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The Defence Budget [superthread]

CombatDoc

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Interesting.  6 weeks ago at the Defence Renewal Team rollout, the message was that there were no planned reductions in military positions, that Defence Renewal was about reinvesting money savings. Then, Gen (Ret'd) Hillier suggests that we reduce the Reg F from 68K to 50K. Now, a mere 6 weeks later, troop reductions are potentially on the table due to budget cuts.

This would follow the historical short-sighted Canadian practice of over-reducing military strength after a conflict. Hard not to think "thank you for your service" post-Afghanistan.
 

CombatDoc

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tomahawk6 said:
So what regiments will give up a battalion ?  >:D
Since the goal is "more tooth, less tail" it is unlikely to be any combat arms units. Not sure how you cut 5k+ positions and re-allocate another 5K to new capabilities (Chinook, cyber, int) etc without completely gutting capabilities.  Pointy end bayonets are not the rate-limiting step in operational capability, it is often the supporting enablers.
 

McG

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E.R. Campbell said:
More cuts coming according to this article which is reproduced under the Fair Dealing provisions of the Copyright Act from the Ottawa Citizen:

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/national/Troop+reductions+could+table+Canada+defence+chief+says/9185278/story.html

Troop reductions would be a very, very good thing if they are applied, 100%, to the too numerous, bloated HQs in and around Ottawa. We can do with several, about ⅓ fewer admirals and generals and far fewer navy captains and colonels, too.
I agree.  Given his previous stance on managing defence costs, I could even see the PM publicly directing that (if cuts do occur) only headquarters establishments may be reduced and that units must be left alone.  This would be a good thing (though, there are certainly units that have fat to shed too).

We have identified a number of reduction opportunities in this thread already.  Admittedly, I would have preferred to see cuts in one place reinvested in another, but we have to live within our fiscal limitations.  Previously identified areas for force reduction include:
  • Consolidate RMC, CMR and CFC into a single educational establishment in Kingston
  • Consolidate CADTC HQ and CTC HQ into a single Canadian Army Training Group HQ under a BGen in Gagetown.
  • Eliminate the Reg F bands.
  • Rebalance officer enrollment paths to reduce the number of ROTP entrants while increasing the number of DEO entrants.
  • Enforce limits on GOFOs as ordered in the 1997 MND report (roughly a 1/3 reduction).
We could also look at partial civilianization of PSel and TDO occupations.  Others have mentioned blanket 10% cuts to all staffs, though I prefer a deliberate line-by-line, task-by-task review of the establishment which will target areas of fat more specifically than other places.

jollyjacktar said:
FRP! FRP! FRP!  :nod:
I hope we can find a more intelligent way of reducing the personnel to match any drop in positions.  Fresh RMC grads should not be given a big chunk of cash to go off into civilian world with their free education, but instead there should be a system that targets/encourages those personnel who have reached or are most closely approaching the 20 year mark.  As previously mentioned by dapaterson, we could/should also return to annual TOS boards (particularly at ranks of LCol and above and MWO and above) to determine whether continued service meets a military requirement.

One can expect that any force reduction will be accompanied by an end to accommodations as it will become more urgent to fill those positions with fit service personnel.  That will add urgency to resolving issues related to transition support and veteran support for injured soldiers.
 

Bird_Gunner45

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jollyjacktar said:
FRP! FRP! FRP!  :nod:

Perhaps a telling sign on the state of the Army (Or maybe just my particular sub-component of it) was that on hearing the news of a potential FRP people actually got EXCITED and began discussing the possibility of it being like the last one with buy outs, etc.

Any similar experiences or are the people in my sub-component just that low morale?
 

Halifax Tar

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Bird_Gunner45 said:
Perhaps a telling sign on the state of the Army (Or maybe just my particular sub-component of it) was that on hearing the news of a potential FRP people actually got EXCITED and began discussing the possibility of it being like the last one with buy outs, etc.

Any similar experiences or are the people in my sub-component just that low morale?

I am roughly 6 years from a 20 year pension so the deal would have to be pretty good but I will defiantly look at what is offered if something is offered.  I wasn't around for FRP, how did it work ?
 

Remius

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I doubt they will do FRP as it was back in the 90's.  They haven't offered any deals to teh PS in their reduction.

My guess?  They'll start with attrition.  I'm willing to bet those that have 30 years + that are due for retirement are in HQ establishments anyway and they will simply not replace those positions.

MCG's RMC consolidation is a good start and reducing ROTP targets in favour of DEO is another.

Not sure about the bands though.  Maybe reduce to the CF Central Band only.

Maybe, just maybe we'll see some real reserve restructuring as well.
 

OldSolduer

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My feeling - no FRP will be offered. Some of the cuts will be covered by attrition and reduced recruiting.

Having said that - this is a trial balloon. If it's not shot down it may float....ya know?
 

George Wallace

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Jim Seggie said:
My feeling - no FRP will be offered. Some of the cuts will be covered by attrition and reduced recruiting.

Having said that - this is a trial balloon. If it's not shot down it may float....ya know?

I doubt attrition will meet the goals.  We all know what kinds of problems reduced recruiting generate. 

Doesn't look good.
 

kilekaldar

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tomahawk6 said:
So what regiments will give up a battalion ?  >:D

Looks like 2 VP and 2 RCR.

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/analysis/manitobans-need-answer-on-shilos-future-232964821.html

 

Remius

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kilekaldar said:
Looks like 2 VP and 2 RCR.

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/analysis/manitobans-need-answer-on-shilos-future-232964821.html

Looks more like worries as opposed to actual decisions about both.  The article is also a bit misleading in that the minister waffled on the whole garantee that 2VP won't be cut.  By stating yea or nay it would be easy to start speculating.  Not garanteeing it does not mean it's a fait accompli.

It would make more sense to amalgamate 1 and 3 RCR (both are in the same area and share space with CSOR) and it might actually be better to do it in a riding that will vote CPC no matter what.

2 RCR is the only atlantic infantry footprint (barring the reserves) so it makes no sense to cut them.  But I wouldn't put it past them to merge 2 of the PPCLI battalions.

We'll see what comes.
 

George Wallace

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You do realize you just said: "makes no sense".  You of course know that usually means something is about to happen that does not make sense, and someone will call it "a good thing".
 

Remius

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George Wallace said:
You do realize you just said: "makes no sense".  You of course know that usually means something is about to happen that does not make sense, and someone will call it "a good thing".

Very true George.  Not sure if they'll call it a good thing, but they'll likely sell it as making the CF leaner and meaner and how they are commited to a robust, effective and capable CF, thank the men and women who have served.  Plenty of spin on whetever happens.
 

OldSolduer

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kilekaldar said:
Looks like 2 VP and 2 RCR.

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/analysis/manitobans-need-answer-on-shilos-future-232964821.html

Don't hold your breath.
 

Scoobie Newbie

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It would cost far to much to move all the pers and equipment from Shilo to Edm as well as cleaning up the Base to be turned over to the public. 
 

OldSolduer

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Sheep Dog AT said:
It would cost far to much to move all the pers and equipment from Shilo to Edm as well as cleaning up the Base to be turned over to the public.
Couple with the fact disbanding the battalion,  the only unit in the CF that has been awarded the US Presidential Unit Citation for Kapyong would not sit well with the soldiers, the Americans and the Koreans.

 

Jed

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Jim Seggie said:
Couple with the fact disbanding the battalion,  the only unit in the CF that has been awarded the US Presidential Unit Citation for Kapyong would not sit well with the soldiers, the Americans and the Koreans.

Probably go over as well as disbanding the Airborne Regiment or messing with the Black Watch or Queen's Own.
 

Old Sweat

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We are getting wrapped around the axle over a bit of speculation by an individual who wrote an oped piece that was published in The Winnipeg Free Press. The author made a bunch of assumptions, some of which may be valid and some of which appear to be pretty wild. Any meaningful reduction in the CAF would have to entail cutting much more than the 1300 positions or so embodied in two battalions. Frankly I am prepared to see what falls out of the trees in the days ahead, but to reach the ceiling Rick Hillier was talking about would require massive amputations, not just trimming. I don't think that is politically possible or even very smart, given the state of the world.
 
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