Case Study: Army Redesign 646 - 644
Since 618, the Kodiaker Army relied on the Brigade Tactical Group (BTG) organized within the construct of the Square Division concept as a 3+1 design. This consisted of three mechanized brigades (subdivided into three mechanized battalions with one tank battalion) and one tank brigade (subdivided into three tank battalions and one mechanized battalion). These brigades were then augmented with Division level support elements to form the BTG with additional artillery, engineers, and logistic enablers. This was seen as a way to augment the shortfalls of the army during years of downsizing amid lowered budgets and a border crisis that resulted in an active army presence to maintain forward units capable of independent actions at the tactical level.
With the threat of looming conflict against a peer level Regional Power, the possibility of Large Scale Combat Operations (LSCO) is higher than ever. Due to the complicated nature of LSCO, supporting so many augmented brigades across the whole Ground Force would take away the options of the Operational Commander to shape the battlefield. In order to refocus the objectives of Operational and Strategic headquarters, a force redesign is required to restore the capability of Division and Corps echelons to achieve deep effects on the battlefield.
The Great North (TGN) poses a clear and present danger to The Kodiak Republic (TKR) with a sustained information campaign underway against TKR. Continued posturing of ground, air, and seaborne forces continues to highlight possible hostile intent to satisfy TGN’s claims to the Darrent region. The Darrent region is home to 5.5% of TKRs population and is the site of large resource deposits that were discovered ten years ago. TGNs claims to the region originate from this time of discovery. Loss of the region would deprive TKR of natural defensive borders in the northwest and the loss of billions in potential economic revenue.
With the passage of the National Defense Authorization for 643, the push for modernization and expansion of the military is at an all time high. To facilitate the growth needed to create new combat divisions for the army, a force redesign will help achieve this through a cadre of established soldiers from existing units forming the core of new units. The Army will shift to a Triangle concept of organization with three maneuver brigades instead of the previous four. The Division Tactical Group will become the unit of action, coordinating combat support and other enabling elements to its brigades.
The creation of multiple new divisions will require all tank brigades of the existing three divisions to be reorganized.
The tank brigade of 5th Division will be combined with the 12th Separate Tank Brigade to form the core of the new 12th Armored Division with two additional mechanized brigades to be formed in FY645 and FY646.
The tank brigade from 1st Division will be divided. Two of its battalions will form a provisional brigade to form the core of the 3rd Division. The other two battalions will be reconstituted as a provisional brigade to form the 7th Division.
Due to concerns regarding the Darrent region, the tank brigade of 10th Division will not be reconstituted to further the transformation process. Leaving 10th Division as a Square Division until a time that the security situation improves.
Additional recruitment will be required to bring the required forces in line with strength cap of 170,000 for the Army. This will enable the creation of the remaining brigades to complete the transition and enlargement of the Army.
Conscription Cycle Strategy
Due to the threat of potential conflict and the need to fill the military’s personnel gaps quickly, the possibility of conscription cannot be ruled out. Training and recruitment windows will need to be aligned to enable synergy between career soldier requirements and conscript requirements. These windows of conscription will be divided between two classes. A Spring class that is trained during Q1-Q2 of the calendar year and a Fall Class that is trained during Q3-Q4 of the calendar year. These conscript classes will then prepare to join their respective units during the proceeding training blocks of the year.
Because of the transformation from Square Division to a Triangle Division, the roles and responsibilities for division types will be redesigned. A break down of the Division Types follows.
Mechanized Divisions provide the Army with supportive infantry forces to support the Penetration Division’s attacks in the area of operations. These units enable rapid movement and the ability to defend or consolidate control of territory.
Light Infantry Divisions enable the Army the ability to operate in restrictive terrain features such as mountains or marshlands. Areas that are impassable for heavy units can be contested with lighter formations. Light Infantry enables infiltration missions of enemy’s forward edge of the battlefield.
Airborne divisions give the battlefield commander the option for vertical envelopment of the enemy by conducting either parachute entry or air assault entry via rotary wing insertion.
Armored Divisions: The two armored divisions of the Army are designed to form both Penetration Divisions and Exploitation Divisions. These forces break the enemy’s defense and attack deep into the enemy rear area.
Conclusion and Prospects
The bottom line is that although Redesign 646 enlarges the total number of maneuver combat brigades in the Army, it thus far has not settled deeper questions about how large an Army is needed in order to handle sustained combat operations against a peer adversary. Nor does it resolve the problem of the Army gradually becoming worn down in the face of large enduring missions demanding multiple brigades and thousands of troops that stretch the Army’s rotational base. How large does the future Army need to be in order to handle such contingencies and demands? This question will need to be answered, and it cannot be resolved by the Redesign plan alone. Beyond this, the Army’s modular force is intended to be optimized for major combat operations. While this focus is understandable in light of recent external pressures, the equal reality is that the increase of Divisional Units demand not only combat maneuver brigades, but also large numbers of the Combat Support/Combat Service Support troops that are needed for stabilization and reconstruction efforts.
Redesign 646 is expected to not be complete until 655 when enough proper equipment and manning will have been met across all new units to meet unit requirements for combat operations. This will necessitate a heightened Defense Budget for the next decade to ensure Redesign 646 remains on schedule.