Opération “Barkhane”

canuckroyal

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Joseph, it has been awhile and I have been away but periodically check in to see how things are here and to read the interesting information provided by members of this forum.

Major (Now Brigadier General) Trevor Cadieu of the Canadian Army wrote a very compelling piece on why tanks are useful and how they can be employed in a counter-insurgency environment. I have linked the article here for your reading: http://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2008/forces/D12-11-10-4E.pdf

There is a fallacy that tanks don't have as much mobility as a wheeled vehicle but this is not really true. For one thing, that ERC “Sagaie” would not fare so well against an IED and an IED detonation on it might completely destroy the vehicle, not so much with a tank, the old adage of "the enemy also gets a vote comes to mind".

As well, having tanks allows you to go anywhere and actually increases your mobility because they can drive anywhere and cut right through prepared defensive positions. Being able to do this allows them to bring the infantry right on to an objective before they even have to think about dismounting and getting dirty.

We learned this the hard way when we first went in to Afghanistan and the Taliban decided to stand and fight conventionally using prepared defensive positions. Before this, the Canadian Army was going to get rid of tanks entirely and planned to retire them but then Op MEDUSA happened and we realized the error in our ways. A LAV III or VBCI can be destroyed by an RPG or IED, a tank not so much.

I don't know the present threat situation on Op BARKHANE but I wouldn't discount the utility of tanks. That being said, the Canadian Army operates with a "Panzergrenadier" mentality derived from our history which is a little different to how the French Army operates.

As for logistics, Our Armoured Regiments do logistics slightly differently than the Infantry Regiments in that they hold their Administrative Echelons at the Squadron level under the Squadron Sergeant Major. Best way to logistically support tanks is make sure you get a tanker to look after logistics otherwise an Infanteer, Log types, etc will just muck it up.
 
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Katalmach

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That's unbelievable that the Canadian army was thinking of retiring tanks. While tanks may not be the best counter insurgency tool, they are an incredibly valuable asset to a combined arms task force's ground based fire power. Any conflict with a 1st world nation will absolutely require tanks. Can you imagine fighting even a low quality tank while on foot? China has bazillions (that's a real number btw) of cheap tanks. What would we do, have every single man carry an AT4? We'd be so f*cked, and it would cost billions to carry that many rockets, not to mention the cost on the bodies of all those men forced to carry that extra weight

Tanks are mandatory for a modern army to have
 
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Nothing like driving tanks at armed massed insurgents taking a pop at you. Then debussing into the melee and using the fork.

RMs' on Legion tanks prior to using the bayonet. Operation Musketeer.
 

Le petit caporal

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Operation “Barkhane” is not El Alamein. It spans an area equivalent to the one of Europe, more or less. Send tanks ? Sure, why not after all, it's the tax payers money and not mine... boom... boom. The cost of transport, fuel supply, maintenance, etc. is huge and one Reaper can do the same job of an escadron of tanks. BTW, France now have the armed versions of Reaper. They were tested in live fire exercise... Guess where... In Spain, in the same semi-desert area where the recently 5th Coy of 2e REP, specialised in desert warfare, goes for training.
General Bosser, the current Army Chief of Staff is requesting more helicopters from the French Parliament. Typical carpet bargain arguments: ask for a lot to get a few. This is war and the battle is raging. A never ending conflict between the army and the finance minister.
What effing tanks? We have none available. 200 “Leclerc” are deployed actually in the Baltic playing as pawns to the 2 over egocentric sons of intact hymens. Trump and Poutine (la Putain me trumps, la salope). US wants NATO members to spend 2% per year of their GDP on Defense budget. Merkel wants Euro zone countries to have a deficit below 3% of their GDP. They get always what they want. F*ck them all.
If tanks are sent for Barkhane, I'm going to resign. If some stupid twat insists on sending tanks to Barkhane it will be a more or less a static role, like for protection for bases, maybe @ Gao. An escadron and no more. Why are we talking of Leopards? Because c'est l'Afrique?
 

Rapace

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(...) If tanks are sent for Barkhane, I'm going to resign. If some stupid twat insists on sending tanks to Barkhane it will be a more or less a static role, like for protection for bases, maybe @ Gao.[/I]
Take it easy Petit Caporal, the subject came “on the table” as a discussion point, but nobody said that the French government was considering sending MBTs to participate in Operation “Barkhane”. Beyond that, I'm convinced this will not happen. You rightly point out the huge area concerned. The Operation “Barkhane” structure must be nimble enough to be able to dispatch forces quickly to any part of the theater, but they will most often end up in a situation where what they have in front of them are at most 30 insurgents mounted on 3 or 4 pick-ups who will do everything they can to avoid direct confrontation. In this context a tank is like a hammer used to kill a fly...
 

Le petit caporal

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Re : my post about thé battle de Kalit (sp)..will tell one day but not now + de jus dans ma pile
Wasnt Aiming at any poster of such but having a rant at the Politicians
Have both hands tied behind my back since a nipper, no higher than a grasshop pers knee cap
Politicians, officiers, police, thugs and all sorts of other indesirables, the list goes on dictating my life
And i still haven't the right to vote
Got no passport too. Costs me 400 e a month btw
Pension is paid by the MSA
Fuds
Macron ,the banker is now harmonising the différent Secu régimes. ..
Post Shitum
Hope i die before i get auld
 

USMCRET

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Take it easy Petit Caporal, the subject came “on the table” as a discussion point, but nobody said that the French government was considering sending MBTs to participate in Operation “Barkhane”. Beyond that, I'm convinced this will not happen. You rightly point out the huge area concerned. The Operation “Barkhane” structure must be nimble enough to be able to dispatch forces quickly to any part of the theater, but they will most often end up in a situation where what they have in front of them are at most 30 insurgents mounted on 3 or 4 pick-ups who will do everything they can to avoid direct confrontation. In this context a tank is like a hammer used to kill a fly...
Well, it is always better to have a "Hammer" in hand than wish you had it when things go south. Now, Iraq had a very large Tank Force and Armored Personnel Carriers so we had to expect and did get into tank exchanges. Now, as Petit Caporal stated, give me the Helicopters, absolutely because number one, they kill the shit out of Tanks and APCs, especially when one asserts complete aerial dominance. Our Tanks only had to worry about Anti Tank Mines and believe it or not, not drowning, Yes, we lost a Tank and crew in the Tigris River.
 

canuckroyal

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That's unbelievable that the Canadian army was thinking of retiring tanks. While tanks may not be the best counter insurgency tool, they are an incredibly valuable asset to a combined arms task force's ground based fire power. Any conflict with a 1st world nation will absolutely require tanks. Can you imagine fighting even a low quality tank while on foot? China has bazillions (that's a real number btw) of cheap tanks. What would we do, have every single man carry an AT4? We'd be so f*cked, and it would cost billions to carry that many rockets, not to mention the cost on the bodies of all those men forced to carry that extra weight

Tanks are mandatory for a modern army to have
It is unbelievable now but it wasn't at the the time. You see, being America's neighbour and our closest Ally, we have many Senior Officers who spend time on exchange with their forces including Generals, one of whom served as the DComd General to III Armoured Corps. That man, Rick Hillier, went on to become our Chief of Defence Staff.

Uncle Rick, as we like to call him, was a subscriber to Eric Shineski's "Stryker Interim-Force Brigade Combat Teams" having served as a Brigade Commander under him in Bosnia. The idea being that the Canadian Army would reorient itself to a purely medium-weight rapid reaction force based around the Stryker Infantry Fighting Vehicle. The idea was to replace all our Tanks with Stryker MGS to pair with our LAV IIIs so that we could attach a Canadian Medium-weight battlegroup/brigade to a US Stryker Division.

The Canadian Army was walking in step with the US Army at the time and was rapidly moving to remove Main Battle Tanks from service. This was all based off operational experience in the 1990s and early 2000s, think Yugoslavia, Somalia, Rwanda, Ethiopia/Eritrea, etc.

Then Op MOUNTAIN THRUST and Op MEDUSA happened. The Taliban made a conventional stand during Op MEDUSA and one of our battlegroup companies walked in to a U-Shaped Ambush with prepared defensive works, staked in machinegun positions and pretty sophisticated obstacle plans. The Company took 12 dead and 50 wounded and resulted in 1st Battalion Royal Canadian Regiment (my regiment) having to pull off the objective and go in to a defensive posture for the next three months. Tanks were requested by the Battlegroup Commander, hauled out of storage, taken off display blocks at the Armoured Regiments and deployed within six weeks to Afghanistan. This was a very smart move and the Battlegroup was quickly able to regain the initiative once they had sufficient heavy firepower in place.

All history now and it seems stupid but this was over a decade ago and times have changed.

Operation “Barkhane” is not El Alamein. It spans an area equivalent to the one of Europe, more or less. Send tanks ? Sure, why not after all, it's the tax payers money and not mine... boom... boom. The cost of transport, fuel supply, maintenance, etc. is huge and one Reaper can do the same job of an escadron of tanks. BTW, France now have the armed versions of Reaper. They were tested in live fire exercise... Guess where... In Spain, in the same semi-desert area where the recently 5th Coy of 2e REP, specialised in desert warfare, goes for training.
General Bosser, the current Army Chief of Staff is requesting more helicopters from the French Parliament. Typical carpet bargain arguments: ask for a lot to get a few. This is war and the battle is raging. A never ending conflict between the army and the finance minister.
What effing tanks? We have none available. 200 “Leclerc” are deployed actually in the Baltic playing as pawns to the 2 over egocentric sons of intact hymens. Trump and Poutine (la Putain me trumps, la salope). US wants NATO members to spend 2% per year of their GDP on Defense budget. Merkel wants Euro zone countries to have a deficit below 3% of their GDP. They get always what they want. F*ck them all.
If tanks are sent for Barkhane, I'm going to resign. If some stupid twat insists on sending tanks to Barkhane it will be a more or less a static role, like for protection for bases, maybe @ Gao. An escadron and no more. Why are we talking of Leopards? Because c'est l'Afrique?
Reapers are not cheaper than tanks, nor are helicopters, that I can assure you. America can afford all of those fancy toys because they have a bottomless defence budget that nobody else in NATO or any of the other "Coalition of the Willing" bar maybe Australia on a per capita basis, comes close to matching.

I agree that Helicopters are very useful in a theatre this big but they are maintenance intensive, can't always fly and have a massive tail to tooth ratio. This isn't a trade of one or the other IMO, it is one more tool in the toolbox.

In speaking with French Officers, one of the things they mentioned to me reference Op SERVAL was the fact they had to unlearn a few things from Afghanistan, namely their complete reliance on endless supply of American Airpower and Fires while getting their infantry to again get up close and personal with the enemy.
 

Le petit caporal

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I have 2 contrasting posts i will post up later (translation needs to be done)
From my usual source : Zone Militaire Opex 360
The first, praising the récent presence of the British R.A.F. Chinooks deployed for Barkhane
Lots of stats
Sorties
Hours flown
Numbes tonnage / personel ransported
Maintenance and over haul etc
The second
Same General (Bosser. ..and the General in Command of the ALAT (group helicopters depending on the armee de terre)
Claiming in front of the Senate (budget)
How thé ALAT is in a sad state of affairs
Pilots not obtaining the mimimum NATO requested number of hours flying ,180 h p/a or 200 h p/a, if for S.F.
Is cited too : 2 thirds of the aeromobility is actually indisponible
Desert sand gets accused
They are both long posts and will take time for this wart to develop
Il repeat again. ..Bosser and clan are pleading povrety to obtain. .a certain amount
Sure tanks have their roll
Sure Helicopters have their roll to
Barkhane is a coalition and France should not pay the majority of the bill
With out Barkhane. .G5 and MINUSMA will collapsus with in days, weeks or a month or 2
Remember what i have said, evry now and again. ..Achtung the Neighbours. ..argument still holds
 

USMCRET

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It is unbelievable now but it wasn't at the the time. You see, being America's neighbour and our closest Ally, we have many Senior Officers who spend time on exchange with their forces including Generals, one of whom served as the DComd General to III Armoured Corps. That man, Rick Hillier, went on to become our Chief of Defence Staff.

Uncle Rick, as we like to call him, was a subscriber to Eric Shineski's "Stryker Interim-Force Brigade Combat Teams" having served as a Brigade Commander under him in Bosnia. The idea being that the Canadian Army would reorient itself to a purely medium-weight rapid reaction force based around the Stryker Infantry Fighting Vehicle. The idea was to replace all our Tanks with Stryker MGS to pair with our LAV IIIs so that we could attach a Canadian Medium-weight battlegroup/brigade to a US Stryker Division.

The Canadian Army was walking in step with the US Army at the time and was rapidly moving to remove Main Battle Tanks from service. This was all based off operational experience in the 1990s and early 2000s, think Yugoslavia, Somalia, Rwanda, Ethiopia/Eritrea, etc.

Then Op MOUNTAIN THRUST and Op MEDUSA happened. The Taliban made a conventional stand during Op MEDUSA and one of our battlegroup companies walked in to a U-Shaped Ambush with prepared defensive works, staked in machinegun positions and pretty sophisticated obstacle plans. The Company took 12 dead and 50 wounded and resulted in 1st Battalion Royal Canadian Regiment (my regiment) having to pull off the objective and go in to a defensive posture for the next three months. Tanks were requested by the Battlegroup Commander, hauled out of storage, taken off display blocks at the Armoured Regiments and deployed within six weeks to Afghanistan. This was a very smart move and the Battlegroup was quickly able to regain the initiative once they had sufficient heavy firepower in place.

All history now and it seems stupid but this was over a decade ago and times have changed.



Reapers are not cheaper than tanks, nor are helicopters, that I can assure you. America can afford all of those fancy toys because they have a bottomless defence budget that nobody else in NATO or any of the other "Coalition of the Willing" bar maybe Australia on a per capita basis, comes close to matching.

I agree that Helicopters are very useful in a theatre this big but they are maintenance intensive, can't always fly and have a massive tail to tooth ratio. This isn't a trade of one or the other IMO, it is one more tool in the toolbox.

In speaking with French Officers, one of the things they mentioned to me reference Op SERVAL was the fact they had to unlearn a few things from Afghanistan, namely their complete reliance on endless supply of American Airpower and Fires while getting their infantry to again get up close and personal with the enemy.
Actually, the US does not spend an exorbitant amount on defense. only 3 to 5 percent of GDP. Other NATO countries need to spend what they agreed to.

Why did the French not deploy all of its "Combined Arms" into a battle space? Sure, in Afghanistan make the call and we will fly close air support, drop a F-Ton of bombs, and establish Aerial Superiority for ourselves and our Allies.
 

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I have 2 contrasting posts i will post up later (translation needs to be done)
From my usual source : Zone Militaire Opex 360
The first, praising the récent presence of the British R.A.F. Chinooks deployed for Barkhane
Lots of stats
Sorties
Hours flown
Numbes tonnage / personel ransported
Maintenance and over haul etc
The second
Same General (Bosser. ..and the General in Command of the ALAT (group helicopters depending on the armee de terre)
Claiming in front of the Senate (budget)
How thé ALAT is in a sad state of affairs
Pilots not obtaining the mimimum NATO requested number of hours flying ,180 h p/a or 200 h p/a, if for S.F.
Is cited too : 2 thirds of the aeromobility is actually indisponible
Desert sand gets accused
They are both long posts and will take time for this wart to develop
Il repeat again. ..Bosser and clan are pleading povrety to obtain. .a certain amount
Sure tanks have their roll
Sure Helicopters have their roll to
Barkhane is a coalition and France should not pay the majority of the bill
With out Barkhane. .G5 and MINUSMA will collapsus with in days, weeks or a month or 2
Remember what i have said, evry now and again. ..Achtung the Neighbours. ..argument still holds

We, USA, need to Support Operation Barkhane. We are commited to the fight. Never again on our shores! We will bring the fight with our allies to destroy the enemy of freedom
 

dusaboss

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We, USA, need to Support Operation Barkhane. We are commited to the fight. Never again on our shores! We will bring the fight with our allies to destroy the enemy of freedom
And who are they? Do you still consider Saudi Arabia to be US great ally? If you do, I think you are in conflict of interest.
Or you supporting fight against Wahhabi terrorism, or do you supporting SA. You can't have both of this. No matter amount of cash made in deals with them.
 

USMCRET

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And who are they? Do you still consider Saudi Arabia to be US great ally? If you do, I think you are in conflict of interest.
Or you supporting fight against Wahhabi terrorism, or do you supporting SA. You can't have both of this. No matter amount of cash made in deals with them.
Dusaboss, Saudi Arabia is a necessary Evil, we have covered this already. Our Geopolitical Foes are Iran and any Piece of S*it country such as Syria that's supported by Russia.
 

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