IBCT Fatally Flawed


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IBCT Fatally Flawed

  1. 1. The real story on the ARMY’S wheeled IBCT and FCS? x 3494 119 1998 409 51 273 118 382 HHC (666X3) BSB 41/6/72 6/0/45 28/2/243 6/0/112 37/9/336 39/1/369 73 HQ &Dist CO HHC 4/2/67 OOO Bde Spt CO SUPPORT 71 MI OOO Bde Spt Med CO 6/6/59 2 X 120mm MGS 4X120mm MET 2X81mmCurrent Brigade Combat Team Design: 3,494 Troops. 1
  2. 2. The purpose of thisbriefing is to establish two things: First, an accuratepicture of the Army’sproposed interimbrigade combat team;(IBCT) and,Second, an accurateassessment of Army’sproposal to spendnearly $70 billiondollars on a futurecombat system (FCS). 2
  3. 3. What is real and what is not real about the IBCT!•No New Joint Operational Architecture:PROBLEM: IBCT cannot operate as an autonomous force under the Joint TaskForce Commander! The reinforced brigade requires the deployment of a divisioncommander and his 500-man headquarters when deployed to a regional CINC.•No New Communications Technology:PROBLEM: Communications in the brigade are single service (SINCGARS &EPLSRS). No new near-term digital radios or Joint C4ISR in the IBCT.Upgrades to this EPLRS will not achieve near-real time picture of Army Forces inJoint Common Operational Picture! The IBCT also lacks platform digitizationand an operational architecture that integrates information to achieve a coherentand relevant picture of the Joint battlespace. Perfect “situational awareness” is amyth.•No Organic Army Aviation:PROBLEM: Without organic aviation, the BCT cannot integrate additionalAviation assets and it cannot integrate USAF and Naval airpower, let alonemanage air 3D battlespace much less maneuver through it. The IBCT is too weak 3to extend its reach over the 2D battlespace routinely controlled by an Army
  4. 4. Firepower is Low-tech: IBCT artillery is towed 155mm.PROBLEM: Towed artillery is a dinosaur. Poor survivability, no counter-battery capability and decreased rates of precision fire. Furthermore, thistowed unit requires more personnel and far more logistics than self-propelled artillery.Wheeled Armor Chassis with Mobile Gun is not a combat system!PROBLEM: Mobile Gun (105mm) doesn’t fire full-power 105mm roundsand will not shoot effectively on-the-move. Without a vehicle that can fireand move cross-country like a modern direct-fire tracked tank, entireformation is at severe risk! [Lesson from wheeled, tankless 9 th HTTBDivision in ‘80s] Simply put, this force has no fire and maneuvercapability to gain a positional advantage over an adversary in a close(under 5 km) fight.No New Tactics or Organization: IBCT Tactics are unsound. PROBLEM:Organization: Same old reinforced brigade. Tactics: On the one hand,avoid contact with the enemy - not an option. On the other, air-filled,rubber-tired wheeled armored cars designed to support dismountedinfantry in the attack cannot traverse terrain to support-by-fire nor avoidroad ambushes [fate of Group Mobile 100]. These tactics were tried andabandoned in Afghanistan after Russians sustained heavy casualtiesagainst the low-tech Afghans operating on foot on commanding highground, with heavy machine guns, RPGs. 4Army Personnel System Unchanged: Temporary Stability is Artificial.
  5. 5. What about IBCT equipment? •LAV-III/IAV lacks the hull and suspension strength to carry the additional armor needed to meet the Army’s requirement to protect against RPG-7 threats. Rubber tires not protected at all. •LAV-III/IAV with add-on armor weighs 43,000 lbs, results in significantly lower reliability, acceleration and nil cross-countryOld Organization, Old mobility = too heavy for C-130s and only two can fly in a C-17-- Thinking, No 2D/3D the same number of more capable Bradley Fighting Vehicles thatManeuver or Jointness can fly in a C-17destine the IBCT to a •The LAV-III/IAV is not designed to carry a 105mm gun and cannot“Low-Tech Grave” by provide a stabilized platform thatRPGs and small-arms allows the system to fire-on the- move. 5 fire!
  6. 6. Is no one scratching his head at this wheeled armored car nonsense?•The Army says their vehicles need less protection becauseArmy leaders will know everything about the battlespace andthus, the risk of being discovered or attacked is low. Further,Army says IBCT will avoid contact with the enemy! Does theenemy know this? Somalia taught a different lesson? Perfectsituational awareness will never exist!•Transition from peacekeeping to warfighting can be swiftand sudden. USAF could not effectively target the 50,000heavily armed Yugoslav troops in Kosovo if they attackedMacedonia in the extreme weather conditions of April 1999.•When it became clear that an attack by the Yugoslav Army inApril 1999 under the cover of bad weather threatened toquickly destroy NATO ground forces in Macedonia becausethey were composed of light infantry, rubber-tire wheeledarmor and light helicopters for “peacekeeping only,” NATONations quickly sent in heavy tracked armored fightingvehicle ground forces. An attack by the VJ under the cover ofbad weather in March or April 1999 would have transformedKFOR into a large POW camp! 6
  7. 7. What Do TRADOC Analysts Say About the Current Medium Force Initiative? Mr. Ronald G. Magee from U.S. Army TRADOC AnalysisCommand delivered the following remarks to the MilitaryOperational Research Society under the title: “Transforming theArmy: Medium Brigade Analysis”. These remarks were based onboth analysis and simulation of the interim brigade combat teamconcept. TRADOCs analysis of the performance of an Army mediumforce brigade in both a major theater war (MTW) and smaller-scalecontingency (SSC) revealed a number of limitations. The brieferfirst described what such a force might look like*a brigadeconsisting of between 2-4 battalions comprised almost entirely oflight wheeled armored vehicle variants. A HIMARS 227mmmultiple rocket launcher was also included for added fire supporteven though it is not part of the current brigade combat teamorganization. 7
  8. 8. Key findings. IBCT cannot go head-to-head with anyenemy force that contains armor. It will need to rely on anaggressive reconnaissance and surveillance capability,constant movement, and a willingness to bypasshardened or armored enemy forces to avoid its owndestruction. This will place significant burden on follow-on heavy forces found that themop-upforce in thin armored Fires. TRADOC in terms of medium operations. bodies rolling on rubber tires was extremely vulnerable to enemy artillery. To survive, the medium force will rely heavily on joint close air support and artillery support (“bombardment”) before risking physical occupation of enemy held terrain. Force cannot fire & maneuver, only bombard and hope to occupy. Sustainment. TRADOC found that the medium force used a tremendous amount of firepower particularly counter-battery fire to keep enemy fires away from its vulnerable vehicles. Such pre- emptive bombardment will kill friendly civilians and not be politically acceptable. This led to additional sustainment problems, which TRADOC is still addressing. The current concept of three-days worth of supply is the self-professed weak leg of the 8 concept and makes the medium force highly dependent on joint
  9. 9. Bottomline: LAV-III/IAV armored car IBCTs Very Vulnerable and Little Value Added for the Dollars Invested!Force Effectiveness. The introduction of medium-sized armoredcar brigades into a conflict involving more than peace enforcementresulted in reduced overall force effectiveness as other units wereforced to shoulder a much heavier burden than otherwise would bethe case. •In short, the medium wheeled force suffered heavy losses when faced with an unavoidable 2D close fight with a tracked mechanized force. When aviation or artillery support was provided, the brigades performance improved, but this required reinforcement from a division that was not deployed. •TRADOC anticipates that attaining future MTW mission objectives with the use of medium wheeled forces will take longer and that heavier forces will have to compensate for the lack of combat capability. 9
  10. 10. During the PBS Frontline program, “Future Warfare”, MG Dubik, CDR of the first IBCT, was asked if the new wheeled brigades were designed for Peacekeeping? Below are his answers:What do you say to the critic who says what youre doing here is justbuilding a peacekeeping force?“I say to him, Come out and watch that training, watch us fight. Watch us go intothe urban combat. Bullets fly within five feet of one another as youre going into acity…. Come and watch us do combined-arms fighting with mortars and fieldartillery, and then tell me that Im not doing combat."This sounds good on the surface, mixing just arty and mortars withmotorized infantry does not make a complete combined-arms team. Whilewatching the show it was obvious that the Soldiers were preparing forcrowd control and civil disorder in peacekeeping ops and wore thelightest gear imaginable.How much did the transformation draw from the lessons learned withTask Force Hawk in Kosovo?"Task Force Hawk was one of the influences. If you look at the variety ofoperations that we conducted since the end of the Cold War--Panama, Somalia,Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo--each one has some very similar characteristics." 10Most of them have "similar characteristics" alright. With the exception ofPanama they were all peacekeeping ops. The half-truths abound!
  11. 11. Replacing proven Warfighting Equipment with Medium-weight but lightly Armored Cars to mouse-click firepower does not equal TRANSFORMATION!• "The Army will focus on science and technology efforts until itbecomes possible to develop systems that will give desiredcharacteristics to the force." Army Chief of Staff General Eric ShinsekiHouse National Security Committee, Feb. 10, 2000.• In response to this approach, DARPA Director Frank Fernandez toldtop Army officials that the [FCS] program will be hard-pressed to meetits deadlines, including whether his agency and the Army will be readyto build the first prototypes in 2006.BUT REAL TRANSFORMATION involves new joint operational concepts for decisive fire & maneuver, cultural reform, reorganization and change to fully exploit existing and new 11 technology. These are absent from the Army’s
  12. 12. This is what a DARPA Scientist Said about FCS! •“FCS is attempting to accomplish, in the complex, dirty, land warfare environment, what the aviation and naval components have yet to accomplish in the comparatively simple air or maritime environments. Networked forces of manned and unmanned platforms, sharing data and targets, and meshing fires and movements, is still proving challenging for the surface Navy (and the JTAMDO/BMDO world), extremely difficult for the submariners, and not even seriously attempted by the Air Force”. •“Given the Armys limited budgetary and technological resources, the Army may have bitten off more than it can chew with their dreams for the objective BCTs (the interim force is extremely 12
  13. 13. Current IBCT Design: It is not 3D rapidlyair-transportable, not Joint, It is Not New and It is not Designed to Fight!• The nation should not fund organizations that cannotfight! The promise that future wheeled armed cars withcomputers that do not exist will do the job of groundmaneuver some day by mouse-clicking firepower is not aplan, it is a false hope!• The argument that the IBCTs forming at Fort Lewis willbe used exclusively for peace support operations or smallscale conflict is not valid. In crisis, the NCA will deploywhat it must to win!--ready or not---casualties or not.• There is no reason to field a formation that cannotmaneuver or work directly for a JTF Commander. Thenotion that a division headquarters should be deployed tointerface with a JTF CDR reveals the real agenda - nochange to Army structures…but can launch expensive 13munitions to grab media attention and insure budget share !
  14. 14. Is no one scratching his head at this nonsense?• There is no reason why a robust, warfighting fire andmaneuver capable force cannot be developed usingexisting M113A3 Gavin-type tracked armored vehiclesfor projection with USAF strategic airlift. Thetechnology exists. The IBCT based on the too heavyfor C-130 transport LAV-III/IAV armored car is notthe force America needs!•Replacing existing, proven combat equipment withwheeled armed cars is not TRANSFORMATION!• TRANSFORMATION involves new joint operationalfire & maneuver concepts, reform, reorganization andchange to exploit new capabilities. Before more money 14is wasted, the approach must change!