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  • The tactical significance of the countryside

    This is just a thought really, and speaking from an RDF perspective...

    Is it really the best use of the DF's training budget to train the RDF in fieldcraft and offensive battle drills in the mountains, fields, and forests? Would the RDF's time not be better spent learning about OBUA, DIBUA and FISH?

    For one, on today's battlefield, a harbour area in open ground or in a forest is so easily identifiable from aerial reconnaissance with thermal imaging. One airstrike would see whole units wiped out!
    Secondly, what enemy would want to concern themselves with holding a mountain/hill/field? The only reasons I can think of is to establish an APOD, or REBRO/RAD DET, or to place Arty in the high ground to shell towns/cities; but if an enemy has the logistics to do that, it's safe to say that they'll most likely already control a town/city/port or airport.

    Are there many FIBUA training facilities in Ireland?

    Perhaps an idea would be to train the RDF in DIBUA, and every few years have a large exercise whereby the RDF's (with a small contingent of PDF) mission is to defend a FIBUA town (or airport), and the PDF are to seize it. My thinking being that the PDF should be the ones training for offensive manoeuvres and the RDF's focus should be primarily on defensive.

    I wasn't an infanteer in my time, so I'm open to correction, but for an Army with no MBTs, no attack helicopters, no real air superiority etc; would it not be best to organise and consolidate the RDF to operations within towns and cities, leaving the offensive manoeuvres beyond the city/towns to the PDF?

  • #2
    Why not 'rent' the British Army's purpose built Urban Training Village at Copehill Down in England?

    Get a Company at a time over there or even book a couple of Summer Camps if there are slots available?

    I've seen the Dutch Army and the Danish Army in there so why can't the Irish do it?

    It get's to practice everything from embarkation to disembarkation and all the fun stuff in the middle including a few nights sampling the beer and fine women of Salisbury and Amesbury!

    Just a thought but I'm with you Certa - times change and so must tactics although basics must prevail at every level.
    Last edited by RoyalGreenJacket; 3 August 2009, 15:17.
    RGJ

    ...Once a Rifleman - Always a Rifleman... Celer et Audax

    The Rifles

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    • #3
      Originally posted by SwiftandSure View Post

      Are there many FIBUA training facilities in Ireland?
      Not many just Fort Davis down in cork as far as I can recall.
      "Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

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      • #4
        There are four or five nationally, ranging from coy sized areas down to platoon sized. Most are improvised, and only one or two are actual DF property.

        It's a nice idea S&S but the fact is that all training is built on the fundamentals, and just because FIBUA is the focus of modern warfare it doesn't automatically follow that greenfields warfare can be ruled out in the future.

        For one, the state's authority needs to be exercised over all of those fields and mountains, otherwise one determined group or another could turn countryside areas into bandit country.
        At it's core an Army is there to be the unspoken violence that underwrites the existence of the state with all of it's laws obligations, and many many benefits.

        A more central issue is, what's wrong with the RDF that we can't conduct 360 degree infantry training even on a token level?
        "It is a general popular error to imagine that loudest complainers for the public to be the most anxious for it's welfare" Edmund Burke

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Tribunius View Post
          Not many just Fort Davis down in cork as far as I can recall.
          Is Davis available for training? I was under the impression the state of the place precluded it, but I'm open to correction. I've only been there once observing, but it's a fantastic resource.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Come-quickly View Post
            It's a nice idea S&S but the fact is that all training is built on the fundamentals, and just because FIBUA is the focus of modern warfare it doesn't automatically follow that greenfields warfare can be ruled out in the future.
            I wouldn't suggest for a moment that greenfield training be taken away from the training requirements, but in this day and age, its more of a secondary requirement. Capturing and holding urban realestate is what makes commanders happy and news headlines, which in turn swings the support of the population. If parts of Ireland were to turn into "Bandit country" it would eventually fall onto the PDF to deal with that problem way before the RDF gets a call up.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by SwiftandSure View Post
              Is it really the best use of the DF's training budget to train the RDF in fieldcraft and offensive battle drills in the mountains, fields, and forests? Would the RDF's time not be better spent learning about OBUA, DIBUA and FISH?
              You need to learn the basics of field warfare before you can move on to FIBUA. If you can't get field warfare right you will not have a hope with FIBUA.

              I've done FIBUA in my time.

              For one, on today's battlefield, a harbour area in open ground or in a forest is so easily identifiable from aerial reconnaissance with thermal imaging. One airstrike would see whole units wiped out!
              Who sets up a harbour in open ground??? The airstrike needs to know they are there first.


              Secondly, what enemy would want to concern themselves with holding a mountain/hill/field? The only reasons I can think of is to establish an APOD, or REBRO/RAD DET, or to place Arty in the high ground to shell towns/cities; but if an enemy has the logistics to do that, it's safe to say that they'll most likely already control a town/city/port or airport.
              Funnily enough there tends to be rural areas in between urban areas.

              Are there many FIBUA training facilities in Ireland?
              Fort Davis is the main one but there are others around the country.


              Originally posted by RoyalGreenJacket View Post
              Why not 'rent' the British Army's purpose built Urban Training Village at Copehill Down in England?

              I've seen the Dutch Army and the Danish Army in there so why can't the Irish do it?

              It get's to practice everything from embarkation to disembarkation and all the fun stuff in the middle including a few nights sampling the beer and fine women of Salisbury and Amesbury!
              The answer is €€€€€€€€€.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by FoxtrotRK View Post
                Is Davis available for training? I was under the impression the state of the place precluded it, but I'm open to correction. I've only been there once observing, but it's a fantastic resource.
                Place is gone to ruin. Little or no maintenance to cope with the fort failing apart at the seems. In terms of FIBUA, it is in my opinion unrealistic in that it does not resemble anything likely to be encountered in overseas ops. There are no realistic housing, sewers, utilites encountered in either resedential or industrial areas abroad.
                "The Question is not: how far you will take this? The Question is do you possess the constitution to go as far as is needed?"

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                • #9
                  There were proposals to develop a new FIBUA range but it probably won't go ahead due to cut backs. I hear there is an excellent village/factory site in the midlands that is used.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by SwiftandSure View Post
                    This is just a thought really, and speaking from an RDF perspective...

                    Is it really the best use of the DF's training budget to train the RDF in fieldcraft and offensive battle drills in the mountains, fields, and forests? Would the RDF's time not be better spent learning about OBUA, DIBUA and FISH?

                    For one, on today's battlefield, a harbour area in open ground or in a forest is so easily identifiable from aerial reconnaissance with thermal imaging. One airstrike would see whole units wiped out!
                    Secondly, what enemy would want to concern themselves with holding a mountain/hill/field? The only reasons I can think of is to establish an APOD, or REBRO/RAD DET, or to place Arty in the high ground to shell towns/cities; but if an enemy has the logistics to do that, it's safe to say that they'll most likely already control a town/city/port or airport.

                    Are there many FIBUA training facilities in Ireland?

                    Perhaps an idea would be to train the RDF in DIBUA, and every few years have a large exercise whereby the RDF's (with a small contingent of PDF) mission is to defend a FIBUA town (or airport), and the PDF are to seize it. My thinking being that the PDF should be the ones training for offensive manoeuvres and the RDF's focus should be primarily on defensive.

                    I wasn't an infanteer in my time, so I'm open to correction, but for an Army with no MBTs, no attack helicopters, no real air superiority etc; would it not be best to organise and consolidate the RDF to operations within towns and cities, leaving the offensive manoeuvres beyond the city/towns to the PDF?
                    A. Seems to be working for the terrorists in Afghanistan and a lot of the small wars around the globe. Ground will always have to be held by the boots on the ground, not protected from the air.

                    B. more and more members of the R.D.F. are wishing to be given equipment & roles more akin to the P.D.F., why split training into "them" and "us".

                    In the foreseeable future Ireland might be taking on more and more overseas missions and possibly the Reserve might get a look in too, so is there any reason to train the Reserve in fighting as defenders of piles of rubble (seeing as the enemy will undoubtedly bomb the s h i t e out of built up urban environments, and if for the sake of argument Ireland was invaded, the Reserve would need to know how to fight in the large country areas between the urban environments, or at least need training in moving cross country, when the urban environment becomes untenable due to enemy action.

                    Connaught Stranger.

                    PS one can but dream for places like this:-

                    http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums...59#post4312359
                    Last edited by Connaught Stranger; 3 August 2009, 20:37.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Connaught Stranger View Post
                      In the foreseeable future Ireland might be taking on more and more overseas missions and possibly the Reserve might get a look in too,
                      Have you read the proposals of An Bord Snip?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by DeV View Post
                        Have you read the proposals of An Bord Snip?
                        For me, the foreseeable future covers the next 100 years

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                        • #13
                          Set phasers to stun!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by DeV View Post
                            You need to learn the basics of field warfare before you can move on to FIBUA. If you can't get field warfare right you will not have a hope with FIBUA.
                            The point I'm making is that shouldn't the fundamental training change? Begin with OBUA and move onto field warfare. Given that they are separate disciplines of warfare, it shouldn't matter too much which is taught first; but the likelyhood is that urban terrain is more likely to be the theatre that the DF sees action in and therefore it should be the bread and butter of the DF.

                            Originally posted by DeV View Post
                            Who sets up a harbour in open ground???
                            My Bn decided to harbour up in open ground on this year's summer camp. That's what started me thinking about starting this thread.

                            Originally posted by DeV View Post
                            The airstrike needs to know they are there first.
                            UAVs are becoming a cheap(ish) disposable commodity on the battelfield these days; fitted with thermal imaging a triangle shaped mass of body warmth on the ground could be seen easily. Arty or airstrike would follow shortly after.


                            Originally posted by DeV View Post
                            Funnily enough there tends to be rural areas in between urban areas.
                            Yes and the likelyhood of an enemy choosing to defend a field over a town/village is remote. Although that does bring me onto another point about convoy battle drills. The OBUA arguement aside, convoy battle drills should be pivotal to DF training; because from what I understand, to get across the rural area between the usually mission critical urban areas, troops are commonly transported via convoy, which are open to ambush. Hit and run convoy contacts seem to be very popular on todays battlefield, yet no one I've spoken to in the RDF so far (I can't say anything for the PDF) has been trained, or rehearsed convoy battle drills. On exercise recently we were transported in convoy, when I asked during the mission brief what were the "actions on" En contact en route to RV1, I was greeted with blank stares.
                            I know its a methodology that is evolving rapidly due to events in Iraq and Afghanistan, but even though Ireland isn't involved in that kind of conflict, should it not move with the times and adjust its tactics accordingly so that should the DF find itself in that type of conflict, it can hit the ground running, rather than play catch up.
                            I would say that convoy drills are as important as foot patroling in today's military.


                            Originally posted by Connaught Stranger View Post
                            A. Seems to be working for the terrorists in Afghanistan and a lot of the small wars around the globe. Ground will always have to be held by the boots on the ground, not protected from the air.]
                            Completely agree with boots on the ground comment, but the Taliban are prone commodeering buildings/caves which is how they evade aerial surveillance regularly. If they were pitching up tents in copses and plantations, they'd be seen fairly quickly. Embedding themselves with the civilian population is the best camoflage they have.

                            Originally posted by Connaught Stranger View Post
                            B. more and more members of the R.D.F. are wishing to be given equipment & roles more akin to the P.D.F., why split training into "them" and "us".
                            It's just not possible in the present climate to train and equip the RDF to the same standard as the PDF. Surely the best solution would be to make sure the RDF are strong on the fundamentals of basic fieldcraft and OBUA with a focus on defence, then should the unlikely need arise to deploy them, a 3 month predeployment training package should get them up to speed.



                            Originally posted by Connaught Stranger View Post
                            In the foreseeable future Ireland might be taking on more and more overseas missions and possibly the Reserve might get a look in too, so is there any reason to train the Reserve in fighting as defenders of piles of rubble (seeing as the enemy will undoubtedly bomb the s h i t e out of built up urban environments, and if for the sake of argument Ireland was invaded, the Reserve would need to know how to fight in the large country areas between the urban environments, or at least need training in moving cross country, when the urban environment becomes untenable due to enemy action.
                            The RDF alone would be way to small and inexperienced to take on an invading army in large country areas. It would be suicide! In it's present state, the RDF would probably only slow the PDF down. (That's not a slur on integration! But I'd say for the majority of those that didn't volunteer for integration, deployment with the PDF at short notice could be a problem as I'd hazard a guess that only 1 in 3 RDF personnel are qualified and physically capable to operate effectively at PDF standards) Operating as small units in amongst the familiar urban terrain would the best defence against a large foreign aggressor.


                            Originally posted by Connaught Stranger View Post
                            PS one can but dream for places like this:-

                            http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums...59#post4312359
                            Nice

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by SwiftandSure View Post
                              UAVs are becoming a cheap(ish) disposable commodity on the battelfield these days; fitted with thermal imaging a triangle shaped mass of body warmth on the ground could be seen easily. Arty or airstrike would follow shortly after.
                              I have witnessed an excellent example of this; we had a UAV conducting a counter-IED flight in Kandahar, when they spotted an IED-emplacing team at work a few hundred meters from the site where a Canadian was killed days before. They were very likely the same guys trying to score again.
                              Less than 25 minutes later, a 500-lb GBU-12 launched from a French Mirage-2000 annihilated the team.
                              "On the plains of hesitation, bleach the bones of countless millions, who on the very dawn of victory, laid down to rest, and in resting died.

                              Never give up!!"

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