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CAN Enhanced (Permanent?) Fwd Presence in Latvia

FJAG

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You had me up until you lowballed the Sig Support element. Having worked on many a NATO connectivity ex, it's not 1970 4CMBG here. We have many different sensors and systems that interconnect and need competent signallers to make the voodoo and wizardry happen.

I would honestly say if we are turning this into an MN Bde, we need to stand up another NATO Sigs Bn to support it. Canada can take the lead as the Bde HQ, but definitely need people that can interconnect systems so we all get the same message at the same time on the same systems.
I hadn't really put a figure on the sigs. Roughly speaking I think a Bde HQ and Sigs Sqn is around 300 all ranks. I put down roughly 50 of those (mostly staff officers) as a 3 year posting. The remaining 250 I saw with some as a rotational forward presence and some as rapid reinforcement. I hadn't concluded what the ratio should be as I'm not sure what number you need there to run things 24/7 all the time and which are only required for exercises and when the balloon goes up.

I've got the same issue with logistics because on the one hand the Canadian contingent is not a full brigade but on the other hand there is the complexity of the multinational nature of the job.

🍻
 

KevinB

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Interesting aspect about V Corps in Poland, apparently we promised Russia we wouldn’t permanently base any forces in former WP countries — kind of like they promised Ukraine sovereignty…
 

Jarnhamar

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Interesting aspect about V Corps in Poland, apparently we promised Russia we wouldn’t permanently base any forces in former WP countries — kind of like they promised Ukraine sovereignty…
You guys should start whacking Belarus politicians.
 

rmc_wannabe

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I hadn't really put a figure on the sigs. Roughly speaking I think a Bde HQ and Sigs Sqn is around 300 all ranks. I put down roughly 50 of those (mostly staff officers) as a 3 year posting. The remaining 250 I saw with some as a rotational forward presence and some as rapid reinforcement. I hadn't concluded what the ratio should be as I'm not sure what number you need there to run things 24/7 all the time and which are only required for exercises and when the balloon goes up.

I've got the same issue with logistics because on the one hand the Canadian contingent is not a full brigade but on the other hand there is the complexity of the multinational nature of the job.

🍻
The problem with MN formations is that we all point to the same enemy and say "kill it" and we all find a way to lob rounds, missiles, and bodies at it til it stops moving; most pointy end folks work well together because there is very little divergence from that primacy. The support components are much more difficult.

Because we all have different ways to supply, procure, interconnect, and employ our support mechanisms; we need people wearing the same flag as the home country to do the leg work.

Something as simple as sending emails over a NATO Mission Network requires numerous levels of coordination, caveating, networking (physical and with administrators) to make it happen. VHF comms, encryption, IP mapping, permissions all have diplomatic impacts if they're don't improperly.

Having Signallers from all participating nations forming a Sigs Battalion to interconnect all systems: IT, VHF/UHF Comms, SATCOM, ISR, EW, Cyber, AD Radar, etc.; will make it so that when the balloon does go up, you have all pers on deck from all nations keeping the cans and strings together so there isn't a disconnect.

Logistics is the same shit show. As much as we are supposed to be interchangeable... we aren't. Take a look at our procurement of anything and everything from anywhere... so long as it benefits Canadian Industry. Now multiply that by 9 participating nations. I would hate to be a Svc Bn Maint Coy OC trying to figure out how to source parts from Slovakia, while having to try reading a schematic written in German.

It's a complex beast that doesn't get the forethought it should... because people only think "1 Bn, 2 Bn, 3 Bn, 4... OK we're set..."
 

Fabius

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I suspect we will see FJAGs point 4 from post 798. Slightly reinforce the BG and basically enable Canada to turn it into a Combined Arms Bn.
In terms of the Bde the most I see happening is Task Force Latvia because becoming the Multi National Bde HQ with some additional Canadian Staff and will dual hat as our National Command Element.
No additional Cbt, CSM or CSS units deployed.
 

Weinie

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You had me up until you lowballed the Sig Support element. Having worked on many a NATO connectivity ex, it's not 1970 4CMBG here. We have many different sensors and systems that interconnect and need competent signallers to make the voodoo and wizardry happen.

I would honestly say if we are turning this into an MN Bde, we need to stand up another NATO Sigs Bn to support it. Canada can take the lead as the Bde HQ, but definitely need people that can interconnect systems so we all get the same message at the same time on the same systems.
Queue re-hash of everybody searching for substantiation of their trade piling on. :whistle:
 

KevinB

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Queue re-hash of everybody searching for substantiation of their trade piling on. :whistle:
Regimental Mafia says what…
I foresee a Coy of Patricia’s, a Coy of Royals, a Coy of Vandoos - and a mishmash of Cbt Spt aspects - no idea on how the Armoured Reg’t will sort it out.
The Arty and Engineers will need to make room for a Franco det

Etc.
 
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rmc_wannabe

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Queue re-hash of everybody searching for substantiation of their trade piling on. :whistle:
shrug
I've had to BER $20K in kit because some "tip of the spear" type with an ATCISS course didn't read the voltage, or ground it for that matter, before firing it up.

I know what we bring to the fight, sometimes it's just being the responsible adult 😉
 

KevinB

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shrug
I've had to BER $20K in kit because some "tip of the spear" type with an ATCISS course didn't read the voltage, or ground it for that matter, before firing it up.

I know what we bring to the fight, sometimes it's just being the responsible adult 😉
20k? I fell off a roof and broke a 1/4M fused VAS clip on. 20k is chicken feed.
 

daftandbarmy

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Regimental Mafia says what…
I foresee a Coy of Patricia’s, a Coy of Royals, a Coy of Vandoos - and a mishmash of Cbt Spt aspects - no idea on how the Armoured Reg’t will sort it out.
The Arty and Engineers will need to make room for a Franco det

Etc.

But what about the 7 x Recce Sqns?

It's summer and there's polo to be played, after all ;)
 

Eye In The Sky

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I work in a realm that is loaded with US kit, and a lot of that is so we can maintain FVEY status. We're lucky to be given that grace. I will leave it at that.

We do use a lot of US equipment in the name of interoperability. As we should. We share the largest land border and shared airspace in the world. We would be fools to not use the same or similar systems in mutual defence. The RCAF and RCN are starting to catch on to this, but barely.

The CA on the other hand...

I wouldn’t say we are starting to catch up…we won’t ever, really. TDL comes to mind right off the bat…
 

Czech_pivo

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Let me take a kick at how this could work. I'll number my thoughts for easy reference.

1. Canada is already the battlegroup leading nation and needs to fill an additional slot as the brigade group headquarters. The most difficult job they will have is developing a CSS structure that will work for a multinational brigade, within a multinational division context, facing high intensity combat and to get away from the NSE concept of all singing all dancing support. Step one is to throw out everything regarding logistics that Canada has done sine 2000 and all the bad lessons learned in Afghanistan and to dust off the cold war logistics doctrine while appointing the smartest guy in the logistics branch to oversee tall of this.

2. Canada needs to lock up the regimental cap badge mafias and structure itself to properly sustain the brigade indefinitely.

3. The most efficient brigade structure (considering its multinational nature) is one of an Armoured BCT using combined arms battalions. The multinational nature makes regroupings on the fly difficult and therefore as much as possible each combined arms battalion should have all the necessary armour, infantry and anti-armour it should need. My own view is that two battalions should tilt infantry heavy (because we are primarily defenders) but one should tilt tank heavy.

4. Canada should form one complete combined arms battalion consisting of one squadron of a squadron of Leo2A4M and two companies of LAV6. There also needs to be a battalion headquarters, a combat support company with recce and mortars and a combat service support company. Of these, the battalion HQ, one rifle company, one tank troop and one half of the combat service support company should be a rotational forward deployed element as it is now. The rest of the battalion's equipment will be propositioned in Latvia while the troops remain as rapid reinforcements in Canada but attend on regular exercise schedules which concurrently exercise the RCAF on the deployment plan.

5. Two additional combined arms battalions are required. Each of Italy and Spain already provide fairly large contingents of a rotational predeployed mech company supported by a half company of tanks. They should be persuaded to double their force through a similar prepositioning of equipment with a rapid redeployment manning.

6. Artillery may be an easy issue. Latvia has enough M109s for two battalions but only one mechanized brigade. It should be convinced to put one of those battalions in direct support of the new multinational brigade.

7. Brigade recce/cavalry is required. Poland already commits a company of tanks and Slovenia a recce platoon. Slovakia has a mechanized company. Between these three nations their commitments could be restructured into a cavalry battalion.

8. Engineers are problematic in that there are only two small platoons there. One should have an engineer battalion with at least two companies. This is a role where perhaps Canada should put another hundred personnel forward deployed and a further one hundred as rapid reaction to form the core to which the two multinational platoons can be joined.

9. The Danes have also recently brought a fairly large contingent in. I'm not sure where they are although indications are they might be with the Latvian Mechanized brigade and as such their availability to the Canadian -led multinational brigade is probably zero.

10. As far as a brigade headquarters is concerned, I'm of the view that this should be a three year posting for the key staff - say around 50. This becomes a major commitment and should not be subject to the usual rotational turbulence. On top of that the brigade staffs in Canada need to be kept intact to continue to run their own brigades. 50 is not a large number and if we can't find 50 decent staff officers and NCOs within the Army then we're not trying hard enough. The remainder of the brigade HQ is primarily signals which do not need a large deployed forward presence but can be filled as rapid reinforcement elements.

11. Now we get to the hardest part. Logistics. As a starter, because of the diversity of equipment, each battalion sized element needs its own robust first line of support, especially for maintenance while supply and transport can be partially rapid reinforcement. The same is true for second line support at the brigade service battalion. Maintenance is a challenge and needs very detailed analysis and a very detailed organizational structure that can work forward with the national contingents and backward to the national theatre sustainment agencies. Supply also needs some tight control and a forward deployed presence while transportation services can be more generic and largely dependent on rapid reinforcement troops so long as the predeployed equipment handling capabilities are capable of multinational cargo handling. Again, IMHO this is one of those places where we should seriously think of making it a three-year posting for roughly 50 key personnel while another 100-150 or so could be rotational predeployment and the remainder - say 4-500 could be multinational rapid reinforcement troops. I'll leave aside the question of how the brigade ties into the multinational division's logistics plan/system because, quite frankly, I have no idea how well developed that system is.

12. I would think that the rapid reinforcement personnel would not be required often. I would think two very short exercises a year aimed at fly-in reinforcement, deployment to a an assembly area followed by redeployment, equipment maintenance and return home. In addition at least one major exercise per year of three to four weeks duration to test the deployment and to exercise the battalions and the brigade in full. The three combined arms battalions could conduct further independent battalion exercises as part of the reinforcement exercises.

13. As for Canada, I see the realignment of the three domestic brigades so that 1 CMBG has one armoured and three mechanized battalions whose responsibility is as the primary provider of the combined arms battalion headquarters and the two rifle and one tank company. With nine rifle companies and three tank squadrons it should not be difficult to generate one full time rifle company and one tank platoon for rotational forward deployment. More difficult will be the battalion headquarters and the rotational maintainers. Consideration should be given to having the key battalion command and maintainer positions to also be three year postings - say 50 PYs. As for 2 and 5 CMBG, my view is 2 needs to become light and rapid reaction and Northern oriented while 5 becomes fully mechanized as a medium multipurpose force.

It's clear to me that one cannot keep a commitment like a brigade in Latvia based solely on rotational elements. There are continuity issues that require a full-time long term posted-in element, other positions that provide a rotational full-time presence and yet others that can easily be filled by rapid reinforcement troops that are designated for the task, trained for it and DAGed ready to go as part of a Joint Fly-over plan. All of that works best if concentrated in one brigade with as little as possible scattered around the country.

My $0.02 (I'll probably throw in an extra penny or two later)

🍻
Did I miss an anti-air detachment in the above?
 

MarkOttawa

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There are other parts of a brigade that are some of the hardest to force generate — the signals squadron, the intelligence company, and the Role 2 capable Field Ambulance.
Yesterday Anand made it clear that the 1,400 number was all CAF personnel now committed to Op REASSURANCE, including RCN and RCAF--not just the number for Latvia.

Mark
Ottawa
 

GR66

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Trudeau just finished his remarks without a troop commitment number for Latvia, but us and Spain will lead a global feminist movement so that’s neat.
Believe me, I have absolutely no love for Trudeau and his defence policy, but there is plenty of blame to go around on this fiasco we find ourselves in now.

Since 1990 (the end of the Cold War and the last time our Defence spending was at 2% of GDP) we've had both Liberal and Conservative governments (12 years under the Conservatives and 20 years under the Liberals) which have all had a part to play in contributing to this mess (and the 1982-1990 ~2% spending was preceded by sub 2% spending from 1973 to 1981).

A big chunk of the blame should also go to the Military leadership over all this time. To be honest it's shameful that with an Army the size of ours and an annual Defence budget of the $22 Billion range annually that we're scrambling to be able to piece together the ability to lead a Brigade-sized deployment. And that's just to LEAD a Brigade...not deploy an entire Brigade on our own. And what would our situation be if we actually had to fight that Brigade?

I would have loved to witnessed the conversation between the Minister and CDS when NATO called on us to meet our commitment.

Minister: "So General, NATO needs us to step up and take on leadership of a Brigade in Latvia. We have three Reg Force Brigades and nine Reserve Brigades in the Army. How do you propose we make this happen?"

CDS: "Ummm...."
 
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