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Re: [SG2] [DS2] A list of questions on TOE and logistics

From: Adrian Johnson <ajohnson@i...>
Date: Mon, 02 Nov 1998 13:27:58 -0500
Subject: Re: [SG2] [DS2] A list of questions on TOE and logistics

At 03:39 PM 10/31/98 -0500, you wrote:
>1. What level are Mobile Hospitals attached at? 

Brigade or Division, with larger and better equipped facilities at the
corps / army level.  Battalions have a medical team, "Battalion Aid
Station" or something like that, and may have a medical officer who is a
doctor, but an actual Hospital would be at a higher command level.  In
Canadian army, we have a "Field Ambulance" in each Brigade - a mobile
hospital, which I believe is appx. a Company in size...

>2. How big is a typical Mobile Hospital unit? Someone got a breakdown 
>of staffing/vehicles?

Depends on the type of hospital unit and who it is attached to...  A
Brigade "Field Ambulance" is the size of a company.  The equivalent
attached to an Air Mobile or Airborne unit would be organized quite
differently (lighter, less vehicles, etc).  The Russian Army has a
field hospital which can be parachute dropped.	The buildings are all
inflatable, and the entire hospital staff (doctors, nurses, tech staff,
etc) is parachute trained.  They are equipped for, among other things,
arctic operations.  I saw pictures of them from a joint exercise in
in which Canadian SarTechs, USAF Para Rescue teams and the Russian
Hospital were collectively conducting disaster relief training, in
preparation for an airline disaster in the arctic.  In any event, your
hospital could be very light, with only a few light vehicles for general
duties and ambulance work, or in a mech. brigade/division would have
armoured ambulances/HMMWV-equivalent ambulances and be completely truck
mounted...   As to specific staffing/vehicles...  sorry 

>3. In a modern setting, IFV crew are 
>	A) part of the infantry unit they transport (each vehicle crew
>	of a squad
>	B) part of the infantry unit they transport as a separate
>	platoon
>	C) really not part of their unit, rather part of an attached 
>	armoured unit under another OIC

Could be any one of these three - all are presently used in various
militaries.    One possibility you didn't mention is that the IFV crew
could be attached as part of the infantry unit they transport, but not
of a squad ie:	a platoon has, say for IFV's with a crew of 3 and
8 infantiers.  The 12 IFV crew could be administratively part of the
platoon, but are not attached to a particular squad.  I think "C" is not
too likely in a "modern" setting - the infantry commanders would want
direct control over the IFV's so they are used as per the infantry
commander's plan and not with potentially conflicting sets of
etc.  If the IFV's are part of a completely separate unit, they might
take "ownership" or feel responsibility to the infantry they carry. 
role is to support the infantry, and they might get visions of
as a separate combat element ie US Bradley IFV's with big gun and
can act as Cavalry vehicles - maybe the commanders would see the
as an annoyance rather than their primary responsibility...  Unless, as
with the Cavalry Regiments in the US Army, they are TASKED as a Cavalry
type unit, and equipped for it...

>4. Logistics people (not counting line infantry, snipers, medics, 
>combat vehicle crew, air defence, artillery, or engineers, but 
>includign mechanics, cooks, logistics, other trades, etc). 
>	A) How many in an inf  platoon? (I suspect none)


>	B) How many in an inf Company? (attached to Company?)

Company Quarter Master and a couple of assistants, maybe - normally few

>	C) How many in an inf Battalion? (attached to Battalion?)

Canadian Infantry Battalions have a service support company with a
maintenance platoon (oversize unit with like 60 personnel, I think -
divided up into various specialties), a transport platoon (these people
transport supplies, not other troops - this is the unit in the battalion
that carries and dispenses all the fuel, oil, ammo, food, etc.), and
possibly an administration section that does all the battalion admin
work -
though this might be part of the battalion HQ...  There will also be an
attached field kitchen staffed with several kitchen vehicles (one for
HQ and maybe one for each of the companies) - they try, as much as
possible, to provide a hot meal for the rest of the battalion...  There
will be signallers/communication troops as part of the Battalion
headquarters, though in a Canadian army brigade there is also a Signals
Squadron (company) which supplies signals services.  A battalion will
have a medical section attached, with a couple of ambulances.  If the
battalion is acting "independantly" as a Battalion Battle Group, the
brigade commander may assign further support resources as needed.  The
total number of support people in a battalion is appx equiv to a
company - say 150 to 200 - though I don't have an exact number handy

>	D) How many in an inf Division? (attached to Division?)

Lots - depends on the division.  The 10th Light (Mountain) Infantry
Division at Fort Drum, New York is, I believe, under 10,000 total
(more like 8,500 I think).  The big mechanized divisions might have as
as 18,000.  Heavier divisions, (like a US Mech Inf), need a LOT more
support strength.  Figure a brigade size support component or larger. 
is not uncommon for the support personnel to equal or outnumber the
fighting personnel in these large formations.  Not in a battalion or
company or platoon, but generally these are not designed for truely
"independent" operations.  In Canadian doctrine, the Brigade is the
smallest unit capable of sustained "independent" operations normally,
even then a brigade (unless set up differently ahead of time) is
only capable or sustaining operations for a few days, maybe a week -
particularly at high-tempo operational levels.	A battalion may carry
and ammo for up to 3 days unsupported, but does not have much reserve,
especially with the more technical stuff like big spare parts...  For
really independent operations, you need the resources of a division or
corps (like the big workshop facilities needed to change a tank turret,
etc. - you can't have those units at the Brigade or Battalion level
they are too big, static, etc.)

My uncle was a REME Gunfitter (Royal Electrical and Mechanical
in the late 50's and through the 60's.	He was assigned at various times
field workshops which were small repair units equipped with machine
(lathes, mills, etc) which operated out of trucks in the field and could
provide a surprising level of maintenance to a relatively small unit. 
could deploy a field workshop at the Battalion Battle Group level, but
isn't usually done.  One place it is - I believe 45 Commando of the
Marines has an attached REME workshops unit - this is a reinforced
battalion designed for sustained independent operations - but even then
would rely greatly on fleet support...

<Incidentally and completely unrelated, my uncle discovered early on in
career that the British Army paid bonuses for shooting ability - the
you shot, the better you were paid.  This was to encourage soldierly
and marksmanship among ALL army members - kind of makes sense I guess.
Anyway, he wanted the extra cash so spent a lot of time perfecting his
skills, as was consistantly rated at the highest level of marksmanship.
The extra money was nice, but the downside to this was that as an
experienced NCO (he was eventually a Sergeant, and even as a REME he was
expected to be fully proficient as an infantry leader) who was also a
marksman, whenever the British Army had to go off to some far away place
and fight, it was guys like him who were taken along to provide logistic
and technical support.	So he ended up fighting in Aden, Borneo (or
- I forget which, maybe both) etc.  He did stuff like servicing weapons
SAS jungle camps (he was actually asked to join the SAS, but they
get him to jump out of airplanes, so he never did...).	At one point he
put in charge of a patrol of Gurkhas (I think they rotated the NCO's
units like the REMEs into infantry postings to keep up their combat
- he told me he never realized that a proper traditional Kukri set was
actually two knives.  They used the big one, which we are familiar with,
for hunting, stalking sentries, etc, and the little one was a skinning
knife.	The gurkhas were never taken prisoner (they wouldn't surrender
very rarely would stop fighting enough to be captures) and didn't take a
friendly attitude to the communist insurgents (terrorists?? depends on
which side you were on, I guess) who they captured.  He found out how
used the skinning knives when the gurkha unit he was with captured
prisoners...  Stuff they don't talk about in the history books.   He did
have a lot or admiration for the Gurkhas - once when stationed in Hong
patrolling along the mainland border with China, his section was looking
down at the vast Chinese army encampments just outside the Hong Kong
border.  There were thousands of Chinese troops, and his eight Gurkhas.
The senior Gurkha (a corporal) took a look, smiled, and said "OK.  Fair

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