Author Topic: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe  (Read 15164 times)

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Offline GR66

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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #175 on: September 15, 2020, 15:42:42 »
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.

Offline MilEME09

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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #176 on: September 15, 2020, 15:50:53 »
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.
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Offline FJAG

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Re: Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe
« Reply #177 on: September 15, 2020, 16:47:06 »
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.)

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