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FORCE 2025: Informing the Army’s future structure

KevinB

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If I want to defend Halifax, Quebec, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Victoria, heck add in Prince Rupert, St John's and Iqaluit I would call on the Navy to park one of it frigates at the docks or in the roads. That would still leave me 3 to 6 spare frigates, 4 subs, 6 to 8 AOPVs and a dozen MCDVs for patrols.

What is the Army doing?
Dispersing is protection in the land environment -- that ship is going to be 1 target.

1 target - even an Ticonderoga class cruiser or Zumwalt class Destroyer (which is oddly larger than the Tico's). Both of those have more capability than a CF City Class Frigate, but are still 1 target.

I don't think any of the CFC's want to be tied up a pier -- I mean look at Battleship row in Peal Harbor for a reason no ship wants to be tied up under attack - because it robs them of mobility -- static targets are much easier targets regardless of the method of attack.


Take that same 205 pers - and you can spread then out - have mutual support and overlapping fields of fire - you also force the enemy to disperse their attacks, so it is no longer one point target but a bunch of smaller targets.



I think it's interesting to look at the capability of a CFC in terms of its land power relationship - but Humphrey just gave us a class on the Navy - and it won't work for the Army, as it robs survivability and adaptability.


View the Navy as the Borg - the Borg have capabilities - but you don't want to be a Borg.
;)



I chose to view the CFC idea as a model of firepower that could be emulated by a Combat Team.
Mainly because looking at the CF Regular Army roster - I think think to properly support the Army as a persistent conflict survivor - the current model is a sham, and I honestly don't see even 1 CBMG being a sustainable entity.
 

KevinB

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Sustainability as I mentioned above is the way one keeps a force up to strength.
For war time sustainability one must be able to replace soldiers, and equipment, in their entirety.

One needs a way to recruit and train soldiers - the CF does that fairly well compared to most other western nations.

The major tripping point where the CF runs out of steam is sustainment of equipment.

Small Arms and Small Arms Ammo - the CF does well, as Colt Canada (former Diemaco) and IVI have domestic production capabilities.

Anything beyond 7.62mm NATO (other than the Bolt Action Sniper Rifles) is an OUTCAN production.
MFLD's (Multi Function Laser Devices), and Night Visions Systems - OUTCAN

LAV - body is Canadian - but the weapon and fire control/optics/thermal - OUTCAN

Leo 2 - OUTCAN

ATGM - MISSING GAP ALREADY
MANPAD - MISSING GAP ALREADY
SHORAD - Ditto

I can go on -- but basically internally Canada can field and train a soldier with a rifle to GPMG
and put them in a taxi, and I am not even addressing the significant lack of CSS that is requires to sustain a Maneuver unit function in combat for a prolonged period.

Beyond the Make Up of the CF -- the Canadian Defence Industrial base needs realignment, and partnerships created with allies to ensure that expansion of the CF can be done organically.
 

Kirkhill

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I don't think I am making my point.

With the Navy's battle management system a small number of people in one room have access to a highly automated system of sensors and weapons. A system that can operate with man in the loop or weapons free. It is highly responsive, very flexible and puts a very large number of capabilities, some of which are highly specialized in a small packet under the command of a field grade officer.

Not a specialist command but a generalist command.

The other point is that the capabilities can be centralized, duplicated or dispersed.

I stand to be corrected but it is my understanding that ships sailing in company can see everyone else's picture and launch everyone else's missiles.

It is also my understanding, from the air defense side of the house that both MANTIS cram and NASAMS systems can be widely dispersed. In the case of NASAMS the launcher modules can be 25 km apart. In the CRAM case they can be spread over an area the size of an airfield.

So yes, posting a multibillion ship at Ontario Place is suboptimal. But if I want air defence of Canada's cities the Navy can do a better job of it than the Army. The Navy can also bring heavier weapons to bear against shore targets than the Army.

And it doesn't have to be that way. All of the weapons the navy uses, or contemplates using, can be mounted on field carriages and employed ashore. In General Support.
 

KevinB

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I don't think I am making my point.
I know what you are trying to say.
With the Navy's battle management system a small number of people in one room have access to a highly automated system of sensors and weapons. A system that can operate with man in the loop or weapons free. It is highly responsive, very flexible and puts a very large number of capabilities, some of which are highly specialized in a small packet under the command of a field grade officer.
A Ship is both an Open and Closed network.

Not a specialist command but a generalist command.

The other point is that the capabilities can be centralized, duplicated or dispersed.

I stand to be corrected but it is my understanding that ships sailing in company can see everyone else's picture and launch everyone else's missiles.
From my understanding - very limited that is to - the US ADC's can fire other ships SA missiles, as they control the air defense battle - but I don't think they can launch other items (and I doubt many Captains want other other hands on the trigger).


It is also my understanding, from the air defense side of the house that both MANTIS cram and NASAMS systems can be widely dispersed. In the case of NASAMS the launcher modules can be 25 km apart. In the CRAM case they can be spread over an area the size of an airfield.
My understanding as well.
So yes, posting a multibillion ship at Ontario Place is suboptimal. But if I want air defence of Canada's cities the Navy can do a better job of it than the Army. The Navy can also bring heavier weapons to bear against shore targets than the Army.
I would say that is a telling comment on the state of the Army...

And it doesn't have to be that way. All of the weapons the navy uses, or contemplates using, can be mounted on field carriages and employed ashore. In General Support.
I mentioned this elsewhere - I'm not sure the Army "needs" all of the same capabilities.
A City class can't exactly bring 74 120mm guns and 150 'ish LAV 25mm cannons to bear on a target.

The Close Fight is Different on Land than Sea - both in offense and defense.

Perhaps the better method to look at is what capabilities are current missing from the Army - and does the Navy have an "Easy Button" to solve that...
 

Kirkhill

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Naval gunfire support.

Precisely.

And that is precisely why the Naval Division was created and is commemorated each year with the Gun Run competitions.

The Army needed what the Navy had. And the Navy couldn't get their ships within range. So they dismounted their guns and dragged them.

17-BBBB-4-7-inch-gunzzz.jpg



Meanwhile the Royal Artillery at Colenso

43A-AAA-guns-of-14th-and-66th.jpg
 

Kirkhill

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300px-HACBelah.jpg
220px-QF18pdrRHA.jpg
The_Battle_of_Arras%2C_April-may_1917_Q5142.jpg
stokesmortar.jpg


15 years later

13 pdr Fd 1904, 18 pdr Fd 1903, 4.5" Howitzer 1908, 3" Stokes Mortar 1915.

And the Royal Regiment of Artillery had stood up, in 1899, the Royal Garrison Artillery which was made responsible for the long range guns of the coastal defence, siege and heavy batteries and, later, for the air defence batteries.

In other words those elements of the artillery that, like the civilian population they were tasked to defend, were immobile and couldn't manoeuvre away from the threat. They, like the civilians, had to stand in place and hope to defeat the attacking force.

Iron Dome style.
 

Kirkhill

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I know what you are trying to say.

A Ship is both an Open and Closed network.


From my understanding - very limited that is to - the US ADC's can fire other ships SA missiles, as they control the air defense battle - but I don't think they can launch other items (and I doubt many Captains want other other hands on the trigger).



My understanding as well.

I would say that is a telling comment on the state of the Army...


I mentioned this elsewhere - I'm not sure the Army "needs" all of the same capabilities.
A City class can't exactly bring 74 120mm guns and 150 'ish LAV 25mm cannons to bear on a target.

The Close Fight is Different on Land than Sea - both in offense and defense.

Perhaps the better method to look at is what capabilities are current missing from the Army - and does the Navy have an "Easy Button" to solve that...


I don't envisage a single City Class frigate or CSC doing the same job as a LAV Brigade. I see the weapons (and TOC/CIC) of the frigate organizing the battlespace and supplying the common picture for the brigade as well as the cover under which a brigade would operate.

And that brigade would still need to include a Field Artillery Regiment with something akin to 155s, GMRLSs or NSMs and VSHORAD requirements. And that is in addition to local FSCC and STA.

But I do see the frigate adding in novel technologies like swarms of loitering munitions.
 

FJAG

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Sustainability as I mentioned above is the way one keeps a force up to strength.
For war time sustainability one must be able to replace soldiers, and equipment, in their entirety.

One needs a way to recruit and train soldiers - the CF does that fairly well compared to most other western nations.

The major tripping point where the CF runs out of steam is sustainment of equipment.
...
This has been a problem since the 1960s. In those days both the Reg F and the Res F used towed 105mm and 155mm and the infantry 3/4 to trucks as section carriers. There were therefore lots of spare equipment and reservists trained on it to sustain the four regular force brigades. Only the armoured corps was out of step with some Shermans still hanging on in the reserves while the Reg F had converted into close to 300 Centurions.

Things changed dramatically during the sixties as the infantry went to M113s but not enough for the reserves. The artillery went for M109s and then L5s but left the reserves with C1s. As the old 52-54 pattern SMP fleets timed out we started buying field vehicles for the Reg F and "training ersatz" vehicles for the reserves. Who can ever forget the Jeep CJs or the crappy Chevy 1 tons.

From time to time we take a stab at it - the Grizzleys and Cougars (but those were training tanks and APCs for everybody in Canada Reg and Res alike) and the Bisons (immediately snaffled by the Reg F as they came off the line.)

Bottom line is for around six decades we live in two solitudes. The Reg F gets sustainment by never committing more than elements of one brigade at a time and generate their sustainability from within the pool of their gear while the Res F offers nothing in the way of sustainment equipment (maybe a few TAPVs) and only partially trained personnel with generally very limited experience on the equipment they will actually work on once assigned as augmentees. Accordingly we give rotos some six months to get organized and trained.

We have around a hundred k plus people in DND costing some 10 billion per year in rough numbers. That's half the budget and while Class A reservists cost us 1/6 per year of a PY, the leadership's main concern is that if they agreed to a 10 or 20,000 reduction in full timers, they wouldn't see that 1 - 2 billion come back as equipment or O&M to fully equip the 20,000 reservists we have.

DND is chocking on its personnel costs. Our equipment acquisitions do not meet any coherent overarching vision or strategy for a future force but are generally shoehorned into available budgets.

I do disagree about the "doing well training soldiers". Recruiting takes an inordinate amount of time; we have numerous soldiers sitting on their butts awaiting courses; many trades are critically undermanned; we have a heard of qualified people filling cubicles in Ottawa rather than in the field or training institutions. We could do so much better.

🍻
 

KevinB

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This has been a problem since the 1960s.
Agreed
Bottom line is for around six decades we live in two solitudes. The Reg F gets sustainment by never committing more than elements of one brigade at a time and generate their sustainability from within the pool of their gear while the Res F offers nothing in the way of sustainment equipment (maybe a few TAPVs) and only partially trained personnel with generally very limited experience on the equipment they will actually work on once assigned as augmentees. Accordingly we give rotos some six months to get organized and trained.
Which has given rise to a massive misunderstanding of what it actually takes to field combat units.
The US had a massive wake up call with Iraq - and they where way better prepared than Canada due to the way they structure their Army (Reg/Res/NG)
We have around a hundred k plus people in DND costing some 10 billion per year in rough numbers. That's half the budget and while Class A reservists cost us 1/6 per year of a PY, the leadership's main concern is that if they agreed to a 10 or 20,000 reduction in full timers, they wouldn't see that 1 - 2 billion come back as equipment or O&M to fully equip the 20,000 reservists we have.
To be fair I don't thin the CF gets even 1/6th the "value" of a PY with the current reserve structure.
I certainly wouldn't want to restructure anything before a massive restructuring of the reserve force occurred -- and the Regimental and Political issues with that are daunting.
DND is chocking on its personnel costs. Our equipment acquisitions do not meet any coherent overarching vision or strategy for a future force but are generally shoehorned into available budgets.
It's unfortunate - as the CF has a fair amount of bright folks - and the Army USED to have a world class test establishment in LETE.
I do disagree about the "doing well training soldiers". Recruiting takes an inordinate amount of time; we have numerous soldiers sitting on their butts awaiting courses; many trades are critically undermanned; we have a heard of qualified people filling cubicles in Ottawa rather than in the field or training institutions. We could do so much better.

🍻
I was talking about the end result - a CF Private fresh out of BattleSchool is significantly more capable that a Private out of training in any other Army, the same goes for a young officer out of phase training - and for the most part the NCO corps as well.
The capability gaps in the CF are not its personnel - but it's equipment.
There are GIANT gaps there - and a lot of systems that are criminal neglected by any Force that believes it is ready for a Peer/Near Peer threat.



Due to Canada's geographic location - it needs to be structured like an Expeditionary Force, while still not neglecting Interal Defense and Support needs.
I think the look to Europe with NATO is extremely short sighted - and I think the Pacific Rim is a much better location where Canada could make a meaningful contribution.

I know the author - and I think he's extremely accurate in this.

I don't push Light Forces just for fun or because I hate Mech (I do - but not germane to this) - I think an Amphibious MEU - and Prepositioned Heavier/Med Forces in Australia would be a much better usage of the Cdn Tax Dollar.
 

Brad Sallows

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European members of NATO can look after themselves on land, and have been able to do so since not too long after the USSR collapsed. While boots-on-ground near the frontier is a reassuring political commitment, it's a lot of money doing not very much and is meagre in the big picture. Canada should find some other way to reassure its European NATO partners that Canada is in, will stay in, and will call if answered. Then spend the not-spent money on other defence needs.
 

Halifax Tar

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European members of NATO can look after themselves on land, and have been able to do so since not too long after the USSR collapsed. While boots-on-ground near the frontier is a reassuring political commitment, it's a lot of money doing not very much and is meagre in the big picture. Canada should find some other way to reassure its European NATO partners that Canada is in, will stay in, and will call if answered. Then spend the not-spent money on other defence needs.

Grow the Navy show our NATO allies we are the go to for ASW. We will take on a greater role in safeguarding the shipping lanes to Europe.
 

Brad Sallows

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A view I share. North American commitment to assist European partners in the defence of Europe is worthless without control of shipping lanes.
 

FJAG

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To be fair I don't thin the CF gets even 1/6th the "value" of a PY with the current reserve structure.
I agree entirely. The concept of Tue and Thur (or whatever) night training is a colossal waste of time and really nothing much more than a lead in to standing around and hoisting a few in the mess afterwards. I much prefer the one weekend a month and a good 2 to 3 weeks in the summer concept. I expect if we ever cut the Tue/Thur thing we would lose a few folks (maybe quite a few). But in the end might that not be better for the force?
I certainly wouldn't want to restructure anything before a massive restructuring of the reserve force occurred -- and the Regimental and Political issues with that are daunting.
Restructuring does concern me. On the one hand it's essential if one ever wants to get to developing an ability to train collectively and generate full units. On the other hand past rounds of consolidating units has not been very successful because other than the restructure itself, the reservists at the time saw no meaningful change in the equipment they had or the training they were given. Restructuring (consolidation of units) usually happens as an element of cost cutting measures which concurrently reduce equipment purchases and training opportunities. That's just self defeating. If one wants to restructure into larger consolidated units it HAS TO BE accompanied by investments into better equipment and training. That will help convince the traditionalist and will keep and grow the force.
I was talking about the end result - a CF Private fresh out of BattleSchool is significantly more capable that a Private out of training in any other Army, the same goes for a young officer out of phase training - and for the most part the NCO corps as well.
I've said this many times ... the young officer, NCOs and soldiers of today's army appear to be much more capable than those of my generation. That causes a conundrum for me because I also think that today's training system falls well short of the mark.
The capability gaps in the CF are not its personnel - but it's equipment.
There are GIANT gaps there - and a lot of systems that are criminal neglected by any Force that believes it is ready for a Peer/Near Peer threat.
I keep thinking over the shitstorm the UK went through because of its poor equipment in early Afghanistan and ours with the Iltis yet we have so many deficiencies which are almost guaranteed to cause unnecessary loss of life and limb.
Due to Canada's geographic location - it needs to be structured like an Expeditionary Force, while still not neglecting Interal Defense and Support needs.
I think the look to Europe with NATO is extremely short sighted - and I think the Pacific Rim is a much better location where Canada could make a meaningful contribution.
If you add in the issue of Canada's geography, many internal operations would be in the nature of expeditionary as well.

I don't think the look to NATO in Europe is short sighted at all. The lack of a look at the Pacific definitely is but for the moment is politically driven with a bit of a Pollyanna dreamer calling the shots. We need to look in both directions.

Another thread had me thinking about how one could go about doing that which, unfortunately got me thinking about CSCs and nuclear subs but also what does a MDTF really look like. That also got me thinking about MDO (I still dislike the term Pan-domain - sorry PPCLI Guy). I'm starting to think that we need to go back to making OOTW/capacity building back into a secondary duty and start focusing more on the higher end of the spectrum. I still think the heavy, medium and light construct of manoeuvre brigades is valid (although our weapons and capability mixes need major refining) IMHO our biggest weakness in structure is the absence of functional CS and CSS brigades. I can see a CS brigade, capable of expeditionary operations, that is structured to do MDF missions. And it strikes me as blindingly obvious that is we are an expeditionary army then we better have a darn fine CSS brigade structure. from back to 1970, I have never liked this blending of purple support base structures or the more recent iteration of static NSEs. I can see where some f those functions are of value, but if you start with a combat capable organization, you can always become static while if you start static you can never become something more mobile and still combat support capable.
I don't push Light Forces just for fun or because I hate Mech (I do - but not germane to this) - I think an Amphibious MEU - and Prepositioned Heavier/Med Forces in Australia would be a much better usage of the Cdn Tax Dollar.
Take a peak at my thoughts in the Best Base thread where for the fun of it I disassemble 1 CMBG and the three CBGs and reassemble them into an ABCT and IBCT with the IBCT possibly focused to the Pacific (possibly as an MDTF) while the ABCT looks to NATO. The latter can easily change direction.

That could be interesting, with 3 Div and two brigades focused west and the rest of the Army elsewhere.

🍻
 

Kirkhill

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This is the NASAMS Fire Direction Centre. It brings the CIC of the RCN ashore. It allows the Army to employ all the assets in the Canadian Inventory currently and potentially available to the RCN and the RCAF. CAMM, AIM9, ESSM, AIM-120, SM2, SM6, Harpoon, NSM and potentially the Tomahawk. That extends the Army's sphere of influence out to a radius of 1500 km or so. 200 km if the Tomahawk is eliminated. But the SM6 is a long range missile as well.

The FDC is a true Multi-Domain Command & Control component and can, pending on the desired configuration, support a wide range of missions; GBAD, Army counterfire operations, coastal defence, air surveillance, airspace management and others.


picture-8-fdc.jpg




Given that sphere of influence being available to the Divisional Artillery Group of 4 General Support Regiment, what would three brigades, in the Light Medium range, with three Field Artillery Regiments, a pair of Cavalry regiments and a single regiment of tanks be able to accomplish? Domestically and Internationally?
 

daftandbarmy

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I agree entirely. The concept of Tue and Thur (or whatever) night training is a colossal waste of time and really nothing much more than a lead in to standing around and hoisting a few in the mess afterwards. I much prefer the one weekend a month and a good 2 to 3 weeks in the summer concept. I expect if we ever cut the Tue/Thur thing we would lose a few folks (maybe quite a few). But in the end might that not be better for the force?


🍻

Or put all reservists on Class B for 6 year contracts. Don't renew the ones you don't need. Those who leave after 6 years get $40,000 education cash from VAC.
 

KevinB

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WRT the Reserves: I do think 1 night a week can be productive - maybe not very week - but at least 1 weekend a month is mandatory for reservists - and some period of continuous duty during the year - not necessarily the summer for everyone.
I remember as a student - that the money added up for the weekly parade nights - and some of then offered good training value.
The key is to be able to gainfully employ people - as I'd argue the Reg Force (at least Cbt Arm Personnel) wastes and equal amount of time while in Garrison.

I think if you truly want to capitalize on the reserves pool - then you need to make something that appeals to them.
I'm not just talking about HS or University Students - but older members as well, and ALSO has value for the CF.
I can think of tons of things done for interest sakes that had zero training value - and also things done for theoretical training value (that didn't really) and disaffected a lot of members. Additionally I think both reg and reserve forces would benefit from something like the GI Bill down here.
I remember the CF had an educational reimbursement system for a while, but in my experience it wasn't a great system in the 2000's, and I am not current now on how that does.
 

Kirkhill

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Why not extend the Cadet system to include the student recruits? As I recall there was already a mechanism in place to train cadets at places like Cornwallis, Esquimalt and Vernon for 2 to 10 weeks annually and pay them. Parade the 16 to 21 year Olds separately from the youngsters and don't call them cadets.
 

KevinB

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Why not extend the Cadet system to include the student recruits? As I recall there was already a mechanism in place to train cadets at places like Cornwallis, Esquimalt and Vernon for 2 to 10 weeks annually and pay them. Parade the 16 to 21 year Olds separately from the youngsters and don't call them cadets.
I would be going to go the other way - and stop cadets at 16 - the older ones can join the reserves. If you aren't calling them cadets - then just add them to the reserve pool.
 

dapaterson

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Stop recruiting anyone below the age of majority. If mommy or daddy has to sign for you to enrol, we don't need you.

Ninety percent of the CAFs problems would be solved by staffs properly planning with realistic timelines.

But as long as the Army is always surprised by annual events, and thinks nothing of tossing new non urgent tasks in late July for mid-September implementation by Reserve units, things fail.
 
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