Perimeter defences plan for a military base for the GWOT




 
--
Boots
 
September 30th, 2012  
Peter Dow
 
 

Topic: Perimeter defences plan for a military base for the GWOT


In Afghanistan, the enemy Taliban forces have attacked supposedly well-defended bases such as Bagram and Bastion bases.

Quote:
Afghanistan Attacks: Insurgents Attack Bagram Air Base

KABUL, Afghanistan -- Afghan insurgents bombarded a U.S. base and destroyed a NATO helicopter, killing three Afghan intelligence employees, officials said Tuesday. There were also NATO personnel aboard and wounded, the coalition said without providing further details.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BBC
Camp Bastion assault: Two US marines die in 'Taliban revenge'
Aircraft and buildings were damaged but Nato said its forces killed 18 of the insurgents and captured one.
...
Nato officials say insurgents used small arms, rockets and mortars in the attack on Camp Bastion which took place at about 22:00 on Friday (17:30 GMT), under cover of darkness.
So I am working on a plan for better perimeter defences for our military bases where there is a terrorist threat.

Here's the basic plan for a small base, with no runways, tell me what you think.

Perimeter defences plan for a military base


Click for LARGER image

This diagram shows my suggested layout for the perimeter defences for a military base.

Explanation of the diagram features.

Central Base - the green disc in the diagram represents the central well-defended area of the military base, or "Green Zone" where various buildings, vehicles and personnel of the base are normally situated.

Autocannon, machine gun & missile towers - the red and pink dots represent static, armoured fortifications or towers for one autocannon, machine gun and anti-tank missiles and its 3-man team of gunners which encircle the base at a distance of about 6 miles or 10 kilometres from the edge of the central Base. The spacing between adjacent gun towers is about 333 metres or 333 yards.


The Pyramid of Cestius, Rome, photoshopped into a gun tower

The idea of gun towers is to give the gunner a good view of the desert terrain which is unlikely to be completely flat and dips in the ground could otherwise provide cover for attacking mortar teams. Gun towers also enable the gunners easily to see over and beyond any obstacles in the vehicle barrier into the Threat Zone. The gun towers should be robust enough so that they could take a number of artillery shells without collapsing.

The plan calls for one team of gunners per tower serving on base. The gunners are organised into 3 duty shifts of at least 8 hours and so normally only 1 in 3 of the towers will be manned at any one time. The gunners spend their off-duty time in the central Base where their quarters are situated.

If, when and where the perimeter defences are attacked by the enemy, the off-duty gunners can be called back on emergency duty as required by their officers.

There would be a minimum of about 200 gun towers required and for each tower I propose -


  • a 25mm cannon, which typically have a range out to 2.5 km / 1.5 miles with
  • a 12.7mm (0.5") or 7.62mm machine gun back-up.
  • anti-tank missiles, such as TOW (Tube-launched, Optically-tracked, Wire command data-link) guided missiles
The tower's weapons are mounted into some kind of swivelling gun turret, with working parts like the gun turret on top of an infantry fighting vehicle maybe.

A cost-effective option might be to buy off-the-shelf turrets which are already in mass production for vehicles like the Bradley IFV with some additional armour capped on top of it because it doesn't need to be light, just very strong against incoming mortar or artillery fire.

The one issue there might be with IVF turrets is that it really needs lower gun elevation than is standard for an IFV turret. IFV guns often don't dip below -10 degrees below the horizontal.



That's not ideal because the gun turrets are going to be much higher off the ground than they would be in an IVF and ideally the gunners ought to be able to target the ground beneath them as well as the ground hundreds of metres away.

Naval ship mounted cannons tend to dip lower, down to -20 degrees and that would be better, but naval cannons are not usually well armoured for the gunner's protection.



They do come in remotely operated versions which is an interesting option to consider.



Infantry barriers - barbed wire and anti-personnel mines to stop enemy infantry from advancing into the centre of the base.

Vehicle barriers - obstacles and anti-tank mines which prevent enemy vehicles from advancing into the centre of the base.

Reaction Force Zone - Quick reaction forces deploy in armoured vehicles from the central base into the Reaction Force Zone to fire at enemy attacking forces.

Threat Zone - A circumferential military zone around the perimeter defences where the base defenders may assume a hostile intent on the part of uninvited intruders into the Threat Zone and from where locals are forbidden and variously warned off from intruding upon. This land is occupied or leased to the military base and is closely watched using surveillance technology. Warning shots or sub-lethal rounds may be fired upon suspected innocent intruders and identified enemy forces can be fired upon to kill without warning.

The diagram represents a Threat Zone which extends to 10 miles / 16 kilometres from the edge of the central Base. The plan therefore recommends that it is inappropriate to site a well-defended base within 10 miles of an urban area or a public highway which would cause local people and local traffic to enter into the defined Threat Zone routinely making the early detection of real threats difficult to distinguish.

A large Threat Zone is desirable for security purposes because it makes for a safer perimeter defence but does add significantly to the land requirements of the base therefore the availability of a wide area of undeveloped land is ideal when choosing a location for the construction of a new military base.

Some existing military bases are located close to urban areas where a large Threat Zone cannot be defined and this is likely to make such bases much less secure.

Access road Road to access the base from the surrounding road network.

STOP police control barrier Military police stop traffic wishing to enter the base and perform final checks that visitors and loads are authorised to proceed. The control barriers prevent terrorists driving off the road and prevent vehicles proceeding without permission.

The control barrier fortifications need to be very robust so as to survive an enemy truck bomb.

Trust Zone People, vehicles or buildings in the Trust Zone which is everywhere outside of the Threat Zone are assumed to be trustworthy and non-threatening in so far as the base defenders are concerned.

People in the Trust Zone are assumed to be respecting the base's security and the base defenders treat people in the Trust Zone with the same mutual respect for their own security.

Protestors
Protestors who wish to demonstrate for whatever reason their political viewpoints are allowed to approach the base as far as the Warning Line which surrounds the Threat Zone but it is the responsibility of the local authorities to ensure that protestors do not intrude into the Threat Zone without invitation otherwise a hostile intent may be assumed and defensive actions taken.

Defence force For the smallest bases, this plan calls for a defence force of three serving companies of gunners - one company for each of the 3 shifts.

One company needs at least 200 gunners and their officers so 3 companies total at least 600 gunners and their officers. In addition, military and support personnel are needed for other duties such as policing visitors, cooking, vehicle and plant maintenance engineers, medical, supplies storage & management, camp tidying up, latrine digging, reserves etc.

The defence force required would be of an infantry battalion size of perhaps of about 800 soldiers / marines and support personnel in total and so the base defence force commander would likely be ranked at Lieutenant Colonel or higher.

Larger air bases

For larger bases with central Base areas that could be miles wide, such as military air bases that require aircraft runways, the lines of perimeter defences would need to be longer and so more gun towers, gunners etc would be required.
September 30th, 2012  
rattler
 
 
Donīt want to go into details of your schemesī approach, just one aspect:

Your gun towers are way too far out: A battallion just to man A THIRD of them? Very limited mutual support? Not able to support the central base? Not feasable from my POV.

The towers itself would be my target if I was an insurgent, and I would not be too much afraid of the "Reaction Force" that would be prowling about somewhere in the 300+ square km Reaction Force Zone of your diagram.

If you insist to go with this static defense tower concept you would want to have a max of 22 towers at 1.2 km radius to the base: They could mutually support both each others as well as the base and a company would be enough to man them 24/7.

FWIW,

Rattler
September 30th, 2012  
NP8901
 
As a taxpayer I would say: I canīt afford it.
--
Boots
September 30th, 2012  
Capt Frogman
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NP8901
As a taxpayer I would say: I canīt afford it.
Nor do we have the manpower or hardware available (or ever will have).
September 30th, 2012  
Yossarian
 
 
If the year was 150 A.D. and manned by the Legion's Brightest to hold out against the barbarian horde.

Then maybe this plan would be feasible.

But heavy auto cannon platforms with TOW missiles?...

What are you expecting the Taliban to send out an armored division on the flat rolling plains of Afghanistan? (sarcasm).
September 30th, 2012  
Peter Dow
 
 

Topic: Not feasible?


Quote:
Originally Posted by rattler
Donīt want to go into details of your schemesī approach, just one aspect:

Your gun towers are way too far out:
That's to keep enemy infantry mortar teams in the Threat Zone out of range of the Central Base.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rattler
A battallion just to man A THIRD of them?
Well there are about 200 gun towers in total.

One third of that is about 66 gun towers manned with 3-man teams = 198 gunners in the gun towers on duty for an 8 hour shift.

3 shifts is about 600 gunners and then there are their officers back in the central base etc. so yes a battalion gives 24/7 coverage.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rattler
Very limited mutual support?
Limited only at the first sign of trouble but the gunners have monitors displaying CCTV video from cameras looking well out into the threat zone and they are armoured so the first sign of trouble should not be lethal for them.

The towers are essentially armed lookout towers. Their most important function is to raise the alarm back at central base at the first sign of enemy activity, incoming fire etc. to call for back-up, reinforcements which spring into action to defend any gun towers which are attacked.

Before reinforcements arrive the manned gun towers are 1000 metres or 1000 yards apart. That's because the towers are one every 333 metres or 333 yards but normally only 1 in 3 is manned, so the distance to the nearest manned tower is 3 x 333 = 999 or about 1000 metres or yards.

Say about 15 or 20 minutes later when gunner reinforcements arrive then the neighbouring towers become manned as well so that will then be towers every 333 metres or 333 yards supporting each other.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rattler
Not able to support the central base?
Well the main support function that the gun towers provide for the Central Base is to keep enemy ground forces at a distance.

That leaves the enemy only really air attack options against the Central Base which will have its own standard defences which I have not yet specified because it is easy to imagine typical air defences such as ground to air missiles, anti-aircraft guns, air-raid bunkers etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rattler
Not feasable from my POV.
Not feasible? Really? Exactly why do you say that, may I ask?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rattler
The towers itself would be my target if I was an insurgent,
OK. How could an insurgent attack the towers successfully, do you think?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rattler
and I would not be too much afraid of the "Reaction Force" that would be prowling about somewhere in the 300+ square km Reaction Force Zone of your diagram.
Not all the Reaction Force would be confined to that Reaction Force Zone.

For example, attack helicopters could fly out from the Central Base out over the perimeter defences to attack insurgents in the Threat Zone or even the Trust Zone if enemy were detected firing from there.

Staying in the Reaction Force Zone would be those using indirect fire weapons - mortars, howitzers, artillery.

Tanks and Infantry Fighting Vehicles could travel all the way to between the gun towers to provide direct fire support.

Insurgents ought to be afraid of what is coming out of the Reaction Zone firing at them. Mind you the Taliban seem to want to be suicide attackers. That can be arranged easily enough with my defences plan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rattler
If you insist to go with this static defense tower concept you would want to have a max of 22 towers at 1.2 km radius to the base: They could mutually support both each others as well as the base and a company would be enough to man them 24/7.
No this would allow enemy infantry mortars to get within firing range of the Central Base.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rattler
FWIW,

Rattler
Thanks for trying to find a flaw in my base defences.
September 30th, 2012  
Peter Dow
 
 

Topic: Here's to us thrifty Scots!


Quote:
Originally Posted by NP8901
As a taxpayer I would say: I canīt afford it.
In 2010, the US paid Karzai $6.8 billion in military aid.

So we simply advise and ask the US and other donors to the ANA to stop paying Karzai anything at all in military aid, spend some of the US money saved on a smaller, better quality but cheaper NATO-ISAF auxiliary force of Afghans with NATO generals, then spend some of the rest on projects like this base defence plan.

I bet if us frugal and efficient Scots got together to put this plan in operation we could save the USA taxpayer billions of dollars!
September 30th, 2012  
Peter Dow
 
 

Topic: Forget the Afghan-Pakistan border, it has no strategic significance


Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt Frogman
Nor do we have the manpower
We should close the NATO forward operating bases along the Pakistan / Afghanistan border and redeploy our forces to secure our bases and supply lines.

For us, this should be a war on terror, it shouldn't be a border skirmish between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The border FOBs have no strategic significance and are very hard to supply.

We want to kill enemy Taliban whatever side of the border they are on and we can hit them from the air using drones and bombing missions with no need for border bases.

If the Pakistani Taliban wish to do us the favour of coming into Afghanistan to attack our most secure bases and supply lines then all the easier for us to kill them.

As for building the gun towers which would be required to fortify such bases we could hire in civilian contractor manpower to help our military engineers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Capt Frogman
or hardware available (or ever will have).
If we've got the money we can buy the hardware. See my last post for where the money could come from.
October 1st, 2012  
Peter Dow
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yossarian
If the year was 150 A.D. and manned by the Legion's Brightest to hold out against the barbarian horde.

Then maybe this plan would be feasible.
Hmm. In 150 A.D. the Roman Legions were completing Antonine's Wall to keep us northern "barbarian hordes" out.

My plans are not for empire but for freedom. I'd be more in sympathy with Spartacus, not Rome.

I do like Rome's pyramids though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Dow

The Pyramid of Cestius, Rome, photoshopped into a gun tower
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yossarian
But heavy auto cannon platforms with TOW missiles?...
It's an all-purpose Global War On Terror perimeter defences plan which can be adapted to the particular country and enemy faced.

In the future, in some country, we could have a base where we might be facing regular armies with tanks. You never know. Be prepared.

The autocannon is good against pick-up mounted heavier machine guns or technicals.

In Afghanistan, The Taliban acquisition of anti-aircraft platforms is a possible threat. The Taliban certainly used technicals a lot when they were in power. Yes NATO air-power is an effective deterrence against Taliban technicals but I could not guarantee "it'll never happen" so the autocannons are advisable especially when defending our most important bases.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yossarian
What are you expecting the Taliban to send out an armored division on the flat rolling plains of Afghanistan? (sarcasm).
It's been a while since the Taliban got very far in a tank I must admit.



Whereas so far, the green-on-blue attacks have been isolated small arms attacks, I don't think it would be prudent military planning to assume there can't ever be the possibility of green-on-blue attacks using the range of fighting vehicles and main battle tanks available to the ANA.

We know that the Taliban have been supplied from Pakistan and Iran. So I don't think we can rule out either of those countries training up a Taliban armoured assault force or invading themselves to kick our forces up the backside on the way out in 2014.

In any case I am specifying the TOW missile firing system into my gun tower design so that if a need for the missiles is determined in future it will be easy enough to buy the missiles and arm the gun towers with that facility.

Better to have the missiles function (anti-tank and ground-to-air) as a possible option for the gun turrets and never need it than later to discover you need it but can't deploy it.

If adding standard IVF turrets to the towers all those functions are available as options so why not?
October 1st, 2012  
Capt Frogman
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Dow
We should close the NATO forward operating bases along the Pakistan / Afghanistan border and redeploy our forces to secure our bases and supply lines.

For us, this should be a war on terror, it shouldn't be a border skirmish between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The border FOBs have no strategic significance and are very hard to supply.

We want to kill enemy Taliban whatever side of the border they are on and we can hit them from the air using drones and bombing missions with no need for border bases.

If the Pakistani Taliban wish to do us the favour of coming into Afghanistan to attack our most secure bases and supply lines then all the easier for us to kill them.

As for building the gun towers which would be required to fortify such bases we could hire in civilian contractor manpower to help our military engineers..
You simply cannot leave the border unmanned, that would be mad, stupid and unthinkable.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Dow
If we've got the money we can buy the hardware. See my last post for where the money could come from.
An intelligent guy such as yourself must be aware of the current financial "crisis" affecting the worlds economies?
 


Similar Topics
Next US President
Great Military Leaders vs Military Education
What was said on the 3rd presidential debate.
*Joining the Military - Questions Abound - Help Appreciated!
Kerry Unveils Plan To Overhaul Military