Sunday, August 02, 2015

Time to Heavy Up Again

Our Stryker brigades are too heavy to be strategically mobile (the Air Force will never have the airlift to move it fast) and too light to fight mechanized units. They served well in the Iraq counter-insurgency fight, but will we fight such a war in the near future?

Our Europe-based Stryker brigade wants to up-gun their vehicles:

The 30mm cannon requested for the Stryker is not meant to turn it into a tank or let it take on armored vehicles directly. It would, Meyer said, permit it to "destroy like-type vehicles," and clear the way for infantrymen on foot to use Javelin shoulder-fired anti-tank missiles on enemy armored vehicles.

Our heavy brigades are few in number, having essentially been swapped out for Stryker wheeled mechanized infantry. If we want these brigades to be able to take on heavy armor, we need to attach a tank battalion to each brigade.

Or perhaps a tank company to each Stryker mechanized battalion.

If a battalion operating together in the brigade, I'd rather have them active duty.

If companies attached to battalions of the brigade, we could use Army National Guard units as long as the proper maintenance units are part of the brigade.

It's not like these units are likely to have to fight in a counter-insurgency fight, which they did well in during the Iraq War.

UPDATE: Perhaps I was unclear. I meant it is time for the Army to heavy up:

The Marine Corps' mission in Eastern Europe is rapidly evolving in the face of Russian saber-rattling, according to the outgoing commander of the Romania-based Black Sea Rotational Force. ...

The new iteration of Black Sea Rotational Force, which arrived in Eastern Europe in July, includes about 150 Marines that will be based in Bulgaria. The Combined Arms Company, which like the rest of BSRF, is manned by Marines on a six-month rotational basis, will include members of 2nd Tank Battalion; 2nd Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion; 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion; Combat Logistics Battalion 6; and 1st Battalion, 10th Marines.

The unit is also equipped with four Abrams main battle tanks, six light armored vehicles and three howitzers.

So much for getting back to amphibious roots.

A Marine Corps with amphibious roots is necessary for Pacific contingencies. Although I  freely admit that Marines with amphibious capabilities bolstered by heavy assets would be useful in Europe to operate against Russian coastal flanks in both the Black Sea and Baltic Sea.