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Army.ca Administration

xx Temporary Topic Questions

November 01, 2018, 11:05:43 by Lumber
Not sure if this is the best place to pout this, but I could find a better thread, and I feel this needs to be an open conversation, instead of a DM.

This has to do with the recent locking of the CSC thread. In short: What. The. Heck?

Perhaps you guys just need to provide some more context; have you been receiving official correspondence from journalists that has caused you to worry about potential legal and/or PA ramifications?

Because I can't fathom why on earth discussing the CSC project could possibly be an off-limits topic... I don't even know where to begin! How can you censor discussion on such an important and interesting subject? We're not discussing an individual here, who might experience personal offence to our discussion, we're talking about a major Canadian/RCN procurement project. We haven't even scratched the SURFACE of what we could discuss about the CSC!

What's more, the only reasoning/context that was provided was that journalists can't tell who is active, retired or civilian on that site. Well, if that's a reason to lock a thread, then you'd better go an lock EVERY thread on this site!

So again, perhaps we're just missing something here, because, WTH?
13 comments | Write Comment
Army.ca News

xx Deception, OPSEC, and Surprise

October 28, 2018, 16:35:22 by Haligonian
I was lucky enough to spend the last 10 days in the UK and France on a staff ride of the Western Front from WW 1 with the British Army.  The Brits have done a similar ride every two years for the last six years and have been using it for force development purposes so it's less about the history of a specific battle and more about what we could draw from that battle that is relevant to future operations.

While I gained a ton of lessons, one point that kept coming out was the importance of some of the principles and particularly surprise.  Our discussions led us to believe, unsurprisingly, that surprise would continue to be important to successful offensive actions in the future.  Considering the proliferation of cheap UAVs and many of our potential enemy's focus on EW, not to mention all the less novel surveillance and reconnaissance assets out there, achieving surprise seems to be becoming more difficult. 

This led discussions to the importance in the future of opsec and deception.  Opsec presents challenges on multiple levels for the Canadian Forces.  Most of us, particularly our younger soldiers are used to broadcasting their lives on social media.  Our headquarters are huge and blast the EM spectrum making them light up like a Christmas tree.  More concerning is the impact opsec could have on mission command.  In WW 1 Hague imposed heavy opsec on his formations with those being aware of future operations being kept to a very small number of people.  We now want informed commanders and soldiers who are empowered to make decisions independently.  Could we severely restrict information on future operations without damaging our command culture (or what we think is our command culture)?

I don't think we do deception very well.  Most commanders in the CA will have few opportunities to do what I call high fidelity training (essentially force on force of at least Ex MR quality) where you are fighting a thinking enemy who you could actually deceive as opposed to a place holder enemy controlled by the DS or exercise staff.  We noted that deception needs to be resourced and credible. It is ideally targetted at making the enemy to make a decision that is inappropriate for your chosen course of action.  The more resources dedicated the more credible it will likely be.  A deception plan that sees you dropping some smoke to the enemy's left when you're coming right is less likely to work than a deception plan that put an actual sub unit there.  Deception will be most effective when you have a good understanding of the enemy's culture/biases and their commander specifically.  This can allow you to get in their head and show them what they want or expect to see.  An instructor told me once the best lie is a half truth.

Resources for deception are always a problem, paradoxically, the fewer resources you have compared to your enemy the more you need to rely on deception.  Our sr mentor compared this to a bar fight.  If I'm going to pick a fight with a guy twice my size the more I need to rely on distracting him before striking.

I had a discussion with my CO a few weeks back and if we don't think we can successfully hide then perhaps the answer now is to flood the enemy with signatures.  Essentially this would be numerous decoys of maneuver forces, headquarters, logistic sites, and anything else that might get the enemy to juke when he should jive and provide us with increased force protection.

Just a few musings after a particularly good professional development experience. 
8 comments | Write Comment

xx Future of Air Assault / Jet pack (jet board) soldiers - video

July 24, 2018, 21:03:48 by Jarnhamar
The first time I started watching this video I paused it and looked for other videos because I thought it was fake.

It's pretty incredible. Imagine what kind of options a commander would have if he had 100 soldiers who could strap this jet board to their feet and move 25 kilometers in 10 minutes, flying Nap-of-the-earth or possibly above eye sight. Maybe fly 10kms behind enemy lines, do some damage and fly back out.

It has a max speed of 93MPH and can fly for up to a predicted 30 minutes with the pilot wearing a backpack full of jet fuel. Operational ceiling is 10'000 feet without O2.

Promotional cool video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kB-BGMXxZc

Info video/early flight
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAit7ZtetrA










5 comments | Write Comment

xx CAF Rank Structure vs Unified Ranks

April 17, 2018, 19:47:12 by Neso
This is a random hypothetical that has crossed my mind:

Would the CAF (or any Military really) be more or less effective had it adopted a "unified/singular" rank structure along the lines of the RCMP, or most any police force, and why?

Why have Militaries historically separated their non-commissioned and commissioned rank structure into distinct career paths, while police forces produce their Commissioned Officers by promoting their Staff Sergeants to Senior Commissioned Officer ranks such as Inspector, and therefore do not have Junior Commissioned Officers?

On the surface at least it would seem to be a good thing that the Commissioned Officers "know the job" and started at the very bottom.

Thanks in advance for the insight folks

39 comments | Write Comment

xx Command and Control - Radio Silence

January 23, 2018, 18:55:06 by Chris Pook
Found on Facebook by Mark Bossi

Quote
Radio Silence – A Lesson in Mission Command
Contributor: Will has 6 years of hands on infantry leadership experience
While practising radio silence on a recent exercise I realised just how reliant I had become on technology. It had made me lazy and more controlling than I would like to admit.

In Eastern Europe 2014 a column of Mechanised and Air Mobile forces from the Ukrainian Army was struck by a devastating rocket bombardment lasting only 3 minutes. The result was over 100 casualties and many vehicles destroyed.  It initially seemed as if the column had been targeted with Electronic Warfare (EW) assets; a sensor that detects radio transmissions and sends the location back to the rocket battery for targeting.  This is a worrying prospect for any military commander; that enemy artillery could home in on a radio transmission. This development leads us to adapt and overcome.  An easy way to combat enemy EW capabilities would be to impose radio silence; an exercise often talked about, but rarely actually done.  Up to now in my career I had never exercised radio silence and I found the concept of not being able to communicate with my subordinates during a task uncomfortable. So, on a recent exercise we gave the enemy forces EW and an artillery capability, forcing us to impose radio silence.  What I learned was much more than how to combat EW and the technicalities of imposing radio silence, but a lesson in leadership, mission command and empowerment.

The first mission, anti-armour ambush, I briefed as I usually would with a clear intent and key timings, but also imposed radio silence. Overall the action went well and the task was performed to the same standard as it would be using radios throughout. However, the ambush was sprung on a lone enemy vehicle moving along the track.  The team understood the intent: destroy enemy armour, and acted. However, a larger column came through later untouched. With radios, I would have said: ‘hold fire,’ on the lone vehicle. More detail in my brief covering all eventualities would have prevented this. Here I discovered that radios had made me lazy in my briefing because I knew I could control it well during the action.

So, for the next exercise I made sure I considered all eventualities and briefed the commanders applying more timings and constraints where necessary. When can you break radio silence? What should you do if you lose comms? What should you do if you get cut off? And if all else fails, destroy all enemy tanks and meet back at the rendezvous No Later Than 0230hrs.  This time I witnessed several changes in the unit. I saw junior commanders making decisions, good decisions, without any direction from me. One of the teams missed their pick up and rather than speak on the radio trying to rearrange it they carried out their task on foot successfully. Other teams encountered difficulties during the mission but they knew the intent and end state and were able to complete their tasks without further direction for 36hrs of radio silence.

Overall it was a liberating exercise. It showed me that my subordinates are incredibly intelligent, capable soldiers who, when empowered, given a clear intent and detailed set of constraints can be released on task and will carry it out to a high standard without further direction. All I needed to do was trust them. It was also a relief for them not hearing me over the radio always asking for an update. Radio silence is the ultimate exercise in mission command and is tactically relevant. Try asking yourself: Am I enquiring because I need to or because I can?

https://wavellroom.com/2017/12/14/radio-silence-a-lesson-in-mission-command/
24 comments | Write Comment

xx Trials begin for the world’s smallest operational military aircraft

January 10, 2018, 14:09:31 by Old Sweat
This report by ADM(Mat) staff is reproduced under the Fair Dealings provisions of the Copyright Act. It highlights trials of a fascinating development in UAV technology.

Trials begin for the world’s smallest operational military aircraft

The Canadian Army and the Canadian Special Operations Forces Command are conducting the first-ever operational trials and evaluations on the latest version of the smallest operational military aircraft in the world – the Black Hornet 3, made by FLIR.

Weighing just a few dozen grams, it consists of two aircraft, a hand controller and a chest-mounted tablet, all fitting into a small shoebox-sized package. The aircraft has a range of over a kilometer with video and night-vision capabilities.

This equipment opens up a whole range of possibilities and both commands will seek innovative ways to evolve tactics, techniques and procedures to use this new capability, assess its usefulness and identify requirements.
1 comment | Write Comment
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