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FORCE 2025: Informing the Army’s future structure

FJAG

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The M113/TLAV is a deathtrap -- I don't know who doctored the story to suggest it faired better against IED's than a LAV - but an aluminum box isn't something anyone wants to be in. It has neither the design (Box) nor the material construction (Aluminum) to be protective vehicle - it is tracked - so it has some decent terrain qualities to it.
I'd never heard anyone say it fared better than a LAV and agree with you that it probably wouldn't. I know the upgrade included a heavier suspension and bolt on armour but have no idea if any of that went to the belly and even if it did it would still be a flat bottomed box.

I wouldn't call it a death trap though in spite of pictures like this:

a1e630719d2c656cde379755c3d5bc5d.jpg

Anything once hit can go that way. The armour was meant as a fragment catcher and up to 7.62 mm if I remember correctly. It shouldn't be used as a combat vehicle. I don't think it was ever really meant to be anything other than a high mobility, slightly protected transport vehicle with the fighting elements dismounting well short of effective direct fire.

I wonder how it would do as a Gun Tractor? Actually serious there - as it can tow - sure the dismount action rear (or right etc) would be a bit of a goat rope with troops needing to go through the door vice the ramp (unless there was a releasable shackle that one could drop/lower the gun - drive forward and then drop the ramp.
We did use the Grizzlies in that role (with the LG1) and the M548 (with the L5). I can't recall the M113 ever being used and the only concern I would have would be the towing pin configuration as to the how far you could open the door with a gun attached - but since it worked with the Grizzly, my guess is it would work with the M113.

In Afghanistan they used trucks to pull the guns (mostly because they also needed to carry ammo) but used TLAVs to transport the bulk of the gun detachment under armour. As you might guess, the preferred method of moving guns when they had to be moved was by CH-47.

I started as a reservist - I think there are enormous unrealized potential in the reserves.
However - that requires significant changes to the Res Structure - and given the CF has been resistant for years - as well as no parliamentary support for legislation with teeth for the reserves - I don't see the Reserves as currently viable unless that changes.
I don't know if you've come across the book Relentless Struggle down south. It was commissioned by Reserves 2000 which as you might know is a lobbying group of senior Militia officers mainly from the Toronto area to show how their actions over the years has saved the Reserves. IMHO Reserves 2000 is also part of the problem because they fanatically continue to hang onto every cap badge. Their primary solution is to fund and expand many more reservists into the existing footprint ... and oh yeah, equip it as well.

The problem lies between Reserves 2000's unrealistic expectations and stubbornness (which is pushed up to the government through pressuring their local MPs), and the CF's Reg F pushback because while the Reg F likes individual augmentees, they have absolutely no use for formed reserve units. What's left is an uneasy truce which accomplishes zip and moves no agenda forward.

As I said before, we have the personnel authorizations and funding for the equivalent of two divisions and the equipment of one. You could as a phase 1 reorganize the reserves to mirror the four Ref brigades and share equipment during the summer. In phase 2 you would slowly grow the equipment. The Reg F wouldn't like that because of the additional wear and tear on equipment and Reserves 2000 wouldn't like it because such a reorganization would reduce the number of reserve units from 126 (or so) poorly established and manned ones to 30 (or so) fully established and manned ones. Obviously there are also many other fundamental changes needed.

Years ago in Cyprus a buddy and I where drinking - he said if he was king (this was in 92 keep in mind) all the CBT ARMS pers would be reservists - and the only full time forces would be Maintenance and Supply -- I thought he was crazy - he did allow to retain the CAR and support in the Reg's - but he suggested that if the res was structured correctly - then it would serve the CF's needs fine.

I think he was a lot more right now than I did then.
I also think that every branch of the Army needs a certain sized core that is the repository of its corporate knowledge and which validates that through constant practice. That needs a certain number of full-timers.

For me the repetitive demise and rebirth of artillery STA and air defence and the long lag between reformation and what I would call final operating capability were major object lessons. I feel that way about tanks and armoured infantry (as you might have noticed) which is barely holding on to the skills of proper combined arms operations. Infantry mortars and pioneers are another. I'm sure that there are many more examples of skill sets that have been sacrificed on the alter of cost cutting and PY reshuffles.

BUT - it requires a massive change in the CF -- I don't see the Senior Leaders or Political support for something like that.
Obviously there are also many other fundamental changes needed. Personally I think they are relatively simple ones which require very few legislative changes (the biggest would be much better employment protection legislation). Most of the changes are regulatory or policies well within DND's authority to make unilaterally.

See we agree on a lot of things as well ;)
We do.


🍻
 

Good2Golf

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…On the other hand Internal services, sustainable bases etc and Defence Team (whatever that is) is rising by 4,793. The difference is made up by Operations, Future Force design and procurement losing 2,393…
For ‘Defence Team’, I’m going to go with a well-obfuscated “combined CAF/DND in the NCR/NDHQ.”

20k sounds about “right.”


*right = likely, not justified. 😉
 

daftandbarmy

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For ‘Defence Team’, I’m going to go with a well-obfuscated “combined CAF/DND in the NCR/NDHQ.”

20k sounds about “right.”


*right = likely, not justified. 😉

It might include 'resources' like the guy who smelled of cheap booze and hung around the armoury doing 'project management' for a few things that no one ever really figured out.
 

Kirkhill

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It might include 'resources' like the guy who smelled of cheap booze and hung around the armoury doing 'project management' for a few things that no one ever really figured out.

I'm fascinated that the Defence Team is separate from the Future Force planning team. One might have thought that that might have been part of their day job.
 

CBH99

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I don’t mean to derail the thread at all. I do have a question, as I am curious to hear the thoughts of those who have taken a keen interest in this thread.

If the CAF could acquire a highly modern SHORAD/Medium-Range AD system…OR…a modern, lethal AT system… which do you think would be more useful/practical for Force 2025?

(You have to choose one or the other.)
 

KevinB

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I don’t mean to derail the thread at all. I do have a question, as I am curious to hear the thoughts of those who have taken a keen interest in this thread.

If the CAF could acquire a highly modern SHORAD/Medium-Range AD system…OR…a modern, lethal AT system… which do you think would be more useful/practical for Force 2025?

(You have to choose one or the other.)

I would go with the AD option.
Mainly as I am much more scared of AirPower than Armored Forces. There are a lot of things one can do to slow down an Armored formation without a Missile (but those would be nice) - and you can use terrain to limit their mobility and firepower.

Air - without friendly Air Superiority you are a sitting duck without a decent AD net. Also tanks can't swim - planes just keep flying -- so AD will always have a role...
 

GR66

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Swerving back to the questions on force structure. Are we again self-imposing limitations on ourselves by confusing our Brigade Groups and Regiments as Force Employment organizations rather than Force Generation organizations?

For example, if Wainwright is considered the best location for Mechanized/Tank training, then our thinking automatically goes to "1 Brigade with the Strathconas and PPCLI becomes our Heavy Brigade". But none of 1 Brigade, LdSH or the PPCLI are actually Force Employment units.

Would alternative model possibly to have each major base specialize in a particular role...Light, Medium and Heavy...and expose all of the Regiments to each to provide the maximum flexibility to the forces you're able to deploy depending on the particular circumstances of the conflict of the day.

Edmonton/Wainwright - Specializes in Mechanized Operations
  • A Sqn LdSH (Leopards)
  • A Sqn RCD (Leopards)
  • A Sqn 12 RBC (Leopards)
  • 1 PPCLI (LAVs)
  • 1 RCR (LAVs)
  • 1 R22eR (LAVs)

Valcartier/Quebec - Specializes in Medium/Cavalry-type Operations
  • B Sqn LdSH (LAV Recce/LAV AT)
  • B Sqn RCD (LAV Recce/LAV AT)
  • B Sqn 12 RBC (LAV Recce/LAV AT)
  • 2 PPCLI (LAVs)
  • 2 RCR (LAVs)
  • 2 R22eR (LAVs)

Petawawa - Specializes in Light/Airborne/Air Mobile-type Operations
  • C Sqn LdSH (Light Vehicles)
  • C Sqn RCD (Light Vehicles)
  • C Sqn 12 RBC (Light Vehicles)
  • 3 PPCLI (Dismounted/Light Vehicles/Aircraft)
  • 3 RCR (Dismounted/Light Vehicles/Aircraft)
  • 3 R22eR (Dismounted/Light Vehicles/Aircraft)

Personnel within each Regiment could move between Squadrons/Battalions within their own Regiments in their career to get exposure to the different types of operations they may be required to undertake without pigeon-holing a particular Regiment to a specific role that may or may not be required at any given time (e.g. RCR stuck with multiple deployments for Light role missions because they are the "Light" Brigade while PPCLI and their "Heavy" units are under utilized). At the same time, physical assets like tanks can be geographically centralized to simplify logistics, etc.
 

Kirkhill

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I'll disagree with Kevin. I would go with the AT option.

I don't disagree on the risks and benefits associated with the AD option but I'm going with the AT option on the grounds of timeline and budget. And also on impact.

We are talking about SHORAD here (and I choose to interpret that strictly as something like the 25 km SkySabre LandCeptor CAMM system recently acquired by the RA). The SHORAD complex requires a large investment to get a single system in a short time but will take a few years to deliver, a few more years to reach IOC (Initial Operating Capacity) and a few more years to bed in.

This is 2021 (almost over) and we are discussing something that will make an impact on the structure and utility of Force 2025. That means something that can be in place by 2024 at the latest. 2022,2023,2024. That makes for a very short timeline. On those grounds alone I would argue for the AT solution.

AT also wins in terms of Budget. It is a scaleable purchase that has utility even with a low rate of investment. The individual firing points and rounds are relatively low cost. The also can be introduced in small numbers over time and either concentrated in one unit if operations are imminent or widely distributed for training purposes or some combination depending on circumstances. As money comes available then the numbers can be increased and distribution made more general. By 2025 the whole infantry force could be well equipped.

And that brings me to the third point: impact. Particularly on the infantry.

This is a programme that has been on the books since the 1980s and has been constantly sidelined. In my opinion it is emblematic of the shift of the infantry to the constabulary role. It has left the infantry with nothing but their rifles and machine guns to contribute to the battle if they don't have their LAVs and Bushmasters.

I believe that equipping the infantry, both LAV and Light, with ATGMs (Manportable) will change the infantry's capabilities, their sense of utility, their mindset, reduce the gap between LAV and Light forces as people emphasise weapons over platforms, and perhaps it will change the Army's perception on Light Forces generally.

I keep coming back to a comment made about planning brigade exercises and trying to figure out what to do with the 3rd Battalion in order to justify it deploying with helicopters. A lot of money being spent to deliver a few dozen machine guns to fight armoured vehicles. I believe that calculus would change if that same airlift money were spent to lift the machine guns and a few dozen Anti-Tank missiles with 10 kg warheads, ranges out to 5 km and secondary utility in the Anti-Structure role.

AT over AD. ;)

At the same time I would start planning immediately to introduce the SHORAD in time for Force 2030. And perhaps more importantly for the Anti-Drone fight the VSHORAD system based on the MANPADs like Stinger.

I would allow that the cost and time benefits of the AT missiles apply equally to the Stinger. It too could be introduced widely and slowly. But I believe it would require more specialised training and co-ordination to become effective in defeating the aerial threat of the drone swarm.
 

Kirkhill

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And GR66 - you're a better man than I am putting up that proposal. :eek:
 

Fabius

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GR66,
To some degree I think the Armoured Corps is having the same debate about what units will crew the tanks once/if they are centralized in Wainwright.
From my perspective I want the LdSH to crew them all. I want the Army to break the self imposed mentality that everything has to be equal and the same. This mentality that all Bde's and Regiments must have the same sub unit capabilities and opportunities is negatively impacting our ability to mass at the BG and Bde levels and it needs to stop in my opinion.

In terms of AD vs AT I would go with AT for most of the same reasons Kirkhill outlined. We can get AT into the force quicker and easier than AD at this point and given F2025 is 3 years out, speed is an issue.
 

Infanteer

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Someone with better departmental financial analysis skills than me let me know if my fears are rational or irrational.
The charts are so muddled it seem intentional.

What you are reading is a chart showing the Core Responsibilities of the DND under the Departmental Results Framework (DRF). This is a largely fiscal reporting mechanism run by the Centre (PCO/Finance) across all government departments.

I wouldn't use it as a tool for what you are trying to do here as it is focused on breaking down DND/CAF activities into specific Program Inventories and costing them out. It's a fiscal governance tool, and not an organizational one. There is a lot of work done at the Command levels (Army, Navy, Air Force, etc) and the VCDS shop (CProg) in translating military activities into DRF language.

If you're interested in the DRF (what the Department is supposed to do for the GoC) and the Departmental Results Report (what it actually did), fill your boots!

 

McG

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Edmonton/Wainwright - Specializes in Mechanized Operations
  • A Sqn LdSH (Leopards)
  • A Sqn RCD (Leopards)
  • A Sqn 12 RBC (Leopards)
  • 1 PPCLI (LAVs)
  • 1 RCR (LAVs)
  • 1 R22eR (LAVs)

Valcartier/Quebec - Specializes in Medium/Cavalry-type Operations
  • B Sqn LdSH (LAV Recce/LAV AT)
  • B Sqn RCD (LAV Recce/LAV AT)
  • B Sqn 12 RBC (LAV Recce/LAV AT)
  • 2 PPCLI (LAVs)
  • 2 RCR (LAVs)
  • 2 R22eR (LAVs)

Petawawa - Specializes in Light/Airborne/Air Mobile-type Operations
  • C Sqn LdSH (Light Vehicles)
  • C Sqn RCD (Light Vehicles)
  • C Sqn 12 RBC (Light Vehicles)
  • 3 PPCLI (Dismounted/Light Vehicles/Aircraft)
  • 3 RCR (Dismounted/Light Vehicles/Aircraft)
  • 3 R22eR (Dismounted/Light Vehicles/Aircraft)
As much as regimental politics currently demands that everyone get an equal slice of pie, this is the worst possible way to mitigate. The geographic career stability of the current regimental system would be completely gone. The multi-capbadge structure of your armoured units would be prone to cohesion & disciplinary problems (not to mention the significant pain of requiring a geographic posting to move between sub-units). Accept that not every regiment gets every toy (this is optimal), merge regiments (ie one armoured regiment of three battalions), or design symmetric brigades.
 

FJAG

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If you're interested in the DRF (what the Department is supposed to do for the GoC) and the Departmental Results Report (what it actually did), fill your boots!
Thanks Infanteer. Seen it in the past and digested it.

What my question was really addressing is whether my meatball analysis of the PY allocation as between core responsibilities for this and next FY is correct. In other words is it a wash as between operations and ready force for the field force (ie the principle Army, Navy Air Force, SOFCOM elements) while the PY increase and offsets in the other core responsibilities indicates a roughly 4,800 extra PYs in what are relatively admin overhead categories.

It's obviously not easy to extract actual PY allocation and usage just by looking at the blended core responsibilities categories.

🍻
 

ballz

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I've looked at these charts over the years and continue to wonder at whether or not those categories are designed to deliberately obscure what the money is spent on or whether that's just a biproduct of an attempt by someone to give what they considered relevant data.

With my own biased way of interpreting things I do note that total planned full time equivalents are rising by 4,078 but that the Ready Forces is only rising by 1,714. On the other hand Internal services, sustainable bases etc and Defence Team (whatever that is) is rising by 4,793. The difference is made up by Operations, Future Force design and procurement losing 2,393.

I'm not quite sure where the dividing line between PYs allocated to operations and those allocated to Ready Team but I'm guessing that the increase in Ready Force PYs is probably significantly related to and offset by the decrease in Operations. Assuming I'm right with that than we're seeing a reduction of what I'll call the Army, Navy and Air Force "field force" of give or take 260 while the CFs administrative overhead is rising by the aforesaid 4,793.

Sigh!

Someone with better departmental financial analysis skills than me let me know if my fears are rational or irrational.

🍻

The DRF breaks down a lot further than that. What you're looking at is the programs, but within the programs it's broken down further.

So "Ready Forces" breaks down into "Land Ready Forces" (Army) which breaks down into

Collective Training
Individual Training
Land Service Support
Land Readiness Management
Canadian Ranger Programs
Land History, Heritage, COMREL (seems kinda dishonest to include this in Land Ready Forces)
Support to Operations (aka Force Gen costs for an Op)

And all of those breakdown further.... it's like that for every "program." Without seeing how it's broken down there's not much useful information to be gained.

Then there's also the execution problem that affects data integrity..... the Army has been funding and capturing all of our PCF courses which are clearly an IT cost, as Collective Training, for years now. 🙃

Also all the Base Maintenance, Transport, Supply, etc. functions fall under program 6, the sustainable bases one..... so that should probably be all captured under Land Ready Forces for a Base like Edmonton, Pet, Gagetown since all that money is actually going towards sustaining the Land Ready Forces stuff but hey.....
 

KevinB

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Not what I would call Air Defense - but hey
 

SeaKingTacco

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Not what I would call Air Defense - but hey
Fighters are one leg of the triad, along with GBAD and naval Air Defence
 

KevinB

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Fighters are one leg of the triad, along with GBAD and naval Air Defence
No disagreement there -- just the Tripod seems to be a monopod there...
Also not sure how the title ties to the description.
"The competition to replace Canada’s fighter jets. Purchases and upgrades for maritime helicopters, tactical transports, search and rescue aircraft and airborne intelligence aircraft."

It seems more like the title should have been Defence Air Procurement...
 

SeaKingTacco

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No disagreement there -- just the Tripod seems to be a monopod there...
Also not sure how the title ties to the description.
"The competition to replace Canada’s fighter jets. Purchases and upgrades for maritime helicopters, tactical transports, search and rescue aircraft and airborne intelligence aircraft."

It seems more like the title should have been Defence Air Procurement...
Oh, I aware that the tripod is more like a flagpole, today. There should be two more legs.
 

Oldgateboatdriver

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Well, at least a uneven bipod: The frigates are quite capable of defending themselves against air threats. And in that line, the Surface Combatant program can be seen as the second leg in full: They will be able to provide area air defence and even participate in BMD.
 
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