PDA

View Full Version : restructure the military


dwa
01-01-2009, 11:27 PM
how would you restructure the military? i read up a bit every now and again about military procurement and such and came to a realization that in my opinion the services need to be reorganized a bit. i have a biases toward being pro army which is somewhat obvious but i think my ideas benefit all the services. feel free to throw in your ideas and critique mine.

SOCOM should be detached and form its own branch but retain the policy of drawing members from the parent services. this would allow them more latitude to do what they do best without interference. i would also allow them to grow larger if they feel the need to the end that we can fight small wars by employing sf to do what they were originally intended for.

Marine Corp will be made smaller and more focused on (what i think) they're primary mission is, amphibious assaults and landings this will allow them to be more picky about recruits which they like and have more money for their amphibious toys (efv). right now i feel they are redundant to the army and losing amphibious capability which is what sets them apart.

Air Force will transfer all A-10s to Army Aviation and cede the CAS mission to them. Since the Air Force has no interest in a next generation A-10 or really in CAS at all and procures new aircraft mainly for air superiority and strike capability this will free them up to focus on those areas which they seem most interested in, more f-22s and f-35s to expand our ability to control the sky and strike high value targets along with CAS where strike air craft would be suitable

Army will expand Army Aviation to include the newly acquired A-10s (courtesy of AF) and start up COIN/armed reconnaissance wings of possible prop powered aircraft in addition to more uavs to give the army an organic observation,reconnaissance and attack capabilities. Army will consider the COIN aircraft for use as escorts during air assault operations as any of a myriad of prop aircraft considered for the COIN role around the world boast higher speed longer range and greater payload than the OH-58, the only drawback i see is the inability to FARP but they wouldn't be replacing OH 58s just augmenting them.

Navy would expand riverine capability along with looking at current foreign designs of littoral combat ships like the Visby skjold and hamina , along with foreign destroyer and frigate designs as the current under development ships seen to be rather expensive and not having significant advantages. (im not totally sure on this) i like the work the navy is doing with rail guns and am considering the feasibility of a comeback for a rail gun armed battleship! i also like the move to acquire very capable uavs to augment fewer more capable maned aircraft. i think the LCS is a bad idea and a ship that big has no business being in RPG range from the shore and the DDG 1000 hasn't won me over but i like the concept.

sb_pete
01-02-2009, 4:17 AM
Interesting thoughts.

I have heard plenty of reports about the AF's issues with CAS and disdain for the A-10. I think it would probably be a good idea to swing the A-10s over to the Army (and maybe even create some interest in an eventual replacement/evolution for this aircraft). That said, how many guys transition back and forth between fixed and rotary wing airframes these days? I think it is worth exploring the effects on peoples career paths. You wouldn't want A-10's to be transitioned over to the service that appreciates them (the Army) only to find that the pilots for them become pidgeonholed into an undesirable career path.

Also, if you are doing A-10s, what do you do with AC-130's. They serve an analogous CAS role. Being built on C-130 airframes though, you need the Airforce's pool of pilots. If you are going to create an Army aviation wing that encompasses UAV's, rotary wing, and A-10's which is focused on and responsible for organic CAS, leaving the AC-130 in Airforce hands is a recipe for neglect and/or bureaucratic non-action/bs.

There is also the matter of facilities. The Airforce is setup for fixed wing, the Army really isn't.

Maybe a better idea would be to create a joint command under Army control, but leave the logistics and fixed wing pilots to the Airforce? This way the AC-130's and A-10's could be part of the same chain as the Army's rotary wing assets. This would also allow much closer integration of the two services UAV programs.

_______________

As to the Marines; respectfully, I think you are shortshrifting them. The USMC has a very strong tradition of amphibious operations, but it is really only WWII where that was their raison d'etre. Their forte is expeditionary warfare. The USMC Marine Expeditionary Unit is a fully integrated war fighting machine. While a MEU is a shipborne deployment, they have always been intended to operate anywhere (including far from the shore). Oddly, the traditional USMC mission before WWII was the same small wars you talk about in relation to SOCOM. Check out Max Boot's "The Savage Wars of Peace."

SOCOM does occupy a very strange place in the command structure. It has units from all four services. It is not under any one area command, but operates in all of them. This is bound to be a bit odd, but I guess SOCOM always was. I see alot of problems with having it become a truly independent service though. For one thing, what would stop it from simply becoming a larger version of the CIA's direct action wing? Also, one of the great things about SOCOM comes back to the personnel factor. While there has historically been lots of tension between SpecOp units and the big army, the ability of personnel to go back and forth integrates the capabilities much more than it otherwise would be. The big army is probably always going to use SpecOps forces in roles they weren't intended for just like SOCOM used SEALs when many thought they should have used DELTA in Anaconda (or LAV in a hummer role given to Marine First Recon in Iraqi Freedom and made famous by HBO's Generation Kill). The fact that the big army has plenty of officers who have spent time with Rangers or done time as a Special Forces Captain makes them appreciate the capabilities of SpecOps forces in a way they otherwise wouldn't (and did not used to - think 1980s). There is also the old fear of the big world unto itself non-democratic professional army. SOCOM as an elite military branch unto itself that only recruits from the other branches sounds like a pretty bada** thing in a Call of Duty 4 sort of way. But there is, I think, a real danger of such a service becoming totally disconnected from the population it is intended to serve. The CIA has still never fully shaken off the perception of being a totally unaccountable political force unto itself which it got shackled with after the Sixties and stuff like the Bay of Pigs and Air America. SOCOM as its own service would be even bigger (than the direct action side of the CIA anyways - then again that is a perception, I don't have any real info on that). It would also be chock full of covert and clandestine stuff which I am guessing is easier to hide in plain sight as part of the bigger services.

More than anything else though, I think the revolving door has a very beneficial effect on the host branches. It will be interesting to see the effects on the USMC over the next decade or two.

Can't comment on the Naval stuff other than to say the Skjold sure looks cool ;).

-Pete

jmlivingston
01-02-2009, 7:15 AM
I like your idea about SOCOM, and agree with your thoughts about the USMC. What they're doing today seems pretty redundant to what the Army's doing in Iraq. But fixed wing combat aircraft to the Army? No way, won't happen. The Army does not have anything near what it would take to start supporting that, if it came to that they might as well re-integrate and make it the U.S. Army Air Force. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Army_Air_Forces)

John

Requiem
01-02-2009, 7:54 AM
agree with your thoughts about the USMC. What they're doing today seems pretty redundant to what the Army's doing in Iraq.[/URL]

John

Except, the Marines do it better... with less numbers and worse tech/equipment because of training.

I'm not trying to start a branch **** flinging fest here... just stating my opinion which yes I am biased as a Marine. Honestly tho, Amphib ops are few and far between these days. If you gave the Marines only amphibious stuff to do, then eventually we'd be phased out together. Yes we are rooted in amphibious nature, thats why that anchor is there in our insignia. But We've proven ourselves far beyond that... why reduce us to something outdated when our capability is so much more?

ChuckBooty
01-02-2009, 7:59 AM
I agree with your thoughts on the Marines. The Marines ultimately fall under the Dept of the Navy...why would land combat units fall under the Dept of the Navy? I'd restructure them to Amphibious Assault only. All of their ground combat troops would fall under the Dept of the Army...but I'd keep them separate. All Marines would wear a tab, vis a vis the Army Rangers.

valleyguy
01-02-2009, 8:22 AM
Anyone here read David Hackworth? In one of his books, he proposed that the Army and Marines be combined, Airforce get folded back into the army (a la the original Army Air Corps), and the Navy remain the same, I believe.

sb_pete, the one issue I have with your suggestions for aircraft decisions is that it's overly focused on the careers of a few individuals (i.e. special interests), rather than what our military or the nation needs. It's becoming increasingly obvious that manned flights are soon going to be mostly a thing of the past, as more and more projects are towards automated fighters, bombers, and other aircraft. It just is so much more effective, costs a lot less to run, and has already been working for us well in Iraq and Afghanistan. While we'll probably never be completely free of pilots, it's already looking like a lot of the F-22 and F-35 purchases were sort of "yesterday's thinking."

MrLogan
01-02-2009, 9:40 AM
Except, the Marines do it better... with less numbers and worse tech/equipment because of training.

I'm not trying to start a branch **** flinging fest here... just stating my opinion which yes I am biased as a Marine. Honestly tho, Amphib ops are few and far between these days. If you gave the Marines only amphibious stuff to do, then eventually we'd be phased out together. Yes we are rooted in amphibious nature, thats why that anchor is there in our insignia. But We've proven ourselves far beyond that... why reduce us to something outdated when our capability is so much more?

Speaking as an E2? With all due respect, what do you know? ;)

Friendly ribbing aside, I have nothing but respect for the Marines. Both the Marines and the Army are the world's premier combat forces, bar none. Let's not get into a pissing contest over which branch does it better. The two services fill different roles, and excel in their missions. Nuff said.

SDJim
01-02-2009, 10:29 AM
One of the great things about the way the Marines are structured is that when a MEU(SOC)/MAF responds they bring everything with them in an autonomous organazation. Infantry, artillery, aviation (CAS/fixed wing & rotary), transportation, logistics and all the other support functions.

This organization has been through numerous CAX (Combined Arms Exercises) the benefit of which is the FO's/FAC's have trained with the same CAS / Arty folks they are going on deployment with.

Do the Marines duplicate some of the same functions as the Army. Sure, but they provide a more robust rapid response force as compared to the rapid response capability of the Ready Response Force from the 82nd Airborne Div.

When you piece-meal deploy battalion sized units, the difference between Army & Marine functions become less obvious.

What I'm trying to say is The Army is good at what they are trained to do (boots on the ground / act as an occupying force) where the Marines excel in the assault / first strike capability.

Most OP PLANS call for inserting the Marines with the ultimate goal of bringing in the Army in 30 days.

P.S. This is all recollections from my time at the Army Sergeant's Major Academy at wonderful Fort Bliss. TX and serving on the staff of the Commander Naval Surface Forces, Pacific (now Fleet Forces Command, Pacific)

dustoff31
01-02-2009, 12:24 PM
how would you restructure the military? i read up a bit every now and again about military procurement and such and came to a realization that in my opinion the services need to be reorganized a bit. i have a biases toward being pro army which is somewhat obvious but i think my ideas benefit all the services. feel free to throw in your ideas and critique mine.

SOCOM should be detached and form its own branch but retain the policy of drawing members from the parent services. this would allow them more latitude to do what they do best without interference. i would also allow them to grow larger if they feel the need to the end that we can fight small wars by employing sf to do what they were originally intended for.

Do you mean like a DOD department? Army, Navy, AF, SOCOM? I don't know about that, it seems like that might be more trouble than it's worth.

There already is a US SOCOM command and SF is already a seperate branch within the Army, so just designate it THE SOCOM command and transfer needed assets from other brances of the service to it.

Air Force will transfer all A-10s to Army Aviation and cede the CAS mission to them. Since the Air Force has no interest in a next generation A-10 or really in CAS at all and procures new aircraft mainly for air superiority and strike capability this will free them up to focus on those areas which they seem most interested in, more f-22s and f-35s to expand our ability to control the sky and strike high value targets along with CAS where strike air craft would be suitable.

Army will expand Army Aviation to include the newly acquired A-10s (courtesy of AF) and start up COIN/armed reconnaissance wings of possible prop powered aircraft in addition to more uavs to give the army an organic observation,reconnaissance and attack capabilities. Army will consider the COIN aircraft for use as escorts during air assault operations as any of a myriad of prop aircraft considered for the COIN role around the world boast higher speed longer range and greater payload than the OH-58, the only drawback i see is the inability to FARP but they wouldn't be replacing OH 58s just augmenting them.


Just before Desert Storm the AF wanted to get rid of A-10s, when the Army stepped up and "we'll take them" and then the AF found them useful in the desert, they sort of dropped that idea and decided to keep them. The Air Force and the Marines did both get rid of COIN type aircraft though (OV-10s, A-37s, etc.), I believe they even scrapped OA-10s, which i think was a mistake.

TonyKat
01-02-2009, 12:42 PM
I've always wondered why the Army and Marines weren't combined. They do basically the same job. I guess it would be a pissing match deciding which name to use.

Fjold
01-02-2009, 1:31 PM
.......... I guess it would be a pissing match deciding which name to use.


Maries

Sorry, couldn't resist it. I was a squid for to long.

sorensen440
01-02-2009, 1:39 PM
Maries

Sorry, couldn't resist it. I was a squid for to long.

I was thinking Marmy

ChuckBooty
01-02-2009, 2:01 PM
Armines?

dwa
01-02-2009, 4:45 PM
lets just go ala starship troopers and be the mobile infantry

dwa
01-02-2009, 4:56 PM
Except, the Marines do it better... with less numbers and worse tech/equipment because of training.

I'm not trying to start a branch **** flinging fest here... just stating my opinion which yes I am biased as a Marinewell you kinda did. Honestly tho, Amphib ops are few and far between these days.air to air ops are few and far between today also, so are tank on tank antiship mission hell a sub hasn't killed another ship in a while maybe we should get rid of them If you gave the Marines only amphibious stuff to do, then eventually we'd be phased out togetherprobably not as that capability is always important the marines would just be smaller and better equipped for the missions the larger army can do. Yes we are rooted in amphibious nature, that's why that anchor is there in our insignia. But We've proven ourselves far beyond that... why reduce us to something outdated when our capability is so much more?because if the marines get too far away from their amphibious roots then we don't have any amphibious capability

I'm not trying to put you down but as an e-2 i don't see how you can say that the marines do anything better, yes you have less numbers because you are a smaller service and really just part of the navy so i don't see what your point is marines and army have different missions. as for worse tech better training have you ever trained with the army if not how can you say what training is better and for equipment once again have you ever compared army/marine equipment in person if not you have no standing for that statement. i was station 20 miles from a marine base so i know how great marines know they are so i guessing your comments are the byproduct of that.

dwa
01-02-2009, 4:59 PM
I like your idea about SOCOM, and agree with your thoughts about the USMC. What they're doing today seems pretty redundant to what the Army's doing in Iraq. But fixed wing combat aircraft to the Army? No way, won't happen. The Army does not have anything near what it would take to start supporting that, if it came to that they might as well re-integrate and make it the U.S. Army Air Force. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Army_Air_Forces)

John

basically ya it would be like bringing back the army air corp with specific missions (CAS) and a few limited type of aircraft COIN CAS rotary wing and letting the air force focus on stuff they like such as expensive fights bomber and stealth whathave yous

dwa
01-02-2009, 5:03 PM
Just before Desert Storm the AF wanted to get rid of A-10s, when the Army stepped up and "we'll take them" and then the AF found them useful in the desert, they sort of dropped that idea and decided to keep them. The Air Force and the Marines did both get rid of COIN type aircraft though (OV-10s, A-37s, etc.), I believe they even scrapped OA-10s, which i think was a mistake.


i think the air force is very territorial over anything that has fixed wings

sb_pete
01-02-2009, 5:41 PM
sb_pete, the one issue I have with your suggestions for aircraft decisions is that it's overly focused on the careers of a few individuals (i.e. special interests), rather than what our military or the nation needs. It's becoming increasingly obvious that manned flights are soon going to be mostly a thing of the past, as more and more projects are towards automated fighters, bombers, and other aircraft. It just is so much more effective, costs a lot less to run, and has already been working for us well in Iraq and Afghanistan. While we'll probably never be completely free of pilots, it's already looking like a lot of the F-22 and F-35 purchases were sort of "yesterday's thinking."

While it may seem overly focused on the careers of a few individuals as opposed to the overall needs of the military, it is exactly the bigger picture that I am thinking. This is in response to a very narrowly fielded question: whether the Army's famous offer to take the A-10's themselves if the Airforce didn't want them would actually work out? As others have stated, the logistical ramifications would be rather huge. Bringing a fixed wing capability and all attendant logistical concerns back to the Army a la the old Army Air Force would be a big deal. In practice they would probably have to operate from Air Force facilities anyways.

In regards to the careers, my point is that if you just brought all the A-10's to the Army, where would the pilots come from? Would you be pulling guys from rotary wing aircraft? Pilots on loan from the Airforce (how do you square the circle of Army Warrant Officer pilots vs AF Officer pilots)? How would you attract a corps of pilots for those aircraft? Their career paths would be very narrow and focused (and resultantly pidgeonholed and less attractive to aspiring personnel). As is, A-10 guys are really their own little unloved bastard children wing of the Airforce. But, importantly, those pilots can come and go and have the full resources of the AF (somewhere) behind them. As part of the Army, they would be a strange unloved and misunderstood part of a rotary wing centric force. I think such a proposition would likely whither on the vine and leave the fixed wing CAS role to UAVs. While UAVs do many things very well, I have seen no evidence that the situational awareness of a low and slow, groundpounding, enscounced in his "armored bathtub," A-10 pilot has been duplicated in UAV's. That may change; but while I think UAV's are ideally suited to recon and ground strike (not to mention Wild Weasel) missions, the "airborne tank" role of the A-10 is just a very unique thing that I think is best suited to having a real human (and something approximating 'ground truth') up there.

Lastly, you also get back to the problem of what to do with AC-130s. If you give the CAS role over to the Army, do you give the AC-130's to the Army as well? Once again you run into a personnel problem. It is just useful to be able to draw on the AF personnel pool for these things. By having a pool of potential personnel that don't plan on spending their entire careers doing CAS, you end up with more (and thus theoretically better) candidates.

I really think there is the potential for the AF and Army air wings to integrate more closely here, but I see more cons than pros in having the Army actually take over full responsibility for the fixed wing CAS airframes. This is going out on another limb, but what do you guys think of creating a joint force that would oversee the CAS and CasEvac roles? Something under Army command, but utilizing AF fixed wing assets. Maybe it would be better just to put the AF CAS platforms under Army operational command but keep them maintained and operated by the AF? I see what the OP was saying in that the operational side of CAS is really an Army affair. Logistically though, it just makes more sense to me that fixed wing stays AF.

The USMC is another matter though. As has been said, the whole point of the USMC is the autonomous nature of the MEU.

-Pete

dwa
01-02-2009, 7:22 PM
While it may seem overly focused on the careers of a few individuals as opposed to the overall needs of the military, it is exactly the bigger picture that I am thinking. This is in response to a very narrowly fielded question: whether the Army's famous offer to take the A-10's themselves if the Air Force didn't want them would actually work out? As others have stated, the logistical ramifications would be rather huge. Bringing a fixed wing capability and all attendant logistical concerns back to the Army a la the old Army Air Force would be a big deal. In practice they would probably have to operate from Air Force facilities anyways.
true those are some good points. i do believe that in theatre rotary wing operates out of primarily AF Fobs so i don't think it would be an issue and if the army a-10s couldn't find a home i think a base sharing arrangement might even be beneficial in having the two services in close proximity
In regards to the careers, my point is that if you just brought all the A-10's to the Army, where would the pilots come from? Would you be pulling guys from rotary wing aircraft? Pilots on loan from the Airforce (how do you square the circle of Army Warrant Officer pilots vs AF Officer pilots)? How would you attract a corps of pilots for those aircraft? Their career paths would be very narrow and focused (and resultantly pidgeonholed and less attractive to aspiring personnel). As is, A-10 guys are really their own little unloved bastard children wing of the Airforce. But, importantly, those pilots can come and go and have the full resources of the AF (somewhere) behind them. As part of the Army, they would be a strange unloved and misunderstood part of a rotary wing centric force.i disagree i think the army would have a massive hard on for the a-10s and crew and show em the loving they diserve along with my proposed a-10 lite variant. i believe some of the rotary wing assests can be augmented with prop aircraft something similar but moe capable than the super tucano or t-6b
I think such a proposition would likely whither on the vine and leave the fixed wing CAS role to UAVs. While UAVs do many things very well, I have seen no evidence that the situational awareness of a low and slow, groundpounding, enscounced in his "armored bathtub," A-10 pilot has been duplicated in UAV's. That may change; but while I think UAV's are ideally suited to recon and ground strike (not to mention Wild Weasel) missions, the "airborne tank" role of the A-10 is just a very unique thing that I think is best suited to having a real human (and something approximating 'ground truth') up there.
i agree with you here UAVs are great at doing UAV things but should stay in their lane restrict them to strike missions, persistent observation/strike and work on getting air superiority capability where they can augment manned aircraft

Lastly, you also get back to the problem of what to do with AC-130s. If you give the CAS role over to the Army, do you give the AC-130's to the Army as well? Once again you run into a personnel problem. It is just useful to be able to draw on the AF personnel pool for these things. By having a pool of potential personnel that don't plan on spending their entire careers doing CAS, you end up with more (and thus theoretically better) candidates.
that's a very good question i hadn't thought about, i suppose you would have to move them over and i think they would be greatly loved by the army if they picket them up. since we would be shifting CAS to the army the AC-130s would go also i think the personal problem could be solved by allowing an easy exchange of personnel between the services
I really think there is the potential for the AF and Army air wings to integrate more closely here, but I see more cons than pros in having the Army actually take over full responsibility for the fixed wing CAS airframes. This is going out on another limb, but what do you guys think of creating a joint force that would oversee the CAS and CasEvac roles? Something under Army command, but utilizing AF fixed wing assets. Maybe it would be better just to put the AF CAS platforms under Army operational command but keep them maintained and operated by the AF? I see what the OP was saying in that the operational side of CAS is really an Army affair. Logistically though, it just makes more sense to me that fixed wing stays AF. i see this suggestion as more of an intierm thing during the transition process as the army would be as you pointed out in a sever lack of qualified personel

The USMC is another matter though. As has been said, the whole point of the USMC is the autonomous nature of the MEU.

-Pete

...