Author Topic: Canadian Army reactivates elite Assault Pioneers unit  (Read 2236 times)

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Offline Retired AF Guy

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Canadian Army reactivates elite Assault Pioneers unit
« on: March 30, 2019, 16:32:52 »
My apologies if this already been posted. Just read it at the NEWSREP website.

Quote
Beards and axes: Canadian Army reactivates elite Assault Pioneers

by Stavros Atlamazoglou · 1 day ago

The Canadian Army has decided to reactivate the Assault Pioneers in an attempt to increase the lethality of its infantry units.

Known for their specialized training, different grooming standards (they are allowed to wear well-groomed beards), and their axes, Assault Pioneers are a mix of an infantryman and a combat engineer. Aside from the normal infantry tasks, they are trained in explosive breaching and other combat engineer skill sets.

Lieutenant General Paul Wynnyk, a former commander of the Canadian Army, said, “The new version of the Assault Pioneers will assist in maintaining mobility in complex terrain. So that means in mountains and, particularly now, in urban environments where skills like breaching come into play. Right now, that task is solely held by the engineers. They have to do things like fortify buildings, clear roadways, move obstructions, and all sorts of other stuff. They don’t have the personnel to augment the infantry.”

The reintroduction of the Assault Pioneers will make infantry units less reliant on outside support and consequently more effective and lethal on the battlefield. Urban warfare has been and will continue to be one of the most demanding warfare scenarios. Having the ability to maneuver in, between, and around buildings is essential in city-based fighting.

“Engineers have a huge envelope of things that they’re responsible for,” said Captain Colton Morris, an instructor at the Canadian Army’s Infantry School in Oromocto, New Brunswick, in a press release. “And without the Assault Pioneers, they’ve been saying, ‘We have many tasks and in order for us to maintain all those skills, we’re running ourselves ragged.’ Engineers and Assault Pioneers complement each other.”

Captain Morris has been instrumental in designing the new Assault Pioneer Course, which is open to both active duty and reserve soldiers. But there is hope that the reactivation will increase retention among the Canadian forces.

“The intention is to increase retention,” added Captain Morris. “By bringing the Assault Pioneers back, we open up other options for privates, corporals, junior leaders—and even officers—to expand their breadth of experience. Being part of this is exciting. In six or seven years, as I’ve moved along my career, I’ll be able to say, ‘We have Assault Pioneers again and I was part of that.’”

The Assault Pioneer occupational speciality had been deactivated following the end of the Cold War. The leadership of the Canadian Army believed that their capabilities could be fulfilled by combat engineer units and that it was financially inefficient to duplicate the skillset.

Assault Pioneers are common in the Commonwealth countries.

Link contains photos and links to other articles.
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Re: Canadian Army reactivates elite Assault Pioneers unit
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2019, 21:57:37 »
And beards?  Everyone knows that beards greatly enhance all combat, combat support and combat service support capabilities! :nod:

In all seriousness though, good to see the re-establishment of the Pioneers.

Regards
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Offline Fishbone Jones

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Re: Canadian Army reactivates elite Assault Pioneers unit
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2019, 12:48:32 »
I wonder if this will hail the official return of Assault Troop in the Armour Corps also?
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Offline CanadianTire

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Re: Canadian Army reactivates elite Assault Pioneers unit
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2019, 12:50:45 »
We had about twenty or so guys trained up by the Engineers last summer and we just wrapped up our first in-house course. Lots of new toys to play with...
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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Canadian Army reactivates elite Assault Pioneers unit
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2019, 14:00:30 »
Just wondering....

Is it possible to fully 'reactivate' a formerly full time, Reg F staffed capability, which was fully integrated into nine Infantry Battalions and CoC, as a Class A Res F, part time organization, scattered across a bunch of Reserve Units without a direct CoC connection to those same Reg F battalions they will be supporting?

 :whistle:
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Offline CanadianTire

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Re: Canadian Army reactivates elite Assault Pioneers unit
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2019, 14:11:38 »
We've actually had about 5 reg force members posted to us as part of us being tasked as pioneer. They acted as course staff and are part of fledgling pioneer platoon. And there is the expectation that we can provide a section plus for reg force exercises.
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Offline Remius

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Re: Canadian Army reactivates elite Assault Pioneers unit
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2019, 14:33:14 »
Just wondering....

Is it possible to fully 'reactivate' a formerly full time, Reg F staffed capability, which was fully integrated into nine Infantry Battalions and CoC, as a Class A Res F, part time organization, scattered across a bunch of Reserve Units without a direct CoC connection to those same Reg F battalions they will be supporting?

 :whistle:

The full time Reg force capability is being reactivated.  Some PRes units are being given mission tasks like Pioneer to augment.  The same is being done for direct fire and mortar tasks. 
Optio

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Re: Canadian Army reactivates elite Assault Pioneers unit
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2019, 14:35:37 »
Elite. Gimme a break.
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Offline Remius

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Re: Canadian Army reactivates elite Assault Pioneers unit
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2019, 14:37:42 »
Elite. Gimme a break.

Agreed.

Unique?
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Re: Canadian Army reactivates elite Assault Pioneers unit
« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2019, 15:04:45 »
The full time Reg force capability is being reactivated.  Some PRes units are being given mission tasks like Pioneer to augment.  The same is being done for direct fire and mortar tasks.
Any idea if that Reg Force capability "reactivation" coming with new PYs attached to make up for the PYs that were lost when the Pioneer Pls were disbanded and the capability "transferred" to the CERs?

Hopefully I'm just jaded but all too often "new" capabilities are launched with the expectation that they will be PY neutral with the belief that internal re-orgs will somehow make it work, such as with the a/m capability "transfer" that saw 0 PYs make it to the CERs to compensate for the new requirement to fill the hole left with the loss of the pioneers?

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Re: Canadian Army reactivates elite Assault Pioneers unit
« Reply #10 on: April 01, 2019, 15:07:28 »
Any idea if that Reg Force capability "reactivation" coming with new PYs attached to make up for the PYs that were lost when the Pioneer Pls were disbanded and the capability "transferred" to the CERs?

Hopefully I'm just jaded but all too often "new" capabilities are launched with the expectation that they will be PY neutral with the belief that internal re-orgs will somehow make it work, such as with the a/m capability "transfer" that saw 0 PYs make it to the CERs to compensate for the new requirement to fill the hole left with the loss of the pioneers?

There were no new PYs allotted in restoring these capabilities.

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Re: Canadian Army reactivates elite Assault Pioneers unit
« Reply #11 on: April 01, 2019, 15:10:51 »
Just wondering....

Is it possible to fully 'reactivate' a formerly full time, Reg F staffed capability, which was fully integrated into nine Infantry Battalions and CoC, as a Class A Res F, part time organization, scattered across a bunch of Reserve Units without a direct CoC connection to those same Reg F battalions they will be supporting?

 :whistle:

You mean throw the Reserves another bone that is impossible for them to chew?
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Offline garb811

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Re: Canadian Army reactivates elite Assault Pioneers unit
« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2019, 15:22:58 »
There were no new PYs allotted in restoring these capabilities.
:facepalm:  :not-again:

Offline Jarnhamar

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Re: Canadian Army reactivates elite Assault Pioneers unit
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2019, 15:49:22 »
There were no new PYs allotted in restoring these capabilities.

Just drop rifle companies to a platoon and a half strength.
Easy peasey.
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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Canadian Army reactivates elite Assault Pioneers unit
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2019, 19:18:23 »
You mean throw the Reserves another bone that is impossible for them to chew?

If it was just augmenting the pioneer platoons, then the reserves could probably do a pretty good job. But there are the Mortar Platoon and Recce Platoon 'operational' taskings too, all while they concurrently continue to recruit, train and retain themselves for the non-Sp Coy roles.
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Offline Remius

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Re: Canadian Army reactivates elite Assault Pioneers unit
« Reply #15 on: April 01, 2019, 19:36:19 »
If it was just augmenting the pioneer platoons, then the reserves could probably do a pretty good job. But there are the Mortar Platoon and Recce Platoon 'operational' taskings too, all while they concurrently continue to recruit, train and retain themselves for the non-Sp Coy roles.

I don’t think recce is one of those that the reserves have received. 

Mortars yes. 

Keep in mind it is specific units in each brigade getting these roles.  And it is indeed to augment regular force units. 
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Offline Navy_Pete

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Re: Canadian Army reactivates elite Assault Pioneers unit
« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2019, 20:23:15 »
Quote
Known for their specialized training, different grooming standards (they are allowed to wear well-groomed beards), and their axes, Assault Pioneers are a mix of an infantryman and a combat engineer.



Will just leave this here....  ;D

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Canadian Army reactivates elite Assault Pioneers unit
« Reply #17 on: April 02, 2019, 01:04:32 »
I don’t think recce is one of those that the reserves have received. 

Mortars yes. 

Keep in mind it is specific units in each brigade getting these roles.  And it is indeed to augment regular force units.

My unit is supposed to provide the Recce Pl task so, yes, the reserves are on that too.
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Offline Remius

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Re: Canadian Army reactivates elite Assault Pioneers unit
« Reply #18 on: April 02, 2019, 08:53:20 »
My unit is supposed to provide the Recce Pl task so, yes, the reserves are on that too.

Cool. 
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Re: Canadian Army reactivates elite Assault Pioneers unit
« Reply #19 on: April 02, 2019, 10:03:44 »
My unit is supposed to provide the Recce Pl task so, yes, the reserves are on that too.

Not actually providing...yet?  ever?
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Offline Remius

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Re: Canadian Army reactivates elite Assault Pioneers unit
« Reply #20 on: April 02, 2019, 10:27:08 »
Not actually providing...yet?  ever?

Units have been identified with some tasks. 

Courses need to be run.  I believe they are starting sometime in Sept. for Recce.   Then they will likely need to send some people on adv. recce.
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Re: Canadian Army reactivates elite Assault Pioneers unit
« Reply #21 on: April 02, 2019, 15:44:47 »
Units have been identified with some tasks. 

Courses need to be run.  I believe they are starting sometime in Sept. for Recce.   Then they will likely need to send some people on adv. recce.

Yes, it will be a long run up to establishing a full capability, likely 3 to 5 years I would guess, at which point we'll struggle to maintain it due to higher than average turnover levels (which is normal) as well as the work of the Good Idea Fairy, which will ensure that we change tack at some point and go back to square one.

What usually happens, as with 'Total Force', is that the Regs open up the CT door and everyone who is qualified quickly jumps through before it closes. My guess is that, once the Reserves spend the time and effort to staff up and fully train and nurture these people/capabilities, the Regs will gratefully accept them all in with open arms, having saved a ton of time and effort. The Reserve units will then go back to zero with few well trained NCMs/ Junior Offrs, and crippled succession plans, and start from square one - like after the AFG commitment.

But that just me....
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