Sunday, May 18, 2008

Basis See Conference, Pt3 : The Other Services

Speaches by:
Brig-Gen. Markus Kneip : Army C4I/CD&E Staff Division Leader; 2006 commander of ISAF Regional Command North
Brig-Gen. Jochen Both : Airforce C4I/CD&E Staff Division Leader
Brig-Gen. Heinrich Geppert : General of Future Development of the Joint Support Service (SKB)
Col.(Med) Bernd Mattiesen : Medical Service CD&E Staff Branch Leader

Now for the other side. The other four branches of the Bundeswehr get to present their view of Basis See too.

Kneip levels some criticism at the concept. The Navy has a level of ambition of leading up to 1000 ground soldiers from a Basis See command center for example; Kneip thinks that's way too much ambition. He also criticizes the basic issue of Supporting and Supported Commander - in his opinion, the Army commander of the ground troops should in almost all situations be the Supported Commander, with the Navy commander taking a back seat.

However, in his opinion, Basis See still offers a flexible instrument for short missions. Realistic missions named by him are in particular evacuation, extraction, and early entry. Basis See, in his opinion, is inefficient when land bases are operated in parallel.

The airforce sees limited application for the "Lead from Sea" concept of Basis See. There's particular potential for strategic Reach Back for Airforce assets, i.e. relaying tactical information between in-theater airborne assets and strategic C4ISTAR assets. Other applications are seen for example in limited theater C2 e.g. in Evacuation Operations, however a more widely applied maritime C2 infrastructure is seen as not necessary for the airforce, which would use land bases anyway.

Geppert doesn't show any criticism at all; he sees a demand for integration of the Joint Support Service's assets though, i.e. for "Lead from Sea" in particular interfaces to Military Intelligence and the Strategic Reconnaissance Command.

GMSV, the amphibious component, is similarly disputed. The Airforce of course thinks that such a component is not needed in an allied framework, since the Airforce would be the primary supplier of strategic and tactical transport. Geppert, however, sees GMSV as "reasonable", as long as the cost/effect factors are evaluated beforehand.

GGSS, the sealift component, is not in question. Both airforce and SKB think it's necessary and important, especially for logistics.

Mattiesen expands a bit on the medical side of Basis See. For him, the medical chain is important, and navy components of this chain - such as a sea-based hospital - need to have relay capability to land-based and home-based assets worked out. For the Medical Branch, their navy components - such as the MERZ containerized hospital onboard the EGVs - are primarily useful in early entry and similar missions. The primary component for the Medical Branch for longer missions however is StratAirMedEvac by their excellently-equipped A310 MedEvacs.

There is only a limited possibility for the airforce to base its assets on navy platforms. Examples named by Both there are primarily CSAR in Special Operation, but of course also specialized MedEvac helicopters.

The Joint Support Service sees the Basis See concept as "supportable" with their own forces - these would be e.g. logistics, military police, military intelligence etc. The Joint Support Service according to Geppert has apparently already started an internal evaluation of how to fit force packages to Basis See in comparison to the current land-based approach.

Part 4 will present a sealift study done for the Bundeswehr.

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