Cybernetic Armour Units:
Pan Pacific Doctrine & Perspectives
Extracts from a presentation to the Pan Pacific War College
by Lieutenant General B.A. Guard MC CSC, Commander, Pan Pacific Northern Front,
Sydney, Australia, 18 Jan 2186
Combat Support Element
Shock Assault Force
OGRE Hunter Group
Combined Strike Unit
Introduction & History
As you know, the Armed Forces of the PanPac Alliance, while regionally adequate for the protection of our sovereignty, cannot realistically be considered a major player in relation to the world superpowers. Consequently, the use of Cybernetic Heavy Armour Units, more commonly known as OGREs, has always been limited due to the huge costs of maintaining these units both in financial and support infrastructure terms. This has given the PanPac employment practices of these units a more unique slant than those of other armed forces such as the Pan Europeans and the Combine have.
Initially, OGRE units were purchased and transported at great expense under "special favoured trade status" from our Combine Allies, with consequent acquisition lags due to product availability and transit time. This burden was greatly decreased through the establishment of the PanPac OGRE Manufacturing Facility near Melbourne. The initiation and setup of this facility was greatly assisted by converting an existing factory complex and by British specialists from the Sheffield Plant who arrived in Australia following the fall of the UK to Pan Europa. If it had not been for the availability of these proven designs and trained personnel it is unlikely that we would have been able to design and produce indigenous OGREs.
The PanPac inventory of OGREs is predominantly comprised of Mk I, III and V baseline models with limited numbers of Mk IVs also in service. Some modifications have been made for PanPac employment but these predominantly cover environmental aspects such as additional cooling systems and dust filters for the Northern Australian and Indonesian AOs, and additional heating units and cold weather conditioning for units deploying to the ADZ. Research and development is continuing to advance a PanPac designed OGRE based on the imported designs, but the results of this work are highly classified and not releasable in this forum.
The scarcity of Cyber Armour in the PanPac Order Of Battle has restricted the knowledge and experience levels in operating with them (although some experience in fighting them was gained during the Nihon incursions into Northern Australia, operations within the Indonesian Archipelago and more recently in the Antarctic Disputed Zone). The primary method of employment has therefore been to deploy OGREs in isolated units or as attachments to higher level formations, rather than integrating them, in order to concentrate what skills and knowledge there is within our ranks.
PanPac OGRE Command is the principle command under which all OGRE units are assigned. OGRE Command operates three separate OGRE Brigades for operational deployment of the units. The 1st and 3rd OGRE Brigades are operational units assigned as required to active f fronts whilst 2nd Brigade is a Support formation not deployed to active areas.
OGRE Command liaises directly to PanPac Strategic Command for all issues relating to the availability and employment of Cyber Armour units. It also has direct linkages to PanPac Military Acquisition Department to ensure information flow to and from the OGRE Manufacturing Plant.
Pan Pacific operates two Operational OGRE Brigades; the 1st Brigade (partially deployed to the ADZ) and the 3rd Brigade (operating along the Indonesian Frontier). The role of these units is to centralise the organisation of maintenance, field repair and technical facilities for OGRE operations within a Campaign Theatre and are therefore kept far behind the Battle Area. They comprise the necessary Command and Liaison elements to form tactical OGRE formations and the logistical, repair and maintenance units to support these formations in the field. Specialised support units (such as AI modification teams for formatting command codes, cryptographic information and other specific upload requirements) are also held in these brigades. The brigade has sufficient organic transport to shuttle these teams around the front as required to support its deployed OGREs.
These brigades therefore exist to support the tactical formations, which operate in support of operations in the field and in no way function as fighting units. It is the detached tactical formations (detailed shortly) that are the fighting arm of PanPac OGRE Command. The Brigade is typically able to sustain 20 to 30 OGREs at any time without the attachment of additional support assets.
2nd (Support) Brigade is a deep level maintenance and support unit with varied specialised sub units that assist the whole of OGRE Command in the efficient running of all OGRE units.
Training Command - Responsible for Training of ALL personnel employed within OGRE Command. This ranges from technical and maintenance staff through to Tactical Operations Officers. Training is provided for all ranks of varying specialisations although personnel will attend generic PanPac courses for non-OGRE subjects (such as basic trade qualifications, general promotion courses etc.)
Research & Development - Conducts R&D for all PanPac OGRE forces with subdivisions concentrating on AI, Weapons, Sensors, Engineering and Ancillary Systems. Results are selectively implemented and tested and data is shared with Allies (notable the Combine).
Test & Evaluation Group - Conducts evaluation and field testing of new units coming off the production line, as well as assisting R&D section in the evaluation of newly implemented modifications.
Operational Analysis Teams - Responsible for the in depth analysis of operational performance of OGRE Units and the supporting units in the field. After completing their primary analysis, the Operational Brigade staff forward the OGRE Unit downloads to the Analysis teams with all data concerning a particular operation, which is then correlated between units and with the AI system at OGRE Command. Performance and decisions made by the OGRE AIs are assessed in order to provide the R&D Divisions hard data for future research and modification.
Deep Maintenance Group - Conduct deeper level maintenance than is usually conducted within an AO. Typically, an OGRE unit requiring such maintenance is detached at an opportune time from its parent brigade and sent to the Support Brigade for extensive stripping down. Dependent on the level of maintenance and repair required, the Deep Maintenance Group is able to support 10 OGRE units at a time. Technical assistance is also provided to Operational Brigade Maintenance Staff where required (such as when a Brigade is assigned more OGRE units than usual and the Field Teams require supplementation).
Rather than form permanent OGRE units (as is done in other Armies), the operational Brigades group appropriate combinations of OGREs and support elements for specific missions. On completion, the units are reassigned as required to ensure efficiency of operations and best use of resources. In this manner, the employment of OGRE units is kept as flexible as possible with units assigned and reassigned as demanded by the Tactical Situation.
OGREs are primarily employed in operations where their heavy armour, concentration of firepower and shock effect is maximised. Such operations are typified by attacks upon Enemy critical vulnerabilities (typically Command Posts, Missile Defense Systems and Logistic Supply Centres), anti-OGRE operations and shock assaults to back up the predominantly mechanised infantry composition of the rest of the PanPac line regiments. To conduct such operations, the following multi-OGRE formations are utilised.
Raider Group - utilised to raid rear echelon targets and conduct hit and run strikes. These would typically be missions of medium to long term nature as the units detached for independent operations and attempted to maximise the use of stealth and flanking movement to penetrate the enemy line with minimal disruption to prevent early warning and interception. A Mk I-Mk III combination is viewed as ideal due to the recon and EW capabilities of the Mk I for surveying the target and while the Mk III carries the firepower to overcome most local resistance that could be expected at the target. This combination is also favoured as it only makes one combat element (the Mk I is not considered a combat element) unavailable for further tasking.
Deep Strike Unit - a formation similar in nature to the Raider group but designed to fight through the enemy's line and hit hardened targets. The Strike unit is typically comprised of 1 to 2 OGREs (Mk IIIs or Mk Vs, dependent on the target type and defending forces) in order to provide some deceptive value. Typically one OGRE will conduct a fully covert approach to the target while the other (the decoy) will conduct a more overt approach in order to force the deployment of enemy assets to areas which will not assist in his defense when the real attack is revealed. Once the real attack is initiated, the decoy OGRE is then free to withdraw to conduct other tasking without having been decisively engaged.
The Deep Strike Unit may be assigned additional assets from the Brigade to ensure resupply and field repair capabilities for distant target strikes. An example of this is the foray of the Mk III OGRE "BUSHRANGER" into the Central Australian Deserts in 2182 to strike Nihon Area Command Posts and disrupt Logistic Lines. BUSHRANGER's assigned area was immense and it was assessed that it would not be able to destroy all required targets before becoming combat incapable through ordnance expenditure and cumulative damage. The Mk V OGRE "SIR JOHN MONASH" conducted an assault on a relatively unprotected part of the enemy line prior to withdrawing and enabled an undamaged BUSHRANGER and three support teams to pass into the enemy rear areas. The resupply and repair teams remained hidden in isolated areas and between strikes, BUSHRANGER would rendezvous with one of these teams to make good repairs and restock missiles, drones and other expendable ordnance prior to conducting the next attack. At the conclusion of the operations, the two surviving support teams (one had been located by Nihon patrols and destroyed) linked up with BUSHRANGER and successfully passed through the front lines again and into friendly territory.
Combat Support Elements (CSE) - This is the most common formation utilised where OGREs operate in a support role and tasked to cover a conventional defensive line or to advance behind a main force in order to provide mobile fire support and flexible tactical response elements to either a localised enemy counter attack or to reinforce areas of success in an advance.
Defensive CSE: 2-6 OGRE units are typically assigned and can cover a defensive frontage of up to 150km in length, more if additional units are assigned. OGREs not formed for other specific missions are usually assigned to a Defensive CSE to bolster the line while waiting further operational tasking. The OGREs comprising the CSE are not usually allocated to the units which they are directly supporting. More usually, command is centralised to the Commander with overall responsibility for the defended area (usually a Brigade and Divisional Commander) in order to better co-ordinate the utilisation of OGRE assets in the conduct of Counter Attacks and plugging gaps in the defensive line.
An Offensive CSE is employed to provide fire support and flank protection to a conventional unit conducting an advance or attack. It is usually assigned at least one Mk V (more usually two or three if available), a Mk IV (again, if available) and Mk IIIs. A Mk I may also be assigned to provide additional recon and EW support if the operation is intended to result in a breakout. The Mk I will then detach after the enemy line is broken and operate ahead of the main force, while other OGREs roll up the enemy's flanks on either side of the penetration point and ensure the enemy is unable to seal off the breach in his lines while the conventional forces continue to advance. The OGREs are therefore utilised in a position to conduct follow-up assaults or diversionary attacks (after all, who is going to ignore a multi-OGRE advance and assume it's a deception?).
Shock Assault Force - this is the brute force attack directly into the enemy's main defensive position in order to rupture his hold on the position. 2-3 OGREs converging from different directions (in order to reduce warning and indications of impending attack to the enemy) typically conduct the Shock Assault. The Assault Force is typically followed by conventional forces to pour through the hole torn in the enemy's line, and
can provide additional firepower as required to ensure the attack's success.
OGRE Hunter Group - OGRE formation specifically formed to locate, trap and neutralise hostile OGRE units. The exact composition is dependent on the target OGRE type, but is typically 2-3 Mk V OGREs with a Mk IV in support. Although the availability of PanPac Mk IV units is less than that of other Mks, they are assigned to OGRE Hunter Groups as a priority. OGRE Hunter Groups tend to be formed at short notice in response to fleeting intelligence on enemy OGRE units and move rapidly to neutralise the threat before the information becomes stale. Anti-OGRE operations are the priority for the employment of PanPac OGREs due to the threat that they pose to front line stability.
The conduct of anti-OGRE operations in the past has been resulted in mixed success. In March 2183 the Mk V OGREs "GOG" and "MAGOG" successfully pinned and destroyed a Nihon Ninja Class OGRE operating within the PanPac rear areas while sustaining minimal damage to themselves. Such success is not assured, however, and in the closing stages of 2183 the GOG and MAGOG were dispatched to conduct a similar operation against an unidentified NIHON cybertank in the disputed Pilbara Region in North Western Australia. The intruder was successfully tracked for 12 days prior to being brought to battle in a deep canyon. It proved to be a trap, though, and the two PanPac OGREs were destroyed in short order by the combined firepower of four Nihon cyber units laying in ambush positions cutting off their retreat. It was assessed that the Nihon ambush operation was conducted in retribution for Ninja unit lost earlier that year.
Non Standard Formations
These are the more common tactical formations utilised. There are numerous historical exceptions in our experience in operating these units. One of the more notable is described below.
Combined Strike Unit - a successful combination that was created by combining the Mk III "NED KELLY" with elements of the highly experienced LGEV pilots of the 12th Light Horse for a raid on a Nihon Logistics Center in the North Australian AO. Due to their experience in operating against Nihon OGREs, they were well versed in the most vulnerable sections of an OGRE and were not afraid to operate in close proximity, which made for a high level of synergy from the start. The 12 LGEV units provided a fast recon and flanking maneuver elements to the OGRE attack that proved very effective against the Nihon forces in the 3rd Battle of Darwin and the Stand at McCarron’s Pass and was awarded the PanPac Meritorious Unit Citation for these actions. It was later disbanded after near total destruction in an ambush conducted by the 65th Nihon Heavy Armour Battalion near Katherine Gorge (The 65th was an elite unit and sister battalion to the 67th that drove on Taipei in the invasion of Taiwan).
Efficiency vs Availability
The dearth of OGREs in our inventory sometimes makes the optimal configurations described unachievable depending on damage states, maintenance schedules and ordnance availability. In such cases it is up to the Field Commander, usually in consultation with the OGRE AIs themselves, to determine what force to utilise instead. Typically, OGREs below 75% operational capability are withdrawn from the front line for maintenance by Brigade staff. If the tactical situation would be untenable, the Area Commander must make a command decision to either risk the loss of the OGRE unit or have it unavailable for the operation. The constant rotation of OGRE units from the field to brigade maintenance staff and even deep level maintenance outside the Theatre, is a process which has been developed to minimise losses and maximise operational capability at the expense of availability. It ensures that those OGRE units that are available are at best combat capability and prevents the loss of very expensive and virtually irreplaceable combat elements.
In this presentation I have described the method by which the Pan Pacific Alliance organises, employs and supports its Cyber Armour force to achieve maximum impact on the battlefield and the tradeoffs made to achieve it. PanPac OGRE Command is constantly evolving and reviewing procedures used to ensure that lessons learnt and improvements made today are utilised to their best advantage tomorrow. I know that some you here will be taking up positions in OGRE Command once you complete this course and I urge you to go forward to strive to facilitate further improvements. For those of you returning to the more conventional forces in our defence force, I hope you have gained some insight into the way we do business to bring maximum effective firepower onto our enemies- a lesson that the Argentineans are no doubt learning the hard way now in Antarctica. Go back to your troops and educate them so that they know only pride, not fear, when they see an OGRE wearing the Southern Cross insignia.
The OGREs that fight by our sides are more than just machines of war- they our comrades. Their imposing statue and awesome firepower are there for us to use to engage the enemy at every opportunity. In the future, I look forward to presenting you with the details of some of the more successful OGRE units wearing our flag and their exploits in the field of battle.
Thank you for your attention.