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AAB 2012 sign of things to come

Petard

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The Artillery Advisory Board was held in Shilo just over a week ago, and the prognosis isn't too bad
But things are slowing down, no surprise; I think the best way to sum it up is the director's comment "embrace the suck!"

Most people will not want to read the information on Army programming (or be able to decipher a lot of the acronyms anyway), but it is a worthwhile read to at least get a sense of how gunners fit within the strategic picture. There are also some good overview presentations on restructure.
The presentations can be found at
www.artillery.net/beta/artillery-advisory-board/

Since most people on this site are only interested in fodder for the "we should buy" debates, this link is to the DLR presentation on systems and future procurement
www.artillery.net/beta/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/DLR-2-Brf.pdf

 

FJAG

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Thanks for this. Well worth reading. Things were simpler in the eight-gun batteries.

One question. What distinguishes LoO 1, 2 and 3 batteries. I mean I can see the various differences in the establishments as set out in the org chart. I mean where are they used? Do these represent transitional states or do they have different operational focuses?
 

Scoobie Newbie

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The suck won't be embraced until after Nov at the earliest lol.  The amount of ammo issued is baffling for this upcoming ex
 

241

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I know it's my own fault and all but I am having troubles with the chart of how they envision the pres units being set up,  haven't been keeping upon tac signs and refreshing myself, is there a link to some where with current tac signs?
 

dapaterson

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Each LoO is a different "Be Prepared To" task; it's the theoretical construct that the CF would deploy, depending on the situation.  So the structure of each is within a larger battle group structure.  Taken in isolation, it may not make a lot of sense, but (hopefully) in context it does.
 

FJAG

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dapaterson said:
Each LoO is a different "Be Prepared To" task; it's the theoretical construct that the CF would deploy, depending on the situation.  So the structure of each is within a larger battle group structure.  Taken in isolation, it may not make a lot of sense, but (hopefully) in context it does.

I kind of thought it would be like that and that it would tie in to an army wide concept that's in some other paper elsewhere.

Its been some time since I've been with the guns and grunts while I've been following the past and future restructuring, I must admit it hasn't gotten my guts as much into a twist as it used to.

I've always been a firm believer that things must change for there to be progress but a lot of things just seem downright dumb to me.

I remember when we almost lost locating artillery in the seventies and am glad to see its made a comeback. But really. Did we need to be hit by Taliban mortars in order for us to understand that if we ever went back into combat we might need counter mortar radars?

Did we need to have to go to Afghanistan to understand that there might still be a role for tanks?

I still can't understand why the infantry gave up 81mm mortars to the artillery (120s I can see but 81s) and why a perfectly serviceable M109A4 just got set up in front of a local legion when our reserve regiments are still buggering around with C1s and C3s. Someday someone is going to need a gun that can keep on shooting while taking incoming fire.

Don't even get me started on the Chinooks I used to train with which were sold to the Dutch in 1991 because the air force preferred jets to helicopters. Last time I looked they want to sell the ones we just bought for Afghanistan so they can play with their new F35. One of those would probably pay for a whole squadron of CH-47s.

I know that there's a lot of bean counting going on in NDHQ but sometimes I think we just seem to have lost the ability to understand what's worth standing up for.

Or maybe we're just bloody stupid.  :mad:

Sorry. Went of on a 'my $.02" there.

Have a nice day  :)
 

Infanteer

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Some interesting stuff there.  I echo the sentiments elsewhere that I just don't get the 4 GSR concept.  The capabilities make sense, but the fact that batteries are affiliated with 1 and 2 CMBG, requiring $$$ to pack and ship the batteries across Canada, means that there will likely be few, if any, oppurtunities to train.  Those capabilities (with the PYs) should have been put into the Field Regiments of the Bdes is we really wanted to get some use out of them.
 

FJAG

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If my weak mind isn't failing me, we got back into the air defence game in the mid 70s because NATO demanded we actually defend our airfields. We refurbished a bunch of Boffin guns (which legend had it had been salvaged from our aircraft carrier the Bonaventure) and bought a bunch of Blowpipes. The guns, if I remember went to the newly revived 128 and 129 AAD Btys and so did a bunch of Blowpipes but the rest of them went to the regiments. In 2 RCHA we had T Bty which was formed for the role. The two gun batteries were D and E (F while E was in Gagetown). I think the 3rd had U Bty and the 5th V Bty.

For a few years we had air defence on brigade exercises and the BCs and CO had to actually plan and integrate air defence.  The last time I saw them was at RV 81 when the 2nd's AD Troop and U and V were all brigaded. After I left the reg f I understood that eventually all air defence started to suck in towards what would eventually become 119 Bty and then 4 AD Regt etc etc. The end result (or so I'm told) was that bit by bit air defence participation in combined arms training became the exception rather than the rule.

I really can't see why the resources in the GSR (which I presume is at best only a figment at this point) need brigading. Based on the experience with AD, if brigaded and more importantly co-located then they won't get out to operate with the brigades and more importantly the battalions  and companies.

That's more my $0.02 worth on something I know less and less about every day.

Cheers
 

Old Sweat

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A few months back I had a long discussion with the officer who was D Arty when the present organization was developed. The subject of the RAA's approach came up and we both decided we had adopted a better option. I went to Wikipedia for the Australian organization, so it may not be 100% accurate, but here is the entry. A major difference, besides the organization of the field regiments, is the size of their reserves and their mixed bag of equipment.

Regular Army

Unlike their British and Canadian relations, there are no regiments of horse artillery in the order of battle of the Royal Australian Artillery. The Australian Regular Army came into being in 1947 and prior to this artillery units were predominately militia based. The one permanent artillery unit was 'A' Field Battery which formed on 1 August 1871. Prior to the Second World War specialist coastal artillery units were established at strategic locations around the coastline, however these were progressively phased out by the 1950s. During the Second World War, the RAA raised some 50 regiments of anti-tank, anti-aircraft, field, medium and coastal units with all units engaged in combat throughout the war.

The present School of Artillery (completed in 1998) is located in Puckapunyal in central Victoria and maintains modern training facilities. The School of Artillery is co-located with the Australian Army's Headquarters Combined Arms Training Centre.

Major units of the Royal Australian Artillery include:[1]
1st Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery – attached to the 7th Brigade at Enoggera Barracks in Queensland.
Operations Support Battery
104th (Observation Post) Battery
105th (Observation Post) Battery
114th (Observation Post) Battery
A (Gun) Battery
Combat Service Support Battery

4th Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery – attached to the 3rd Brigade at Townsville in Queensland.
Operations Support Battery
106th (Observation Post) Battery
108th (Observation Post) Battery
109th (Observation Post) Battery
107th (Gun) Battery
Combat Service Support Battery

8th/12th Medium Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery – this regiment is attached to the 1st Brigade at Palmerston in the Northern Territory.
Operations Support Battery
101st (Observation Post) Battery
102st (Observation Post) Battery
115th (Observation Post) Battery
103rd (Gun) Battery
Combat Service Support Battery

16th Air Defence Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery – this is the Australian Army's sole air defence regiment, and is based at Woodside in South Australia. It is equipped with the RBS-70 Surface to Air missile.
110 Battery
111 Battery

20th Surveillance and Target Acquisition Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery – Equipped with weapon locating radars, meteorology and survey troops, and Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, it is located at Enoggera Barracks in Brisbane Queensland.
131 Surveillance and Target Acquisition Battery
132 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Battery


[edit] Army Reserve
41 Battery Royal Australian Artillery (Depots at Southport and Ipswich)
13 Battery Royal Australian Artillery (Depot located at Caboolture) 41 and 13 Battery are Army Reserve Units currently attached to 1 REGT RAA (and currently being re-equipped with 81mm Mortars). Located in Queensland, Australia.

2nd/10th Field Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery – This is a general support regiment attached to 4th Brigade at St Kilda in Victoria.
22 Field Battery Dandenong
38 Field Battery Geelong

3rd Field Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery – this is a close support regiment that consists of a single battery. It is attached to 13th Brigade at Karrakatta in Western Australia, and is equipped with the M2A2 Field Gun.
7 Field Battery

6th/13th Field Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery – this regiment does not strictly exist; its two former batteries reverted to independent status in 1997. Both are attached to 9th Brigade, and are based at Launceston in Tasmania and Keswick in South Australia. They are equipped with the 81mm Mortar.
16 Field Battery
48 Field Battery

7th Field Regiment, Royal Australian Artillery – this is a close support regiment attached to 8th Brigade at Pymble in New South Wales. It is equipped with the L119 Field Gun.
28 Field Battery Dee Why
113 Field Battery Adamstown


In my opinion, and I am by no means current in my thinking, we have made a pragmatic allocation of resources, but still have a way to go. Considering that our strategic situations are different, I am not going to criticize the RAA per se, but the organization of the regular field regiments seems odd. I too wonder what the future will bring for 4 GSR but am not prepared to consign it to the scrap heap just yet.

I do not see any sort of easy or even practical answer for our reserve gunner units.






 

Ralph

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Sheep Dog AT said:
The suck won't be embraced until after Nov at the earliest lol.  The amount of ammo issued is baffling for this upcoming ex

How so?
 

Bird_Gunner45

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Infanteer said:
Some interesting stuff there.  I echo the sentiments elsewhere that I just don't get the 4 GSR concept.  The capabilities make sense, but the fact that batteries are affiliated with 1 and 2 CMBG, requiring $$$ to pack and ship the batteries across Canada, means that there will likely be few, if any, oppurtunities to train.  Those capabilities (with the PYs) should have been put into the Field Regiments of the Bdes is we really wanted to get some use out of them.

I tend to agree with you on this one, even though my background is from the 4th.  The overarching concept was that the Divisional level assets such as HALO, CB Radar, UAVs, and HIMARs (when that pipe dream was still alive) would be centralized for logistical purposes.  They were centralized in Gagetown because A) we were losing AD and had a whole bunch of non gun PYs sitting there, B) the Arty school was in Gagetown, so we wouldn`t have to move assets back and forth for training (share them between operational and school training), and C) because the HALO, CB Radar, and UAVs were the observers for the HIMARs so they needed to be together to be effective.

The `concept` was further that if we deployed on ops as a Divisional HQ for subordinate, foreign brigades, we could provide the Divisional level force multipliers.  The current push to `brigade` them comes from a push from the 4 AD CoC to make the Regiment more like a Fd Regiment (which worked at Brigade) and less like 4 AD (which worked at Div).  The original plan was to have a Radar battery, UAV battery, and ASCC Battery, which would force generate elements for employment with each task force or for Div as required.  The problem, for some, that this created was that the BC and COmmand team of each of those batteries wouldn`t deploy (they`d FG a Tp for each roto), which created a `who`s in charge of this stuff`problem (ie- The ASCC O is overall OIC for 4 GSR assets deployed or the FSCC O, or the STA CC O, etc....).  So, CO 4 AD created 3 batteries with UAV, radar, and ASCC to allow the BATTERY to deploy as a whole, with the BC being daddy.

That said, the reality is that there is a total of 2 SUAV GCS in total (and you need both to deploy 1 troop), there is likely only 4-6 radars coming (if they ever do) total, and there is currently zero, zilch, no training for ASCC officers even in the system.  Sooooooo..... we have three batteries, and only 1 battery, max, can EVER train or deploy at one time.  Further, once that battery deploys, its equipment goes too.

Further, once an AD shooter capability comes online again, there needs to be a parent unit for it to go to... 4 GSR gives `filler`positions while we`re awaiting a return to AD.

All that to say that I agree with you... it would have made more sense to put the assets with the RCHAs and move PYs, but logistics and a future AD shooter made the 4th neccessary.  The structure being put in place will not allow for future operations, and I believe that we`ll try to integrate into Bde exercises initially, but once the $$$$$ tightens than the `well, why do we need radars here when all they do is cost money to ship and run for minimal return value` argument will take over, and all the assets, likely minus the SUAV (which is only leased, and could very well go away once this contract is up, especially with the AF acquiring MALE or HALE UAVs) will sit in Gagetown just like the ADATS did.

All this, of course, is my  :2c:

 

Infanteer

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Old Sweat said:
I am not going to criticize the RAA per se, but the organization of the regular field regiments seems odd. I too wonder what the future will bring for 4 GSR but am not prepared to consign it to the scrap heap just yet.

Agreed Old Sweat - it appears that Brigades have batteries of sensors and the shooters are plugged in from outside organizations as required.

Bird_Gunner45 said:
All that to say that I agree with you... it would have made more sense to put the assets with the RCHAs and move PYs, but logistics and a future AD shooter made the 4th necessary.  The structure being put in place will not allow for future operations, and I believe that we`ll try to integrate into Bde exercises initially, but once the $$$$$ tightens than the `well, why do we need radars here when all they do is cost money to ship and run for minimal return value` argument will take over, and all the assets, likely minus the SUAV (which is only leased, and could very well go away once this contract is up, especially with the AF acquiring MALE or HALE UAVs) will sit in Gagetown just like the ADATS did.

Thanks for that, BG45.  That definitely makes sense from an institutional view.  The paucity of assets seems to suggest that Bde enablers from 4 GSR is a pipe dream.  As well I wonder how, in today's environment, we can get away with a "piggy bank" of PYs for some future capability that may or may not be coming back to the Forces.  Although we need bird gunners tomorrow, we desperately need Supp Techs today.
 

FJAG

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Old Sweat said:
In my opinion, and I am by no means current in my thinking, we have made a pragmatic allocation of resources, but still have a way to go. Considering that our strategic situations are different, I am not going to criticize the RAA per se, but the organization of the regular field regiments seems odd. I too wonder what the future will bring for 4 GSR but am not prepared to consign it to the scrap heap just yet.

I do not see any sort of easy or even practical answer for our reserve gunner units.

Actually I find the RAA organization very practical as long as one views the regular and reserve relationship as a partnership rather than  a master/servant relationship.

Leaving aside the model of officer career progression from gun position to TC to BC it makes sense to separate those resources that you need everyday (the reg force) from those that you need occasionally (the res force).

Those needed on a daily basis are those resources which interact tightly with the combined arms team and should be physically located as close to them as possible. I could easily see FSCC, ASCC, forward observer, FAC, UAV etc resources grouped and co-located with brigades and battalions.

Those needed occasionally include the firing batteries - both field and AD, counter mortar radars, meteo resources etc. These could easily be reserves so long as they have the equipment in being and a healthy full time cadre including maintainers. If we were honest with ourselves we would admit that the ongoing  training of a basic gun crew is not rocket science. Our recent deployment models have always provided more then sufficient time to take individuals with basic training to a level of a high level of expertise for combat.

So to summarize: IMHO RCHA regiments should have a number of observation batteries (both FOO and UAV with FSCC/ASCC). RCA regiments should have CPs, gun batteries, AD batteries and the maintainers to keep them going.  All problems solved -- lets have a beer.  :2c:  >:D
 

Old Sweat

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My fault for not being more clear. Our organization has two gun, one FOO and one STA battery. The FOO battery has at least 12 FOO parties which is a lot for a BC to train. This can be worked out, especially with the two gun battery BCs. I asked one, who had been a FOO on Medusa, and he had concerns re putting his hand on his heart and telling his supported battalion commander that the FOOs he got from the FOO battery were up to snuff. That has got to be worked out. However two gun batteries allow for four fire units which is an advantage over the RAA model, I think. The STA battery was radar, sound ranging and UAV troops.

Now, for deployment to the next war, a field battery might have its own BC and FSCC and its own gun troops perhaps augmented from the  reserves or the other battery, a number of FOO parties from the FOO battery and a composite STA troop. It also should pick up a Met detachment and if we were also deploying an operational higher headquarters, then a G9 organization augmented with ASCC and STA might also deploy.

I don't want to get into the future of the reserves as there are too many variables, and too many questions and not enough answers.

 

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FJAG said:
Last time I looked they want to sell the ones we just bought for Afghanistan so they can play with their new F35. One of those would probably pay for a whole squadron of CH-47s.

The used CH47Ds bought for Afghanistan were not retained. We are getting a whole Squadron (450 Squadron) of brand-spanking-new CH147Fs, fifteen total. 450 Squadron has already stood up in Petawawa, and will begin flying next year. There is a thread about this elsewhere.
 

dapaterson

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Loachman said:
The used CH47Ds bought for Afghanistan were not retained. We are getting a whole Squadron (450 Squadron) of brand-spanking-new CH147Fs, fifteen total. 450 Squadron has already stood up in Petawawa, and will begin flying next year. There is a thread about this elsewhere.

First delivery is due June 2013; crews will be down south training before then.  And rumour has Boeing beating the delivery schedule...
 

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Old Sweat said:
Now, for deployment to the next war, a field battery might have its own BC and FSCC and its own gun troops perhaps augmented from the  reserves or the other battery, a number of FOO parties from the FOO battery and a composite STA troop.

I think that this great if we are only facing a threat without any real indirect fire capability such as the Taliban. However, if we find ourselves fight a North Korea, Iran, Syria, etc which would have more guns then we would, a composite STA Troop would not cut it. This is especially true when all of our fancy UAVs get shot down in the first hour leaving us with only LCMR, MRR and HALO. Even in Kosovo NATO lost somewhere around 40 UAVs. Afghanistan taught maneuver commanders some great lessons about UAVs but the air threat against a UAV there was basically nonexistent. If we fought any sort of organized army at all, or even insurgents with any of the whole host of MANPADs such as SA-18, SA-7 (of which there are somewhere around 60 countries that operate) SUAVs and down are not going to be very useful.

In my mind I think that the BG being deployed in a coalition in a Syrian type conflict would easily need a few dets of LCMR (call that a Troop), a few MRRs (another Troop), a full HALO suite (yet another troop) and a few SUAVs to augment the gun battery. The composite battery that brings along LCMR and HALO to augment SUAV just isn't going to cut it. 
 

Old Sweat

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Good points. So maybe we are talking a composite regiment with AD and STA as well as the ability to reach out and touch someone perhaps as far as 70 km - a figure I just hauled out of my butt. The screaming about gunner empire building will be loud and furious!

My cynical voice just whispered in my ear that probably we will do the same thing we did with the deficient capabilities for tasks like the CAST brigade for North Norway (aka Hong Kong Mark II) and declare  it is a host nation or Allied responsibility and wash our hands of it. Fortunately our bluff was never called.
 

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Might hijack this thread for a bit but I'll weigh in. Arty Transformation was something IMO that went off half cocked and by looking over the TO&E was done on the back of a napkin over several pints. Look at the FOO Bty for instance;

You take a group of pers who have more serialized kit then anyone in the Regt but you don't give them PYs for a QM
You give them almost all the LAVs in a Regt but never thought to create PYs for a MT
You send all the FOO parties in the Gun Btys to the FOO Bty but none of the desks, chairs, computers go with them,
You have more arty Snr NCO's and MBdrs then btys almost twice their size but you don't create a BSM PY and;
When HR Trg starts up the FOO Parties go back to the Gun Btys which is where they came from in the first place, hmmmmmm.

Maybe it would work (under serious revision) since ultimately in the construct it looks like FOO Parties (- guns) should be cut to BGs and Gun Btys (-FOOs) to a TF but we still seem to be in this hybrid half in, half out Afghan mode.

I understand the STA Bty piece even though I'm under the impression that they have a very limited capability even by CF standards.

My  :2c:

 

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jeffb said:
In my mind I think that the BG being deployed in a coalition in a Syrian type conflict would easily need a few dets of LCMR (call that a Troop), a few MRRs (another Troop), a full HALO suite (yet another troop) and a few SUAVs to augment the gun battery. The composite battery that brings along LCMR and HALO to augment SUAV just isn't going to cut it.

If we deployed into a Syrian-type conflict, would a BG even have a gun battery.  The whole "battery with battle group" this is an Afghanism that (IIRC) started to conceptully die off near the end of the mission anyways.  The Staff College still insists on teaching this, and it seems dumb to be doing BG fire planning when you belong to a Brigade and a Div.  I'd argue that, if we were deployed into a Syrian-type conflict, we'd have a maneuver BG with guns belonging (properly) to higher echelons of command.
 
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