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RCAF Authorities / Future Unmanned Aircraft for RCAF

Good2Golf

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Honestly, as far as tactical air is concerned, the RCAF is operating in the Army's air space (especially if we do field GBAD at some point in the future). The vast number of non-transport missions performed by the RCAF are in support of the Army within the Army's AO. The RCAF has no role within that air space without the Army's specific request (whether by specific mission or as general support).
It depends what the CJTF/JTF Commander assigns, usually in the OP ORDER Coordinating Instructions, but however it is assigned, the supported/supporting relationship(s) should be clearly stated.
 

SupersonicMax

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Doctrine is authoritative in nature, but requires judgment in application.
That’s a feel-good statement at best with no real substance.

Good luck getting those residual authorities out of the RCAF. The RCAF may delegate some authorities to others (as it does training and standards and some OA to Comd CANSOFCOM for 427 Squadron), but it retains the overall authority.
 

SupersonicMax

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Reread my paragraph and start with the part where I say "... as far as tactical air is concerned ...". Unless the air force has changed the joint doctrine somewhere "tactical air" concerns

Funny that thing about air power apportioning air space to the Army. And here I always thought that in a given theatre that air power and air space allocation was exercised by the JTF commander through the Joint Force Air Component Commander with the main emphasis here being "through". Strangely enough, when we are considering operations where there is a requirement for tactical air in support of Army operations then the JTF commander who exercises overall command is an Army guy. There are a lot of things that the air force does because its their bag and no one cares enough to bother about but when it comes to who tells who what in a joint operation keep a clear eye on who is in overall command.

Stop reading air force doctrine and start reading joint doctrine when it comes to tac air. Kinda works the same for Joint Navy Task Forces to where the air element supports the Navy commander.

🍻
Notice I said Airpower and not Air Force. JFACC will be an airpower expert. By joint doctrine, they could be of any service although historically (since the concept was introduced in the Gulf War), I believe (but I am not 100% certain) that all JFACC for combat ops were Air Force.

During the Gulf War, despite Schwarzkopf being an Army guy with a significant land force, Airpower ran, for the most part, the war. He trusted his JFACC, Horner, being an expert and knowing how to effectively employ airpower better than Schwarzkopf could. While the last 100 hours saw land forces directly engaging Iraqi land forces, the focus was not solely the destruction of the enemy forces.
 

SupersonicMax

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Interesting. I have never read this pub before, but will read it in greater detail later. Thank you.

I also note that the section refers to these five residual aspects as relating to "air power operations". I went back in the pub to find a definition of "air power operations" and found none. There is a list of characteristics of air power (including some that merely state that a given characteristic is that it is "less" or "more" of some aspect than the naval or land component's such character - an interesting negative way of stating things a bit like "we are Canadian because we are not Americans ;) ) but it doesn't state if those are merely some indicators used to help in qualifying some operations as air power or wether they are characters that must all be present for something to fall within the purview of air power. I don't know the answer and genuinely would like to know.
Air Power, within the Canadian context is defined in the Defence Terminology Bank and reffered to innthe RCAF Capstone doctrine (available here: http://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2017/mdn-dnd/D2-368-2016-eng.pdf) as: That element of military power applied within or from the air environment to achieve effects above, on, and below the surface of the Earth. Other nations also include space (US, Australia) and cyber (US) as part of their definition.
 

Weinie

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That’s a feel-good statement at best with no real substance.

Good luck getting those residual authorities out of the RCAF. The RCAF may delegate some authorities to others (as it does training and standards and some OA to Comd CANSOFCOM for 427 Squadron), but it retains the overall authority.
I get it that sometime fighter pilots make up their own rules, but sometimes you talk outta your ass.

This from CFJP 01 Canadian Military Doctrine. Link below.


The concept and purpose of doctrine

0103. Doctrine is a body of knowledge and thought that provides direction and aids understanding. The CF definition of doctrine is “fundamental principles by which military forces guide their actions in support of objectives. It is authoritative but requires judgment in application.”1 It embraces established wisdom in the areas of problem solving, decision making and planning, and is sometimes defined as simply “what is taught.”

I wear several hats in my job. Sometime they make me feel good.
 

SupersonicMax

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I get it that sometime fighter pilots make up their own rules, but sometimes you talk outta your ass.

This from CFJP 01 Canadian Military Doctrine. Link below.


The concept and purpose of doctrine

0103. Doctrine is a body of knowledge and thought that provides direction and aids understanding. The CF definition of doctrine is “fundamental principles by which military forces guide their actions in support of objectives. It is authoritative but requires judgment in application.”1 It embraces established wisdom in the areas of problem solving, decision making and planning, and is sometimes defined as simply “what is taught.”

I wear several hats in my job. Sometime they make me feel good.
Without context or a meaningful contribution to what judgement could be used, it is still an empty statement, not from the doctrine but your comment in this discussion’s context.

Saying this without context in the discussion is akin to a hockey coach that say their team needs to score more goals. Obviously true but meaningless,
 

Weinie

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Without context or a meaningful contribution to what judgement could be used, it is still an empty statement, not from the doctrine but your comment in this discussion’s context.

Saying this without context in the discussion is akin to a hockey coach that say their team needs to score more goals. Obviously true but meaningless,
Own goal?
 

Oldgateboatdriver

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That element of military power applied within or from the air environment to achieve effects above, on, and below the surface of the Earth.
I noted that. I didn't think that was the definition.

It's pretty weak as definitions go, and the application is incredibly subject to interpretation.

"Element of military power applied within the air environment to achieve effect above the surface of the earth": I shoot down a naval strike missile aimed at my ship with my ESSM. Is this air power? Used an element of military power (my ESSM) to achieve effect (destruction of incoming missile) within the air environment (that's where they met - and achieved the effect).

"Element of military power applied from the air environment to achieve effect on the surface of the earth" : I shoot aTLAM at a target six hundred NM from me. I used an element of military power (a missile) applied from the air environment (it flew more than a thousand Klics) and achieved an effect on the surface of the earth (i destroyed my target).

Any of these two "air power" operations? I think not . To me they are both purely naval operations.

Or is it one of those things that you know when you see it?

Again, not arguing for fun. Just finding that the boundaries are ill defined and that today's military tech is such that there are grey zones that are not clearly RCAF, not to mention some black and white ones that clearly involve the RCAF definition but fall squarely outside its purview (like my two examples above).
 

Good2Golf

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Without context or a meaningful contribution to what judgement could be used, it is still an empty statement, not from the doctrine but your comment in this discussion’s context.

Saying this without context in the discussion is akin to a hockey coach that say their team needs to score more goals. Obviously true but meaningless,
It is no more out of context than you vomiting doctrine without acknowledging the basic nature of doctrine.

Weinie had it exactly right. Authoritative but requiring judgement in application, means it is to be considered in the framework or regulations, policies and procedure, but to be clear, doctrine does not replace them, it is a codification of past experience combined with current best practices.

The RCAF was and remains the least mature of the services, when it comes to doctrine. Look at the dates of the first B-GA-400 and you’ll see what I mean. Some communities have a longer lineage of established doctrine, particularly Tactical Aviation (B-GA-440 series) and Maritime Aviation (B-GA-430 series), because they aligned themselves with the mature doctrine of their supported services. The RCAF even had to copy operational doctrine in the early-2000s from the Army’s COMMAND-SENSE-ACT-SHIELD-SUSTAIN operational doctrine. It added GENERATE as a sixth operational function because of, what I might pejoratively call whinging from the training organizations within the Air Force that wanted what they did to be broken out from SUSTAIN. It then, years later, subdivided ACT into SHAPE and MOVE, because...some of the transport types felt lesser being niched in the SUSTAIN function...apparently poor SUSTAIN doesn’t get the respect internally that it should, but egos and realities is another subject.

Anyway, the point is that it’s nice the RCAF finally codified its doctrine in the late-2000s and early-20teens, but understanding of what doctrine is and how it was formed and how it is appropriately applied seems to still be something younger RCAF practitioners are still working on.

$0.02
 

SupersonicMax

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So, because it is more recent, it should not be taken as seriously as others?

Doctrine is the starting point. If you want to deviate from doctrine, it is fine but you better have good reasons. You don’t deviate from doctrine because the doctrine said we could... In this context, I don’t see the RCAF accepting giving the residual authorities away anytime soon.

FWIW, Sense, Act, Sustain, Shield, Command is joint doctrine (which yes, was based on Army doctrine) but these functions apply equally to all services, including SOF, although some, like you mention, added their own functions.
 

Weinie

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You have cited doctrine as the reason why RCAF should retain oversight/authority. That rationale doesn’t stand up to scrutiny or debate.Capabilities evolve,new concepts are introduced. Otherwise,Maginot Lines for all.
 

SupersonicMax

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I have not cited doctrine as a reason but as to establish the accepted baseline.
 

Good2Golf

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So, because it is more recent, it should not be taken as seriously as others?

Doctrine is the starting point. If you want to deviate from doctrine, it is fine but you better have good reasons. You don’t deviate from doctrine because the doctrine said we could... In this context, I don’t see the RCAF accepting giving the residual authorities away anytime soon.

FWIW, Sense, Act, Sustain, Shield, Command is joint doctrine (which yes, was based on Army doctrine) but these functions apply equally to all services, including SOF, although some, like you mention, added their own functions.
You’re likely too young to have seen the doctrinal 5 Operational Functions start life in land forces across FVEYs & NATO in the mid-90s. Not your fault, but you clearly aren’t familiar with how that doctrine developed.

Your rebuttal that recency relates to seriousness once again misses the point. It’s not seriousness that is the issue, but consideration relative to other constructs I mentioned before, Regulations, Policies and Procedures. Doctrine is contextual and meant to be used to inform leaders at all levels, even to junior NCM leaders, how to train and operate. It contributes to foundational understanding, but it is not the baseline itself. Some organizations even complement their operational doctrine with subordinate guidelines, Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TT&Ps) being one example.

Also, one must be mindful that force generators (and the RCAF is a force generator when it’s not a NORAD force employer) are not the organizations that decide dispositions of Command and Control relationships. There are so many historical and current variations to residual responsibilities, that it is facile and wrong to say that doctrinal residuals will never be delegated.
 

SupersonicMax

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And posters on here are challenging what you accept/espouse as the baseline.
It is described in doctrine. It is the baseline. That was my point, to show that these five residual responsibilities did not come out of my rear end.


You’re likely too young to have seen the doctrinal 5 Operational Functions start life in land forces across FVEYs & NATO in the mid-90s. Not your fault, but you clearly aren’t familiar with how that doctrine developed.

Your rebuttal that recency relates to seriousness once again misses the point. It’s not seriousness that is the issue, but consideration relative to other constructs I mentioned before, Regulations, Policies and Procedures. Doctrine is contextual and meant to be used to inform leaders at all levels, even to junior NCM leaders, how to train and operate. It contributes to foundational understanding, but it is not the baseline itself. Some organizations even complement their operational doctrine with subordinate guidelines, Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TT&Ps) being one example.

Also, one must be mindful that force generators (and the RCAF is a force generator when it’s not a NORAD force employer) are not the organizations that decide dispositions of Command and Control relationships. There are so many historical and current variations to residual responsibilities, that it is facile and wrong to say that doctrinal residuals will never be delegated.

I may not be intimate but I have an idea how that doctrine was developed. I have said that yes, they are delegated but the RCAF retains the overall responsibilities. I have not said it will never be given away, just not anytime soon. Also, Comd 1 CAD is CJOC’s JFACC so the RCAF, indirectly through 1 CAD, is a force employer.
 

Oldgateboatdriver

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Thanks for splitting, PC.

I am definitely gonna keep participating, but first, I want to read through SSM's reference carefully and try and shake a few ideas I already have into cogent arguments/questions.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Taking a quick look at Russian Air Force doctrine, they have four divisions within; Long Range Aviation, Frontal Aviation, Transport Aviation and Air Defense Force. So they have an element dedicated to the tactical and another to the strategic, among others. While the RCAF is small, trying to keep it all multi-purpose might not actually be a good thing and like the Royal Artillery and it's pre-WWII fixation with all things HE, holding onto things because they appear to be within your mandate, might not be the best way to ensure the best effect on target. Also getting any government organization to divest control over something can be hard from the inside. So it may take an outside force to tell the RCAF what they get to keep and not.
 

FJAG

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I think you meant page 9 but note that this doctrine and those residual authorities apply ONLY to RCAF assets that have been transferred from the RCAF as force generator, to the Comd CJOC as force employer (and subsequent transfer to the JTF Comd). They do not automatically belong to assets that already belong to the Army or the Navy. More importantly air space management is not one of the residual authorities. It belongs to the JTF comd who will use various agencies including CA, RCN and RCAF ones to complete that job.

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