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82nd/101st/10th Mountain ground mobility


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Pretty simple question. The 82nd, 101st, and 10th Mountain are all light divisions with 4 Light Infantry brigades. I've routinely seen footage/photos from Iraq/Afghanistan with troops from these formations operating Humvee convoys/columns.

 

But how many humvees and trucks do they (typically/probably) have? Could you motorize a whole infantry battalion? A whole brigade? One battalion in each brigade? The whole damn division? Or is the level of motorization we see in Iraq an anomaly specific to the conditions in-theatre and the Army's overall equipment shortage (i.e. units leaving all their stuff for the next rotation to utilize, so the new guys end up with vehicles in their motor pool that would never be on their TO&E).

 

Here's the context of this query: I'm working on a scenario for a computer game that uses the battalion as the basic unit size. I've more-or-less defined a Light Infantry Unit of Action as two infantry battalions, one arty battalion, one recon battalion, and one supply battalion. Company-sized assets at the brigade level are either ignored or lumped into a single battalion at the division level. Right now I'm using Light Infantry or Airborne Infantry battalions (foot-mobile, max speed 5km/h), but I'm wondering if I should upgrade one or more battalions to "Motor Infantry" (vehicle-mobile, max speed ~60km/h).

 

My line company has NO organic vehicles, and BN only has a dozen or so broke-down Deuce-and-a-halfs, but as you know the state of equipment in the Guard bears little or no relation to that of high-speed active-duty units like the 82nd.

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In Iraq and Afghanistan, all light infantry battalions are operating in up armored HMMWVs, AFAIK. The battalion may not have enough to move everyone- the guys on gate and tower guard might not have dedicated lift, and there may be some hot-seating of trucks, but near enough to everyone is motorized.

 

This is unique to theater, and not on the TOE anywhere. On the TOE, the D (Weapons) Company has 4 platoons of gun trucks, and the Forward Support Company has enough lift (2-1/2 and 5 tons) to move 2 of the 3 rifle companies, IIRC. There are probably enough spare vehicles floating around to move everyone, but it wouldn't be very tactically useful, and you would lose your capacity to haul spare ammo, food, etc.

 

Hope this helps.

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Guest JamesG123

In their classical, offical configuration, the airborne units have very little motorization. Ie; what they jump with. I think HHCs gets an odd humvee or two and so do the artillery also get trucks to tow thier guns with, but the line companies get nada. Light infantry is similar.

Great stratigic mobility at the expense of tactical mobility.

 

In OEF and OIF nobody operates with their offical TO&E. Its all wierd, adhoc light Cav. Armored humvees with tanks and Brads if they are lucky enough to get some. We were supposed to be pure light Cav, but when we got there, there were some extra tanks from the unit we were falling in on, so we had used them. From what I saw, it all depends on what is available where you are, and what the ADVON and COs and XOs all down the line can wheel and deal out of the "system".

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Ok, with all that in mind I probably won't make any of them motor infantry. In the scenario, the US pulls all of its forces back to the 50 states in 2008*, giving us from then to the scenario start date in early 2011 to reset our military to something resembling TO&E. So no more "light cavalry" shenanigans. Oddly enough, the stock game's "Light Infantry" unit is actually motorized infantry/light cavalry, and there is no true light infantry unit. There is a "Garrison" battalion, but those are substantially weaker and seem to represent the police/SWAT-type forces present in major cities. When I was using the motor infantry for the 101st, the battalions weighed too much to load into a squadron of CH-47's, so the 101st was incapable of conducting an air assault. Needless to say adding a healthy dose of realism to the unit balance and force dispositions has been a monumental task. But I'm straying off-topic here.

 

Thanks for the replies guys!

 

 

 

*This setup isn't really by choice, but mostly due to limitations with the game engine.

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My line company has NO organic vehicles, and BN only has a dozen or so broke-down Deuce-and-a-halfs, but as you know the state of equipment in the Guard bears little or no relation to that of high-speed active-duty units like the 82nd.

 

Well as "I know" (leaving aside the current weirdness of Iraq) the vehicles I had in my NG company were in much better condition than those when on active duty. This circa 1999. Dueces are old, obviously, but very low mile. HMMWV near new. Why simple. Very little use with long maintenence periods. AT might deply 2/3 of the vehicles on a nice 2-400mi road march and then put on a couple hundred more miles over a 10day period. Drill weekends might add another 100mi per yr. Active duty we used our HMMWV and trucks. Monthly PMCS. Bn/OMS maint. then had months for TI, order/receive/install parts.

 

Active duty Breaking brush or in the desert every month. Breaking things well inside of the CL9 supply cycle.

 

Ny NG Bn was AASLT. My TOW Co (D Co) was 100% mounted by MTOE, as was/is Mortars (81mm). For AASLT, planning was 50% of TOW would fly with vehicles (assuming CH47 available) 50% leg. Leg Plts would establish stationary BP at BN main EA. Mounted would screen forward and plan/fight series of BP in EA along the likely enemy mounted axis of attack. Mortars would be dismounted (and pretty much stationary in split sections) would get one or two of their HMMWV for ammo transport (late in the operation). Every grunt would to carry in a couple 81mm rounds in the AASLT which they would then drop off at an ammo rally point vic of the LZ before moving out to their co objective. To my understanding pretty much program same in the Abn.

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I had a friend who was an M-551 platoon leader in the 1st Gulf War. They had a platoon of tanks assigned to an infantry company for movement, and a lot of the guys just rode the tanks russian style. If contact was imminent the crunchies would all have to get off to allow the tank to fight.

 

In peasetime the forward support battalions provide lift assets, but unless they are dedicated to specific units, it can turn into a clusterf&ck. You get set to pull an operation and 10 minutes before moveout the trucks show up. They are not briefed on the plan, haven't attended the rehearsal, never had a chance to PCC/PCI their stuff, etc..... Unless you get long ter or habitual relationships with your haul guys, its a mess.

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Guest Mike Looney

According to FKSM 71-8, the distribution company of the Brigade Support Battalion has 2 mobility sections each of 12 M1078 LMTV, plus an identical transportation section in each of the Forward Support Companies, for a total of 5 mobility/transport sections per brigade.

 

 

What that means, with out stealing trucks from other uses, you can move one company per battalion, and fully move one whole battalion. Basically 5 of the nine rifle companies can be motorized, with one LMTV per squad. The weapon companies, of course, are fully mobile all ready.

 

 

I suspect that the 20 M984A1 HEMTT trucks in the 4 truck squads of the distribution company of the BSB could lift the other 4 companies with out to much problem, but then again, you lose those trucks for humping supplies around if you do that.

 

Based on my Ft. Bliss time, I would like to add that HEMTT is probably better at cross country movement in the desert than a LMTV is, but is a freaking big truck, not exactly tactical.

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