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"NATO Air Defense Assets at Battalion and Brigade level" Topic

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MadMax17 Inactive Member21 Feb 2017 12:03 p.m. PST

Hey all,

Had a few questions about NATO air defense assets at the brigade and battalion level. Unlike the Soviet units, it seems that Air Defense was rarely organic to fighting companies and battalions. For example, I know the Red-eye/Stinger section was withdrawn from battalions in the Division-86 reforms for US divisions. Most of it looks like it was kept at division level, then parceled out as needed.

Obviously the answer will be "it depends on the situation," but I am curious as to what (if any) air defense assets were habitually parceled out at the brigade and battalion level.

Primarily interested in:
-US Mech and Armored Divisions (x3 each Vulcan and Chaparral batteries at Division)
-Canadian 4CMBG and CAST (I know they had Blowpipe sections at Brigade level, anything else given to them?)
-Bundeswehr Panzer/Panzergrenadier Divisions (x6 batteries of Gepards and Flierfaust at Division)
-Bundeswehr Luftlande Brigade
-Bundeswehr 50-series Heimatschutz Brigade


Personal logo aegiscg47 Supporting Member of TMP21 Feb 2017 12:32 p.m. PST

The actual practice was a little more complicated than it would first seem. Each division had a number of air defense batteries as you stated above and they would be parceled out to the battalions depending upon the need or mission. It would also depend upon the corps and theater assets/coverage that was available and the level of air superiority in certain sectors. A battalion in the front lines holding a critical position that was sure to see some airstrikes against it might get several air defense assets assigned to it, plus be integrated into the corps and theater coverage as well.

If you're interested in that sort of thing, there is a new game coming out this year from GMT Games called Red Storm, which is a hypothetical air campaign over Germany in WW3. Here's an article about the SAM and AAA systems with the how they will be used in the game which is interesting to read:

nickinsomerset21 Feb 2017 1:17 p.m. PST

Only know the British! But nothing at Bn level, generally reserve for point defence and HPT defence, not whizzing around in Spartans!!

Tally Ho!

11th ACR21 Feb 2017 2:39 p.m. PST

I know that when I was in the Scout, Plt. CSC, 2/13th INF. (M) 3rd Brigade 8th ID (80-82) we had a Stinger Plt in our CSC (Combat Support Company). I'm thinking they had six Jeeps with Trailer carrying around six Stinger missiles in each. They transitioned over fro Redeye's late 1980 (Oct/Nov).
Plus they had one or two 2 1/2 or 5 Ton trucks with reloads as well.

Then right after Reforger 81 (Fall 81)they were transferred over to Brigade HQ along with the GSR Plt. that we had in the Company.

They transferred all the Stinger Plt's from each Battalion and consolidated them at Brig HQ. So the Stingers from 2/13 INF, 3/68 AR and 5/68 AR all went to 3rd Brig.

Also we had two Regular Batters of "Duck Hunters" on Coleman Barracks that were Div. assets.
One of M-163 Vulcan's
One of M-48 Chaparral's

I can't remember the unit designation on them but I do remember they were from the same ADA Battalion.
But they must have been a direct attachment to our Brig. as when and were we rolled they did as well.

Hope this helps.

Frankss Inactive Member22 Feb 2017 10:23 a.m. PST

Don't really know anything about how deployed.
For Canadian 4 CMBG I heard of the Blowpipe but they also got ADATs Air Drfense Anti Tank system think it was a Swiss design. Saw as 4 missiles on M113 chasis. The missiles being dual purpose.

Just mentioning so someone with more info may weigh in.

11th ACR22 Feb 2017 11:57 a.m. PST

Yes ADATs for Canada in 1989.

MadMax17 Inactive Member22 Feb 2017 6:30 p.m. PST

Ah that looks like a very interesting, and quite challenging game! Pretty unique, cant think of many like that.

Thanks Nick, so the British battalions were on their own then! No Blowpipes or anything like that?

Thanks 11th ACR, that's pretty much what i figured regarding habitual attachments. Did the stinger guys show back up when you went to the field?

11th ACR22 Feb 2017 10:24 p.m. PST

Yes, but you never new which of the three Plt's you had as an attachment.

When they consolidated them in to a centralized battery.

Brig would task a different Plt. each time to a different Bn.

Same goes for the GSR sections.

MadMax17 Inactive Member23 Feb 2017 4:23 a.m. PST

Makes sense. And did the Vulcans and Chaparrals generally stay at Brigade level unless a battalion was at a high value target area?

Andy Rix Inactive Member23 Feb 2017 9:51 a.m. PST

This covers how the UK story on Air Defence worked


11th ACR23 Feb 2017 12:51 p.m. PST


Not sure as a Scout we were so far forward, we never saw them after we crossed the LD. (Line of Departure)

I'm sure they were some were along the main Battle Line in the Brig's Sector.

That would be covering for 1 Inf Bn and 2 AR Bn's.

MadMax17 Inactive Member03 Mar 2017 7:46 a.m. PST

Great stuff, thanks guys!

Mako11 Inactive Member03 Mar 2017 11:16 a.m. PST

Danish Redeyes were handled in the same way, e.g. kept at high level control, but, presumably parceled out, as needed.

It appears they had very few of them, but did have some ancient 40mm AA guns for self-protection.

If the Cold War had gone hot, I expect they'd have been in a world of hurt vs. Soviet/WARPAC helo and air assaults.

Sure, they would have received some cover from their air force, but probably not nearly enough.

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