Monday, January 30, 2017

Give Us Back Our Damned Armored Cavalry

Yes! Tell 'em Major Jennings!

The Army should consider reconstituting armored cavalry regiments with 21st-century enhancements. By combining proven tactical strengths with emergent functions, it can create agile combined arms teams with the capacity to conduct forceful reconnaissance and security operations across theater depth.

Whether enabling joint forces commands with entire regiments or supporting divisions with detached squadrons, the re-creation of modular regiments would, as argued by VII Corps after Operation Desert Storm, fulfill the timeless requirement to employ “armed and armored recce at every level … battalion through corps.”

Here at The Dignified Rant, the major is singing to the choir, of course:

In the past, recon units in peacetime tend to lighten up in armor and firepower, on the theory that scout vehicles should be "agile" and able to scoot in, have a look, and get out. Force-on-force combat tends to undermine that theory and lead to recon units adding firepower and armor until they look suspiciously like line combat units because it turns out that recon units usually have to fight to get close enough to have a look and survive that mission.

And that's just my most recent complaint that we don't have armored cavalry units. I complained during our reorganization period when we moved to brigade combat teams that the "recon" element was too light, and hoped it would eventually be heavied up.

Update these units as Jennings argues. But the core of them should be combined arms combat units able to fight for information and able to deny enemy scouts information.

We are resetting the Army for conventional war as our counter-insurgency emphasis has ended. Armored cavalry should be part of that.

It would be nice to have this capability in case we have to slow down and blunt an armored attack or screen a counter-offensive or offensive.

Although curse the author, too. An article arguing for the return of the ACR had been on my writing to-do list.