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Author Topic: U.S. Army organization: Need some help understanding it.  (Read 1280 times)

Colt Ward

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Re: U.S. Army organization: Need some help understanding it.
« Reply #30 on: 30 November 2020, 12:17:10 »
When the 4th BCTs of the regular divisions were organized it took about a year to man, equip, and train them before deploying them.

But we also (now) keep large stashes of equipment pre-positioned around the world.
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mbear

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Re: U.S. Army organization: Need some help understanding it.
« Reply #31 on: 30 November 2020, 13:01:15 »
OK. Thanks everyone for your replies, but now I have another question. Talked to my Dad yesterday and he was a redleg in Germany in the early 70's. He mentioned A battery, B battery, C battery, and HQ battery. A-C Batteries I understand now are combat support units (3 companies of howitzers). I assume HQ battery is an administrative formation that handles paperwork, intelligence, logistics, medical, training, etc. for the battalion as a whole so A-C can focus on combat training. Am I right?

(I've also seen references to headquarters troop, headquarters platoon, etc. in armored cavalry and infantry companies so I assume those perform the same duties as headquarters battery.)

In other words if combat elements from A-C companies/troops/batteries/whatever are the steak, headquarters detachment is the sides and salt that make it better. I mean you can eat steak without salt and a buttery baked potato, but the steak is so much better when you do have those sides.
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Colt Ward

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Re: U.S. Army organization: Need some help understanding it.
« Reply #32 on: 30 November 2020, 16:14:30 »
Headquarters Company/Troop/Battery are all on the same echelon.

So to break it down, this is how my battalion was . . .

A, B, & C were the firing batteries.  Each battery controlled their own launchers (theoretically the platoon existed- oops battery control died-, but was superseded by equipment doctrine) and was composed of the two 'gun' platoons, ammo platoon & HQ platoon . . . the HQ platoon had a FDC section, Admin section, NBC NCO, attached medic and before BCT a mess & tech section while after BCT the techs were attached.  Admin section mostly oversaw the ammo platoon, which was basically a platoon filled with truck drivers & equipment, the PLT NCO was most times double-hat with the Admin senior NCO . . . the PLT LDR would also be the most junior butter bar or occasionally a dot-head (cadet) that would be commissioning shortly.  Sometimes it was left vacant due to staffing.

Bascially it scales up . . . the BN HQ & HQ Support Battery is the 'home' of the mechanics and medical section which are attached elements to the firing batteries.  They also control the battalion ammo point, responsible for getting the ammo from brigade to give it to the batteries- so they track it as well.  Brigade has a HQ battalion to manage the 3 firing battalions, etc though at various levels certain slots appear or 'grow.'  The battery has a NBC NCO, the BN has a NBC section or squad . . . the Brigade might have a platoon if not a company.  The Brigade BN also has the brigade surgeon with a aide station & some nurses while the BN's HQ batteries has a physician's assistant in charge of the field medics- half of which are assigned down to the batteries.  Commo, supply, etc same deal with a lot of other position needs . . . the battery/troop/company is the fighting element and whatever is not directly needed to fight is in HQ&HQ Support that can be sent as attachments- it comes down to doctrine.  Look at the Staff positions- S1, S2, S3, S4, etc- and each of those positions will have folks who do that job in HQ.

If that artillery battalion became a combat support battalion, that is a different story.  They now have combat support companies (or batteries depending on heritage) which are a different kettle of fish . . . and when those slides were displayed during the BCT change my eyes may have been glazed over.  It happened to a sister battalion, they changed pennant colors and folks who did not want to change MOSs moved over to the artillery BN- made them full strength for once outside of mobilizations.
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mikecj

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Re: U.S. Army organization: Need some help understanding it.
« Reply #33 on: 30 November 2020, 22:18:44 »
But we also (now) keep large stashes of equipment pre-positioned around the world.

Large?  Not like POMCUS used to be.  APS is a whole different philosophy.
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Colt Ward

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Re: U.S. Army organization: Need some help understanding it.
« Reply #34 on: 01 December 2020, 11:42:29 »
Oh yeah, every thing has been reduced . . . is a heavy mech division's worth of equipment still sitting at Diego Garcia?  I doubt it . . . same thing with the old depots in Europe . . . but there is MORE equipment stashed in Saudi/Kuwait/Iraq.

But equipment has also gotten lighter to get it air mobile to respond . . . HIMARS instead of MLRS M270, gun Stykers instead of Abrams, heck Strykers instead of Bradleys . . . would those lighter formations really be able to substitute for the heavier armor in a Red Storm Rising type scenario?  I assume the war simulations say relatively so, or give the ability to nip those situations in the bud . . . but really no way to know until someone starts shooting.
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kato

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Re: U.S. Army organization: Need some help understanding it.
« Reply #35 on: 01 December 2020, 13:10:50 »
same thing with the old depots in Europe . . .
While it's not POMCUS - the equipment in Europe has been reconstituted relatively recently as the "European Activity Set". Vehicles and equipment for an armoured brigade at Coleman Barracks, Mannheim, Germany. It's mostly being used for US forces rotating in and out of Eastern Europe.

To be fair most of POMCUS in the late 80s was in a pretty abysmal state, with up to 30% of equipment supposed to be there on paper actually missing, and the rest being mostly vintage late 60s stuff.

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Re: U.S. Army organization: Need some help understanding it.
« Reply #36 on: 01 December 2020, 23:41:16 »
Talked to my Dad yesterday and he was a redleg in Germany in the early 70's. He mentioned A battery, B battery, C battery, and HQ battery. A-C Batteries I understand now are combat support units (3 companies of howitzers).

Artillery is actually combat arms, not combat support.

Any MOS in the teens (11 through 19) is Combat Arms. Infantry (11), Combat Engineers (12), Field Artillery (13), Air Defense Artillery (14), Combat Aviation (15), Special Forces (18), Armor and Cavalry (19).

A special day will soon be here for all Redlegs: December 4th is Saint Barbara's Day, and she's the Patron Saint for the Artillery. Your Dad might have stories about attending a St. Barbara's Ball. :)
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Colt Ward

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Re: U.S. Army organization: Need some help understanding it.
« Reply #37 on: 02 December 2020, 00:05:21 »
Artillery is actually combat arms, not combat support.

Any MOS in the teens (11 through 19) is Combat Arms. Infantry (11), Combat Engineers (12), Field Artillery (13), Air Defense Artillery (14), Combat Aviation (15), Special Forces (18), Armor and Cavalry (19).

A special day will soon be here for all Redlegs: December 4th is Saint Barbara's Day, and she's the Patron Saint for the Artillery. Your Dad might have stories about attending a St. Barbara's Ball. :)

When they went through the FIRES Brigade re-organization some artillery battalions were re-classed as Combat Support BNs- the sister MLRS BN in my brigade, the 1/171, became Combat Support.  They kept the 1/171 designation I THINK to keep the traditions but had to exchange their red pennant for a . . . well, I would swear it was yellow but I do not remember.  Like I mentioned earlier, the guys that did not want to reclass/retrain transferred to our battalion as we transitioned to HIMARS- we actually hit 100% in the 13 series MOS slots.
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