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Time to invest in more CAF logistics?

Bird_Gunner45

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Chris Pook said:
PC:  I think the argument is that you shouldn't be paying for those shelves and system.  You should be paying for the boots that could be on those shelves.

:goodpost:

That's where I see it. The purpose of third line (for Canada at least) is to keep a Divisional level stock of supplies to distribute to second line service battalions. That's where trying to make a Service Battalion a third-first line all inclusive beast falls apart. It'd be akin to telling 1 RCHA that it has to be the Brigade level DS Regiment as well as the Divisional Level GS Regiment, and maybe provide some mortars for the Battalions in case.

Militaries are best at killing things... why not focus our limited resources on the skills needed to kill, and/or supply those who do so, and allow our massive commercial and industrial base to fill in the remainder? We always talk about tooth to tail and how we need to reduce it. This would be a good place to start (there are 1600 logistics officers in Canada after all).
 

dapaterson

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We can contract out combat arms as well. Xe, Executive Outcomes... so how far do we go?

Or, another perspective, most cbt arms training is takes less time to conduct and maintain than most CSS.  Shouldn't we spend our full time positions on the skillets that take longer to develop and maintain?
 

PuckChaser

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Chris Pook said:
PC:  I think the argument is that you shouldn't be paying for those shelves and system.  You should be paying for the boots that could be on those shelves.
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Bird_Gunner45

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dapaterson said:
We can contract out combat arms as well. Xe, Executive Outcomes... so how far do we go?

Or, another perspective, most cbt arms training is takes less time to conduct and maintain than most CSS.  Shouldn't we spend our full time positions on the skillets that take longer to develop and maintain?

The time for skillset development is debatable but the point was that combat skills are the entire point of having an army. I'm only suggesting contracting or using PS where it makes sense- third line, static, Canadian outlets, and in secure theatres. There will always be a need for a militarized Service Battalion (and only military, no civilians). If we want less tooth to tail than we need to look into how we do it in a rational sense. Our combat arms units are basically at where they need to be to support what the government wants, which means we either get more tail or less tooth.
 

dapaterson

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Disagree re: combat arms. We have a structure designed to maintain a balance of terror between regiments and branches, not to optimize combat abilities.  We engage in decision-based evidence making to arrive at a requirement for nine infantry battalions and everything else (for one example).
 

Bird_Gunner45

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dapaterson said:
Disagree re: combat arms. We have a structure designed to maintain a balance of terror between regiments and branches, not to optimize combat abilities.  We engage in decision-based evidence making to arrive at a requirement for nine infantry battalions and everything else (for one example).

I will whole heartedly agree that the Regimental structure is the reason for a number of problems in the CAF. However, we need to be able to provide 1 x Brigade group for NATO, so you need 3 to make that happen on a far less than optimal schedule of deployment. To get 1 x BG into Afghanistan required massive amounts of Reserve and other augmentation.

Logistics does this too... that's why there's L1 Foods Majors whose main role seems to be to pass messages and make busy work like instituting the NSCM
 

Kirkhill

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Old Sweat said:
Just in time works really well, as long as the enemy agrees to give you lots of notice before you have to cope with a run on stuff like 155mm HE and 5.56mm ball and everything in between.

Been thinking about this, and the antipathy to J-I-T.

On one hand, I get it.  That is particularly true of ammunition.  But on the other hand the attitude is the creator of your own misfortunes.

I get that you want everything on-hand when the shooting starts.  But all that stuff on hand is stuff you have to carry all the rest of the time. 

The result is 120lbs of kit on your back.  10 tonne trucks in the lines.  Mechanics and drivers and shops to maintain them.  Warehouses full of stuff that gathers dust or goes obsolete or is never purchased.

And frankly, even on the ammo front, the British army had ammunition depots in 1915.  They weren't big enough.

Reliance on a system that stops in a warehouse is a nonsense.  The warehouse has to be replenished.  Ideally, in my opinion, the warehouse, and the trucks and the rucks should be small.

My sense of the ideal soldier of the future is Captain James T. Kirk - a decent pair of boots, pants and shirt, sidearm and a communicator - a communicator attached to the wrath of God, a rapid transport system and a secure base.

No axes just in case you might need to knock down a door someday.

J-I-T or J-I-C.  Just in time or Just in case.

Neither answer is one hundred per cent right.
 

MilEME09

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I can see your argument Chris, but at the end of the day we do need to keep a limited stock pile, now I would think we scale off Afghanistan, how much supplies need to be on hand to sustain a battle group long term in terms of days to facilitate the smooth movement of supplies? lets say you need X tons of everything stored to support 8 months of operations, have on hand 6 months of supplies, because in that time the supply chain should keep a steady enough flow to keep the warehouse stocked.
 

McG

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Bird_Gunner45 said:
Interestingly, a Brigade Support Battalion for a US infantry brigade combat team has 65/17/795, 58/14/698 for a SBCT, and70/17/1265 for a ABCT. By the book, 4 Svc Bn has 39/106/702.

Distribution Coy (our S&T Coy) has only 5/2/135 for a  ABCT compared to 11/61/305 for S&T Coy, which makes me wonder if the US system is effective, and if so, why we have almost 2 x more pers....
Is Dist Coy the same as S&T Coy, or is it Tn Coy?
Infanteer said:
Be careful, those U.S. numbers include the Forward Support Companies that act as "Admin Companies" for the battalions.
There are a lot of "be careful"s in that comparison.  The Americans have and deploy Sustainment Brigades at the Div level to provide CSS that Canada keeps at the Bde level.  Because we do not have deployable third line, we have capabilities doctrinally within the Svc Bn that the US keeps at higher levels.  We do maintenance at second line that the US would push back to third line.  Laundry, bath and CBRN Decon are not Bde capabilities in the US, but they are capabilities of the doctrinal Cdn Svc Bn.
 

Kirkhill

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MilEME09 said:
I can see your argument Chris, but at the end of the day we do need to keep a limited stock pile, now I would think we scale off Afghanistan, how much supplies need to be on hand to sustain a battle group long term in terms of days to facilitate the smooth movement of supplies? lets say you need X tons of everything stored to support 8 months of operations, have on hand 6 months of supplies, because in that time the supply chain should keep a steady enough flow to keep the warehouse stocked.

We do need to keep a limited stockpile.  Agreed.  No qualifiers.

Key word: limited.

"Limited" needs to be defined - in the manner you are suggesting.

But the issue has to be recognized that that is a plan for a world operating according to your/our wishes.  We also need a plan B that accommodates the world doing as it ruddy well pleases and us having to operate according to its wishes. 

In my opinion that means a plan predicated on working with what is available and not what you want.  Most of the military revolutions of the past have not been driven by government programmes but by enemies looking for cheap, assymetric advantages from the market place.

Do you plan on ceasing operations when you run out of bullets and planes - a viable course of action - or will you continue fighting with any means available to you?

Churchill was reduced to pikes, sticky bombs, Blackard bombards and sten guns for a while.
 

Bird_Gunner45

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MCG said:
Is Dist Coy the same as S&T Coy, or is it Tn Coy?There are a lot of "be careful"s in that comparison.  The Americans have and deploy Sustainment Brigades at the Div level to provide CSS that Canada keeps at the Bde level.  Because we do not have deployable third line, we have capabilities doctrinally within the Svc Bn that the US keeps at higher levels.  We do maintenance at second line that the US would push back to third line.  Laundry, bath and CBRN Decon are not Bde capabilities in the US, but they are capabilities of the doctrinal Cdn Svc Bn.

Dist Coy=S&T Coy

The BSB for the US includes a medical company which is larger than the LBD platoon. I'm not arguing that the Service Bn vis a vis BSB aren't different, the question is which is a more effective second line? Service Battalion's ought to be focussed on second line only, which is the crux of the third line JIT/civilianized argument... if we can make a fully military, tactically focused service battalion and push the third line and institutional functions to either a Div or civilian organization could we find efficiecy's and adopt a better second line?
 

Halifax Tar

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What you have to remember about the Canadian Forces Supply System (CFSS) is that it is the Supply System (SS) for the RCN, CA, RCAF and any other plethora of organizations that are with in the CAF.

Before unification you had each element with its own depots; shipping and receiving parts for that element.  A concentration of force in a supply sense if you will, good Army term eh ?  [Xp 

Now we have 2 true depots 25 CFSD (Montreal) and 7 CFSD (Edmonton) (Not including Ammo) to support the entire CAF and all of its missions, business and deployments. 

You also have to take into account that the 2nd and 3rd lines you talk about are expected to support the RCN and the RCAF, not just he Army.  Both of those elements are nothing without their ships and planes.  And if they aren't properly supported then those two elements simply cease to be able to even attempt the wishes and whims of the Canadian public and government. 

When discussing the CAF Logistics or CFSS you cannot simply make changes for one element without consultation and agreement of the others because the impact will be felt and the training will need to done across the board so all Loggies can continue to pretend like we are purple.  Unless of course we went back to the elements owning their LOG functions and people. ;)
 

Halifax Tar

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walid said:
As an ex-member of the Communist Party of Canada and an ex-Cuban mole this I have to say based on the intelligence I have gathered while rubbing elbows and playing footsies with their members:

Communist agents in the Conservative, Liberal, Green and NDF Party table bills for or suggest bills for CAF logistics only on non-opportune moments when budget is wanting with the expectation that the bill would not be passed for the same reasons. Just like economic saboteurs who knew of the 'implausibility' of pipelines of Alberta the Political Left are responsible for tabling their legitimacy knowing their weak justification only to be vetoed because of fear of possible oil spillage. Then they appear as heroes. Eating the cake and having them too.

:stars:  WTF was that ?  I am sure I have read that opening line before...
 

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Halifax Tar said:
:stars:  WTF was that ?  I am sure I have read that opening line before...


(S)he's, pretty clearly, your average "operator" expressing her/his considered opinion on combat and service support.  ::)
 

MJP

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E.R. Campbell said:
(S)he's, pretty clearly, your average "operator" expressing her/his considered opinion on combat and service support.  ::)

Would you go as far as saying they are a "bus" operator?
 

Kirkhill

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Never mind the flies. Let's get back to the beer.

A good part of what you are talking about, in my opinion, is inventory management.  It is an ongoing discussion for most businesses.  The demand for inventory goes up and down on an irregular basis.

Stock is not held unless there is a good need for it.  In other words, in the event of an anticipated sales campaign then inventory will be created for a short period of time and moved expeditiously  At the other end inventory can creep up on you if it isn't moving out as fast as anticipated.  In which case a sales campaign is instituted to get rid of the material.

No company would contemplate holding inventory for a year let alone multiples of years.  For one thing they would put their suppliers out of business.  For another their products would be out of sync with market demands and current technology.

The real question for you, again in my opinion, is how quickly can your supply chain move goods to you to meet your needs.  The faster that happens the less inventory, the less warehousing, the less rolling stock you will need and the more agile you will become.

Having said that real transactions take real time - time that you won't have if you are in contact.  So you need some inventory.  The next question is: how long does it take to get a Day of Supply from the factory to FEBA?
 

Halifax Tar

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Chris Pook said:
Never mind the flies. Let's get back to the beer.

A good part of what you are talking about, in my opinion, is inventory management.  It is an ongoing discussion for most businesses.  The demand for inventory goes up and down on an irregular basis.

Stock is not held unless there is a good need for it.  In other words, in the event of an anticipated sales campaign then inventory will be created for a short period of time and moved expeditiously  At the other end inventory can creep up on you if it isn't moving out as fast as anticipated.  In which case a sales campaign is instituted to get rid of the material.

No company would contemplate holding inventory for a year let alone multiples of years.  For one thing they would put their suppliers out of business.  For another their products would be out of sync with market demands and current technology.

The real question for you, again in my opinion, is how quickly can your supply chain move goods to you to meet your needs.  The faster that happens the less inventory, the less warehousing, the less rolling stock you will need and the more agile you will become.

Having said that real transactions take real time - time that you won't have if you are in contact.  So you need some inventory.  The next question is: how long does it take to get a Day of Supply from the factory to FEBA?

Ahhh yes inventory management.  Something I am up to my eye balls in now. 

I will sum you up, Supply VS Demand.

This makes great sense when looking at it from a civilian business.  The problem is are not that.  We have to have large amounts of stores to sit and collect dust at the CFSDs to wait for the possibility that they may be required.  We cannot get manufacturers to fill our demands fast enough.  Many times if we go back to  the manufacturer to get a part made it takes months.  Which does not help the Truck/Tank/Ship/Plane that is now sitting idle and required for action.

In our business model supply must/should out weigh demand, vastly.  The movement of physical good from a depot to a end user can happen in 1 day this is all built into our High Priority Requisition (HPR) process.  If the end user is deployed or at sea this will be dependant on when the ship is next in port, the severity of the parts requirement, and the departure of the next sustainment flight.  For the RCAF and CA just remove the "next in port" part and the rest is the same.

From my experience with Army, once the beans and bullets are on ground in the theatre its just a matter of loading them and moving them to the FEBA.  The request for XXX can be done by as simple a means as an ADREP.  I know in AFG ammo and combat vehicle parts to precedence over all other stores on the CLPs that dispatched every day to the various FOBs and other outposts the NSE supported. 

From the factory to the FEBA, it could be weeks.  Especially in a situation like AFG.  A land locked country.  Stores loaded onto ship in Montreal, sail to Pakistan, loaded onto Jingle Truck and shipped through the Khyber Pass to KAF then distributed to the end users by the NSE.  That process can take some time.
 
J

jollyjacktar

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Even on a high priority TAV as I was involved in at KAF in 07 we had to wait a month for additional supply needs to be flown in from Canada. 
 

Kirkhill

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Halifax Tar said:
Ahhh yes inventory management.  Something I am up to my eye balls in now. 

I will sum you up, Supply VS Demand.

This makes great sense when looking at it from a civilian business.  The problem is are not that.  We have to have large amounts of stores to sit and collect dust at the CFSDs to wait for the possibility that they may be required.  We cannot get manufacturers to fill our demands fast enough.  Many times if we go back to  the manufacturer to get a part made it takes months.  Which does not help the Truck/Tank/Ship/Plane that is now sitting idle and required for action.

Why does so much of the fleet have non-standard/obsolete parts that are not readily available and must be manufactured?

In our business model supply must/should out weigh demand, vastly.  The movement of physical good from a depot to a end user can happen in 1 day this is all built into our High Priority Requisition (HPR) process.  If the end user is deployed or at sea this will be dependant on when the ship is next in port, the severity of the parts requirement, and the departure of the next sustainment flight.  For the RCAF and CA just remove the "next in port" part and the rest is the same.

Supply always needs to be greater than demand.  No argument.  Vastly - a debatable valuation that is best defined by a number.


From my experience with Army, once the beans and bullets are on ground in the theatre its just a matter of loading them and moving them to the FEBA.  The request for XXX can be done by as simple a means as an ADREP.  I know in AFG ammo and combat vehicle parts to precedence over all other stores on the CLPs that dispatched every day to the various FOBs and other outposts the NSE supported.

I can't comment.

From the factory to the FEBA, it could be weeks.  Especially in a situation like AFG.  A land locked country.  Stores loaded onto ship in Montreal, sail to Pakistan, loaded onto Jingle Truck and shipped through the Khyber Pass to KAF then distributed to the end users by the NSE.  That process can take some time.

Agreed that from the factory to FEBA it could be weeks.  In fact I will say that for some things it could be months. And that is the real purpose of warehousing and inventory management.  The question remains though: How long to replace?

I'm not yanking chains HT.  I get the point. But I have the sense that some opportunities are being missed by not taking a wider view of the problems that you are forced to cope with on a daily basis.

Cheers.
 

dapaterson

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Since the crown no longer owns the IP behind our systems, we are constrained in our ability to source from multiple places.  Thus, the limited number of suppliers worldwide means that in a time of international crisis demand will spike with few sources of supply.

Thus a need to stock excess widgets - because if we need them immediately in a warfighting scenario, not having them may be catastrophic, and the additional time to procure them through the sole source of supply that has many orders from others for the same widget is unacceptable.

It's a question of risk management; for some commodities it is entirely acceptable (for example, we no longer stock box after box of dried up markers in warehouses to ship to units, but order from the economy); for others, well, Wal-Mart doesn't stock LAV transmissions, and Costco only has them in packs of twelve...

Even now, Defence is looking at ways to improve.  Part of that is looking at stocking more, not less spare parts, to improve maintenance productivity.  See, for example, http://www.army-armee.forces.gc.ca/en/news-publications/national-news-details-no-menu.page?doc=defence-renewal-optimizing-maintenance-of-vehicles-and-equipment-critical-to-military-success/i6mj1gn5.
 
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