Author Topic: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves  (Read 1059890 times)

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Offline GK .Dundas

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We had the HUSAR folks in Vancouver in for a weekend of 'getting to know you' type activities. My take away was that we, the Reserves especially, are currently a moon shot away from being able to integrate with, or otherwise support without getting in the way, of the activities of organizations like this.

Confined/ semi-confined space entries and any kind of rescue in any kind of built up area? NBC decontamination? Anything that requires to be done in a fire/flood/chemical toxic environment? No way, uh uh...

Unless you need us to fill and carry body bags... which was something I mentioned we could probably do with our current levels of training and support.
And I bet you were really popular for mentioning that too!
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Offline Jarnhamar

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The light urban search and rescue really seems like an oddball task.
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Offline OldTanker

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The HUSAR teams are the tip of the capability spear in terms of emergency response. They are few and far between and relatively small considering the potential magnitude of a large disaster anywhere in Canada. There are plenty of worthwhile tasks the CF could do following a disaster event, in particular tasks that require organizing people giving direction, and communicating. The average Militia master-corporal (I mean no disrespect having been one myself) is far more competent in terms of organizing and leading small-unit tasks than the vast majority of civilians. We as a society are so poorly prepared to respond to a major disaster that this is really the case that in a world of blind people, a one-eyed person will be king. Or something similar, but please don't underestimate how useful the military could be. I fully understand how few of them there are but they would still be a valuable resource. And consider the attitude General Honoré brought to New Orleans after Katrina and the effect that had.
 

Offline daftandbarmy

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'Popular' has never really been one of my life goals, fortunately :)
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Offline Thucydides

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The HUSAR teams are the tip of the capability spear in terms of emergency response. They are few and far between and relatively small considering the potential magnitude of a large disaster anywhere in Canada. There are plenty of worthwhile tasks the CF could do following a disaster event, in particular tasks that require organizing people giving direction, and communicating. The average Militia master-corporal (I mean no disrespect having been one myself) is far more competent in terms of organizing and leading small-unit tasks than the vast majority of civilians. We as a society are so poorly prepared to respond to a major disaster that this is really the case that in a world of blind people, a one-eyed person will be king. Or something similar, but please don't underestimate how useful the military could be. I fully understand how few of them there are but they would still be a valuable resource. And consider the attitude General Honoré brought to New Orleans after Katrina and the effect that had.

As weird confirmation story, I took part in an exercise with 32 IA Coy, where we spent a weekend with Toronto's EMS, working on a scenario on how the Armed Forces could assist Toronto in the event of a disaster like the Ice Storm. We did our prep work, area survey, identified vulnerable neighbourhoods etc. then went to their operations centre.

The place was quite impressive and very "high tech", and in a specially constructed building with its own on board power and so on. Their expectation seemed to be that "we" would be arriving with fleets of trucks and manpower to augment the Police, Fire Department and Ambulance services, but after the initial introduction and scenario briefing, a question came to my mind:

Q: "Each department has its own internal radio system, but how does the incident commander report to you, here?"

A: "By cell phone"

Q: "What is the backup comms plan?"

A: "City community centres can be converted to CP's for the incident commander. The incident commander will set up at the community centre and Skype into the Ops Centre....."

Our preliminary plan for supporting Toronto in the event of an ice storm or other major power outage is now to establish a TOC in or on the grounds of the operations centre and fan out RRB's to supply VHF radio support to the incident commanders.....
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Offline Colin P

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The HUSAR teams are the tip of the capability spear in terms of emergency response. They are few and far between and relatively small considering the potential magnitude of a large disaster anywhere in Canada. There are plenty of worthwhile tasks the CF could do following a disaster event, in particular tasks that require organizing people giving direction, and communicating. The average Militia master-corporal (I mean no disrespect having been one myself) is far more competent in terms of organizing and leading small-unit tasks than the vast majority of civilians. We as a society are so poorly prepared to respond to a major disaster that this is really the case that in a world of blind people, a one-eyed person will be king. Or something similar, but please don't underestimate how useful the military could be. I fully understand how few of them there are but they would still be a valuable resource. And consider the attitude General Honoré brought to New Orleans after Katrina and the effect that had.

One of the challenges is the first few arriving to the armouries will likely have no access, unless they physically break in, hopefully they are in uniform so they don't get arrested for looting....

Offline mariomike

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The HUSAR teams are the tip of the capability spear in terms of emergency response. They are few and far between and relatively small considering the potential magnitude of a large disaster anywhere in Canada.

Not sure how much operational experience the teams have. ( Which we can be thankful for. )

For example, Toronto HUSAR ( CAN-TF3 ) has only deployed four times ( that I know of ) since it was created in 2003.

Two explosions, one roof collapse and one tornado.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2018, 11:35:41 by mariomike »

Offline OldTanker

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Calgary HUSAR (CANTF 2) deployed en masse to relieve the EOC staff in Fort Mac several summers ago. The Vancouver HUSAR team (CANTF1) deployed to Louisiana post-Katrina. I know these two teams train rigorously (I've provided some training to the Calgary HUSAR team a few years ago). I would assess their operational experience as fairly high, considering that their members already bring significant operational experience to the teams.

Offline daftandbarmy

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As weird confirmation story, I took part in an exercise with 32 IA Coy, where we spent a weekend with Toronto's EMS, working on a scenario on how the Armed Forces could assist Toronto in the event of a disaster like the Ice Storm. We did our prep work, area survey, identified vulnerable neighbourhoods etc. then went to their operations centre.

The place was quite impressive and very "high tech", and in a specially constructed building with its own on board power and so on. Their expectation seemed to be that "we" would be arriving with fleets of trucks and manpower to augment the Police, Fire Department and Ambulance services, but after the initial introduction and scenario briefing, a question came to my mind:

Q: "Each department has its own internal radio system, but how does the incident commander report to you, here?"

A: "By cell phone"

Q: "What is the backup comms plan?"

A: "City community centres can be converted to CP's for the incident commander. The incident commander will set up at the community centre and Skype into the Ops Centre....."

Our preliminary plan for supporting Toronto in the event of an ice storm or other major power outage is now to establish a TOC in or on the grounds of the operations centre and fan out RRB's to supply VHF radio support to the incident commanders.....

This is an excellent example of how the reserves (and CAF in general) can provide a value added service in the event of a natural disaster: through being really good at some of our core battle tasks, like C3, vehicle and logistics management, general first aid etc.

Trying to out do the guys in 'Backdraft'? Not so much....
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Offline mariomike

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Calgary HUSAR (CANTF 2) deployed en masse to relieve the EOC staff in Fort Mac several summers ago. The Vancouver HUSAR team (CANTF1) deployed to Louisiana post-Katrina. I know these two teams train rigorously (I've provided some training to the Calgary HUSAR team a few years ago). I would assess their operational experience as fairly high, considering that their members already bring significant operational experience to the teams.

Yes, they have operational experience. HUSAR is in addition to the 40 hours a week they work 9-1-1 operations.

I don't recall many guys volunteering for HUSAR. I remember it paid a $425.00 annual premium. I'm sure it has gone up a bit since then.

Personally, I like the Rescue-Medic program.

Offline Remius

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Personally, I like the Rescue-Medic program.

The reserves would have to actually have medics to do that... ;D
Optio

Offline mariomike

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The reserves would have to actually have medics to do that... ;D

From what I have read, it sounds like they can ( or will be? ) trained for Light Urban Search and Rescue ( LUSAR ).
"•Assign new roles to Army Reserve units such as light urban search and rescue (LUSAR)"
http://www.army-armee.forces.gc.ca/en/news-publications/national-news-details-no-menu.page?doc=commander-canadian-army-statement-on-the-new-defence-policy/j2yxndxe

Offline Remius

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From what I have read, it sounds like they can ( or will be? ) trained for Light Urban Search and Rescue ( LUSAR ).
"•Assign new roles to Army Reserve units such as light urban search and rescue (LUSAR)"
http://www.army-armee.forces.gc.ca/en/news-publications/national-news-details-no-menu.page?doc=commander-canadian-army-statement-on-the-new-defence-policy/j2yxndxe

I know some units that made a point of indicating their disinterest in that task...
Optio

Offline Blackadder1916

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As the discussion wends back to Urban Search and Rescue (regardless of weight class), I bring your attention to this service paper from a (2016) student at Staff College. CAF URBAN SEARCH AND RESCUE CAPABILITY

Without making any judgement about the scholarship of the author (and recognizing that I am years removed from familiarity of current CF capabilities or contemporary disaster response doctrine - but I did stay in a Holiday Inn once while attending a conference on disaster response), this paper is an example of what I think is a common construct in CF thinking about disaster response.  They want a role in disaster response because it justifies their existence but steam forward with but a slim understanding of the task.  That is not to say that there is no role for military intervention in, particularly, domestic disaster response but as noted in one study of (international) military response to natural disasters

Quote
The provision of medical military assets is more controversial than air transport
because it entails a high degree of interaction between affected populations and foreign
military personnel. Also, deploying military field hospitals is considerably more
expensive than deploying civilian field hospitals, as was recognized by several
contributing countries. Even so, several countries continue to dispatch military field
hospitals, mobile clinics and hospital ships to disaster sites. Some of the reasons for this
were identified by contributing countries and members of the NGO community as:
• an overwhelming humanitarian need that cannot be met by local health infrastructure
or by the humanitarian agencies responding to the disaster (access, security etc);
• assets already deployed in the country or region;
the political attraction (visibility, media exposure) of having one’s armed forces
saving lives in a foreign disaster situation
.
That I think drives the thought process of a number of decision makers (both in and out of uniform) at all levels.  From the highest to the lowest.  One of the most disgusting moments that I witnessed during my military career was the antics of some senior officers when rumours reached us that (while in Rwanda) a crew from 60 Minutes would be visiting us.  They didn't show up to their disappointment  - and a few were upset when they later found out that I was interviewed by Harry Belafonte for UNICEF TV when he stopped after noticing a section of us by the roadside.

I am more in favour of a domestic disaster response organization such as that found in Germany.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11117024

While they do not rule out the use of the military if necessary, it is not the first (or even second) echelon of response.  I am particularly taken with this philosophy.
Quote
. . .  Rescue service is carried out by professionals, disaster relief by volunteers. . . .
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