previous post next post  

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose...

U.S. Army artillerymen with 3rd Battalion, 319th Airborne Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, clear the new all-digital M119A3 105 mm lightweight howitzer at Fort Bragg, N.C., April 19, 2013. MARY KATZENBERGER/U.S. ARMY
 Usetabe, we had an organization that essentially provided a brigade of artillery for every brigade of committed maneuver. Not so any more. We've developed precision munitions - needed, and great for LIC-style combat, but we've given away the store on the ability to break up a massed attack, where quantity is a quality all it's own. We essentially defaulted that mission to the AF, which will prioritize as it sees fit and when the weather suits. If I were a brigade commander facing a russian column in bad weather in the Ukraine or, say, Poland, I would really wish for a true DIVARTY (vice the C2 HQ we are resurrecting) with a buttload of DPICM vice a lot of Excalibur to shoot against moving targets - not Excalibur's forte.

So, in short, yeah, the ability to take down a grid square. The current generation doesn't understand organization for combat, nor do they have any experience in doing division-level and above fire planning (and precious little of what we Cold Warriors would recognize as Brigade-level).

Simply because they never had to. It wasn't relevant in the just ended fights after 2003 and the fall of Baghdad.

 

New focus on artillery training prepares Army for future conflicts.

3 Comments

Never actually got shot at in real life, but in simulations from Ft. Lewis to Ft. Leavenworth, artillery was the only thing that consistently handed me my behind. (usually when Battalion or Brigade insisted I get my guys out of their holes in the middle of a Brigade Fire for Effect....)

The proper response to the commie hordes is hordes of our own; shells, mostly. Maybe the simulation centers could start by providing some 'Big Army' scenarios that focus on the use of Arty. Start with a border crossing by a rogue armor battalion and work up to the Fulda gap. Training the leaders to use their power will take (much) longer than training the bunnies to serve their guns.

And then some live fire exercises in appropriate geographic locations. Far enough from bad actors to not be a credible 'threat' but close enough to be an attention getter.

They always got MY attention!
 
The leadership has gotten complacent and has bought into the sill notion that we aren't going to have large ground engagements anymore. David Hackworth believed that and I shook my head every time I saw him make such a statement in print. I'll bet a dollar to a donut that if DIVARTY is not brought back the Army will have serious cause to regret it. Much of the futurists meanderings on war have not come to pass, but the leadership wants to listen to them anyway.
 
I believe part of this thinking comes from the idea that the army will always be on the offensive. This has been the case since the end of Viet Nam. This has clouded the thinking of TRADOC and has spread from there. Their wistful thinking will certainly cause casualties and lost battles in the future. As the saying goes the staff always prepares to fight the previous war.