Question for former military

Discussion in 'Military' started by Semper Fi, Oct 12, 2005.

  1. Semper Fi
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    Semper Fi VIP Member

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    This has been bothering me for a long time.

    How is the military organized to function as well as it does?

    I mean that in I see a lot of pictures and stuff, of artillary batteries operating in certain areas, but they are support for the infantry (correct me if Im worng on any of this), so how do they support the infantry?

    Kind of a vague question; if a company of infantry is operating near a town, and there is, for whatever reason, a need for artillary, aerial, armored, seaborn, what have you, support, who supports them and by what means? Like if a company somewhere needs aerial support (or else that is only in movies), and they call in, who's to say that air support is not out supporting another unit, or under maintanance or not even in the area, same for land-based support units.

    Do they coordinate ahead of time an artillary, armored, etc. support for each particular mission?

    This may sound like a confusing question, I hope you guys understand what Im asking. If not, just let me know and I'll see if I can explain in better sense. Thanks.
     
  2. CSM
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    CSM Senior Member

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    Wow, that is one heck of a question! I dont know about the other services, but I can tell you that the Army goes to great lengths in planning their operations. there is tons of coordination going on prior to, during, and even after each operation. Further, every single tactical mission is part of a larger mission. As you can imagine, orchestrating all those entities across a theater is a complex job.

    To get more specific, when an operations plan is created, all the commander's staff (which includes the artillery guys, aviation, engineers, even public affairs and combat engineers) get together and plan things out. The commander provides his guuidance on what he wants done for the mission and what he intends to do. The staff tries to figure out who should support whom (among other things) and who should go where and when. They know who is available as a resource and who should be tasked for certain things. Once the plan is put together, the commander reviews it and makes changes he wants then it gets published as an Operations Order. Everybody gets it so they can do their own planning and give their orders to their people. Since no plan survives contact with the enemy, the plan is continuously updated with what is called a fragmentary order (FRAGO).

    It is obviously much more complicated than this and there are tons of manuals on how to develop and write an operations order. Coordinating across services (say between Army and Air Force) is complicated as well.

    It often amazes me that anything gets done. Usually, the better and more experienced the commander's staff is, the better the plan is. A good plan requires less changes once implemented than a bad plan.

    If you have more specific questions, I can try to anser them for you. What you just asked (essentially) is how does the Army work!
     
  3. theHawk
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    theHawk Registered Conservative

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    In my opinion warfare is alot more about logistics than anything else. Alot of preparation goes into any major military campaign. Its all about training, supply and support. In essence, there is a whole 'town' supporting whatever the front line is, whether that be infantry, tanks, or a fighter squadron. They are the support units- maintenance, supply, civil engineering, comm, services.
     
  4. Semper Fi
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    Semper Fi VIP Member

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    First orf, thanks for the reply. Question for theHawk: So if we were to map out Iraq during the Gulf War, we could put the lines literally where the front lines were on the map in chronological order, moving toward Kuwait? Again, it sounded better in my head before I put it here.

    By the way, Im posting from school again. :D
     
  5. Mr. P
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    Mr. P Senior Member

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    Semper, There is no “written in stone order” to a battle campaign, things change constantly. CSM gave a pretty good summary.
    I’m not really clear on what you're looking for.
    Google the US Army War College, you may find some answers there.
     
  6. CSM
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    CSM Senior Member

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    Of course, logistics plays a huge role in any campaign, beans, bullets, toilet paper...you name it. Training is essential, but that usually occurs prior to execution. Obviously, support is critical too...

    Lots of moving parts.
     
  7. CSM
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    CSM Senior Member

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    Absolutely, those lines of which you speak are laid out in the plan and sometimes called "phase lines". There are a lot of other icons available to graphically depict the plan as well. In the old days, they used to draw those graphics by hand on an acetate covered map. All in computers now but some use acetate covered maps as back up.
     
  8. Mr. P
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    Mr. P Senior Member

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    Hold IT!!! What about the grease pencil? HAHAHAHAHA
     
  9. CSM
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    CSM Senior Member

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    Oh yes indeed... I still say the greatest technological military advance was acetate and sticky notes.
     
  10. Semper Fi
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    Semper Fi VIP Member

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    Ok, as far as Im concerned, this thread is a success, I've learned a lot, thanks.

    Yup, at school again. Math class, nobody knows what the hell is going on...only about another 55 minutes left in class though.
     

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