Author Topic: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves  (Read 1026044 times)

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Offline daftandbarmy

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Thinking about the other side of the coin, how often have people complained 'the reserves have no role or goal from the Army etc';  now, they are doing it (not perfectly, but perhaps a step in the direction of improvement...too early to tell IMO) and people are throwing the baby out with the bathwater already.

Any chance at all this is an improvement from the status quo?  And if it is, what comes of this can be improved more, and so on as the next few years go on?

The right op tasking for the reserves is being ready to augment the Reg F on exercises and operations as individuals and sub sub units.Probably like we have been doing since Yugo.
.
However, this new tasking proposes we ‘replace’the Reg F support. Pls at the unit level.
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Offline FJAG

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Curious - how would your version of the Res accommodate (or would it accommodate) things like university exams, *family member sick*, civie job schedule conflict, etc?  Would you stick to the current system for NES?

Okay.

1.  Let's start with the basic issue which is that on enlistment the regulations must call for a term of service that must be completed. There should be no six month or immediate release by either the regular or reserve force. The US offers various terms of enlistment of 2 or more years. The NG even has a one year "Try-One" enlistment. The key is offer choices and then hold the individual to their commitment.

2.  The initial enlistment would include a major basic training component based on the school summer vacation during which the individual would be qualified up to and including their basic military skill be it gunner, infantry, or tradesman.

3.  Training during the non summer months would be limited to one weekend per month focusing on individual refresher training. There would be no additional training or administration during the month for Class A reservists. All year-round unit administration or maintenance would be conducted by full time reg or Class B type members.

4.  Annually there would be a two-three week exercise to practice at the sub-unit/unit level.

5. Advanced/Career course would only be given to people who agree to such additional training (and possibly a further period of elistment).

6.  At the end of any given enlistment period the individual would be released unless he/she agrees to reenlist for a new specific term and the unit agrees to keep the individual.

7. I would consider longer term enlistment periods (such as eight or nine years) for the Reg F where after a given period of time (say 4 years) the individual could elect to serve out the remainder of his/her enlistment period in a reserve unit.

8.  Current NDA provisions permit reservists or units to be put on active service by order of the Governor in Council. I would devolve that power on the MND which would give him/her the opportunity to mobilize reservists/reserve sub units/units for given operations etc.

9.  Employment protection laws need beefing up to support both monthly training, annual training and activation situations. Failing to attend training or failure to meet a troop movement would become chargeable as an AWOA
 (or possibly desertion) under the NDA vis a vis reservists.

To answer your specific questions: under the above regime, university exams would not be an issue as training is only on weekends or summer vacation; sick leave or family sick leave would be at a CO's discretion the same as in the Reg F; civvie job schedule should not be a major issue as all training periods are condensed, are scheduled a year in advance and attendance is protected by legislation; NES doesn't exist. If the member does not show up he is charged as an AWOA and punished accordingly. Chronic absence could be subject to mandatory bad conduct release with consequential federal (and maybe even provincial) employment consequences.

The key here is to emphasize that the individual is fully committed for the enlistment/re-enlistment period (both regular and reserve) he has committed to and because all basic training is completed shortly after enrollment, the individual and sub unit/unit is therefore more capable of operational taskings.

As an aside, I also see the overall structure of the reserves to change significantly. There would be far fewer units but with each unit having an establishment for a full battalion/regiment (and, in fact authorized to recruit a certain percentage above establishment to cater for attrition). Large cities like Toronto might have only two or three battalion size units in total while a province like Manitoba might have only one battalion size unit in total with one  sub unit split between Brandon and Portage.

In addition since I see that each unit would also be equipped to establishment, there would be an increased full time staff component to cater for routine equipment maintenance.

Do I see that the reserves might go down in size. Maybe. But wouldn't 15,000 deployable reservists be preferable to 30,000 undependable ones. In addition there would be a certain increase in numbers from trained Reg F people choosing to serve out their enlistment terms in a reserve unit.

That's it in a thumbnail.

 :cheers:
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Offline Eye In The Sky

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Question (I don't dislike what you said....just thinking here);

I am a 33 year old, university educated person with full time employment.  I talk to a reserve unit recruiter and I am interested but am wondering if the initial training can take place over 2 summer, because of 'reason X and Y.  Birth of child...etc etc.

Currently (or they used to be able to), RESO or other entry Officers were able to do their required Phase training over more than 1 summer.  Would this still be possible?
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Offline FJAG

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Like I said, the above was a basic framework and while I could go into making detailed policies and procedures for every eventuality, I'm not about to do so because we're just spitballing here and anyone who could really make a difference isn't on this board anyway.

On a theoretical level I think that we need to rethink and revise a number of career oriented processes to simplify and make them deliverable. I personally think that we make all of our courses too long because 1. we include too many "should knows" and "could knows" as "essential knowledge"; and 2. we leave too much slack time on courses. In addition numerous career training modules should also be made deliverable through distance learning components which could be compensable upon successful completion.

I would think that for officer training it should work basically the same as for OR recruits, in other words the BOMQ component should be run up front so that immediately after completion the individual is able to function as a 2nd Lieutenant in their unit. I think that this might well vary between classifications so that some could achieve that status in one summer while others take two. Easy enough while the candidate is at university but perhaps more difficult for the example that you give. My bottom line is that the enlistment period should be such that if an option  or need for module-based, multiple-year training is required then the enlistment term should be such that it extends a minimum of two years at the unit after training is completed.

While I knew once how RESO worked back in my day, I'm out of the system for too long to know exactly how RESO works these days. I recall the old MITCP system which worked in several (I think three) two-week blocks for gunners. I think that's entirely inadequate as it turned out individuals who were simply not sufficiently competent to do their jobs. I think in a reserve structure that is designed to deliver better trained and deployable reservists and reserve units, we cannot afford to have them led by poorly trained officers. I think that on the true "must knows" for an officer in a given classification there can be no compromise.

 :cheers:
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Offline Eye In The Sky

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Despite neither you nor I being the ones who can 'create change', maybe those who can will read your posts. 

I like the idea of tightening up the reigns coupled with the legislation to protect people's civilian employment.  Yes, we might lose some people or some people who may have signed up might say "no thanks", but I think the loss of quantity would be made up for with the increase in quality. 

My only addition would be to have it in policy that full time students would be given some leeway during exams;  we'd want to recruit and retain people who are actively educating themselves.  I know when I was Res years ago, many of our NCMs and Jnr Officers were university and college students.  I'd prefer to see it in policy because despite good intentions and all, my experience says there are some Reserve COs who don't always...colour inside the lines. 
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Offline RocketRichard

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As it stands now the trg progression for CA PRes officers is BMQ/BMOQ part 1 (5 weeks ft in summer or spread out on weekends in fall/winter) BMOQ Part 2 a (week ft or on weekends) BMOQ A (formerly BMOQ L) is 11 weeks (no more mods that can be spilt up) and ‘ trade trg’ usually a full summer depending on the trade. So a university student could complete the training in 2 years. This isn’t usually the norm as life can get in the way. Folks with ft jobs can take a very long time to get trade qualified.


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Online Colin P

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As I said the C3 is a training aid and we'll never take it to war.



Other armies seem content to use 105mm in conflicts and South Korea seem to see it as a still viable weapon system, even without the longer barrel.

Offline FJAG

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Other armies seem content to use 105mm in conflicts and South Korea seem to see it as a still viable weapon system, even without the longer barrel.

I don't generally have anything against the 105 mm calibre nor the basic C3 myself but wouldn't see it as an option for deployment in any theatre we might end up in (although Afghanistan would have been permisive enough)

Interesting that you should mention South Korea as they are planning a massive upgrade program to some 800 of  their M2 etc  105mms. Short article and video follows.



http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/news/2017/06/28/0200000000AEN20170628001700315.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRaMiC6AjXo

I think with the North Korean artillery advantage, every tube in South Korea counts.

 :cheers:
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Offline Chris Pook

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Quote
The Hawkeye is one of the lightest self-propelled howitzers in the world today. This system consists of a standard US Army's M20 105 mm howitzer, mounted on an M1152A1 HMMWV chassis. The Hawkeye is also referred as 105 mm Mobile Weapon System, or 105MWS. Though this artillery system can be integrated on many types of military vehicles.

http://www.military-today.com/artillery/hawkeye.htm
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Offline daftandbarmy

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Despite neither you nor I being the ones who can 'create change', maybe those who can will read your posts. 

I like the idea of tightening up the reigns coupled with the legislation to protect people's civilian employment.  Yes, we might lose some people or some people who may have signed up might say "no thanks", but I think the loss of quantity would be made up for with the increase in quality. 

My only addition would be to have it in policy that full time students would be given some leeway during exams;  we'd want to recruit and retain people who are actively educating themselves.  I know when I was Res years ago, many of our NCMs and Jnr Officers were university and college students.  I'd prefer to see it in policy because despite good intentions and all, my experience says there are some Reserve COs who don't always...colour inside the lines.

Give me 4 months..... https://army.ca/forums/index.php?topic=124522.0

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Offline pbi

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...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.

It might be worth noting that even volunteer fire depts (ie: most of the fire depts in North America) , who provide much of the first response rescue squad coverage outside big cities with fully career depts, struggle with keeping their rescue techs properly trained and current on a volunteer's limited time and the dept's limited budget.

In my opinion, (and based on the DomOps I was on) what the military brings to any civil emergency is not really some set of hastily learned civilian skills (there are usually lots of civilians around to do it much better, with much more modern kit), but its organization (including strong low-level leaders); its adaptability; its mission focus; and its integral ability to move, communicate and sustain itself.

Oh--and, of course, its ability to shoot people if things get dodgy.... ;)

Those attributes all come from one thing (IMHO): training for war. Dilute that focus, and look out.

Just saying....
+300
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Offline Humphrey Bogart

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I don't generally have anything against the 105 mm calibre nor the basic C3 myself but wouldn't see it as an option for deployment in any theatre we might end up in (although Afghanistan would have been permisive enough)

Interesting that you should mention South Korea as they are planning a massive upgrade program to some 800 of  their M2 etc  105mms. Short article and video follows.



http://english.yonhapnews.co.kr/news/2017/06/28/0200000000AEN20170628001700315.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hRaMiC6AjXo

I think with the North Korean artillery advantage, every tube in South Korea counts.

 :cheers:

It has to do with the fact that the 105mm is more suitable to the terrain and doctrine of the Republic of Korea.  Korean Topography is mostly mountainous with lots of Valleys.  The majority of Korea's Infantry Divisions are in fact Light Infantry Divisions.  ROK doesn't emphasize deep battle like the US does, rather it's emphasis is on close-support. 

It makes perfect sense to me that you would want a lot of 105mm tubes for the Korean Theatre where you will likely be driving them up or pushing them up mountains so that they can be used to create a nice big concentration for massed infantry the Chinese and North Koreans will use.  You can even use them in the Direct-Fire role if needed  8)


Offline daftandbarmy

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It might be worth noting that even volunteer fire depts (ie: most of the fire depts in North America) , who provide much of the first response rescue squad coverage outside big cities with fully career depts, struggle with keeping their rescue techs properly trained and current on a volunteer's limited time and the dept's limited budget.

In my opinion, (and based on the DomOps I was on) what the military brings to any civil emergency is not really some set of hastily learned civilian skills (there are usually lots of civilians around to do it much better, with much more modern kit), but its organization (including strong low-level leaders); its adaptability; its mission focus; and its integral ability to move, communicate and sustain itself.

Oh--and, of course, its ability to shoot people if things get dodgy.... ;)

Those attributes all come from one thing (IMHO): training for war. Dilute that focus, and look out.

Just saying....

Krulak and the US Marines gave us the 'Three Block War'. Maybe we need to dream up and deploy the 'Three Block Domop'?

1. Response
2. Recovery
3. Security

"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline dapaterson

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Maybe we need to dream up and deploy the 'Three Block Domop'?

1. Response

Find the Timmies.

Quote
2. Recovery

Get the Timmies up and running.

Quote
3. Security

Keep orderly lines at the Timmies.
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Online Colin P

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As Canada has not suffered a terrible natural disaster, we have not really felt the lack of security that can come of a long term recovery and collapse of social structure. Therefore the value of soldiers in a disaster zone might be unappreciated. 

Offline Brihard

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In my opinion, (and based on the DomOps I was on) what the military brings to any civil emergency is not really some set of hastily learned civilian skills (there are usually lots of civilians around to do it much better, with much more modern kit), but its organization (including strong low-level leaders); its adaptability; its mission focus; and its integral ability to move, communicate and sustain itself.

This. I just got back from G7 with the RCMP, and my experience there (I was one of around 4k mounties deployed, plus Quebec polcie and CAF) dramatically highlighted how the CAF excels in comparison i terms of logistics and communication.

You take a CMBG - or even a CBG - and deploy it comestically, and yeah you get a few hundred or thousand guys who can fill sandbags, shovel dirt, get quick courses in running chainsaws or fire hoses... But...

You get some heavy equipment and trained operators.
You get a transportation company that can move people and goods.
You get a field ambulance that can run basic medical in clinical and field settings.
You get a maintenance company that can fix vehicles and equipment.
You get field showers.
You get administrators who can track the flow of money.
You get professional logisticians who know intuitively what kind of effort and resources any given task will take.
You get tents to sleep under and cots to sleep on.
You get a field kitchen that can deploy off the back of trucks.
You get an entire command and control infrastructure with pretty reliable VHF communications.
You get an organization completely accustomed to working with a chain of command and relatively smoothly pushing orders, adminsitration, and reports and returns both up and down.
You get people who are completely accustomed to a modular organization that can att or det as needed and still maintain command and control.
You get a structure of management built in that will maintain accountability and continuity for all of its people.

And you get leadership in a way the civilian world seldom understands it.

So you take this and you place it as a skeletal structure, fleshed out with civilian agencies and volunteers, but all able to be coordinated and sustained, and you've got a really potent force multiplier. Literally the ability to take just about any Cpl, give him a radio and a spare battery, and attach him to whatever task force or strike team you're assembling so as to maintain comms with an incident command- that's a huge asset we bring that we barely even think about. Never mind the incredible asset that is someone with the experience of a platoon warrant. God I wish my organization has platoon warrants...
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Offline Chris Pook

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Funny.  I was just driving out of town (Lethbridge) yesterday and found myself looking at all the lots filled with tractors and combines, loaders and utility vehicles as well as construction plant.

My thought was that in the event that the Lower Mainland, or at least that part beyond the Port Mann bridge, decided to separate, the first action from the prairies should be for the government to commandeer all of those vehicles from the lakehead west, together with every available flatbed and move them as close to the point of separation as possible.   Then it would be a matter of airlift, barges and pontoons to bridge the gap.   The plant is on the flatbeds.

Next issue is getting operators for all that plant - and I don't think that would be all that hard.  Civvy operators volunteering.  Civvy operators paid by the Government.  Farmers volunteering.  BC locals who can't get to their own equipment or whose equipment has been damaged.  Perhaps even some CAF types.

The resources are not short. 

The big issue would be organizing the effort.    In some respects we are talking about something like Operation Dynamo.  But instead of an Ad Hoc operation we have the opportunity to develop a plan - which in all likelihood means that no realistic plan will ever be devised....

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Online Colin P

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Taking part in disaster scenarios, I find the Fed players are not well connected into reality, the Provincial Emergency Planners are, as there is generally a crisis of one sort or another in the Province every year, so real life experience helps a lot, and some of them have had numerous crisis to sink their teeth into. For Vancouver, large Earthquake, I recommend grabbing every small tug/barge operator and getting them to sail to Vancouver, give them exemptions to carry passengers on the barges, moving large masses of people over numerous waterways is your biggest challenge. The flip side of that is it gives vessel carried rescue and relief operators, multiple points of access. Your going to need to make barge landings, which is not to difficult. Fuel will need to be barged in, as likely the main refinery is down as would Cherry point. You also need a team of civil engineers well versed in assessing damaged infrastructure, so you can quickly reopen standing bridges to traffic.

Offline daftandbarmy

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Funny.  I was just driving out of town (Lethbridge) yesterday and found myself looking at all the lots filled with tractors and combines, loaders and utility vehicles as well as construction plant.

My thought was that in the event that the Lower Mainland, or at least that part beyond the Port Mann bridge, decided to separate, the first action from the prairies should be for the government to commandeer all of those vehicles from the lakehead west, together with every available flatbed and move them as close to the point of separation as possible.   Then it would be a matter of airlift, barges and pontoons to bridge the gap.   The plant is on the flatbeds.

Next issue is getting operators for all that plant - and I don't think that would be all that hard.  Civvy operators volunteering.  Civvy operators paid by the Government.  Farmers volunteering.  BC locals who can't get to their own equipment or whose equipment has been damaged.  Perhaps even some CAF types.

The resources are not short. 

The big issue would be organizing the effort.    In some respects we are talking about something like Operation Dynamo.  But instead of an Ad Hoc operation we have the opportunity to develop a plan - which in all likelihood means that no realistic plan will ever be devised....

Part of the problem with earthquake recovery for the Lower Mainland will be the expectation that the help will come from 'out there'. COP Panorama is a good example, sadly, where the cavalry will come charging in from Alberta to save us.

This mental state of dependency on others seems to be driving all of our response planning as opposed to a robust, self-sufficient effort to ensure that we can quickly and efficiently mobilize all our internal to SW BC resources first.

We are, perhaps with good intentions but unknowingly, adding inexorably to the 'snowflake' effect IMHO.

"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline dapaterson

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So, BC, blocking infrastructure necessary for Alberta's prosperity, is planning is to rely on the kindness of Alberta in the event of a huge disaster.


Let me know how that works out for you...
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Online Colin P

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Any major earthquake hitting the lower mainland is likely to play havoc with the mountain pass roads as well, so I would not count on help from East coming to soon, even if they want to. The help we will get is from the US, how fast that is depends on how hard hit Seattle is, if Seattle gets hit as well, then Ft Lewis will respond there, we will have to wait till military resources reach us from California.

12 Service Battalion will be isolated in Richmond and possibly flooded, 6th Fd Squadron has very limited resources and will be busy assisting in the North Shore. Seaforth, 12 med, 744 Comms and 15th Fd RCA, will likely combine resources and operate out of 1-2 functioning armouries. But they will have limited manpower, as personal will have to self rescue, take care of families and then report.

The Island based units will likely ask for volunteers and be ready to provide assistance in the recovery phase, but not rescue phase. One hopes the RCAF uses it's Chinooks to carrying a detachment and equipment to get Abbostford, Boundary airports up and running to receive aid. YVR, might be heavily damaged and unusable to fixed wing for sometime and then only to military transports. The USN will likely dispatch a carrier and or helicopter assault ship to support rescue and recovery efforts. Basically the Lower Mainland is going to depend on the US military to save it's ***.     

Offline Chris Pook

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Part of the problem with earthquake recovery for the Lower Mainland will be the expectation that the help will come from 'out there'. COP Panorama is a good example, sadly, where the cavalry will come charging in from Alberta to save us.

This mental state of dependency on others seems to be driving all of our response planning as opposed to a robust, self-sufficient effort to ensure that we can quickly and efficiently mobilize all our internal to SW BC resources first.

We are, perhaps with good intentions but unknowingly, adding inexorably to the 'snowflake' effect IMHO.

So you don't need our help. Good enuff.  Have at it and bash on regardless.  Give us a call when the Yanks get there ..... and be sure to let us know how much they charged you for the service.  Must maintain that BC sovereignty donchano....  ;D
"Wyrd bið ful aræd"

Online Halifax Tar

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You guys should read this book:


Who Killed The Canadian Military? Paperback 
by J. L. Granatstein

https://www.amazon.ca/Who-Killed-Canadian-Military-Granatstein/dp/1554683017

It opens with the exact scenario you are talking about in BC and then he expands on his expect response. 
Lead me, follow me or get the hell out of my way

Offline daftandbarmy

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So you don't need our help. Good enuff.  Have at it and bash on regardless.  Give us a call when the Yanks get there ..... and be sure to let us know how much they charged you for the service.  Must maintain that BC sovereignty donchano....  ;D

Vancouver is completely self-sufficient w.r.t. three key food groups:

1) fruits
2) nuts
3) flakes

:)
+100
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Offline Chris Pook

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Vancouver is completely self-sufficient w.r.t. three key food groups:

1) fruits
2) nuts
3) flakes

:)

 :rofl:
"Wyrd bið ful aræd"