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Time to invest in more CAF logistics?

McG

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Logistics woes could strain military deployments
Canada’s military is gearing up for a busy period of overseas deployments but the big task of keeping those missions supplied could stretch resources thin, experts say.

By Bruce Campion-Smith, Ottawa Bureau
Toronto Star
14 Aug 2016

OTTAWA—Canada’s military is gearing up for a busy period of overseas deployments but the big task of ferrying troops and supplies to these dispersed missions could stretch defence resources thin, experts say.

With ongoing commitments in the Middle East and Ukraine, a newly announced force for Latvia and an expected mission in Africa, providing logistical support for these widely spread operations could be more than armed forces is able to handle, said retired general Lewis MacKenzie.

“What will make it borderline impossible is the logistics support,” MacKenzie said.

“Forget about asking whether we have the combat arms capability. It’s whether we have the logistics capability to support them properly,” he said in an interview.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan is currently on a five-country fact-finding mission in Africa as the Liberal government weighs options for a peace support mission in the region.

But defence analyst Dave Perry said the challenge for Canada’s military won’t be finding troops for that new mission but supporting them in the field.

Having significant operations ongoing in five sites across the globe — Latvia, Iraq, Kuwait, Ukraine and Africa — would test military logistics to keep provisions, gear and troop rotations flowing, he said.

“It’s fairly taxing on the forces’ support capacity,” he said in an interview, noting that the Royal Canadian Air Force has just five CC-177 Globemaster III heavy-lift transport aircraft.

“When you get into doing a lot of missions, a lot of times it’s the logistics and support people that get worn out the fastest,” said Perry, a senior analyst with the Canadian Global Affairs Institute.

...
https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2016/08/14/logistics-woes-could-strain-military-deployments.html

Is it time to invest more into the CAF's logistics?  This is an area where we always force the personnel to do more with less.  When resources are available for investment, there is also a tendency to invest those resources into Op functions with the idea that the CSS stuff will be sorted out later ... but "later" never happens and the logisticians are called to sp new capabilities with out new resources of their own.

In the Army, we have 4 GS Arty Regt as a Div Arty asset.  But we do not have a Division Support Group (DISGP) to provide a Div CSS asset.  4 ESR exists as a Div Engr asset, and it is posturing itself as the force generator for the JTFSC theatre opening function.  But we do not have a Joint Services Battalion to function as the CSS force generator for the JTFSC (and, CSS is the biggest part of what the JTFSC is).  Instead, we have three service battalions - each one with bi-polar responsibilities to support their brigade, support their garrison/base, provide Div CSS functions on Ex MR, and force generate the CSS to both the tactical and operational level on deployed operations. 

I don't know that we necessarily need a "J Svc Bn" but I do think we are overly thin on our CSS force generation base.  Partially this is because of the double hatting of field and garrison support personnel.

We don't have fully deployable CSS organizations because the units all retain significant garrison responsibilities.  Is that a problem?  The experiment to split field and garrison between a CS Bn and a GS Bn (~12 years ago) failed when it was not resourced adequately.  Should we try this again with an investment of PYs?

... and then there are the strat assets mentioned in the article - the airlift and sealift.
 

Infanteer

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A few points:

1.  We do have the CF Joint Operational Support Group, but I'm not sure that's what you were looking at with your post above?

2.  I suspect we need to manage our CSS personnel a bit better as well (as part of a larger effort CAF wide).  The Service Battalions are large units, with 850+ PYs allocated to each.  If you look, they've built redundancies in these organizations.  Yet, I have spoken with people who have commanded within the Battalions and state that the rate of undeployable personnel is somewhat higher compared to other units, owing to "broken, unfit people".  I'd need to see numbers to know if it is indeed a problem, but it is something I've heard more than once.

3.  What is the problem exactly; are our Service Battalions not robust enough to handle multiple missions, or have we just not resourced them enough?
 

dapaterson

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Svc Bns, on paper, provide second line support to the Bde gp.  But in our recent past, we've morphed them into providing first, second and third line simultaneously.  That is not workable in a conventional, force on force scenario.

They lack equipment - LSVWs were never very good, and are now self-divesting with no replacement in sight.  The MSVS SMP will slowly start to appear, but there's still no heavy lift (since the HLVW, like the LSVW, has seen its numbers slashed and those that remain lack spares and are aging out, with no replacement).  There is little to no recovery capability.  Deployable food service capability is reliant on trailers that are well past their last legs.  Fitter variants of new vehicles are rarely acquired.

Similarly, the multiple small fleets in service with the Arty, Armd, Engrs and Inf create support pressures.  Spares and tooling are required for each vehicle microfleet.  Different ammunition natures may be required as well.

 

ModlrMike

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We will continue to do what we've always done... strip the needed folks from every unit out there. Live with the deficit at home.
 

Bird_Gunner45

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Infanteer said:
A few points:

1.  We do have the CF Joint Operational Support Group, but I'm not sure that's what you were looking at with your post above?

2.  I suspect we need to manage our CSS personnel a bit better as well (as part of a larger effort CAF wide).  The Service Battalions are large units, with 850+ PYs allocated to each.  If you look, they've built redundancies in these organizations.  Yet, I have spoken with people who have commanded within the Battalions and state that the rate of undeployable personnel is somewhat higher compared to other units, owing to "broken, unfit people".  I'd need to see numbers to know if it is indeed a problem, but it is something I've heard more than once.

3.  What is the problem exactly; are our Service Battalions not robust enough to handle multiple missions, or have we just not resourced them enough?

I suspect that he was talking about having an actual doctrinal Divisional support group which, according to the book, would have a Supply Bn, Transport Bn, and Fin coy.

One of the problems for the Svc Bn's, as dapaterson stated, is that they are used to provide institutional and tactical support where they should be focused solely on tactical support.

 

Old Sweat

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In even a semi-perfect world the Service Battalions would focus solely on tactical support. However, half a century ago to implement one of the series of annual force cuts, the bases and service battalions were merged. At the time this acknowledged that we were giving up the ability to deploy a Canadian-based brigade group. It was about this time that the Canadian-based brigade groups were renamed Combat Groups, which were officially non-tactical organizations.

Believe me, as somebody who was there, the sixties and seventies made the decade of darkness look like a picnic.
 

dapaterson

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The most recent round of support reductions was done in a typically Canadian manner: remote support dets were steamrollered, and the HQs that used to command them grew the number of officers to command fewer dets.

Somehow, this is considered success.  Except for the few support personnel left in situ, with twice the work.
 

Old Sweat

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dapaterson said:
The most recent round of support reductions was done in a typically Canadian manner: remote support dets were steamrollered, and the HQs that used to command them grew the number of officers to command fewer dets.

Somehow, this is considered success.  Except for the few support personnel left in situ, with twice the work.

The theory obviously being that more highly-educated managers and executives can compensate for a lack of resources by using them in a more efficient and effective manner.
 

dapaterson

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Old Sweat said:
The theory obviously being that more highly-educated managers and executives can compensate for a lack of resources by using them in a more efficient and effective manner.

[lol:  [lol:  [lol:  [lol:

No.  The theory being that we've build massive, bloated HQs infested with the Cbt Arms officers who should never again be entrusted with soldiers, and the CSS needs their fair share of such places to hide branch/corps mistakes.
 

Bird_Gunner45

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Old Sweat said:
In even a semi-perfect world the Service Battalions would focus solely on tactical support. However, half a century ago to implement one of the series of annual force cuts, the bases and service battalions were merged. At the time this acknowledged that we were giving up the ability to deploy a Canadian-based brigade group. It was about this time that the Canadian-based brigade groups were renamed Combat Groups, which were officially non-tactical organizations.

Believe me, as somebody who was there, the sixties and seventies made the decade of darkness look like a picnic.

The last I heard there was an intent to re-org the Service Battalions so that there would be a S&T Coy and Admin Coy that focussed on tactical logistics and a Garrison Support Coy that would provide the institutional support. That's what was on the last update anyway....

In general, I don't think we need to invest in more CAF Logistics (The last LOCC had 92 students on it... 92!!!!!) I think we need to use what we have more efficiently. There are more logistics officers in Canada right now than there are in the artillery branch all ranks
 

dapaterson

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Bird_Gunner45 said:
There are more logistics officers in Canada right now than there are in the artillery branch all ranks

False.  The Artilleryman occupation is larger than the Log O occupation.

 

MJP

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Bird_Gunner45 said:
The last I heard there was an intent to re-org the Service Battalions so that there would be a S&T Coy and Admin Coy that focussed on tactical logistics and a Garrison Support Coy that would provide the institutional support. That's what was on the last update anyway....

In general, I don't think we need to invest in more CAF Logistics (The last LOCC had 92 students on it... 92!!!!!) I think we need to use what we have more efficiently. There are more logistics officers in Canada right now than there are in the artillery branch all ranks

There are currently 3 COAs being floated for re-org of Svc Bn.  In all COAs the Svc Bn loses the FSG PYs that Infanteer alluded to above.  How that translates and is actually done remains to be seen as a good number of those posn are actually used within the Svc Bn proper, my hope is the Svc Bn gets to absorb a good number of those PYs into the functional Coys.


COA1 Status Quo

The Svc Bn retains all both institutional and field support tasks and there is no significant changes to overall structure.

COA 2

Consolidate Tech Svcs (institutional Sp) under the Svc Bn making a Tech Svcs Coy

COA 3

Transfer a Tech Svcs Coy to the CDSGs (in essence remaking the CS/GS split)

All three have their pro and cons.  I personally prefer COA 2 because it has a clearer delineation between institutional vs field tasks.

Those with DWAN can see more here  http://acims.mil.ca/conf/ArmyG4Conf/Autumn%2015/Svc%20Bn%20Structure%20Review%20V1.pptx

One point of observation is that the traditional S&T Coy which is very heavy T doesn't work very well with our current supply system.  On Ex MR this year we had to substantially beef up the S side to keep up with the demands of the Bde.  So we are trying out in 1 Svc to beef up the S side of the house to essentially be a Coy- with all related Supply functions when we deploy to the field.  Not all pieces are relevant dependant on the duration, location and other factors but the ability to go to an austere locations and provide ALL supply functions is a huge force multiplier. 
 

Bird_Gunner45

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MJP said:
There are currently 3 COAs being floated for re-org of Svc Bn.  In all COAs the Svc Bn loses the FSG PYs that Infanteer alluded to above.  How that translates and is actually done remains to be seen as a good number of those posn are actually used within the Svc Bn proper, my hope is the Svc Bn gets to absorb a good number of those PYs into the functional Coys.


COA1 Status Quo

The Svc Bn retains all both institutional and field support tasks and there is no significant changes to overall structure.

COA 2

Consolidate Tech Svcs (institutional Sp) under the Svc Bn making a Tech Svcs Coy

COA 3

Transfer a Tech Svcs Coy to the CDSGs (in essence remaking the CS/GS split)

All three have their pro and cons.  I personally prefer COA 2 because it has a clearer delineation between institutional vs field tasks.

Those with DWAN can see more here  http://acims.mil.ca/conf/ArmyG4Conf/Autumn%2015/Svc%20Bn%20Structure%20Review%20V1.pptx

One point of observation is that the traditional S&T Coy which is very heavy T doesn't work very well with our current supply system.  On Ex MR this year we had to substantially beef up the S side to keep up with the demands of the Bde.  So we are trying out in 1 Svc to beef up the S side of the house to essentially be a Coy- with all related Supply functions when we deploy to the field.  Not all pieces are relevant dependant on the duration, location and other factors but the ability to go to an austere locations and provide ALL supply functions is a huge force multiplier.

dapterson- Error found. We were briefed there were ~2400 Log O's in Canada but the number, according to the career manager site, appears to be closer to ~1600 regular force. Regular force artillery would be, then, slightly bigger.

MJP- We were briefed that COA 2 was the recommendation going forward, though COA 3 might not be a bad way of streamlining different functions. For example, COA 2 would be weird for 3 Div as you would have to find a way to include Edmonton, Shilo, Dundurn, Suffield, and Wainwright into the Service Bn. Adding a Supply Coy, Transport Coy, Foods coy, etc structure to 3 CDSG COULD allow all the different bases to be grouped based on function (All base supplies in Supply Coy for example) which would remove some of the local confusions.

As for the S&T construct, the ability to force tailor is difficult. Talking to friends in 1 Svc Bn indicated that part of the problem was the requirement to "cobble together" a S&T Coy out of the military parts of the Svc Bn and the fit parts of that part... taking all the civilians out of the proposed S&T Coy would be a good start to improving overall readiness IMHO and allow for better field training, preparation, and development of SOPs.
 

McG

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Infanteer said:
1.  We do have the CF Joint Operational Support Group, but I'm not sure that's what you were looking at with your post above?
You are correct.  I am looking at the tactical level and the link that connects CF JOSG to the tactical.

Infanteer said:
2.  I suspect we need to manage our CSS personnel a bit better as well (as part of a larger effort CAF wide).  The Service Battalions are large units, with 850+ PYs allocated to each.  If you look, they've built redundancies in these organizations.  Yet, I have spoken with people who have commanded within the Battalions and state that the rate of undeployable personnel is somewhat higher compared to other units, owing to "broken, unfit people".  I'd need to see numbers to know if it is indeed a problem, but it is something I've heard more than once.
Agreed on this part.  I am also tracking examples where 1 Service Battalion is going short on manning to prioritize CSS manning in first line services sub-units in the other bde units.  In 2 CMBG and 5 CMBG, the first line units have civilians filling supply and maintenance roles – this creates the illusion of functioning first line CSS, but it is only an illusion as the capability is not deployable with the unit that it supports.

Infanteer said:
3.  What is the problem exactly; are our Service Battalions not robust enough to handle multiple missions, or have we just not resourced them enough?
I am not sure that I understand the nuance of the distinction that you are making here.

MJP said:
One point of observation is that the traditional S&T Coy which is very heavy T doesn't work very well with our current supply system.  On Ex MR this year we had to substantially beef up the S side to keep up with the demands of the Bde.  So we are trying out in 1 Svc to beef up the S side of the house to essentially be a Coy- with all related Supply functions when we deploy to the field.  Not all pieces are relevant dependant on the duration, location and other factors but the ability to go to an austere locations and provide ALL supply functions is a huge force multiplier.
How much of this problem was the result of third line functions being staffed out of the hide of the brigade?  While 1 Svc Bn was moving through the training area supporting the brigade (ie. doing its doctrinal job), it had personnel in the DSA doing the third line supply work (ie. doing somebody else’s doctrinal job) to feed itself.  At the same time, I am aware that maintenance and supply personnel were taken from first line units to do parts and supply ordering from the JTFSC location [those wanting to spin this positively will say the brigade made DRMIS work in the field, but in reality DRMIS failed in the field and its failure was hidden by a Band-Aid with landline network access from a static third line location].  Would 1 Svc Bn have had the same problems if some other organization was resourced and mandated to look after the support at echelons above brigade?

Bird_Gunner45 said:
I suspect that he was talking about having an actual doctrinal Divisional support group which, according to the book, would have a Supply Bn, Transport Bn, and Fin coy. 
I don’t think an old doctrine DISGP is really what we need.  Given our dispersed geography, I think institutional requirements call for dispersed multi-functional organizations.  Layering past structures onto the present organization, it could be that we have a CS Bn in each CMBG and a GS Bn reporting to each Div.  The CS Bn is 100% focused on supporting the brigade, it can deploy to and move in the field, it is 100% military (less maybe the CO’s secretary that every unit seems to have), and it would be responsible to FG second line CSS to land operations.  The GS Bn would be mostly focused on institutional support but it would retain some deployable capability (a Fd Sp Coy?); the deployable component would be able to deploy to but not necessarily able to move in the field, and it would be responsible to FG third line CSS (ie. the JTFSC/NSE) to land and joint operations.

... and this will need more trucks, radios and canvas to make work.

Bird_Gunner45 said:
In general, I don't think we need to invest in more CAF Logistics (The last LOCC had 92 students on it... 92!!!!!) I think we need to use what we have more efficiently. There are more logistics officers in Canada right now than there are in the artillery branch all ranks.
Is this not a false dichotomy?  Can we not invest more and better use existing resources?  Fewer Log sr officers and more corporals?  Every base clothing shop that I have been through could benefit immensely from a few more corporals behind the desk.

Another thought: 1 Cdn Div is supposed to be the deployable HQ.  Does it have sufficient integral CSS to support itself through deployment, exercise and redeployment?  What about into a theatre of operations?
 

MJP

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Bird_Gunner45 said:
MJP- We were briefed that COA 2 was the recommendation going forward, though COA 3 might not be a bad way of streamlining different functions. For example, COA 2 would be weird for 3 Div as you would have to find a way to include Edmonton, Shilo, Dundurn, Suffield, and Wainwright into the Service Bn. Adding a Supply Coy, Transport Coy, Foods coy, etc structure to 3 CDSG COULD allow all the different bases to be grouped based on function (All base supplies in Supply Coy for example) which would remove some of the local confusions.

We haven't heard anything going fwd as of yet but that doesn't mean a decision hasn't been made.  I dislike COA 3, mainly it duplicates PYs & effort for various functions.  It also limits the depth for FG, by that I mean we lose those IS people that we could reach into to fulfill operational deployments (ie MCpl fluffy can't go but a customer service MCpl can so we just switch them).  It is great to ensure IS is always fully manned but many of those PYs are nice to haves rather than musts.  For example Edmonton Supply IS bare minimum is roughly 51 pers including C2 with some degraded services and full functionality is around 80-90ish mark but many of those additional folks have dual field and IS tasks.  By field I mean they support the Bde units as much as they do lodger units.  If the Svc Bn was able to absorb all the PYs from the folding of the FSG then I don't dislike COA 3 as much but without knowing that number I can't in good faith say it is good.

The other issue as you alluded to is all the other bases out here in 3 Div.  It is less of an issue as they all have their own integral support structures and C2 (less Wx which falls under Edmonton).  It is however muddy out here in 3 Div who exactly does what for who and when though.  There are a ton of informal and legacy support pieces that aren't formalized.  It is great when people know who to call, less than ideal when they don't.

Bird_Gunner45 said:
As for the S&T construct, the ability to force tailor is difficult. Talking to friends in 1 Svc Bn indicated that part of the problem was the requirement to "cobble together" a S&T Coy out of the military parts of the Svc Bn and the fit parts of that part... taking all the civilians out of the proposed S&T Coy would be a good start to improving overall readiness IMHO and allow for better field training, preparation, and development of SOPs.

We force/task tailor all the time and have for years and years.  One of the major issues is actually making the structure fit what the mission is.  Ex PR/MR exposed huge deficiencies in the S&T construct because it is stuck in 4 CMBG mode.  Supply is much more in-depth and infinitely more complex than 20-30 years ago.  Scaling for vehs is more complex, contracting is more prevalent (and the rules to follow more strictly enforced), and DRMIS is a beast that has huge ramifications on both supply and maintenance sides of the house.  Included in that is the need for proper oversight of the supply process on both the material and systems side plus overall C2 of all parts.  If anything breaking the S from the T to form two functional Coys is the answer.

MCG said:
How much of this problem was the result of third line functions being staffed out of the hide of the brigade?  While 1 Svc Bn was moving through the training area supporting the brigade (ie. doing its doctrinal job), it had personnel in the DSA doing the third line supply work (ie. doing somebody else’s doctrinal job) to feed itself.  At the same time, I am aware that maintenance and supply personnel were taken from first line units to do parts and supply ordering from the JTFSC location [those wanting to spin this positively will say the brigade made DRMIS work in the field, but in reality DRMIS failed in the field and its failure was hidden by a Band-Aid with landline network access from a static third line location].  Would 1 Svc Bn have had the same problems if some other organization was resourced and mandated to look after the support at echelons above brigade?

This was an interesting discussion that was had last week with a number of our officers at 1 Svc some with a great deal of national level experience in operational support.  Essentially the JTFSC was a mashing together of odds and sods from all over Canada.  It also did 3rd line for the enemy force and was the integrator for all foreign visiting units and camp supporter for the very large P12 contingent (Ex staff, some En force and other pieces).  It also did 3rd line for the PTA and I deliberately left that last because quite frankly it just took some Bde folks plus some additional augmentees and added another layer to the supply chain with very little value added.  Case in point 2nd line gave their LPO section to JTFSC stripping the Bde of their ability to conduct LPO (not that CMTC would allow it anyway). Another example while not exactly the same is RPPL essentially just did JTFSC’s job for them with no real additions, there was no JTFSC RPPL to draw parts from.

The DRMIS issue and the café, I would almost consider as separate from JTFSC as there were a number of things that contributed to its failure.
• TSS/HCLOS bandwidth was lacking
• Bde IT Infrastructure was lacking
• Bde DRMIS knowledge on both Supply and Maint was lacking or non-existent
• No set SOPs for DRMIS IE: everyone had a different work around for ordering against a WO
• DRMIS Offline procedures poorly understood
• DRMIS architecture delineating support  dependencies weren’t done properly or in many cases poorly understood

The DRMIS café solution was the only real way to get support to the unitsand it really was a band aid.  The net effect with the SMEs from Ottawa being there increased marginally the overall DRMIS knowledge but that was the only real win from the concept. 

If Svc Bn didn’t have to provide people to man above 2nd line I think it is doable.  Some pieces especially the DRMIS beast it will be re-tested during 1 CMBG’s fall trg but at the end of the day without a national/Div support element, pieces of the/a Svc Bn will always be hived off to provide that level of support.






MCG said:
Another thought: 1 Cdn Div is supposed to be the deployable HQ.  Does it have sufficient integral CSS to support itself through deployment, exercise and redeployment?  What about into a theatre of operations?
Hahahahahaha  Short answer is no and hell no.  They are only deployable if they are allowed to piggy back and CFTPO their way out of real issues and thought.
 

Infanteer

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MCG said:
I am not sure that I understand the nuance of the distinction that you are making here.

The article seems to indicate that the CSS of the Army, specifically the Service Battalions, are going to be stretched to support elements in Latvia, Ukraine and somewhere in Africa.  Is the Service Battalion model itself not able to handle multiple missions, or is the organization sound and we've simply resourced it inadequately?

The CS Bn is 100% focused on supporting the brigade, it can deploy to and move in the field, it is 100% military (less maybe the CO’s secretary that every unit seems to have), and it would be responsible to FG second line CSS to land operations.  The GS Bn would be mostly focused on institutional support but it would retain some deployable capability (a Fd Sp Coy?); the deployable component would be able to deploy to but not necessarily able to move in the field, and it would be responsible to FG third line CSS (ie. the JTFSC/NSE) to land and joint operations.

Most bases have robust tech services companies as they do not host a Service Battalion.  Edmonton, Valcartier and Petawawa seem to be the only ones that have this double-hatted role.  How about cutting the tech services function away from the Service Battalions and "civilianizing" it.  If not 100%, then perhaps 20%mil/80% civilian.  Managing a garrison stores counter seems to be something suited to a civilian who isn't moving.

This would give us civilian Tech Services Companies in each garrison, tailored in size to the demand, while each Brigade has a Service Battalion dedicated to training for operations and not shuffling people to fix the base bus or issue socks.

While we are at it, move the Field Medical Coy to the Service Battalion as well and we can rid ourselves of excess units (the Field Ambulance).  Last I checked, Medical was one of the four pillars of Sustainment.
 

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Is it a manning issue, or a kit issue? I can't get mad at Clothing Stores (or even Svc Bn) for not having been properly resourced boots/ammo/rations from the upper levels of NDHQ. I have a feeling that's where we're going to feel the crunch: equipment and supplies are going to run out quickly because there's been no money to properly run a sustainment plan.
 

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MJP said:
We haven't heard anything going fwd as of yet but that doesn't mean a decision hasn't been made.  I dislike COA 3, mainly it duplicates PYs & effort for various functions.  It also limits the depth for FG, by that I mean we lose those IS people that we could reach into to fulfill operational deployments (ie MCpl fluffy can't go but a customer service MCpl can so we just switch them).  It is great to ensure IS is always fully manned but many of those PYs are nice to haves rather than musts.  For example Edmonton Supply IS bare minimum is roughly 51 pers including C2 with some degraded services and full functionality is around 80-90ish mark but many of those additional folks have dual field and IS tasks.  By field I mean they support the Bde units as much as they do lodger units.  If the Svc Bn was able to absorb all the PYs from the folding of the FSG then I don't dislike COA 3 as much but without knowing that number I can't in good faith say it is good.

The other issue as you alluded to is all the other bases out here in 3 Div.  It is less of an issue as they all have their own integral support structures and C2 (less Wx which falls under Edmonton).  It is however muddy out here in 3 Div who exactly does what for who and when though.  There are a ton of informal and legacy support pieces that aren't formalized.  It is great when people know who to call, less than ideal when they don't.
 
We force/task tailor all the time and have for years and years.  One of the major issues is actually making the structure fit what the mission is.  Ex PR/MR exposed huge deficiencies in the S&T construct because it is stuck in 4 CMBG mode.  Supply is much more in-depth and infinitely more complex than 20-30 years ago.  Scaling for vehs is more complex, contracting is more prevalent (and the rules to follow more strictly enforced), and DRMIS is a beast that has huge ramifications on both supply and maintenance sides of the house.  Included in that is the need for proper oversight of the supply process on both the material and systems side plus overall C2 of all parts.  If anything breaking the S from the T to form two functional Coys is the answer.

I guess the question then would be is, "What is the tactical function of the Service Battalion"? To me, there needs to be a split between the IS and the tactical support. By doctrine, the Svc Bn should be focused solely on providing second line support to the Brigade only. By that logic, there should be an organization solely focused on that tactical field function (The doctrinal S&T Coy). The doctrinal S&T Coy works in the construct of a CMBG within a Div with a Div support group on top of it. In that case, the Div support group should be doing the majority of the contracting function. Second line, then, would focus solely on bringing materiel from third line to first line and managing it in between. For this, supply needs to manage the materiel and transport needs to deliver it.

The problem is we try to do third line and second line with some IS thrown in. If we want to be serious about having a fully deployable second line than there needs to be an actual deployable third line support element to provide the higher level support (unlike our JOSG).

I'm also a fan of taking most base IS functions and making them mostly civilian where it makes sense. For example, there's no reason why base supply, food, and transport in Shilo couldn't be mostly civilian. Ammo and finance still need some military presence, mostly due to the needs of the trades, and maintenance would need some military due to the training requirements for military assets (Leopard 2's for instance).

As for DRMIS... It's a beast that was never designed to see the field.
 

Lumber

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Kind of out of my arcs, but:

Maintenance on base? Fleet Maintenance Facility. Mostly civilians with military as well.

Maintenance in the "field"? Combat-Systems and Marine Systems Engineering Departments. 100% military.

If you need to make major repairs that can't be conducted by ship's company (like changing out a Gas Turbine), you fly the civilians from the FMF to wherever your ship happens to be.

I'm not sure if the parallel with what you guys are talking about really exists, but incorporating civilians into your structure shouldn't be too much of a stretch.

:2c:
 

CBH99

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I am brutally out of my lane here guys - regardless of element.  I'm very unfamiliar with the details of how things work in regards to CSS stuff & Svc battalions, etc these days. 

One quick question though...and forgive me if I am talking about something completely different.


Question - I thought one of the major goals of streamlining things was to get rid of excess civilian contractors? 

I understand that people from Lockheed Martin, for example, are going to be needed for high-end systems, IT support, etc.  But contracting out some of the services on base - is this not what the CF just tried to get rid of?  (Or am I thinking of something different?)

 
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