisting of a target acquisition cell, and two batteries37 of self-propelled artillery and a forward support company; and

One Support Battalion.

All of these subordinate units are intended to be linked with a networked battle command system designed to enhance situational and terrain awareness, transmit orders and reports, and exchange other mission-related items of information. This battle command system is not only intended to permit the UA to operate independently, but also to plug directly into other U.S. forces.

Infantry UA. The Army plans to form between 20 to 22 active Army Infantry UAs and 5 Army National Guard UAs by 2007. There will be basic Infantry UA design although these units may be delivered by parachute or helicopter based on mission requirements. The Infantry UAs will consist of approximately 3,000 soldiers and will consist of the following subordinate units:

One Brigade Troops Battalion including the UA staff; a military police (MP) platoon; a signal company; an intelligence company, an engineer company; and a joint fires cell;

One Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Target Acquisition (RSTA) Battalion with both motorized and dismounted reconnaissance units, a surveillance unit including ground radars, sensors, and unmanned aerial vehicles; and a forward support company;

Two Infantry Battalions consisting of three rifle companies and one combat support company each; and a forward support company capable of moving one company by truck;

One Strike Battalion consisting of a target acquisition platoon, an unmanned aerial vehicle unit, and two batteries of towed artillery; a forward support company; and

One Support Battalion consisting of a transport platoon capable of moving almost an entire infantry battalion by truck. Like the Armored UA, the Infantry UA will also be equipped with a network battle command system and will also receive augmentation from an Aviation UA
when the mission dictates. Because the Infantry UAs lack the organic ground transport found in the Armored UAs, aviation augmentation will likely play a crucial role in providing the Infantry UAs with rapid battlefield mobility.

*****

There you have it: Three types of Combat Brigades: Armored, Stryker, Infantry

No cavalry, no light infantry, no airborne.

Just basic modular Infantry batallions, which can be delivered by parachute or helicopter.
Link Posted: 8/23/2006 7:28:29 PM EDT
[#1]
Negative.  The army has several different kinds of Infantry brigades.  The 82nd Airborne will be there (4 brigades) along with 1 brigade of 25th ID (airborne) (it's in Fort Richardson, Alaska), 173rd Airborne Brigade in Vicenza, Italy.  These will remain airborne and are just part of the Infantry UAs.

ETA...trying to clarify...these are the brigades that will be deployable by parachute as referred to in the article.

All "Infantry UAs" are light infantry.  All "Armored UAs" are a mixture of armor and infantry.  I am currently in an armored UA as a mechanized infantryman (ie we ride in Bradleys).
Link Posted: 8/24/2006 3:45:10 AM EDT
[#2]
Previously there were four airborne brigades available.  Now there will be six.  It's actually an increase.

The main problem with the whole airborne thing is air transport.  The USAF can only provide enough aircraft to drop and supply one airborne brigade sized unit.  That would be only if majority of airlift assets were dedicated to the mission, so alot of other stuff won't move by air at the same time.  If all you can move and support is one Brigade, then all you can fight with is one Brigade.    

The increase in size of the airborne force was done because it makes better sense geographically.  Placing airborne brigade forward, closer to where they might be used (they were always in Italy, but not Alaska) allows more efficient and flexible use of airborne forces. In the end though, the limit of airborne is in transport aircraft, and not how many units the Army can make available to drop.  

The failure to increase airlift assets after OIF, and the end of the C-17 production line, will come back to haunt us later.

As for Cavalry, there's been an actual increase in them.  They're just not called "Cavalry" anymore.  The Divisions Cavalry mission was perfromed by the Divisonal Cavalry Squadron, which was a mix of ground and air assets.  The Squadron was a battalion sized unit.  

Now each BCT (Brigade Combat Team) will have an RSTA, which is a battalion sized unit, that is ground (though it does have UAVs).  These units are almost always designated "Cavalry" in their unit designations.  While you won't see "cavalry" on a chart, the end result is there's actually four times the "cavalry" as before.  

The air asets for recon are still there at the CAB (Combat Aviation Brigade).  It was found that the air assets were operating so separate from the ground assets in the old Div Cav SQNs that there was no clear cut advantage in having them mixed.  There was a huge logistical advantage in having them separated.  

Don't worry too much about "transformation".  The Army is actually getting most of it right.  
Link Posted: 8/24/2006 3:54:28 AM EDT
[#3]
BLASPHEMY!!!!!!
Link Posted: 8/24/2006 4:59:33 AM EDT
[#4]

Quoted:
Negative.  The army has several different kinds of Infantry brigades.  The 82nd Airborne will be there (4 brigades) along with 1 brigade of 25th ID (airborne) (it's in Fort Richardson, Alaska), 173rd Airborne Brigade in Vicenza, Italy.  These will remain airborne and are just part of the Infantry UAs.

ETA...trying to clarify...these are the brigades that will be deployable by parachute as referred to in the article.

All "Infantry UAs" are light infantry.  All "Armored UAs" are a mixture of armor and infantry.  I am currently in an armored UA as a mechanized infantryman (ie we ride in Bradleys).


a friend of mine who is 1SGT in the 82nd said they're going to try to phase the division into air assault by 2010
Link Posted: 8/24/2006 7:08:21 PM EDT
[#5]

Quoted:

Quoted:
Negative.  The army has several different kinds of Infantry brigades.  The 82nd Airborne will be there (4 brigades) along with 1 brigade of 25th ID (airborne) (it's in Fort Richardson, Alaska), 173rd Airborne Brigade in Vicenza, Italy.  These will remain airborne and are just part of the Infantry UAs.

ETA...trying to clarify...these are the brigades that will be deployable by parachute as referred to in the article.

All "Infantry UAs" are light infantry.  All "Armored UAs" are a mixture of armor and infantry.  I am currently in an armored UA as a mechanized infantryman (ie we ride in Bradleys).


a friend of mine who is 1SGT in the 82nd said they're going to try to phase the division into air assault by 2010


What it seems to me the Army is doing is dis-establishing the Airborne/Air Assault divisional structures and keeping them as seperate Brigate Combat Teams, even though that kind of contradicts the article quoted from above.
Link Posted: 8/25/2006 4:31:36 AM EDT
[#6]

Quoted:

Quoted:

Quoted:
Negative.  The army has several different kinds of Infantry brigades.  The 82nd Airborne will be there (4 brigades) along with 1 brigade of 25th ID (airborne) (it's in Fort Richardson, Alaska), 173rd Airborne Brigade in Vicenza, Italy.  These will remain airborne and are just part of the Infantry UAs.

ETA...trying to clarify...these are the brigades that will be deployable by parachute as referred to in the article.

All "Infantry UAs" are light infantry.  All "Armored UAs" are a mixture of armor and infantry.  I am currently in an armored UA as a mechanized infantryman (ie we ride in Bradleys).


a friend of mine who is 1SGT in the 82nd said they're going to try to phase the division into air assault by 2010


What it seems to me the Army is doing is dis-establishing the Airborne/Air Assault divisional structures and keeping them as seperate Brigate Combat Teams, even though that kind of contradicts the article quoted from above.


Sort of.  You've kinda missed the point about transformation slightly.  It has nothing to do with Airborne/Air Assault specifically.  ALL divisions are transforming.  The BCT is now the primary force.  Division is no longer holding majority of the support the assets, they now belong to the BCTs directly.  So instead of a Division having the Div Cav Sqn, each BCT has it's own RSTA.  Instead of the DISCOM having all the support battalions, each BCT has it's own FSB.  Instead of DIVARTY having all the artillery, each BCT has it's own organic FA battalion.  The BCT has it's own MP's, ADA, etc.  So each BCT, regardless of Infanty, Armor, Stryker, is a complete fighting unit with organic support and everything.  

The Division now holds a position similar to what the Corps used to.  You have things like the back-up support units, hospital, Aviation Brigade, etc.  The Division provides Head Quarters support and functions for multiple BCTs.  This can be regardless of type.  So on the future battlefield, a division might have four Infantry BCT's one day, and have one Armor BCT and three Infantry BCT's the next for a different mission/enviroment.

This allows the Army to "plug-in" the right type unit for the particular mission, without the complexity of attatching and detaching all the support crap that goes with that type unit.  The Division itself isn't going away, and it's function is still to control Brigades, it's just that the BCT's are now self-contained packages.  

The article you quote is somewhat obsolete.  I don't know the date of the article, but regardless, much of what's written is old.  The Army now has it pretty well hammered out and it's working quite well.  
Link Posted: 8/25/2006 4:52:24 AM EDT
[#7]

Quoted:


a friend of mine who is 1SGT in the 82nd said they're going to try to phase the division into air assault by 2010


Whiskey, tango, soon to be forgotten?
Link Posted: 8/25/2006 4:58:20 AM EDT
[#8]
Note that the number of brigades may be increasing by half, but the number of maneuver battalions per brigade is decreasing from three to two.  So the net effect on combat power is zero.  It just creates more headquarters, and more slots for colonels and brigadiers.
Link Posted: 8/25/2006 6:08:24 AM EDT
[#9]
I got off of active duty 2 years ago, and i have no F-in clue what the army did, but i can't understand a bit of it.  Anyone have a powerpoint or drawing for us dumb aviatiors.
Link Posted: 8/25/2006 8:06:50 AM EDT
[#10]
It might make a bit more sense to think back when the Army still had the Seperate Brigades; the 197th, 193rd and 173rd Infantry Brigades and the 194th Armored Brigade. The Army is going back to that concept, but on a much larger scale. Or at least that what it seems like to me, but then again, what do I know? I've been out since '92.

Link Posted: 8/25/2006 8:33:05 AM EDT
[#11]
im currently in an armored combined arms BN, what it seems like they are doing is increasing self sufficency and allowing brigades to deploy by themselves individually without requiring support from other units.

when a brigade deploys now, they dont have to parcel out cav units, divarty, FSB's, or engineers.  the brigade already has what it needs.
Link Posted: 8/25/2006 6:15:56 PM EDT
[#12]
Sounds like the army is catching on to the Marine Corps "MAGTAF" system, though on a larger scale, and on a more permanent basis.
Link Posted: 8/25/2006 6:17:36 PM EDT
[#13]
That will never happen.
Link Posted: 8/25/2006 6:35:37 PM EDT
[#14]
We have 3 BNs of Rangers to sieze airfields and other targets, what do we need the 82nd on jump status for? Didnt see to many combat jumps in Iraq and the 82nd was doing gate guard in the green zone in Baghdad.
Link Posted: 8/25/2006 6:52:21 PM EDT
[#15]
So the Army has decided not to axe the Airborne. I got the point that Transformation will be Army-wide, and from the additional reading I have done, the "modular" doctrine seems to be a work in progress...several Brigade Combat Teams now have two Stryker batallions and two Infantry batallions, when the original design was to have pure formations.

Anybody with more knowledge about Transformation, please feel free to chime in.
Link Posted: 8/25/2006 7:00:18 PM EDT
[#16]
.
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