Author Topic: Canada's military feeling the strain responding to climate change  (Read 4558 times)

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Offline 211RadOp

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Canada's military feeling the strain responding to climate change

Darren Major, Salimah Shivji · CBC News · Posted: Jun 24, 2019 4:00 AM ET | Last Updated: 5 hours ago


The country's top military commander says Canada's Armed Forces are being pushed to the limit responding to an increasing number of climate-related events such as floods and fires.

In 2016 the military responded to only one climate disaster, the wildfire in Fort McMurray. But that number jumped to six deployments in each of the following two years.

Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of the defence staff, says he needs more men and women to handle these crises and his soldiers need more training to deal with fires and floods.

Just this spring more soldiers were deployed to assist states of emergencies — during floods in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick as well as wildfires in Alberta — than were deployed overseas.

These calls for assistance are stretching the military beyond what it was originally designed to handle, Vance said in an interview with CBC News.

"Our force structure right now, I would say, is probably too small to be able to deal with all of the tasks," Vance said.

More: https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/canada-s-military-adopting-climate-change-1.5186337
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Offline AbdullahD

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Maybe leave the armed forces for fighting wars, so their training, exercises and conditioning can reflect that goal...

Then maybe create or bolster another entity in order to respond to natural disasters, only deploying the armed forces if unrest, looting etc can not be handled by respective policing forces.

The military should not be expected to do evertthing.

My .02 only
Abdullah

Offline Brihard

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Maybe leave the armed forces for fighting wars, so their training, exercises and conditioning can reflect that goal...

Then maybe create or bolster another entity in order to respond to natural disasters, only deploying the armed forces if unrest, looting etc can not be handled by respective policing forces.

The military should not be expected to do evertthing.

My .02 only
Abdullah

The real multiplier that the military brings to the table in this is almost completely organic logistics. Getting volunteers to do physical labour isn’t hard. Moving them, feeding and watering them, sheltering them, providing medical care, equipping them, establishing remote communications, and integrating them with an incident command system is the challenge. The military comes more or less self-sustaining as long as they can contract for consumable goods- which they’re good at.

No other organization can or would be able, in a pinch, to fill a couple cargo aircraft and ground convoy into a disaster site on short notice, and hit the ground basically running. Not with anything near the same degree of effectiveness. The military uniquely can because the same enablers needed for an expeditionary military operation also allow the force to deploy to a disaster and sustain their efforts when there. Only the military can have thousands of people effectively waiting around for something to go do. It’s the only real organization set up and working full time to be ready to go do stuff, but spend most of their time not actually doing it and so have the capacity when needed.
Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

Offline AbdullahD

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I agree with you, my huge "but" to that is if natural and/or man made disasters are going to be such a threat. Should we not develop another system to deal with it?

Also what happens when, God forbid, we have to fight a tough war and fight these disasters at the same time? I would love to say there will never be a bad war again.. but we know that will not be true.

So yes, all your points are true, legitimate, correct... but does it have to stay that way? Why not create another entity possibly heavily recruiting from the armed forces, personnel, culture etc to gain the benefits you mentioned and possibly jobs for those who want to exit. Or what about a program like other countries around the world have, you have to serve 'x' amount of time in the armed forces or public service.. so just a third option that they serve to help deal with disasters...

As it stands now, I agree, the Canadian forces are our best option. I just worry we may be tasking them for to much and this is a slippery slope... next thing we will know is more and more of their budget will go to fighting disasters and not wars and god forbid if we need to fight a war again.. we will be in  ad shape.

Abdullah

Offline FJAG

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Maybe for the next flood or fire or two we should haul a thousand people out of various headquarters and let them do their fair share for a week.

 :stirpot:
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Offline Remius

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Maybe leave the armed forces for fighting wars, so their training, exercises and conditioning can reflect that goal...

Then maybe create or bolster another entity in order to respond to natural disasters, only deploying the armed forces if unrest, looting etc can not be handled by respective policing forces.

The military should not be expected to do evertthing.

My .02 only
Abdullah

A lot of Canadians have no problem with our military exactly because we do things like disaster relief.  They see value in our military when Canadians are directly benefiting from that sort of help.

The red river floods in 96 and the ice storm of 98 were, in my mind a turning point in the public's perception of the military and those events garnered a lot of support for things like pay increases and better support. 

No need to give more reasons to cut our forces.  Also it is doubtful that any other organisation civy or other have the footprint or could ever achieve the same footprint across the country.

The Ice Storm had 15,000 troops deployed.  The latest OP Lentus had 2500.

I doubt that anyone lese can match that or the resources, manpower etc required.

Optio

Offline Eye In The Sky

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Maybe for the next flood or fire or two we should haul a thousand people out of various headquarters and let them do their fair share for a week.

 :stirpot:

Actually, I saw the opposite in Halifax during "OP SPLINTER" in 2003 (Hurricane Juan).  Despite the JTFA, MARLANT, LFAA and 36 Bde HQs all existing within a very small area to start with, the Bde "TF" also stood up it's OWN HQ in the Armouries.  ;D
 
Lots of empires in a fairly small space!!!
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Offline Remius

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Actually, I saw the opposite in Halifax during "OP SPLINTER" in 2003 (Hurricane Juan).  Despite the JTFA, MARLANT, LFAA and 36 Bde HQs all existing within a very small area to start with, the Bde "TF" also stood up it's OWN HQ in the Armouries.  ;D
 
Lots of empires in a fairly small space!!!

A lot of our CBG HQ folks were sent (voluntold) out to support Lentus.   Who says you can't deploy Class b types  ;D 
Optio

Offline Brihard

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Maybe for the next flood or fire or two we should haul a thousand people out of various headquarters and let them do their fair share for a week.

 :stirpot:

You magnificent *******.

Append a “Business Continuity Non-Essential (aid to civil power)” tag to every position accurately described by same. That places the incumbent ‘in the pool’, subject to being declared deployable domestically on a reasonable notice to move. That right there also substantiates the bona fide occupational requirements of much of UOS.

(Incidentally- autocorrect on iPhone doesn’t like Latin, we almost had a discourse on Boba Fett there. This segue brought to you by the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge)
Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

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Maybe for the next flood or fire or two we should haul a thousand people out of various headquarters and let them do their fair share for a week.

 :stirpot:

Wouldn't that be a sight to see,  :)


Offline Blackadder1916

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Re: Canada's military feeling the strain responding to climate change
« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2019, 16:12:08 »
Wouldn't that be a sight to see,  :)

They're not in step!  The horror!
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Offline QV

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Re: Canada's military feeling the strain responding to climate change
« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2019, 16:45:58 »
They're not in step!  The horror!

There is probably a little bit of horror associated to the inconsistent order of dress.  ;)

TBH, I'm not comfortable with the CAF associating their domestic assistance to flood and fire as a result of climate change.  Too political.  It seems that was meant to support the LPC narrative of a climate emergency.  It was determined a large number of fires were arson. 

 

Offline Brihard

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Re: Canada's military feeling the strain responding to climate change
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2019, 16:50:51 »
There is probably a little bit of horror associated to the inconsistent order of dress.  ;)

TBH, I'm not comfortable with the CAF associating their domestic assistance to flood and fire as a result of climate change.  Too political.  It seems that was meant to support the LPC narrative of a climate emergency.  It was determined a large number of fires were arson.

And a lot weren’t. The floods definitely weren’t. Is it objectively true? That’s what matters. CAF must be ready for objective reality, whatever it may be.
Pacificsm is doctrine fostered by a delusional minority and by the media, which holds forth the proposition it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

Offline Eye In The Sky

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Re: Canada's military feeling the strain responding to climate change
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2019, 17:02:33 »
There is probably a little bit of horror associated to the inconsistent order of dress.  ;)

TBH, I'm not comfortable with the CAF associating their domestic assistance to flood and fire as a result of climate change.  Too political.  It seems that was meant to support the LPC narrative of a climate emergency.  It was determined a large number of fires were arson.

Alternatively, the focus on the CDS's comments could also be:

Quote
Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of the defence staff, says he needs more men and women to handle these crises and his soldiers need more training to deal with fires and floods.

Just this spring more soldiers were deployed to assist states of emergencies — during floods in Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick as well as wildfires in Alberta — than were deployed overseas.

"Our force structure right now, I would say, is probably too small to be able to deal with all of the tasks," Vance said.

"You just can't go out and fight a fire. You need some training to do that. So we're going to need some forces ready at hand, fully trained to be able to support local firefighters and so on," he said.

So...need more servicemembers...we need to train and equip them properly for this type of tasking. 
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Offline QV

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Re: Canada's military feeling the strain responding to climate change
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2019, 18:17:47 »
And a lot weren’t. The floods definitely weren’t. Is it objectively true? That’s what matters. CAF must be ready for objective reality, whatever it may be.

What is objectively true:  CAF is understaffed, under equipped, and lacking training for these domestic tasks.

The CAF linking these tasks to "climate events" and ergo the LPC climate emergency, could be viewed as partisan.  That part should have been omitted. 
   

Offline PPCLI Guy

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Re: Canada's military feeling the strain responding to climate change
« Reply #15 on: June 24, 2019, 19:36:51 »
What is objectively true:  CAF is understaffed, under equipped, and lacking training for these domestic tasks.

The CAF linking these tasks to "climate events" and ergo the LPC climate emergency, could be viewed as partisan.  That part should have been omitted. 
 

I'm sorry - the impact of climate change is a political issue?  Really?
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Offline Remius

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Re: Canada's military feeling the strain responding to climate change
« Reply #16 on: June 24, 2019, 19:43:49 »
What is objectively true:  CAF is understaffed, under equipped, and lacking training for these domestic tasks.

The CAF linking these tasks to "climate events" and ergo the LPC climate emergency, could be viewed as partisan.  That part should have been omitted. 
 

So what are these tasks actually linked to then?

I think you are reading too much into this.
Optio

Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: Canada's military feeling the strain responding to climate change
« Reply #17 on: June 24, 2019, 19:44:03 »
What is objectively true:  CAF is understaffed, under equipped, and lacking training for these domestic tasks.

The CAF linking these tasks to "climate events" and ergo the LPC climate emergency, could be viewed as partisan.  That part should have been omitted. 
   

Or perhaps, just perhaps, the CDS has people inside the department whose job it is to analyse threats and potential calls on the CAF resources, including for DomOps, who have analysed the data relating to recent increases in frequency of calls on the CAF for DomOps and found them to be in line with scientific predictions of climate change - thus advising the CDS accordingly without any political interference - but rather on the basis of proper scientific analysis.

Just spitballing here ... but it is possible, isn't it?

Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: Canada's military feeling the strain responding to climate change
« Reply #18 on: June 24, 2019, 19:46:46 »
>I'm sorry - the impact of climate change is a political issue?  Really?

To the extent that mitigating impact requires policy decisions, it is.

To the extent that people conflate climate issues with other land use mistakes in order to gin up funding to mitigate the latter, it is.
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Offline FJAG

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Re: Canada's military feeling the strain responding to climate change
« Reply #19 on: June 24, 2019, 19:49:59 »
What is objectively true:  CAF is understaffed, under equipped, and lacking training for these domestic tasks.

The CAF linking these tasks to "climate events" and ergo the LPC climate emergency, could be viewed as partisan.  That part should have been omitted. 
 

You know I'm a CPC supporter and I'm not really that concerned about this being a veiled support of the LPC agenda. The CPC isn't really climate change deniers; they just see some different solutions to the problem.

What does concern me is that he's whining about a few domestic operations "stressing" out the CAF. It's true that we're under equipped for high end military operations albeit we're not badly equipped for light and medium weight ones. We're only understaffed at the sharp end because we're grossly overstaffed at the blunt end and as it is we're having troubles meeting recruiting quotas with the establishments that we have.

Let's face it, flood and fire fighting isn't rocket science; it's bull work which our military training and organization has and can easily adapt to.

Quote
1972 Lieutenant-General Guy Simonds put it this way: “The armed forces should primarily be trained and equipped for the possibility of conflict with a first-class power - the most severe testing they may have to face. It has been proven over and over again, that well trained and well disciplined military forces, trained primarily for major warfare, can easily and effectively adapt to lesser roles of aid to civil power or peacekeeping. The reverse is not the case.”  - . Simonds, Lieutenant-General, G.G. Commentary and Observations, The Canadian Military: A Profile, ed., Hector Massey, Toronto: Copp Clark, 1972. P 267

That was true when we were facing nuclear disaster oriented aid to the civil power and is even more relevant today.

Canada gives DND around $25 billion per year. If we're really stressing out some units or elements for these type of operations then it's our own bloody fault. The CDS needs to get his own house in order before he start whining to the public like Oliver Twist: "Please, Sir. Can I have some more?".

 :worms:
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Offline Jarnhamar

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Re: Canada's military feeling the strain responding to climate change
« Reply #20 on: June 24, 2019, 20:16:43 »
Wouldn't that be a sight to see,  :)

PAFOs will see that picture and it'll be on the next wave of recruiting posters.
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Offline Eye In The Sky

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Re: Canada's military feeling the strain responding to climate change
« Reply #21 on: June 24, 2019, 20:20:53 »
Let's face it, flood and fire fighting isn't rocket science; it's bull work which our military training and organization has and can easily adapt to.

That was true when we were facing nuclear disaster oriented aid to the civil power and is even more relevant today.

Canada gives DND around $25 billion per year. If we're really stressing out some units or elements for these type of operations then it's our own bloody fault. The CDS needs to get his own house in order before he start whining to the public like Oliver Twist: "Please, Sir. Can I have some more?".

 :worms:

Maybe it is the supporting kit/equipment that makes up some of "want/need" list?  Res units, years ago, didn't get *1 for 1* exchanges on things like the G-Wagons when the Iltis was scrapped;  TCCCS radios also were not a 1-for-1 for 77, 46/49 sets.  I don't know if the CommRes lost #s in their CPs over the last decade +.  How is say, the Army Reserve with troop transport capabilities...is there a healthy ratio of # of troops and available troop transport?  Res units used to sometimes suffer from higher VOR #s back in my Res days.

Air assets are also helpful to move troops/equipment quickly.  We're supporting Mali, Latvia, NEON, IMPACT, etc etc simultaneously;  this puts quite a bit of weight on the Transport Sqns keeping things moving.  We've got TacHel assets deployed to Iraq and Mali...

The average Reg or Res servicemember isn't trained for fire-fighting;  if we deploy, we (I'm assuming) need SMEs to help 'effectively lead our efforts".  If we provided some key people in each level with training, would that not help us be more autonomous during DomOps in basic things like fire-fighting (I have no idea how/where to attack a forest fire)?

I've no experience with how the CAF and provincial EMOs interface in situations like this, other than assuming LOs are used at the higher level of interaction.
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Online mariomike

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Re: Canada's military feeling the strain responding to climate change
« Reply #22 on: June 24, 2019, 20:30:44 »
PAFOs will see that picture and it'll be on the next wave of recruiting posters.

20 years ago. Seems like yesterday.

Offline tomahawk6

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Re: Canada's military feeling the strain responding to climate change
« Reply #23 on: June 24, 2019, 21:59:50 »
Cant beat Mother Nature much less control it.  ;D

Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: Canada's military feeling the strain responding to climate change
« Reply #24 on: June 24, 2019, 22:23:15 »
People have been beating mother nature for millennia, but not 100% of the time.  As with any contest, you have to know the enemy and know yourself.  It's just as hard to pin down what "climate change" means to people on the "convinced" side as on the "skeptical" side.  If everything weather-related can be blamed on "climate change" and outlier events are always immediately assumed to represent long-term trends, there will be many more things to fix and improve than there are resources to fix and improve them.
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