Author Topic: A Canadian Rangers reset would help Armed Forces keep pace with a changing North  (Read 3344 times)

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Offline daftandbarmy

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Good article ...

A Canadian Rangers reset would help Armed Forces keep pace with a changing North

In the face of this changing North, the Canadian government needs to properly train and professionalize the Rangers to the basic military standard of our Army Reserves. Or, following the military lead of our smaller Scandinavian allies (not to mention the Russians and Americans), permanently station combat military units that specialize in surmounting the unique challenges involved in operating, navigating, surviving, and fighting in the cold, inhospitable Arctic climate.

A re-organized and better trained, equipped and armed Canadian Ranger contingent could certainly be a valuable part of safeguarding Canadian sovereignty in the North. Provided, of course, that Canadian Rangers are willing to train as soldiers – and that the Forces are willing to train them.


https://www.cbc.ca/news/opinion/opinion-canadian-rangers-arctic-sovreignty-1.5763215?fbclid=IwAR0AqGYCXFOzKJ0XvetjHDCpdMQsIq76AIl_jMxGgYKe7TO651l0Mp4R80w

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Online ArmyRick

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Not sure I agree with mr Smol.

I have worked with Rangers on ex before. They have a role that is key and realistically if we train them for combat, we would probably lose at least 50% of them (a 55 year old first nations man is not interested in digging trenches, section attacks or manning OPs).

If we gave them more training, I would agree with more range time, train to handle and fire other weapons such as shotgun, pistol and C7A2. Additional mountain ops training, more advanced casualty care training, additional survival training.
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Offline FJAG

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I'm with you ArmyRick.

I view the Rangers more in the nature of WW2 era ANZAC Coastwatchers and local scouts which involved many individuals who had only rudimentary military training at best.

Their dispersion makes them impractical military combat units but excellent sources of local knowledge and eyes on the ground. No objection to more specialized training as you suggest but to provide military training on a par with primary reserve training is impractical and unnecessary and, most probably, counter productive.

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Offline Retired RCN

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Every time I see an opinion piece from Robert Smol I cringe, pretty much the same as opinions from Ken Hanson on the naval side of things. I worked with the rangers a number of times during Arctic deployments and they could teach us a thing or two on Arctic survival which they do. Like others have said if we apply the same standards to them as the reserves many would be able to pass as many of them are over 50 and are considered elders, not realistic.

The CF have talked about having a permanent northern regiment however the infrastructure requirements would be expensive and who would really want to do that? A possible solution would to have 6 month rotations with each regiment taking a turn with tax free benefits perhaps to make it more palatable.

I do believe we should be giving them as some have said more familiarity of our weapons and systems. Perhaps provide them with more equipment such new comms, clothing and that sort of thing. I would love to see the RCN get involved this by providing them with some sort of short range civilian patrol craft that rangers could expand from their communities to observe and report and to conduct SAR from.
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All opinions stated are not official policy of the CF and of a private individual

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Offline Haggis

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The CF have talked about having a permanent northern regiment however the infrastructure requirements would be expensive and who would really want to do that? A possible solution would to have 6 month rotations with each regiment taking a turn with tax free benefits perhaps to make it more palatable.

Did we not toy with an Artic Reserve Company Group idea recently?  What came of that?
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Offline Colin P

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Every time I see an opinion piece from Robert Smol I cringe, pretty much the same as opinions from Ken Hanson on the naval side of things. I worked with the rangers a number of times during Arctic deployments and they could teach us a thing or two on Arctic survival which they do. Like others have said if we apply the same standards to them as the reserves many would be able to pass as many of them are over 50 and are considered elders, not realistic.

The CF have talked about having a permanent northern regiment however the infrastructure requirements would be expensive and who would really want to do that? A possible solution would to have 6 month rotations with each regiment taking a turn with tax free benefits perhaps to make it more palatable.

I do believe we should be giving them as some have said more familiarity of our weapons and systems. Perhaps provide them with more equipment such new comms, clothing and that sort of thing. I would love to see the RCN get involved this by providing them with some sort of short range civilian patrol craft that rangers could expand from their communities to observe and report and to conduct SAR from.
I always thought that two naval Reserve units, one in the western Arctic and one in the Eastern Arctic would be a big help, give them a 50' patrol craft that can be hauled out and hangered over winter.

Offline daftandbarmy

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Did we not toy with an Artic Reserve Company Group idea recently?  What came of that?

I'm guessing that because it was connected to the (evil) Conservative's 'Canada First Defence Strategy that it was quietly sidelined.

They've got a wiki entry though, so they must be legit :)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arctic_Response_Company_Group
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Offline YZT580

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Perhaps re-building the buffaloes since they are significantly faster then training the rangers to operate them would be a worthwhile expenditure.  They have the range and the simplicity needed for northern operations and they would fill a huge void particularly in SAR.  It would also provide a number of full-time man years in the north.

Offline Good2Golf

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Perhaps re-building the buffaloes since they are significantly faster then training the rangers to operate them would be a worthwhile expenditure.  They have the range and the simplicity needed for northern operations and they would fill a huge void particularly in SAR.  It would also provide a number of full-time man years in the north.

Which part of the RCAF would you transfer the PYs and O&M money from, to operate and maintain an upgraded CC-115 fleet?

Offline dapaterson

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Which part of the RCAF would you transfer the PYs and O&M money from, to operate and maintain an upgraded CC-115 fleet?

I'll start with culls from 2 CAD HQ and CRCAF and go on from there to reducing 431 to 5 plane formations...
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Offline daftandbarmy

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I'll start with culls from 2 CAD HQ and CRCAF and go on from there to reducing 431 to 5 plane formations...

Or get the Rangers onboarded (see what I did there?) to the Transport Canada drone program

"Drones can improve surveillance because they’re able to fly longer and farther than manned aircraft. This is vital during an environmental incident such as an oil spill. Drones reach areas manned aircraft cannot, cost less to operate and are more environmentally friendly.

Drones may be added to our fleet of planes in the National Aerial Surveillance Program. The program watches the Canadian Arctic to:

detect oil spills
survey ice and marine habitats
monitor activity on the oceans"

https://tc.canada.ca/en/programs/national-aerial-surveillance-program/drones-canadian-arctic
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Offline Jarnhamar

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Our rangers will be even less of a speed bump than our light infanty and ATM-less mech infantry.

Upgraded comms, optics and drones for our rangers would be brilliant.

1 month patrol ex's up north for platoon or company strength (w/rangers) would be pretty slick.

Tie it in with the AWW course or an intermediate winter warfare qual.
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Offline Dimsum

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"Drones can improve surveillance because they’re able to fly longer and farther than manned aircraft. This is vital during an environmental incident such as an oil spill. Drones reach areas manned aircraft cannot, cost less to operate and are more environmentally friendly.

If you're talking about ones that can patrol the Arctic, you're probably talking about ones that need satellite comms.  That costs $, plus the fact that right now, satellite comms at the bandwidth you need in the Arctic is limited right now.
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Offline Navy_Pete

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Our rangers will be even less of a speed bump than our light infanty and ATM-less mech infantry.

Upgraded comms, optics and drones for our rangers would be brilliant.

1 month patrol ex's up north for platoon or company strength (w/rangers) would be pretty slick.

Tie it in with the AWW course or an intermediate winter warfare qual.

This completely defeats the purpose of the Rangers; they are an easy way for the GoC to say we have military patrols as part of our various Artic claims, while giving some folks a bit of income and also generally being a really excellent way to establish a relation with folks that live up there and letting them do the stuff they are already really good at (like Artic survival and surveillance).

If someone wants an Artic unit, set one up and have them do cross training with the Rangers, but they work really well for what they are meant to be.

This guy definitely seems like the equivalent to Ken Hansen (who can always be counted on for a misleading/inaccurate/outdated opinion on pretty much anything ship side grey).

Offline reveng

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Did we not toy with an Artic Reserve Company Group idea recently?  What came of that?

Yeah, didn't 3VP Para Coy jump into the Arctic in the last few years? The Russians seem pretty capable of doing this sorta stuff...not sure why we need to reinvent the wheel all the time.

Offline YZT580

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Which part of the RCAF would you transfer the PYs and O&M money from, to operate and maintain an upgraded CC-115 fleet?
Why not take it from the northern development fund separate from the military budget and then add it in as part of the 2%.  There are myriad things that could be done under the ranger umbrella that are desperately needed in the north and they really don't have to cost that much but all could be attributed to the military budget but paid for from other pockets.  SAR is only one of many services that are lacking. 

Offline Good2Golf

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Why not take it from the northern development fund separate from the military budget and then add it in as part of the 2%.  There are myriad things that could be done under the ranger umbrella that are desperately needed in the north and they really don't have to cost that much but all could be attributed to the military budget but paid for from other pockets. 

Then treat it as a Northern security issue, and not thin logic for imposing on a system that reasonably hits the mark of mandate (formal presence to reinforce sovereignty), resources and engagement balance.

SAR is only one of many services that are lacking.

In the North specifically?  What are the others?  High bandwidth polar comms?  Replenishment in the North? Etc.?

Are there specific statistics you have that indicate that Canada should significantly increase funding, staffing and equipping its Northern-based SAR response?

Regards
G2G

Offline daftandbarmy

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Or really go crazy and assign one of our gazillion armd recce regiments to a northern flank ‘sensing’ role, to include the Rangers’ assets.
"Now listen to me you benighted muckers. We're going to teach you soldiering. The world's noblest profession. When we're done with you, you'll be able to slaughter your enemies like civilized men." Daniel Dravot

Offline Colin P

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You want to boost our presence in the Arctic, we need a Polar 5 version of something like this. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCTPSoaUtwk

Also start pumping a lot more money into runways, aviation infrastructure and marine ports and infrastructure. Start connecting northern communities with roads, even if the roads don't yet connect with the south.   

Offline reveng

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Or really go crazy and assign one of our gazillion armd recce regiments to a northern flank ‘sensing’ role, to include the Rangers’ assets.

Have them provide something akin to UK Light Cavalry or RMASG...

Offline tomahawk6

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The value that yourRangers is important. Our equivalent are the Eskimo Scouts. They would conduct patrols on snow machine or ski after being dropped off by helicopter. They have been downsized through the years but I remember the stir that a Scout patrol caused when they brought back Russian C ration cartons and cans from a Russian commando visit to a beach on Alaska's west coast.

Offline daftandbarmy

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The value that yourRangers is important. Our equivalent are the Eskimo Scouts. They would conduct patrols on snow machine or ski after being dropped off by helicopter. They have been downsized through the years but I remember the stir that a Scout patrol caused when they brought back Russian C ration cartons and cans from a Russian commando visit to a beach on Alaska's west coast.

Dude... don’t make us start ‘Eskimo’ shaming you now :)
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Offline YZT580

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I don't know what form of statistics you are looking for, but how about common sense?  For SAR, compare the flight time for an aircraft from any current base to anywhere on the Arctic shore: particularly since our new aircraft can't get there without a refueling stop in some cases and a very limited search time before time out in another.  Use the same search parameters for any community on Hudson Bay.  Hours different from those same bases to anywhere else in Canada.  Those communities are entitled to the same degree of response as is the boater in Lake Huron and they need it more with survival times measured in minutes and hours and the greater possibility of a mishap.   

Offline daftandbarmy

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Also start pumping a lot more money into runways, aviation infrastructure and marine ports and infrastructure. Start connecting northern communities with roads, even if the roads don't yet connect with the south.

This. Lots of it  :nod:
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Offline Good2Golf

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I don't know what form of statistics you are looking for, but how about common sense?  For SAR, compare the flight time for an aircraft from any current base to anywhere on the Arctic shore: particularly since our new aircraft can't get there without a refueling stop in some cases and a very limited search time before time out in another. 

Does not SAR have performance expectations associated with statistics that for example X% of SAR requests must be addressed within a specific response time?

If not, then what kind of response do you believe ‘common sense’ dictate?

So, how many additional bases and where, do you advocate we need with your proposed refurbished Buffalo’s speed and endurance?

Use the same search parameters for any community on Hudson Bay.  Hours different from those same bases to anywhere else in Canada.  Those communities are entitled to the same degree of response as is the boater in Lake Huron and they need it more with survival times measured in minutes and hours and the greater possibility of a mishap.

What is the longest acceptable time to respond to a SAR request in the North?  30 minutes over top?  And furthermore, do you propose that Canada need increase only its aeronautical incident response capability, ie. that which Canada’s National Search and Rescue Program mandates the CAF to provide?  Should not the GoC also increase maritime and ground SAR assets?

Regards
G2G