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Towards_the_gap

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Infanteer said:
how high a profile our (relatively small) bases for our (relatively small) military present to a would-be attacker.

To this I will respond.. any time we deploy the news is over it like a rash, from the departure ceremonies, to who is next on the ramp to go, to welcome home ceremonies. The CF PR machine is great at getting the info out but it is a two sided coin, we tell Joe Public what we are really doing and put human faces to concepts, and yet we also tell Johnny Terrorist which base has troops whacking his brothers in the sandbox right now.

I think that if you give a terrorist of the current ilk a truck bomb, he is more likely to ram it into Canada's Wonderland/Pearson Airport/Storybook Gardens than CFB Petawawa, however that does not eliminate us as a target. In fact any terrorist group wishing to gain credence and acceptance amongst the population would be better served by attacking the organs of the state and not the citizens, but I may be veering off into a very vague philosophical tangent.

So if the need for an armed security force is not there, why not a QRF at least? 15 dudes, with weapons and PPE, commanded by a Sgt &MCpl answering to the Duty O, sat in a room watching TV 24/7, perhaps co-located with the MP's or the Firehall. The situation I mentioned that I witnessed happening as RDS severely taxed the MP shift for manpower, no doubt creating a vaccum elsewhere on the base. This QRF could be used as troops for a cordon, CCO, to lock down the base in case of a threat until more manpower is wizarded up by the units, or, and I hate myself for suggesting this, providing a wee guard to slam their feet around and present arms when the Hon Joe Politico, MP for Lake Moosedroppings, shows up on a whirlwind visit.
 
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jollyjacktar

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Infanteer said:
Yes, but lets return to probability and risk.  The signs were there that the WTC would be hit; probably the biggest one was that AQ hit it and failed in 1993.  Are you telling me that somewhere in some camp, a nefarious scheme to blow up the all-ranks kitchen in CFB Wainwright is being cooked up?

Again, we need to weigh probability and risk with tasking soldiers to sit around with weapons during the night and look at nothing.  We pay the MPs to do that already.

Now, emergency response drills are a good proposition.  Those are good questions to ask and probably represent a real problem that can be remedied through some simple rehearsals.

The Toronto 18 were not fiction in their aims and goals even if their performance was of numpty standards.  Who's to say there's not more idiots out there amongst our fellow residents?  Hopefully there's not.
 

Journeyman

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Towards_the_gap said:
To this I will respond..
In fact any terrorist group wishing to gain credence and acceptance amongst the population would be better served by attacking the organs of the state and not the citizens, but I may be veering off into a very vague philosophical tangent.
And to this, I will respond.

It's not a "very vague philosophical tangent" at all; rainforests have been decimated writing on virtually every aspect of terrorism, including targetting. Specifically to Canada, I'd recommend Steward Bell's Cold Terror -- it's a pretty simple read, and the absence of any terrorist targetting of CF pers/infrastructure is apparent.

For those who feel qualified to plan and conduct ops "with absolute certainty," good luck with that.  ::)  It will always be a matter of risk cost-benefit analysis.
  - Should CF bases be "open bases" or do we diminish "connect with Canadians"? Debatable.
  - Is there a need to beef up MPs? Possibly.
  - Could there be heightened security if changing threat conditions warrant? Certainly.
  - Is there justification for having troops standing by the main gate...just in case? I can't see it.

I fully accept that there are people out there with the potential to take their hostile intent beyond terrorist masturbatory fantasies. I also understand quite well that their OPSEC, materiel/planning capability, and the likelihood of a CF base being a target is an extremely low risk.

For those unaware, the CF assumes risk on a daily basis -- it's what we do.


.....unless of course, discussion here highlighting the 'clear and present danger' to the Normandy Court Mess Hall is actively supporting nefarious terrorists' plotting!  :Tin-Foil-Hat:

 

Towards_the_gap

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Journeyman said:
.....unless of course, discussion here highlighting the 'clear and present danger' to the Normandy Court Mess Hall is actively supporting nefarious terrorists' plotting!  :Tin-Foil-Hat:


It could be argued that Normandy Court aids terrorists already.....;)
 

Greymatters

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Infanteer seems to have been batting the balls out of the park since I was last here, so I'll just address these points here:

The skill sets required for a gate guard:  The guys who think there is an imminent ongoing threat to every base in Canada cant seem to get their requirements straight.  If soldiers are there for show, why bother giving them weapons?  If they don't need training and are only there for show what good are they against an imminent attack by VBIEDs?  If they only pick up a phone to call for a senior NCO to make a decision, then how are they better than the current gate guards?  Seriously, pick your scenario and then realize that it cant be solved by sticking a few soldiers with weapons at the front gate. 

Edit - Troop rotation every two weeks as you described: Doesnt work effectively for the results you are trying to achieve. 





 

Sythen

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Greymatters said:
The skill sets required for a gate guard:  The guys who think there is an imminent ongoing threat to every base in Canada cant seem to get their requirements straight.  If soldiers are there for show, why bother giving them weapons?  If they don't need training and are only there for show what good are they against an imminent attack by VBIEDs?  If they only pick up a phone to call for a senior NCO to make a decision, then how are they better than the current gate guards?  Seriously, pick your scenario and then realize that it cant be solved by sticking a few soldiers with weapons at the front gate.

Just wow.. Where to begin? ok, skill sets for someone guarding the gate: The ability to tell the difference between government plates and non-government plates on larger vehicles, and the ability to see when looking inside when you flag them off to the side for a quick inspection. 99.9999% of the vehicles they look in to will be obvious that there is nothing wrong with. That extremely small percent that might have something that looks odd to the troop at the gate, he would call out the NCO who would then check and if he doesn't like what he sees, call down the MP's to 100% verify. Very simple. I don't know what you imagine when you picture these gate guards, but its way off of what reality would be.

Secondly, they are there as scare crows, yes. Arm them as there is no reason not to. As for VBIED's, it sucks to say but if someone is to bomb a base, I'd rather it be the 4 guys at the gatehouse rather than 100 at the mess. As for how are they better than the current gate guards. Well, some 90 y/o Commissionaire sitting in the gatehouse does nothing. Having a couple guys watching the vehicles as they drive by does something.

Edit - Troop rotation every two weeks as you described: Doesnt work effectively for the results you are trying to achieve.

Explain to me how it does not work effectively, please.

EDIT: Forgot to reply to Infanteer.

I'm not talking about risk of having armed soldiers at the gate, I'm talking about the risk to the base.

My mistake, I blame it on working over nights and being illiterate ;)

You guys are creating strawman theories about extremists or protesters, but there needs to be a real risk assessment as to how high a profile our (relatively small) bases for our (relatively small) military present to a would-be attacker.

Wonder what the real risk assessment on having someone attack a midnight showing of Batman was? Or the risk assessment of 18 individuals wanting to attack Parliament and behead the Prime Minister? It costs the CF next to nothing, and is a very good preventative measure. And though I realize that nothing I say here on army.ca will cause the changes I would like to see, I really hope that at some point in the near future we are not posting in another thread about how we should have known that it was only a matter of time, and beefed up security..
 

Greymatters

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Okay, you don't seem to get where Im going, so I'll spell it out more clearly.

You believe that a VBIED attack (or similar scenario) is probable, or has so great of an impact that even a small possibility of occurance should be guarded against. 

Now to actually guard against this possibility is more than grabbing four guys off the back of a truck and telling them to stand guard until they are replaced.  In the military even the simplist of tasks become a leviathan of process and SOPs within a short time frame.

Let's roll with your scenario.  You seem fixated by 'the front gate'.  Unfortunately for your scenario every base has more than one entrance, so why bother having a set of gate guards at one single point if the VBIED can be driven to a  secondary entrance.  Or they could use a set of bolt cutters to cut any locked gate.  I've seen bases with a minimum of three entrances and some with more than twenty gates/entrances.  So your manning is not '4 guys'.  At a minimum it's 12 soldiers of varying rank, plus a senior NCO, plus an officer, plus at least one spare soldier, for a total of 15.  But wait, there's more.  Two soldiers arent enough to check every vehicle that comes through your gate during peak entrance or exit hours, nor are two soldiers enough to do a proper vehicle check and search of vehicles while observing the growing lineup of cars.  if you've been to US bases, you'll see as many as 10 or 12 soldiers on a single shift, but we'll cap it at 4/day + 2/night, so now its actually 6 per gate for a total of 18 troops + officer + NCO + spare.  Now you also need a vehicle to transport the troops around and for the officer and NCO to travel between gates.  You also need an office with a secure lockup close to at least one of the gates.  Your going to be doing this for a while so a modular tent isnt secure enough for storing weapons and classified paperwork. 

Now you have to get the troops.  Is this going to be a 'more duty/more honor' type of work that everyone buys into and sees as important, or will it get viewed as a shit job for dumping offending soldiers for punishment.  You really don't want this to get regarded as a dumping ground for sloppy soldiers who earn extra duties.  In this case we'll take the high road and say that the CO and Ops staff see this as highly critical to base security and give it full support.  That means it is not dribs and drabs from different units, you get a whole platoon who will do the duty, ensuring a high level of teamwork and professionalism among the troops.  For how long?  Let's call it two weeks.  Hell its so important, lets make it a month.  Great, everyone in the Batallion gets a turn.  But wait - who gets screwed over during block leave and Christmas?  Sorry troops, no leave for you, someone has to man the gate.  Sorry mate, no machine gun course for you, it's your platoon's turn to guard the gates during training season.  Sorry chum, no field exercise for you it's your turn to man the gate next month.  But it's all good, everyone is happy to be doing such an important job.   

Now you have to train the troops.  The Training Section just became your best friend.  In addition to all the other
annual qualifications that are planned out on an annual basis we now add 'Gate Guard Training'.  Which has become quite complicated over the last few years.  What does a soldier on gate guard do if someone films him and puts it on youtube?  What does a soldier on gate guard do if a protester stands off of DND property and yells abuse or blocks vehicles?  How do you stop someone from grabbing your rifle from you? What does a VBIED look like?  What forms do we fill out?  What information is required?  How do we rotate troops so that they all have time to eat but still keep maximum manning?  What are my rights as a soldier if I get sued by someone I pulled out of a truck during a vehicle search?  At what point do I call the MPs?  These are not questions for the NCO or officer, these are questions that a professional soldier on gate guard duty should know before he starts his first shift, or else he's just a numpty with a rifle and an incident waiting to happen.  This training needs to be done annually, so you just added 12 training courses to the Training Section list.   

So, I'll stop there.  I had some fun writing this out, with the point being its not as simple as you think it is to just start up a guard duty.  This is an example of the issues to consider and plan for.  My advice would be that if you still believe that strongly that an attack is imminent and that your idea would save lives, then I dont understand why you're talking to us here.  You should be writing up your proposal and asking for an interview with the CO or RSM and present it to them.  But I can't say either way whether you'll get a recommendation for promotion or an ass-chewing... 

 
 

Journeyman

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Greymatters said:
...I can't say either way whether you'll get a recommendation for promotion or an ass-chewing...
Neither; check the profile.

As with most visits from the good-idea fairy, the suggestions tend not to come from those who'd have to do the actual work.
 

Towards_the_gap

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You can't be serious if you think professional, trained soldiers require annual training, from a dedicated training section, on how to be a sentry. This is something that can be done in a day prior to assuming the responsibility for the guard force. I'll answer your examples in turn:


What does a soldier on gate guard do if someone films him and puts it on youtube? He doesn't pick his nose or stick his middle finger up, he informs the guard commander who can then either inform the MP's or dispatch 2 pers to politely and professionally question the aspiring videographer. So what if it gets on youtube, I was on the front page of the G&M and my house didn't burn down...


What does a soldier on gate guard do if a protester stands off of DND property and yells abuse or blocks vehicles? A protester standing off DND property is just that, NOT ON DND PROPERTY. The guard commander can inform local police.

How do you stop someone from grabbing your rifle from you?

Please tell me your joking. Seriously.

How do we rotate troops so that they all have time to eat but still keep maximum manning?

[sarcasm ] Oh good point, good thing the taliban respected meal times overseas, otherwise I have no idea how a professional army maintains security 24/7. [/sarcasm  ] Again, seriously. Any JNCO worth his 2 chevrons can manage a duty roster to include meals.


What does a VBIED look like?
So after 10years of fighting in Afghanistan and watching our allies fight in Iraq, and before in Northern Ireland, knowledge of the combat indicators of a VBIED HAS NOT BEEN institutionalised? If it hasn't, then again, it's like a 30min lecture from the ETHAR package.


What forms do we fill out?  What information is required?

A daily occurance logbook. Perhaps certain forms (ie record of search etc) if deemed required by the JAG.


What are my rights as a soldier if I get sued by someone I pulled out of a truck during a vehicle search?

Your rights as a soldier are protected under whichever act governs entry onto CF/DND Property.


I respect all the points you brought up, and I fully accept and realise that the CF will not take installation security seriously without something happening. But either you have a much worse opinion of the capability of our soldiers than I do or I have an inflated sense, seeing as how we disagree on how technically demanding MOUNTING A GUARD is. If you are right, and all of the above requires such an onerous amount of training that the risk of a major incident is acceptable, than we really need to look at how this army operates 24/7, not just when a battlegroup is deployed (after a year and a half of training). Basically I'm more arguing the point that we should be capable of doing this AT ANY TIME, not just after a month of annual training.
 

Sythen

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Greymatters said:
Okay, you don't seem to get where Im going, so I'll spell it out more clearly.

You believe that a VBIED attack (or similar scenario) is probable, or has so great of an impact that even a small possibility of occurance should be guarded against.

As I said, I hope we're not talking in another thread in the near or even distant future about how we should have had a better handle on our security. Hope is not a strategy and wishful thinking is not a plan. We can sit here and hope nothing happens, and wistfully believe that if something does, everyone will immediately know what to do to minimize damage and casualties.. Or we could run a professional army that cares at least a little bit about security.

Now to actually guard against this possibility is more than grabbing four guys off the back of a truck and telling them to stand guard until they are replaced.  In the military even the simplist of tasks become a leviathan of process and SOPs within a short time frame.

Let's roll with your scenario.  [...]

Actually its very simple. Everything you listed that is required to train soldiers SHOULD already be known. Literally everything you described I was taught on BMQ. If your soldiers do not have these skills, then its another LEADERSHIP or TRAINING failure. Training of this type can and SHOULD happen in a classroom on a semi regular basis. I can't even tell you how many times I sat in a classroom listening to different types of patrols, and how to properly do VCP's, etc.. As for a vehicle transporting them around? If they are on gate duty, they can get themselves there in the same way they would report to their "normal" job. In response to you saying I was fixated on the front gate, I used it for simplicity sake.. If you want to discuss the exact SOP's and ideas for specific guard duties and rotations, we can start another thread. Here we are talking in generalities.

So, I'll stop there.  I had some fun writing this out, with the point being its not as simple as you think it is to just start up a guard duty.  This is an example of the issues to consider and plan for.  My advice would be that if you still believe that strongly that an attack is imminent and that your idea would save lives, then I dont understand why you're talking to us here.  You should be writing up your proposal and asking for an interview with the CO or RSM and present it to them.  But I can't say either way whether you'll get a recommendation for promotion or an ***-chewing... 

It is as simple as I think it is. You are making it needlessly complicated, and in my opinion insulting the talented people and skill sets we have in the CF. As I already said, I don't believe our discussions here will affect any change at any level. And as I am no longer in the CF, asking for a meeting with the CO might come across the wrong way.

EDIT: Towards_the_gap said what I meant much better than I, and he is pretty much bang on.
 

Greymatters

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Towards the gap - I hate to bust your chops but guard duty at an overseas base and guard duty at a base in Canada are two completely different things.  Use of force overseas and in Canada are two different things.  So are liability issues, and the government and the Solicitor General are going to want to make sure you will know what you are doing prior to you being handed a weapon and conducting direct searches of civilian vehicles and persons on a permenent basis.

Regarding your BMQ training, what your instructor told you in training 3-4 years ago has nothing to do with what your CO and the Solicitor General have to tell you now today about your duties and what you can or cannot do.

And I dont mean to insult the many professional soldiers who formerly served or currently serve, but there is and always will be a small percentage of soldiers who managed to join and met the minimum standrads, but are not as professional, experienced or compentent as you are or believe everyone to be.  And just because you know the answers to some of these easy and stupid questions (which are only examples of how inane the process gets) doesnt mean a young inexperienced soldier does, and thats who will be doing most of the guard duty.     

Finally, screwing up on guard duty overseas and in Canada are also two different things.  Overseas, it means doing the hatless dance, fines and extras, and usually going back to work in a few days unless you really screwed up.  In Canada the same incident can lead to arrest by the RCMP, criminal charges, and widespread newspaper coverage that negatively affects the CF and the government.  That is the main reason why the process is more complicated than it needs to be. 

 

Infanteer

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I'll ask the question again, but does anyone here have experience with the legalities of defence establishments and enforcement on them?  I have dealt with this before, and after some stick play with the legad, I can say it isn't pretty (as Greymatter alludes to).  There are numerous legal aspects which exist that people here clearly have no knowledge about; this is a good idea fairy that is running out of time....
 

SeaKingTacco

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Infanteer said:
I'll ask the question again, but does anyone here have experience with the legalities of defence establishments and enforcement on them?  I have dealt with this before, and after some stick play with the legad, I can say it isn't pretty (as Greymatter alludes to).  There are numerous legal aspects which exist that people here clearly have no knowledge about; this is a good idea fairy that is running out of time....

I have a pretty fair idea of how it works ( given where I currently work) and this issue is nowhere near as simple as some would make it out to be.
 

Towards_the_gap

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Ok, as previously stated, I accept that giving Pte Bloggins of 132 Mess Tin Repair Coy a C7 with 20rds, showing him a picture of a VBIED and sticking him on the front gate for 2 hours on, 1 hour off, of checking ID's and vehicle passes, will not happen.

What then, should we keep the status quo and carry on normal marching? And hope that the 60yr old commissionaire sat in the box at the front gate is switched on enough should something happen?



 

Sythen

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Towards_the_gap said:
Ok, as previously stated, I accept that giving Pte Bloggins of 132 Mess Tin Repair Coy a C7 with 20rds, showing him a picture of a VBIED and sticking him on the front gate for 2 hours on, 1 hour off, of checking ID's and vehicle passes, will not happen.

What then, should we keep the status quo and carry on normal marching? And hope that the 60yr old commissionaire sat in the box at the front gate is switched on enough should something happen?

Its always been done that way, so it has to be right!
 

Fishbone Jones

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This has become circular.

Make a new point or let it die.

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