2 LSW and 1 GPMG.....squad suppressive fire capabilities


Evil Monkey
August 11, 2007, 01:14 PM
I've been thinking about this idea for a while now and don't know if any Army out there uses this approach.

If I'm correct, there are armies out there that put 2 M249 SAW's in every squad, but they use them as crew served weapons with asst gunners who carry ammo and spare barrel. Then you have forces like our own US Marine Corps who issue 3 M249's per squad because we have 3 fireteams. However, the Marines use it as an individual weapon like the B.A.R. and carry no barrels and have no asst gunners. The Russians use RPK-74's with 45rd mags that are often taped together. There's 2 of these in every squad.

There's argument that belt feds are not proper individual weapons and that the Marine Corps are using the wrong weapon for the job. Then there's argument that LSW's like the RPK-74 are not sustained fire capable. When you use any of them as individual weapons without a spare barrel or ability to change the barrel, NONE of them become sustained fire capable. As a result, soldiers are trained to fire no more than 100rds a minute. And with that, a well trained soldier can utilize a mag fed LSW better than a heavy belt fed.

But why can't we use both? My idea is that there should be 2 LSW's and 1 GPMG/LMG in every squad. Take a squad of 12 soldiers and you have 3 fireteams of 4 soldiers each in this squad. Isn't it possible that you can have the 1st and 2nd fireteams use lightweight LSW's like the RPK for example and the 3rd fireteam use a belt fed GPMG as a proper crew served weapon?

The team with the GPMG can either have an M249 or something as big as an M60. Let's say the M249 is being used, you would have the gunner carrying about 600rds, then you have a asst gunner carrying another 200-600rds and a spare barrel, and finally you'd have 2 other soldiers carrying 100rds extra each. That fireteam is bringing a maximum 1,400rds into battle and because of the M249's crew served role, it can now be a sustained fire weapon.

The other 2 fireteams would be very mobile and would move around the 3rd fireteam's suppressive fire. At the same time, team 1 and 2 can maneuver around each other and can provide effective cross suppressive fire so that team 3 can move up. All this without having to use heavy belt feds for the automatic rifleman role, thus, using the correct weapons for the job without losing effectiveness in comparison to "conventional" tactics.

What do you think? Can this idea work out?

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August 12, 2007, 12:19 AM
Wow, I'm impressed with the depth of the question. I can't wait to hear what others have to say. I know almost nothing about infantry tactics, but would like to learn.

August 12, 2007, 12:49 AM
The British army already pretty much have this setup for their fireteam.

Squad have two fire teams of four men. A Corporal or Lance Corporal and three privates make up the team with the NCO and one of the privates carrying L85a2s (one with a UGL), then the other two have an L86a2 light support weapon that uses a 30 round magazine, heavy long barrel and bipod and another with a FN Minimi. Works pretty well.

Evil Monkey
August 12, 2007, 02:29 AM
The British army already pretty much have this setup for their fireteam.

Well, not exactly. They only have 2 fireteams and each one has a Minimi. The L86a2 serves as marksman rifle now. I'm pretty sure their doctrine works, but it's not the same.

My concept MUST utilize a minimum of 3 fireteams. 3 is the magic number.

The first 2 teams are force multipliers against each other. Instead of having a fireteam maneuver around one other fireteams suppressive fire, you can have 2 fireteams doing the same thing and having more chance to cut off enemy escape or there own maneuvers. They are the offensive teams designed to be fast. The 3rd team that is providing massive sustained fire is the defensive team that's obviously slow. They move forward after team 1 and 2 are in a good position to provide suppressive fire from multiple sides, better than 1 fireateam can like in most of the worlds armies.

Add in the GL's, marksmen, etc, and you have one hell of a party! :D

August 12, 2007, 05:13 AM
Reminds me of an idea I had a while back of sending 4,000 snipers into a country to take out only the high-profile enemies. No other soldiers, no air support, artillery, or anything else other than radios.

The general idea was to completely demoralize an entire country with minimal loss of life, operating cost, and property damage.

Not sure if it would work, but I can't figure out why it hasn't been tried. :confused:

August 12, 2007, 06:24 AM
what you are talking about is ideal, and is basic knowledge throughout our own Army., and most 1st world countries. Just one problem; personnel. Before light infantry became the norm, what you suggested was the Allways goal. Heck , I even saw it fullfilled once or twice during my time in the Army, but most squads are not full, have rotating personnel, peeps going in, peeps going back home, not enough trained peeps and nco's on the weapons, you want them trained on, especially the 60, and so , unless you are in 100 percent stocked, fat , big infantry/mech division, with soldiers that aren't going home for a while, and are not just coming in, you just can't do it.

August 12, 2007, 12:25 PM
I think the issue is that most militaries do not consider the fireteam a large enough element to specialize like that, preferring to keep them identical and generic for a number of reasons, mostly having to do with the fact that fireteams have no real depth at all as they start being attrited by casualties, non-combat personnel shortages, etc. As such, they can't really sustain specialized organization in combat the way a larger unit, even squad-sized, can.

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