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From the Army Info-machine - highlights mine
The strategy for the long-term security of the Canadian Army is centered on a “networked soldier” who is prepared to adapt to the complex and rapidly-changing security environment.
“We’re soldier-centric and we are focused on the soldier, the team, the system and the leadership,” explained the Chief of Staff Land Strategy (COS Land Strat) Brigadier-General Christopher Thurrott, the chief architect responsible for developing a long-term Army strategy.
“My job is to manage, to conceive, to build aspects or processes of the future Army.”
COS Land Strat’s planning requires that systems be in place to enable networked soldiers to strike decisively at the right time and place with precision.
“Soldiers are part of a team and a skilled force on the ground that is completely networked: using satellites, linking visual cues on the battlefield itself while being able to synthesize intelligence collected at various levels.”
“I think that it is reasonable to say that the next steps in the force development of our intelligence capability will significantly, maybe even radically, alter the intelligence construct inside the Canadian Armed Forces.”
COS Land Strat is working closely with the Commander of the Intelligence Group, Major-General Christian Rousseau, in putting together a construct for intelligence that merges all of the capabilities of the Army with the other services.
“We have created All Source Intelligence Centres designed on our experience in Afghanistan. The nature of operations there very much challenged our intelligence community in how they collected information, how they synthesized it, analyzed it and how they communicated it,” explained BGen Thurrott.
The Army is also at work creating an Army Intelligence Regiment: “a brilliant blend of Reserve and Regular Force into a construct that goes across all the divisions.”
COS Land Strat is planning to shift towards training more in simulated environments, which provides opportunities for diverse forms of skill-building.
“We are offering a greater opportunity for soldiers to be in a simulated environment to enhance their skills - to expose them to new pieces of equipment coming in and to reduce the requirement to travel to training venues. It gives them greater accessibility right in their home garrisons,” said BGen Thurrott.
“We have scenarios that play out as operations - whether they are direct force-on-force combat, tank-on-tank or soldier-on-soldier. The ability to refine their tactical and leadership skills is greatly enhanced by the synthetic environment.”
BGen Thurrott is confident that simulation helps increase the Army’s overall capabilities
“The modern Canadian soldier, with the networked systems we’ve provided him [or her], and the access and links to other systems that are not necessarily on the ground yet will make a soldier much more combat effective than at any time in the past.”
Equipment and infrastructure for the future
Upgrading and modernizing equipment are also key to increasing the Army’s readiness for future operations.
“In Afghanistan we had a critical need for emerging capabilities to meet a surprising challenge from belligerents of unknown capabilities. Now we need to institutionalize those capabilities within the Army now that we’re home,” explained BGen Thurrott.
He pointed to the Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV) III upgrade as a remarkably successful project that will benefit the Army for years to come.
On the infrastructure side, the Canadian Army’s projects are intended to meet key objectives including fostering emerging capabilities through simulation training centres, ensuring force generation support to deployable units, and sustaining Army personnel through upgrading existing base facilities.
“As infrastructure ages it needs to be rejuvenated, demolished or divested. We have to work collectively to ensure new facilities are correctly located and that they can accommodate future requirements”.
In order to foster the mastery of emerging capabilities by individuals and teams the Army plans to develop and build a new training facilities in Gagetown, New Brunswick in order to maintain critical capabilities in Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Expeditionary Route Opening Capability. The facility will house critical equipment and provide realistic training venues.
A sustainable Army
As with all current strategic planning in Army, there is a mindfulness of sustainability.
“It is a matter of continuing to develop a viable and sustainable Army. Viability in this sense is meant to convey the idea of a competent, combat-able force which will meet both our domestic needs as well as potential expeditionary operations of the future security environment,” said BGen Thurrott.
“The overall goal is a networked, modern soldier who is well-led, well-trained and well-equipped.”