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FORCE 2025: Informing the Army’s future structure

daftandbarmy

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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.

What are you trying to do.... plug the 'arterial scale retention bleed' issue? :)
 

Kirkhill

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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.


In that case you need three training systems.

One for full time soldiers
One for full time students
One for full time civilians.

They are three very different groups with very different needs and and expectations. And availability.
 

Blackadder1916

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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 think an Amphibious MEU - and Prepositioned Heavier/Med Forces in Australia would be a much better usage of the Cdn Tax Dollar.

All well and good, but, remember this is Canada we are talking about. As much as we may like the downunder or have some shared history, what is our actual treaty commitment? As far as I am aware (there may be some obscure interpretations of other agreements) Canada is a signatory to two (and only two) agreements that bind us in a mutual defence arrangement outside our borders - the North Atlantic Treaty and the North American Air Defence Agreement. So, going back to first principles (of war), any reorganization of the Canadian Army would have to include maintaining (selection of the aim already done by treaty) a viable ground combat force for use in Europe. Not being prepared to back up our word with troops on the ground would rightfully make us ***** in the eyes of our NATO allies. Yes, dick-measuring matters and having a handful of ships keeping sea lanes open or providing a half dozen fighters doesn't count.

That doesn't mean it has to be stationed there, though a cadre footprint would be the preferable COA. Nor does it have to be FedEx and be there positively, absolutely overnight. But there should be a visible commitment to expand on the BG(-) that we currently are providing in Latvia. And as much as your experience and preference is for light forces, my preference is for mechanized (he said, whipping out his old fart, Cold Warrior, 4 CMBG, 1 Cdn Div (Fwd) credentials). Was there a place for light forces in Europe (Germany) back in the day? Yes, but mainly it was terrain dependent and they were tightly meshed in the overall defence plans. Oh, the countries that had light formations in their NATO order of battle were also the most mechanized. The enemy (those Fantasian bastards), despite reorganization of their forces to smaller formations and a greater focus on hybrid warfare, are still primarily mechanized and heavily tank focused. If/when they transition to more traditional operations it will require a mechanized response preferably with an armour component.
 

KevinB

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All well and good, but, remember this is Canada we are talking about. As much as we may like the downunder or have some shared history, what is our actual treaty commitment? As far as I am aware (there may be some obscure interpretations of other agreements) Canada is a signatory to two (and only two) agreements that bind us in a mutual defence arrangement outside our borders - the North Atlantic Treaty and the North American Air Defence Agreement. So, going back to first principles (of war), any reorganization of the Canadian Army would have to include maintaining (selection of the aim already done by treaty) a viable ground combat force for use in Europe. Not being prepared to back up our word with troops on the ground would rightfully make us ***** in the eyes of our NATO allies. Yes, dick-measuring matters and having a handful of ships keeping sea lanes open or providing a half dozen fighters doesn't count.
I would suggest that 1 Bde of Armor to Europe means nothing in the grand scale.
1 Bde of Rapid Deployable forces in the Pacific with Naval and Air would help NATO a great deal more.
Why - both China and Russia border the Pacific, why fight a 1 front war if you can make a two front.

That doesn't mean it has to be stationed there, though a cadre footprint would be the preferable COA. Nor does it have to be FedEx and be there positively, absolutely overnight. But there should be a visible commitment to expand on the BG(-) that we currently are providing in Latvia. And as much as your experience and preference is for light forces, my preference is for mechanized (he said, whipping out his old fart, Cold Warrior, 4 CMBG, 1 Cdn Div (Fwd) credentials). Was there a place for light forces in Europe (Germany) back in the day? Yes, but mainly it was terrain dependent and they were tightly meshed in the overall defence plans. Oh, the countries that had light formations in their NATO order of battle were also the most mechanized. The enemy (those Fantasian bastards), despite reorganization of their forces to smaller formations and a greater focus on hybrid warfare, are still primarily mechanized and heavily tank focused. If/when they transition to more traditional operations it will require a mechanized response preferably with an armour component.
All of our Allies are going towards a Multi Domain Operations approach.
4 CMBG was an actual (for the time) modern Armored Brigade - with Tanks, APC's - M109's etc.
Canada doesn't currently have that.
The LAV is not an AFV - at very least it needs an integral ATGM to be viable.
There is no Self Propelled Under Armor Artillery
There is No Air Defense
There are NO ATGM's - even man portable units.
No Engineer SEV IFV's (again see LAV issue)
No GS Arty
There is not enough CS and CSS to support a BDE if there was all of the above.

My point is when you are starting from effectively scratch - you need to look where the forces you can be best allocated and structured to punch above your weight.

When you look to International trade - does the majority of seaborne commerce come from Pacific Rim or Europe? (its Pacific based) -- that alone would dictate that Canada have some larger interest - even selfish interest in looking to the Pacific.
 

FJAG

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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.
A class B Reservist on a six year contract is legally and for all intents and purposes a Reg F soldier. You accomplish exactly the same thing by offering a Reg F recruit a six year contract with a bonus at the end.

The strength in the Reserves is in its Class A which allows you to recruit and train and hold a larger force then you can afford with full-time soldiers alone. - IF YOU DO IT RIGHT!

If you don't do it right you have what we have.

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.
That's my way of thinking. Full summer employment while they are students and train the hell out of them. Full Reg F courses (spread over consecutive summers if necessary.) Offer tuition for university or worthwhile community colleges to build up obligatory service obligations and after that reduce their commitments to what is basically necessary so that they maintain their skills and unit effectiveness but at the same time can develop their civilian career and family life.
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.
Yup - all that and federal employment protection legislation.

🍻
 

KevinB

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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.
17 year olds (at least when I joined the Militia) where the absolute majority of recruits.
This way they are trained to basic trade by 18 - and deployable...
Also given the # of reservists that drop off after high school, you are getting another year of service from a large percentage of folks.
 

Kirkhill

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A real world example of what you suggest. A "firm base" that had state of the art weapons (and intercommunications) covering all approaches (by land and air) "defending" terrain that was adopted to minimize manpower requirements. Sounds like the Maginot Line. How did that work out for them?
Slow on the uptake am I

But my response to your Maginot observation is how did the lack of the firm base at Antwerp work out for the Allies in NW Europe.

Some firm bases are necessary.

And I would build my expeditionary firm base around the addition of two NASAMs Fire Direction Centres with NASAMs launchers to a three ship naval task force, equipped with weapons from the RCN inventory, seeing as how the Army has nothing in their league, and a MANTIS C-RAM system or two. All to be sent ashore and distributed and manned by the 4GSR
 

Humphrey Bogart

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Excellent! Responses!

All telling me how I have got it wrong. :LOL: Good stuff.

Now. I agree the Canadian Forces are a Joint Force. Even if only nominally. It is that nominal caveat that prompted me to think along these lines in the first place. How could the Army and the Navy work together? What can the Navy do that the Army needs? Or at least could benefit from? The Navy has been making some significant steps in the Army's direction by ensuring it has a useful Long Range Gunfire Support capability and a useful Land Attack Missile capability. Capabilities that the Army can't seem to figure out for itself.

But, as has been pointed out before, in this Joint environment the RCN is reluctant to tie up one of its frigates against a potentially hostile dock. In fact I am reliably informed they would even be reluctant to chance their ships in the Baltics and the Black Sea. Areas where the Army might find itself operating and might welcome the weight of fire available. And I am not persuaded that we can rely on our allies to supply the necessary support if we get into trouble.

It has been suggested that my proposition makes an excellent fixed base. Great. That is exactly what I was looking for. I want to make the CAF into an independent force capable of deploying independently in support of Canada's domestic and international needs.

And being able to independently support Bermuda, or Montserrat, or Mauritius, or Rwanda is a start. Or even padding Singapore's defenses. Or adding to Perth's (North or South).


So here is my next question.

When was the last time a Halifax was anchored in Saint John to support an exercise in Gagetown? The docks are 20 to 25 km from the Nerepis Hills and the southern limits of Gagetown.

What happens if a Halifax, acting as a CSC analog, were parked in Saint John and used as a Brigade HQ and Maintenance Area? Could a Joint Command Team drive a Combat Team across Gagetown's ranges from the frigate? What could the Army do with the analogous fire support, and aerial support, available from and through the frigate? What could the Army do with the information the frigate could supply? What could the Army do with the Air Support the frigate could co-ordinate? What could the Army do with the Naval Boarding Parties and their 12m RHIBs on the St John River?

Once that series of experiments are complete then I would suggest that the Army could look differently at whether or not they need or want the capabilities the frigate offers for themselves.

And this has absolutely nothing to do with the Maneuvering Elements, the Brigades. It has everything to do with an expeditionary force, an independent foreign policy, home defence, a divisional support structure and Jointery.

And I fully acknowledge I don't know the inner workings of either the Arty or the Navy.

But, at the end of the day, the Navy delivers a whack of a lot of firepower on short notice from a mobile base manned with 204 people.

And I don't see the Army coming close to meeting that capability.

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?
Forgive me for taking some time to respond to this but there is a lot to unpack here.

How do Ships Fight?

The first thing I will say is that the worst possible place you could be if you are a Ship is alongside.... Why? Because Ships defend themselves with Manoeuvre as their first defence. Only through Manoeuvre is a Ship able to make appropriate use of all of it's Non-Kinetic and Kinetic Effects. The response or action the Ship will take is dependent on the type of threat: Air, Surface, Sub-Surface, etc. When we talk about Surface and Air threats and how Ship's deal with them specifically, what you are describing is what we call Detect to Engage Sequence. The Detect to Engage Sequence describes the process by which contacts are identified, warned and if necessary, prosecuted.

The purpose of the Detect to Engage Sequence is to be able to make an early detection and classification of incoming threats and be able to effectively use the appropriate weapon to engage and defend the Ship. Detect to Engage occurs in 5 Phases, they are:

Detect
Localize
Classify
Track
Engage

These all occur at different ranges from far to near and dependent on where the threat is will influence what system is used. I can't get in to specifics on this for obvious reasons but in order to effectively defend itself a Ship needs to be able to Manoeuvre. The reason for this is that the best way to actually defend a Ship from aircraft and missiles is with Soft Kill Systems AKA Chaff, Jamming, etc. Effectively using the Ship's Soft Kill systems requires you to be able to manoeuvre. If we are talking about Sub-surface threats, manoeuvre and counter-measures are the only Defence you actually have.

Why Ships Must Avoid Littorals and Areas that Restrict Manoeuvre?

As far as fighting in the Littorals is concerned, Ship's are at their biggest disadvantage in Littoral waters because it limits their ability to manoeuvre, which limits the ability to bring all their weapons systems to bear and also constrains their ability to actually Mass combat power. Mass is one of two critical elements of Naval Combat and is a key predicator of success. The other is Scouting, which I will get in to later.

On the water, everything is open, there is nowhere to hide. If you can see the enemy, he can also see you. This is even more prevalent with modern sensors which can detect threats long before a Ship is even in a position to actually effectively engage in a way that guarantees a successful hit. So how do you gain an advantage? With numbers of course. Mass is critical in Naval Combat and it's basically a case of whoever is able to bring the most guns, missiles, torpedoes, etc to the battle wins. Because Ships are not able to make use of terrain or other features in the defence, it makes no sense to piece meal forces. When Fleets do actually fight, the best way to guarantee success or at the very least, prevent defeat in detail, is through concentration of force/firepower.

It was shown over and over again in the Pacific Theatre in WWII that dispersion and piece-mealing of Naval Forces was a surefire way to lose a Naval Battle. Why? For one thing, Ship's are a lot harder to sink than we actually think they are. Secondly, Fleets were being detected well before they ever got the first shot off and Defence is at a huge advantage in Naval Warfare. Most of the offensive combat power in a Naval Force is actually contained in the Aircraft Carrier or other Capital Ships. Finding the Carrier was relatively easy, actually getting planes to it was rather hard. If you showed up to a battle with 1 Carrier and the enemy had 2, it was basically a guarantee that no matter what you did, the enemy fleet would win simply due to math being on their side. The Carriers would have enough warning from their screening forces of an impending attack that they would be able to get their aircraft in the air and even if you launched the first shot, they would be able to successfully defend themselves and then counter-attack at which point, the math and statistics take over and your forces are attrited at exponentially every successive attack.

There is no cover or concealment on the water. If I have 20 guns and you have 10 guns (A 2:1 Advantage) and you point and shoot at 10 targets and in the unlikely event score 10 perfect hits, I still have 10 untouched guns left to return fire with. Now lets be more realistic and say that only 50% of hits were effective. You shoot your 10 which is really only 5. I now have 15 left and shoot my 15 which is really 7 or 8 if I round up, you now have 3 and I have 15 left..... I think you get the drift.

I've put it in a table for you to illustrate the effect of concentration of force:

Combat Power = 50% effective HitsAttacking Force (AF) (1:2 ratio) Defending Force (DF) (2:1 ratio)
Start of Battle1020
AF Attack1015
DF Counter Attack215
AF Counter Attack214
DF Counter Attack014

Likewise, if the Attacker has a numerical advantage at the commencement of the Battle, the advantage is even more pronounced:

Combat Power = 50% effective HitsAttacking Force (AF) (2:1 ratio)Defending Force (1:2) ratio)
Start of Battle2010
AF Attack200
DF Counter Attack010

KevinB's example of the Navy being like the Borg is apt. Dispersion on the water = death. If you disperse, you're inviting your fleet to be destroyed in detail. So if you can't disperse how do you gain an advantage? The answer is Scouting.

Scouting is a Critical Component of Naval Warfare

Arleigh Bruke is famous for the following line: "The difference between a good officer and a poor one, is about ten seconds." What he meant by this is all things being equal, whoever takes the first shot wins. This is why finding the enemy before he finds you, is of critical importance in Naval Warfare.

Scouting in Naval Warfare is the only way to give you any sort of advantage over your adversary. All things being equally, localizing and finding your enemy is the only thing that is really going to give you an advantage in a Naval Engagement. This is why Fleets fight the way they do with various layers of defence and detection, the most deadly ones being submarines.

Why do you think that every Navy in the World (except us it seems) is aggressively pursuing submarine and sub-surface capabilities? It's because with the proliferation of satellites, long-range aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, cyber technology, etc. The only real place on the water that a Military Force can actually remain undetected is under the water. Given the advanced detection capabilities that modern Navies have at their disposal, everyone basically knows where each others surface ships are at all times. This further erodes the argument that one should disperse ones Naval Forces.

Given this fact, concentration of force is even more critical today than it was in Arleigh Burke's time. Scouting is also critical and Canada is making a huge mistake not seriously pursuing a real submarine capability which is the only way we are going to gain any sort of advantage over our adversaries in an actual shooting war.


So What is the SO WHAT of the Above as it Relates to What You Wrote?

Your idea that we should tie up a Frigate alongside somewhere and use it to support land forces would be a misuse of that asset. Blue-Water Ships are at a huge disadvantage in littoral and constrained waters. They are unable to make full use of their kinetic and non-kinetic sensors and weapons and are at a huge disadvantage against both symmetric and asymmetric threats in that environment. The old adage, "A ship's a fool to fight a fort" comes to mind.

If the Canadian Navy wanted to consider getting serious about operations in littorals, it would invest in submarines, marine commando forces, commando support ships, unmanned systems, etc. Likewise, you would never conduct an amphibious invasion through littoral waters, you would do it from the open ocean with your amphibious forces remaining well offshore until the conditons had been set for them to proceed inland.
 

Brad Sallows

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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.

Well, there was the attraction of going from poorly-resourced infantry battalion to poorly-resourced MLBU.
 

Kirkhill

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Forgive me for taking some time to respond to this but there is a lot to unpack here.

How do Ships Fight?

The first thing I will say is that the worst possible place you could be if you are a Ship is alongside.... Why? Because Ships defend themselves with Manoeuvre as their first defence. Only through Manoeuvre is a Ship able to make appropriate use of all of it's Non-Kinetic and Kinetic Effects. The response or action the Ship will take is dependent on the type of threat: Air, Surface, Sub-Surface, etc. When we talk about Surface and Air threats and how Ship's deal with them specifically, what you are describing is what we call Detect to Engage Sequence. The Detect to Engage Sequence describes the process by which contacts are identified, warned and if necessary, prosecuted.

The purpose of the Detect to Engage Sequence is to be able to make an early detection and classification of incoming threats and be able to effectively use the appropriate weapon to engage and defend the Ship. Detect to Engage occurs in 5 Phases, they are:

Detect
Localize
Classify
Track
Engage

These all occur at different ranges from far to near and dependent on where the threat is will influence what system is used. I can't get in to specifics on this for obvious reasons but in order to effectively defend itself a Ship needs to be able to Manoeuvre. The reason for this is that the best way to actually defend a Ship from aircraft and missiles is with Soft Kill Systems AKA Chaff, Jamming, etc. Effectively using the Ship's Soft Kill systems requires you to be able to manoeuvre. If we are talking about Sub-surface threats, manoeuvre and counter-measures are the only Defence you actually have.

Why Ships Must Avoid Littorals and Areas that Restrict Manoeuvre?

As far as fighting in the Littorals is concerned, Ship's are at their biggest disadvantage in Littoral waters because it limits their ability to manoeuvre, which limits the ability to bring all their weapons systems to bear and also constrains their ability to actually Mass combat power. Mass is one of two critical elements of Naval Combat and is a key predicator of success. The other is Scouting, which I will get in to later.

On the water, everything is open, there is nowhere to hide. If you can see the enemy, he can also see you. This is even more prevalent with modern sensors which can detect threats long before a Ship is even in a position to actually effectively engage in a way that guarantees a successful hit. So how do you gain an advantage? With numbers of course. Mass is critical in Naval Combat and it's basically a case of whoever is able to bring the most guns, missiles, torpedoes, etc to the battle wins. Because Ships are not able to make use of terrain or other features in the defence, it makes no sense to piece meal forces. When Fleets do actually fight, the best way to guarantee success or at the very least, prevent defeat in detail, is through concentration of force/firepower.

It was shown over and over again in the Pacific Theatre in WWII that dispersion and piece-mealing of Naval Forces was a surefire way to lose a Naval Battle. Why? For one thing, Ship's are a lot harder to sink than we actually think they are. Secondly, Fleets were being detected well before they ever got the first shot off and Defence is at a huge advantage in Naval Warfare. Most of the offensive combat power in a Naval Force is actually contained in the Aircraft Carrier or other Capital Ships. Finding the Carrier was relatively easy, actually getting planes to it was rather hard. If you showed up to a battle with 1 Carrier and the enemy had 2, it was basically a guarantee that no matter what you did, the enemy fleet would win simply due to math being on their side. The Carriers would have enough warning from their screening forces of an impending attack that they would be able to get their aircraft in the air and even if you launched the first shot, they would be able to successfully defend themselves and then counter-attack at which point, the math and statistics take over and your forces are attrited at exponentially every successive attack.

There is no cover or concealment on the water. If I have 20 guns and you have 10 guns (A 2:1 Advantage) and you point and shoot at 10 targets and in the unlikely event score 10 perfect hits, I still have 10 untouched guns left to return fire with. Now lets be more realistic and say that only 50% of hits were effective. You shoot your 10 which is really only 5. I now have 15 left and shoot my 15 which is really 7 or 8 if I round up, you now have 3 and I have 15 left..... I think you get the drift.

I've put it in a table for you to illustrate the effect of concentration of force:

Combat Power = 50% effective HitsAttacking Force (AF) (1:2 ratio)Defending Force (DF) (2:1 ratio)
Start of Battle1020
AF Attack1015
DF Counter Attack215
AF Counter Attack214
DF Counter Attack014

Likewise, if the Attacker has a numerical advantage at the commencement of the Battle, the advantage is even more pronounced:

Combat Power = 50% effective HitsAttacking Force (AF) (2:1 ratio)Defending Force (1:2) ratio)
Start of Battle2010
AF Attack200
DF Counter Attack010

KevinB's example of the Navy being like the Borg is apt. Dispersion on the water = death. If you disperse, you're inviting your fleet to be destroyed in detail. So if you can't disperse how do you gain an advantage? The answer is Scouting.

Scouting is a Critical Component of Naval Warfare

Arleigh Bruke is famous for the following line: "The difference between a good officer and a poor one, is about ten seconds." What he meant by this is all things being equal, whoever takes the first shot wins. This is why finding the enemy before he finds you, is of critical importance in Naval Warfare.

Scouting in Naval Warfare is the only way to give you any sort of advantage over your adversary. All things being equally, localizing and finding your enemy is the only thing that is really going to give you an advantage in a Naval Engagement. This is why Fleets fight the way they do with various layers of defence and detection, the most deadly ones being submarines.

Why do you think that every Navy in the World (except us it seems) is aggressively pursuing submarine and sub-surface capabilities? It's because with the proliferation of satellites, long-range aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, cyber technology, etc. The only real place on the water that a Military Force can actually remain undetected is under the water. Given the advanced detection capabilities that modern Navies have at their disposal, everyone basically knows where each others surface ships are at all times. This further erodes the argument that one should disperse ones Naval Forces.

Given this fact, concentration of force is even more critical today than it was in Arleigh Burke's time. Scouting is also critical and Canada is making a huge mistake not seriously pursuing a real submarine capability which is the only way we are going to gain any sort of advantage over our adversaries in an actual shooting war.


So What is the SO WHAT of the Above as it Relates to What You Wrote?

Your idea that we should tie up a Frigate alongside somewhere and use it to support land forces would be a misuse of that asset. Blue-Water Ships are at a huge disadvantage in littoral and constrained waters. They are unable to make full use of their kinetic and non-kinetic sensors and weapons and are at a huge disadvantage against both symmetric and asymmetric threats in that environment. The old adage, "A ship's a fool to fight a fort" comes to mind.

If the Canadian Navy wanted to consider getting serious about operations in littorals, it would invest in submarines, marine commando forces, commando support ships, unmanned systems, etc. Likewise, you would never conduct an amphibious invasion through littoral waters, you would do it from the open ocean with your amphibious forces remaining well offshore until the conditons had been set for them to proceed inland.

I agree that tying up a frigate is a misuse of the asset.

I agree that ships need sea room.

I don't want the hull and the bridge.

I just want the weapons and the sensors, the CIC and the generators. And I want to hand them off to 4 General Support Regiment so that they can use them ashore.

No more and no less than that.

And I want to be able manage a C-RAM system, similar to the MANTIS, and a scattering of unmanned launchers spread over a 20 km radius from 4 GSRs CIC/TAC/FDC/HQ after the fashion of the NASAMS system.

You can keep your ships at sea.

All I am asking for is that the army be able to stand in and do the types of things a ship does, or might do.

Shoot down Aircraft
Shoot down Missiles
Shoot down Cruise Missiles
Shoot down helicopters
Shoot down UAS
Blow ships out of the water
Blow boats out of the water
Strike land targets with 70 - 100 km gun fire
Strike land targets at 185 km missile fire

Create an air defence bubble with a 25 to 50 km radius under which friendly forces can manoeuver.

I keep reading that the Army wants to be able to do all those things, and will get around to it some day.

But the Navy is doing all those things today. We know how. We have the systems in place. We have the weapons in inventory. The logistics and the command and control are all sorted.

It is out of exasperation that I suggest being a fool and tying up a ship. Of course that is an idiotic use of a perfectly good ship. But. In terms of National Defence that ship tied up would be of more use to the defence of Toronto, or Vancouver, than anything the Army can do.

If you wish me to be less idiotic then the ships can patrol the Georgia Straits and Lake Ontario. The range of your weapons and sensors will still provide the necessary coverage. Coverage, again, that the Army can't.

And I consider that inability on the part of the army to be a problem. A problem that leaves a hole in our national defence, a problem that can be solved and a problem that has a budget to solve it at some point in the future with the purchase of a GBAD system (currently undefined) and a Long Range Precision Fires system (currently undefined). I am saying that if they were defined in terms of the weapons systems of the 16th and 17th CSCs - without the hulls - drawing from the AEGIS ashore concept - or the Guns of Navarone if you prefer - then we could quickly get 4 General Support Regiment into the GBAD/LRPF game, perhaps integrating something like the NASAMS and MANTIS concepts.

I also happen to think that defining the Area of Operations of a 3 Brigade Army by looking at the area of coverage a Divisional Support Artillery Regiment would be a useful means of defining what other pieces of the puzzle would fit inside that perimeter. And how an 11 km Howitzer would apply in an area covered by 200 km NSMs and F35s and 70 km gunfire.

Please, by all means, keep your ships at sea, but spare the Army a couple of your Combat Information Centres and a ship load or two of your missiles and launchers.

And may the two of you continue on your merry separate ways, keeping as much distance from the RCAF as possible. ;)
 

KevinB

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Please, by all means, keep your ships at sea, but spare the Army a couple of your Combat Information Centres and a ship load or two of your missiles and launchers.

And may the two of you continue on your merry separate ways, keeping as much distance from the RCAF as possible. ;)
There are better systems for coordinating Land power than a CiC Mirror on the ground -- and based on what has been written - the way a ship fights the sea/air battle, is different that fighting a land/air battle.
I think you are losing some folks by your reliance on the terms - as opposed to the capabilities.

If I am reading you correctly - you want a battlefield management system that can coordinate the fight in the air and land.
Part of the problem occurs with complex terrain - as well as the number of moving parts.
It requires an enormous amount of bandwidth to do that on the land - as you have dispersed forces on both sides - when you add more inputs, and more targets/potential targets you have a lot to deal with.

Part of this is why the US Mil is going to CL/AI for these systems, and the US Army Unified Network program - the other aspect is you can't just use some of the sensor systems that a Ship has on land - as you'd legitimately cook a lot of forces with the output.
 

Ostrozac

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The capability gaps in the CF are not its personnel - but it's equipment.
I would disagree, based on the state of our most critical CSS enablers, A 21st century army that refuses to recruit/train/retain RCEME and Sigs isn’t an army, it’s a CrossFit club with a pile of expensive spare parts. The personnel situation in some of our support trades is dreadful. And these are exactly the same capabilities that also lack reserve depth.
 

Ostrozac

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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.
That is a direct challenge to ROTP and RMC and CMR, which depend on a steady flow of 17 year old High School graduates to fill the rooms. Now, I’m not defending ROTP, but tossing it aside shouldn’t be taken lightly. And it’s not just RMC — some Privates report to St Jean weeks out of school. Refusing to recruit straight out of high school would represent a major shift.
 

FJAG

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I would disagree, based on the state of our most critical CSS enablers, A 21st century army that refuses to recruit/train/retain RCEME and Sigs isn’t an army, it’s a CrossFit club with a pile of expensive spare parts. The personnel situation in some of our support trades is dreadful. And these are exactly the same capabilities that also lack reserve depth.
If only we had a pile of spare parts.

😉
 

MJP

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You never now when those AVGP parts will come in handy...
True, although the depots have largely been purged of old(er) fleets spare parts, although surprises do show up. My fav example is there is a part in the depot with a 1956 date on it and is associated with the MLVW fleet. Likely what has happened is as the replacement vehs have come in over the years, the Supply Manager has just rolled that part into the vehicle's Equipment Registration Number (ERN) without reviewing if that part has had any actual usage.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Forgive me for taking some time to respond to this but there is a lot to unpack here.

How do Ships Fight?

The first thing I will say is that the worst possible place you could be if you are a Ship is alongside.... Why? Because Ships defend themselves with Manoeuvre as their first defence. Only through Manoeuvre is a Ship able to make appropriate use of all of it's Non-Kinetic and Kinetic Effects. The response or action the Ship will take is dependent on the type of threat: Air, Surface, Sub-Surface, etc. When we talk about Surface and Air threats and how Ship's deal with them specifically, what you are describing is what we call Detect to Engage Sequence. The Detect to Engage Sequence describes the process by which contacts are identified, warned and if necessary, prosecuted.

The purpose of the Detect to Engage Sequence is to be able to make an early detection and classification of incoming threats and be able to effectively use the appropriate weapon to engage and defend the Ship. Detect to Engage occurs in 5 Phases, they are:

Detect
Localize
Classify
Track
Engage

These all occur at different ranges from far to near and dependent on where the threat is will influence what system is used. I can't get in to specifics on this for obvious reasons but in order to effectively defend itself a Ship needs to be able to Manoeuvre. The reason for this is that the best way to actually defend a Ship from aircraft and missiles is with Soft Kill Systems AKA Chaff, Jamming, etc. Effectively using the Ship's Soft Kill systems requires you to be able to manoeuvre. If we are talking about Sub-surface threats, manoeuvre and counter-measures are the only Defence you actually have.

Why Ships Must Avoid Littorals and Areas that Restrict Manoeuvre?

As far as fighting in the Littorals is concerned, Ship's are at their biggest disadvantage in Littoral waters because it limits their ability to manoeuvre, which limits the ability to bring all their weapons systems to bear and also constrains their ability to actually Mass combat power. Mass is one of two critical elements of Naval Combat and is a key predicator of success. The other is Scouting, which I will get in to later.

On the water, everything is open, there is nowhere to hide. If you can see the enemy, he can also see you. This is even more prevalent with modern sensors which can detect threats long before a Ship is even in a position to actually effectively engage in a way that guarantees a successful hit. So how do you gain an advantage? With numbers of course. Mass is critical in Naval Combat and it's basically a case of whoever is able to bring the most guns, missiles, torpedoes, etc to the battle wins. Because Ships are not able to make use of terrain or other features in the defence, it makes no sense to piece meal forces. When Fleets do actually fight, the best way to guarantee success or at the very least, prevent defeat in detail, is through concentration of force/firepower.

It was shown over and over again in the Pacific Theatre in WWII that dispersion and piece-mealing of Naval Forces was a surefire way to lose a Naval Battle. Why? For one thing, Ship's are a lot harder to sink than we actually think they are. Secondly, Fleets were being detected well before they ever got the first shot off and Defence is at a huge advantage in Naval Warfare. Most of the offensive combat power in a Naval Force is actually contained in the Aircraft Carrier or other Capital Ships. Finding the Carrier was relatively easy, actually getting planes to it was rather hard. If you showed up to a battle with 1 Carrier and the enemy had 2, it was basically a guarantee that no matter what you did, the enemy fleet would win simply due to math being on their side. The Carriers would have enough warning from their screening forces of an impending attack that they would be able to get their aircraft in the air and even if you launched the first shot, they would be able to successfully defend themselves and then counter-attack at which point, the math and statistics take over and your forces are attrited at exponentially every successive attack.

There is no cover or concealment on the water. If I have 20 guns and you have 10 guns (A 2:1 Advantage) and you point and shoot at 10 targets and in the unlikely event score 10 perfect hits, I still have 10 untouched guns left to return fire with. Now lets be more realistic and say that only 50% of hits were effective. You shoot your 10 which is really only 5. I now have 15 left and shoot my 15 which is really 7 or 8 if I round up, you now have 3 and I have 15 left..... I think you get the drift.

I've put it in a table for you to illustrate the effect of concentration of force:

Combat Power = 50% effective HitsAttacking Force (AF) (1:2 ratio)Defending Force (DF) (2:1 ratio)
Start of Battle1020
AF Attack1015
DF Counter Attack215
AF Counter Attack214
DF Counter Attack014

Likewise, if the Attacker has a numerical advantage at the commencement of the Battle, the advantage is even more pronounced:

Combat Power = 50% effective HitsAttacking Force (AF) (2:1 ratio)Defending Force (1:2) ratio)
Start of Battle2010
AF Attack200
DF Counter Attack010

KevinB's example of the Navy being like the Borg is apt. Dispersion on the water = death. If you disperse, you're inviting your fleet to be destroyed in detail. So if you can't disperse how do you gain an advantage? The answer is Scouting.

Scouting is a Critical Component of Naval Warfare

Arleigh Bruke is famous for the following line: "The difference between a good officer and a poor one, is about ten seconds." What he meant by this is all things being equal, whoever takes the first shot wins. This is why finding the enemy before he finds you, is of critical importance in Naval Warfare.

Scouting in Naval Warfare is the only way to give you any sort of advantage over your adversary. All things being equally, localizing and finding your enemy is the only thing that is really going to give you an advantage in a Naval Engagement. This is why Fleets fight the way they do with various layers of defence and detection, the most deadly ones being submarines.

Why do you think that every Navy in the World (except us it seems) is aggressively pursuing submarine and sub-surface capabilities? It's because with the proliferation of satellites, long-range aircraft, unmanned aerial vehicles, cyber technology, etc. The only real place on the water that a Military Force can actually remain undetected is under the water. Given the advanced detection capabilities that modern Navies have at their disposal, everyone basically knows where each others surface ships are at all times. This further erodes the argument that one should disperse ones Naval Forces.

Given this fact, concentration of force is even more critical today than it was in Arleigh Burke's time. Scouting is also critical and Canada is making a huge mistake not seriously pursuing a real submarine capability which is the only way we are going to gain any sort of advantage over our adversaries in an actual shooting war.


So What is the SO WHAT of the Above as it Relates to What You Wrote?

Your idea that we should tie up a Frigate alongside somewhere and use it to support land forces would be a misuse of that asset. Blue-Water Ships are at a huge disadvantage in littoral and constrained waters. They are unable to make full use of their kinetic and non-kinetic sensors and weapons and are at a huge disadvantage against both symmetric and asymmetric threats in that environment. The old adage, "A ship's a fool to fight a fort" comes to mind.

If the Canadian Navy wanted to consider getting serious about operations in littorals, it would invest in submarines, marine commando forces, commando support ships, unmanned systems, etc. Likewise, you would never conduct an amphibious invasion through littoral waters, you would do it from the open ocean with your amphibious forces remaining well offshore until the conditons had been set for them to proceed inland.
Events will interfere with the best laid plans, such as the Falklands whee the ships had to come into restricted waters to perform their tasks.
 
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