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Catalan Army / Ejercito de Cataluña

Catalonia armyAn 01 July 2014 report by the former Catalan National Assembly's Defence Policy Working Group [now Military Studies Society], outlined the possible shape and composition of the reconstituted Catalan Army.

It states, "Since we do not want to speculate either on the outcome of the negotiations on defence assets to be inherited by Catalonia, or on the Spanish military personnel that may wish to join the Catalan Defence Forces, this document only takes into account the real estate assets owned by the Spanish Defence Ministry and located in the Principality of Catalonia. The text starts from scratch concerning hardware and personnel. ... In five years time the backbone of the Catalan Defence Forces' Army must be operational, comprising the General Staff, a military academy, and the first battalion-size combat unit with the necessary support units."

The force would initially include a Mechanized infantry company with 12 IFV, leaning towards multi-purpose versions, wheeled instead of tracked, with the capacity to transport a squad of riflemen (9 soldiers) - for example Switzerland's MOWAG Piranha and Finland's Patria AMV. And 4 command vehicles, preferably a version of the same IFV; and 3-6 vehicles serving as weapons platforms (105 mm guns or 120 mm mortars) in support of the company itself, preferably a version of the same IFV.

As for an Air assault infantry company, given the Air Force's lack of transport aircraft able to deploy parachute units during this first stage, the company will only specialize in helicopter air assault operations. For this reason, no special hardware will be necessary. However, it should indeed be equipped with armored [for example MRAP (Mine Resistant, Ambush Protected) trucks, such as South Africa's RG-31 Nyala and Poland's AMZ Dzik] or soft-skinned transport vehicles [such as Switzerland's MOWAG Eagle, Russia's GAZ-2975 Tigr, and Spain's URO Vamtac].

The Amphibious infantry company, at the initial stage, was not planned to acquire any kind of amphibious combat vehicle. Therefore, it would simply be a matter of equipping the Naval Force with some 10 light inflatable craft and 2-4 fast assault craft. The Mountain infantry company, in line with the previous units, would not consider the acquisition of special vehicles. Therefore, it will be necessary to equip this unit with both transport vehicles (just like with the previous companies) and the necessary mountain gear to carry out its mission.

To provide the necessary support to the combat battalion, it would also be necessary to establish a combat support battalion comprising a support artillery battery, an engineer company, a signals company, and an intelligence company. The artillery battery would need to be equipped with 6-8 pieces, which may be towed light [for example Great Britain's L118 and the United States' M119, with a 105 mm calibre] or medium howitzers [among them the United States' M777 and Israel's Soltam M-71, with a 155 mm calibre], or rather some modern self-propelled medium howitzer system [such as France's CAESAR and Sweden's Archer, both with a 155 mm tube mounted on articulated all terrain trucks]. In candor, this covers the the lighter end of the spectrum of modern artillery, but does not specify how these very different capabilities might match Catalan requirements.

From this Catalonia would later build the rest of the professional forces, which in a further 10 to 15 years should roughly quadruple in size, with each of the initial combat companies (mechanized, air assault, amphibious, and mountain infantry) becoming a battalion, brought together in a combat brigade. Possibly, in line with recent moves by the British Army in many of its units, it would be possible to establish single-battalion regiments, recovering the historical name of some Catalan units from different eras, with the goal of reinforcing their personality and esprit de corps.

Current military doctrine in most Western democracies is geared towards a contraction of standing forces and an expansion of the reserves, given the need to make defence structures flexible: around a core of full-time professionals, with very specialized jobs, one establishes a force of part-time volunteers who may be mobilized and demobilized in response to a wide range of needs in a changing scenario.

In the US Army, Brigade combat teams (BCTs) organize to conduct decisive action, which is the continuous, simultaneous combinations of offensive, defensive, and stability or defense support of civil authorities tasks. All BCTs include maneuver; field artillery; intelligence; signal; engineer; chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN); and sustainment capabilities. The three types of American BCTs are the infantry brigade combat team (IBCT), the Stryker brigade combat team (SBCT), and the armored brigade combat team (ABCT).

The IBCT is a combined arms force organized around dismounted infantry. It is designed to operate in restricted terrain. Its personnel strength is approximately 3,400 Soldiers. Cavalry, field artillery, engineer, intelligence, signal, sustainment, and CBRN reconnaissance units are organic to the IBCT. Higher commanders augment the IBCT for a specific mission. Three infantry battalions, each with about 60 Fighting Vehicles, serve as the IBCT’s primary maneuver force. The infantry battalions organize with a headquarters and headquarters company, three rifle companies, and a weapons company. Infantry rifle companies have three infantry rifle platoons, a mortar section, and a headquarters section. Each rifle platoon has three infantry rifle squads and a weapons squad. Rifle Squads close with the enemy by means of fire and maneuver in order to destroy or capture him or to repel his assault by fire, close combat, and counter attack. The mortar section has two squads, each with a 60-mm mortar. The IBCT field artillery battalion has four batteries: a headquarters and headquarters battery, two (only one battery in airborne battalions) 105-mm firing batteries (each with 6 M119 series), and one 155-mm firing battery (with 6 M777-series).

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Page last modified: 01-10-2017 18:54:31 ZULU