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Speeding Up Procurement

KevinB

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Nope,

Flamethrowers - esp man portable dont due well with incoming fire...

Since we don't use Napalm I'd guess we'd shudder at using a flamethrower
 

Colin Parkinson

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Geo
I know that it will never happen, our public would never condone it, but one can't help remembering the effectiveness they had in dealing with dug in fanatical nutbars in the last world war.
 

Cloud Cover

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I'm currently reading a book about Iwo Jima and how useful they were with the job there.  And yes, it appears that having to be the poor guy using one was fraught with danger from any number of causes, not the least of which was frequent leaks from the tanks down the hose to the nozzle. 
 

GAP

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Infidel-6 said:
Nope,

Flamethrowers - esp man portable dont due well with incoming fire...

Since we don't use Napalm I'd guess we'd shudder at using a flamethrower

No, but you could use a powder CS. We used to dust tunnels with the stuff, I shudder just remembering getting that stuff on you.
 

KevinB

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I powdered a Barrack Block with it once  ;D
 

geo

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In WW2, the Germans had the Sappers handle the Flamethrowers at the beinning.... later, they had labour / penal battalions that would be taged as storm troopers..... Nice huh?

GAPs idea of CS powder being blown into caves, houses and nooks & crannies - I LIKE!
 

Old Guy

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Jeez.  Napalm?  Flamethrowers?

What's next?  Arc Light Strikes? 

Don't you guys know we're conducting a kinder, gentler form of warfare?

:) 
jim
 

GAP

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I think they were still using Arc Strikes in 2001
 

Infanteer

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Recce By Death said:
Coyotes and LAVs are completely different beasts due to the surv op package we employ. Coyote is set up for it, LAV is not.

Regards

I don't think it would be a stretch to move the Surveillance package into the larger LAVIII, would it?  Isn't this what the Americans are doing with the RSTA Squadrons (although with a different surveillance package)?
 

deh

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Infidel-6 said:
I powdered a Barrack Block with it once  ;D

Oddly enough, I had the privilege of having a 1VP type as my fire team partner on my mod 6 INF this summer.  When I asked him if he knew who you were that was the first story he told...
 

Edward Campbell

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Here is more, again citing former DND ADM(Mat) Alan Williams, from today’s (10 Jan 07) Globe and Mail, reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070110.wxdefence10/BNStory/National/home
Military procurement under fire
Purchasing process lacks oversight, ex-bureaucrat says

DANIEL LEBLANC
From Wednesday's Globe and Mail

OTTAWA — The military branch at National Defence has grabbed control of the procurement process from the hands of the department's civilian branch, the former top bureaucrat on the acquisition file at DND said in an interview.

Alan Williams, the retired assistant deputy minister for procurement, said the consequences of this recent change are massive: Canadians stand to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in extra costs in coming military purchases, with no guarantee of obtaining the best product.

The situation also goes against the tradition in which the Canadians Forces run the military aspects of Canada's defence, while civilians are responsible for setting the overall policy objectives and the administration of the department.

Mr. Williams is sounding the alarm as the government is buying $13-billion in aircraft through processes that a number of critics said are uncompetitive, with only one company in the running for each purchase.

"These de facto sole-sourced contracts show there is something wrong in the overall procurement system," Mr. Williams said.

Mr. Williams offered an anecdote to explain what is wrong with the situation, in which the military is trying to direct purchases in favour of hand-picked products.

When General Rick Hillier became Chief of the Defence Staff in February, 2005, he and Mr. Williams had a meeting during which Gen. Hillier laid out his desire for a specific helicopter built by Boeing.

"He told me, 'Alan, we need Chinooks,' " Mr. Williams said. "I said, 'Rick, your job is to define the requirements, and my job is to work the system and find the optimum solution to meet your needs."

Gen. Hillier eventually got his wish, as the Tory government approved the purchase of 16 Chinook helicopters, saying it was the only aircraft to meet the requirements of the Canadians Forces.

Mr. Williams said that Gen. Hillier, who is known as a tough and aggressive leader in the military, is doing his job, but that his civilian counterparts aren't exercising appropriate oversight these days.

"If no one is going to . . . force him to back off a bit, he won't. He certainly won't do it until someone makes him do it," Mr. Williams said. "If you're a military person, I think you feel thrilled with the kind of leadership you're getting from him. It just has to be sort of monitored or managed when he gets outside his lanes, and that kind of thing isn't happening as readily now."

In addition to purchasing Chinook helicopters, DND started last year to acquire C17 cargo planes and C130J transport planes, through processes in which only one aircraft qualified for each competition.

Another top priority at DND is to purchase search-and-rescue planes at a cost of $3-billion, once again through a process in which only one aircraft, Alenia's C27J, is seen to be in the running.

"There is no strong civilian authority in place to question or to challenge this," Mr. Williams said.

He said that without adequate competitions on these purchases, the government will likely pay 5 to 20 per cent too much to the winning companies.

Mr. Williams worked from 1999 to 2005 at DND, where he assisted in planning for the current purchases.

When The Globe and Mail asked DND for an official response to his comments, a spokeswoman said that the procurement process is overseen by civilians at the Department of Public Works, and that the cabinet has to approve all major initiatives. Spokeswoman Krista Hannivan added that former military officials have to adhere to the rules governing all civilians when they enter the bureaucracy.

"Before procurement initiatives can become projects, they are scrutinized by and require approval from a number of committees of boards, many of which are comprised solely of civilians . . . like cabinet committees and Treasury Board," Ms. Hannivan said.

In a recent book, Reinventing Canadian Defence Procurement, Mr. Williams said the military is using its power to set out technical requirements for new equipment to shut out products from the process.

Mr. Williams is advocating the creation of a body that would be responsible for major purchases from DND and Public Works Canada.

Current Purchases

Product: C-17 Globemaster
Need: Giant cargo planes for "strategic lift"
Possible usage: Bringing armoured vehicles to combat zones
Company: Boeing
Number: 4
Budget (aircraft and maintenance): $3.4-billion
Status: The government is negotiating the purchase with the company.

Product: Hercules C-130J
Need: Transport planes for "tactical lift"
Possible usage: Flying troops and smaller equipment in danger zones
Company: Lockheed Martin
Number: 17
Budget (aircraft and maintenance): $4.9-billion
Status: The government is in early-stage discussions with the company.

Chinook
Need: Medium- and heavy-lift helicopters
Possible usage: Transporting troops in Afghanistan
Company: Boeing
Number: 16
Budget (aircraft and maintenance): $4.7-billion
Status: The government is negotiating the purchase with the company.

Planned Purchases

Search-and-rescue airplanes
Possible usage: Searching for survivors after a crash in a mountainous area
Number: 15 to 19
Budget (aircraft and maintenance): $3-billion
Status: Waiting for cabinet approval to launch the process; currently, government and industry experts say Alenia's C-27J is the most serious contender.

Support ships for the navy
Possible usage: Transporting equipment across oceans and refuelling other ships
Number: 2
Budget (ship and maintenance): $2.9-billion
Status: Two companies have been hired at a cost of $25-million to propose designs for the new ships.

Medium-sized logistics trucks
Possible usage: Driving around people, equipment and supplies in a theatre of operations
Number: 2,300
Budget (vehicles and maintenance): $1.2-billion
Status: The government is planning to issue three requests for proposals (RFPs) in regards to this purchase in the spring and in the summer.

Source: DND

I agree with Mr. Williams on two points:

1. It is, indeed, the responsibility of the civilian administration to decide how much of everything – money, men and materiel – and what sort of everything the CDS will be given in order to accomplish the tasks assigned by the government of the day.  The CDS can beg and plead and explain and bluster and threaten but, at the end of the dsay, a civilians decide; and

2. There ought to be “a body that would be responsible for major purchases from DND” – but I am certain that he and I would disagree on how it ought to work.

Everything else Mr. Williams says, according to Daniel Leblanc, anyway, is unadulterated rubbish.

The military has not “grabbed control of the procurement process from the hands of the department's civilian branch.”  It may be that some military operational requirements have constrained the level to which politicians and bureaucrats can muddy the procurement system to achieve political pork-barreling ends and it may be that Gen. Hillier’s public diplomacy has persuaded ministers and the PCO of the urgency of some procurement actions.  Neither equates to grabbing control of the process.

"These de facto sole-sourced contracts,” as Williams describes them, show only that DND’s operational and support system were allowed to rust out thanks to a combination of bureaucratic ineptitude – over which Mr. Williams presided – and M. Chrétien’s Trudeauistic political mischief.

If Gen. Hillier’s ‘civilian counterparts aren't exercising appropriate oversight these days’ then they have only themselves and their political masters to blame.  But, I do not believe that any such failure exists.  Kevin Lynch, the Clerk of the Privy Council, the most senior civil servant in the country, has (perhaps by silence) approved everything DND has done.  That is, as it must be, good enough for every bureaucrat in Canada.  Civilian oversight is alive and well – it is just that decades of neglect have some home to roost and Canada must now face the fact that there are limited choices when suitable kit is required on an urgent basis.

When Mr. Williams says: "There is no strong civilian authority in place to question or to challenge this," he is really saying, “I don’t have my old job with the big office and all the power lunches any more.”  I, for one, say: ”Thank heavens!”

There is a need for major reform to the national military procurement system.  It is a totally ineffective and inefficient system which, habitually, takes too long to acquire the equipment DND needs and then pays too much for it.  There are too many cooks; that’s why the broth is so often spoilt.

DND’s military equipment should be procured by an ‘arms length’ body.

If Canada can sell its military hardware through such an arms length agency - http://www.ccc.ca/eng/home.cfm then there is no reason why we cannot use a similar, sister agency to buy military hardware.

We need to get military procurement away from all of DND, Public Works and Government Services, Treasury Board, Industry Canada and a half dozen other government departments and agencies which, routinely, are involved in procurement decisions – almost always slowing the process and adding costs.  We need a system in which:

• The military defines its operational requirements – in performance terms;

• DND civilians confirm the military’ requirements meet approved defence policy objectives and, working with the military staff, secure financial resources from the government;

• Cabinet and parliament approve the requirements and budgets;

• The Treasury Board allocates the funds; and

• The ‘arms length’ works in the market to find, select and purchase equipment and facilities which meet DND’s requirements within the approved budget.
 

geo

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Considering the acquisition process has been developed into an administrative masterpice lasting years and years, it is about time someone did a little bit of a shake up.  We the members of the CF do not & should not have to look up at the "gods of administration" while the acquisition process is stretched to the breaking point.

Lets even out the playing field and form just one team?
 

warspite

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Alan Williams, the retired assistant deputy minister for procurement
Is it just me or does this guy sound like some bitter person complaining now that he's not in charge?
 

HDE

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His views would be a little more useful if he'd spent his time in a system that didn't seem to have such a dubious record of achievement.  It seems a bit like a losing coach being asked for the secret to his victories.  I think the larger issue should be what can/should be done to make the whole process work better.
 

mjohnston39

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Mr. Williams is sounding the alarm as the government is buying $13-billion in aircraft through processes that a number of critics said are uncompetitive, with only one company in the running for each purchase.

"These de facto sole-sourced contracts show there is something wrong in the overall procurement system," Mr. Williams said.

Mr. Williams offered an anecdote to explain what is wrong with the situation, in which the military is trying to direct purchases in favour of hand-picked products.

When General Rick Hillier became Chief of the Defence Staff in February, 2005, he and Mr. Williams had a meeting during which Gen. Hillier laid out his desire for a specific helicopter built by Boeing.

"He told me, 'Alan, we need Chinooks,' " Mr. Williams said. "I said, 'Rick, your job is to define the requirements, and my job is to work the system and find the optimum solution to meet your needs."

Again lack of due diligence and half-truths by the MSM , McCallum was trying to sole source new trucks back in 2003, before Gen. Hillier was CDS, and IIRC, the Liberals were loooking at sole sourcing the 130J prioir to the last election...


http://www.canada.com/components/print.aspx?id=8d166c3e-aa30-40d1-ada5-72dc41c4f7a8&k=25695

David ********
CanWest News Service; Ottawa Citizen


Wednesday, January 10, 2007


The Canadian Forces is starting the process of purchasing more than $1 billion of new trucks to replace its fleet of rusting vehicles, which date back to the 1980s.

Industry officials will receive by the end of the month a draft of the specifications for the vehicles to be bought in the first phase of the project. A contract to purchase 800 commercial trucks, which would have military components, is expected to be awarded in the fall, Defence Department spokeswoman Tina Crouse said.

A second phase to buy 1,500 medium-sized trucks built specifically for military missions would be launched later this year. That contract is expected to be awarded in 2008, Crouse said.

Another portion of the project calls for the purchase of specialized kits for some of the trucks, as well as trailers and armour kits for added protection when operating in a war zone.

The total truck project is estimated to cost $1.1 billion. Another $100 million will be spent over the next 20 years on in-service support for the vehicles.

The government made the initial announcement last summer.

Chief of the Defence Staff Gen. Rick Hillier has called the truck purchase critical since the current fleet of medium-sized military trucks has reached the end of its service life. Those trucks were fielded in the early 1980s with an original expected service life of 15 years. Attempts to replace the trucks have been put on hold over the years because of other funding priorities and a lack of money, according to officers.

In 2003 the Canadian Forces was given tentative approval by then defence minister John McCallum to move ahead with a deal to purchase 1,500 new Stewart and Stevenson trucks direct from the U.S. army at substantial savings. However, that plan was scuttled after bureaucratic in-fighting between various government departments over concerns about industrial benefits for Canadian companies.

After 2010, the aging truck fleet will become economically unsupportable due to a lack of parts, ongoing problems with rust and overall wear and tear. In 2003 a Defence Department report warned that the vehicles could be hit by a ''catastrophic'' failure at any time because of poor brakes and steering systems. Catastrophic failure is used to signify accidents that could involve serious injuries or death.

Some companies are already lining up to bid on the program. Mercedes-Benz Canada is putting together a proposal to provide medium-sized trucks to the military.

Stanley Ing, manger of Mercedes-Benz Canada's defence programs, said the trucks would be built in Germany but added that ''the fair share of the significant work will be done in Canada.''

Stewart and Stevenson, as well as the Oshkosh Truck Corporation, both of the U.S., are also expected to bid on the project.

Other plans are underway to buy armoured heavy transport trucks for use in Afghanistan. At least 100 armoured transport trucks would be bought as part of a project expected to cost $100 million.



 

Brad Sallows

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What would be really funny is if anyone's covert negotiations were thrown out by the results of the last federal election.  One would expect them to stall until the channels could be re-established.  Too bad we already had an Airbus Affair.  I think there's a plot for a fiction novel in here somewhere.
 

Edward Campbell

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This is a very pertinent letter to the editor from today’s (13 Jan 07) Globe and Mail, reproduced under the Fair Dealings provisions of the Copyright Act.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20070113.LETTERS13-3/TPStory?cid=al_gam_globeedge
Military acquisitions

WARD ELCOCK
Deputy Minister, Department of National Defence


Ottawa -- As the senior civilian official responsible for military procurement in the Department of National Defence, I take exception to certain comments attributed to Alan Williams, the retired assistant deputy minister for procurement, in the article Military Procurement Under Fire: Purchasing Process Lacks Oversight, Ex-Bureaucrat Says (Jan. 10).

The Canadian Forces define the military requirements necessary to perform the tasks our government asks of them -- an appropriate arrangement as the Canadian Forces must bear the consequences of these decisions. Once the requirement is defined, each major capital acquisition is examined in detail by military and civilian authorities before being submitted to the Minister of National Defence, who then takes it to cabinet and Treasury Board for approval. Civilian officials in a number of other government departments similarly review and challenge all aspects of major projects prior to consideration by ministers.

For many years, military procurement has been, admittedly, an expensive, slow and frustrating process. We have now adopted a new approach of issuing broad, high-level operational requirements that invite potential suppliers to indicate their interest and demonstrate their ability to meet mandatory requirements before proceeding to the bidding stage. The focus is on the acquisition of operationally effective equipment in a useful time frame that provides the best value to the government over the life of the equipment.

While these changes have streamlined the department's process, the oversight and approval mechanisms remain robust, contrary to what is suggested by Mr. Williams.

This is a very vigorous slap in face for Mr. Williams.  I think you can rest assured that this letter was approved at the very highest level of government – the Privy Council Office.  Don’t expect to thumb through copies of Mr. Williams’ book from the  bookshelves in senior bureaucrats’ outer offices/waiting rooms while you’re waiting to visit on of Ottawa’s great and good.

I hope Mr. Williams isn’t planning of being a lobbyist – this just ensured he will not be welcome in the offices of many people who matter.
 

Edward Campbell

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Just so we all know that it’s business as usual in the defence procurement business, I offer this, reproduced under the Fair Dealings provisions of the Copyright Act, from today’s (19 Jan 07) Globe and Mail:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20070119.wxboeing19/BNStory/National/home
Quebec quarrel delays military aircraft delivery
Boeing pressed to spend in province

DANIEL LEBLANC
From Friday's Globe and Mail

OTTAWA — The delivery of Canada's first military cargo aircraft faces delays while Boeing is embroiled in a backroom battle with Public Works Minister Michael Fortier over Quebec's share of economic benefits flowing from the $3.4-billion purchase.

The negotiations, which were scheduled to close last month, are running into overtime and jeopardizing the plan to deliver the first of four C-17 aircraft to the Canadian Forces in June.

To obtain the contract, U.S.-based Boeing Co. has to pledge to buy supplies and services worth the exact value of the purchase in Canada. This package of regional benefits can be spent directly to build or maintain the Boeing C-17s, or any other current and future Boeing aircraft.

With billions at stake, Boeing is facing political pressure to invest heavily in Quebec, where 55 per cent to 60 per cent of Canada's aerospace industry is located.

But the company plans to spend only 30 per cent of the economic benefits in the politically sensitive province, while directing the rest to other provinces, industry and government sources said.

One of the issues facing the company is that it has a number of competitors in Quebec, such as Bombardier Inc., and Boeing prefers to invest most of its money elsewhere.

A number of Quebec businesses and politicians -- including Mr. Fortier -- are fighting to boost the province's share of the regional benefits.

He hasn't publicly set out a target for Quebec's share of these economic benefits, but he is staunchly defending the industry that is mainly located in the Montreal area. Mr. Fortier, an unelected senator, will be running in Vaudreuil-Soulanges, just west of Montreal, in the next election. As Public Works Minister, he has the final responsibility for signing the contract.

"Mr. Fortier wants the maximum for Quebec. He is the political minister responsible for the Montreal region," a federal official said.

He is working alongside Industry Minister Maxime Bernier, responsible for regional benefits. Mr. Bernier, who represents Beauce riding in south-central Quebec, is more laissez-faire in his attitude to the distribution of benefits.

Sources characterized it as Mr. Bernier acting as good cop to Mr. Fortier's bad cop in negotiations.

"Mr. Fortier is acting as the minister for Quebec, while Mr. Bernier is acting as the minister for Canada," an industry official said, who added that Mr. Fortier's goals are "unrealistic."

The most recent round of negotiations between government and Boeing officials occurred last week in California, where the C-17 is built.

Boeing has warned that it can guarantee its current price only until the end of this month, saying the cost could go up after that.

Sources said Mr. Fortier shot back by saying the government doesn't have to sign the deal if Boeing refuses to budge.

Sue Dabrowski, general manager of the Quebec Aerospace Association, said her members have high expectations in terms of regional benefits.

"In Quebec, we have 60 per cent of the market. We want 60 per cent of the economic benefits," she said.

The Bloc Québécois is also arguing that most of the money should flow into Quebec, stating that if this were an automobile purchase, the money would end up in Ontario.

Under the current proposal, Ontario would get about one-third of the benefits, while the western provinces would share 20 per cent. The eastern provinces stand to get slightly less than 10 per cent, with the remaining portion still to be allocated.

Ron Kane, vice-president of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada, said the industrial-benefit package will likely fall short of fulfilling the expectations in Quebec.

"Regional balance is always an issue," he said. "Quebec is a significant portion -- about 56 or 57 per cent -- of Canada's industry. But that in itself is not the guideline in terms of what that regional allocation or distribution of benefits should look like."

Mr. Kane confirmed that not all of the players in the Quebec aerospace industry can expect to receive major contracts in that context.

"There may be companies in Quebec that are natural fits. There may be companies in Quebec that are not natural fits, particularly where there could be a competitive situation," he said.

The lobbying over regional benefits will not end with the C-17 negotiations. The government is planning to purchase $4.7-billion in Chinook helicopters from Boeing and $5-billion in Hercules C130J aircraft from Lockheed-Martin this year.

In these two cases as well, the companies will have to plow the exact amount of the sale in direct and indirect benefits into the Canadian economy.

Boeing refused to comment on the continuing C-17 negotiations.

Sharing the benefits

Aircraft giant Boeing has found itself caught in the middle of provincial wrangling for its business.

The approximate share of Canada's $22-billion aerospace industry, by economic region:

Western Canada: 10%
Atlantic Canada: 5%
Quebec: 55%
Ontario: 30%

SOURCE: INDUSTRY CANADA

Let us remember, first, that national unity, which, for many Québecers means fiscal federalism at its ‘finest,’ has been a major issue in Canadian social, domestic, economic and trade, foreign and defence policies for generations.

This does, however, illustrate why an arms length procurement agency would save the government from this sort of bad press.  No matter how this ends up, Gilles Duceppe and the BQ win: if Fortier ‘wins’ then Duceppe says: “We, the Bloc, made him do it; you need us in Ottawa to keep Québec ministers’ feet to the fire – to bring the ‘goodies’ home, chez nous.”  If Fortier loses then Duceppe says: “See!  Told you so!  Federalism doesn’t work; we don’t get our fair share.  Vote BQ and let’s get out of Canada.”
 
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