Author Topic: How does the loss of the CAR still affect training and capabilities?  (Read 14733 times)

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Offline MdB

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It's a very straight foward question. I don't know if it's been discussed earlier, but I want to bring foward the development of skills in the infantry in relation with standard regiments, as we have, an airborne regiment, which has some special skills (light inf., mountain, airborne, urban area fighting knowledge...) and special forces, JTF2 in the case of the CF.

I'll quote again In the Breach (http://armyapp.dnd.ca/dlsc-dcsot/main.asp), chapter 7: Have we lost the esprit the corps in the infantry battalion?, by MWO Mark Baisley (pp. 77-82). This quote is on page 81:
"If we are to try to keep our soldiers in, we will have to try to encourage better and more challenging training as well as find a way to move soldiers to another level.   The former Canadian Airborne Regiment was a great stepping stone between the battalion and Joint Task Force (JTF) II.   This is now gone.   Those who cannot attain the high standards of JTF II have no middle ground.   Therefore, those not finding that next level of attainable challenge often get out."

How could we have again, and in which form, this sort of step to motivate soldiers aspiring to higher levels of the infantry skills?

For my part, I rather think about a Canadian version of USMC or RM. Along the reading, more and more military experts are suggesting some sort of intermediate special forces capability, refering to USMC or RM. For sure Canada couldn't afford a unit the size of USMC or RM, but still this could paliate to the lack of a CAR. As JTF2 has some difficulties to reach authorized strength (which has been augmented in Federal Budget 2005), this could be a great step, level, between standard regiments and special forces.

To add bulk to all this, I suggest 2 reading coming from the Canadian Army Journal:
CAJ, Volume 6, Number 2 - Summer 2003, A Special Operations Capability for Canada, by Major J.H.G. Lizotte (pp. 23-35), who's suggesting a USMC model for an intermediate capability between conventional and special forces.

CAJ, Volume 5, Number 2 - Summer 2002, Light Infantry Battalions: Fledging Swans of a Joint Force, by Lieutenant-Colonel Pat Stogran (pp. 66-70), who gives a perspective on light infantry battalions as rapid deployment forces.

Thanks for you views and infos.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2005, 20:34:18 by MdB »
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Offline Mr. Ted

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Marine Corps tend to be projections of empire - i.e. Imperial expansion requires a marine corps to be a portable, sea-traelling door opening force to establish beachheads and move inland, something the CF has never really had much of a need for.  Most marine units were established in the late 1700s during the age of empire - French, English, American.

A Para Regiment should come back to the forces including integrated pathfinder/commando units.  A Para Reg could be rebuilt during this upcoming expansion of the regular force. It should be an airmobile/airborne force capable of some special operations tasks. 

That is what we need.  Along with tactical airlift, gunships, troop carrying helos instead of those miserable Griffons......

Mr. Ted
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Offline MdB

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Marine Corps tend to be projections of empire - i.e. Imperial expansion requires a marine corps to be a portable, sea-traelling door opening force to establish beachheads and move inland, something the CF has never really had much of a need for.   Most marine units were established in the late 1700s during the age of empire - French, English, American.
Hmm, now I understand that the keyword in MEU is expeditionary. Well, I never saw USMC as an expansion tool, but now I realize it clearly.

A Para Regiment should come back to the forces including integrated pathfinder/commando units.   A Para Reg could be rebuilt during this upcoming expansion of the regular force. It should be an airmobile/airborne force capable of some special operations tasks.  
I now understand what I wanted to talk about. About an intermediate force between regular and special forces. What I think of is some sort of Ranger Regiment, canadian version, capable of airborne/airmobile, mountain, winter operations including some special operations, in support of regular or special forces. I understand that CAR was right that. I think a new unit with another name would be much more suitable (not to say that it wouldn't hurt shy Canadians) in that it would have a broad purpose: an elite regiment that would push doctrine and training further because they would train constantly. I think finally not so much of a special (anti-terrorist) rather than an elite force (some SF and airmobile/airborne/moutain ops).

Well, I'm really eager of your opinion now.
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Online Infanteer

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I thought Marines were the uniformed soldiers on ships to keep ratings in line (hence why the original USMC assigned 1 Marine/gun on a ship) and to fight ship-to-ship when the distances closed.  I'm not sure the "Marines are intended to spread Empire" theory floats.

If anything, it was a Naval Fleet, hence the term "gunboat diplomacy", that was the tool of empire.
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Offline Gunnerlove

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Guess that is why the Americans sent Marines to occupy Hawaii and the Philippines, to keep ratings in line aboard US ships. Sailing into a harbour will only get your empire so far.

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Offline PPCLI Guy

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About an intermediate force between regular and special forces. What I think of is some sort of Ranger Regiment, canadian version, capable of airborne/airmobile, mountain, winter operations including some special operations, in support of regular or special forces.

You mean like the three light battalions?
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Offline MdB

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You mean like the three light battalions?

Three light battalions, or the size needed to instill a sense of elite unit. The unit would be versatile and elite, fast-deployable, but not so specialized as JTF2. JTF2 is for pinpoint ops, anti-terrorist and recon behind enemy lines. Like the Ranger Regiment, this unit would be conventional and special operations capable; they train hard in order to push foward doctrines and training. It would be intermediate because it would not be as specialized as JTF2 and not as secret, therefor it would encourage soldiers to aspire to something unique. Soldiers who are overachiever or try to be the best of the best would have then a choice between JTF2 or this elite unit, or join this elite unit as a step toward JTF2. If a soldier is really not interested in anti-terrorism, it would have at least a way to join an elite unit.

Cheers,
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- On Combat, Lt-Col Grossman

Offline Mr. Ted

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I have never heard anyone say that a marine corps is somehow NOT an expression of imperial will.  I must say I'm surprised you question that. A marine corps is as much an extension of empire as is an aircraft carrier.

It's more than a naval infantry force for the larger imperial powers.  It's a concept - one still in use today in American foreign policy - the concept of "Send in the Marines" - whenever you political sphere of influence is impacted. 

Phillipines, Nicaragua, Haiti, Grenada, Vietnam, even the south pacific in WWII.  Americans have re-written history to say that they were "needlesly, suprisingly" attacked at Pearl Harbour.  It was the "end of innocence" for them in the 20th century.  If they were so innocent, what on earth were they doing with such a massive battle armada and marine corps 8,000 nautical miles from American soil?  It was simply and more accurately two empires butting heads in the South pacific - the Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere vs the American's Manifest Destinystrategy.

And the marine corps of those two entities battled it out for the next 4 years.

Actually, there's another good example of an imperial force's marine corps - Imperial Japan in the 30's.

Mr. Ted
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Online Infanteer

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I have never heard anyone say that a marine corps is somehow NOT an expression of imperial will.   I must say I'm surprised you question that. A marine corps is as much an extension of empire as is an aircraft carrier.

Marine Units have certainly been used for "Imperial" jobs due to their intimate relationship with the Navy.   The RM at Gibraltar, the USMC "Small Wars" - heck, the first mission of the US "Continental Marines" was a raid in the British Caribbean.   Their "amphibious" nature makes them a suitable choice to launch from the Navy, which has always been the true force of Strategic Projection.

However, I am disputing your claim that Marines are designed from the get-go as "Imperial Forces" - this is false.   Marines, as uniformed Naval Infantry, were deployed to ships to keep un-uniformed ratings in line and on the guns.   They would also, as Infantry, fight when ships closed to melee distance.   If you don't believe me, look it up - its in the first chapter of most USMC histories (it is in the few I have).   There is nothing "Imperial" about these ship-board tasks; like I said, there close ties and relationship with the Navy led to them being a suitable "weapon of choice" for the Strategic Projection of power through Fleets.

If anything, the real forces of mercantilist imperial Empires where the Companies and their "unofficial Armies".   Look at how the British East India Company and its private army held together the Raj (until it was taken over by the Crown).   The British in South Africa is another example (The Boer War was started by a Company raid), as well as the Dutch East India Company.   The close relationship of the State, essential Corporations, and Private Military Forces can even be seen today in a modern form in Iraq.

The USMC and its Small Wars are peculiar, but they are as peculiar as American history itself - an Imperial Power which refused to see itself as an Imperial Power.   Marines, like the US Cavalry on the Plains, were used to further uniquely American concepts like the "Manifest Destiny" and the "Monroe Doctrine".

Again, I don't dispute that Marines, like any other branch of the Armed Forces' of world powers, have been used to promote interests abroad - I am disputing your notion that Marines are designed from the outset as "Empire Builders".
« Last Edit: March 06, 2005, 18:59:47 by Infanteer »
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Offline HFXCrow

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yawn...

we do not have Marines or the CAR or have the ability to provide logistically and troops.....

lets concentrate on getting some new equipment........

The PARA Coys are doing fine in the Battalions/
Enjoying the ride and doesn't want to get off

Offline Mr. Ted

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We may be arguing past each other here somewhat - let's take stock.

I agree with alot of what you've said - you've obviously done alot of reading.

I think the first "marines" of any culture were probably ancient Greek troops aboard ships in the med, jumping to other vessels and cracking skulls of opposing forces.  They were certainly imperial forces.  It may not fit our more modern example, but...

During the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, any Euro nation with imperial ambitions formed a more regimented naval force along with some sort of "muscle" or infantry projection beyond it's naval rank and file to move inland once on the ground.

The French formed a professional and fierce Marine unit.  So did the Brits, the Spanish, etc etc.  A little later so did the Russians and once more backwards nations like Japan began to modernize their forces, they formed Marine Corps too.

The Americans USMC came into being in 1776 to aid in the fight against the British - recruiters moved into seaside watering holes and signed up drunk sailors.  So in that sense, you are correct, it was not initially a "projection of empire" as the U.S. at that point was not yet an empire.  More like an ad-hoc naval unit used for closing with enemy's ships and cracking skulls.

But it wasn't long before the government used the Corps in that fashion and does still today. The Marines have fought in almost every nation in this hemisphere - Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama, etc.  etc.  etc...exactly what an imperial gov't needs to keep neighbouring nations in line or to impact other nation's behaviour vis a vis US foreign policy.

So I won't dispute that the USMC intially may not have been an imperial force projection, it wasn't long before they became one. 

There are some smaller nations with a marine corps that use them for littoral operations and coastal defense as opposed to imperial designs - Mexico has a small but capable corps, as does Thailand, Tawiwan...

Mr. Ted

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Offline Jungle

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yawn...

The PARA Coys are doing fine in the Battalions/
What's the matter ? If the discussion is boring to you, then don't participate in it.
And how do you know that the Para Coys are fine in the LIBS ?? A navy equivalent to what the Para Coys are to the CAR: from now on, instead of sending a single Frigate on a mission, we will send 3 MCDVs... Would that be just fine ?? To me it would...  ::)
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Offline Mr. Ted

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I have said it a million times and I'll say it again.  We need to form a full Para Reg, 3 battalions strong.  It has to be an arimobile/airborne force.  Call it Para to keep the lefties calm, not Airborne, and let it contain these supposed Special Operation Capabilities the LIBs will eventually have. This new budget over the next five years could finally give us the ability to do this!

The problem is, in my opinion, that the capabilities of the LIB, inlcuding the Jump Coy's, is that they are spread very thin.  One company of paratroopers doesn't offer many strategic advantages.  Not the way a full regiment with organic para arty, engineers, armoured assests etc would.

Let each battalion of paras specialize in one area. Jungle, Arctic/Mtn, Desert.  All should share FIBUA specialities and each battalion could have its own recce/sniper/pathfinder platoon, freefall qualified, as the "tip of the spear" so to speak.  Something for all members to aspire to - a natural JTF2 feeder unit.

The idea of three small jump coys is related to the idea of "holding" an airborne presence in the CF, if I'm not mistaken.  Not really developing one, but not getting rid of the airborne idea totally either.  A long time has passed since the dissolution of the CAR - time to bring back the Canadian Parachute Regiment.

Have an official relationship with the British Para Reg. Choose one of the 82nd Airborne's P.I.R.s and have an exchange relationship with them as well.  Or, officially, the Ranger Reg't.

Here's another idea.  Let's make this new Para Reg a true elite unit.  Instead of "P Company" in the British Idiom, let's retain the Canadian Airborne Indoc course.  But let's make it a full six weeks of commando-style training and PT.  All your typical infantry stuff compressed into a very tough, high-stress/little sleep 6 weeks of demanding training, to a new "Para" standard.  Let the best float to the top.  Have a slightly watered down version for arty,engineer, armoured types in the reg(no offense but give the para infantry the hardest portions).  Send a few members each year to do the Brit RM all-arms commando course and the French commando school, Ranger school.  Have them bring back those skills to add to the collective Canadian Para mysitque.

Have Jan deVries of the 1st CanParaBat come to speak at the standing up of the unit.  Have JTF2 come to assist trg at regular intervals.  Link the history to the original SSF, the 1st CanParaBat, the Candian SAS, defence of Can Force and the CAR. 

The Canadian Para Reg could be our 75th Ranger Regiment.  A crack regiment of fully airborne qualified personell on a rotating standby basis tuned to a high pitch and able to train hard on a regular basis.  Make it a career path for those who choose instead of a 2 year posting for ticket punchers.

A dream, yes.  But something tells me alot of people share a similar dream.

Mr. Ted
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Offline MdB

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I have said it a million times and I'll say it again.   We need to form a full Para Reg, 3 battalions strong.   It has to be an arimobile/airborne force.   Call it Para to keep the lefties calm, not Airborne, and let it contain these supposed Special Operation Capabilities the LIBs will eventually have. This new budget over the next five years could finally give us the ability to do this!
Then, if the Government is too itchy about the fact of calling this regiment Airborne, let's take another name.

Let each battalion of paras specialize in one area. Jungle, Arctic/Mtn, Desert.   All should share FIBUA specialities and each battalion could have its own recce/sniper/pathfinder platoon, freefall qualified, as the "tip of the spear" so to speak.   Something for all members to aspire to - a natural JTF2 feeder unit.
Right on!! In these still difficult times, I really think this kind of unit would boost morale of combat arms' troops and officers. Which I think is an every day issue to deal with.

Would the battalions readiness rotate? Cuz, for example, if there's need for a desert op and it's let's say jungle-specialized battalion's turn to be on high readiness, what happens then??

The idea of three small jump coys is related to the idea of "holding" an airborne presence in the CF, if I'm not mistaken.   Not really developing one, but not getting rid of the airborne idea totally either.   A long time has passed since the dissolution of the CAR - time to bring back the Canadian Parachute Regiment.
I also do think the skill is only preserved at this time. But the CF are now restructuring, I'm confident the plan is to rebuild this tactical ability.

The bottom line of the problem here is about this exclusive loyalty to the unit which grow up from this exclusiveness. This 'we' against 'them' attitude and the lack of discipline or respect of CF laws and order. I'm not pretending of even knowing what it really was about, but having read The Sharp End, by James R. Davis (Douglas & McIntyre, 1997), I believe the discipline problem was eradicated before CAR has been disbanded. Well, the fear from the Govt. is that it would be a re-run. What about now?

Here's another idea.   Let's make this new Para Reg a true elite unit.   Instead of "P Company" in the British Idiom, let's retain the Canadian Airborne Indoc course.   But let's make it a full six weeks of commando-style training and PT.   All your typical infantry stuff compressed into a very tough, high-stress/little sleep 6 weeks of demanding training, to a new "Para" standard.   Let the best float to the top.   Have a slightly watered down version for arty,engineer, armoured types in the reg(no offense but give the para infantry the hardest portions).   Send a few members each year to do the Brit RM all-arms commando course and the French commando school, Ranger school.   Have them bring back those skills to add to the collective Canadian Para mysitque.

The Canadian Para Reg could be our 75th Ranger Regiment.   A crack regiment of fully airborne qualified personell on a rotating standby basis tuned to a high pitch and able to train hard on a regular basis.   Make it a career path for those who choose instead of a 2 year posting for ticket punchers.
Since all candidate would have to be airborne qualified, why not just call it something else? Like the Ranger Regiment, this unit would have a wider range of capabilities than that of Airborne speciality. I mean, 75th Ranger Regiment, in my mind, does more than the 82th Airborne Regiment. Or am I mistaken? Do they have specific capabalities not overlapping? Anyway, my point is let's not only make a new unit reborn of CAR, but an entirely new one based, yes on CAR indoc, but a clear definition in the tradition of the Ranger Regiment. This would be the one and only elite regiment in that JTF2 is anti-terrorist only and a special force. Like you said, let's tie deep bonds with RM, French Para Regiment and Ranger Regiment, we'll learn from them and adapt this new knowledge to the canadian context.

A dream, yes.   But something tells me alot of people share a similar dream.
A dream. That's what soldiers what to motivate them. I would as many others be really happy to dream about something concrete, but difficult, elite.

Cheers,
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Offline Mr. Ted

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In virtually any other armed forces, the Ranger Reg't would be called a Para-Commando reg't.  Americans call their commandos "Rangers".  It's a nice historical nod to the revolutionary(1776) recce force called Rangers - after the old Medieval practice of calling a horse riding woodsman with a large "range" a ranger. In WWII the Ranger name was used again to describe American commandos training alongside the Brits in Scotland.  They were referred to as "Darby's Rangers".   During Korea, the idea of an "Airborne Ranger" was back in vogue and a Ranger school was put in place.  The school still exists, albeit augmented and more comprehensive.  During Vietnam, the 101st created "Ranger" elements in their ranks - their name given to their LRRP teams.  In 1974, the 75th Infantry was re-rolled as a new para-commando force by dictate of Gen Abrahms and this became the 75th Ranger Reg't.

The 75th was Gen Abrahms idea of the finest light infantry in the world.  An all-purpose para commando force holding extremely high standards in light infantry skills capable of operating in arctic/mountain, jungle, desert and urban areas.  They have now been increased in size to 3 full battalions, and they are a rung above the 82nd.  The 82nd is a huge airborne entity(what, 12,000 troops total) all of whom are jump qualified, whereas the 75th is part of US Spec Operations Command.  The Rangers are officially part of the Special Operations community in the U.S.  Out of the ranks of the Rangers come the majority of Special Forces candidates(yet another rung above the Rangers) for the USARMY.

You can see where a unit similar to the 75th, but on a slightly smaller scale is what the CAR almost was before all the recent unpleasantness and what a new Canadian Parachute Regiment could be.  The finest light infantry Canada has to offer, a rapid reaction force, a para-commando force, a natural feeding unit to JTF2.

The reason I say the CAR was "almost" like the 75th is because to become a member of the Ranger Reg't you must pass several hurdles.  The first is to be jump qualified.  The second is to pass Initial Ranger Selection and Assesment.  The third is to pass the Ranger course which is a 8 week long gruelling course consisting of mountain, swamp/jungle phases, extended patrolling, a jump or two, sleep deprivation, a period of one meal a day, rotating responsibilities for leadership regardless of rank etc...  The point is there is an established, institutionalized school/course set up to ensure everyone in the unit hits the same standard going in. I feel that's what any potential new unit needs to distinguish itself from other infantry units.

This discussion is wonderful and everything but it's all still a pipe dream unless the right people in Ottawa share the same persepective and these days, that's just too much to hope for.  They're probably working on a new tank that cleans the air and fires giant beanbags so as not to offend anyone...

Mr. Ted

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Offline brin11

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What would you suggest for training of the support trades that would be needed for this new unit?  Would they be required to do the same initial course as the CA personnel or simply qualify on a jump course, for example?  Also, hence the discussion of whether the CF needs multitudes of jump qualified personnel (I can't remember where that thread is at the moment, but it was quite extensive) why would all members have to be jump qualified?  Perhaps that would be just another qualification if they were posted to a certain airborne section and the rest would qualify in certain other specific areas.  Thoughts on this??
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Offline Jungle

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The reason I say the CAR was "almost" like the 75th is because to become a member of the Ranger Reg't you must pass several hurdles.   The first is to be jump qualified.   The second is to pass Initial Ranger Selection and Assesment.   The third is to pass the Ranger course which is a 8 week long gruelling course consisting of mountain, swamp/jungle phases, extended patrolling, a jump or two, sleep deprivation, a period of one meal a day, rotating responsibilities for leadership regardless of rank etc...   The point is there is an established, institutionalized school/course set up to ensure everyone in the unit hits the same standard going in. I feel that's what any potential new unit needs to distinguish itself from other infantry units.
You are confusing the Ranger Battalions and the Ranger School. They are 2 very different things... Being Ranger School qualified is not a pre-requisite for service in a Ranger Battalion. Every Ranger posted to a Batt undergoes R.I.P, which is an indoc somewhat similar to what the A.I.C. wasc in the CAR. Finally, in 1994 the CAR and 75th Ranger Regt were officially "twinned" because of the similarities between the 2 units.
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Offline Mr. Ted

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Maybe I wasn't clear in my post Jungle.  Thanks for your reply.  Yes, you can become a member of the Reg't without having moved thru the school, but in order to stay in the Reg't you must pass Ranger School.  That's my understanding anyways from what I've read and the people I've talked to.

As well, after Ranger School completion there would be more unit trg, standards and such.

But I don't think that really detracts from my post.  We would need something established, a common hurdle to pass, that's all.

Mr. Ted
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Offline MCG

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Quote
How does the disparition of CAR still affects training and capability?
It has eliminated any formal training or capability for parachute operations outside of the infantry and their supporting medics.

The PARA Coys are doing fine in the Battalions
Possibly, but see my previous.  Parachute companies operating in a bubble without other arms will not be able to achieve the things they otherwise might have.

Offline GO!!!

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Operating in a bubble?

I guess those maroon beret gunners, signallers and medics who jump with us have joined us in the bubble.

The sappers who jump with demo kits, and the surgeon with lifesaver pack are filling up bubble space fast!

The DFS jumpers w/ the big guns are also coming in!

The special shoulder load bags for bangalores, canister droppable trauma kits, and all the supporting riggers, packers and loadies sure are crowding this bubble!

There's a 1 CMBG live fire in Wx later this spring, during which the plan is to put in an airborne op. Hopefully the bubble does'nt burst before then!

Perhaps your comments on the op capabilites of Para units could use some updating. - "interoperability" is the name of the game now.
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Offline MCG

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Those gunners and sappers that jump are doing it without established positions (and the corresponding money from Ottawa).  That means there is no money for them to train in that capacity unless they are piggy-backing a 3 VP exercise or taking funds from another source.

The approach to light engineering is different in every area and every regiment.  There is no set standard and so no guarantee of what you will get.

The army's clear statements that it will not establish a jump capability lead me to suspect you will not see black hatters jumping in anytime soon, as you've suggested.

No.  The jump companies do live in a bubble.  There is just enough outside support to make it work in Canadian training areas, and enough window dressings to fool some into believing we have an all arms jump capability.

Offline Zipper

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MCG. Do you think it is viable or acceptable to the powers that be if we moved to the ideas presented in the Light Cav, Light vs medium, and other cavalry threads to have the Infantry move towards a "light" tasking a la RM and Ranger idea? Would this also open the door to a jump capability again?

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Offline MCG

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I think we should look at a light bde (as proposed in the 5,000 peacekeepers brigade thread) or at the very least establishing jump positions for all the other arms.

Offline MrGnr27

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If there are still Gunners out there who are wearing a maroon beret, that is news to this Call Sign !

When the CAR was suddenly disbanded, there were but a few wheels with backbone who insisted on the maintenance of a sizeable para capability. (The name " Canadian Parachute Regiment " was being tossed about ). Alas, not a whimper from the CDS, and the troops marched off the square into history.

I have read that the only reason we presently maintain a para capability is for response to a civil emergency ( ie: trans arctic airplane crash ).  That is probably news to the troops in the present para companies.

Curiously, Jane's says that we still mantain a complete parachute battalion. ( I suppose we do, if you bundle every small para asset together ).

Anyway, having served in the Airborne Regiment in Edmonton, and supporting it in Petawawa, I can say this:

1. The Regiment, and its' Battle Group,were once exciting units to go to for a few years, due to the varied training venues;

2. We did more in a single training year than you would in a line battaliion ( continuation para, helo skills, mountain school, Regimental Battle School, Small Unit Exchanges, Jump Bivouac, inter-arms cross training, etc.); and

3. Some well-trained soldiers were returned to the line units.

We lost that valuable "intermediate training ground". The Army has been paying for the mistake ( the disbandment ) ever since.

Ex Coelis

Offline MrGnr27

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This Call Sign has been informed, via other means, that Arty assets ( FOO parties, mortar crews/door bundles ) having been exiting aircraft with the Para Coys for " the last six jumps or so ".
This is very gratifying to old Airborne Gunners everywhere. You see, once you lose something ( like the para role ), it is very difficult to get it back.
Now, all they have to do is expand the companies, add the Sigs, a sizeable Sapper element, and that much needed CSS, and we're in business again.

HUA !