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Army Reserve Restructuring

MilEME09

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CanadianTire said:
When our unit first started sending guys on the very first Pioneer courses run out of Gagetown there was some talk around Pioneer platoon members/people who wanted the course needing to be available for three weeks for Maple Resolve (I believe) as the idea was to provide a Pioneer section to augment the reg force on exercise. I believe we were able to send sufficient guys for the first go and the feedback was not good - on both sides. The reg force had the idea we wouldn't know what we were doing and therefore didn't utilize the guys we sent in the role they were supposed to be fulfilling. From our side, the complaint was that the reg force didn't take us seriously and didn't provide any way for the guys to use their skills resulting in our Pioneers being under utilized and poorly employed. I think after that the "requirement" of being available for three weeks (if it even was a requirement) was dropped and opportunities to go on Maple Resolve were provided but not encouraged.

That and concerns over low numbers for the course because not everyone can commit to the three weeks, so they just wouldn't bother with the course, and the topic of our Pioneers augmenting the reg force hasn't come up for awhile.

We see this in service battalion all the time, especially on the tech side, We show up, Reg Force doesn't trust our technical ability due to lack of experience so they find more "suitable" roles for the people we send. Members then come back complaining, it got so bad at one point that our CoC authorized that since it was our unit paying for us to go, if we were not being employed in the promised/stated role, we could pack up, clear out and leave. We paying for people to be employed in trade, not as GD or other non trade related tasks for an entire exercise.
 

FJAG

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I started in this business in 1965. As both a reserve gunner and a Reg F officer I saw that the whole individual augmentee concept didn't work because our training cycles were out of sync and because reservists, who did join us on exercises, weren't put into the jobs that they'd signed up for and were frequently given GD roles. That's sixty years ago and we still haven't figured it out how to fix the issue.

Things work much better on op deployments where the teams are built up together over time and people have time to get used to each other and trust each other (although not always)

The idea of reservists fulfilling these roles during the training year simply doesn't work. We need a better idea.

:cheers:
 

MJP

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MilEME09 said:
We see this in service battalion all the time, especially on the tech side, We show up, Reg Force doesn't trust our technical ability due to lack of experience so they find more "suitable" roles for the people we send. Members then come back complaining, it got so bad at one point that our CoC authorized that since it was our unit paying for us to go, if we were not being employed in the promised/stated role, we could pack up, clear out and leave. We paying for people to be employed in trade, not as GD or other non trade related tasks for an entire exercise.


You are passionate and I get that you care but your assertive posts are pretty far from truth. It is ok you don't see much of the background stuff and can really only comment with a ground floor perspective.

Been around 1 Svc for quite some time in recent history in various roles but have not seen many pers from your Svc Bn on Ex. I do know there is an effort (I won't say a good one) to get more Pres Svc Bn folks out but both sides have been pretty lack-luster in making it work. It is a two way street and I agree if they are not being gainfully employed than it behooves the 41 Svc CoC to engage 1 Svc CoC rather than throwing their teddy bear in the corner and stomping off as you allege. That is how professionals solve issues and my interactions (albeit limited) indicate to me that 41 Svc CoC are eminently professional. 



 

MilEME09

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MJP said:
You are passionate and I get that you care but your assertive posts are pretty far from truth. It is ok you don't see much of the background stuff and can really only comment with a ground floor perspective.

Been around 1 Svc for quite some time in recent history in various roles but have not seen many pers from your Svc Bn on Ex. I do know there is an effort (I won't say a good one) to get more Pres Svc Bn folks out but both sides have been pretty lack-luster in making it work. It is a two way street and I agree if they are not being gainfully employed than it behooves the 41 Svc CoC to engage 1 Svc CoC rather than throwing their teddy bear in the corner and stomping off as you allege. That is how professionals solve issues and my interactions (albeit limited) indicate to me that 41 Svc CoC are eminently professional.

I should clarify that my previous post was a situation years ago. We have had positive interactions with 1 SVC the past few years MJP, the issue is trained man power when it comes to augmentation. Vast majority of our organization is DP1 or less, and maintenance is pretty black and white right now either fully trained (very few) or untrained. We lost a lot of trained people between 2012 and 2015 to CT or OT and retirement. Many would love to help out more but sometimes it is a matter of time off work, which is not always easy.

I am okay with being wrong or off the mark, I can't see everything after all, I should never take the experiences of even my self let alone others at face value as there are always other circumstances, that said I do my best to post based on what I know without speculating.
 

FJAG

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MJP said:
... Been around 1 Svc for quite some time in recent history in various roles but have not seen many pers from your Svc Bn on Ex. I do know there is an effort (I won't say a good one) to get more Pres Svc Bn folks out but both sides have been pretty lack-luster in making it work. It is a two way street and I agree if they are not being gainfully employed than it behooves the 41 Svc CoC to engage 1 Svc CoC rather than throwing their teddy bear in the corner and stomping off as you allege. ...

You are clearly identifying the problem - the lack of participation despite efforts. I don't thing the solution will work because systemically the reserve force is not designed for nor populated by individuals who can routinely go off on Reg F exercises which typically take place during the active school year or typical civilian business cycles.

I would expect that if Reg F brigades and their reserve counterparts ran a joint exercise in July or August, the resulting success would be heartwarming. The problem is that, of course, Reg F units can't practically do that because of APS and annual leave requirements etc, etc. Maybe with some planning and foresight it could be made to work, but I'm certainly not holding my breath for that.

Realistically though, if one wants to talk about Reg F units which have an establishment that is designed to encompass reservists, then I really only see one practical solution (albeit it could have modifications). In effect reserve units are restructured to be sub-units or sub-sub-units of Reg F battalions that are not routinely needed for the day-to-day functioning of the Reg F unit but still are under the units control.

As an example a Reg F artillery regiment could have one or two Reg F batteries which would routinely train during the year as they do now and fulfill operational requirements as needed while one or two reserve artillery batteries carry on their training throughout the year as they do now but under the direction and supervision of the Reg F staff. A summer exercise would involve just the one or two batteries and a minimum regimental HQ to control and supervise while the remaining Reg F regiment is doing it's leave, maintenance, APS etc. In a major emergency the reserve batteries are called up to round out the regiment.

The same could be done by having, for example a Reg F service battalion with a designated transport platoon, or a field ambulance with a designated reserve evac platoon, or even an infantry company, etc.

What works within the battalions can also be adapted to brigades. For example, do we really need a full-time brigade recce regiment, tank regiment or, for that matter, an MP platoon (base MP det sure, but a brigade MP platoon?) when we haven't deployed a proper brigade since Korea (or Germany if you consider 4 CMBG a deployment) Or can these be units that exist only as reservists (with a core of regulars) to be mobilized if and when the brigade actually deploys on operations.

The problem isn't the will to train together. The problem is that their training cycles are, and always will be, out of whack except for the rare unemployed individual.

If we cater to that by having the reservists provide sub units and sub sub units that are not essential for the Reg F battalion's/brigade's own annual training so that they can train within their own cycle but yet with their Reg F counterparts supervision then there may be a chance for success. (concurrent with that notion is that if required in a "major" emergency, the reservists will be called up to round out their deploying unit - for ordinary peace time deployments the volunteer augmentation ought to continue)

We've really got to stop trying to put band-aids on a system that's fundamentally flawed.

:2c:
 

BDTyre

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FJAG said:
If we cater to that by having the reservists provide sub units and sub sub units that are not essential for the Reg F battalion's/brigade's own annual training so that they can train within their own cycle but yet with their Reg F counterparts supervision then there may be a chance for success. (concurrent with that notion is that if required in a "major" emergency, the reservists will be called up to round out their deploying unit - for ordinary peace time deployments the volunteer augmentation ought to continue)
:2c:

We started doing this approach (partially) with our in-house Pioneer course. The first one we ran was staffed entirely by reg force staff assigned to our unit for the purposes of being part of our Pioneer platoon. The second in-house course we ran was about 50/50 reg force and our own leadership types that came off the previous course. Our course O was reserve, or WO reg force but both had adv. pioneer.

COVID mixed things up a bit and our reg force staff are now on courses and so the resurrected pioneer course is staffed in-house with the except of our engineer SME.
 

FJAG

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A series of discussions a few weeks ago in the C3 replacement thread got me to rework a blog post on how to restructure the Army so that there is a minimal effect on personnel movements/remustering and in ensuring that all facilities, both regular and reserve are kept as they are.

You can find the post at Restructuring the Canadian Army - A Sustainable Option

:cheers:
 

MilEME09

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FJAG said:
A series of discussions a few weeks ago in the C3 replacement thread got me to rework a blog post on how to restructure the Army so that there is a minimal effect on personnel movements/remustering and in ensuring that all facilities, both regular and reserve are kept as they are.

You can find the post at Restructuring the Canadian Army - A Sustainable Option

:cheers:

Facility wise, and I know I will get burned at the steak for this. We should consolidate Reserve Forces into modern mini bases. Historical armouries could be preserved as heritage sites by the department or as HQ facilities. Each mini base let's call Canadian Forces Stations or Reserve bases, and have all facilities needed to be self sufficient locally. Including a 200m indoor rifle range, SAT, sleeping areas, parade square, class rooms, vehicle storage and maintenance facilities. These facilities would be 2 to 5 buildings with sufficient parking space to accommodate the hundreds of personal training at the facility.

This way as much as possible can be done locally, saving travel costs, and time.
 

daftandbarmy

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MilEME09 said:
Facility wise, and I know I will get burned at the steak for this. We should consolidate Reserve Forces into modern mini bases. Historical armouries could be preserved as heritage sites by the department or as HQ facilities. Each mini base let's call Canadian Forces Stations or Reserve bases, and have all facilities needed to be self sufficient locally. Including a 200m indoor rifle range, SAT, sleeping areas, parade square, class rooms, vehicle storage and maintenance facilities. These facilities would be 2 to 5 buildings with sufficient parking space to accommodate the hundreds of personal training at the facility.

This way as much as possible can be done locally, saving travel costs, and time.

There is one flaw in your cunning plan that will most certainly see it dashed on the rocks of despair: you have not considered, in your estimate, the critical need for three separate mess spaces per unit.

The tradition, which must be maintained at all costs, is that approximately 30% of the available space in any militia armoury be occupied by the Officers', WOs and Sgts, and JR's messes.

And then there's the Band, Cadets, Museum and Associations etc etc.
 

MilEME09

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daftandbarmy said:
There is one flaw in your cunning plan that will most certainly see it dashed on the rocks of despair: you have not considered, in your estimate, the critical need for three separate mess spaces per unit.

The tradition, which must be maintained at all costs, is that approximately 30% of the available space in any militia armoury be occupied by the Officers', WOs and Sgts, and JR's messes.

And then there's the Band, Cadets, Museum and Associations etc etc.

Combined messes are already the normal so that's not much of a problem, and other groups could be planned in, including a limited space for Cadets to keep them away from operations areas.
 

FJAG

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MilEME09 said:
Facility wise, and I know I will get burned at the steak for this. We should consolidate Reserve Forces into modern mini bases. Historical armouries could be preserved as heritage sites by the department or as HQ facilities. Each mini base let's call Canadian Forces Stations or Reserve bases, and have all facilities needed to be self sufficient locally. Including a 200m indoor rifle range, SAT, sleeping areas, parade square, class rooms, vehicle storage and maintenance facilities. These facilities would be 2 to 5 buildings with sufficient parking space to accommodate the hundreds of personal training at the facility.

This way as much as possible can be done locally, saving travel costs, and time.

I tend to favour local battalion or company size armouries that stay in the local communities and are easily accessible. It reduces travel time (although as a reservist a half century ago it took me an hour to go from Scarborough to downtown Toronto using a bus, a streetcar, a subway, another subway and another streetcar) and keeps a tie in with smaller cities towns and communities. As an example, the armouries in Brandon can comfortably handle a battery and even though only some 25 kilometers from Shilo, it would be preferable to stay in the centre of the city (especially in the winter)

I have nothing against mini training centres like Aldershot or Meaford but the more you concentrate in those, the more inconvenient it becomes to the young soldiers and the thinner your ties to the community become. Pretty soon they'll become as irrelevant to society as the regular force in their little gated country club communities.

On top of that change can be traumatic. You need to pick what hill you want to die on. Mine is amalgamation of units and equipment. Without those, nothing will change. Amalgamation of facilities is a complication.

:cheers:
 

MilEME09

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In some larger cities it may not be possible due to land prices but even in say calgary, some commercial and industrial land is fairly wide open still with easy access to major road ways. Flip side of so many businesses closing is land is cheap right now, if DND wanted to build new facilities for the PRes, now would be the time to get the land, then build after.
 

FJAG

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MilEME09 said:
In some larger cities it may not be possible due to land prices but even in say calgary, some commercial and industrial land is fairly wide open still with easy access to major road ways. Flip side of so many businesses closing is land is cheap right now, if DND wanted to build new facilities for the PRes, now would be the time to get the land, then build after.

I always thought that abandon shopping centres would make terrific armouries what with their big parking lots, food court facilities, adequate washroom facilities, large anchor store facilities as parade squares, small stores as office space. If you're lucky it'll have a Walmart or Canadian tire automotive centre for the RCEME guys.

;D

 

daftandbarmy

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MilEME09 said:
In some larger cities it may not be possible due to land prices but even in say calgary, some commercial and industrial land is fairly wide open still with easy access to major road ways. Flip side of so many businesses closing is land is cheap right now, if DND wanted to build new facilities for the PRes, now would be the time to get the land, then build after.

Excellent news. That means we can finally move the Army away from the Western Coast of Canada and consign it to 'fly over country', where it belongs

:sarcasm:
 

brihard

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FJAG said:
I always thought that abandon shopping centres would make terrific armouries what with their big parking lots, food court facilities, adequate washroom facilities, large anchor store facilities as parade squares, small stores as office space. If you're lucky it'll have a Walmart or Canadian tire automotive centre for the RCEME guys.

;D

*breathes heavily in urban ops*
 

MilEME09

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FJAG said:
I always thought that abandon shopping centres would make terrific armouries what with their big parking lots, food court facilities, adequate washroom facilities, large anchor store facilities as parade squares, small stores as office space. If you're lucky it'll have a Walmart or Canadian tire automotive centre for the RCEME guys.

;D

Movie theaters would make great SAT ranges!


In all seriousness though, a mall would have the right foot print, however would require significant remodeling to work.

The key for Reserve facilities is central location and ease of access to major transportation routes. More so roads but access to a railhead may be useful in the future.

Bridge classifications, etc all have to be considered in the local area, plus enough space to anticipate future growth.
 

Blackadder1916

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MilEME09 said:
In all seriousness though, a mall would have the right foot print, however would require significant remodeling to work.

The key for Reserve facilities is central location and ease of access to major transportation routes. More so roads but access to a railhead may be useful in the future.

Bridge classifications, etc all have to be considered in the local area, plus enough space to anticipate future growth.

All very good points for an ideal facility if cost was no object.  Since an underlying premise of FJAG's restructuring of the reserves is to free up monies (primarily person dollars) that would be used to re-equip an effective reserve element, perhaps some reality injection is needed.  How much does infrastructure cost us?  Since I've not found online a breakdown of facility O&M costs, I'll just have to use some general figures.  According to the latest NATO defense expenditures report, 3.7% of our $30.8 billion (estimated) 2020 defence budget is spent on "infrastructure" - or a little less than $1.14 billion.  Obviously, only a small portion of that is spent on the Reserves, but if, in conjunction with reserve restructuring, additional infrastructure was acquired (I can just see the visions of castles dancing in the heads of empire builders) then a significant portion of that "savings" would be gobbled up by "footprint"

DND is the top federal organization in terms of number of buildings and square footage; it's only third in land area - Parks Canada and Environment Canada have them beat.  But still, the military is not a slouch when it comes to real estate holdings.
Your query has found 721 parcels of land on 628 properties, with a total land area of 2,201,412 ha. This includes 13865 buildings with a total floor area of 8,885,816 m2.

Granted most of that is used in support of full-time activities, but what about some of the expenses such as payment in lieu of taxation (PILT) for facilities used primarily in support of "part-time soldering".  I suppose I could have gone property by property to figure out DND's share of the $562,157,133.62 that the Canadian government shelled out in 2019 for PILT.  However, I'll limit myself to a few examples, such as here in Calgary where the 2019 PILT expense for Mewata Armoury was $312,928.36,  HMCS Tecumsah was $158,115.81, and the remaining Currie Barracks footprint comes in at $227,433.73; I don't know if the armoury in the NE is still being used but the City of Calgary received $147,765.61 from DND's budget in 2019.

It would be nice to have the wide open space of a re-purposed mall or similar commercial/industrial structure (I think that was the background of the armoury in NE Calgary) but how much of it would actually be "efficiently" utilized for one evening a week and one or two weekends a month for nine or ten months a year.  There's a not insignificant cost to that footprint.

 

MilEME09

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Blackadder1916 said:
All very good points for an ideal facility if cost was no object.  Since an underlying premise of FJAG's restructuring of the reserves is to free up monies (primarily person dollars) that would be used to re-equip an effective reserve element, perhaps some reality injection is needed.  How much does infrastructure cost us?  Since I've not found online a breakdown of facility O&M costs, I'll just have to use some general figures.  According to the latest NATO defense expenditures report, 3.7% of our $30.8 billion (estimated) 2020 defence budget is spent on "infrastructure" - or a little less than $1.14 billion.  Obviously, only a small portion of that is spent on the Reserves, but if, in conjunction with reserve restructuring, additional infrastructure was acquired (I can just see the visions of castles dancing in the heads of empire builders) then a significant portion of that "savings" would be gobbled up by "footprint"

DND is the top federal organization in terms of number of buildings and square footage; it's only third in land area - Parks Canada and Environment Canada have them beat.  But still, the military is not a slouch when it comes to real estate holdings.
Granted most of that is used in support of full-time activities, but what about some of the expenses such as payment in lieu of taxation (PILT) for facilities used primarily in support of "part-time soldering".  I suppose I could have gone property by property to figure out DND's share of the $562,157,133.62 that the Canadian government shelled out in 2019 for PILT.  However, I'll limit myself to a few examples, such as here in Calgary where the 2019 PILT expense for Mewata Armoury was $312,928.36,  HMCS Tecumsah was $158,115.81, and the remaining Currie Barracks footprint comes in at $227,433.73; I don't know if the armoury in the NE is still being used but the City of Calgary received $147,765.61 from DND's budget in 2019.

It would be nice to have the wide open space of a re-purposed mall or similar commercial/industrial structure (I think that was the background of the armoury in NE Calgary) but how much of it would actually be "efficiently" utilized for one evening a week and one or two weekends a month for nine or ten months a year.  There's a not insignificant cost to that footprint.

Last I heard the NE armoury is still DND property but not used. It has been a few years though since I last heard about it. Also how much DND spends for maintaining Cadet camps like the Rocky mountain cadet camp? That place is almost a small base on its own but only used in summer due to age and lack of winterizing.
 

Blackadder1916

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MilEME09 said:
Last I heard the NE armoury is still DND property but not used. It has been a few years though since I last heard about it. Also how much DND spends for maintaining Cadet camps like the Rocky mountain cadet camp? That place is almost a small base on its own but only used in summer due to age and lack of winterizing.


$88,920.41 in PILT to Bighorn, Municipal District #8.  Money spent by DND to operate and maintain the facility is another amount.
 
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