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Army Reserve Restructuring

daftandbarmy

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Like other 'irregular forces', I would argue that the Reserves are more change resilient than the Regulars in many ways.

I mean, if the Reserves did not cave in as a result of all the neglect, chaos and other good ideas and fastballs thrown around over the past few decades, they're not likely to in the near future either :)
 

Ostrozac

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daftandbarmy said:
Like other 'irregular forces', I would argue that the Reserves are more change resilient than the Regulars in many ways.

I mean, if the Reserves did not cave in as a result of all the neglect, chaos and other good ideas and fastballs thrown around over the past few decades, they're not likely to in the near future either :)

Agreed; “organizational culture eats strategy for breakfast” applies here. And big Army doesn’t have a lot of tools to change the Army Reserve — there are no huge pots of resources to use as a carrot, and how could you use a stick when the reserves have already been neglected for so long? The Army Reserve we have today is going to look very similar to the Army Reserve we will have 20 years from now. Change, if it happens, will have to be gradual and sustained. And no, flash-in-the-pan good idea fairies don’t count (I see you there, 10/90!).
 

FJAG

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stellarpanther said:
With all the stuff going on with COVID and other legislation that has probably slowed or stopped for now, restructuring the reserves is probably not even on their radar.  Some of what you mentioned would also cost money that they don't have to spend.  We're going to see huge cuts in the next couple of budgets and DND/CAF isn't about to start spending more money for the reserves when money to the Reg force is going to shrink.  As well, you mentioned that people shouldn't even join their units until they are DP1 qualified.  Unless they really change which I doubt will happen, it could be a couple of years to get that course.  The way things seem to be at least in a couple of unit's I'm familiar with, as soon as they get DP1, they get promoted at the same time.  By the sounds of it being a Cpl in the Reserves doesn't mean you have any real experience in your job.

There's nothing new about Covid when it comes to DND/CAF ignoring the reserves. They've done that for over half a century as it is.

The key that people seem to forget when it comes to budgeting is that reservists are cheaper in the long run. A typical Class A costs one sixth of the pay and allowances that a Reg F member does which means that you could hire two class As for the cost of one Reg F member and still save two thirds of the costs. Give that a thought for a second: double the manpower for less than half the price.

The problem isn't that individual reservists aren't capable. They're the same raw material as our Reg F members. The problem is that our reserve force system, from top to bottom, isn't fit for purpose. Individual training could be better, collective training is practically non-existent and as far as our terms of service and employer support are concerned ... well you couldn't make a more destructive system if you went out to design one.

The issue about not joining the unit until after DP1 is quite simply to allow units to concentrate on collective training. You could just as easily have a platoon within a battalion do DP1 training but IMHO if you create a separate structure (which I call Depot battalions that would have companies and platoons in all the local areas and be responsible for recruiting and managing training until the individual is DP1 qualified and capable of participating fully in the unit's collective training) then you have two purpose built entities that can concentrate completely in their own missions. We do that now for Reg F personnel. Why not reservists? Why do we ad hoc the reserve training system?

The question of how long it will take to train a reservist to DP1 varies from trade to trade and while we can shorten some training courses by being more efficient on what we teach, how we teach it (for example there are many trades [medical, mechanics, truck drivers, cooks etc] where we could assist the individuals in taking civilian community college programs in the winter to learn the essentials and then augment that by much shorter military specific courses in the summer] and how we utilize every spare minute of a students summer breaks, some things will just take time. The whole idea behind the "depot" system is to create efficiencies so that delays for training and courses are eliminated and a young recruit is trained expeditiously and made ready to participate in his/her unit's collective training.

Long story short; it's exactly at this time that we could restructure the system to change over from a large and expensive (over half our budget goes for pay and benefits) full-time force (by which I include Class Bs which are being used to surreptitiously expand the size of the "full-time" force beyond government limits) to an annually less expensive and better equipped and trained part-time force.

Don't get hung up on little crap like "promotion" to corporal. I was there when they created the whole Hellyer corporal system. We all understood then (and despised the fact) that what we were doing was simply saying that corporals were, in effect, trained journeymen and not junior leaders. That was the whole point behind creating master corporals--i.e. to reintroduce a junior NCO rank.

I do agree with you that they do not have much experience in their jobs. They never will. Even if you count the amount of down-time in the Reg F when people aren't "doing their job" a Reg F member will probably spend at least three (and quite possibly four or five) times as much time in a given year, doing "his job". That's inherent in the two systems. But. We can't have a reserve system whereby a private would have to spend ten to twelve years of part-time service to get the equivalent of three to four years full-time equivalent experience before promotion to corporal. Career progression would stop. The amount of experience needed for promotion to corporal is a very subjective thing and at best is somewhat arbitrary. There was a time, long ago, in the combat arms where we coursed individuals to trade level 3 but to complete TL4 was an on job training program where supervisors had to check off an individual's experience progress. It was a tremendous pain in the butt and I sympathise with any trade that still has to use an OJT system.

:cheers:
 

daftandbarmy

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FJAG said:
There's nothing new about Covid when it comes to DND/CAF ignoring the reserves. They've done that for over half a century as it is.

The key that people seem to forget when it comes to budgeting is that reservists are cheaper in the long run. A typical Class A costs one sixth of the pay and allowances that a Reg F member does which means that you could hire two class As for the cost of one Reg F member and still save two thirds of the costs. Give that a thought for a second: double the manpower for less than half the price.

If the Reg F were to run all their major exercises May to August, they could easily save a ton of cash by running on lower numbers of full timers through the fall/winter months, and then 'calling up' reservists to fill up the units for 'exercise season'.

Of course, the reservists would be mainly filling in the lower end jobs at the start, but over the course of a few years you would likely see the reservists being able to take on the more complex tasks.

And then reservist training through the fall/winter months could focus on upskilling people for the next 'exercise season'.

 

FJAG

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daftandbarmy said:
If the Reg F were to run all their major exercises May to August, they could easily save a ton of cash by running on lower numbers of full timers through the fall/winter months, and then 'calling up' reservists to fill up the units for 'exercise season'.

Of course, the reservists would be mainly filling in the lower end jobs at the start, but over the course of a few years you would likely see the reservists being able to take on the more complex tasks.

And then reservist training through the fall/winter months could focus on upskilling people for the next 'exercise season'.

We disagree slightly (I prefer seeing the Regs do their training and exercises Sep to April and then using the May to August period to do their annual leave, APS, and support to the reserves so that the reserves can use the Reg equipment in August for their annual exercise with minimal Reg F supervision and support.

Either way though I see the period Sep to Aug as training time for the reserves to build to the annual August exercise which should be the centre point of their training cycle.

Again, either way, Reg and Res training cycles need to be synchronized.

:cheers:
 

MilEME09

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FJAG said:
We disagree slightly (I prefer seeing the Regs do their training and exercises Sep to April and then using the May to August period to do their annual leave, APS, and support to the reserves so that the reserves can use the Reg equipment in August for their annual exercise with minimal Reg F supervision and support.

Either way though I see the period Sep to Aug as training time for the reserves to build to the annual August exercise which should be the centre point of their training cycle.

Again, either way, Reg and Res training cycles need to be synchronized.

:cheers:

We used to have a 10 day summer EX, that was one of the first things cut. Now the focus is individual not collective training. I think as time goes on we need to reevaluate what trades are actually reserve. For example some of the construction engineering side of things like electrical, plumbing, carpentry, refrigeration techs could be brought reserve side, easily due to applicable civilian trades. You can't contract out everything after all. In fact I argue we have contracted out too much.
 

FJAG

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MilEME09 said:
We used to have a 10 day summer EX, that was one of the first things cut. Now the focus is individual not collective training. I think as time goes on we need to reevaluate what trades are actually reserve. For example some of the construction engineering side of things like electrical, plumbing, carpentry, refrigeration techs could be brought reserve side, easily due to applicable civilian trades. You can't contract out everything after all. In fact I argue we have contracted out too much.

Agree that we need to look at trades to determine which should be regular and which could or should be reserve.

My criteria is that any trade in great demand on a day to day basis (like technicians maintaining equipment) or which need to exercise their skills continuously (like special forces) should be regular force; those only needed in time of crisis (such as gunners, tankers) should be largely (but never completely) reservists. I can certainly see things such as horizontal and vertical engineers being reservists. What I don't want to see is reserve force trades (even refrigeration techs, or carpenters) that spend an entire career on Class B service with Base CE.

:cheers:
 

dapaterson

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FJAG said:
What I don't want to see is reserve force trades (even refrigeration techs, or carpenters) that spend an entire career on Class B service with Base CE.

Exactly.



We need them doing their entire career on class B doing a second rate job replacing clerks.
 

FJAG

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dapaterson said:
Exactly.

We need them doing their entire career on class B doing a second rate job replacing clerks.

If you cut the number of GOFOs and colonels at NDHQ/CAFHQ in half, you wouldn't need any Class B clerks.

;D
 

dapaterson

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Interesting quick read on US Reserve readiness: https://www.gao.gov/mobile/products/GAO-15-626
 

McG

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FJAG said:
Agree that we need to look at trades to determine which should be regular and which could or should be reserve.

My criteria is that any trade in great demand on a day to day basis (like technicians maintaining equipment) or which need to exercise their skills continuously (like special forces) should be regular force; those only needed in time of crisis (such as gunners, tankers) should be largely (but never completely) reservists. I can certainly see things such as horizontal and vertical engineers being reservists. What I don't want to see is reserve force trades (even refrigeration techs, or carpenters) that spend an entire career on Class B service with Base CE.
"The Journey" provides a path to correcting the miss-use of PRes to fill permanent full-time requirements.

MCG said:
So, here is a crazy idea to some of the underlying problems (as I see them) of unrestrained Class B bloat.  As I see it we need a system that:
  • prevents just anyone with a budget from using money for empire building
  • ensures full time personnel growth has oversight & control at the appropriate levels
  • allows full time pers to be centrally managed so that low priority positions are not filling-up and leaving high priority work unfilled
  • ensures uniformity of training standards in full time pers
  • provides an option for those pers who still want to serve, but cannot keep doing the postings
  • provides a financial incentive for pers to continue serving when they reach the point where they are ready to get out
  • does not provide a financial incentive that encourages pers, who would have kept serving, to reduce their utility to the CF

To do this, I propose that Class B employment > 100 days be prohibited outside of Primary Reserve Units & formations.

Instead, we create a "limited obligation" regular force TOS that are renewable on a three year cycle.  The "limited obligation" means the regular force soldier never gets a posting out of the geographic region and is paid at the reserve rate.

A "limited obligation" regular force soldier would be managed by the same career manager as any other regular force member of the same occupation.  Come APS, the "limited obligation" soldier would never receive a cost move to another location but there would be no restrictions against no-cost moves.  The "limited obligation" soldier could be moved to fill a higher priority job, for career development reasons, or to avoid stagnant thinking within a staff organization.  Promotions could still occur for "limited obligation" soldiers, but they would be penalized by point reduction at the boards to reflect the reduced utility of not being geographically postable.

Double-dipping would no longer be possible as this is simply an incentive to reduce one's utility to the CF by becoming unpostable.  However, to provide an incentive for pers considering retirement to not leave entirely, pensionable "limited obligation" soldiers could stop paying into the pension (thus freezing the benefit at its current level) and recieve a pay top-up (so they make the same pay as though they were not "limited obligation").

Unrestrained growth would be put to a stop because the "limited obligation" still fills a regular force establishment position, and so any growth would have to go through the same checks & approvals as are required for getting new regular force PYs now.

There are a lot more finer hand details that would need to go into this concept.  Occupations at or above PML would not be allowed to issue/renew "limited obligation" TOS (so those pers who choose to be of lower utility would be let go to make room for postable pers).  At the same time, there should be an occupation manning level threshold above which pers may only convert to "limited obligation" TOS on expiry of a "full obligation" regular force TOS, but below this manning level threshold it would be acceptable for direct reserve component transfer into a "limited obligation" TOS.

If we were to go down this crazy path, implementation should involve identifying every Class B possition outside of reserve units/brigades that has existed for three or more years.  All of those possitions would be converted to regular force and the incumbents would be invited to accept a component transfer and "limited obligation" TOS.
MCG said:
Somewhere on these boards, I have suggested something similar to elements of this Journey.  Instead of looking at it from a Reg F career flexibility perspective, I was looking more at the RegF/PRes boundary.

Currently, all Reg F positions have an Operational Baseline Type and I would either build on this or create a separate designation to differentiate between positions that can accept a limited liability occupant and positions require an unlimited liability occupant.  All Class B/A positions would become Reg F positions with a limited liability occupant acceptable designation (PRes incumbents would remain until end of current TOS, then be given the option to CT or vacate the position).

By default, all Reg F pers would be enrolled under unlimited liability TOS (with a skilled entrant enrollment plan offering an optional exception for re-enrollment and component transfer).  Once the initial TOS are complete, members would have the option to select either unlimited liability service or limited liability service (and they would have the flexibility to move between the two streams at any point thereafter).

Limited liability would be much like current PRes Cl B/A with 85% pay, no mandatory cost moves, and no obligation to deploy on international operations unless posted to an LDA or SDA unit (note: normally LDA and SDA positions would be designated unlimited liability required, but exceptions could exist if positions would otherwise be vacant and the member volunteers for the spot).  Unlimited liability would be like RegF with 100% pay, an obligation to move when posted, and an obligation to deploy anywhere when called to do so.  Both limited and unlimited liability members would be managed by the same CMs, attend the same career courses, and be selected for promotion through the same boards.  This means that the limited liability member can be posted, but only within the geographic location such that a move is not incurred.

Much like a PER opt-out, you cannot wait until you know the outcome is unfavourable to subscribe to the exemption.  To avoid an out-of-APS posting, the application for limited liability service need only be submitted before a posting message is cut.  To avoid an APS posting, the application for limited liability service need be submitted before December, with applications received after 01 Dec incurring a 4 month deferment to activation.  By contrast, if a member opts from limited liability to unlimited liability, a posting message could be cut the very next day regardless of timing as APS or out-of-APS.  For exceptional personal circumstances, compassionate status would continue to exist, and would not be governed by the same timelines as opting into limited liability.

Lots more meat to put on this skeleton though, and a lot of scenarios that I have not taken the time to describe (and likely even more that I have not thought of).
 

FJAG

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MCG said:
"The Journey" provides a path to correcting the miss-use of PRes to fill permanent full-time requirements.

I like some of your concepts and not too thrilled with others. I'll only make two comments though.

1. I absolutely detest the concept of "limited liability service" and "unlimited liability service" because they are dead wrong terminology. Every member of the CAF, once enrolled is subject to "unlimited liability" insofar as even reservists can be involuntarily placed on active duty and at that point can be sent into harm's way (or anywhere else) on the government's whim. This whole limited/unlimited liability thing harkens back to the Reserve Force Employment Project (RFEP from around the turn of the century) where we told them that it was an improper concept. I know what you are trying to do -- create a hybrid soldier -- but it needs new classes of service and terminology (possibly requiring NDA amendments) although much of it can be done through admin instructions. I'm not sure it's worth it though. The existing Class of reserve service system works very well for what the reserve force was designed for. It's perceived shortcomings are only because the leadership is trying to make it an ad hoc full-time labour pool for headquarters administration jobs to circumvent the PY limitations imposed by the government; and

2. One of my fundamental arguments in just about everything is that our military is significantly handicapped because such a large component of our budget goes to the pay of full-time members and civilians. If we ever want to have a military that can keep up to date and be effective then we need to cut money from the full-time pay budget and direct it to the equipment and the operations and maintenance budgets. To me that means reducing full-time PYs by rigorously getting rid of large numbers of people who are working primarily in administration at the headquarters level (many of whom to me are working on self licking ice cream cone jobs -- and that includes cutting out programs, regulations, directives etc that create these positions which are needed to administer them). We have entirely too much bureaucracy for the size of force that we are. Once the numbers of PYs are down to an acceptable level, then we need to rigorously enforce that number by ensuring that there are no additional full-timers brought in through the backdoor regardless if they are full timers or whatever class of reservists. It's the full-time pay envelope that we need to control. A reservist filling in on Class B in a vacant PY because the incumbent retired or died or has been put on an ATL etc, is fine with me. Anything that creates even one full-timer above the established PYs - absolutely not.

:cheers:
 

quadrapiper

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FJAG said:
Agree that we need to look at trades to determine which should be regular and which could or should be reserve.

My criteria is that any trade in great demand on a day to day basis (like technicians maintaining equipment) or which need to exercise their skills continuously (like special forces) should be regular force; those only needed in time of crisis (such as gunners, tankers) should be largely (but never completely) reservists. I can certainly see things such as horizontal and vertical engineers being reservists. What I don't want to see is reserve force trades (even refrigeration techs, or carpenters) that spend an entire career on Class B service with Base CE.

:cheers:
Depending on the need for deployable tradesmen, would Base CE (or a "reserve district" CE section) actually be a good home? X a month days of A service working at the base/armouries within a given footprint, or Y a year B, with the member filling in with civvy contracts, assuming CAF and civvy certs are 1:1?

Build things so, should there be a need to deploy Bloggins, you just boost the hours or days/month of others in that trade on site.

Just tossing ideas around.
 

FJAG

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quadrapiper said:
Depending on the need for deployable tradesmen, would Base CE (or a "reserve district" CE section) actually be a good home? X a month days of A service working at the base/armouries within a given footprint, or Y a year B, with the member filling in with civvy contracts, assuming CAF and civvy certs are 1:1?

Build things so, should there be a need to deploy Bloggins, you just boost the hours or days/month of others in that trade on site.

Just tossing ideas around.

I've kind of had some thoughts along that line for reserve recruiting of specialist trades (think construction engineers, vehicle maintenance technicians, diesel mechanics, medical staff, truckers, cooks, computer technicians/programmers, heavy equipment operators etc).

Essentially you recruit them, train them military in the summer with pay, send them to community college in the winter where the Army pays their tuition and fees but not wages, then after they finish their certificate and DP1 training, you offer them employment locally within trade for a year or two to gain experience at the end of which they have to fulfill a period of years of obligatory Reserve Class A service (same as we do now for RMC graduates, pilots and pharmacists etc). In the end you get a trained and experienced tradesmen, their education is paid for and they have a number of years' experience to make them more attractive for a civilian job. Everybody is happy.

:cheers:
 

jeffb

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This is not dissimilar to the "Minuteman" program several states use with their National Guard. I worked with a Lt from the Florida National Guard who had his full university paid for. His return was 7 years in the National Guard with with one period of active service on 270 day orders. Seems like a pretty good deal given the price of US post-secondary education.
 

FJAG

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jeffb said:
This is not dissimilar to the "Minuteman" program several states use with their National Guard. I worked with a Lt from the Florida National Guard who had his full university paid for. His return was 7 years in the National Guard with with one period of active service on 270 day orders. Seems like a pretty good deal given the price of US post-secondary education.

And it meets two valid objectives: a trained soldier and a trained and employable citizen. What more could you want. Win! Win!

:cheers:
 

MilEME09

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FJAG said:
And it meets two valid objectives: a trained soldier and a trained and employable citizen. What more could you want. Win! Win!

:cheers:

Equipment to train them with, a rationally sized HQ, a useful reserve force,..... I can go on if you would like.
 

GR66

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I'm going to throw this in here, but it really touches on Reg Force Restructuring as much as the Reserves, but realistically can/should one be done without the other?

Nicholas Drummond has an article on the Wavell Room website (https://wavellroom.com/2019/08/29/the-universal-battalion-possible-future-infantry-unit-structures/) in which he proposes that the British Army adopt a standardized Infantry Battalion structure across all of their existing Infantry Battalion types (Armoured, Mechanized, Air Assault, Light and Specialized)

In the article he suggests:
At one end of the spectrum, Armoured Infantry battalions are well-resourced with 732 soldiers, while Specialised Infantry battalions have just 267, but this is for training and mentoring roles, rather than high-intensity combat. The disparity in numbers across different battalion types makes it difficult to monitor shortfalls in manpower and to fill gaps quickly. When it becomes necessary to re-role a battalion at short notice, there is a risk of not being able to deploy it with the required number soldiers it needs to complete the mission. Six different battalion types means that ORBATs are constantly in a state of flux, which makes human resource planning more complex than it needs to be. Many battalions of all types are currently operating below their headcount caps, with very few, if any, operating with the same number of personnel. Ultimately, having multiple battalion types is inefficient and an unmilitary approach to resource allocation and management. It makes the planning and implementation of sub-unit tasks more difficult and detracts from the infantry’s ability to perform its most important role: dominating ground.

Would there be a benefit to implementing something like this for the Canadian Army as part of a larger re-organization of both the Regular Force and Reserve Force?  Perhaps something along these lines:

Re-structure the infantry along the lines proposed in the article.  Reduce the number of Regular Force Infantry Battalions from 9 to 6 which should allow each of the Battalions to be fully manned including Combat Support Companies (Recce, Sniper, Assault Pioneer, Mortar and AT Platoons).  All six Regular Force Battalions and all  Reserve Infantry Battalions would be identically organized as light infantry.

I'd suggest a 10-man Infantry Section which could allow for 3 x 3-man Fire Teams plus the Section Commander or 2 x 4-man Fire Teams plus the Section Commander and one other (runner, designated marksman, Carl-G gunner, UAV operator, etc.).

This would be the bigger change.  The LAVs from the six existing Regular Force Mechanized Battalions would be transferred to the three Armoured Regiments which would be re-roled as Cavalry Regiments.  Each Cavalry Troop in the Cavalry Squadrons would have 7 or 8 LAVs which would allow each Troop to embark an Infantry Platoon.  Depending on how the Infantry Sections are organized, each LAV would have 5-6 dismounts which would also leave room for attachments to the Infantry (JTAC, Medics, etc.).  Each Armoured Regiment would have their own Combat Support Squadron with their own LAV-mounted Mortar Troop, AT Troop, etc.

All three existing tank Squadrons would be grouped together in a single Tank Regiment which could be partially shifted to the Reserves, with one Tank Squadron and the bulk of the maintenance elements being Regular Force and the other two Tank Squadrons being manned by Reserves.

Existing Reserve Infantry Regiments would be grouped together to form the new Standardized Infantry Battalions with the same equipment and training standards as the Reg Force Light Battalions.  Some Reserve Regiments could be tasked to provide the Recce, Pioneer, Mortar and AT Platoons for the Reserve Battalions.

Savings from a reduced number of Divisions/Brigades and full-time vs part-time Battalions could be directed toward new equipment.

While the government is not likely to invest in new, tracked IFVs, they could possibly be convinced to go with all-terrain carriers such as the Bronco 3 ()http://www.military-today.com/apc/bronco_new_gen.htm or BvS 10 (http://www.military-today.com/apc/bvs10_viking.htm).  These vehicles could be issued to Reserve "Mobility Battalions".  They have room to accommodate the new standardized 10-man Infantry Sections and in addition to being able to provide cross-country and amphibious mobility to the infantry (with protection up to STANAG 4 available) they can be equipped with remote weapon stations, be used as mortar carriers, ambulances, recovery vehicles, are air transportable by C-130 and Chinook and could be used in the Arctic or for flood and forest fire response.

A system like this would allow for all Infantry units to be identically organized and equipped, give greater strength for dismounted operations (due to the larger Infantry Sections), and allow any Infantry Battalion to be used in Light (dismounted), Medium (mounted in ATTC's or LAVs), or Heavy roles (mounted in ATTC's or LAVs with a Tank Regiment attached)

 

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I read the article and I think Drummond is trying to solve a problem that isn't really there.

Most of the disparities in numbers are based on: 1) different types of vehicles have different crewing requirements (usually two or three) and differing dismount capacities (eg Warrior seven, Boxer eight); 2) different types of vehicles have different types of roles which can change the numbers of combat support personnel required/desired; and 3) different types of vehicle fleets and their manner of usage may have higher maintenance and/or supply requirements (i.e. additional vehicles and personnel) You should ignore the "specialized infantry battalions" as their roles is completely different from the other ones (they're more like US special forces or training cadres)

Everything starts with the dismounted rifle section which ideally should be nine (based on US squads and the Drummond model) however, that doesn't fit in either the Warrior or Boxer or LAV or Bradley. We immediately need to change the dismounted section to fit the vehicle or find a way to redistribute them. That's a problem I leave to guys like Infanteer to work out because while I understand the nuances involved I have nowhere near the expertise to argue it one way or the other.

Note that the last real-world Canadian establishment that I looked at (end of 2017) set the PYs allocated to a Reg F infantry battalion at 594 for a mech bn and 561 for a lt bn (that may have gone up with the return of mortars and pioneers - I'm not sure). Res F battalions were set at around 170-320 depending on the particular battalion (that's not to say they actually had the paid strength to fill that establishment). IMHO based on some papers I exchanged with Infanteer about a year ago, the "war establishment" for a battalion should be around 750-760 which is close to the UK mech battalion. Note that there was little change between a light and a mech battalion. Each rifle company came in at around 128 it's just that the mech company might have fewer dismounts and no weapons dets in exchange for crewing the LAVs. The point here is, I think, that you can arbitrarily assign a common number of pers to these establishments, but their equipment holdings and tactical employment will dictate who does what where.

I wouldn't reduce 9 bns to 6 just to bulk them out. If total PYs are an issue (and they are) I would designate certain components within the bn that isn't needed day-to-day as a reserve job but rather than having a res bn fill the positions I would have the RegF bn have a reserve company that is part of the unit's war establishment (wearing the same cap badge and under command of the Reg F CO - for example mortars, anti-tank gunners, some recce, some pioneers, medics, some truckers etc)

I'm a firm believer that reserve inf bns (and other units) should be "brigaded" into single, full-war establishment units and equipped. That reduces the overall number of units and the command structure but creates trainable/deployable units. That, however, takes some changes in the terms of service and other administrative matters and would be heavily resisted by senior reserve leadership (and Reserves 2000). Regardless of the resistance change is necessary.

I'm not in favour of transferring the LAVs to the armoured corps. The Aussies used to assign their M113s to the armoured branch as carrier companies which could then be assigned to whatever infantry battalion needed a mechanized lift. That was fine in the battlefield taxi days but the LAVs are a more integral part of the tactics of a mech company and need people running them who are well schooled in basic infantry tactics first and who can be switched out for a rifleman when needed.

IMHO there's a distinct role separation between cavalry and tanks and mounted infantry. To me, cavalry is recce with the ability to be aggressive. I know that the UK Strike brigades have a bit of a mounted/dismounted mix to them and I do see cavalry that's a mix between electronic sensors, UAVs and anti-armour (maybe mortars) but I wouldn't go in the direction that you are.

I think that tanks should be grouped as you suggest with a core of Reg F but mostly reservists on the basis that armor is not one of those things we need day-to-day but only in emergencies. Same for artillery, air defence and cavalry. Just as importantly we need to brigade and assign tasks and formations to our combat service support elements.

Yup. Reorganization could and should lessen the command structure (by my estimate using the available PYs and reserve numbers, three division headquarters - one operational, two force generating; 5 manoeuvre brigades (three Reg, 2 Res); three support brigades; and about 2/5th of the unit headquarters)

:cheers:
 

GR66

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FJAG said:
I read the article and I think Drummond is trying to solve a problem that isn't really there.

Most of the disparities in numbers are based on: 1) different types of vehicles have different crewing requirements (usually two or three) and differing dismount capacities (eg Warrior seven, Boxer eight); 2) different types of vehicles have different types of roles which can change the numbers of combat support personnel required/desired; and 3) different types of vehicle fleets and their manner of usage may have higher maintenance and/or supply requirements (i.e. additional vehicles and personnel) You should ignore the "specialized infantry battalions" as their roles is completely different from the other ones (they're more like US special forces or training cadres)

Everything starts with the dismounted rifle section which ideally should be nine (based on US squads and the Drummond model) however, that doesn't fit in either the Warrior or Boxer or LAV or Bradley. We immediately need to change the dismounted section to fit the vehicle or find a way to redistribute them. That's a problem I leave to guys like Infanteer to work out because while I understand the nuances involved I have nowhere near the expertise to argue it one way or the other.

Note that the last real-world Canadian establishment that I looked at (end of 2017) set the PYs allocated to a Reg F infantry battalion at 594 for a mech bn and 561 for a lt bn (that may have gone up with the return of mortars and pioneers - I'm not sure). Res F battalions were set at around 170-320 depending on the particular battalion (that's not to say they actually had the paid strength to fill that establishment). IMHO based on some papers I exchanged with Infanteer about a year ago, the "war establishment" for a battalion should be around 750-760 which is close to the UK mech battalion. Note that there was little change between a light and a mech battalion. Each rifle company came in at around 128 it's just that the mech company might have fewer dismounts and no weapons dets in exchange for crewing the LAVs. The point here is, I think, that you can arbitrarily assign a common number of pers to these establishments, but their equipment holdings and tactical employment will dictate who does what where.

I wouldn't reduce 9 bns to 6 just to bulk them out. If total PYs are an issue (and they are) I would designate certain components within the bn that isn't needed day-to-day as a reserve job but rather than having a res bn fill the positions I would have the RegF bn have a reserve company that is part of the unit's war establishment (wearing the same cap badge and under command of the Reg F CO - for example mortars, anti-tank gunners, some recce, some pioneers, medics, some truckers etc)

I'm a firm believer that reserve inf bns (and other units) should be "brigaded" into single, full-war establishment units and equipped. That reduces the overall number of units and the command structure but creates trainable/deployable units. That, however, takes some changes in the terms of service and other administrative matters and would be heavily resisted by senior reserve leadership (and Reserves 2000). Regardless of the resistance change is necessary.

I'm not in favour of transferring the LAVs to the armoured corps. The Aussies used to assign their M113s to the armoured branch as carrier companies which could then be assigned to whatever infantry battalion needed a mechanized lift. That was fine in the battlefield taxi days but the LAVs are a more integral part of the tactics of a mech company and need people running them who are well schooled in basic infantry tactics first and who can be switched out for a rifleman when needed.

IMHO there's a distinct role separation between cavalry and tanks and mounted infantry. To me, cavalry is recce with the ability to be aggressive. I know that the UK Strike brigades have a bit of a mounted/dismounted mix to them and I do see cavalry that's a mix between electronic sensors, UAVs and anti-armour (maybe mortars) but I wouldn't go in the direction that you are.

I think that tanks should be grouped as you suggest with a core of Reg F but mostly reservists on the basis that armor is not one of those things we need day-to-day but only in emergencies. Same for artillery, air defence and cavalry. Just as importantly we need to brigade and assign tasks and formations to our combat service support elements.

Yup. Reorganization could and should lessen the command structure (by my estimate using the available PYs and reserve numbers, three division headquarters - one operational, two force generating; 5 manoeuvre brigades (three Reg, 2 Res); three support brigades; and about 2/5th of the unit headquarters)

:cheers:

I'm not qualified to judge whether the current Infantry manning model works or not.  The numbers I see (from Force 2013) show Mech Battalions with an Establishment of 833 All Ranks and Generation Strength of 593 All Ranks.  Light Battalions have an Establishment of 834 All Ranks and a Generation Strength of 560 All Ranks.  That means that the Infantry Battalions are currently manned at roughly 70% of their authorized Establishment Strength.

News reports and anecdotal comments here and on other sites say that Afghanistan nearly "broke" the Army.  Did below Establishment manning contribute to that?  Even with 15% - 25% Reserve augmentation per rotation (http://natoassociation.ca/canadian-reserves-in-afghanistan-an-expanding-legacy/) did manning issues result in a lack of available instructors, training difficulties in non-deployed Battalions, multiple deployments for key personnel, etc.?  Would concentrating the limited Reg Force Infantry PYs into fewer, fully-manned Battalions help with these issues?  I'd be interested in hearing the thoughts of Infantry folks on this.

I have absolutely no issue with having certain components of Reg Force units being Reserve positions like you suggest to bring the units up to wartime strength.  We just need to make sure that the training, equipment, organization and legislation required to quickly integrate these elements into their parent units when the balloon goes up are in place. 

I guess the same goes for the Reg Force Battalions.  If as you suggest elsewhere that we need to pre-deploy the equipment for a Battle Group in Europe because we may not have time to deploy our forces from Canada in case of a rapid Russian invasion, then how does having 70% manning for our Battalions affect their ability to rapidly deploy in wartime?  Maybe the big brains could come up with a way to bring at least the high readiness Battalions to Establishment Strength in case there's the need for rapid deployment?

As far as the reduction in the number of LAV Battalions from 6 to 3 that is meant to address the question of Infantry Section size which as you said, everything starts there.  The thing that interested me about the article was the standardization of units across types.  We currently have variances between our light and mechanized infantry.  Both have 10-man sections but in reality the Mechanized infantry only have 7-man sections because three troops are tied to the vehicles. 

To me it would seem that 10-man sections would be better across the board.  More firepower, more flexibility in organization and more ability to absorb casualties.  As you suggested you can swap out the vehicle crews for more riflemen, but that degrades the capabilities of the LAV to provide support.  There's also a training price as your Infantry now have to learn additional skill sets (vehicle driving, maintenance, turret operations, mounted tactics, etc.) which takes time away from their primary skills of closing with and defeating the enemy. 

The halving of the number of LAV Battalions was to provide enough LAVs to accommodate 10-man sections (5 dismounts per LAV plus room for attached personnel).  As to what colour beret drive the LAVs I guess that's really not that important.  I think the real benefit (other than larger dismounted section size) is that the dismounts can train and concentrate on dismounted infantry skills while the LAV crews can concentrate on vehicle-related skills.  I know this kind of split has been brought up more than once in various threads and I guess you can tell where I stand on the question.

You brought up the Australian M113 carrier company experience.  You suggest that model was OK in the "battle taxi" days but it's not suitable for the LAV.  I'd argue that the general consensus on these forums is that the LAV is more of an up-gunned battle taxi rather than a true IFV.  They can provide valuable fire support in an Afghanistan-type scenario, but would you want to expose them to an enemy with AT capabilities?  If in a peer/near-peer scenario we're going to keep the LAVs out of the line of direct enemy fire and deploy our infantry in dismounted attack/defence, then wouldn't it make sense to have larger dismounted sections?
 
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