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"Artillery in Tomorrow’s Wars: Maximizing the Power..." Topic

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393 hits since 25 Sep 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP25 Sep 2018 12:41 p.m. PST

…. of the King of Battle.

"It's an early summer morning. All is quiet on the battlefield just before the battalion will rise for the next day's preparation and movements. Soldiers on guard, sleepy-eyed and nearly dozing off hear a faint buzzing sound, and suddenly, their eyes spring wide open, their ears are perked, and adrenaline pumps with full force throughout their bodies. "Drones!" one guard shouts, as they all dive for the nearest cover. It's too late. Within moments, dozens of rockets come screaming down from the heavens, raining a hailstorm of hell on the battalion's positions. Cluster munitions burst, steel shredding man and machine below. Thermobaric warheads erupt with terrible concussion, the overpressure instantly killing those who sought comfort in their enclosed shelter. In just three minutes, the entire battalion lies crushed in a smoldering flame, destroyed by a concentrated barrage of rockets and missiles fired thirty kilometers away.

This is not science fiction. It is the tale of a Ukrainian mechanized battalion in the Donbass, smashed to pieces by massed, long-range Russian rocket artillery. And from a US Army perspective, the most frightening aspect of this devastation is this: we do not equip or train our artillery forces to reap this kind of destruction. After years of counterinsurgency campaigns and stability operations in which minimizing collateral damage was—importantly—our top priority, we now find ourselves wedded to the idea that precision fires that minimize risk of such collateral damage are the beginning and end of indirect support. This enduring belief will spell disaster in future conflict against near-peer enemies who can, and will, put more rounds and rockets downrange, in less time, and at greater range than we could ever hope to match, let alone surpass. Above all else, the Army must prioritize the acquisition, training, and responsiveness of artillery to deliver massed fires at long range to destroy the enemy long before the maneuver force is required to close the distance and finish the fight…."
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