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following thread. Interesting article but agreed with FJAG, its not a big issue exact size and manning per battalion.
ArmyRick said:following thread. Interesting article but agreed with FJAG, its not a big issue exact size and manning per battalion.
GR66 said:Latvia isn't a full Infantry Battalion deployment. Is a 70% manned Regular Force Infantry Battalion enough to fulfill that deployment without any augmentation?
Presumably if the balloon goes up in Europe or somewhere else, then the high readiness Light Battalion I think would be the logical unit to deploy as a rapid response. They could fill out the EFP Latvia Battalion, or make the initial deployment to another trouble spot. Would we deploy an under-manned Battalion in this situation, or would we need a high readiness Reserve unit to quickly fill out the Reg Force Battalion? Is a rapid response Reserve force even practical under our current model, or are we better off drawing the required troops from other Reg Force Battalions (which are themselves already under manned)?
In the case of a European conflict or a 2nd Battle Group sized deployment elsewhere, it would then fall to the 2nd high readiness LAV Battalion (possibly in relief of the Light Battalion's initial deployment). How many Reserve Infantry units would be required to fill out this Battalion and how many other units would be required to cycle through readiness to support this as a sustained deployment?
All of this of course ignores the Armour, Artillery, Engineer and Logistics elements of supporting these deployments and completely sets aside the idea of being able to deploy a complete Brigade Group any time in the near future. But should figuring out this part not be the first step in restructuring?
Another way of putting this is that no planning is being done for a major war.
This is shortsighted in the extreme. A military that thinks in terms of turning itself into a great host in a crisis is very different from one that is small, thinks small, and plans for very little.
The Canadian Forces needs a plan.
FJAG said:Considering the fact that we have a Reg F Army of some 23,000 folks in three manoeuvre brigades and one support brigade and another 20,000 reservists, we should have plans that would allow us to efficiently deploy something much greater than a battle group. We have enough people to man two divisions even though we only have enough equipment for perhaps 3/4 to one division if we scrape it all together (with some very serious capability gaps) What we don't have is a plan to grow the force in an emergency and, even worse, we don't have a plan towards equipping and organizing the force over time so that in an emergency in the future we can be "a great host". We have set very low goals for ourselves by way of SSE (and seem to have troubles meeting those goals)
Considering the fact that we have a Reg F Army of some 23,000 folks in three manoeuvre brigades and one support brigade and another 20,000 reservists, we should have plans that would allow us to efficiently deploy something much greater than a battle group. We have enough people to man two divisions even though we only have enough equipment for perhaps 3/4 to one division if we scrape it all together (with some very serious capability gaps) What we don't have is a plan to grow the force in an emergency and, even worse, we don't have a plan towards equipping and organizing the force over time so that in an emergency in the future we can be "a great host". We have set very low goals for ourselves by way of SSE (and seem to have troubles meeting those goals)
GR66 said:Given this, what could realistically be done to restructure, or do we just throw up our hands and muddle along with what we have in place now and hope that nothing bad happens?
MilEME09 said:First: Full reorg of the PRes, tactically group smaller units under one command team. They can retain any traditions at the company/platoom level.
Second: create a force similar to a OMLT the goes and mentors the command staff, and NCOs of the PRes.
Third: Give the OMLT a 5 year goal to prepare reserve units for deployment.
Fourth: Reserve units are required to deploy at minimum a platoon every deployment cycle after the 5 year build up. In theory each division except 5 Div would be able to field a small reserve battle group with two companies of infantry as the back bone and a full CSS element if everyone supplied a platoon.
Fifth: cut out mess dinners(except Christmas), paid hockey teams, and any non training events that take budget away from training.
Just my 2 cents but it may be doable but I don't address equipment issues, only the training aspect.
GR66 said:I guess this section is the crux of the problem. We have quite a few expensive full-time troops without enough equipment to field and maintain them in any significant type of conflict. We have a pool of less expensive part-time troops with no combat worthy equipment at all and an organizational structure that doesn't lend itself to anything other than individual augmentation of the Reg Force.
We're completely missing, or seriously lacking in some key supporting capabilities. By virtue of our geography we're by definition an expeditionary Army, but have virtually no capability to project our forces in anything like a timely manner. There is no real political will to increase the size of the Army and there is minimal political will to expand the size of DND's budget in these difficult times. On top of that much of any money that is/will be available will go the CSC and CF-188 replacement projects, not the Army.
So I guess the question isn't really what we dream or wish the Army could look like, but rather given the current limitations, what is something achievable in the short term that would at least make the Army (Reg Force and Reserves) relevant, capable and deployable? This could at least provide a solid base which it could grow from once the political and economic situation changes.
My assumptions would be:
- The size of the Reg Force Army will not grow. It could be re-structured but I don't see any additional PY's being added.
- The Reserves could potentially grow, but I think any increase in size would be moderate and the cost of any increase in size would likely have to be offset by cost savings elsewhere.
- I don't believe there will be any increase in the size of our armoured vehicle fleet. It may be possible that we could see some additional support vehicles/weapons (AT, Artillery, GBAD, etc.) which could potentially be LAV-based, but I don't see any IFV's/APC's to equip Reserve Battalions any time soon. I think we should assume for the short-term at least that Reserve Battalions will be light, or will augment Reg Force units with Reg Force equipment.
Given this, what could realistically be done to restructure, or do we just throw up our hands and muddle along with what we have in place now and hope that nothing bad happens?
I defy you to show me anywhere in the SSE that requires DND/CAF to have the capability to project and sustain a brigade group expeditionary force.THE BRIGADE GROUP
The Army trains to fight at the brigade group-level. This is the minimum level at which it is possible to execute joint campaigns while integrating various components, be they from another service, government department, non-governmental organization, or coalition partner. The brigade group consists of approximately 4,800 soldiers, organized in eight major units generally including Artillery, Armour, Infantry, Engineer, and Combat Service Support organizations. Combinations of these units operate together in “battle groups” to provide the joint force with the requisite firepower, mobility, protection, sustainment, and command and control functions to effectively coordinate their employment.
CBH99 said:Would you mind expanding on your Point # 3, re: a 5 year goal of preparing a unit to deploy?
That just seems like an awfully long time to prepare a unit for deployment?
reveng said:Are you sure about that?
CBH99 said:The Calgary Highlanders deployed a platoon of roughly 50 personnel sub-unit to Afghanistan, I believe in 2 separate occasions. (I'm not sure if it was 2 consecutive rotations.)
The sub-unit remained as a sub-unit on deployment.
18 AD also deployed I believe a 12 person sub-unit (for that unit's size, from a small city, it was actually really well done) to Afghanistan also. Upon deployment, I believe half went to augment M777 dets, while the others were rolled as helicopter loadmasters.
(I know helicopter loadmaster isn't a trade. However I am 100% certain this is what they were rolled as, as I had several friends in that unit who deployed as such.)
dapaterson said:A sub-unit is a company; fifty soldiers does not a company make. In the late 90s or early 2000s there was a Composite Reserve Infantry Company (CRIC) deployed to the former Yugoslavia; its success (from selection through training through deployment) was never fully assessed (and and such assessment would be subjective, at best).
Ostrozac said:The line from SSE Para 36 about the importance of the brigade bears examining. On its face, its a motherhood statement saying the patently obvious -- you need to bring at least a brigade to a ground war if you want to have actual effect or influence. We knew that when we sent brigades to Korea and to West Germany. But we, as an Army, have mostly neglected the brigade level as "too hard, too expensive" since the end of the Cold War and the shut down of 4 Brigade in West Germany. We have been trying, and mostly failing, to make the Battle Group level work as a cheap substitute, but a full look at the structure of the Army, Regular and Reserve, needs an honest look at our brigades.
Regular brigades need to be symmetrical, so that they can replace each other in a sustained operation. We can't have a light brigade, a LAV brigade and a tank brigade and then expect them all to deploy in succession in a LAV role over three rotos. A LAV brigade that has the ability to also deploy in a lightish (truck mounted, not airborne/airmobile) role is probably a suitable compromise. The brigades need to be able to replace each other over the course of an extended war. Are we married to the 6 month deployment, or are we ready to commit to 12 months? Given that it's taking 12 months to train units, and probably 12 months for a unit to recover from war, 3 brigades would just barely be sustainable with 12 month deployment cycles. With 6 month tours, we need 5 brigades. So deployment length isn't just a whim of CJOC commander the day the Op Order is written -- it drives force structure.
Centralized control of scarce resources. The Combat Support Brigade is, in my opinion, long overdue. For too long, we've had a strange habit of concentrating national level resources, allocating them to low level regional or tactical headquarters, and then wondering why those HQs didn't have the ability or influence to manage them properly. I'm thinking Electronic Warfare, tanks and the short-lived TOW company. I do wonder about putting the Combat Support Brigade under one of the divisions though, I would have it as a direct report to Army HQ. And I don't think that the concept went far enough -- if we don't have enough to share, tanks belong in the Combat Support Brigade. That doesn't mean they don't belong in Edmonton and Gagetown -- it means that I think they need central stewardship. If we insist on having minimal indirect fire, there's a argument to pulling the M777 up under central control, too.
Role of the reserves? Throughout. I'd have the high readiness brigade at full strength, all units topped up with Class C reservists for the duration of road to high readiness and high readiness. Whether 6 or 12 month tours, maybe instead of Class C we have them enrol in the Regular Force or the Special Force for a 18-24 month engagement for the entire road to high readiness and the deployment/high readiness period. Could this augmentation go behind individuals, and include entire platoons or companies or even a battalion of reservists, giving reservists the ability to command on operations? Of course, but probably on a lesser rotation cycle than the regulars. If there are 3 regular brigades, we might need 6 or 9 reserve battalion equivalents, plus reserve augmentation for the Combat Support functions -- but certainly not a structure of 10 reserve brigades.
Anything on top of that is an extra bill. Making the Latvia battalion a permanent non-rotational posting adds a battalion to the force structure, but removes that task from the brigades. If it stays rotational, that's another brigade on the force structure. A standing light NEO battalion, that's probably another brigade. You can easily get to a 5 to 7 brigade structure. Which is what we might need to be a credible army with influence and effect -- but then we get back to where we started at the end of the Cold War: "too hard, too expensive". None of this would be easy and cheap -- if was, we would have done it by now.
FJAG said:I don't agree with this although your arguments are sound if we had a role to actually deploy a full brigade.
FJAG said:On the other hand if the SSE roles remain limited to battlegroups or less than one can (and IMHO, should) have asynchronous brigades with each brigade having a specialty and the responsibility to generate battlegroups to specific missions e.g. 1 CMBG (armoured) constantly looks after only the Baltics eFP battlegroup; 2 CMBG (light) constantly looks after the Ukraine mission and a quick reaction force; 5 CMBG (mech) looks after UN missions and follow-on to the quick reaction force. - This develops expertise within the brigade for its prime mission.
Old Sweat said:Let me play devil's advocate for a few minutes here. There is no way any Canadian government would commit a major formation drawn mainly from one region of the country to battle. Our force structure, especially our regular infantry regimental structure, combined with geography, and plain old political sensibilities rule against it. No matter how logically and how compelling is our argument, the reaction of the voting public and the politicians rule against it. I'm sorry, but that's how it has been for over a century, in fact since the Boer War, and that's how it is going to continue to work. During my time as an officer, covering the sixties and ending in the mid-nineties, I don't know how many times I have heard well researched and compelling logical presentations for just the sort of structure being debated here. I also don't know how many times they have been shot down in flames as being non-starters politically.
A battle group maybe, as long as the next battle group in line is from another region, with another cap badge, but a brigade group drawn purely from one of our existing formations would not fly. Maybe it is militarily dodgy, but ramp ceremonies and convoys of hearses on the Highway of Heroes has logic all of its own. Does that create really difficult, maybe insurmountable, challenges for the army? You bet your butt it does, but it is a fact of life in Canada.