- Reaction score
You know me, I'm always pushing for a structure that uses the 15-20,000 ResF personnel to create more deployable brigades, especially CS and CSS ones.
I'm trying to figure out what the role of 'brigade recce' really is when SSE has no plan for the deployment of a real brigade.
We seem to be making a habit of economy of effort deployments these days (like Latvia) where we have a battlegroup headquarters, a rifle company and various CS and CSS elements with the bulk of the echelon being allied elements.
If the belief is that the role of light battalions is to work with SOF, then do light battalions belong in the army?
All of these comments appear to be the signs of an Army desperately looking for a role.
We have "Divisions" and "Brigades" without the enablers to deploy Divisions or Brigades and without even a policy stating that we ever intend to deploy Divisions or Brigades.
We have significant Reserve units but no plans to deploy them as units, no plans to integrate them into Reg Force units, no real warfighting equipment for them and no extra Reg Force equipment available for them to use.
We have Armoured Regiments that get rid of their tanks then partially bring them back but have no clear plan on how they are to be integrated into the wider Army. If we're not going to deploy a Brigade do we need them organized as a Regiment? Should the be penny-packeted into Battle Groups? Do we really, REALLY need them for the type of Army we have built?
We have Light Battalions but no clear specific role defined for them or how we expect them to operate other than their being "Light" and able to operate where our LAVs can't.
The Government doesn't seem to be interested in any expanded permanent commitment of forces (or pre-positioned equipment) in Europe beyond what we have now in Latvia which kind of raises some questions about the value of "Heavy" forces that can't quickly be deployed in case of a conflict. Heck, if an actual Russian invasion of a European country and threats of retaliation against NATO and the Nordic States for our support of Ukraine can't elicit a deterrent force deployment then what would?
And the unspoken question being raised by the Ukrainian conflict is that in light of Russia's conventional forces being significantly weakened by the conflict at the same time as there is a resurgence in European defence spending and capabilities, has the military (not political) need for a Canadian land Army being deployed to Europe actually decreased?
A cynical person would look at the Canadian Army and say:
- We have more Infantry and Armour than the Government is willing to deploy.
- They are expensive to maintain in peacetime but don't have the tools they need to be effective in a war.
- We don't have enough (or the right type of) artillery to be useful in a major conflict.
- Our "Heavy" forces are located too far away from where they are likely to be needed in a major conflict to be immediately useful, but the Government is unwilling to station them (or their equipment) closer.
- We have light forces which could be rapidly deployed in the case of a conflict but we have no clear plans of what that deployment should look like.
- Our domestic logistics overhead is extensive and difficult to maintain but we lack the logistics capacity to deploy and sustain the size of Army we have during a full scale war.
- Our Reserves are primarily suited for domestic aid to civil authorities rather than contributing to our warfighting ability in any significant way beyond as a source of (partially) trained individual augmentees for the Reg Force.
Sad that such an important part of our nation is left floundering around in the dark without a flashlight trying to find a role for itself in the absence of any clear guidance (and no I don't think SSE is a clear enough blueprint of what we really expect the Canadian military to be able to do). In the meantime however we will continue to sink time, effort and treasure into an organization which I believe most people will agree is underachieving.