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The Parade Square => The Canadian Military => Topic started by: FJAG on July 30, 2020, 23:11:32

Title: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: FJAG on July 30, 2020, 23:11:32
I've published another article on my Blog/Website as a follow up to my book Unsustainable at Any Price: The Canadian Armed Forces in Crisis (https://sites.google.com/view/wolfriedel/non-fiction/unsustainable-at-any-price) and my CMJ article (https://sites.google.com/view/wolfriedel/blog/2020-04-04-the-canadian-army-needs-a-paradigm-shift).

The new article Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe (https://sites.google.com/view/wolfriedel/blog/2020-03-30-re-establishing-a-canadian-armoured-brigade-group-in-europe) builds on my previous thoughts and presents possible ways that we could follow either a minimal option or an optimal option for firstly establishing a much needed fly-over Canadian armoured brigade for use with the enhanced Forward Presence in Latvia (or Europe in general) and secondly how a transformed reserve force could be worked into that to create a more credible and sustainable Canadian Forces capability there.

 :cheers:

Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: stellarpanther on July 30, 2020, 23:19:39
I've published another article on my Blog/Website as a follow up to my book Unsustainable at Any Price: The Canadian Armed Forces in Crisis (https://sites.google.com/view/wolfriedel/non-fiction/unsustainable-at-any-price) and my CMJ article (https://sites.google.com/view/wolfriedel/blog/2020-04-04-the-canadian-army-needs-a-paradigm-shift).

The new article Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe (https://sites.google.com/view/wolfriedel/blog/2020-03-30-re-establishing-a-canadian-armoured-brigade-group-in-europe) builds on my previous thoughts and presents possible ways that we could follow either a minimal option or an optimal option for firstly establishing a much needed fly-over Canadian armoured brigade for use with the enhanced Forward Presence in Latvia (or Europe in general) and secondly how a transformed reserve force could be worked into that to create a more credible and sustainable Canadian Forces capability there.

 :cheers:

It sounds good and while I'm not certainly no SME in combat arms issues, I am certain the government will be cutting huge chunks of money from all departments in the next couple budgets.  I don't see any of these things happening.  I believe I just read something that about new submarines and that Canada may keep the existing ones instead of building new ones saying it's not about the age but about the mileage of something like that.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: MilEME09 on July 31, 2020, 01:08:08
Minor edit fact, it is 2 PPCLI not 3 PPCLI in Shilo.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: FJAG on July 31, 2020, 01:18:27
Minor edit fact, it is 2 PPCLI not 3 PPCLI in Shilo.

 :facepalm:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: CloudCover on July 31, 2020, 01:21:34
Minor edit fact, it is 2 PPCLI not 3 PPCLI in Shilo.

Cripes, he’s outed the plan and ruined the surprise!!
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: GR66 on July 31, 2020, 11:23:35
I've published another article on my Blog/Website as a follow up to my book Unsustainable at Any Price: The Canadian Armed Forces in Crisis (https://sites.google.com/view/wolfriedel/non-fiction/unsustainable-at-any-price) and my CMJ article (https://sites.google.com/view/wolfriedel/blog/2020-04-04-the-canadian-army-needs-a-paradigm-shift).

The new article Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe (https://sites.google.com/view/wolfriedel/blog/2020-03-30-re-establishing-a-canadian-armoured-brigade-group-in-europe) builds on my previous thoughts and presents possible ways that we could follow either a minimal option or an optimal option for firstly establishing a much needed fly-over Canadian armoured brigade for use with the enhanced Forward Presence in Latvia (or Europe in general) and secondly how a transformed reserve force could be worked into that to create a more credible and sustainable Canadian Forces capability there.

 :cheers:

I'm in total agreement with you on many of the points that you make above and in many of your posts.  Better equipment suitable for peer conflict, more tooth and less admin tail, fewer HQ, a mix of heavy, medium and light forces, a beefed-up, properly equipped and deployable Reserves, etc. 

All that being said I do disagree with you on the idea of deploying an Armoured Brigade to Latvia/Poland.  I think that doing that would tie too large a proportion of our small Army to defending against an attach that I think is highly unlikely.

Putin is clearly a bad actor and I'm not suggesting that there is no possibility of Western and Russian militaries fighting each other at some point.  I just don't believe it will be in the form of a conventional Russian invasion of the Baltic States or Poland. 

The Russian military has a number of strengths but it simply doesn't have the capability of defeating NATO in a conventional war.  This distances, area and populations are just too large for Russia to possibly win.  Even if they were to sweep through the Baltics and Poland they simply don't have the manpower to take on the whole of NATO.  France and Germany alone have a greater population than Russia and the US's population is more than double Russias.

So let's say that Russia then limits their attack to just the Baltics.  Something that I'll freely admit they likely have the capability of doing.  What then?  What have they gained?  Are the Baltic States rich in key resources that will magically turn Russia back from a declining power into a world leader?  Will Russian aggression and the threat of further attacks bring Eastern Europe flocking back to join a renewed Warsaw Pact?  I don't think so.

What I think such an attack would achieve is turning Russia's largest block of export markets into enemies (as opposed to rivals).  The USN and NATO navies would likely blockade Russia and strike key rail lines, pipelines, refineries, etc. to block any potential Russian trade and cripple their economy.  The bulk of the most powerful economies in the world which previously struggled to maintain token militaries would ramp up their military spending forcing Russia into an arms race that they can't afford.  Russia will be faced with the occupation of 175,000km2 of hostile territory and will have to maintain massive military deployments along their borders with NATO in order to hold on to their gains.  Will the Russian people support such costs in return for such little gain?

Much more likely in my mind is that rather than direct military invasion Russia will try to stir up discontent in the significant Russian minority populations in the Baltic States similar to what happened in the Donbass.  I'm not sure what good a Canadian Armoured Brigade would be in the face of ethnic tensions, protests, riots, etc.

While I don't believe that we likely face a direct Russian invasion of a NATO country (and I'd argue that European defence policies suggest that they don't feel that threat is serious either) that doesn't mean that Russia isn't a dangerous rogue nation that is willing to use military force where it feels it can get away with it and get advantage from it (Crimea, Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, the 'Stans, Syria, etc.).  We should be prepared for that. 

Regardless of where Russia decides to employ its military they (due to their relative weakness compared to NATO) will likely do it with surprise, local superiority of forces and with objectives that they can either complete before NATO has time to react or where they feel NATO doesn't have the political will to react militarily.  Is a Canadian Armoured Brigade sitting in Latvia the best way that Canada can work to counter these risks?  I don't think so.

I'm OK with Canada having a presence in Latvia as part of the NATO mission.  It shows Russia our solidarity with our allies and the Russians would know that if they did choose to invade then they would be killing Canadians not just Latvians so retaliation would be much more likely.  I also definitely agree that our forces there should have some real teeth to counter any attack (i.e. Anti-Air and Anti-Armour capabilities), but I think our current token force size is enough for this specific role.  A larger, heavier force deployed in Latvia doesn't give any ability to quickly counter Russian actions elsewhere in the world. 

I'd argue that a better Canadian contribution to these threats (beyond political involvement) would be more forward deployed ISTAR assets to detect Russian military movements in advance and rapidly deployable (i.e. by air) forces that can get to the potential conflict area before the Russians can move or before they achieve their objectives.  Light Anti-armour, Anti-air, EW, engineer, long range rocket artillery, etc. suddenly appearing in front of them might deter them from attacking in the first place (knowing that they've lost the element of surprise and have NATO forces opposing them) or at least slow them enough for heavier allied forces to be deployed in response.





Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: Colin P on July 31, 2020, 13:30:28
Let's not forget Georgia, Azerbaijan/Armenia. Kalingrad


Other fun and exciting scenarios:

China and Russia have falling out and conflict, do we help Russia?

India vs China, if India calls for assistance do we help with troops?

China vs Vietnam?
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: FJAG on July 31, 2020, 14:00:53
Bear with me a bit on this, GR66.

I'm not refuting what you're saying but in fact had very much many of those thoughts myself as I was writing the article as it's one thing to say "Okay we can do this" and quite another to say "we need to do this".

I've said this before, but some of my thinking was shaped by a conference I attended in Germany early this century  ;D about what, back then, was the Partnership for Peace program involving the Baltics. One of the speakers was a member of the Russian Embassy in Germany who was asked what would happen if the Baltics joined NATO. His responce was curt: "The tanks will roll."

Since WW2 a large ethnic Russian community has settled in the Baltics (roughly 30% of Latvia and Estonia are Russian speakers). The Baltics greatly increased Russia's access to ice-free ports on the Baltic Sea principally for Russian oil shipping to Europe. Most important though is that the Baltics are exposed being a thin strip of land far removed from the major NATO countries and thus are a weak spot for the alliance. "If" taken without opposition it would greatly undermine the alliance which continues to be a Russian aim. I similarly thought that the chances of Russia stepping into the Baltics was slim after nothing happened when they did join NATO ... but then the Ukraine. Same deal. Ethnic Russians in the eastern Ukraine and a strategic asset, the Crimea and access to the Black Sea.

The RAND studies tell me that the Baltics defences are too weak. And like Shlapak says:

Quote
... the challenge NATO confronts is not successfully to deter on an average day; it is to deter on the one day out of a thousand, or 5,000, when Moscow, for whatever reason, sees the prospect of a crushing win over its most dangerous adversary as an attractive prospect. ...

I think we're already in a  "grey zone war" with Russia. Stirring up the ethnic Russians in the Baltics is already going on and in large part is being handled well by the Baltics. But things, like in Donbass, sit on a razors edge. To keep things at that level and no further requires credible deterrence.

I firmly believe what Ochmanek said:

Quote
The gold standard of deterrence and assurance is a defensive posture that confronts the adversary with the prospect of operational failure as the likely consequence of aggression

If at this point the ePF can't deal appropriately with "grey zone" warfare escalating to "hybrid", then we better learn to do so very quickly.

Despite the very positive spin that the brochure writers in the CAF put out, our military is not close to meeting a gold standard of deterrence. We're the little boy hanging around the adults waiting for a pat on the head to tell us we're a "good boy". We do have great soldiers and a fairly decent staff system but our capabilities are severely hampered by equipment issues and by political risk aversion (at both the government and military leadership level)

Putting a "spearhead" prepositioned brigade into Europe (and backing it up with additional deployable reserve armoured brigades at home with a capability to move them to Europe), would signal to both Russia and our allies that we are, once again, taking collective security seriously.

I too had questions as to whether Latvia was the right place for the brigade and gave Poland very strong considerations (although too a large degree that's a bit of subtle abandonment to the Baltics). Poland is a more secure assembly area, a bit less of a slap in Russia's face and more centrally located to allow coverage of Poland via Belarus. (Although I think that Poland is much less of a security issue than the Baltics are vis-a-vis Russian intentions). I'm not sure of what other areas in the world Russia threatens that are in Canada's interest to be involved in. If we're talking about things like Syria/Iraq or Libya, then that's what my notional 2 Div's light and medium forces are all about.(which incidentally I allocate two-thirds of the full-time Army to simply because I believe that element will be busier on a day-to-day basis than 3 Div's whose main role is to look tough and pretty and exercise regularly) IMHO its 3 Div that creates the steady shield protecting Europe's flank while 2 Div's the flexible fire brigade that deals with the unexpected.

I don't talk about how 3 Div will actually fight. There are too many variables right now which are being seriously looked at by folks a lot smarter than me. I see that the needs for tanks, armoured infantry and artillery will not go away anytime soon. I also see a need for more anti-armour and air defence. In my sky castle, we develop new full-time and part-time units like cyber and influence activity and communication dominance to deal with new techniques as they become apparent to replace elements that no longer have any viability. But I strongly caution against getting rid of heavy elements. It's very easy for a heavy brigade to use some of it's light vehicles to send out parties of non-threatening peacekeepers and medics etc to accompany local Latvian police and social workers etc to diffuse ethnic disturbances and keep the little green men in check; it's quite another to have a light battalion suddenly have to beat back ethnic Latvian/Russian irregulars with tanks and artillery loaned to them by Putin.

I grant you that it's a judgement call as to what force mix is the right one and where it should be. I'm adamant we need to reconfigure into a heavy force and a light to medium force; I'm adamant that we need to sort out and equip our reserves; I'm adamant that we need to preposition a heavy brigade's equipment in Europe (otherwise we'll never get there); I'm ambivalent about where exactly in Europe that should be although I believe it ought to be to support NATO's MND-N as a priority (if it can be triggered in time and Poland if we're too slow)

I haven't forgotten or am ignoring China. I just haven't a clue what we can do there except economic stuff (which is real difficult for us) or having the Navy there stay tied in with the various Pacific nations and have 3 Div's light and medium infantry start working with the USMC and start adopting some of their techniques and equipment. Might be an idea if we ever get out of the Middle East. One thing I'm sure of: we'd suck on a two or three front war.

 :cheers:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: Colin P on July 31, 2020, 18:33:51
What Canada could do is either have some of our Leopard A4's upgraded in Germany and then stationed in Europe with units deploying onto them as a 4-6 month tasking, or we could lease some upgraded Leopards to be kept in Europe. That saves a lot of transport costs. Also a Fleet of LAV 6.0 and infantry unit rotate through the same time.

Not sure how we will handle artillery as I don't think we have enough guns as it is. Perhaps lease SPG's for over there as well. In which case make that a full time posting as training on a new system will take longer. Perhaps have all the Combat Support trades as long term postings to form a experienced core that the other units can learn from. Have all the equipment there other than the LAV's compatible with our Allies either German or US.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: MilEME09 on July 31, 2020, 18:48:21
What about instead of being on the front lines, like Latvia. We fill the void of US troops leaving Germany? Be a rapid reaction brigade to deploy across Europe, and North Africa.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: CBH99 on July 31, 2020, 18:58:02
That might actually be a pretty smart move.

Capitalize on what we have, not what we don't have.  And do what we are capable of doing well.  Re:  The fight against ISIS, operations in northern Africa, etc etc.


One of the things that I think would be a real game changer for us not just materialistically, but as an organizational shift in terms of attitude and mentality, is choosing to focus on doing something exceptionally well.  Similar to how the Australians openly say "We strive to be the best small Army in the world."

We have almost 1000 LAV 6.0 (Well 550, plus 360 coming) - 500 TAPV - the upgraded 84mm to M4 standard, up from our M3, etc etc.  Throw in some basic yet effective AD capabilities against drones & such, and explore some very basic things we could do to make the rifle companies more lethal.  (Expanded availability of DM rifles, 81mm and 60mm available, etc.)  Stuff that really changes the game when the fight is on, but yet is affordable & extremely easy to implement. 

We have the potential to be an extremely effective light/medium force.  So why not focus on doing those kinds of operations exceptionally well?

Upgrading all of the Leopard 2 to A6 standard might be a little pricey.  Maybe not, I'm not sure.  Buying and training the folks on SPG could also be pricey, and you guys that are in do make a regular point of saying there just aren't enough people in the units to add a bunch of new kit.

Floyd Mayweather doesn't try to compete against the likes of Bob Sapp or Mike Tyson.  Let the big boys fight the big boys.  What Floyd Mayweather is good at, is outclassing & outperforming other fighters in his weight category.



By picking up the slack in some operations, so the US can focus on the heavier operations - we would still be playing a very useful role.  And, as per MilEME09's suggestion - perhaps we'd actually be contributing to the fight in a more useful way than trying to plug a battalion in somewhere?   :2c:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: rnkelly on July 31, 2020, 19:38:19
Floyd Mayweather doesn't try to compete against the likes of Bob Sapp or Mike Tyson.  Let the big boys fight the big boys.  What Floyd Mayweather is good at, is outclassing & outperforming other fighters in his weight category.

Not sure Canada has the shoulder roll to compete with Money but you're right we can be a contender.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: GR66 on August 01, 2020, 10:27:14
Bear with me a bit on this, GR66.

I'm not refuting what you're saying but in fact had very much many of those thoughts myself as I was writing the article as it's one thing to say "Okay we can do this" and quite another to say "we need to do this".

I've said this before, but some of my thinking was shaped by a conference I attended in Germany early this century  ;D about what, back then, was the Partnership for Peace program involving the Baltics. One of the speakers was a member of the Russian Embassy in Germany who was asked what would happen if the Baltics joined NATO. His responce was curt: "The tanks will roll."

Since WW2 a large ethnic Russian community has settled in the Baltics (roughly 30% of Latvia and Estonia are Russian speakers). The Baltics greatly increased Russia's access to ice-free ports on the Baltic Sea principally for Russian oil shipping to Europe. Most important though is that the Baltics are exposed being a thin strip of land far removed from the major NATO countries and thus are a weak spot for the alliance. "If" taken without opposition it would greatly undermine the alliance which continues to be a Russian aim. I similarly thought that the chances of Russia stepping into the Baltics was slim after nothing happened when they did join NATO ... but then the Ukraine. Same deal. Ethnic Russians in the eastern Ukraine and a strategic asset, the Crimea and access to the Black Sea.

The RAND studies tell me that the Baltics defences are too weak. And like Shlapak says:

I think we're already in a  "grey zone war" with Russia. Stirring up the ethnic Russians in the Baltics is already going on and in large part is being handled well by the Baltics. But things, like in Donbass, sit on a razors edge. To keep things at that level and no further requires credible deterrence.

I firmly believe what Ochmanek said:

If at this point the ePF can't deal appropriately with "grey zone" warfare escalating to "hybrid", then we better learn to do so very quickly.

Despite the very positive spin that the brochure writers in the CAF put out, our military is not close to meeting a gold standard of deterrence. We're the little boy hanging around the adults waiting for a pat on the head to tell us we're a "good boy". We do have great soldiers and a fairly decent staff system but our capabilities are severely hampered by equipment issues and by political risk aversion (at both the government and military leadership level)

Putting a "spearhead" prepositioned brigade into Europe (and backing it up with additional deployable reserve armoured brigades at home with a capability to move them to Europe), would signal to both Russia and our allies that we are, once again, taking collective security seriously.

I too had questions as to whether Latvia was the right place for the brigade and gave Poland very strong considerations (although too a large degree that's a bit of subtle abandonment to the Baltics). Poland is a more secure assembly area, a bit less of a slap in Russia's face and more centrally located to allow coverage of Poland via Belarus. (Although I think that Poland is much less of a security issue than the Baltics are vis-a-vis Russian intentions). I'm not sure of what other areas in the world Russia threatens that are in Canada's interest to be involved in. If we're talking about things like Syria/Iraq or Libya, then that's what my notional 2 Div's light and medium forces are all about.(which incidentally I allocate two-thirds of the full-time Army to simply because I believe that element will be busier on a day-to-day basis than 3 Div's whose main role is to look tough and pretty and exercise regularly) IMHO its 3 Div that creates the steady shield protecting Europe's flank while 2 Div's the flexible fire brigade that deals with the unexpected.

I don't talk about how 3 Div will actually fight. There are too many variables right now which are being seriously looked at by folks a lot smarter than me. I see that the needs for tanks, armoured infantry and artillery will not go away anytime soon. I also see a need for more anti-armour and air defence. In my sky castle, we develop new full-time and part-time units like cyber and influence activity and communication dominance to deal with new techniques as they become apparent to replace elements that no longer have any viability. But I strongly caution against getting rid of heavy elements. It's very easy for a heavy brigade to use some of it's light vehicles to send out parties of non-threatening peacekeepers and medics etc to accompany local Latvian police and social workers etc to diffuse ethnic disturbances and keep the little green men in check; it's quite another to have a light battalion suddenly have to beat back ethnic Latvian/Russian irregulars with tanks and artillery loaned to them by Putin.

I grant you that it's a judgement call as to what force mix is the right one and where it should be. I'm adamant we need to reconfigure into a heavy force and a light to medium force; I'm adamant that we need to sort out and equip our reserves; I'm adamant that we need to preposition a heavy brigade's equipment in Europe (otherwise we'll never get there); I'm ambivalent about where exactly in Europe that should be although I believe it ought to be to support NATO's MND-N as a priority (if it can be triggered in time and Poland if we're too slow)

I haven't forgotten or am ignoring China. I just haven't a clue what we can do there except economic stuff (which is real difficult for us) or having the Navy there stay tied in with the various Pacific nations and have 3 Div's light and medium infantry start working with the USMC and start adopting some of their techniques and equipment. Might be an idea if we ever get out of the Middle East. One thing I'm sure of: we'd suck on a two or three front war.

 :cheers:

I think we're going to have to agree to disagree on this particular item.  Having a full-time heavy Armoured Brigade in Latvia would be a significant cost for DND.  Do we really want to spend that much of our military budget on defending against one particular 1-in-5,000 day scenario?

Say we do go ahead with the idea.  Do we keep it fully manned and ready to deploy?  Partially manned with pre-positioned equipment for the full Brigade?  Who fills out the Brigade when the balloon goes up?  Reg Force personnel?  Reserve units?  I believe it was the same RAND study you quoted that suggested that Russia could overrun the Baltics in 72 hours.  We could only assume that Russia would choose to attack with surprise rather than sitting back and waiting for NATO to move in our contingency forces and make the outcome uncertain.  Could we mobilize Reserve units within 72-hours?  Would we need to permanently have high-readiness Reg Force units standing by?  If the Russians are presumably attacking with local superiority of forces would there be any safe place for our fly-over troops to land to mate up with their equipment?  Would it be unreasonable to assume that Russia would target our vehicle parks and pre-positioning depots in their attack?  Could our troops land there and find nothing to man? 

If we position our equipment outside the Baltics (Poland or Germany) would we even be able to respond in time (within 72 hours) to intervene in the invasion or would it then become part of the force to liberate the Baltics from a fait accompli  occupation by Russia.  If our forces aren't able to prevent the invasion in the first place, then what was the point?  If the objective is instead to undo a Russian invasion then are we going to do a hasty counter-attack with the rapid reaction forces in place or would it be smarter to wait until the full weight of NATO forces (including forces from the continental US and Canada) can be brought to bear? 

There are other questions/issues as well.  Adding a Canadian Armoured Brigade to Latvia in and of itself really does not significantly change the balance of military power in the area.  It's really only makes a difference if it's matched by a large increase in heavy forces by the rest of our NATO allies.  Have you seen anything to suggest that NATO is willing to deploy and sustain the 21 maneuver Brigades that RAND says would be necessary to fight Russia for the Baltics?  In the absence of that matching commitment isn't deploying a Canadian Armoured Brigade somewhat reminiscent of our sending reinforcements to Hong Kong in 1941? 

What political impact would a massive military build up on Russia's border have?  Could they not see it as highly provocative and threatening?  Might that actually increase the risk that Russia might push hard(er) to undermine NATO, stir up discontent among ethnic Russians in the region, etc. rather than deterring them?

What if we suddenly need our Armoured Brigade elsewhere in the world?  Do we move it from Latvia?  How much harder logistically is it to move a Brigade from a deployed theatre than from our home bases in Canada?  Do we temporarily abandon our NATO commitment to Latvia and use these forces or do we need to have a 2nd Armoured Brigade in Canada as well for non-Latvia missions?  Can we afford that in addition to our Medium and Light Brigades, new equipment requirements and beefed up Reserves (plus new fighters, frigates, North Warning System, submarines, etc.)?     

If in order to be truly effective against a rapid Russian advance our Baltic Armoured Brigade either has to be fully manned (or very rapidly reinforced) then doesn't that go against the general argument you've broadly been proposing in other posts that the heavy "break glass in case of fire" forces are best suited for the Reserves where manpower costs are less for forces that are only likely to be used in the rarer circumstances?  In tight budgetary times how are we going to be able to maintain (or even increase) our Reg Force personnel for large scale, permanent deployments like Latvia and still find the money to upgrade our equipment? 

Lastly, are we too focused on an Army response to Russian aggression.  Is an Armoured Brigade (60-ish tanks?) necessarily the best counter to a Russian attack?  Are there other responses like fighters that might be a more effective (and more rapidly deployable) response to an attack?  An Armoured Brigade in defence can't take out Russian air defences, supply depots, bridges, communication hubs, etc. where as an F-35 may be able to.  Which unit better degrades the enemy's strengths and exploits its weaknesses?

 :2c:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: daftandbarmy on August 01, 2020, 12:14:24
The elephant in the room here is the Continental European will to defend/ resist. If they were investing in a robust defensive program, allied with an effective diplomatic offensive, North America would be less worried about having to respond one to yet another ‘European Civil War.’
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: FJAG on August 01, 2020, 12:52:18
I think we're going to have to agree to disagree on this particular item.  Having a full-time heavy Armoured Brigade in Latvia would be a significant cost for DND.  Do we really want to spend that much of our military budget on defending against one particular 1-in-5,000 day scenario?

GR66. I've never suggested a "full-time" armoured brigade and in fact am strongly against that idea myself. The suggestion is for a pre-positioned brigade's equipment with perhaps a three-four week flyover exercise per year.

Say we do go ahead with the idea.  Do we keep it fully manned and ready to deploy?  Partially manned with pre-positioned equipment for the full Brigade?  Who fills out the Brigade when the balloon goes up?  Reg Force personnel?  Reserve units?  I believe it was the same RAND study you quoted that suggested that Russia could overrun the Baltics in 72 hours.  We could only assume that Russia would choose to attack with surprise rather than sitting back and waiting for NATO to move in our contingency forces and make the outcome uncertain.  Could we mobilize Reserve units within 72-hours?  Would we need to permanently have high-readiness Reg Force units standing by?  If the Russians are presumably attacking with local superiority of forces would there be any safe place for our fly-over troops to land to mate up with their equipment?  Would it be unreasonable to assume that Russia would target our vehicle parks and pre-positioning depots in their attack?  Could our troops land there and find nothing to man? 

Skeleton manning. Just enough to maintain and secure the equipment. If we stay on the suggested minimal option then RegF. If we move to the optimal option then still RegF for Roto0. I don't see a massive flash attack but rather a campaign like in the Ukraine which would provide an instability period during which resources would be committed across NATO. Agree with question of whether the prepositioned equipment and assembly area should be in Latvia. I contemplated an option for Poland which results in the traversing Lithuania disadvantage.

If we position our equipment outside the Baltics (Poland or Germany) would we even be able to respond in time (within 72 hours) to intervene in the invasion or would it then become part of the force to liberate the Baltics from a fait accompli  occupation by Russia.  If our forces aren't able to prevent the invasion in the first place, then what was the point?  If the objective is instead to undo a Russian invasion then are we going to do a hasty counter-attack with the rapid reaction forces in place or would it be smarter to wait until the full weight of NATO forces (including forces from the continental US and Canada) can be brought to bear? 

The main idea is to man the equipment at a time of heightened tensions to create an additional deterrence. Yes. In every case a flyover force takes more time than an in theatre full-time force. That's the trade off. Risk that the warning period is sufficient v cost of being there full-time. The other option is: do nothing. Choose whichever one you like best.

There are other questions/issues as well.  Adding a Canadian Armoured Brigade to Latvia in and of itself really does not significantly change the balance of military power in the area.  It's really only makes a difference if it's matched by a large increase in heavy forces by the rest of our NATO allies.  Have you seen anything to suggest that NATO is willing to deploy and sustain the 21 maneuver Brigades that RAND says would be necessary to fight Russia for the Baltics?  In the absence of that matching commitment isn't deploying a Canadian Armoured Brigade somewhat reminiscent of our sending reinforcements to Hong Kong in 1941? 

If that's bad then how do we justify a single battle group? The point of a preposition brigade is firstly deterrence. Secondly, There is no way that Canada would do this unilaterally. This would be highly coordinated with NATO as part of a strengthening across the board. My idea is to suggest a method that it could be done within our existing force structure envelope (with only minor equipment additions). The issue here is as you alluded to before when you mentioned Honk Kong. Haven't we already created a Honk Kong scenario? And shouldn't we as Canada's professional military have a reinforcement plan in our grab bag of tools? Or do we just continue to hope for the best?

What political impact would a massive military build up on Russia's border have?  Could they not see it as highly provocative and threatening?  Might that actually increase the risk that Russia might push hard(er) to undermine NATO, stir up discontent among ethnic Russians in the region, etc. rather than deterring them?

Such a build up would definitely be considered provocative and threatening to Russia. But we saw what international hand wringing did for the Ukraine. One of the reasons that I contemplated an assembly base in Poland was specifically to reduce the "threat" yet still be within 12 hours move to Latvia. (Albeit that a deploying column moving through the Sowalki Gap and across Lithuania would at that point be at risk. Hostilities are rarely without risk. I know we're a pretty risk-averse military but sometimes you have to put your crap on the line.

What if we suddenly need our Armoured Brigade elsewhere in the world?  Do we move it from Latvia?  How much harder logistically is it to move a Brigade from a deployed theatre than from our home bases in Canada?  Do we temporarily abandon our NATO commitment to Latvia and use these forces or do we need to have a 2nd Armoured Brigade in Canada as well for non-Latvia missions?  Can we afford that in addition to our Medium and Light Brigades, new equipment requirements and beefed up Reserves (plus new fighters, frigates, North Warning System, submarines, etc.)? 


What would we do now when we don't even have one? If we go with the minimal option then at least the force is already in Europe and can be repositioned. If you're talking outside of Europe then the light and medium forces in 2 Div are the ones most likely to be deployed. Under the optimal option there would be two additional armoured brigades in 3 Div which could be activated and together with a naval capability be projected. The key question is not whether they can be moved. The key question is what is the other need for an armoured brigade? What scenario are you running and if it was significant enough for an armoured brigade, then can Canada afford to be in two major theatres at the same time. Regardless of how much we strengthen the force; we are not a two-front war kind of country. Can we afford the additional forces? Absolutely. The real question is: how long can we afford to ignore the fact that we're spending in excess of $20 billion annually on a force that has very little capability to project itself outside the country in a major emergency. The Canadian Army, as constituted is a waste of money every year and needs to be reformed one way or another or become unsustainable with its massive full-time salary component. We can go up or down. My preference is up.

If in order to be truly effective against a rapid Russian advance our Baltic Armoured Brigade either has to be fully manned (or very rapidly reinforced) then doesn't that go against the general argument you've broadly been proposing in other posts that the heavy "break glass in case of fire" forces are best suited for the Reserves where manpower costs are less for forces that are only likely to be used in the rarer circumstances?  In tight budgetary times how are we going to be able to maintain (or even increase) our Reg Force personnel for large scale, permanent deployments like Latvia and still find the money to upgrade our equipment? 

The "break glass in case of fire" has two components. A full-time force that's your Roto0 and a part-time force that has the ability to be Roto1 and thereafter or at certain times in their training cycle to even be capable of Roto0. Just as an aside, here's what the ARNG is doing to prep for that under ARNG4.0. See here. (https://citizen-soldiermagazine.com/next-evolution-army-national-guard/) With two brigades running on alternating cycles, you could have one or the other brigade in its "Ready" cycle every two years while the RegF brigade covers the intervals

While the Russians can advance in 72 hours the likelihood is that there will be a period of tension that would precede any advance and the objective in deploying the brigade (along with other NATO resources across Europe) would be to become a further deterrent. This is where depth in Rotos becomes especially important as the heightened security posture may last a while.

Lastly, are we too focused on an Army response to Russian aggression.  Is an Armoured Brigade (60-ish tanks?) necessarily the best counter to a Russian attack?  Are there other responses like fighters that might be a more effective (and more rapidly deployable) response to an attack?  An Armoured Brigade in defence can't take out Russian air defences, supply depots, bridges, communication hubs, etc. where as an F-35 may be able to.  Which unit better degrades the enemy's strengths and exploits its weaknesses?

Our tanks are not 60s tanks. I trained with Centurions and M113s. We have Leo2s and LAV6.0s. There's a world of difference. Fighters will not survive in the current Russian GBAD environment, at least not sufficiently to degrade their entire force. This is why everybody is working on deep strike ground based fires and other tools. (Note my call for a Canadian HIMARS capability). Long story short. There are weapon systems in development which will increase and even change the way we fight. We don't have them yet. At the moment the best way to defend against an armoured threat (which is what you find within the Russian inventory in the region amongst their various toolbags of grey zone and hybrid threats) is with your own armoured capability. It's not a choice of finding one sole capability that does it all, its a question of combining various joint capabilities into a complete whole. Let's face facts. Notwithstanding our Army's mantra about being an "agile, multi-purpose. medium-weight" force, virtually every other country in Europe be it Russian or NATO still has heavy armoured forces as the cornerstone of their ground forces. The UK may be experimenting with a less armoured Strike brigade but the bulk of 3 (UK) Div is still heavily armoured (While 1 (UK) Div is organized on light scales for for rapid and flexible deployments elsewhere.

The elephant in the room here is the Continental European will to defend/ resist. If they were investing in a robust defensive program, allied with an effective diplomatic offensive, North America would be less worried about having to respond one to yet another ‘European Civil War.’

That's very true. The point many people seem to forget (cough, cough Trump) is that Article 5 of the NATO treaty obligates collective defence in the theatre threatened:

Quote
The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.

True, the article leaves open what that response shall be. It's my view that in order to be meaningful, the response needs to be an effective one. I think I've quoted this a few times before:

Quote
The gold standard of deterrence and assurance is a defensive posture that confronts the adversary with the prospect of operational failure as the likely consequence of aggression

It's open to debate as to how much in the way of steel and boots on the ground you need to meet that standard but in my view, the RAND studies indicate that we're a few heavy brigades short in the Baltics as it stands. Last time I looked, the Russians can read and undoubtedly have wargamed this as well. They know that we haven't yet achieved the gold standard and thus if temptation strikes them they'll feel confident in acting.


 :cheers:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: FJAG on August 01, 2020, 16:32:35
For those who think big divisions are dead. Think again.

https://www.stripes.com/news/army/army-guard-begins-to-reorganize-force-into-eight-divisions-to-prepare-for-possible-fights-with-russia-and-china-1.639671 (https://www.stripes.com/news/army/army-guard-begins-to-reorganize-force-into-eight-divisions-to-prepare-for-possible-fights-with-russia-and-china-1.639671)

 :cheers:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: PuckChaser on August 01, 2020, 17:24:12
Canada's well ahead of them. We have 4 Divisions of staff officers ready to go. They don't and won't have troops, equipment, weapons or functioning logistics, but we've got the hard part of creating giant headquarters solved.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: MilEME09 on August 01, 2020, 17:46:45
Canada's well ahead of them. We have 4 Divisions of staff officers ready to go. They don't and won't have troops, equipment, weapons or functioning logistics, but we've got the hard part of creating giant headquarters solved.

But we don't have a Corp HQ! My God we are doomed, quick we need more GOFO's to stand up 1st Canadian Corp HQ in Ottawa.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: FJAG on August 01, 2020, 17:50:59
But we don't have a Corp HQ! My God we are doomed, quick we need more GOFO's to stand up 1st Canadian Corp HQ in Ottawa.

We do have enough troops (but not enough equipment) for two divisions. We could fire two GOFOs and a handful of staff officers immediately.

 :stirpot:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: GR66 on August 02, 2020, 11:20:34
Skeleton manning. Just enough to maintain and secure the equipment. If we stay on the suggested minimal option then RegF. If we move to the optimal option then still RegF for Roto0. I don't see a massive flash attack but rather a campaign like in the Ukraine which would provide an instability period during which resources would be committed across NATO. Agree with question of whether the prepositioned equipment and assembly area should be in Latvia. I contemplated an option for Poland which results in the traversing Lithuania disadvantage.

RAND appears to be envisioning a flash attack taking 72 hours.  More of a Crimea scenario than a Donbass scenario.  If the Russians were to decide to attack and seize three full NATO member nations why should we assume they would be considerate enough to provide us enough warning to reinforce the region so it's more of a fair fight? 

The Ukraine/Donbass situation is something different.  It began with revolution, counter-revolution, disputed elections, anti-government protests and independence referendums in Ukraine leading to a separatist uprising that Russia fully exploited by supporting with regular troops (which the Russians characterize as "volunteers"). 

This Washington Post article is several years old, but I believe the general points are still valid (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2015/11/12/6-reasons-not-to-worry-about-russia-invading-the-baltics/ (https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2015/11/12/6-reasons-not-to-worry-about-russia-invading-the-baltics/)).  The Baltic States are far richer and more politically stable than Ukraine (for example Latvia has a 2019 per capita GDP of $19,924 vs $3,007 in Ukraine...or $11,946 in Russia).  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sovereign_states_in_Europe_by_GDP_(nominal)_per_capita (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sovereign_states_in_Europe_by_GDP_(nominal)_per_capita)

I'd suggest that the best defence against a Russian hybrid war in the Baltic States isn't a Canadian Armoured Brigade (or 21 x NATO Brigades in total), but rather economic support and institutional support to keep all citizens of the Baltic States (including the Russian speaking ones) feeling financially and culturally secure.  Who wants to support being invaded and taken over by a country that is poorer and less free than you are already?

And IF the political situation on the ground radically changes for the worse and we see this instability period for build-up that you suggest we'll have then couldn't we just send a Brigade over then?  Why have the ongoing expense of "skeleton manning" for a Brigade that would be of no use in a massive flash attack (because the equipment would be targeted and we wouldn't be able to reinforce in time) and is defending against a hybrid threat that politically does not yet exist? 

If that's bad then how do we justify a single battle group? The point of a preposition brigade is firstly deterrence. Secondly, There is no way that Canada would do this unilaterally. This would be highly coordinated with NATO as part of a strengthening across the board. My idea is to suggest a method that it could be done within our existing force structure envelope (with only minor equipment additions). The issue here is as you alluded to before when you mentioned Honk Kong. Haven't we already created a Honk Kong scenario? And shouldn't we as Canada's professional military have a reinforcement plan in our grab bag of tools? Or do we just continue to hope for the best?

The purpose of the eFP in Latvia is to politically deter Russia from thinking about attacking.  It says to Putin that if you attack the Baltic States, you're not just attacking Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians, you'll also be killing American, British, German, Canadian, Danish, Icelandic, Albanian, Czech, Italian, Montenegran, Polish, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish, Belgian, Croat, Luxembourger, Dutch, Norwegian and Romanian troops with all the implications that brings.

I don't hear a huge clamour from the political leaders of NATO to deploy 21 x Brigades to the Baltic States to guarantee their defence.  Think tanks and military commentators are talking about it but not the people that actually sign the bills and issue the orders.  In the absence of a NATO-wide push to forward deploy further forces then talk of a Canadian Brigade in Latvia is pointless.

That doesn't mean that we shouldn't be reforming and reequipping our military in order to make it much more effective and capable of fighting high-intensity warfare against peer enemies.  I just think that this one, very specific proposal is a) defending against a threat that I believe at this time is highly unlikely and b) in light of "a" not the most effective use of our defence dollars compared to other reforms/changes that could be made.


Such a build up would definitely be considered provocative and threatening to Russia. But we saw what international hand wringing did for the Ukraine. One of the reasons that I contemplated an assembly base in Poland was specifically to reduce the "threat" yet still be within 12 hours move to Latvia. (Albeit that a deploying column moving through the Sowalki Gap and across Lithuania would at that point be at risk. Hostilities are rarely without risk. I know we're a pretty risk-averse military but sometimes you have to put your crap on the line.

I don't think that Russia is so short sighted that they would only consider the balance of forces in the Baltic theatre when deciding if they should attack NATO.  Doing so would have massive military, political and economic implications regardless of how easy or difficult an actual invasion of the Baltic States would be.  There are many things not involving stationing troops in Latvia that could act to deter Russia from invading.  Collectively meeting our 2% of GDP defence spending commitments across NATO would be a huge one that would even more dramatically shift the balance of power further in NATO's favour.  Better equipping the existing forces we already have in the Baltic States would signal our seriousness.  More joint operations so our militaries work better in joint operations, Showing Russia that their trade with Europe is vulnerable when they behave "poorly". 

I also think that the comparisons between the Baltic States and Ukraine/Crimea are overstated.  Very different situations involving very different risks to Russia should they make any military moves. 

What would we do now when we don't even have one? If we go with the minimal option then at least the force is already in Europe and can be repositioned. If you're talking outside of Europe then the light and medium forces in 2 Div are the ones most likely to be deployed. Under the optimal option there would be two additional armoured brigades in 3 Div which could be activated and together with a naval capability be projected. The key question is not whether they can be moved. The key question is what is the other need for an armoured brigade? What scenario are you running and if it was significant enough for an armoured brigade, then can Canada afford to be in two major theatres at the same time. Regardless of how much we strengthen the force; we are not a two-front war kind of country. Can we afford the additional forces? Absolutely. The real question is: how long can we afford to ignore the fact that we're spending in excess of $20 billion annually on a force that has very little capability to project itself outside the country in a major emergency. The Canadian Army, as constituted is a waste of money every year and needs to be reformed one way or another or become unsustainable with its massive full-time salary component. We can go up or down. My preference is up.

We don't know for certain where or when we might need to deploy heavy forces.  That's why I (like you) fully support the idea of maintaining an Armoured capability rather than specializing the Canadian Army as solely a Light/Medium weight force.  You and I just disagree on the need to have a portion of that capability permanently stationed in Latvia.

The "break glass in case of fire" has two components. A full-time force that's your Roto0 and a part-time force that has the ability to be Roto1 and thereafter or at certain times in their training cycle to even be capable of Roto0. Just as an aside, here's what the ARNG is doing to prep for that under ARNG4.0. See here. (https://citizen-soldiermagazine.com/next-evolution-army-national-guard/) With two brigades running on alternating cycles, you could have one or the other brigade in its "Ready" cycle every two years while the RegF brigade covers the intervals

While the Russians can advance in 72 hours the likelihood is that there will be a period of tension that would precede any advance and the objective in deploying the brigade (along with other NATO resources across Europe) would be to become a further deterrent. This is where depth in Rotos becomes especially important as the heightened security posture may last a while.

Fully agree that our Reserves should be more like the US ANG and properly equipped and trained to be able to deploy as complete units instead of just being a source of individual augmentees or sub-(sub-)units.  On that last point, as mentioned above, if we have a period of build-up of tensions giving us time to deploy from Canada (and the rest of NATO) then do we really need to be permanently positioned there?

Our tanks are not 60s tanks. I trained with Centurions and M113s. We have Leo2s and LAV6.0s. There's a world of difference. Fighters will not survive in the current Russian GBAD environment, at least not sufficiently to degrade their entire force. This is why everybody is working on deep strike ground based fires and other tools. (Note my call for a Canadian HIMARS capability). Long story short. There are weapon systems in development which will increase and even change the way we fight. We don't have them yet. At the moment the best way to defend against an armoured threat (which is what you find within the Russian inventory in the region amongst their various toolbags of grey zone and hybrid threats) is with your own armoured capability. It's not a choice of finding one sole capability that does it all, its a question of combining various joint capabilities into a complete whole. Let's face facts. Notwithstanding our Army's mantra about being an "agile, multi-purpose. medium-weight" force, virtually every other country in Europe be it Russian or NATO still has heavy armoured forces as the cornerstone of their ground forces. The UK may be experimenting with a less armoured Strike brigade but the bulk of 3 (UK) Div is still heavily armoured (While 1 (UK) Div is organized on light scales for for rapid and flexible deployments elsewhere.

I think you misread my comment.  I wasn't implying that our tanks were 1960's vintage, I was commenting on the quantity.  If you're having a full Armoured Regiment stationed in Latvia with 3 x tank squadrons and 1 x recce squadron, then with around 19 x tanks per squadron you're looking at around 60 tanks. 

This comes back to my comments about the rest of NATO having to deploy in strength in the Baltic States for a Canadian Armoured Brigade to even be something worth considering.  Sixty-ish tanks could be a useful contribution when grouped together with 20 other NATO Brigades, but on its own without the rest of NATO it would make no difference. 


It's open to debate as to how much in the way of steel and boots on the ground you need to meet that standard but in my view, the RAND studies indicate that we're a few heavy brigades short in the Baltics as it stands. Last time I looked, the Russians can read and undoubtedly have wargamed this as well. They know that we haven't yet achieved the gold standard and thus if temptation strikes them they'll feel confident in acting.


I also imagine that the Russians are smart enough to know that any invasion of the Baltic States could not easily be book-ended by the attack and occupation.  That would not be the end of the story.  They may have wargamed that they could win that particular BATTLE, but does their wargamming indicate that they would then win the WAR?  I think that the balance of population, economic and military strength says Nyet. 

In another thread in these forums (https://army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,132448.25.html (https://army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,132448.25.html))a different RAND report was quoted as saying "Russia is not a peer or near-peer competitor but rather a well-armed rogue state that seeks to subvert an international order it can never hope to dominate. In contrast, China is a peer competitor that wants to shape an international order that it can aspire to dominate..."..  I believe this to be accurate.  I think Russia can concentrate forces to achieve fairly limited (but not insignificant) military objectives, but in a direct conflict with NATO it cannot hope for victory.  Even if they took and held the Baltic States I think that even if NATO did not attempt to retake them that we could impose such a crippling long-term economic impact on them that their regime could not survive.

To be fair, I also previously thought that having tanks as part of our Latvia contribution would be a good idea and said so much on these forums.  But in reading some of the responses in that thread and stepping back a bit to look at the larger picture (politically, militarily and economically) I've changed my thinking on the issue. 

Great discussion though and always very informative to hear different opinions and takes on situations, problems and solutions.

 :salute:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: suffolkowner on August 02, 2020, 11:48:17
Russia would have one advantage in that NATO is fielding a large collection of platforms that I think would be a logistical nightmare. It's mentioned many times that the counter attack through the Suwalki Gap and the difficulties therein. Considering the state of war that would exist what limits the counter attack to the narrow Suwalki Gap?

A Canadian Armoured Brigade  in Europe is a nice idea if Canada was a mature responsible ally but I think just establishing that full capability in Canada would be a great leap forward
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: E.R. Campbell on August 02, 2020, 12:14:20
 :highjack:

An aside, if I may: a Russian attack on NATO will be a certain signal of a massive failure in and imminent disintegration of the Russian state. See, for example, 'Toria' Nuland's piece in Foreign Affairs (https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/russian-federation/2020-06-09/pinning-down-putin), under RUSTING RUSSIA, or The Economist's analysis, from a year ago, of the "China trap." (https://www.economist.com/leaders/2019/07/27/partnership-is-much-better-for-china-than-it-is-for-russia)

Any number of things can and likely will go wrong in Russia, and its dying gasp may be an attack on the West ... but it will be fairly easily beaten back, maybe requiring the use of tactical nukes, and Russia will become a weak, poor, backwards far-Eastern European state, while Siberia ~ everything East of the Yenisey (I've banged on about this before) ~ will become two to three or even four "independent" states, all Chinese clients.

Russian military adventures remain very likely in the non-NATO periphery: Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Serbia and Ukraine, for example. That is where the US-led West, should be most concerned.

Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: FJAG on August 02, 2020, 13:43:37
Russia would have one advantage in that NATO is fielding a large collection of platforms that I think would be a logistical nightmare. It's mentioned many times that the counter attack through the Suwalki Gap and the difficulties therein. Considering the state of war that would exist what limits the counter attack to the narrow Suwalki Gap?

A Canadian Armoured Brigade  in Europe is a nice idea if Canada was a mature responsible ally but I think just establishing that full capability in Canada would be a great leap forward

Two thoughts. In my article I wasn't looking at a counterattack through the Sawalki gap but instead was contemplating a prepositioning site/assembly area in Poland which would necessitate "moving" through the Sawalki Gap and crossing Lithuania to get to Latvia. I assume that this would be in a time of heightened tensions and therefore the road move would be a) provocative; and b) moving through a sensitive choke-point.

The kaleidoscope of equipment and logistics is significantly reduced by common ammunition and POL needs. Spare parts is a horror show and will depend very much on national logistic elements in theatre. I toyed with the idea of changing equipment to US types so as to tie in with them but even with them there have been so many version upgrades of the M1, M2, M3 and M109 line that actual one-for-one spare parts support is probably just as difficult as with the Leo2 line.

If there is one thing that my last six months of writing and research has done is tell me that Canada's and much of Europe's maintenance (mostly spare parts) system is not robust enough to deal with serious conflict. I remember one particular spring practice camp with 3 RCHA in Shilo when our M109s were ingesting vast quantities of poplar fluff which would quickly block air filters and overheat engines to the point of needing engine replacements. We ran out of spares and needed replacements from Cummins. Luckily the M109's engine was a Cummins Detroit Diesel 8V71T 450 hp which is used for many civilian heavy highway uses including busses and heavy fire engines and the supply system was able to source a few of those before the exercise ended. Pretty sure we'd have problems doing some of that these days.

 :cheers:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: MilEME09 on August 02, 2020, 15:03:47
The auditor generals report on the CAF supply system alone shows in a shooting war we are in a bad position for spare parts and supplies. We also lack the internal manufacturing capabilities that our doctrine sets out RCEME should have in order to produce minor components in theater. Creating that capability would go a long way towards solving our problems. This used to be handled by Mat techs, given how complicated equipment is becoming it may require a new Manufacturing Technician trade, dedicated to CNC machines and small scale production shops.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: FJAG on August 02, 2020, 15:16:02
The auditor generals report on the CAF supply system alone shows in a shooting war we are in a bad position for spare parts and supplies. We also lack the internal manufacturing capabilities that our doctrine sets out RCEME should have in order to produce minor components in theater. Creating that capability would go a long way towards solving our problems. This used to be handled by Mat techs, given how complicated equipment is becoming it may require a new Manufacturing Technician trade, dedicated to CNC machines and small scale production shops.

There are two reports I've come across. This one from  2011 (https://www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/internet/English/parl_oag_201111_05_e_35937.html) and this one from 2016 (https://www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/internet/English/parl_oag_201611_07_e_41836.html#)

 :cheers:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: suffolkowner on August 02, 2020, 15:23:16
There are two reports I've come across. This one from  2011 (https://www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/internet/English/parl_oag_201111_05_e_35937.html) and this one from 2016 (https://www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/internet/English/parl_oag_201611_07_e_41836.html#)

 :cheers:

another
https://www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/internet/English/parl_oag_202007_03_e_43574.html
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: FJAG on August 02, 2020, 16:03:44
another
https://www.oag-bvg.gc.ca/internet/English/parl_oag_202007_03_e_43574.html

Thanks. I hadn't seen that one. Guess my keyword search "maintenance" was broad enough. Did come across this CFC paper from 2018 (https://www.cfc.forces.gc.ca/259/290/405/286/dubreuil.pdf) on the Air Force's supply problems though.

Edited to add: As I started reading it I said to myself "this sounds familiar" and sure enough I found a copy in my research from a few months ago. Thanks anyway.

 :cheers:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: tomahawk6 on August 02, 2020, 18:06:31
Work out a deal with the US to share Abrams tanks that are in storage in Europe and buy some Abrams for use in Canada. Or center your brigade around the LAV with no tanks.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: MilEME09 on August 02, 2020, 18:25:22
Work out a deal with the US to share Abrams tanks that are in storage in Europe and buy some Abrams for use in Canada. Or center your brigade around the LAV with no tanks.

And orphan our leopard fleet? Not going to happen, we would be better off justing buying new leopard 2A7's from the Germans, and upgrading our entire fleet to A7 standard.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: CBH99 on August 02, 2020, 18:44:26
And orphan our leopard fleet? Not going to happen, we would be better off justing buying new leopard 2A7's from the Germans, and upgrading our entire fleet to A7 standard.


I think he was saying just transition to the Abrams, since it's readily available both in theatre and here in North America.

And since the US has over 2000 in storage, many of them straight out of the factory -- the cost, from a capital acquisition perspective, would be minimal.   


I think that's what T6 was getting at?
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: tomahawk6 on August 02, 2020, 19:11:36
My thoughts exactly but perhaps better stated than my post. ;D
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: FJAG on August 02, 2020, 19:16:42
I like both tanks. While I do like the M1 concept, I couldn't see sharing tanks in storage in Europe because they either are or will be designated for US flyover units. There are, however, many M1s in storage in California.

Realistically I tend to think that a new or even upgraded tank is not in the cards. But, if I were allowed to dream I think that I would shy away from the European vehicles. The European arms industry is fragmented and inefficient with far too many marks and models to provide stability. Here's (https://www.cfc.forces.gc.ca/259/290/405/305/quendt.pdf) a brief paper on the subject. Refurbishment and upgrading costs are pretty close to new model costs so why tie ourselves to an existing type other than experience with a previous version.

While the M1 isn't exactly free of version upgrades, it at least is on one type and has a large fleet and manufacturing base behind it. If for no other reason than to create a North American standardization, I would dearly love to see us buying into American fleets if for no other reason that economy of scale and parts availability. By that I mean no one-of Canadian customization, but pure off-the shelf. Cheaper and could very much increase Canadian manufacturing also being part of the US supply chain (kind of like a NAFTA automobile arrangement)

 :cheers:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: suffolkowner on August 02, 2020, 19:42:40
not sure where I picked this up or how accurate it is
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: reveng on August 02, 2020, 19:47:38
I think modern GBAD assets, long-range precision fires, and 5th gen fighters would be far more useful to our allies than a smattering of LAVs and second hand MBTs. I like the idea of a forward-deployed GBAD Bty and HIMARS Bty. Coupled with a similar deployment of F-35, and perhaps a detachment of something else that could be of real use (P-8, Wedgetail, Rivet Joint...)

Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: Colin P on August 03, 2020, 04:46:48
The new 130mm gun claims a 50% increase in AT performances and a potentiel for an autoloader. The demonstrator is based on a Challenger II , but they indicate that many of the upgrades are meant for other tanks as well.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: CBH99 on August 03, 2020, 06:27:12
So far, we've ignored the RCN's contribution of a frigate to the NATO standing groups.

Between the enhanced forward presence in Latvia, and a ship deployed to one of the TWO standing groups sailing around Europe all the time - we're sinking a fair bit of money and effort to thwart the imaginary Russian invasion already.


Given our budget, and Canadian politicians' complete lack of sense of adventure (probably a good thing) -- do we want to spend more money reinforcing our presence in Europe, in the slim chance Russia does invade?  (Which, again, I highly doubt they will as it makes absolutely no sense for them to do so.)

Or, should we be focusing our efforts elsewhere? 



Since this thread is broadly about reinforcing Europe in a situation of Russian aggression, some good suggestions were made above.  Perhaps fighter aircraft or ISR aircraft would be more valuable to the fight? 

Or instead of increasing the amount of heavy armour we have deployed there, what about making the forces we do have significantly more lethal?  A decent AT missile system, along with GBAD (even in the form of some of the latest MANPADs) would seriously change our game.  Both of which would be cheaper and faster to acquire, train people on, and deploy. 



I don't mean to derail the thread at all.  I understand the conversation is about what could be done to forward deploy enough equipment to support an Armoured Brigade.  Perhaps, though, as has been mentioned above - our contribution could be more effective, more lethal, and actually more affordable if we look at other options. 

(Aircraft, including fighter jets, probably being cheapest the asset anybody can contribute) 

 :2c:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: Oldgateboatdriver on August 03, 2020, 08:08:32
So far, we've ignored the RCN's contribution of a frigate to the NATO standing groups.

Between the enhanced forward presence in Latvia, and a ship deployed to one of the TWO standing groups sailing around Europe all the time - we're sinking a fair bit of money and effort to thwart the imaginary Russian invasion already.

SNMG1 and SNMG2 are not tasked with deterrence of Russian invasion. They remain at the same level of force and readiness regardless of the level of threat of invasion from said Russia. Their purpose is to provide the NATO leadership with a high readiness squadron at all time for any maritime operation that may be required in NATO's operational areas. It also aims at demonstrating that we have sea control over "our" waters of the North Atlantic and Mediterranean.

(Aircraft, including fighter jets, probably being cheapest the asset anybody can contribute) 


Wouldn't that require Canada to acquire an interim fighter? Oh, wait! D'Oh!  :facepalm:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: stellarpanther on August 03, 2020, 12:20:26
SNMG1 and SNMG2 are not tasked with deterrence of Russian invasion. They remain at the same level of force and readiness regardless of the level of threat of invasion from said Russia. Their purpose is to provide the NATO leadership with a high readiness squadron at all time for any maritime operation that may be required in NATO's operational areas. It also aims at demonstrating that we have sea control over "our" waters of the North Atlantic and Mediterranean.
 

Wouldn't that require Canada to acquire an interim fighter? Oh, wait! D'Oh!  :facepalm:

While not mentioning Russia by name, OP REASSURANCE is clearly meant to deter Russian aggression which I don't think will happen against a NATO country, SMNG2 is part of OP REASSURNACE.  I think we're spending a ton of money that could be better used elsewhere.  Just my opinion.

https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/corporate/reports-publications/transition-materials/caf-operations-activities/2020/03/caf-ops-activities/op-reassurance-europe.html

https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/news/2019/06/canada-assumes-command-of-standing-nato-maritime-group-two.html



Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: LoboCanada on August 03, 2020, 16:33:35
A point i'd like to make is that why even bother having Canadian tanks in Europe at all?

How many NATO tanks are there already in Europe?

1000s i'd say, and what would a small and expensive squadron really do there that a few dozen other countries' tanks couldn't?

As an aside, what has NATO done for Canadian security to warrant us taking a leadership position in Latvia? I don't see a NATO Air Policing Mission in our North to counter frequent Russian bombing 'runs'.

Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: Colin P on August 03, 2020, 16:35:36
Latvia alone has 800+ km of land border to defend. Poland has roughly 600km, not counting most of Ukraine or Romania. Ukraine has 2,000km of border, much of which is indefensible to a sustained assault.   
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: CBH99 on August 03, 2020, 17:45:53
A point i'd like to make is that why even bother having Canadian tanks in Europe at all?

How many NATO tanks are there already in Europe?

1000s i'd say, and what would a small and expensive squadron really do there that a few dozen other countries' tanks couldn't?

As an aside, what has NATO done for Canadian security to warrant us taking a leadership position in Latvia? I don't see a NATO Air Policing Mission in our North to counter frequent Russian bombing 'runs'.


Very good points indeed.

Between France, Germany, the UK, Italy, Spain, Greece, the Nordic countries, and our newest friends of Latvia, Poland, etc etc -- Europe has PLENTY of tanks and IFV's for the fight.  PLENTY.


As for the NATO Air Policing mission, that's a bit unfair.  The NATO Air Policing mission is designed to provide air security to countries that don't have an air force (Iceland) or that are in the process of replacing their small air forces with modern aircraft (Romania).

Between the RCAF's CF-18's (which provide aircraft to that mission fairly often) and the USAF in Alaska, we don't need a NATO air policing mission here. 

(Their planes fly towards North American airspace, we greet.  And vice versa.  Puts hours on airframes on both sides, and keeps both sides fresh in terms of ability to scramble aircraft.  Meh.)


 :2c:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: reveng on August 03, 2020, 18:27:54
I suppose it depends if we actually want to contribute useful capability, or just get personnel a medal and a check in the box for promotion.

Assuming we want to bring something to the table...I'll expand on what I said earlier. I'd suggest an air-ground task force of some kind. Call it Land Air Task Force - Europe (LATF-E) or Canadian Air Ground Task Force (CAGTF) or any other such nonsense someone can dream up.

AD Bty, HIMARS Bty (capable of both GMLRS and something like ATACMS or DeepStrike...call it 1 SSM Bty if you want) as well as modern tactical EW assets. In the air, F-35 and modern ISR aircraft, as well as tankers to sustain them. Build a highly mobile network of sensors, shooters, & C2.

Good deterrent, useful if actually needed, and forces the CAF to re-learn things while bringing back much needed capability for a peer fight.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: Colin P on August 03, 2020, 18:31:07
A point i'd like to make is that why even bother having Canadian tanks in Europe at all?

How many NATO tanks are there already in Europe?

1000s i'd say, and what would a small and expensive squadron really do there that a few dozen other countries' tanks couldn't?

As an aside, what has NATO done for Canadian security to warrant us taking a leadership position in Latvia? I don't see a NATO Air Policing Mission in our North to counter frequent Russian bombing 'runs'.

Not as many as you think assume a potentiel of 1800 frontline tanks with a potentiel reserve of 600 or some T-72 and T-55 divided by 13 countries who all have their own defense concerns and issues. So the amount of tanks that can be brought to bear is a fraction of that number and a potentiel frontage of 1400-3400 km the US may have 100+ tanks in Europe currently.

Germany -105 operational tanks
UK-           75-100 operational tanks
France-     406, How many operational?
Poland-      1009, 400 of which are various versions of Leopard II. the rest are PT-91 and T-72's
Italy-         320, 160 in service the rest in reserve/training school. Ariete and Leopard 1
Belgium-    35 , Leopard II
Holland-     56, Leopard II. The Dutch army supplies about 100 troops for the German/Dutch 414th Panzer Battalion (56 tanks), which fields a Dutch tank squadron with 18 tanks. These tanks are owned by Germany but operated by Dutch personnel
Norway-     36 Leopard II
Sweden-     120 Strv 122 (Leopard II)
Finland-       200, Leopard II various marks
Austria-       56 Leopard II
Romania-     226 TR-85, 400 T-55 and variants
Spain-         327 Leopard II
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: reveng on August 03, 2020, 18:59:48
Not sure if anyone has seen the proposed structure of the Marine Littoral Regiment...but IIRC, it's an Inf Bn and long-range missile (specifically anti-ship) Bty supported by an AD Bn and a Logistics Bn. Obviously the Pacific is different than Europe, but it highlights the fact that a peer fight will necessitate LRPF and GBAD capabilities that we are sorely lacking. Perhaps better to bring some niche, high-end capabilities that can best support the "locals". Sorry for derailing this further by the way...
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: CBH99 on August 03, 2020, 20:56:22
Perhaps it isn't so much a derailment, as much as the thread could possibly be renamed along the lines of "Supporting the European Theater"


And yes, agreed on the niche capabilities.

Manpower and funding are things we both lack.  Yes, we could reorganize to have more available people, and yes we could use the budget differently so we actually USE the budget, and not return money at the end of each fiscal year.  But those are both topics discussed at length in other threads.



Being useful in the fight, and not just 'being there', is where we have value.

A handful of MBT's, self propelled guns, and LAV's isn't the necessarily the best contribution we can make when we look at how many countries there are in Europe, and what they bring to the land fight. 

Assets such as fighters or ISR aircraft that can take our enemy GBAD, enemy fighters, and help to establish air superiority would be more useful, in my opinion.  Once NATO controls the air, the ground dynamic DRASTICALLY changes. 


Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: MilEME09 on August 03, 2020, 21:32:08
Perhaps its time we specialize the role we want the Canadian army to play. Pick one things and get really damn good at it.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: CBH99 on August 03, 2020, 21:40:39
Perhaps its time we specialize the role we want the Canadian army to play. Pick one things and get really damn good at it.


1000% agree

That's what I've tried saying in other threads too.

We don't have the size to have a light, medium, and heavy brigade.  We don't have the size to really do the 'multi-purpose, combat capable'  (aka a bit of everything) we do now, we just make it work.



The Australians openly state their goal is to be "The best small army in the world."  We could very much echo that.

Pick the type of operations we want to be exceptionally good at, and focus on being 1st class at them.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: Colin P on August 03, 2020, 22:27:40
Problem is that we will always be an expeditionary army, so you never know what type of war will be next, so you either have to be able to survive the first 6 months in any type of fight or split the ground forces into SF, Light and a heavy element. We may not be able to assume other people are bringing missing elements to the fight, because pretty every small western military is making that assumption. Having a heavy unit in Europe will mean working closely with our allies and having our assumptions smashed and reality intrude onto our bubbles. We already showed that having a army tuned to the Warsaw Pact threat can meet 3/4 of the missions we are likely to see. Building up a Combat group in Europe tuned to the Russian threat will help focus troops.

 
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: FJAG on August 03, 2020, 22:28:55
Perhaps it isn't so much a derailment, as much as the thread could possibly be renamed along the lines of "Supporting the European Theater"

And yes, agreed on the niche capabilities.

Manpower and funding are things we both lack.  Yes, we could reorganize to have more available people, and yes we could use the budget differently so we actually USE the budget, and not return money at the end of each fiscal year.  But those are both topics discussed at length in other threads.

True we do discuss it elsewhere as well but the aim of this thread was to see if there is a way that we can deliver more defence outputs in order to meet some specific aims set out in the SSE:

Quote
“The re-emergence of major power competition has reminded Canada and its allies of the importance of deterrence. ... A credible military deterrence serves as a diplomatic tool to prevent conflict and should be accompanied by dialogue. NATO allies ... have been re-examining how to deter a wide spectrum of challenges to the international order by maintaining advanced conventional military capabilities that could be used in the event of a conflict with a “near-peer.””  (Emphasis added).

Being useful in the fight, and not just 'being there', is where we have value.

A handful of MBT's, self propelled guns, and LAV's isn't the necessarily the best contribution we can make when we look at how many countries there are in Europe, and what they bring to the land fight. 

Assets such as fighters or ISR aircraft that can take our enemy GBAD, enemy fighters, and help to establish air superiority would be more useful, in my opinion.  Once NATO controls the air, the ground dynamic DRASTICALLY changes.

Most of those countries in Europe are not in the Baltics except in company strength. As the framework nations for Latvia, what is our NATO plan to activate and move that "multitude" of armour into theatre in a period of tension?

While I agree with the idea that there are other assets that we could bring to the fight, the original academic exercise was to see what Canada could do firstly with the assets we had, and secondly with what could reasonably be acquired.

I'm perhaps less optimistic as to what we can do against existing Russian GBAD. In brief I think they have developed a much better system of air defence, then we have the capability to take out without massive US assistance. Mostly I take a look at the numerous RAND wargames/studies that have proven over and over again that the US gets handed its butt in these conflicts and that, in particular, in the Baltics what is needed are more armoured brigades. (https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1253.html) As I indicated in the article, I'm way open to adding new technologies and even existing ones into the force mix and even changing the force mix for those, but at the end of the day I'm still firmly convinced that everything, everything that we put into our arsenal is essentially there to support the only entity that can keep and hold ground which is still the infantry (and in this case that means armoured infantry)

...
We don't have the size to have a light, medium, and heavy brigade.  We don't have the size to really do the 'multi-purpose, combat capable'  (aka a bit of everything) we do now, we just make it work.

The Australians openly state their goal is to be "The best small army in the world."  We could very much echo that.

Pick the type of operations we want to be exceptionally good at, and focus on being 1st class at them.

I honestly think that we don't have the option to be selective as you suggest. We already delude ourselves with the idea that our "agile, multi-purpose" force is capable of being a good small army. It has severe limitations in areas that we've committed ourselves to, especially NATO which mostly means a modern, well-equipped, heavy, peer capability. On top of that we have needs for a light and a medium force for other things we choose to do; peacekeeping, foreign force training, special operations, disaster response etc.

We're established for some 42,000 soldiers (regular and reserve) which is, for all intents and purposes, (even after subtracting headquarters and training establishments) two real divisions with support troops (just like Australia) That's actually not that small. It's the lack of equipment that makes us half as big as we really could be.

I fully agree that we can't be all singing and dancing as the words "multi-purpose" impute. We desperately need to specialize and get really good at things. IMHO, however, it is possible to do that within the brigade framework. We can have two divisions one RegF heavy specializing in the day-to-day more frequent light and medium roles (which are essentially part of the same skill set) and one, ResF heavy trained and equipped solely for deterrence and the less likely facing a peer role (and remember here, I'm not talking today's ResF; I'm talking about a purpose built (or rebuilt) system.)

 :cheers:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: MilEME09 on August 03, 2020, 22:38:12
Biggest problem is we need DND to get out of fantasy land. If we can properly man 2 divisions, then we should only be 2, not 5, we need someone willing to make hard choices and push PYs back to field units and out of Ottawa and other HQs. Unless our next CDS can convince the MND it is needed, none of this really matters as we will continue to pretend something we are not, a middle power with weight to throw.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: GR66 on August 03, 2020, 22:54:17
I'm with FJAG on this.  I think there really isn't any reason that a country with the wealth and population we have can't have a full-spectrum capable military.  We just need to make it a priority.  While I might disagree that permanently stationing a portion of that force in Latvia/Poland is the right course for us, I in general agree with many of the proposals he's suggesting.  We don't have to be able to do everything on our own...that's why we have allies.  We just need to be able to contribute across the full spectrum of potential situations. 
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: FJAG on August 03, 2020, 22:56:37
Biggest problem is we need DND to get out of fantasy land. If we can properly man 2 divisions, then we should only be 2, not 5, we need someone willing to make hard choices and push PYs back to field units and out of Ottawa and other HQs. Unless our next CDS can convince the MND it is needed, none of this really matters as we will continue to pretend something we are not, a middle power with weight to throw.

I think what bothers me the most is that we keep fooling ourselves and our political leaders that we're actually spending $21 billion per year wisely.

Quite obviously our allies (and I assume our potential adversaries) are not so deluded,

 :facepalm:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: FJAG on August 03, 2020, 23:02:30
I'm with FJAG on this.  I think there really isn't any reason that a country with the wealth and population we have can't have a full-spectrum capable military.  We just need to make it a priority.  While I might disagree that permanently stationing a portion of that force in Latvia/Poland is the right course for us, I in general agree with many of the proposals he's suggesting.  We don't have to be able to do everything on our own...that's why we have allies.  We just need to be able to contribute across the full spectrum of potential situations.

Not sure if we're diverging here or not. I'm opposed to "permanently stationing" a force in Latvia/Poland. I'm advocating prepositioning and storage a brigade's worth of equipment in Europe but keeping the brigade's personnel at existing facilities in Edmonton for annual fly-over training and operational activation in an emergency.

 :cheers:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: daftandbarmy on August 03, 2020, 23:10:52
Not sure if we're diverging here or not. I'm opposed to "permanently stationing" a force in Latvia/Poland. I'm advocating prepositioning o storage a brigade's worth of equipment in Europe but keeping the brigade's personnel at existing facilities in Edmonton for annual fly-over training and operational activation in an emergency.

 :cheers:

Trapped in Edmonton vs. posted to Latvia...Isn’t that the equivalent of ‘abuse of troops’? :)
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: reveng on August 03, 2020, 23:24:14
If Europe requires more armour, that sounds like a problem for Europe. It's their turf, so they need to put up the resources or accept the risk. The men and women of North America become less interested in fighting for European towns and cities with each passing day. If anything, we need to focus more on the RCAF and RCN, and less on the CA. Ships, submarines, aircraft, ground based sensors, GBAD, LRPF...provide our allies with some excellent support/enablers and let them worry about taking and holding ground. Not to mention that all the aforementioned assets would allow us a stronger defensive posture here at home. Because I highly doubt Europe or anyone other than the Americans would be running to our rescue if we were invaded...

If we are really bent on being prepared to fight in Europe, let's actually be there, ready to go in the opening hours of conflict. Preferably with some capabilities that might actually deter aggressors in the first place. Flyover would be a nightmare, IMO. We'd probably arrive just in time to experience a 21st Century Dunkirk. Better a battle group in hand than two brigades in the bush.

And while I might disagree with FJAG on what and how we should be deploying to Europe, he's bang on that we aren't getting the military capability we ought to have out of the defence budget we spend.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: stellarpanther on August 04, 2020, 00:23:33
Considering how fast Russia has proven it can mobilize large numbers of troops during snap exercises, they most likely would have rolled over any NATO force that was positioned in Latvia before any reinforcements could even get there.  If the Russians took out the airport right from the start which I'm sure they would, how are our troops going to get to this prepositioned equipment? Lativa would be under Russian control within a few days before NATO could even begin to mobilize.
 
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: CBH99 on August 04, 2020, 00:29:12
I understand and appreciate the academic exercise in play here, regarding what we could reasonably do in a European theater.  I'll get back on track  :)


My own, very limited opinion - I've been out for a while, and I never did exercise in ways some of you did back when the military was substantially larger (no dinosaur joke!)  We just didn't train in numbers the way you guys did... so from my very limited experience...


1.  Make the forces we do have more lethal.  This could be done quickly and affordably with a decent AT system, and a decent GBAD system. 

1 (a)  By enabling our forces to maneuver and engage heavy armour at distance (NLOS Spike, or even recent Javelin) our troops could engage enemy armour while remaining mostly unseen in that type of terrain.  (If I were an MBT and that terrain of hills and forests were infested with anti-armour teams, it would be a nightmare.)

These could be man-portable systems.


1 (b)  By giving them a decent anti-air capability, we could REALLY limit the enemy ground fight.  Russia has demonstrated a fantastic ability to gather intelligence, intercept communications, and target artillery, using drones.  In the opening months of the Ukraine conflict, Russian units had drones literally orbiting overhead.  As soon as anybody used a radio or anything like that, artillery was incoming almost immediately.

By giving our units a decent MANPAD system, we could engage enemy helicopters, drones, and low flying aircraft - drastically changing the dynamic of the fight.  There are plenty of videos out there of helicopters and Frogfoots being shot down with primitive, outdated MANPAD systems.  Imagine professional troops using a modern system? 

The GBAD would, ideally, be 2 systems.  One system in a MANPAD form, able to be used by troops hidden in forests and such.  The second being a vehicle based system. 

The US Army's interim AA vehicle seems like a great project to jump onboard.  It uses the LAV chassis, easily integrates into our existing organizations, and brings both missiles & a gun to the AA fight.  Manufactured in Canada too, so nice bonus.



2.  Bring back 81mm and 60mm mortars, and give them to the infantry.  It gives them another tool in the toolbox to provide their own quick, easy, and very effective indirect fire support.

Cheap to acquire and sustain.  Easy to train folks on.  And brutally effective.  Super handy when IR illumination and smoke rounds are needed, or you just want some random explosions around your enemy to do what damage they do. 



The C16 is great to have on some vehicles, and is really effective when put on RWT.  Both the LAV and TAPV have the C16 mounted, and controlled by whoever is controlling the RWT.  Fantastic option for quick, heavy, fairly close-in indirect fire. 

But it isn't easily man portable, and it isn't ideal for use in the field.  (Man portable to your area, then assembled, fire a few rounds, then disassembled and moved again.)

The C16 is great as an option for a vehicle mounted weapon, but the infantry platoons really could use mortars.


^^ Just the introduction of mortars, a modern AT system and a modern MANPAD system alone would make the platoons/companies SUBSTANTIALLY more deadly.  None of the equipment is expensive, and none of it takes a long time to train anybody on.



3.  Long range artillery - something along the lines of HIMARS.

Perhaps reorganize the Army so the M777 systems go to one artillery regiment & the school, while the other artillery regiment focuses on long range, precision strike such as HIMARS. 

While both artillery systems offer long range fire support (distances notwithstanding) - the approach to their employment would be fundamentally different in terms of how the systems are operated. 

HIMARS again would be fairly inexpensive and easy to acquire, and would be ideal as we could plug training and spare parts in with our brother & sisters from the south.  2 vehicles fit inside a C-17, making them fairly easy to deploy.  It would give us the ability to take out key targets from extreme distances, such as enemy OP's, command vehicles, AA vehicles, EW vehicles, etc.  All of which, when taken out, changes the fight in our favour.



In the short term, focusing on the goal of this thread, that is what I would do.  All of the above is inexpensive, easy to acquire, easy to train folks on, easy to deploy, and would drastically change the game in a fight. 

In the long term, acquiring SPG's and such would be ideal.  But, looking at what is affordable and easy to do for a European operation, these are some things we could do in the near term.


If the enemy couldn't operate drones near us, it would make their artillery targeting and ISR substantially more difficult.  If their tanks violently exploded at random, as small AA teams littered throughout the countryside picked them off with a modern AT system, it would drastically reduce their capabilities and complicate their planning.  And if a long range precision fire weapon such as HIMARS could engage their radar systems, C2 systems, or high value targets such as vehicle AA systems from a few hundred km away, we could hollow out their forces in the region FAR better than we can now.


For the purpose of the academic exercise, FJAG, pre-positioning some of this equipment in Europe for emergency use if the balloon goes up would make sense.  How much excess equipment we purchase, in order to ensure we have enough to pre-position in Europe, would be decided once all the details get worked out. 

 :2c:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: FJAG on August 04, 2020, 01:15:48
I'm enjoying this discussion quite a bit. As I said the article was an academic exercise for me and I do like to be challenged.

I think CBH99's suggestions are all quite good, although, if we're looking at a LAV based force, I would prefer so see LAV mounted 120mm mortars like in the M1129 Stryker. Incidentally Stryker mortar platoons also have 81mm mortars on board for use on dismounted dismounted operations when required.

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0b/Stryker_MCV-B.jpg)

Keeping with my theme of multiplying combat power only needed in an emergency through reserves, reserve artillery batteries could be converted to independent anti-armour; GBAD and UAV batteries that could be assigned to whatever force needs them. The key here is to make them part of a hybrid general support regiment that can through its RegF members develop the doctrine and expertise and Roto 0 force and through the reserves, bulk up their numbers when needed.

We currently have two EW squadrons that are reserve. I bet we could use a few more.

One thing nobody talks about much is medical. We need a bigger rapid deployable field hospital and field ambulances. Oh, and maintenance folks. Our NSE is fairly limited.

 :cheers:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: MilEME09 on August 04, 2020, 01:33:27
Alright FJAG I'll bite, experiment here, take Alberta. With what you suggest for a massive retooling of most reserve arty.

20 independent rerolled back to 18th Air Defense Battery,

20th field Edmonton retains its roll as field arty,

20th field red deer rerolls to UAV

19th battery is stood back up in calgary as a dedicated anti armour battery.

All are then grouped as one unit with each city at battery strength. They run a two week summer concentration each year to bring it all together so to speak and practice Regiment level coordination. Thoughts?
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: CBH99 on August 04, 2020, 01:36:51
Sounds like a pretty darn good idea.  Common sense & doable  :)

Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: FJAG on August 04, 2020, 01:51:22
Alright FJAG I'll bite, experiment here, take Alberta. With what you suggest for a massive retooling of most reserve arty.

20 independent rerolled back to 18th Air Defense Battery,

20th field Edmonton retains its roll as field arty,

20th field red deer rerolls to UAV

19th battery is stood back up in calgary as a dedicated anti armour battery.

All are then grouped as one unit with each city at battery strength. They run a two week summer concentration each year to bring it all together so to speak and practice Regiment level coordination. Thoughts?

Not to shake geographic affiliations, the Maritimes could be a better location due to the presence of 4 GS Regt RCA and the School of Artillery there. Most of the institutional brain trust for UAV and GBAD is there and a fair bit of anti-armour expertise as well. So that has me looking at 1 Fd, 3 Fd, and 84 Ind Bty. (and I'd probably re-role the Halifax Rifles just out of spite  ;D)

 :cheers:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: CBH99 on August 04, 2020, 01:51:35
Also agreed on a 120mm LAV system.  Extremely useful, doable, and really is a form of SPG even if it doesn't have the range of an M109 or HIMARS.

Solid tool in the toolbox.  Easy to acquire and field.  Solid choice   :nod:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: LoboCanada on August 04, 2020, 09:55:28

The US Army's interim AA vehicle seems like a great project to jump onboard.  It uses the LAV chassis, easily integrates into our existing organizations, and brings both missiles & a gun to the AA fight.  Manufactured in Canada too, so nice bonus.

Long range artillery - something along the lines of HIMARS.

While both artillery systems offer long range fire support (distances notwithstanding) - the approach to their employment would be fundamentally different in terms of how the systems are operated. 

HIMARS again would be fairly inexpensive and easy to acquire, and would be ideal as we could plug training and spare parts in with our brother & sisters from the south.  2 vehicles fit inside a C-17, making them fairly easy to deploy.  It would give us the ability to take out key targets from extreme distances, such as enemy OP's, command vehicles, AA vehicles, EW vehicles, etc.  All of which, when taken out, changes the fight in our favour.

In the short term, focusing on the goal of this thread, that is what I would do.  All of the above is inexpensive, easy to acquire, easy to train folks on, easy to deploy, and would drastically change the game in a fight. 

In the long term, acquiring SPG's and such would be ideal.  But, looking at what is affordable and easy to do for a European operation, these are some things we could do in the near term.

For the purpose of the academic exercise, FJAG, pre-positioning some of this equipment in Europe for emergency use if the balloon goes up would make sense.  How much excess equipment we purchase, in order to ensure we have enough to pre-position in Europe, would be decided once all the details get worked out. 


Agreed. Although I think we should be putting industrial needs over military needs - based on our history. If it can fit/attach to a LAV, we buy it. We've hitched our military to the platform for at least another 20 years, might as well stretch it to fit as many gaps and roles as we can.

I like FJAGs ideas on a reserves shake up too. Is it possible to give them used M777s bought from the USMC (aren't they dumping them in favour of HIMARS?). Buy 37 or so LAV SPH 105mm for the Heavy Brigade? Would be cheaper than HIMARs no?


LAV SPH was already explored, and is possible to restart:

https://ndiastorage.blob.core.usgovcloudapi.net/ndia/2004/armaments/04_Vickory_105mm_Indirect_Fire.pdf (https://ndiastorage.blob.core.usgovcloudapi.net/ndia/2004/armaments/04_Vickory_105mm_Indirect_Fire.pdf)
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: daftandbarmy on August 04, 2020, 11:51:24
Agreed. Although I think we should be putting industrial needs over military needs - based on our history. If it can fit/attach to a LAV, we buy it. We've hitched our military to the platform for at least another 20 years, might as well stretch it to fit as many gaps and roles as we can.

I like FJAGs ideas on a reserves shake up too. Is it possible to give them used M777s bought from the USMC (aren't they dumping them in favour of HIMARS?). Buy 37 or so LAV SPH 105mm for the Heavy Brigade? Would be cheaper than HIMARs no?


LAV SPH was already explored, and is possible to restart:

https://ndiastorage.blob.core.usgovcloudapi.net/ndia/2004/armaments/04_Vickory_105mm_Indirect_Fire.pdf (https://ndiastorage.blob.core.usgovcloudapi.net/ndia/2004/armaments/04_Vickory_105mm_Indirect_Fire.pdf)

It will never work. They're too big to fit onto the parade squares at the (100+ years old) Armouries where, you know, Cadets and other local kids like to run around them and hang off of the gun barrels...
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: FJAG on August 04, 2020, 12:14:24
It will never work. They're too big to fit onto the parade squares at the (100+ years old) Armouries where, you know, Cadets and other local kids like to run around them and hang off of the gun barrels...

Most 100+ year-old armouries have high ceilings. The restriction is caused by the low sally ports that provide ingress and egress. It's amazing what a jackhammer and a few I-beams of steel (and a little tasteful architectural veneer) can do to make it accessible.

That said; why bring them into the armouries at all? They get into the way of weddings, dances, marching around the parade square, change of command parades, band practices and the annual regimental wild game dinner.

 :waiting:

Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: CBH99 on August 04, 2020, 18:24:04
Agreed. Although I think we should be putting industrial needs over military needs - based on our history. If it can fit/attach to a LAV, we buy it. We've hitched our military to the platform for at least another 20 years, might as well stretch it to fit as many gaps and roles as we can.

I like FJAGs ideas on a reserves shake up too. Is it possible to give them used M777s bought from the USMC (aren't they dumping them in favour of HIMARS?). Buy 37 or so LAV SPH 105mm for the Heavy Brigade? Would be cheaper than HIMARs no?


LAV SPH was already explored, and is possible to restart:

https://ndiastorage.blob.core.usgovcloudapi.net/ndia/2004/armaments/04_Vickory_105mm_Indirect_Fire.pdf (https://ndiastorage.blob.core.usgovcloudapi.net/ndia/2004/armaments/04_Vickory_105mm_Indirect_Fire.pdf)



My understanding (and I could be wrong) in regards to the LAV SPG was that the concept ended up being a dud. 

I think some were deployed to Iraq, as the US Army had already purchased them and fielded them with some units.  There is footage out there of these things providing direct fire against insurgent targets, buildings, etc.  But overall, they had stability issues, hull cracking issues, and were general maintenance pigs. 


I'll wikipedia it tonight and post what I find, but maybe the 120mm mortar LAV would have similar performance as the 105mm SPG, without the vehicle issues? 

If we are talking about the ability to shoot & scoot, would the 120mm mortar version of the LAV suffice?  (I'm not a gunner, I don't know the math behind these things)
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: GR66 on August 04, 2020, 18:46:38


My understanding (and I could be wrong) in regards to the LAV SPG was that the concept ended up being a dud. 

I think some were deployed to Iraq, as the US Army had already purchased them and fielded them with some units.  There is footage out there of these things providing direct fire against insurgent targets, buildings, etc.  But overall, they had stability issues, hull cracking issues, and were general maintenance pigs. 


I'll wikipedia it tonight and post what I find, but maybe the 120mm mortar LAV would have similar performance as the 105mm SPG, without the vehicle issues? 

If we are talking about the ability to shoot & scoot, would the 120mm mortar version of the LAV suffice?  (I'm not a gunner, I don't know the math behind these things)

I believe you're thinking of the M1128 LAV MGS system which is mounted with a rifled 105mm gun for direct fire support.  The original M1128's didn't have air conditioning which obviously was problematic in Iraq and the vehicle has other issues including small hatches which make emergency egress difficult.  The gun pod is also unarmoured which leads to it being easily disabled. 

Here's a short critical article from War is Boring in 2014 outlining the criticisms (https://medium.com/war-is-boring/the-wheeled-cannon-that-everyone-hates-d5e6d22bdfcc (https://medium.com/war-is-boring/the-wheeled-cannon-that-everyone-hates-d5e6d22bdfcc))
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: FJAG on August 04, 2020, 19:46:08


My understanding (and I could be wrong) in regards to the LAV SPG was that the concept ended up being a dud. 

I think some were deployed to Iraq, as the US Army had already purchased them and fielded them with some units.  There is footage out there of these things providing direct fire against insurgent targets, buildings, etc.  But overall, they had stability issues, hull cracking issues, and were general maintenance pigs. 


I'll wikipedia it tonight and post what I find, but maybe the 120mm mortar LAV would have similar performance as the 105mm SPG, without the vehicle issues? 

If we are talking about the ability to shoot & scoot, would the 120mm mortar version of the LAV suffice?  (I'm not a gunner, I don't know the math behind these things)

There never were any other than prototypes. The vehicle that went to Afghanistan, as GR66 says, was the 105mm Stryker MGS (Mobile Gun System) which is a direct fire version. The original establishment was that every Stryker Rifle coy had a platoon of three. The concept was discontinued in favour of sending about half of the MGS's to the Stryker BCT's Cavalry battalion where they now work as direct fire support to the recce companies.

I took a quick look around as to what SP arty prototypes that there are and generally there is a Krauss 155mm Remote Controlled Howitzer on the Boxer chassis https://www.kmweg.com/systems-products/wheeled-vehicles/artillery/rch-155/ (https://www.kmweg.com/systems-products/wheeled-vehicles/artillery/rch-155/) which looks way too big to fit into any aircraft and which makes me cringe every time I watch it fire. It just seems like to much stress on the chassis although the idea of an automated turret with a two man crew up front looks interesting.

The LAV based General Dynamics solution looks interesting but it's based on a 105mm. The glossy brochure assures "fragmentation lethality better than 155 HE" but at 45 lbs it's still only half the mass of the basic 155 projectile. That means more explosive and more steel and therefore better terminal effect. It's been around since 2004 and looks like no sales yet. That makes you wonder.

Honestly, I'm not so sure that a LAV or Boxer chassis is robust enough for a 155. Sometimes it would be good to have a 130mm in the NATO environment. (other than left over Soviet stuff  ;D)

 :cheers:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: CBH99 on August 04, 2020, 20:03:34
There never were any other than prototypes. The vehicle that went to Afghanistan, as GR66 says, was the 105mm Stryker MGS (Mobile Gun System) which is a direct fire version. The original establishment was that every Stryker Rifle coy had a platoon of three. The concept was discontinued in favour of sending about half of the MGS's to the Stryker BCT's Cavalry battalion where they now work as direct fire support to the recce companies.

I took a quick look around as to what SP arty prototypes that there are and generally there is a Krauss 155mm Remote Controlled Howitzer on the Boxer chassis https://www.kmweg.com/systems-products/wheeled-vehicles/artillery/rch-155/ (https://www.kmweg.com/systems-products/wheeled-vehicles/artillery/rch-155/) which looks way too big to fit into any aircraft and which makes me cringe every time I watch it fire. It just seems like to much stress on the chassis although the idea of an automated turret with a two man crew up front looks interesting.

The LAV based General Dynamics solution looks interesting but it's based on a 105mm. The glossy brochure assures "fragmentation lethality better than 155 HE" but at 45 lbs it's still only half the mass of the basic 155 projectile. That means more explosive and more steel and therefore better terminal effect. It's been around since 2004 and looks like no sales yet. That makes you wonder.

Honestly, I'm not so sure that a LAV or Boxer chassis is robust enough for a 155. Sometimes it would be good to have a 130mm in the NATO environment. (other than left over Soviet stuff  ;D)

 :cheers:


Artillery & mortar folks out there.... thoughts on using the 120mm mortar LAV as a 'shoot & scoot' vehicle compared to an M109??

Manufactured here in Canada.  Training, spare parts, etc etc.  All common amongst our fleet.

I'm assuming the range of a 120mm mortar isn't the same as a 155mm SPG.... just curious to hear from those in the know, their thoughts.   :2c:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: FJAG on August 04, 2020, 21:59:50

Artillery & mortar folks out there.... thoughts on using the 120mm mortar LAV as a 'shoot & scoot' vehicle compared to an M109??

Manufactured here in Canada.  Training, spare parts, etc etc.  All common amongst our fleet.

I'm assuming the range of a 120mm mortar isn't the same as a 155mm SPG.... just curious to hear from those in the know, their thoughts.   :2c:

There's a whole gunner thread on the issue. Long story short, they are complementary weapon systems. As a gunner I say quite plainly that the grunts should have their own mortars and the 120 is a fine piece of kit. Artillery reaches deeper and can be massed to deliver devastating rates of fire and specialized munitions that the mortars don't have. Like I said -- complementary.

 :cheers:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: GR66 on August 04, 2020, 22:18:15
There never were any other than prototypes. The vehicle that went to Afghanistan, as GR66 says, was the 105mm Stryker MGS (Mobile Gun System) which is a direct fire version. The original establishment was that every Stryker Rifle coy had a platoon of three. The concept was discontinued in favour of sending about half of the MGS's to the Stryker BCT's Cavalry battalion where they now work as direct fire support to the recce companies.

I took a quick look around as to what SP arty prototypes that there are and generally there is a Krauss 155mm Remote Controlled Howitzer on the Boxer chassis https://www.kmweg.com/systems-products/wheeled-vehicles/artillery/rch-155/ (https://www.kmweg.com/systems-products/wheeled-vehicles/artillery/rch-155/) which looks way too big to fit into any aircraft and which makes me cringe every time I watch it fire. It just seems like to much stress on the chassis although the idea of an automated turret with a two man crew up front looks interesting.

The LAV based General Dynamics solution looks interesting but it's based on a 105mm. The glossy brochure assures "fragmentation lethality better than 155 HE" but at 45 lbs it's still only half the mass of the basic 155 projectile. That means more explosive and more steel and therefore better terminal effect. It's been around since 2004 and looks like no sales yet. That makes you wonder.

Honestly, I'm not so sure that a LAV or Boxer chassis is robust enough for a 155. Sometimes it would be good to have a 130mm in the NATO environment. (other than left over Soviet stuff  ;D)

 :cheers:

The US Army recently put out an RFP for a new, mobile 155mm artillery system with a shoot-off evaluation scheduled for FY2021.  Timing might be right for Canada to purchase at the same time as the US. 

https://defence-blog.com/news/army/u-s-army-wants-new-155mm-artillery-system.html (https://defence-blog.com/news/army/u-s-army-wants-new-155mm-artillery-system.html)

It most likely won't be LAV-based but more likely truck mounted similar to the British Archer or French Caesar systems.

155mm might be better than 105mm, but if we were to move to asymmetrical brigades would the LAV-based 105mm be sufficient for the Medium Brigade, towed or light-vehicle mounted 105mm for the Light Brigade and have 155mm for the Heavy Brigade (and a portion of the Reserve Artillery Brigade)?
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: FJAG on August 04, 2020, 23:09:58
The US Army recently put out an RFP for a new, mobile 155mm artillery system with a shoot-off evaluation scheduled for FY2021.  Timing might be right for Canada to purchase at the same time as the US. 

https://defence-blog.com/news/army/u-s-army-wants-new-155mm-artillery-system.html (https://defence-blog.com/news/army/u-s-army-wants-new-155mm-artillery-system.html)

It most likely won't be LAV-based but more likely truck mounted similar to the British Archer or French Caesar systems.

155mm might be better than 105mm, but if we were to move to asymmetrical brigades would the LAV-based 105mm be sufficient for the Medium Brigade, towed or light-vehicle mounted 105mm for the Light Brigade and have 155mm for the Heavy Brigade (and a portion of the Reserve Artillery Brigade)?

Not a big fan of Brutus. I like the soft recoil idea which might make it mountable on a LAV. Seen the videos and never yet seen an actual loading drill take place. Ammo handling interests me and it looks primarily manual. What turns me off completely is no crew protection. I like Caesar more because of it's ammo handling capabilities but once again, no crew protection. Archer is a beast. Good concept but I'd be interested in seeing if it truly can be rearmed in 8 minutes though. At 30 tonnes it weighs about the same as an M109 and is considerably longer. Sigh. Very different directions and none strikes me as a clear cut winner.

For the light brigade I prefer an M777 because it can be heliborne. None of the wheeled crowd can do that.

For medium and heavy brigades an SP is required and should be either automated or have a protected gun crew compartment. For medium it should be air transportable on the same aircraft as the rest of the brigade. Not necessary for a heavy brigade as long as it is transportable to same extent as the brigade's tanks. Quite frankly if a good, automated, protected wheeled 155 was found for the medium brigade, it would probably also fit the bill for the heavy.

Honestly it's hard to make a real choice off a video. So much depends on how easily/quickly it goes into and out of action; rates of fire; ease of ammo resupply; ammo handling; accuracy; range; robustness of system in sustained operation; mean time between failures; etc. 105s are a lot simpler and more robust (less firing stress) than 155s and often the increased rate of fire and greater ammo load makes up for an individual round's terminal effects.

 :cheers:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: tomahawk6 on August 04, 2020, 23:32:44
I would favor the MRLS for range and variety of options.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: daftandbarmy on August 05, 2020, 00:23:07
Maybe we should change the title of this thread to ‘Reestablishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade’.

Location? As determined by events.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: FJAG on August 15, 2020, 17:58:54
Not too much new with this other than the formalization of what has been going on for a year or two already:

Quote
US troop deployment from Germany to Poland deal signed

By Matthew Lee The Associated Press
August 15, 2020 - 8:24 am

WARSAW — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sealed a defense cooperation deal Saturday with Polish officials that will pave the way to redeploy American troops from Germany to Poland.

Pompeo, in Warsaw at the end of a four-nation tour of central and eastern Europe, signed the deal with Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak that sets out the legal framework for the additional troops.

“This is going to be an extended guarantee: a guarantee that in case of a threat our soldiers are going to stand arm-in-arm,” Poland’s President Andrzej Duda said during the signing ceremony. “It will also serve to increase the security of other countries in our part of Europe.”

The deal would also further other aspects of U.S.-Polish cooperation, he added, citing primarily investment and trade ties.

Supplements existing NATO deal

The pact supplements an existing NATO Status of Forces Agreement and allows for the enhancement and modernization of existing capabilities and facilities by allowing U.S. forces to access additional Polish military installations. It also sets out a formula for sharing the logistical and infrastructure costs of an expanded U.S. presence in the country.

“The opportunities are unlimited, the resources will be available,” Pompeo said later at a news conference alongside Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz.

“Troop levels matter … but the world has moved on too,” Pompeo said, referring to threats posed in space, cyberspace and disinformation campaigns. He said such defense agreements would allow work on those threats too.

Czaputowicz said the presence of American troops “enhances our deterrence potential because we are closer to the potential source of conflict.”

“It is important that they should be deployed here in Poland and not in Germany,” he said. ...

See rest of article here. (https://www.reviewjournal.com/news/politics-and-government/us-troop-deployment-from-germany-to-poland-deal-signed-2095438/?fbclid=IwAR1WazoQk2KTispG9qJcDB2QZHd69ihE2HTnZjQlcmwYtyd_-NzAanDftLY)

I wonder how much the publication of that arrangement had to do with this:

Quote
Belarus's leader pleads for Putin's help as post-election protests grow
Alexander Lukashenko tells the Kremlin that unrest could spread to Moscow next if his regime is destabilised

Shaun Walker in Minsk
Sat 15 Aug 2020 18.42 BST

The embattled Belarusian president, Alexander Lukashenko, has called on Vladimir Putin to help him quell the growing wave of protest inside the country, which has left his legitimacy in tatters and his regime facing its biggest crisis since he first came to power 26 years ago.

Lukashenko appealed to the Russian president’s visceral fear of revolution at home and suggested that if his regime fell, Putin too was in danger. “This is a threat not just to Belarus … if Belarusians do not hold out, the wave will head over there too,” he said in televised remarks to a meeting of advisers on Saturday, claiming that the protests were organised by shadowy figures from abroad.

“Both sides expressed confidence that all the problems that have arisen will be resolved soon,” said a Kremlin transcript of a phone call between the two men, which took place later yesterday. ...

See rest of article here. (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/aug/15/belarus-leader-pleads-for-putins-help-as-post-election-protests-grow-lukashenko)

Sounds like Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Ukraine deja vu.

I do question how much the US is thinking it is punishing Germany by moving it's forward presence to Poland? The fact that the US is moving itself out of Germany and closer to Russia would, I think, be a disincentive to Germany to strengthen it's forces seeing as the US now forms a buffer with a fairly robust Poland. It's almost a proxy defence line that Russia would have to move through to get to Germany if the proverbial excrement ever hit the fan. On the other hand, how much does Russia really want to get to Germany when disrupting NATO's solidarity with actions in the Baltic States and Poland would suffice?

Do these new developments change anyone's mind about a stronger Canadian forward presence in the region?

 :cheers:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: Colin P on August 15, 2020, 22:17:15
Bases pump a lot into the local economy, likley that plays as much or more than the defense side of things. Losing a base may not impact Berlin, but it could cost seats in the region and that makes politicians worry.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: Blackadder1916 on August 16, 2020, 01:31:27
Bases pump a lot into the local economy, likley that plays as much or more than the defense side of things. Losing a base may not impact Berlin, but it could cost seats in the region and that makes politicians worry.

This got me thinking about the local reaction when we closed the bases in Germany (Lahr and Baden-Soellingen) back in the 1990s.  While the closures did have a large negative effect on the local economy, from my limited understanding of the regional political situation at the time there was not much blow-back against politicians.  Just like the decision made by the Trump administration to reduce troop levels in Germany, it was a purely unilateral action without any input from any level of German government.  So why should blame be assigned to German politicians, unless (in a highly unlikely scenario) both the state and federal governments provide no assistance to disrupted businesses and/or displaced workers.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: Colin P on August 16, 2020, 13:12:19
I remember when there was a push in Brandon Manitoba to get rid of the Germans because some people were tired of drunken German soldiers. The German base CO came to the Chamber of Commerce and did a presentation on how much they spent in the local economy and it was reported in the press, that put an end to any idea of asking them to leave. 
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: GR66 on August 16, 2020, 15:51:22

Do these new developments change anyone's mind about a stronger Canadian forward presence in the region?

 :cheers:

It doesn't change my mind about re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe because I think the situation in Belarus is fundamentally different than in the NATO-member Baltic States.  However it definitely reinforces my belief that Canada - and all of NATO - needs to dramatically take our military capabilities more seriously.

We need to show Russia (and China, Iran, North Korea, etc.) that we are not complacent and that we have the military capability to act effectively when required.

For Canada I think that means upgrading our military in general to make it combat effective in a modern battlefield.  And for the Baltics in particular I think it means turning what is essentially a political deployment and backing it up with actual military capability.  Give our troops there real anti-armour and anti-air capability to show the Russians that we take the deployment seriously and that the troops there have some teeth if they ever need to take to the field.

And I think even more importantly would be to show Russia (and the rest) that we have the will and capability to surge effective combat forces to wherever in the world they may be needed.  Re-establishing something like the Reforger exercises would likely be a good start. 
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: daftandbarmy on August 16, 2020, 18:13:29
It doesn't change my mind about re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe because I think the situation in Belarus is fundamentally different than in the NATO-member Baltic States.  However it definitely reinforces my belief that Canada - and all of NATO - needs to dramatically take our military capabilities more seriously.

We need to show Russia (and China, Iran, North Korea, etc.) that we are not complacent and that we have the military capability to act effectively when required.

For Canada I think that means upgrading our military in general to make it combat effective in a modern battlefield.  And for the Baltics in particular I think it means turning what is essentially a political deployment and backing it up with actual military capability.  Give our troops there real anti-armour and anti-air capability to show the Russians that we take the deployment seriously and that the troops there have some teeth if they ever need to take to the field.

And I think even more importantly would be to show Russia (and the rest) that we have the will and capability to surge effective combat forces to wherever in the world they may be needed.  Re-establishing something like the Reforger exercises would likely be a good start.

It's not 'just about Germany' anymore. The 'Defender' exercies sound like a more suitable, modern day version that takes into account multiple threat scenarios:

Reforger redux? Defender 2020 to be 3rd largest exercise in Europe since Cold War

The Defender 2020 in Europe is set to be the third-largest military exercise on the continent since the Cold War, according to Lt. Gen. Chris Cavoli, the U.S. Army Europe commander.

The division-scaled exercise will test the Army’s ability to deliver a force from “fort in the United States to port in the United States,” and then to ports in Europe, and from there to operational areas throughout Europe from Germany to Poland to the Baltic states and other Eastern European nations, Nordic countries and even Georgia, Cavoli told Defense News in an exclusive interview focused on the big event.

While the Army has gone into some detail about Defender 2020 in the Pacific, U.S. Army Europe has been tight-lipped during the coordination of its version.

While the drill has been compared to the Reforger exercises that happened during the Cold War, that is “not a completely apt comparison” because Reforger exercises were about getting a force into one country — Germany — “to defend a very-known location against a force that we all understood very well,” Cavoli said. He recalled hearing about Reforger exercises as a little boy when his father was an Army officer serving in Europe. “The only thing we didn’t know was what time it was going to happen.”

This time, the Army must deploy a huge force onto the continent, move across and operate in many countries, “and we don’t know what we’ll have to deter or even defend against,” he said.

https://www.defensenews.com/land/2019/10/07/reforger-redux-defender-2020-exercise-to-be-3rd-largest-exercise-in-europe-since-cold-war/
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: FJAG on August 16, 2020, 19:09:01
An interesting aspect of Defender 2020 was that it included the 116th Armoured Brigade Combat Team from the Idaho National Guard and the 168th Engineer Brigade from the Mississippi National Guard along with the active duty 2nd ABCT from the 3rd Inf Div and the 2nd ABCT from the 1st Armd Div. In short a complete three brigade armored division.

I'll repeat it briefly:

a) the RAND studies show we need armoured brigades in Europe as a credible deterrent force;

b) our allies are basically still relying on armoured brigades;

c) we therefore need, for the time being, the equipment for at least one armoured brigade to be prepositioned in Europe; and

d) we need to develop, equip and annually practice a system, or systems, capable of deploying and sustaining at least one armoured brigade in Europe.

 :cheers:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: jeffb on August 16, 2020, 19:15:18
d) we need to develop, equip and annually practice a system, or systems, capable of deploying and sustaining at least one armoured brigade in Europe.

 :cheers:

We could always start with an armoured brigade in Canada?  :dunno:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: GR66 on August 16, 2020, 19:37:57
It's not 'just about Germany' anymore. The 'Defender' exercies sound like a more suitable, modern day version that takes into account multiple threat scenarios:

Reforger redux? Defender 2020 to be 3rd largest exercise in Europe since Cold War

The Defender 2020 in Europe is set to be the third-largest military exercise on the continent since the Cold War, according to Lt. Gen. Chris Cavoli, the U.S. Army Europe commander.

The division-scaled exercise will test the Army’s ability to deliver a force from “fort in the United States to port in the United States,” and then to ports in Europe, and from there to operational areas throughout Europe from Germany to Poland to the Baltic states and other Eastern European nations, Nordic countries and even Georgia, Cavoli told Defense News in an exclusive interview focused on the big event.

While the Army has gone into some detail about Defender 2020 in the Pacific, U.S. Army Europe has been tight-lipped during the coordination of its version.

While the drill has been compared to the Reforger exercises that happened during the Cold War, that is “not a completely apt comparison” because Reforger exercises were about getting a force into one country — Germany — “to defend a very-known location against a force that we all understood very well,” Cavoli said. He recalled hearing about Reforger exercises as a little boy when his father was an Army officer serving in Europe. “The only thing we didn’t know was what time it was going to happen.”

This time, the Army must deploy a huge force onto the continent, move across and operate in many countries, “and we don’t know what we’ll have to deter or even defend against,” he said.

https://www.defensenews.com/land/2019/10/07/reforger-redux-defender-2020-exercise-to-be-3rd-largest-exercise-in-europe-since-cold-war/

Well colour me uninformed.  I wasn't aware that Defender was going to be an annual exercise.  That's exactly the type of thing that I was thinking of but would love to see it or something similar in other regions.  I think we should be able to deploy at least a Battle Group to these kind of exercises and have the capability to deploy a full Brigade Group in fairly short order in a real crisis without completely breaking the Army.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: MilEME09 on August 16, 2020, 22:13:30
We could always start with an armoured brigade in Canada?  :dunno:

Considering the atrocious VOR rate of our tanks, can we start with a running regiment first? We do not have enough tanks in inventory to actually have a viable force that can sustain maintenance losses, let alone combat losses.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: FJAG on August 16, 2020, 23:15:28
Well colour me uninformed.  I wasn't aware that Defender was going to be an annual exercise.  That's exactly the type of thing that I was thinking of but would love to see it or something similar in other regions.  I think we should be able to deploy at least a Battle Group to these kind of exercises and have the capability to deploy a full Brigade Group in fairly short order in a real crisis without completely breaking the Army.

There's a bit of trouble with "other regions" and why I favour the prepositioning of equipment close to your most likely theatre of operations or, at the very least, in the area where you wish to create a deterrent effect.

A little backstory. About the time that we were switching to LAVs and building our "agile" force (i.e. the end of the last century), the US Army was working on a massive plan (US$340 billion) to replace the M1 Abrams and M2/M3 Bradley with a whole new suite of equipment under a program called "Future Combat Systems" (FCS) which, amongst other things, was working on both manned and unmanned ground and aerial vehicles. One of the stated requirements of the program was that the US Army would:

Quote
...develop the capability to deliver a combat brigade anywhere globally in 96 hours, a division in 120 hours, and five divisions in 30 days.

That requirement fueled the need to create a set of armoured combat vehicles which would be easily transportable by the existing air force fleets of C-130s, C-5s, and C-17s. To meet this requirement of what was then called the "Objective Force" an Interim Armored Vehicle was needed to bridge the gap between the existing very light and unarmoured infantry brigades/divisions and the heavily armored brigades/divisions and as a result work went into high gear on the Stryker version of the LAV 3 and in particular the Mobile Gun System to be the "tank" of this medium weight air transportable organization. In Nov 2000, a US$8 billion contract was awarded to manufacture 2,131 Strykers to equip six rapid deployment brigades by 2008.

By 2005, it became quite clear that the US Air Forces resources were entirely unable to ever be able to meet the Army's initial 96 hour/120 hour requirement even to the closest possible deployment objective areas. The further that the area for deployment was from the continental US the worse the situation became for the Air Force because multiple lifts were always needed and the further away the objective was, the longer the travel time involved. By 2009 the entire FCS was scrapped. There's a lengthy RAND paper produced for the Army in 2012 that summed up the lessons learned from the boondoggle here. (https://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/MG1206.html)

Now put this into our terms on a question of scale and resources. If the US Air Force didn't have the resources to air deploy a brigade of Strykers in 96 hours, then what hope is there of Canada being able to deploy even a battlegroup of LAVs including all of its enablers and sustain them by air.

Basically if we preposition equipment and war stores in Europe then we can fly-on the personnel and, if needed elsewhere in Europe, use the highly developed rail networks in Europe to move them where needed, whether the North flank, or into Slovakia, or Romania or Greece or wherever. We can't preposition equipment everywhere though.

We do have special operations forces and light infantry that we can air deploy in small quantities into low risk environments relatively given sufficient time.

What we don't have is a Navy that has the capability to lift medium and heavy weight forces in a reasonably rapid and efficient manner to either sustain or reinforce the light forces. That basically leaves us out from ever deploying even a LAV force into Africa or the Pacific region unless we rent, borrow or steal a ship from a third party. To me, that's a major capability gap for the Canadian Forces and greatly interferes with our abilities to go into "other regions" in any meaningful way.

 :cheers:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: GR66 on August 17, 2020, 12:40:16
There's a bit of trouble with "other regions" and why I favour the prepositioning of equipment close to your most likely theatre of operations or, at the very least, in the area where you wish to create a deterrent effect.

A little backstory. About the time that we were switching to LAVs and building our "agile" force (i.e. the end of the last century), the US Army was working on a massive plan (US$340 billion) to replace the M1 Abrams and M2/M3 Bradley with a whole new suite of equipment under a program called "Future Combat Systems" (FCS) which, amongst other things, was working on both manned and unmanned ground and aerial vehicles. One of the stated requirements of the program was that the US Army would:

That requirement fueled the need to create a set of armoured combat vehicles which would be easily transportable by the existing air force fleets of C-130s, C-5s, and C-17s. To meet this requirement of what was then called the "Objective Force" an Interim Armored Vehicle was needed to bridge the gap between the existing very light and unarmoured infantry brigades/divisions and the heavily armored brigades/divisions and as a result work went into high gear on the Stryker version of the LAV 3 and in particular the Mobile Gun System to be the "tank" of this medium weight air transportable organization. In Nov 2000, a US$8 billion contract was awarded to manufacture 2,131 Strykers to equip six rapid deployment brigades by 2008.

By 2005, it became quite clear that the US Air Forces resources were entirely unable to ever be able to meet the Army's initial 96 hour/120 hour requirement even to the closest possible deployment objective areas. The further that the area for deployment was from the continental US the worse the situation became for the Air Force because multiple lifts were always needed and the further away the objective was, the longer the travel time involved. By 2009 the entire FCS was scrapped. There's a lengthy RAND paper produced for the Army in 2012 that summed up the lessons learned from the boondoggle here. (https://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/MG1206.html)

Now put this into our terms on a question of scale and resources. If the US Air Force didn't have the resources to air deploy a brigade of Strykers in 96 hours, then what hope is there of Canada being able to deploy even a battlegroup of LAVs including all of its enablers and sustain them by air.

Basically if we preposition equipment and war stores in Europe then we can fly-on the personnel and, if needed elsewhere in Europe, use the highly developed rail networks in Europe to move them where needed, whether the North flank, or into Slovakia, or Romania or Greece or wherever. We can't preposition equipment everywhere though.

We do have special operations forces and light infantry that we can air deploy in small quantities into low risk environments relatively given sufficient time.

What we don't have is a Navy that has the capability to lift medium and heavy weight forces in a reasonably rapid and efficient manner to either sustain or reinforce the light forces. That basically leaves us out from ever deploying even a LAV force into Africa or the Pacific region unless we rent, borrow or steal a ship from a third party. To me, that's a major capability gap for the Canadian Forces and greatly interferes with our abilities to go into "other regions" in any meaningful way.

 :cheers:

Totally agree with the highlighted portion.  I believe I posted a suggestion ages ago that the government should purchase at least two (one for each coast) high speed RO-RO ships under the national shipbuilding strategy.  These could be fitted out with the required military Comms, etc. and a modular helicopter landing pad that could be installed when required.  These ships could be made available to BC Ferries and Marine Atlantic for their use (and upkeep) with the proviso that a number of their crew positions be Class-B Navy Reserve positions and that the ships be made available for 2-weeks annually for exercises.  They would also be available for call-up for full-time service as required by the CF.

For the exercises the CF could practice road/train movement of forces to dockside and loading/unloading procedures and the ships could embark full Naval Reserve crews for training.  It would be a great opportunity for the rest of the RCN and MPA's to practice convoy escort and for the Victorias to practice anti-shipping skills.  These exercises could take place on each coast on an alternating basis.

The ships would be a positive infrastructure boost for both coasts and provide an important military capability for the CF as well.

As for pre-positioning an Armoured Brigade in Europe I'm still not convinced that it is a worthwhile investment as we disagree on the risk of a Russian conventional force invasion of the Baltics.  If anything I'd be more willing to support the pre-positioning of equipment outside the Baltic States (possibly locations being vacated by the US in Germany?).  This would avoid having the pre-positioned equipment being destroyed in place in a sudden attack before we have a chance to fly over troops.  German locations would be less provocative than Baltic or forward Polish positions, unlikely to be targeted for Russian attack in any limited land-grab by the Russians (attacking Germany directly would be a major escalation) but would still give access to the European transportation network.

All that being said, as MilEME09 noted our first priority should be to create a viable combat force in Canada, followed in my mind by a capability to transport a heavy force by sea using our own resources and only then look at pre-positioning forces overseas.

On the light end of the scale, these are the forces that we'd be looking to for rapid deployment by air to any crisis point.  Is the current Brigade structure the best way to organize such forces in light of the relatively limited air transport capabilities we have?  Would organizing our light forces into Battle Groups or Combat Teams that could be more easily be transported and supported without a bunch of ad hoc reorganizations and attachments, etc. be a better way to go?

Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: daftandbarmy on August 17, 2020, 12:45:57
If anything I'd be more willing to support the pre-positioning of equipment outside the Baltic States (possibly locations being vacated by the US in Germany?).  This would avoid having the pre-positioned equipment being destroyed in place in a sudden attack before we have a chance to fly over troops.  German locations would be less provocative than Baltic or forward Polish positions, unlikely to be targeted for Russian attack in any limited land-grab by the Russians (attacking Germany directly would be a major escalation) but would still give access to the European transportation network.

As per the two biggest wars of the 20th Century, the 'Unsinkable Aircraft Carrier' of the United Kingdom might be the obvious choice for our war stores.

The English Channel: the World's Largest Tank Trap ;)
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: reveng on August 17, 2020, 12:56:58
As per the two biggest wars of the 20th Century, the 'Unsinkable Aircraft Carrier' of the United Kingdom might be the obvious choice for our war stores.

The English Channel: the World's Largest Tank Trap ;)

Yup, good old Airstrip One.  ;D
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: LoboCanada on August 17, 2020, 13:52:05
Totally agree with the highlighted portion.  I believe I posted a suggestion ages ago that the government should purchase at least two (one for each coast) high speed RO-RO ships under the national shipbuilding strategy.  These could be fitted out with the required military Comms, etc. and a modular helicopter landing pad that could be installed when required.  These ships could be made available to BC Ferries and Marine Atlantic for their use (and upkeep) with the proviso that a number of their crew positions be Class-B Navy Reserve positions and that the ships be made available for 2-weeks annually for exercises.  They would also be available for call-up for full-time service as required by the CF.


I like this idea. A heavily subsidized civilian-military ship, and could use them in the north to help reduce the cost of shipping things up there (since the upkeep could be subsidized too). Reduced costs and fees for food, construction and infrastructure would allow for our North to be more accessible too. Would solve a lot of issues with just one or two of these in the Atlantic.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: Colin P on August 17, 2020, 14:17:32
Considering the atrocious VOR rate of our tanks, can we start with a running regiment first? We do not have enough tanks in inventory to actually have a viable force that can sustain maintenance losses, let alone combat losses.

The fact that we can't maintain the tanks we have are a clear indicator of a broken supply and support system. Start making senior leaders accountable both on the military and Public Works side with demotion, release or lose of pay as consequence for not resolving the issues.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: FJAG on August 17, 2020, 15:02:33
Totally agree with the highlighted portion.  I believe I posted a suggestion ages ago that the government should purchase at least two (one for each coast) high speed RO-RO ships under the national shipbuilding strategy.  These could be fitted out with the required military Comms, etc. and a modular helicopter landing pad that could be installed when required.  These ships could be made available to BC Ferries and Marine Atlantic for their use (and upkeep) with the proviso that a number of their crew positions be Class-B Navy Reserve positions and that the ships be made available for 2-weeks annually for exercises.  They would also be available for call-up for full-time service as required by the CF.

For the exercises the CF could practice road/train movement of forces to dockside and loading/unloading procedures and the ships could embark full Naval Reserve crews for training.  It would be a great opportunity for the rest of the RCN and MPA's to practice convoy escort and for the Victorias to practice anti-shipping skills.  These exercises could take place on each coast on an alternating basis.

The ships would be a positive infrastructure boost for both coasts and provide an important military capability for the CF as well.

As for pre-positioning an Armoured Brigade in Europe I'm still not convinced that it is a worthwhile investment as we disagree on the risk of a Russian conventional force invasion of the Baltics.  If anything I'd be more willing to support the pre-positioning of equipment outside the Baltic States (possibly locations being vacated by the US in Germany?).  This would avoid having the pre-positioned equipment being destroyed in place in a sudden attack before we have a chance to fly over troops.  German locations would be less provocative than Baltic or forward Polish positions, unlikely to be targeted for Russian attack in any limited land-grab by the Russians (attacking Germany directly would be a major escalation) but would still give access to the European transportation network.

All that being said, as MilEME09 noted our first priority should be to create a viable combat force in Canada, followed in my mind by a capability to transport a heavy force by sea using our own resources and only then look at pre-positioning forces overseas.

On the light end of the scale, these are the forces that we'd be looking to for rapid deployment by air to any crisis point.  Is the current Brigade structure the best way to organize such forces in light of the relatively limited air transport capabilities we have?  Would organizing our light forces into Battle Groups or Combat Teams that could be more easily be transported and supported without a bunch of ad hoc reorganizations and attachments, etc. be a better way to go?

I like the civilian ferry idea very much. IMHO the most usage by the military would probably be for the planned annual deployment exercises so a large portion of the year would be civilian usage and would keep the ships serviceable. There would obviously need to be contract arrangements that the CAF could rapidly pull a ship off contract for operational needs.

I don't disagree with prepositioning equipment elsewhere other than the Baltics. That's why I considered Poland a viable alternative after due consideration for the issues relating to the Suwalki gap transit. Available infrastructure in Germany would be a bonus although I expect those facilities will quickly be snapped up by German commercial interests.

As per the two biggest wars of the 20th Century, the 'Unsinkable Aircraft Carrier' of the United Kingdom might be the obvious choice for our war stores.

The English Channel: the World's Largest Tank Trap ;)

Agree re tank trap. I thought maybe the Chunnel's service tunnel might make a good one way speed-corridor across although I'm not so sure it's ventilation system could handle the traffic from thousands of heavy diesel vehicles (and might even be size restricted for some of them). I do note that one of the big issues cropping up frequently in UK defence posture articles re the UK's heavy forces is the question on how to get them onto the continent rapidly. Makes me wonder if there is a viable secret plan for the Chunnel or not.

 :cheers:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: reveng on August 17, 2020, 15:24:12
The fact that we can't maintain the tanks we have are a clear indicator of a broken supply and support system. Start making senior leaders accountable both on the military and Public Works side with demotion, release or lose of pay as consequence for not resolving the issues.

 :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

Anyways, if we were dead set on positioning more forces in Europe (and outside the Baltics), I also agree that Poland would be a better choice because they might actually want us there, and it would benefit them economically. Not to mention they actually spend 2% of GDP on their defence budget.

Alternatively, we could always position a well-trained light force in the UK to help cover off places such as Norway.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: daftandbarmy on August 17, 2020, 17:36:00
Agree re tank trap. I thought maybe the Chunnel's service tunnel might make a good one way speed-corridor across although I'm not so sure it's ventilation system could handle the traffic from thousands of heavy diesel vehicles (and might even be size restricted for some of them). I do note that one of the big issues cropping up frequently in UK defence posture articles re the UK's heavy forces is the question on how to get them onto the continent rapidly. Makes me wonder if there is a viable secret plan for the Chunnel or not.

 :cheers:

When you really need help during a big conflict, remember to 'get STUFT' :)

http://www.doverferryphotosforums.co.uk/category/pastandpresent/stuft/
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: GR66 on August 17, 2020, 17:49:40

Agree re tank trap. I thought maybe the Chunnel's service tunnel might make a good one way speed-corridor across although I'm not so sure it's ventilation system could handle the traffic from thousands of heavy diesel vehicles (and might even be size restricted for some of them). I do note that one of the big issues cropping up frequently in UK defence posture articles re the UK's heavy forces is the question on how to get them onto the continent rapidly. Makes me wonder if there is a viable secret plan for the Chunnel or not.

 :cheers:

The Brits tested this back in 2017 (https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2650265/army-tests-sending-tanks-through-the-channel-tunnel-in-case-of-russian-crisis-in-eastern-europe-after-we-shutter-bases-in-germany/ (https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2650265/army-tests-sending-tanks-through-the-channel-tunnel-in-case-of-russian-crisis-in-eastern-europe-after-we-shutter-bases-in-germany/))
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: FJAG on August 17, 2020, 21:22:03
The Brits tested this back in 2017 (https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2650265/army-tests-sending-tanks-through-the-channel-tunnel-in-case-of-russian-crisis-in-eastern-europe-after-we-shutter-bases-in-germany/ (https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2650265/army-tests-sending-tanks-through-the-channel-tunnel-in-case-of-russian-crisis-in-eastern-europe-after-we-shutter-bases-in-germany/))

Did you notice this part?

Quote
It  was carried out by civilian logistics contractors because the Army’s rail transport specialists were axed as a result of defence budget cuts, apart from some reservists.

 :facepalm:

Don't know about other folks but loading our M109s in Germany and here in Canada was always the job for the batteries themselves with a walk down check by a railroad rep. Assuming you have the tie-down gear in stock, teaching people to load equipment is a short familiarization done in a half of an afternoon. Last time I looked the British Army probably has a few old salts around that did this too.

The place where you need some specialist skills is in the ordering and spotting of cars and train segments, segment marshalling, coordination with railroad etc., etc.

 :cheers:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: daftandbarmy on August 18, 2020, 00:30:44
Did you notice this part?

 :facepalm:

Don't know about other folks but loading our M109s in Germany and here in Canada was always the job for the batteries themselves with a walk down check by a railroad rep. Assuming you have the tie-down gear in stock, teaching people to load equipment is a short familiarization done in a half of an afternoon. Last time I looked the British Army probably has a few old salts around that did this too.

The place where you need some specialist skills is in the ordering and spotting of cars and train segments, segment marshalling, coordination with railroad etc., etc.

 :cheers:

Things like logistical, medical and signals support always plays second fiddle until the real shooting starts.

I was on a course and had this kind of chubby RAOC Captain in my syndicate who tended to keep to himself. I eventually asked him what his job was. Turned out he was one of the team that ran PLUTO - the Pipeline Under the Ocean - which provided all forces in Germany with fuel. Through a giant pipeline. Under the English Channel.

Made my cheesy little 'rifle company 2IC' gig look a little pale by comparison.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: Colin P on August 18, 2020, 00:50:15
The logistical infrastructure behind D-day (including the first PLUTO pipeline) is awe inspiring 
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: GR66 on August 18, 2020, 00:57:26
Things like logistical, medical and signals support always plays second fiddle until the real shooting starts.

I was on a course and had this kind of chubby RAOC Captain in my syndicate who tended to keep to himself. I eventually asked him what his job was. Turned out he was one of the team that ran PLUTO - the Pipeline Under the Ocean - which provided all forces in Germany with fuel. Through a giant pipeline. Under the English Channel.

Made my cheesy little 'rifle company 2IC' gig look a little pale by comparison.

I was listening to a podcast interview with author James Holland on "History Hit" about the Normandy invasion.  One fact I found interesting was his description of the composition of the British 2nd Army.  16% Infantry, 7% Armoured, 18% Engineers and 43% Service Corps (and the balance presumably Artillery and other trades).  A good reminder that it's no use having toys if you can't support them.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: MilEME09 on August 18, 2020, 01:09:13
I was listening to a podcast interview with author James Holland on "History Hit" about the Normandy invasion.  One fact I found interesting was his description of the composition of the British 2nd Army.  16% Infantry, 7% Armoured, 18% Engineers and 43% Service Corps (and the balance presumably Artillery and other trades).  A good reminder that it's no use having toys if you can't support them.

In WW2 3 in 5 Canadian soldiers were CSS, when you start getting past the Battalion level CSS elements get massive. A COSCOM brigade for example has an entire maintenance Battalion, with an entire Company just for recovery to haul to and from the BLP's, ECP's and to the divisional workshops, on top of supporting lower elements.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: FJAG on August 18, 2020, 01:12:42
I was listening to a podcast interview with author James Holland on "History Hit" about the Normandy invasion.  One fact I found interesting was his description of the composition of the British 2nd Army.  16% Infantry, 7% Armoured, 18% Engineers and 43% Service Corps (and the balance presumably Artillery and other trades).  A good reminder that it's no use having toys if you can't support them.

Just on that concept, I've always liked CanadianSoldiers (http://www.canadiansoldiers.com/organization/fieldforces/casf/1starmy.htm) for WW2 establishments. It's always interesting to see the variety of units that make up the higher formations.

 :cheers:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: CloudCover on August 18, 2020, 01:39:50
I think that web site is/ was managed by Mike Dorosch, a Calgary Highlander formerly of this site.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: Colin P on August 18, 2020, 14:05:03
Just on that concept, I've always liked CanadianSoldiers (http://www.canadiansoldiers.com/organization/fieldforces/casf/1starmy.htm) for WW2 establishments. It's always interesting to see the variety of units that make up the higher formations.

 :cheers:

We had a railway Company in Europe?

Headquarters, No. 2 Canadian Railway Operating Group, RCE

1st Canadian Railway Operating Company

2nd Canadian Railway Operating Company

1st Canadian Railway Workshop Company

1st Canadian Railway Telegraph Company, RCCS

Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: FJAG on August 18, 2020, 14:24:10
I think that web site is/ was managed by Mike Dorosch, a Calgary Highlander formerly of this site.

I thought that I posted this yesterday but it must have gone into the big bin in the sky.

You're right. Here's the webmaster page (https://www.canadiansoldiers.com/webmaster.htm) from Canadian Soldiers.

 :cheers:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: Blackadder1916 on August 18, 2020, 15:30:41
We had a railway Company in Europe?


And this is what they did.    https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/themes/defence/caf/militaryhistory/dhh/reports/ahq-reports/ahq046.pdf
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: FJAG on August 18, 2020, 20:27:03
Defence Blog is reporting that unmarked military vehicles are moving into Belarus from Russia.

https://defence-blog.com/news/army/hybrid-intervention-russia-sent-unmarked-military-columns-to-belarus.html (https://defence-blog.com/news/army/hybrid-intervention-russia-sent-unmarked-military-columns-to-belarus.html)

Things could get ugly if there is popular resistance to the government and the Russian "little green men".

Once again Russia shows point blank that it won't hesitate to roll it's forces when it feels it's interest is threatened.

 :cheers:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: Colin P on August 18, 2020, 21:48:53
And this is what they did.    https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/themes/defence/caf/militaryhistory/dhh/reports/ahq-reports/ahq046.pdf

thank you, I am once again enlightened!  :nod:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: stellarpanther on August 20, 2020, 22:18:39
Once again Russia shows point blank that it won't hesitate to roll it's forces when it feels it's interest is threatened.

 :cheers:
I think most countries will do what's necessary to protect their interests.  The US wouldn't hesitate to do the same thing.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: FJAG on August 20, 2020, 22:34:20
I think most countries will do what's necessary to protect their interests.  The US wouldn't hesitate to do the same thing.

Even the US stops short of this:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51rFT-93C-L._SX342_QL70_ML2_.jpg)

and this:

(https://kafkadesk.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/czech-republic-soviet-invasion-remembrance.jpg)

In each of Hungary and Czechoslovakia (and Georgia and the Ukraine and now in Belarus) the actions are being taken to suppress the will of the people to be free of a totalitarian regime.

 :cheers:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: stellarpanther on August 20, 2020, 22:46:29
I think it's more about Russia not wanting another country joining NATO right on it's border.  I know there is debate as to whether there was a promise made after the USSR broke up that NATO wouldn't expand eastward but maybe if they didn't expand Russia wouldn't need to do what it has been doing.

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2014/11/06/did-nato-promise-not-to-enlarge-gorbachev-says-no/

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/newly-declassified-documents-gorbachev-told-nato-wouldnt-23629


Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: FJAG on August 20, 2020, 23:03:49
I think it's more about Russia not wanting another country joining NATO right on it's border.  I know there is debate as to whether there was a promise made after the USSR broke up that NATO wouldn't expand eastward but maybe if they didn't expand Russia wouldn't need to do what it has been doing.

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2014/11/06/did-nato-promise-not-to-enlarge-gorbachev-says-no/

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/newly-declassified-documents-gorbachev-told-nato-wouldnt-23629

This isn't about NATO expanding. It's the people of Belarus fed up being led by a dictator. By all the things that I have read most Belarusians like the relationship they have with Russia and don't want to change that. They just want to be rid of Lukashenko.

 :cheers:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: GR66 on August 20, 2020, 23:16:58
Even the US stops short of this:

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51rFT-93C-L._SX342_QL70_ML2_.jpg)

and this:

(https://kafkadesk.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/czech-republic-soviet-invasion-remembrance.jpg)

In each of Hungary and Czechoslovakia (and Georgia and the Ukraine and now in Belarus) the actions are being taken to suppress the will of the people to be free of a totalitarian regime.

 :cheers:

While for the most part, American post-WWII interventions haven't been nearly as extreme as the Soviet/Russian invasions of their neighbours, the US certainly does have a pretty extensive history of using military force to enforce their will...even against democratically elected governments.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_interventions_by_the_United_States (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_interventions_by_the_United_States)

I'm certainly not justifying or supporting recent/current/likely future Russian actions...just clarifying some historical facts.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: stellarpanther on August 20, 2020, 23:17:55
This isn't about NATO expanding. It's the people of Belarus fed up being led by a dictator. By all the things that I have read most Belarusians like the relationship they have with Russia and don't want to change that. They just want to be rid of Lukashenko.

 :cheers:

Perhaps you are right but one way or another, this should not be our concern and I hope we stay out of it as we should have with Ukraine.  How many times have the Americans criticized the Russians for siding with Latin American countries which have normally considered the American's backyard.  This is Russia's backyard.  It can't be both ways.


Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: GR66 on August 20, 2020, 23:21:32
Perhaps you are right but one way or another, this should not be our concern and I hope we stay out of it as we should have with Ukraine.  How many times have the Americans criticized the Russians for siding with Latin American countries which have normally considered the American's backyard.  This is Russia's backyard.  It can't be both ways.

Should Poland have been our concern in 1939?  What about Belgium/France/Netherlands in 1940?  When does it become our concern?
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: MilEME09 on August 20, 2020, 23:46:49
Should Poland have been our concern in 1939?  What about Belgium/France/Netherlands in 1940?  When does it become our concern?

Agreed, every sovereign nation can choose its own destiny, west or east. Even though it happens no natiom should be allowed to impose its will against on another nation that doesn't want it. However it does happen, anyone that has DWAN access, visit CFOSINT groups acims page and look up their latest reports on Eastern Europe. Russia is playing a very calculating game here. One they are making sure the results in Ukraine, Belarus and else where are favorable.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: stellarpanther on August 20, 2020, 23:49:58
Should Poland have been our concern in 1939?  What about Belgium/France/Netherlands in 1940?  When does it become our concern?

First of all these are different times now.  As for when it becomes out concern, the answer is when it directly risks harming our national well being.  If Russian annexed the entire Ukraine or Belarus, will that affect the the average Canadian?  I would say no.
What if the Mexicans or another country in Latin America or even Canada decided to shift towards Russia, do you think the US would allow that?  I would say no and we'd probably find American tanks crossing our border.  It's the same thing there.  We don't need to control the world.


 
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: GR66 on August 21, 2020, 00:14:55
First of all these are different times now.  As for when it becomes out concern, the answer is when it directly risks harming our national well being.  If Russian annexed the entire Ukraine or Belarus, will that affect the the average Canadian?  I would say no.
What if the Mexicans or another country in Latin America or even Canada decided to shift towards Russia, do you think the US would allow that?  I would say no and we'd probably find American tanks crossing our border.  It's the same thing there.  We don't need to control the world.

Ask the people of Ukraine how different the times are now. 

No idea how old you are, but it wasn't long ago that Russians occupied half of Europe.  I'm not sure how you equate the USA to that.  West Germany, Japan, Italy all financially supported and lifted out of near total destruction after the war by the USA to become free, liberal, democracies.  How did the Russian occupied nations of Eastern Europe fare? 

Sadly, you like many Canadians seem quite happy to place the USA and Russia on the same level when you judge their international relations.  Is the US perfect?  Certainly not!  However, I don't think any person with a reasonable understanding of history could suggest that the actions of the US are anywhere near as bad as those of Russia.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: stellarpanther on August 21, 2020, 00:41:24
As for the Ukraine, specifically in the eastern part of the country, most of those people seem to have ties closer to Russia and if asked, they would probably vote to become part of Russia.  What gives the west the right to get involved?  We are not the moral voice of the world.  Nobody voted for NATO or the EU to be the Police for all of Europe.  The NATO mandate is to protect other NATO countries and these are not NATO countries nor are they threatening a NATO country. If the US invades Venezuela, should Russia and/or China get involved as they have interests in that country?

 
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: dapaterson on August 21, 2020, 00:44:33
As for the Ukraine, specifically in the eastern part of the country, most of those people seem to have ties closer to Russia and if asked, they would probably vote to become part of Russia.

Apparently November 1991 never happened.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: MilEME09 on August 21, 2020, 02:07:42
Apparently November 1991 never happened.

However like the deconialization of Africa, the USSR broke apart on political lines, not necessarily cultural or ethnic ones. While eastern Ukraine has been heavily influenced by Russia, sometimes people want into Russia, and some want out like Chechnya. Problem of course is no one is allowed to leave, and in that part of the world, peaceful transitions of power are not a norm.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: daftandbarmy on August 21, 2020, 11:16:00
Sadly, you like many Canadians seem quite happy to place the USA and Russia on the same level when you judge their international relations.  Is the US perfect?  Certainly not!  However, I don't think any person with a reasonable understanding of history could suggest that the actions of the US are anywhere near as bad as those of Russia.

Well, there was that awkward 'Vietnam Phase', for both France and the USA....
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: Colin P on August 21, 2020, 22:41:15
Well, there was that awkward 'Vietnam Phase', for both France and the USA....

ode for a few more battalions and the Brits would have squashed Ho chi Min dreams before they even got started
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: tomahawk6 on August 21, 2020, 23:56:44
The Brits had northern Ireland.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: FJAG on August 22, 2020, 00:10:29
The Brits had northern Ireland.

And Burma.

 ;D
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: CloudCover on August 22, 2020, 00:30:40
The Brits had northern Ireland.

They still have Northern Ireland. 
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: Colin P on August 22, 2020, 02:12:25
The Brits had northern Ireland.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1w-cv2CJbfI
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: tomahawk6 on August 22, 2020, 13:47:31
A brigade in Canada would be better than a token brigade in Europe IMO. Or offer a brigade for UN duty or rotate a brigade to Korea.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: FJAG on August 22, 2020, 15:38:04
A brigade in Canada would be better than a token brigade in Europe IMO. Or offer a brigade for UN duty or rotate a brigade to Korea.

We have several brigades in Canada. I'm not sure why you think having them in Canada is more useful than having prepositioned equipment for them in Europe.

We have no national interest in putting a brigade into Korea.

I note that the US 8th Army now has only one manoeuvre division under its command (the 2nd Infantry) with only one ABCT forward deployed to Korea on rotation and two active duty and one NG Stryker brigades in Fort Lewis in Washington. On the other hand there are roughly eight support brigades assigned.

If the US has that little there in manoeuvre units why would we be there?

We've recently had some elements on UN duties but quite frankly, those deployments don't have the same impact that they did a half century ago because few of the conflicts/issues are as between states (like Greece and Turkey was in Cyprus) as much as between internal factions or insurgencies within a country (like Mali). As it is, there are numerous 2nd world countries who are happy to provide peacekeepers to the UN in order to earn some hard cash. Here's (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_number_of_UN_peacekeepers) a list from last year. (Note that while Canada stands 59th on the list with 192 personnel we're ahead of the US which stands 85th at 34 personnel)

Incidentally, tell Trump he's a billion dollars in arrears on his dues and the peacekeeping budget with the UN. These are real dues, not the phoney baloney stuff he says countries owe to NATO.

 :cheers:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: Weinie on August 22, 2020, 17:21:40

 As it is, there are numerous 2nd world countries who are happy to provide peacekeepers to the UN in order to earn some hard cash. Here's (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_number_of_UN_peacekeepers) a list from last year.

Incidentally, tell Trump he's a billion dollars in arrears on his dues and the peacekeeping budget with the UN. These are real dues, not the phoney baloney stuff he says countries owe to NATO.

 :cheers:

We can debate the NATO 2% argument til the cows come home, but I believe the US position has merit.

I find it ironic that you cite 2nd world countries doing peacekeeping to earn hard cash, and then trash what is inevitably the paymaster for this, the U.S. Until such time as the 5 veto votes in the UN are rescinded (which will never happen), the altruistic vision upon which the UN was supposedly founded will never be realized; why would anyone with a shred of common sense look at the UN with anything but skepticism?

Reform at the UN is long overdue, if it takes a disruptive, reviled, ridiculed (by some) President to point that out, then collectively the organization, and its' leadership, has failed.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: FJAG on August 22, 2020, 19:01:56
We can debate the NATO 2% argument til the cows come home, but I believe the US position has merit.

I find it ironic that you cite 2nd world countries doing peacekeeping to earn hard cash, and then trash what is inevitably the paymaster for this, the U.S. Until such time as the 5 veto votes in the UN are rescinded (which will never happen), the altruistic vision upon which the UN was supposedly founded will never be realized; why would anyone with a shred of common sense look at the UN with anything but skepticism?

Reform at the UN is long overdue, if it takes a disruptive, reviled, ridiculed (by some) President to point that out, then collectively the organization, and its' leadership, has failed.

The 2% isn't really a question for much debate. We agreed to it and like many of the European nations will undoubtedly not reach it by the 2024 deadline (even before the pandemic) My point with "phoney baloney" was that these aren't "dues" to pay to NATO like Trump keeps thinking they are but internal spending objectives.

While the US has always borne a major percentage of the UN budget (around 28%) the US has had shortfalls which for the period 2017 to the present add up to around a billion USD.

There are definitely shortcomings with the UN but don't confuse a purported failed organization with one that simply doesn't dance to the US's tune anymore. The world is made up of a lot of diverse opinions (many of which are revolting) but the UN is still the only agency that allows those opinions to be expressed in an open peaceful manner.

There are many countries which disagree with various UN activities and policies but the US is the one country which most frequently threatens to take it's football and go home when things don't work out the way that it wants. Just wait to see the fur fly again when the Iran Snapback doesn't go it's way.

 :cheers:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: Weinie on August 22, 2020, 19:11:46
The 2% isn't really a question for much debate. We agreed to it and like many of the European nations will undoubtedly not reach it by the 2024 deadline (even before the pandemic) My point with "phoney baloney" was that these aren't "dues" to pay to NATO like Trump keeps thinking they are but internal spending objectives. - "agreed upon across the Alliance"

While the US has always borne a major percentage of the UN budget (around 28%) the US has had shortfalls which for the period 2017 to the present add up to around a billion USD.

There are definitely shortcomings with the UN but don't confuse a purported failed organization with one that simply doesn't dance to the US's tune anymore. The world is made up of a lot of diverse opinions (many of which are revolting) but the UN is still the only agency that allows those opinions to be expressed in an open peaceful manner.

There are many countries which disagree with various UN activities and policies but the US is the one country which most frequently threatens to take it's football and go home when things don't work out the way that it wants. Just wait to see the fur fly again when the Iran Snapback doesn't go it's way.

 :cheers:

Which Countries Have Vetoed The Most In The UN?
Rank   Country   Number of UN Security Council resolutions vetoed by permanent members 1946-2017
1   USSR/Russian Federation   107
2   USA   79
3   UK   29
4   France   16
5   China   11

China just mostly abstains
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: FJAG on August 22, 2020, 19:26:30
Which Countries Have Vetoed The Most In The UN?
Rank   Country   Number of UN Security Council resolutions vetoed by permanent members 1946-2017
1   USSR/Russian Federation   107
2   USA   79
3   UK   29
4   France   16
5   China   11

China just mostly abstains

I'm not so sure how much that means. Some of the vetos are because the resolution put forward is a boneheaded idea while in other cases the veto is the result of a boneheaded objection. I think that you need to study the actual resolutions and vetos to see who's being the problem. I do note that many of the vetos pair up countries with the US, UK and France vetoing together and the USSR/Russia and sometimes China. Quite frequently, however, the US or Russia stands alone in its Veto.

 :cheers:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: Weinie on August 22, 2020, 20:11:53
 It means that contrary to your conjecture, the U.S.is not the one that most often doesn't play, which makes most of your argument specious.
Get it that you are not a US foreign policy fan, I shudder to think where we would be without their clout in the last fifty or sixty years.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: FJAG on August 22, 2020, 21:52:23
It means that contrary to your conjecture, the U.S.is not the one that most often doesn't play, which makes most of your argument specious.
Get it that you are not a US foreign policy fan, I shudder to think where we would be without their clout in the last fifty or sixty years.

Actually, you've got it quite wrong. I've always been a fan of the US and most of it's foreign policy at least until this last regime whose foreign policy is fitful and capricious. Incidentally, the US criticism of the UN goes back quite a way before this most recent "disruptive, reviled, ridiculed (by some) President".

The US is (or at least was) the world's premier power and quite properly should use that power to shape events in a way favourable to the western world (and of course itself). That's not to say, however, that one has to slavishly agree with everything they do.

I've, quite frankly, lost your point here. Is it that I alluded to the fact that the US is being hypocritical when it says certain NATO countries aren't paying their "dues" (which aren't really dues at all) when it's in arrears to the UN? Or is it the assertion that when the US isn't happy these days it threatens to pick up its football? (or perhaps, more accurately, unilaterally pull out of treaties and agreements willy-nilly) Incidentally, how's the most recent Aluminum tariff working for you? I mean if my argument is specious, I'd like to know which one.

 :cheers:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: Weinie on August 22, 2020, 21:59:53

There are many countries which disagree with various UN activities and policies but the US is the one country which most frequently threatens to take it's football and go home when things don't work out the way that it wants. Just wait to see the fur fly again when the Iran Snapback doesn't go it's way.

 :cheers:

I have re-posted your quote. It is not correct.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: FJAG on August 22, 2020, 22:55:30
I have re-posted your quote. It is not correct.

I still contend that the number of times a UN veto is used is not indicative of anything unless you do a full analysis of what the various resolutions are. But to end this "is to, is not" back and forth I'll withdraw the word "most" and just leave it at "frequently".

Incidentally add Open Skies to this list of treaties and agreements Trump has abandoned. (https://www.cnn.com/2019/02/01/politics/nuclear-treaty-trump/index.html)

 :cheers:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: MilEME09 on August 22, 2020, 23:33:37
It should be noted that while rarely used there is actually a mechanism for the general assembly to over ride a veto. Good luck getting the 2/3 majority to vote to do it though.

Back on topic though, strategically speaking NATO's South eastern flank around Romania seems the most vulnerable, Ukraine may be quickly trying to modernize but the latest analysis by Janes puts there ability to sustain large scale combat or offensive operations in doubt. Given that, Russia could seize the black sea quickly, and the launch operations against Romania, Bulgaria,turkey and Greece. A armoured thrust through Ukraine combined with an amphibious invasion of the Romanian Coast is a feasible attack against NATO. So where would any permanent Canadiam presance best be placed?
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: stellarpanther on August 23, 2020, 01:00:49
It means that contrary to your conjecture, the U.S.is not the one that most often doesn't play, which makes most of your argument specious.
Get it that you are not a US foreign policy fan, I shudder to think where we would be without their clout in the last fifty or sixty years.

Well without American bullying of other countries, there probably would have been a lot less war and violence, certainly that's the case since the Korean war. They tend to start a lot of them or stick their nose where it doesn't belong and make things worse and then pressure other countries to join with them so they don't look bad.  Clout isn't a word I would use.

Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: tomahawk6 on August 23, 2020, 01:34:08
We been making other people's business our business since WW1  ;D
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: Weinie on August 23, 2020, 08:33:31
Well without American bullying of other countries, there probably would have been a lot less war and violence, certainly that's the case since the Korean war. They tend to start a lot of them or stick their nose where it doesn't belong and make things worse and then pressure other countries to join with them so they don't look bad.  Clout isn't a word I would use.

Here is a list of major conflicts/wars since the Korean War. I count 1 that the Americans started, and a bunch where there noses weren't in it.(until the rest of the World started clamoring for them to "Do something.")

Korean War (1950–53)
Algerian War (1954–62)
Vietnam War (1954–75)
Six-Day War (1967)
War of Attrition (1969–70)
Yom Kippur War (1973)
Afghan War (1978–92)
Iran-Iraq War (1980–88)
Falkland Islands War (1982)
Persian Gulf War (1990–91)
Bosnian conflict (1992–95)
Kosovo conflict (1998–99)
Afghanistan War (2001–14)
Iraq War (2003–11)
Syrian Civil War (2012– )
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: dapaterson on August 23, 2020, 11:46:22
I admire your optimistic use of end dates for Afghanistan and Iraq.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: daftandbarmy on August 23, 2020, 13:31:19
Well without American bullying of other countries, there probably would have been a lot less war and violence, certainly that's the case since the Korean war. They tend to start a lot of them or stick their nose where it doesn't belong and make things worse and then pressure other countries to join with them so they don't look bad.  Clout isn't a word I would use.

That's a gross generalization, of course, which detracts from any credibility your argument might have had.

Just sayin'.

Palmerston famous noted: “Nations do not have permanent friends or enemies, only interests.”

Canada is no different.



Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: stellarpanther on August 23, 2020, 14:36:20
Here is a list of major conflicts/wars since the Korean War. I count 1 that the Americans started, and a bunch where there noses weren't in it.(until the rest of the World started clamoring for them to "Do something.")

Korean War (1950–53)
Algerian War (1954–62)
Vietnam War (1954–75)
Six-Day War (1967)
War of Attrition (1969–70)
Yom Kippur War (1973)
Afghan War (1978–92)
Iran-Iraq War (1980–88)
Falkland Islands War (1982)
Persian Gulf War (1990–91)
Bosnian conflict (1992–95)
Kosovo conflict (1998–99)
Afghanistan War (2001–14)
Iraq War (2003–11)
Syrian Civil War (2012– )

... and somehow the US felt a need to always stick their nose into them and usually make things worse.  Name me one time things became better since Vietnam that things were better after the US left.

The only time I can think of a positive outcome was with Panama and the ouster of Noriega.  Panama is a beautiful country and many people say one of the main financial hubs in Latin America.



Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: PuckChaser on August 23, 2020, 14:42:33
There's no ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and Kosovo anymore.

South Korea isn't starving like communist North Korea but that technically doesn't count because the US is still there preventing it from happening.

You need a history book or start Googling...
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: FJAG on August 23, 2020, 14:57:02
... and somehow the US felt a need to always stick their nose into them and usually make things worse.  Name me one time things became better since Vietnam that things were better after the US left.

The only time I can think of a positive outcome was with Panama and the ouster of Noriega.  Panama is a beautiful country and many people say one of the main financial hubs in Latin America.

Funny that. Of all the wars in your list, the invasion of Panama is perhaps (next to Grenada) the one unilateral action by the US that has the least justification and most international condemnation (albeit that Panamanians themselves were happy about it)

Anyway, and notwithstanding my own ramblings, I would think that there are probably other threads that can be used for beating up on the Yanks.  ;D

I'd like to get this thread back to the original question which has to do with whether or not Canada should consider prepositioning a brigade's equipment somewhere in Europe as part of our SSE task to provide deterrence against a "near peer" opponent even if the same SSE only provides for deployments at the battle group level? In that respect, should we be capable of/planning to doing deployments larger than battle group?

 :cheers:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: stellarpanther on August 23, 2020, 18:05:26
There's no ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and Kosovo anymore.

South Korea isn't starving like communist North Korea but that technically doesn't count because the US is still there preventing it from happening.

You need a history book or start Googling...

I think my history and facts are pretty accurate.  Here's one something about Bosnia, which isn't really a success story.

https://moderndiplomacy.eu/2019/04/14/tensions-in-bosnia-and-herzegovina/

As for Korea, you already stated it's still basically still under US protection.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: Dana381 on August 23, 2020, 19:28:05
FJAG I have admittedly not read the whole thread but I read the first and last pages to get context.

Your main Question I believe is (and I am basing this on your correction of GR66 in reply 14); Should Canada store a brigades worth of equipment in Europe?

I am not a CF member and I do not claim to have much/any knowledge of military tactics, however I think this is an absurd Idea. Leave expensive, classified, and useful armour equipment in a lightly guarded warehouse in Latvia when our soldiers need more equipment now? How does that help the Canadian Army? Would the Latvians pay for the equipment that will be idle 80% of the time? I doubt it. Flyover troops to use/train on said equipment a couple times per year? I just don't see a great advantage here. I am a truck mechanic and when equipment sits idle it develops problems like dead batteries, stale fuel, algae in the fuel if its bio-diesel, rodents chewing wiring and such. If Russia did attack they would attack this warehouse first and get a bunch of free equipment. It would be too enticing of a target to resist. I don't think the U.S. would allow any of their technology to be left in such close proximity to Russia with such little security.

There are countries asking for the 12,000 troops the U.S. is pulling out of Germany and they are even willing to pay for them. If we wish to bolster NATO with a presence in Europe we should see if one of those countries will pay for 12,000 Canadian troops stationed in their country. This would be additional troops to what we have now and allow us to buy more equipment to supply these troops. Equipment buys would be larger and therefore cost per unit lower benefiting the Canadian Army as a whole.

If we were to stand up a European base it should be a joint base wit a sea and air port as well so all branches could benefit. This would give the RCN an excuse to purchase cargo ships to ferry equipment and supplies back and forth from Canada. It has been pointed out all too often on this forum how badly we need to have a way to deploy our troops when the need arises.

I would also think if Canada could make this work then it should be done in Asia as well to counter the China threat. If we had Bases abroad that were completely paid for by the host countries then it would add a significant capacity to our Army without costing Canadian taxpayers any more money. The dollars to pay for those troops would also be claimed by us and the host country as dollars toward their spending commitments.

The Canadian people seem to like it when we go on training missions to other countries, the politicians could spin this as a training asset to get public approval. I am sure we would be training alongside the host countries soldiers so it would be a least partly true.

I realize my opinions don't matter much but that is my :2c:
Cheers  :cheers:
Dana
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: FJAG on August 23, 2020, 21:31:05
... Leave expensive, classified, and useful armour equipment in a lightly guarded warehouse in Latvia when our soldiers need more equipment now? How does that help the Canadian Army? Would the Latvians pay for the equipment that will be idle 80% of the time? I doubt it. Flyover troops to use/train on said equipment a couple times per year? I just don't see a great advantage here. I am a truck mechanic and when equipment sits idle it develops problems like dead batteries, stale fuel, algae in the fuel if its bio-diesel, rodents chewing wiring and such. If Russia did attack they would attack this warehouse first and get a bunch of free equipment. It would be too enticing of a target to resist. I don't think the U.S. would allow any of their technology to be left in such close proximity to Russia with such little security. ...

Prepositioned equipment is a routine way of allowing rapid reinforcement to a region. In the 70s and 80s the US stored hundreds of thousands of pieces of equipment in Germany. Canada did the same to a much smaller extent. The equipment is not "lightly guarded" but properly secured. You're right about equipment deteriorating in storage. That's why these types of facilities have maintenance staff that properly exercise and maintain the equipment and it is used frequently by flyover troops on exercise.

The advantage of such a system is that it allows for a rapid deployment onto the equipment and also permits deploying soldiers to conduct exercises within the same area where operations are expected to take place. In keeping the soldiers in Canada except when exercising in theatre, costs respecting posting soldiers full time with their families are greatly reduced.

One would hope that the deployment onto the equipment would take place during periods of heightened tensions and not after a Russian attack.

There are countries asking for the 12,000 troops the U.S. is pulling out of Germany and they are even willing to pay for them. If we wish to bolster NATO with a presence in Europe we should see if one of those countries will pay for 12,000 Canadian troops stationed in their country. This would be additional troops to what we have now and allow us to buy more equipment to supply these troops. Equipment buys would be larger and therefore cost per unit lower benefiting the Canadian Army as a whole. ...

I seriously doubt that any of the former eastern block countries could pay for our troops at the rates that the US and Canada pays them. There are cost-sharing arrangements for facilities, however.


I would also think if Canada could make this work then it should be done in Asia as well to counter the China threat. If we had Bases abroad that were completely paid for by the host countries then it would add a significant capacity to our Army without costing Canadian taxpayers any more money. The dollars to pay for those troops would also be claimed by us and the host country as dollars toward their spending commitments. ...

I'd be interested in your idea where such a base should go?

 :cheers:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: MilEME09 on August 23, 2020, 22:05:23
Prepositioned equipment is a routine way of allowing rapid reinforcement to a region. In the 70s and 80s the US stored hundreds of thousands of pieces of equipment in Germany. Canada did the same to a much smaller extent. The equipment is not "lightly guarded" but properly secured. You're right about equipment deteriorating in storage. That's why these types of facilities have maintenance staff that properly exercise and maintain the equipment and it is used frequently by flyover troops on exercise.

The advantage of such a system is that it allows for a rapid deployment onto the equipment and also permits deploying soldiers to conduct exercises within the same area where operations are expected to take place. In keeping the soldiers in Canada except when exercising in theatre, costs respecting posting soldiers full time with their families are greatly reduced.

One would hope that the deployment onto the equipment would take place during periods of heightened tensions and not after a Russian attack.

I seriously doubt that any of the former eastern block countries could pay for our troops at the rates that the US and Canada pays them. There are cost-sharing arrangements for facilities, however.


I'd be interested in your idea where such a base should go?

 :cheers:

Guam, Iwo Jima, South Korea, strike a deal with Vietnam or Australia.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: reveng on August 23, 2020, 22:07:28
Guam, Iwo Jima, South Korea, strike a deal with Vietnam or Australia.

I don't really think SK or Australia need our help with much...
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: Dana381 on August 23, 2020, 22:28:08
Prepositioned equipment is a routine way of allowing rapid reinforcement to a region. In the 70s and 80s the US stored hundreds of thousands of pieces of equipment in Germany. Canada did the same to a much smaller extent. The equipment is not "lightly guarded" but properly secured. You're right about equipment deteriorating in storage. That's why these types of facilities have maintenance staff that properly exercise and maintain the equipment and it is used frequently by flyover troops on exercise.

In the 70's and 80's didn't we have a significant amount of troops stationed in Germany, an acquaintance of mine lived there as a child. I understood it was a sizable base. You said in reply 14 "Skeleton manning" That said to me lightly guarded, The allied presence in Germany in the 80's was substantially larger than a skeleton manning.

I seriously doubt that any of the former eastern block countries could pay for our troops at the rates that the US and Canada pays them. There are cost-sharing arrangements for facilities, however.

One of the countries asking for the U.S. troops being removed from Germany offered to pay 100% of the cost, I can't remember right now which one.

I'd be interested in your idea where such a base should go?

I don't know where exactly would be the best location in Europe or Asia for these bases, as I said before I have no military background, I am also not fully up on politics in these areas. Poland or Ukraine in Europe maybe, Asia maybe the Philippines or Indonesia. Again That is for the politicians and the Defense department to sort out as there are many variables involved.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: suffolkowner on August 23, 2020, 22:41:51

I'd be interested in your idea where such a base should go?

 :cheers:

Afghanistan?
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: PuckChaser on August 23, 2020, 23:08:29
I really don't see a debate about prepositioned equipment. It's absolutely required if we care about rapid reaction to Europe. We have no strategic air or sea lift capable of getting LAV6s into Europe without chartering civilian ships/aircraft. It would take us a month to get the full HR mechanized Bde where its needed in then world. Works great for COIN/peacemaking Ops, but as any sort of rapid reaction a month is a lifetime.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: FJAG on August 23, 2020, 23:09:17
In the 70's and 80's didn't we have a significant amount of troops stationed in Germany, an acquaintance of mine lived there as a child. I understood it was a sizable base. You said in reply 14 "Skeleton manning" That said to me lightly guarded, The allied presence in Germany in the 80's was substantially larger than a skeleton manning.

One of the countries asking for the U.S. troops being removed from Germany offered to pay 100% of the cost, I can't remember right now which one.

I don't know where exactly would be the best location in Europe or Asia for these bases, as I said before I have no military background, I am also not fully up on politics in these areas. Poland or Ukraine in Europe maybe, Asia maybe the Philippines or Indonesia. Again That is for the politicians and the Defense department to sort out as there are many variables involved.

We had a brigade of give or take 5,000 in Germany and a varying number of fighter squadrons. They were permanently there but there were elements such as one I was involved in (G Battery 3 RCHA) which was strictly a flyover reinforcement unit redesignated Z Battery 1 RCHA on arrival.

Guam, Iwo Jima, South Korea, strike a deal with Vietnam or Australia.

The only one of those that is connected to the Chinese mainland is Vietnam which I'm quite sure wouldn't want us. I see neither a tactical nor a strategic use for any of them that would merit a brigade. Naval or air forces or missile forces (if we ever get any) - maybe - but I just don't see it like I see Europe.

The only place I see where China is playing a serious military game is in the South China Sea and threats against Taiwan. I see neither as a strategic issue for Canada, nor any allied force there at this time. Not even the US has had a presence there for over four decades. Whether they should have is a point for debate. (https://www.aei.org/op-eds/imagining-a-new-us-military-presence-in-taiwan/)

Afghanistan?

No! No! No!  ;D

 :cheers:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: suffolkowner on August 23, 2020, 23:18:17
We had a brigade of give or take 5,000 in Germany and a varying number of fighter squadrons. They were permanently there but there were elements such as one I was involved in (G Battery 3 RCHA) which was strictly a flyover reinforcement unit redesignated Z Battery 1 RCHA on arrival.

The only one of those that is connected to the Chinese mainland is Vietnam which I'm quite sure wouldn't want us. I see neither a tactical nor a strategic use for any of them that would merit a brigade. Naval or air forces or missile forces (if we ever get any) - maybe - but I just don't see it like I see Europe.

The only place I see where China is playing a serious military game is in the South China Sea and threats against Taiwan. I see neither as a strategic issue for Canada, nor any allied force there at this time. Not even the US has had a presence there for over four decades. Whether they should have is a point for debate. (https://www.aei.org/op-eds/imagining-a-new-us-military-presence-in-taiwan/)

No! No! No!  ;D

 :cheers:

You took that the right way.

I believe the last time we had troops prepositioned in Asia it did not go so well. I am thinking of Hong Kong.

For Europe I would suggest Poland but I am biased.

You could replace Afghanistan with Kazakhstan that way we could invade either Russia or China!  ;D
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: Dana381 on August 23, 2020, 23:24:21
We had a brigade of give or take 5,000 in Germany and a varying number of fighter squadrons. They were permanently there but there were elements such as one I was involved in (G Battery 3 RCHA) which was strictly a flyover reinforcement unit redesignated Z Battery 1 RCHA on arrival.

That was my point earlier, we had a brigade stationed with the equipment, not just a skeleton staffing like you are suggesting now. Also the Americans had/have a base in Germany so allied presence was such that prepositioned equipment was safe for the most part. Prepositioning equipment in eastern Europe with a skeleton staffing is what I called absurd. I don't argue the merits of prepositioning equipment in Europe if it is well guarded and maintained. I was merely saying that with countries fighting over where the displaced American troops from Germany go maybe we could offer our troops instead. At least one country offered to pay the whole shot so we would be able to expand the ranks for free. Such a deal would also justify acquiring capabilities that we desperately need now but Ottawa doesn't want to pay for like sealift and more airlift.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: FJAG on September 08, 2020, 00:24:10
A far-ranging rebuttal to the UK concept of a "Soft-Power Army"

Quote
The Soft Power Army of the 2020’s: An Alternative Perspective
by Christian TripodiSeptember 1, 2020

Introduction
A recent piece posted in the Wavell Room titled ‘The Soft Power Army of the 2020’s’ ponders the relevance of ‘hard’ military power in our new security era. The coming decades will be characterised not simply by the familiar threats of state-on-state violence or terrorism, but biological devastation, malign influence campaigns and cyber threats. What does this mean, it asks, for the British Army going forward?

The Soft Power Army proposed three distinct but interrelated arguments to answer this question. Firstly, that the concept of traditional war, i.e. violent interstate conflict resulting in a clearly defined victor and vanquished, is outdated and irrelevant. Using the army only for controlled violence in the land/physical domains going forward is, to quote, ‘a fail’.1  Secondly that Britain will likely never have the resources, or national and political will, to contemplate a re-run of the failed interventions (e.g. Iraq, Afghanistan) of the past. And thirdly that the Army should, as a consequence of these two aforementioned factors, re-orientate itself more broadly toward the exercise of soft-power, political warfare and influence operations. These capabilities in turn need to be encouraged by way of a number of targeted initiatives; strategic investment in STEM training; a deeper understanding of politics and diplomacy; the development of divergent and critical thinking skills; and efforts to increase the intellectual diversity found within Land HQ’s. It is argued that this combination, namely an acknowledgement of the changing threat environment and the related development of alternative skills and capabilities on the part of Land forces, will provide the British Army with the necessary aptitudes to remain relevant in the rapidly evolving security environment of the 2020’s.2

The author of The Soft Power Army certainly isn’t wrong in terms of proposing that the British Army finds itself at a crossroad, and that its present capabilities and strengths may not be innately suited to the range of challenges going forward. The sight of highly trained soldiers or commandos abandoning their expensive weapons systems to act as delivery drivers for the new ‘frontline’, i.e. the NHS, reinforces that point. But the article demands a slightly more forensic examination of its implications and the extent to which these are either feasible or advisable. The original article was designed to be a short think-piece, and as such was never intended to provide a thorough examination of these matters in depth. This response merely sets out to provide some deeper, and sometimes alternative, considerations.
...

See whole article here. (https://wavellroom.com/2020/09/01/the-soft-power-army-of-the-2020s-an-alternative-perspective/)

See original article "The Soft Power Army of the 2020’s" here. (https://wavellroom.com/2020/05/28/the-soft-power-army-of-the-2020s/)

When one reads p. 71 of the SSE on being engaged in the World,

Quote
Canada cannot be strong at home without being engaged in the world.

As a G7 country and founding member of NATO, Canada has a strong interest in global stability and open trade, and we will continue to do our part on the international stage to protect our interests and support our allies.

Canada’s engagement in the world is also guided by values of inclusion, compassion, accountable governance, and respect for diversity and human rights
...
We will maintain the capacity to provide protection and relief to the world’s most vulnerable populations, creating the stability necessary for development and sustainable peace to take root. We will also foster worldclass expertise for building the capacity and resiliency of others, and delivering tangible results in those areas.

We can see that there is already a strong focus on using Canada's military in soft power operations and clearly a portion of our force should be oriented and have expertise in those types of missions.

There is however this caution to always keep in mind:

Quote
... given the instability of the international system and the rise in great power tensions it would be a significant gamble to rule out any future interstate war.
... the Kremlin views conventional military capability as a fundamental ingredient of  Russia’s response to threats or adversaries, even when (as noted below) they are engaged in their favoured form of ‘armed politics’.  They have a deep respect for firepower, and thus have a deep respect for opponents that wield it. It is a currency that they fully understand. And what is true for the Russians is no doubt true for other potential opponents.

 :cheers:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: Colin P on September 08, 2020, 13:34:34
Considering the warning from the Parliamentary Budget Officer of our impending debt load and the signals about a ambitious change in direction for Canada by the PMO, it`s likely the decade of darkness is going to be repeated but with darker shades.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: tomahawk6 on September 08, 2020, 13:45:36
Make sre the recon company has jet packs.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: Weinie on September 08, 2020, 13:46:19
Considering the warning from the Parliamentary Budget Officer of our impending debt load and the signals about a ambitious change in direction for Canada by the PMO, it`s likely the decade of darkness is going to be repeated but with darker shades.

Having lived through the first one, and noting the financial and economic pressures that are inevitably coming, a decade may be optimistic. Having said that, global socio-political developments may have a vote.

The Aussies in particular seem to be realistic in their assessments of how the next few decades will play out from a great power perspective, and are planning accordingly. 
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: MilEME09 on September 08, 2020, 14:00:47
Having lived through the first one, and noting the financial and economic pressures that are inevitably coming, a decade may be optimistic. Having said that, global socio-political developments may have a vote.

The Aussies in particular seem to be realistic in their assessments of how the next few decades will play out from a great power perspective, and are planning accordingly.

Not to mention Africa is a tinder box, Greece and Turkey are escalating over turkeys illegal oil and gas exploration, and Belarus is falling apart.

Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: Weinie on September 08, 2020, 14:50:57
Not to mention Africa is a tinder box, Greece and Turkey are escalating over turkeys illegal oil and gas exploration, and Belarus is falling apart.

Yup, just to mention some of today's problems. The glass half-empty part of me says "Wait for it."
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: FJAG on September 08, 2020, 15:31:38
Just for the fun of it let's assume the Liberals stay in power another four years (whether as a majority or as a minority with NDP support).

Does anyone really believe that their government will run a surplus budget by cutting military spending and use the surplus to pay back debt? Or will they just keep on running more deficit budgets in order to pay for the vanity projects they've already started calling "recovery" spending and just forget about paying off the deficit?

Pick one.

 ;D
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: Colin P on September 08, 2020, 15:53:30
They plan to run a massive deficit with the vain hope that a new green economy and social justice will create a magical unicorn economy to pay for it. When the unicorn fails to show up, expect them to rape and pillage "unnecessary budgets" like defense, expect intentional delays on fighters, CSC and all sorts of other kit not showing up. The CCG might get some of the ships they need.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: CBH99 on September 08, 2020, 16:29:06
Their 'recovery spending' should be on things like the pipelines from Alberta to the west coast, and the LNG pipelines running along southern Ontario and Quebec.

It should coincide with bringing Tekk back to the table, and developing their world-class, extremely environmentally friendly oil & gas projects that they've had planned for years, that would employ more than 8,000 families just in Alberta alone.

It should start up a lean & mean version of the Canadian Wheat Board to develop, encourage market growth, etc etc of Canadian agriculture.  (We sold the majority of controlling shares to the Saudi's a while back.)

Infrastructure spending?  Great.  Infrastructure that will generate large sums of money once completed?  Even better.



I'm guessing though, FJAG, that if I had to choose one... I'd go with Option 2 from your available choices  ;)



Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 08, 2020, 16:49:40
Just for the fun of it let's assume the Liberals stay in power another four years (whether as a majority or as a minority with NDP support).

Does anyone really believe that their government will run a surplus budget by cutting military spending and use the surplus to pay back debt? Or will they just keep on running more deficit budgets in order to pay for the vanity projects they've already started calling "recovery" spending and just forget about paying off the deficit?

Pick one.

 ;D

I think we saw the extent of their 'maximum support to the CAF' with OP FAIRLYMINORPRESENCE in Mali.

Since they didn't get the Security Council seat at the UN as a result of that weak commitment, I'm guessing they'll pick both your Option 1 and 2 while gutting the military - or just showing it some traditional Liberal party benign neglect.

So I guess that's Option 3.

But now we're well off on a tangent, as per SOP :)
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: Colin P on September 08, 2020, 17:13:44
Budget realities are on tangent, any hope of renewal/ new kit/operations is circling the drain, the defense department budget is the Liberals favorite chew toy.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: FJAG on September 08, 2020, 17:25:11
My guess is that if we cancel the Navy and the Air Force, there'll be plenty of money for the Army. Good thing we got those Australian F-18s and a few AOPS. That'll see us through another decade.

Now if we could only get the Americans to lend us a prepositioned brigade in Poland.

 ;D
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: reveng on September 08, 2020, 17:31:15
Their 'recovery spending' should be on things like the pipelines from Alberta to the west coast, and the LNG pipelines running along southern Ontario and Quebec.

It should coincide with bringing Tekk back to the table, and developing their world-class, extremely environmentally friendly oil & gas projects that they've had planned for years, that would employ more than 8,000 families just in Alberta alone.

It should start up a lean & mean version of the Canadian Wheat Board to develop, encourage market growth, etc etc of Canadian agriculture.  (We sold the majority of controlling shares to the Saudi's a while back.)

Infrastructure spending?  Great.  Infrastructure that will generate large sums of money once completed?  Even better.



I'm guessing though, FJAG, that if I had to choose one... I'd go with Option 2 from your available choices  ;)

As far as I'm concerned, every "green" job should end up out West or in NFLD. Every solar panel, wind turbine etc should be developed and built in these places. I'd go one step further, and let them take the lead on the R&D and production of SMRs. You know, since we actually want to have power and not live in huts.

If we are really going green, let's do it in a way that will actually benefit the country and those who have had their livelihoods stomped out. Not just another gravy train for ON/QC Liberals & friends to ride at the expense of taxpayers and those who actually work for a living...

For another thread though, I suppose.

And FJAG - hate to disagree, but if we are going to drastically cut anything, it should be the Army.  ;)
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: FJAG on September 08, 2020, 18:01:30
As far as I'm concerned, every "green" job should end up out West or in NFLD. Every solar panel, wind turbine etc should be developed and built in these places. I'd go one step further, and let them take the lead on the R&D and production of SMRs. You know, since we actually want to have power and not live in huts.

If we are really going green, let's do it in a way that will actually benefit the country and those who have had their livelihoods stomped out. Not just another gravy train for ON/QC Liberals & friends to ride at the expense of taxpayers and those who actually work for a living...

For another thread though, I suppose.

I lived in Manitoba and now in SW Ontario, home of mighty forests of wind turbines which are universally hated down here.

The only folks on any gravy train down here are the foreign companies who built the damn things and had contracts through the last Liberal government to offload their power to the grid at ten times the price that it costs for other generating sources which is well reflected on our energy costs.

I wouldn't wish the green energy industry on my friends out west.

And FJAG - hate to disagree, but if we are going to drastically cut anything, it should be the Army.  ;)

I guess I should have used the sarcasm emoji. ;D

But to get back on my hobby horse, if we keep all the equipment and reservists we currently have and fire two thirds of the Reg F and civilian bureaucracy and restructure our system we could actually save a lot of money and keep a fair bit of our capabilities (albeit at a lesser level of readiness and expertise). The worst thing we could do is divest ourselves of already paid for equipment that's still operationally sound. That'll never come back. Realistically, it's personnel costs that recur and grow annually. If we need to cut anything, there's really only one option.

Also don't forget: MacKay ran on a platform during COVID to tie the defence budget to 2% of GDP while O'Toole had that position in 2017 and hinted at it in the more recent campaign.

Just saying: Desperate times call for desperate measures.

 :cheers:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: reveng on September 08, 2020, 18:19:48
I lived in Manitoba and now in SW Ontario, home of mighty forests of wind turbines which are universally hated down here.

The only folks on any gravy train down here are the foreign companies who built the damn things and had contracts through the last Liberal government to offload their power to the grid at ten times the price that it costs for other generating sources which is well reflected on our energy costs.

I wouldn't wish the green energy industry on my friends out west.


I've seen some of them in SW Ontario and can imagine they wouldn't be too popular with the locals. But that pretty much validates my assumptions...Liberal elite and foreign companies happy, at the expense of the taxpayer.

I'd much rather live in a society that doesn't demonize nuclear or natural gas so much. We can all dream. Speaking of dreaming, I'll let this topic get back on track...  ;D
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: quadrapiper on September 10, 2020, 01:41:27
nuclear... Speaking of dreaming, I'll let this topic get back on track...  ;D
Derailing enthusiastically: I'd be very happy with a BC Atomic or what-have-you, versus more massive dams.
Title: Re: Re-estabIlishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: GK .Dundas on September 10, 2020, 15:36:17
I have question do we still have the corporate knowledge to fight a armoured brigade ?
Come to think of it,when was the last time we conducted a brigade level exercise ?
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: Colin P on September 10, 2020, 16:20:33
We should rename this thread to "How do we keep a viable Armoured force alive in the coming darkness?"
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: daftandbarmy on September 10, 2020, 16:37:31
We should rename this thread to "How do we keep a viable Armoured force CAF alive in the coming darkness?"

FTFY ;)
Title: Re: Re-estabIlishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: FJAG on September 10, 2020, 17:50:12
I have question do we still have the corporate knowledge to fight a armoured brigade ?
Come to think of it,when was the last time we conducted a brigade level exercise ?

I think the answer is yes to an extent.

The Maple Resolve series of exercises is specifically to test a brigade's readiness at the Canadian Maneouvre Training Centre in Wainwright. One brigade per year goes through this validation. The last one was the spring of 2019 and this year's was cancelled due to Covid.

See here. (https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/news/2019/05/exercise-maple-resolve-19-canadians-and-allies-train-for-complexities-of-modern-conflict.html)

My time-in predates these exercises (my last one was Ex Rendezvous 81) so I can't speak for how good this exercise is but considering it runs under the overall evaluation management of CMTC, I assume that it's pretty good.

While we may be loosing some of the expertise that came with having a full mechanized (really armoured by today's definition of the word) brigade exercising within full divisional and higher frameworks as we had in Europe with 4 CMBG we do still teach the necessary skills to our officers and many serve on postings with the US and UK military where they participate in brigade level and above training.

So, IMHO, the skill levels needed at the brigade group level are still being taught and exercised in general. What I fear we may be loosing out on is the logistic and combat support skills that exist at levels above brigade (and several key capabilities within the brigade due to equipment shortages and unavailability e.g. massed artillery, air defence, anti-armour). Quite honestly, I think we were hit and miss with some of those as far back as the sixties.

There are a few folks on this site with much more recent Army, and particularly CMTC, training experience who could answer this question far better than I.

 :cheers:
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: GR66 on September 15, 2020, 16:42:42
Since the original suggestion of re-establishing an Armoured Brigade in Europe appears to be less and less likely under the current economic circumstances, how about a more budget friendly option?

As part of the proposals for Reserve Restructuring in another thread one of the common suggestions is consolidation units and elimination of several Brigade HQ's.

What if one of those Brigade HQ's was kept to re-establish 4 CMBG HQ and manned with a mix of Reg Force and Reserve personnel.  Perhaps it could be stationed in Kingston along with 1 Division. 

Politically it would signal to both our allies and the Russians that we take seriously our commitment to the defence of Europe.  It could be tasked with the planning for the deployment of forces to Europe and could hold annual exercises with units from the domestic Brigade Groups to practice air and sea transport loading, fly-overs for exercises in Europe, maintain contacts with civilian shipping companies, and provide liason personnel to work with units from other NATO countries.  It could also provide the HQ staff for the Enhanced Forward Presence Battalion in Latvia.  That would remove that burden from the Infantry Battalions so that they would only have to focus on providing a single Mech Company for each rotation.

Not what was originally envisioned, but at least it would send the right political signals and hopefully maintain a particular skill set - preparing for a large scale overseas deployment overseas.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: MilEME09 on September 15, 2020, 16:50:53
While I like the idea, having a permanent  reserve commitment means you need to be able to guarantee those troops will be there. We have no such mechanism as of right now. Unless that is solved you won't get any consistent force put of the reserves.
Title: Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
Post by: FJAG on September 15, 2020, 17:47:06
In essence that is what my suggestion is when you combine the article I wrote with the book, "Unsustainable at any Price".

The purpose behind 1 CABG (Reg F) and the two reserve armoured brigades (which I formed on 32 and 41 brigades) is to constantly have one brigade capable of immediate deployment to Europe. I decided 32 and 41 brigades as the more appropriate ones based on 41 bde's proximity to the best armoured training areas (Wainwright, Suffield and Shilo) and CMTC and 32 bde's being centered on Canada's most populous area (and still closer to the western bases than any other remaining province.

One further advantage of three brigades is that not only does it provide a rotation capability from year to year (and based on Guard4.0's concept of a reserve element four-year build/ready cycle - thus annual rotations responsible for fly-over readiness being something like 1CABG/32CABG/1CABG/41CABG/1CABG/etc but also provide for follow up rotas, reinforcements, casualty replacements, force expansion etc.

The weakness is equipment. While a brigade's worth of equipment in Europe could easily be used by the two reserve brigades for their annual collective exercises, you would still need a brigade's worth of equipment in Edmonton/Wainwright for 1CABG's regular training as well as the reserve brigades' evaluation exercises plus you would need sufficient equipment for individual training and low level collective training. At present if we mustered all of the equipment Canada owns, we would barely be able to equip two brigades (based on one armoured regiment and two mech infantry battalions per brigade - with significant artillery, anti-armour and air defence deficiencies). While that would not impact seriously on any light brigades we would form (like my recommended 2 CLBG) but would leave 5 CMBG unequipped. There's no two ways about it, we would need an additional brigade's worth of equipment as a minimum.

That leaves us with a question. If we have three armoured brigades with two brigades worth of equipment (one prepositioned, one in Canada) west of the Ottawa River (excluding Petawawa and Ottawa) all designed as our major deterrence force and for the extreme eventuality of major conflict and we have CANSOFCOM and one Reg F light brigade and a half dozen to ten Res F light infantry and light reconnaissance battalions in the east for all other tasks and as a quick reaction force, do we really need another Reg F Mech bde gp?

I know I'm talking heresy here, but quite frankly, our deployments are totally discretionary. I've been advocating cutting headquarters above brigade level by 10,000 full-time positions for some time now in order to free up over a billion per year for equipment and O&M. Maybe it's time to cut a full-time brigade as well and free up another half billion and transfer it's equipment and O&M funding to the remaining force. Incidentally, I'm not so worried about Eng/Fr language issues, Regtl affiliations and regional distribution. Those are all small details that can be worked out if the big decision is ever made (I do, however, feel very strongly that we should not give up any Reg F or Res F infrastructure. We need to be widely distributed to keep our relevance to Canadians.)

 :stirpot: