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Old 08-13-2016, 03:49 PM   #21
Anaraxes
 
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Default Re: Ability of the US Gov (state and federal) to deal with invasion by teleportation

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Originally Posted by Michael Thayne View Post
Once we're talking about mobilizing multiple divisions, are there pretty much guaranteed to be Bradleys on the scene... I'm not entirely sure I understand how US ground forces are organized, but it looks like at least some infantry divisions include "cavalry" and artillery regiments (the former meaning Bradleys in a modern context, IIUC).
Yes. A mechanized infantry rifle platoon has 3 9-man squads, plus 4 Bradleys (3 soldiers each), plus the platoon leader, for a total of 40. So, about one Bradley for every ten infantrymen.

Cavalry units also have Bradleys. Armor or infantry brigades usually have an extra cavalry squadron for scouting and recon. That has two tank platoons (4 M1 Abrams each) and two scout platoons (6 Bradleys each).

"Light infantry", like the 82nd and 101st airborne divisions or Rangers, don't have nearly as many vehicles.

Just for reference, if this isn't your thing, the unit size hierarchy currently in use by the US Army goes:
  • Division
  • Brigade
  • Battalion
  • Company
  • Platoon
  • Squad
They largely got rid of "regiments", which historically would be where "battalion" is -- made out of "companies", a component of "brigades" -- though they keep changing their mind, particularly with cavalry. And the cavalry units tenaciously cling to old terminology like "squadron" and "troop".

Assume each time you move up the list, you have several of the smaller units (typically 3, though that sometimes varies), plus a headquarters unit (more vehicles), plus a few other units of other types for support. For example, that infantry brigade has artillery, helicopters, and engineers, as well as a bunch of infantry battalions. So each level is usually a bit more than 3x as large as the one below it.

The FAS website (fas.org) or GlobalSecurity.org can be good places to research this kind of thing. FAS's text-only version of the US "Tables of Organization and Equipment" is here. Looks like GlobalSecurity requires a subscription these days after the first few page views. For that matter, I think PDFs of the Army's Field Manuals are available on the army.mil website.
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Old 08-13-2016, 07:13 PM   #22
Michael Thayne
 
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Default Re: Ability of the US Gov (state and federal) to deal with invasion by teleportation

I'm not sure how I would extract the information you mention from those two websitesóquick attempts to do Google site searches don't make these things clear. The 40th Infantry Division (Mechanized) is one of the National Guard units that responded to the LA riotsódoes that mean that a couple hundred Bradleys likely went to LA (or the surrounding area) during the riots? Also, I mentioned regiments because the Wikipedia article on the 40th doesódon't know if that's legacy naming or something like that.
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Old 08-14-2016, 12:18 AM   #23
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Default Re: Ability of the US Gov (state and federal) to deal with invasion by teleportation

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Originally Posted by Michael Thayne View Post
The 40th Infantry Division (Mechanized) is one of the National Guard units that responded to the LA riotsódoes that mean that a couple hundred Bradleys likely went to LA (or the surrounding area) during the riots?
A division has 10-15 thousand troops. For the LA riots they has 2000 there in a day and ended up at 4000 after another day. So the first part of the invasion will probably have a day to dig in before there is much response.
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Old 08-14-2016, 09:44 AM   #24
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Default Re: Ability of the US Gov (state and federal) to deal with invasion by teleportation

I don't have many specific details on the vehicles used in the 1992 LA riots. It's possible the unit took their Bradleys, though I think not. It's also possible they left them behind, assuming they wouldn't need them, not wanting to use that firepower in a US city, or simply not wanting to look bad on TV.

I did run across an article written shortly afterward for Infantry magazine by Lt. Col. William Wenger, a battalion commander of the 40th Infantry sent to LA. Early on he has a few comments relevant to the mobilization time question upthread. (Initial order to mobilize his battalion received at 2230 on 29 April. By 0300, two companies were ready to deploy. By noon on the 30th, 70% of the battalion was ready. The actual order to deploy was received by 1700; by midnight, the battalion was on the streets. So 25.5 hours from the initial order.) But unfortunately he doesn't mention IFVs one way or the other, so that doesn't really answer your question.

I ran across another article mentioning "wheeled light armor" in LA. Too early for the Stryker, so at a guess that might have been a reference to the Marine LAV-25. (The Marines had some deployment in LA as well, later than the Guard.)

Another article I found, transcribing a presentation by Major General James Delk (40th Infantry Division commander, I believe), says "Transportation for a heavy division relies mostly on tracks. We couldn't use them; we didn't want to drive into Los Angeles with tanks and armored personnel carriers. We had to contract for buses, which meant that civilians had to help us out a lot." From that, it seems that there was a deliberate decision to leave the armor behind in this case. They did have unarmored HumVees, including some with mounted grenade launchers. (These apparently impressed the rioters, who mistakenly thought they were armored -- no one ever took a shot at one -- and also didn't know that they didn't have ammunition issued for the grenade launcher.)

So for your game, it might make a difference whether your suddenly-appearing invaders seem like local gangs, or are obviously space aliens already pew-pewing the city. Zombies might be somewhere in between -- mobs, sick people? -- at least for a little while until the powers-that-be learn about zombies and change the rules of engagement.

As for regiments, the US Army organization is strange in that respect. They officially got rid of most of the regiments for structuring combat units back in 1957. However, to give soldiers a unit to identify with, preserve unit history, morale, unit citations, and all that sort of thing, and perhaps for some administrative reasons, soldiers and units kept a "regimental association". The brigade (later "brigade combat team") took that place in the hierarchy. But the regimental associations remained. In 1981, they reorganized it again, partly to include arms other than the "combat arms", so everyone could have a regimental association. They try to maintain consistency in giving individual soldiers assignments within their regiment.

So you'll definitely see the names of regiments mentioned. But the regiments aren't part of the field chain of command. (The armored cavalry kept combat regiments the longest, I think.) You might have several infantry battalions all associated with the same regiment assigned to one brigade, but there's no regimental commander giving orders in between the brigade commander and battalion commanders, and for that matter they might split battalions of one regiment between two brigades. The regiment isn't part of that hierarchy. Wikipedia has a couple of articles that might clarify it. Or might not, as it's not exactly a clear topic :)

Last edited by Anaraxes; 08-18-2016 at 06:40 PM.
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Old 08-14-2016, 11:37 AM   #25
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Default Re: Ability of the US Gov (state and federal) to deal with invasion by teleportation

Do they still have administrative regiments?
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Old 08-14-2016, 12:41 PM   #26
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Default Re: Ability of the US Gov (state and federal) to deal with invasion by teleportation

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Do they still have administrative regiments?
Yes. I think the current regiments are entirely administrative. (The Rangers might still have some regiments.)
  • All soldiers have a regimental affilation.
  • Soldiers choose their regiment, and can change it more or less on a whim by filing DA Form 4187, which is the generic form for personnel changes. (Exceptions include things like airborne regiments, where you have to actually be a qualified airborne soldier to affiliate with an airborne regiment, and if you stop being airborne, you have to change to a different regiment.) If you don't choose, your affiliation defaults to the unit affiliation of your first assignment.
  • There is explicitly no upper limit to the number of soldiers than can choose to affiliate with any given regiment. They have no established size, and the total depends on the choice of the soldiers rather than needs of the service. Pick your favorite.
  • Regiments have crests and insignia that affiliates can wear. Regiments can maintain colors. They can't maintain physical facilities like a dining hall.
  • Regiments have Honorary Colonels, who are regular colonels given the title.
  • Regiments have a Regimental Adjutant, who gets the extra duty of keeping track of the regimental units, liason, and other housekeeping.
Depending on what meaning you have for "administrative", these regiments might not qualify. They don't seem to be involved in most routine administrative procedures. It's more like an extra bonus option for esprit de corps.

Here's a PDF of the 1990 version of the actual DoD regulation describing the regimental system that defines how it works. It also has a list of all the US Army regiments you might choose (at least as of that date) -- though, alas, no capsule summaries of the regimental history or mottos or anything like that.
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Old 08-14-2016, 01:55 PM   #27
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Default Re: Ability of the US Gov (state and federal) to deal with invasion by teleportation

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Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
Yes. I think the current regiments are entirely administrative. (The Rangers might still have some regiments.)
  • All soldiers have a regimental affilation.
  • Soldiers choose their regiment, and can change it more or less on a whim by filing DA Form 4187, which is the generic form for personnel changes. (Exceptions include things like airborne regiments, where you have to actually be a qualified airborne soldier to affiliate with an airborne regiment, and if you stop being airborne, you have to change to a different regiment.) If you don't choose, your affiliation defaults to the unit affiliation of your first assignment.
  • There is explicitly no upper limit to the number of soldiers than can choose to affiliate with any given regiment. They have no established size, and the total depends on the choice of the soldiers rather than needs of the service. Pick your favorite.
  • Regiments have crests and insignia that affiliates can wear. Regiments can maintain colors. They can't maintain physical facilities like a dining hall.
  • Regiments have Honorary Colonels, who are regular colonels given the title.
  • Regiments have a Regimental Adjutant, who gets the extra duty of keeping track of the regimental units, liason, and other housekeeping.
Depending on what meaning you have for "administrative", these regiments might not qualify. They don't seem to be involved in most routine administrative procedures. It's more like an extra bonus option for esprit de corps.

Here's a PDF of the 1990 version of the actual DoD regulation describing the regimental system that defines how it works. It also has a list of all the US Army regiments you might choose (at least as of that date) -- though, alas, no capsule summaries of the regimental history or mottos or anything like that.
Sounds a little anemic. They really should go to more effort to keep that sort of thing up. Do it like the Brits do with museums, and trophies and ritual brawls. It's more important then an uninitiated civilian would think.
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Old 08-14-2016, 03:27 PM   #28
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Default Re: Ability of the US Gov (state and federal) to deal with invasion by teleportation

The current Brigade setup is more or less functionally equivalent to the older Regimental purpose, at least in the US. For most game purposes, just substitute terms as a close enough for jazz equivalent.
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Old 08-14-2016, 03:46 PM   #29
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Default Re: Ability of the US Gov (state and federal) to deal with invasion by teleportation

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Originally Posted by jason taylor View Post
Sounds a little anemic. They really should go to more effort to keep that sort of thing up. Do it like the Brits do with museums, and trophies and ritual brawls.
The important difference with the British Army is that the whole of the battalion you're in is part of the same regiment. You're part of a large group all in the same tradition. You can change to a different regiment, but it's a major step and involves changing unit at the same time. Some regiments have only one battalion, but most have two or more after the latest round of amalgamations. Unless you make it to Colonel, you're likely to spend your entire career in the same regiment, among the same people. The US Army seems to shuffle people around a lot more.
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Old 08-14-2016, 07:18 PM   #30
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Default Re: Ability of the US Gov (state and federal) to deal with invasion by teleportation

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Sounds a little anemic... Do it like the Brits do
Hopefully it's not as dry in practice as my hitting the highlights of the reg makes it sound. Perhaps somebody with personal experience can tell us how the US system feels. But I wouldn't think the US could really match the richness of the British system. Not nearly so much history, if for no other reason.

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The current Brigade setup is more or less functionally equivalent to the older Regimental purpose
Pretty much. In WW I, the US had divisions with two brigades of two regiments each (a total of four regiments, so "square"). In WW II, they changed that to drop the brigades and have three regiments of three battalions ("triangular") directly reporting to division HQ. For the atomic era, in 1957 they renamed the regiment layer "battle groups", and put five battle groups in a division, each with 5 companies ("pentomic"). So no more regiments nor brigades; this is when they introduced the administrative regimental affiliation discussed upthread. The new structure didn't work out, the powers-that-be changed their mind again, and by 1963 had changed a division to three brigades of three battalions. Most of the time, there's only one level between division and battalion, but the name of that level has changed a lot.

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Last edited by Anaraxes; 08-15-2016 at 01:00 PM.
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