• Monday, September 24, 2018

The Infantry Division of PA

Discussion in 'Pakistan Army' started by Signalian, Mar 8, 2018.

  1. Signalian

    Signalian SENIOR MEMBER

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    Infantry Divisions form the back bone of Pakistan Army, totalling 19 in number. These Infantry Divisions are deployed in all types of geographical areas of Pakistan; mountains, desert, plains as well as snow. They are an amalgamation of different regiments; Punjab, Frontier Force, Baluch, Sindh, Azad Kashmir and Northern Light Infantry. Capable of performing all types of Infantry operations ranging from attacking and counter attacking the enemy, defending and holding an area, supporting armoured operations and performing close combat operations in all types of environment.

    The structure of PA Infantry Divisions may vary from each other depending on their area of responsibility and deployment. Strength of some Infantry Divisions are more than others e.g 12th Infantry Division holds 5-6 Brigades while most of the Infantry Divisions usually hold 3 brigades. Armour distribution may vary too, as formations deployed in mountains and snow don't operate MBT's.

    I will put forth a standard PA Infantry Division which has common elements rather than a specialised Infantry Division (like deployed on LOC or FCNA) as later I may open threads on specific Infantry Divisions of PA and discuss them then. Also suggesting a few Desired revamps.

    The Nucleus - Divisional HQ

    Each Infantry Division is headed by a GOC (General Officer Commanding), the rank of a Major General (2 stars). His immediate subordinate is a Colonel ranked officer posted as Colonel Staff and then he may have GSO-1/2/3 (G-1 Ranked Lt Col) or/and AQ (Assistant Quarter Master Ranked Lt Col) and other ranks.
    An Infantry Divisional HQ holds Infantry Brigades as well as directly holds Battalions (which are independent of Brigades) such as Anti-Tank, Supply and Transport, Engineers etc.

    The Pivot - Infantry Brigades

    Infantry Brigades are tactical formations of Infantry Divisions. They directly operate the bulk of Divisional troops in the form of battalions. A Brigadier heads all the formations of the Brigade as well as the Brigade HQ. He directly reports to the GOC of the Infantry Divisions. The break down is Easy, in an Infantry Division there are 3 Infantry Brigades -> 9 Infantry Battalions. Every Infantry Battalion has A,B,C,D companies with weapons support company and a HQ.

    Sometimes Paramilitary units of National Guard (NG) like Janbaz and Mujahid battalions can be attached to these brigades to provide a depth in defence so that regular infantry battalions can be used for offensive roles only.

    These are mostly foot infantry, although the battalions are motorised atleast to ferry the soldiers, equipment, weapons and ammunition to the front lines. There is no specialised Infantry fighting vehicle operated by these battalions. There is an commando platoon at some level in the formation which gives the necessary SF punch.
    The use of LMG’s, RPG’s, Mortars, sniper rifles, Grenade launchers as well as ground movement detector radars give the infantry the required punch for a satisfying performance but a desired formation could be a mechanised Infantry Battalion (MIB), atleast in 1-2 Brigades so that the fire power and transport capability can be enhanced for the Infantry division, especially when operating with MBT’s of the Armour regiment.

    The Armoured and mechanised content in PA formations is already less than required, especially in the Infantry divisions which are to support Armoured Divisions in battlefield like 37th/17th ID and 40th/ 14th ID for I and II Corps respectively.

    I will also present a different formation idea with respect to armor operations when I discuss the Armour Regiment.

    The Long Arm- Artillery Brigade

    Every Infantry Division has an artillery outfit attached to it, usually a brigade, headed by a Brigadier. The Brigade may have three artillery regiments and sometimes more. These can be medium regiments, field regiments and mountain artillery regiments. Regiments using heavy calibre (200mm) also exist.
    The 25 pounders are a major part of Pakistan Artillery though their use has declined rapidly although the 12km range and decent 88mm caliber can still be useful when required.

    An artillery brigade may have a mix of regiments, each operating any of following caliber guns 105mm, 122mm, 130mm, 155mm and 200mm guns. There are three batteries in most Artillery regiments: Papa,Quebec and Romeo. A battery may have 4-6 guns. An Artillery regiment 12-18 guns.
    Mortar units and batteries were detached from Artillery and now form part of Infantry battalions.

    There was a talk of PA acquiring wheeled Artillery. The mobility of such a weapon system can be very useful in shoot and scoot tactics as well as counter battery fire in the plains areas. A useful weapon for maneuver role.

    Another desirable weapon which can be included in most infantry Divisions is an MLRS battery, however MLRS is mostly seen operating with Armoured formations. The reason can be that it can cause maximum destruction to an assembly area filled with armoured vehicles, enemy fuel, weapon and field supply depots and field workshops which can cause a big blow to enemy Armoured operations. However, it must be kept in mind that an MLRS is a very effective against fortified structures like bunkers, strong points, trenches etc.

    The Self-propelled regiments (Tracked) are not considered a part of infantry formations.

    The Fist - Armour Regiment

    The CO reports to GOC and provides the Infantry Division with Armour capability for offensive and defensive operations. The regiment has 44 MBT’s, divided in 3 squadrons of 14 each, and 2 MBT in Regimental HQ.
    T-59 II and T-69 II are usually the MBT’s deployed in Armoured Regiments of an Infantry Division, armed with 105mm L-7 gun and upgraded to certain standards, these MBT’s are expected to give decent fire power in supporting infantry.

    The engines of these MBT’s are smaller than AZ. T-80, T-85 and AK series of MBT’s so the mobility issue is there however this doesnt affect operations with advance of infantry formations. Still, the need of the hour is an advanced MBT similar to AK series for Infantry Divisions.

    The independent armoured Brigade Group (2 Armoured regiments and 1 Mechanised infantry Battalion) of a Corps HQ is sometimes attached with an Infantry Division to conduct an operation giving superior firepower and mobility, another alternative could be to form an armoured brigade with-in an Infantry Division by adding an additional Armoured Regiment and Mechanised Infantry Battalion (an alternate to adding MIB’s in Infantry Brigades discussed in Infantry Brigade section)

    This makes another Brigade (Armoured Brigade, instead of Armoured Regiment) and provides the Infantry Division with a decent armoured formation to conduct operations independent of assistance from Corps HQ.

    Death from Below- Air Defence Regiment

    An AD unit at least or more are attached to an Infantry Division. These were once part of Artillery Corps but later separated. Now they are Light AD, Medium AD, Missile AD and SP AD. The Corps HQ can also attach more AD units if required.
    AD units usually operate 35mm, 40mm but 14.5mm, 23mm and bigger calibre like 55mm can also be in use. The Tube launched are Anza, Stinger, and RBS-70 (can work with GIRAFFE Radar). Every regiment has its own contingent of transport trucks for towing guns.

    Tank Killers - LAT Regiment (Ex- Recon and Support, R&S)

    The CO reports directly to GOC, Div HQ. The Recoilless Rifle (106mm RR’s) and HMG carrying M-151 Mutts and CJ-3/5/6/7 had the name of R&S battalions, these units have been given bigger and better weapons and transports now with a new name, LAT’s.
    The Recon role may have been shifted to aerial assets like drones in early 2000’s, but the support role remains in the form of providing heavy firepower through maneuver with only a handful troops.

    The LAT (Light Anti Tank) is half the strength of a normal infantry battalion but gives a massive punch with mobility to the Infantry Division. It usually has 24 launcher systems of ATGM’s and 24 HMG’s armed on light 4 x 4 like Land Rover Defenders, some accounts say 12 instead of 24 but 12 seems less.

    Mobility R Us - Supply and Transport (S &T) Battalion

    The CO reports to Div HQ and is tasked to provide the transport needs of the Infantry Division, whether its supplies in the form of ammunition and weapons or transporting MBT’s to the battlefield.This battalion is made up of transport trucks and sometimes other vehicles and buses too.
    Though all the battalions have their own transports to a big extent, the S&T plays a major role in re-supplying the Infantry Division from the rear to the front lines. It brings in not only much needed ammunition, equipment and weaponry but also fresh troops in the form of reserves and reinforcements.

    Loud and Clear - Signals Battalion

    The CO (Lt Col) reports to GOC and commands the battalion which provides C3I/C4I tactical communication, provides lines of communications, maintains equipment for eaves-dropping on enemy and intercepting enemy communications, provides communication sets and equipment, operates electrical equipment like different of antennas, generators for power, rectifiers etc in the field. The unit is capable of repairing faulty equipment in the field and has the capability to fight the enemy like an infantry formation.

    Builders - Engineers Regiment

    The Engineer/Sapper Regiment comes directly under Div HQ and the Sappers CO reports to GOC.
    The Sapper Regiment carries out the construction, demolishing, mining (anti-personnel/anti-tank) and de-mining, bridging, roads and rail work and is capable of fighting as regular infantry too. They also specialize in laying explosives, fortifying bunkers and other strongholds as well as building barriers against enemy MBT incursions ( e.g Dragon-tooth obstacles/ditches/traps etc) and road blocks.

    Engineers can operate specialized vehicles for laying bridges and other tasks.

    Justice is Served -Military Police Unit

    It can be headed by a Major or a Lt Col who directly reports to Div HQ.
    The MP unit maintains law and order, escorts and leads the formation convoys. They are also known as “pilots” when leading convoys. The unit also investigates crimes as well as gives sentry duty at strategic locations like Div HQ. Brigade HQ Etc. This unit is trained to handle POW’s.

    007 - Field Intelligence Unit (FIU)

    Headed usually by a Major, OC ( Officer Commanding) reports directly to GOC, Div HQ. The staff may include a junior officer, JCO’s, NCO’s and OR’s.
    This unit is small contingent of specially trained soldiers who are given role of intelligence agents and carry out intelligence activities with in the area of responsibility of the Infantry Division as well as with in the Division to weed out enemy spies, make reports on activities of Officers and all other ranks and other happenings inside the Division.
    FIU works closely with Signals Battalion.

    Medic Reporting - Field Ambulance Unit

    This medical unit is headed by a major who is a doctor and has other junior doctors and nursing staff under his command. The outfit provides medical treatment and facilities in the field and operates ambulances.

    Desired - Aviation Detachment

    Most western armies have a dedicated Aviation contingent as part of Infantry Division in the form of combat aviation brigade.
    An aviation formation can provide observation , aerial recon (UAV) over the whole area of responsibility, transport, med evac and light attack capability, depending upon the type of helicopter used. Light and medium transport helicopters as well as UAVs permanently attached to an Infantry Division can help the GOC make timely decisions and give prompt orders getting full situational awareness.
    Since PA is still short of Helicopters and replacing old ones, getting a dedicated aviation unit may not be suitable so a separate recon unit can also be raised.

    Desired- The Recon Unit

    After the R&S was allotted the Anti-Tank title, a specialized recon unit can be raised for Infantry Division which has stealth and mobility for conducting Recon Operations. This will lift the burden from the LAT from dual role. An armoured wheeled IFV with decent cannon, troop carrying capability and powerful engine suitable for hit and run tactics as well as superb mobility and easily camouflaged can fit the role.
    Considering the recon role, an SF contingent on the lines of MRF (Marines recon Force) and also small drones can be included in this unit to enhance its capabilities.


    The highlighted part shows changes.

    Infantry Division Revamp 1:

    A Infantry Brigade:: Infantry Battalion + Infantry Battalion + Mech Infantry Battalion
    B Infantry Brigade:: Infantry Battalion + Infantry Battalion + Mech Infantry Battalion
    C Infantry Brigade:: Infantry Battalion + Infantry Battalion + Infantry Battalion

    Artillery Brigade: Artillery Regt + Artillery Regt + Artillery Regt + MLRS Battery

    Armoured Regiment
    LAT Regiment
    AD Regiment
    Signals Battalion
    Engineers Regiment
    S&T Battalion
    MP Unit
    FIU
    FAU
    Aviation Det (4-8 Transport Helis + 4 UAV)
    Recon Regiment ( Wheeled Armoured Vehicle)


    Infantry Division Revamp 2:

    A Infantry Brigade:: Infantry Battalion + Infantry Battalion + Infantry Battalion
    B Infantry Brigade:: Infantry Battalion + Infantry Battalion + Infantry Battalion
    C Infantry Brigade:: Infantry Battalion + Infantry Battalion + Infantry Battalion

    Artillery Brigade: Artillery Regt + Artillery Regt + Artillery Regt + MLRS Battery

    Armoured Brigade: Armoured Regiment + Armoured Regiment + Mechanised Infantry Battalion

    LAT Regiment
    AD Regiment
    Signals Battalion
    Engineers Regiment
    S&T Battalion
    MP Unit
    FIU
    FAU
    Aviation Det (4-8 Transport Helis + 4 UAV)
    Recon Regiment ( Wheeled Armoured Vehicle + small sized drone)
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
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  2. Xlvee01

    Xlvee01 FULL MEMBER

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    Excellent thread as always. Haven't we inducted drones, such as, Falco etc for recon? Who operates them in an Infantry Div.?
     
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  3. Rajput_Pakistani

    Rajput_Pakistani FULL MEMBER

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    Thank you for detailed information. I would like PA to have 1-2 airborne infantry battalions within each division. The battalions should have capability to para-drop behind enemy lines or very quickly deployed ahead to act as a division screen or delay/disturb an enemy incursion (like an IBG incursion). It should give vital time for slower divisional elements to be deployed on their respect AoR.

    @Signalian your views please
     
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  4. Maarkhoor

    Maarkhoor ELITE MEMBER

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    Good work but don't you think you are giving enemy a bit ore info about you?
     
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  5. Xlvee01

    Xlvee01 FULL MEMBER

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    I think we might see the light Commando battalions be utilize for this purpose in the future. Though it depends upon our budget considerations.
     
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  6. tps77

    tps77 SENIOR MEMBER

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    Excellent . Just one point u missed ordnance battalion/detachment usually commanded by Maj/Lt Col.
    And another thing FIU of MI also fall under sectors and now these units are mostly commanded by Lt Col and if the Div is large then there is group over there under which 2/3 FIU fall and that group is commanded by Col.
     
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  7. Signalian

    Signalian SENIOR MEMBER

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    https://defence.pk/pdf/threads/do-p...dicated-airborne-paratrooper-division.432568/

    I have seen Ordnance units and EME workshops under Corps or with Armor Divs.

    I am not sure if Falco and Related-size/capability UAV's are operated under Infantry Divs.
     
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  8. tps77

    tps77 SENIOR MEMBER

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  9. Xlvee01

    Xlvee01 FULL MEMBER

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    I am assuming that the Indian Army (IA) also follow the same basic structure in Infantry Divisions as both PA and IA evolved from British Indian Army. It would be interesting to see what a basic Infantry Div. of IA comprise now. Anyone got any info on that?

    Isn't Independent Armoured brigades already attached with almost all infantry heavy Corps? I imagine they would form part of Corps troops but what is the advantage of allocating them to a specific Division?
     
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  10. MUSTAKSHAF

    MUSTAKSHAF SENIOR MEMBER

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    Without total Air superiority of theatre of operation,they would have no value.

    @Signalian Great Work Man,In Pakistan Army Division is most Vital Unit of combat operation.
    Our Infantry Divisions have acute shortage of mobility when it comes to keeping up with Armored thrust.And there is no secure form of Mobility for Infantry in battlefield,to keep up with Armoured thrust.
    You should have shown little bit Division of Signal,Engineer & EME Units in a Division.
     
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  11. Viking 63

    Viking 63 FULL MEMBER

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    Given the overall threat on both eastern border and west, PA needs to increase its Infantry strength to 24 divisions!
     
  12. Signalian

    Signalian SENIOR MEMBER

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    IABG's have a lot of responsibility on them:

    1. They support the Infantry Division's ops because MBT is used as an offensive weapon mostly for attacking enemy formations. Foot Infantry is not only slow in movement but also needs heavy firepower to attack and achieve its objectives. When MBT is attached to an infantry formation, the Infantry is firstly given motorised or mechanised transport to keep up with the Tanks. This makes that formation very maneuverable and tricky for the enemy to locate and intercept. Next is the firepower, which MBT is very capable of. In order to counter an armoured formation, the enemy has to allocate more resources and bring them in the theater which the enemy could use elsewhere like AT battalions, Gunships and Armoured/mechanised formations. So its also a way of tying down major enemy forces.

    Now, Infantry Division has dedicated support of an armoured regiment of 44 MBT's in 3 squadrons. Just hypothetically, thats one Armoured squadron per Infantry brigade, 14 tanks for 3 battalions, 4-5 tanks for one battalion.
    If the enemy brings a good number of ATGM launchers, 4 MBT supporting one infantry battalion attacking an objective will be massacred in minutes. But this breakdown is just on paper. Reality is quite different. Division may use full armoured regiment in one battle on a single objective also.
    The point is, the armoured support for the Infantry Division is way too small. Atleast a dedicated armoured brigade should be attached instead of a lone armoured regiment.

    Interestingly, GHQ sometimes detaches this armoured regiment from its parent Infantry Division and sends it off to support armoured operations in some other sector. This has happened in 65 and 71.

    2. IABG's support Armoured Divisions of PA, because Armoured Divs are not as big in strength and numbers as they are supposed to be. I will explain this in detail when i open a topic about PA Armoured Divs like i have done now on Inf Divs.

    3. They are one of the options for countering IA CSD armoured/mechanised forces since they are scattered all over the country and readily-available sizeable armoured forces deployed near borders. However this way they will be tied down by the enemy before being able to assist PA infantry or armoured formation as mentioned above.

    I wanted to give an overview without going in much detail so everybody who reads should be able to grasp the main functions of all components.
     
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  13. Xlvee01

    Xlvee01 FULL MEMBER

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    1. Wouldn't it be prudent to attach one or two mech. Infantry battalions with the the armoured regiment of the division and make it a mechanized brigade. Why don't we convert one infantry brigade in each Infantry division to a mechanized one instead of having three Infantry Brigades and raising another mech. brigade to support them? Keeping in mind our deplorable tank production schedule wouldn't such a solution be more prudent for the time being?

    2. Will be waiting for that thread now :-)

    3. Isn't our doctrine to counter IA CSD is to tie down their armoured formations with our IABGs & Infantry heavy Corps and then use the armoured divisions to snatch the initiative?
     
  14. Signalian

    Signalian SENIOR MEMBER

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    I did bring up attaching at least 2 MIB's to ID's(Infantry Divs), especially those deployed on eastern border. The problem is that MIB's are already less in number. There are two Armour Divs, 2 Mechanised Divs and 7 IABG's which have utilised the bulk of MIB's.

    Raising a new Mechanised brigade or an Armoured Brigade with in an ID is required but there are issues:

    1. Like i said above, not enough APC's (MIB's). The foot infantry can be transported in trucks and dismounted at a fair distance from the front lines and then they march. MIB's need to keep up with MBT's so they need to go where the action is and then dismount soldiers. A reason why APC's need to have good protection.

    2. Every MIB need constant fuel, spares and maintenance for its APC's. So budget wise, MIB's are expensive to raise and maintain. Same goes for Armour regiments, MBT's need different kinds of ammunition on top of that.

    3. PA has a shortage of MBT's too. The reserve is 300 M-48's, which can either be used to replace losses or get formed into a new formation to beef up numbers.

    4. IA Armour regiment has 59-60 MBT's, PA Armour regiment has 44 MBT's. PA formations are already smaller. There used to be 75 MBT's in PA Armour Regiments. Reducing the numbers helped create more Regiments in the past but reducing the number of MBT's now further will be make the regiments useless.

    5. T-59 II's have limitations in engine which affects mobility. L-7 Gun is not bad, it does the job of infantry support very well, L-7 a rifled gun which is 52 calibre long, longer than AK, AZ smooth bore main guns. Its cheaper for PA to buy more T-59's to boost numbers but it doesn't make sense to buy more since a more modern and upgradable MBT is required now. So T-59 needs replacement and even while that's happening, more new MBT's are required.

    6. PA has shortage of thousands of officers even while its churning out 600 officers from PMA in every term instead of previously 450. The reason is that new formations have been raised even when old ones have shortage of officers. It is said that SSD and LCB's have been raised from scratch.

    7. Forming a new mechanised or armoured brigade will require support elements for the formation to function with maximum efficiency, which means more Artillery SP guns, more SP AD missile units, EME mobile workshops, more fuel tankers, more ammunition carrying trucks, recovery vehicles ARV's and Bridge laying vehicles AVLB's.

    The idea is good to add more mechanised or armoured brigades to each ID, but it will take a lot of years to equip them.
     
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  15. Xlvee01

    Xlvee01 FULL MEMBER

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    Basically we need to spend a lot more funds to achieve the organizational structure that you have mentioned. Haven't HIT been producing different variants of M113 APC for years? In case there is no budgetary constraints, even if it produces enough M113 to equip a single Infantry unit in one year, you can have at least 2 Mech. Brigades by 5 years. I do not know the exact allocation of manpower or funds to HIT but I take it that their main focus is on AK2 at the moment. So the production of anything else may take a back seat. It will be interesting if they can achieve all that is being asked of them.

    Isn't that what the Germans did during the later part of the Second World War to beef up formations' numbers artificially. I read that this experiment was not very successful as the overall firepower of a single armoured division was greatly reduced. However, it may not be prudent to compare old WW2 tanks with modern ones. Advancement in armour technology may have allowed less modern MBTs than their old versions to do the same job. However, only pros. can tell if the current number is sufficient for any given task.

    Maybe the recent trails of MBT3000 are a step in this direction.

    So basically, to achieve these goals we need to ensure that we remain stable politically, our economy does not tank again and we are spared from natural disasters. Then maybe in 10 years we can get to the required/hypothesized level.
     
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