Author Topic: Goose Bay: Promises & updates  (Read 68464 times)

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Offline Gunner

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Goose Bay: Promises & updates
« on: May 15, 2005, 20:17:10 »
http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/national/2005/05/15/labrador-byelections050515.html

Quote
Gordon O'Connor, a former army officer and the Conservatives' defence critic, said his party "would establish a new rapid reaction army battalion in CFB Goose Bay" with about 750 soldiers â “ if it formed a government after the next general election.

Quote
The Conservatives would also establish an unmanned aerial vehicle squadron (surveillance aircraft) in central Labrador, he told a cheering crowd of party loyalists on the weekend.

Quote
The Liberals have promised to spend $20 million to improve the runway at Goose Bay. "I'm confident Goose Bay is here to stay," Defence Minister Bill Graham said, also on the weekend.

Argh!  The Federal parties continue to buy our votes by dangling our money (or worse our future generations money) and we sit around like sheep and take it.  I will be outraged if a rapid reaction battalion or UAV Sqn gets dumped into Labrador. 


« Last Edit: August 21, 2013, 20:45:09 by milnews.ca »
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Offline AmmoTech90

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Re: New Battalion at Goose Bay - Conservative brain wave
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2005, 20:20:56 »
Now I'm mostly a-political, viewing both sides with distrust but I have to give the better idea to the Liberals this time.  During campaigning this weekend the Liberals promised re-newed training with the NATO forces in Goose Bay and repairs to the runway.  Not too far fetched.

The Conservatives promised to base a QRF Battalion there along with a UAV squadron.  Some problems I see with this-
-Isolation, a lot of people are going to think it sucks.  A few more will think its great and want to stay there for ever.  This could cause some manning problems, see next point.
-Tour length currently in Goose Bay is 3 years.  This means rotating an entire battalion out every three years.  If they want to make it non-restricted there's going to have to be whole lot put into infrastructure.  Less dollars for the pointy end.
-In addition to the costs of the second point, everyone has to be flown out every year, including family members.  More cost, less dollars for the pointy end.
-Now the QRF battalion could be a 1 year tasking which would reduce some of the costs, but bring in a whole lot more as far as training.  -Unless they are going to replace a whole squadron of people with very specialized skills every year, the UAV squadron would have to a 3+ year posting.
-Or they could scrap all the benefits that normally come with a isolated posting and just say suck it up.  That would be a bit hypocritical considering the praise they have heaped on the proposed improvements that SCONDVA and other studies have seen implemented.

I just don't see posting 800-1000 people up in Goose Bay as too feasible in this day and age.  It would be a dream posting for some, but a nightmare for most I believe.

Personally I don't care, my trade would have a minimal presence and we would probably be out of there in 3 years.  It would just be normal posting for us.  I just view it as a bad idea.

Link to article
http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/national/2005/05/15/labrador-byelections050515.html
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Offline AmmoTech90

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Re: New Battalion at Goose Bay - Conservative brain wave
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2005, 20:22:17 »
Dammit,

I took to long a posted a longer post.  Maybe a mod could merge them.

My thread.

http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,30748.0.html
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Offline Gunner

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Re: New Battalion at Goose Bay - Conservative brain wave
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2005, 20:32:05 »
Done!   ;D
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Offline Haggis

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Re: New Battalion at Goose Bay - Conservative brain wave
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2005, 20:57:59 »
Let's save a few bucks by moving an exisitng battalion up there in rotation.  Have the battalion stay in place for three years and then do a "reilef in place".  To simplify things the task should go to one regiment, say, the Van Doos.

Thoughts?
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Offline Inch

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Re: New Battalion at Goose Bay - Conservative brain wave
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2005, 21:30:16 »
What a dumb idea, as it is now the guys that go to 444 CS Sqn don't even take their own F&E up there. It's all furnished government housing. Could you imagine the QOL implications of there being no work for the families? Forget about it, it'll never happen.

From what I gathered from the CDS's briefing here in Halifax a couple months back, Shearwater/Halifax is going to be a major hub. There's a large natural port that doesn't freeze over in the winter, there's a rail head and there's a military airfield all within a 10km radius. It's also situated around the largest city in the Maritimes. Halifax/Shearwater is win-win IMHO.
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: New Battalion at Goose Bay - Conservative brain wave
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2005, 21:42:56 »
Putting a QRF Bn in Goose bay is very improbable for most of the reasons mentioned above, but there might be a case for keeping it as a hub for long range surveillance UAVs like Global Hawk patrolling the Atlantic or Eastern Arctic. Even then, the main base for the East Coast UAV wing might as well be Shearwater.
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Offline SeaKingTacco

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Re: New Battalion at Goose Bay - Conservative brain wave
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2005, 22:45:51 »
Quote
East Coast UAV wing might as well be Shearwater.
Everyone keeps saying stuff like this.  Yet, Shearwater has some of the worst flying weather on the planet- fog, icing, snowstorms.  The city has really encroached around the edges of the base, too.

It would be about the last place I would base a new flying operation in the CF- mind you, I'm not signing the cheques  :)

Cheers

Offline Horse_Soldier

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Re: New Battalion at Goose Bay - Conservative brain wave
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2005, 09:53:46 »
This is the kind of asinine political BS that makes you want to cry.  Are the conservatives any smarter than the liberals?  Not if this is any indication.  Pulling out a dumb idea to buy votes in a single constituency...  A pox on all their houses  :rocket:  The Marijuana Party is starting to look really good right now - at least under their program, we can get stoned enough to feel good about the whole thing.
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Offline jmacleod

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Re: New Battalion at Goose Bay - Conservative brain wave
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2005, 10:33:06 »
Goose Bay has essentially been rejected by NATO, and using the long established facility to
support infantry units with all supporting arms does not appear to be a sensible use of hard to
come by resources. CFB Gagetown appears to have all the existing criteria necessary. 12 Wing
Shearwater must have it's high speed and heavy lift runway upgraded (minimum cost about
$4.6 million, a guess) to accomodate heavy lift and high speed aircraft. 12 Wing has been chosen
as the main support base for the MHP and has been earmarked for investment of over $35.0
million - a logical and wise choice. Have heard about 12 Wing weather for decades, but I hasten to
point out that the high profile and excellent Shearwater International Air Show, held annually in
September only lost VFR flying weather once in some 15 years of activity. Of course the Rain Goddess
was always on side, courtesy of VU 32 Squadron. MacLeod

Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: New Battalion at Goose Bay - Conservative brain wave
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2005, 10:37:16 »
It was always a mistake to put a black-hat in front of a live mic â “ even on the brigade command net.  This is a dumb idea â “ but given the source I'm not surprised.

Hopefully a Conservative government will be no more faithful to its promises than the Liberal ones and so these bits of nonsense will get swept under the rug, where they belong.
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Offline RangerBoy

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Re: New Battalion at Goose Bay - Conservative brain wave
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2005, 10:38:24 »
Actually, posting a UAV sqn up there wouldn't be such a bad idea. It's central to the Grand Banks and eastern Arctic and the numbers of pers involved would be relatively small: mainly techies and maintenance types.
They can actually "fly" the long-range UAVs from almost anywhere, during the last ex testing their performance and the C4I links the UAV was controlled (at different times) from an office in Ottawa, and there's no reason why they can't be flown out of Goose Bay and taken over by almost anyone as the sit requires. Whether it's someone in Ft. Confusion or an operator on a frigate or Aurora ...
I don't think G'town is in the running to base one of these proposed Expeditionary Commands: no deep-water port nearby.
And if Shearwater's socked in, there's always Greenwood nearby ...
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Offline Old Sweat

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Re: New Battalion at Goose Bay - Conservative brain wave
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2005, 10:47:13 »
G'town was established precisely because it was close to an ice-free, deep water port. Its original purpose was as a concentration point for the remainder of the army division Canada had promised NATO in the early 1950s. Whether it could or should actually hold another unit now is another matter entirely.

Offline Teddy Ruxpin

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Re: New Battalion at Goose Bay - Conservative brain wave
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2005, 11:10:49 »
It was always a mistake to put a black-hat in front of a live mic â “ even on the brigade command net.  

Now, now - play nice... ;D 

Actually, I haven't heard much good about O'Connor, although I don't personally know the first thing about him...

Back to the subject at hand...  This is the dumbest idea I've heard in a while, and was disturbed to read that it is now official Conservative policy (see their website).  Goose Bay certainly does not have the infrastructure to support a full battalion, nor does it have anything in the way of quality of life for the soldiers who would be posted there.  Can you imagine the reaction if your spouse is a professional of some sort... "Honey, guess what?  We're posted to Goose Bay!  I've heard the huntin's good!"

Strategically, this makes little sense and gives virtually no benefit for reduced deployment timings, access to ready airlift (yes, it has a runway), access to training areas, routine supply and maintenence, etc, etc, ad nauseum...

This is one of those bright ideas that politicians have when they're campaigning and soon falls by the wayside once the reality check (and the financial costs) sets in...  I hope!!

Cheers,

TR
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Offline Sheep Dog AT

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Re: New Battalion at Goose Bay - Conservative brain wave
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2005, 11:28:47 »
Can you imagine the reaction if your spouse is a professional of some sort... "Honey, guess what?  We're posted to Goose Bay!  I've heard the huntin's good!"
« Last Edit: April 30, 2006, 00:24:18 by Quagmire »
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Offline Teddy Ruxpin

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Re: New Battalion at Goose Bay - Conservative brain wave
« Reply #15 on: May 16, 2005, 11:36:19 »
Kinda like Shilo!

Or Wainwright...

Er, I take back what I said about "reality checks"...
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Re: New Battalion at Goose Bay - Conservative brain wave
« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2005, 11:47:07 »
Here's the difference between the Conservatives and the Liberals on this issue:  If the Conservatives get elected, at least they will spend the money to buy a UAV squadron and rapid reaction battalion, that they can then put in the wrong place.



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Offline Kernewek

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Re: New Battalion at Goose Bay - Conservative brain wave
« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2005, 12:05:28 »
Perhaps the conservatives feel we will be going to war with Denmark shortly, over, what's it called? Hans Island?  ;)
« Last Edit: May 16, 2005, 12:20:18 by Zartan »
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Offline Island Ryhno

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Re: New Battalion at Goose Bay - Conservative brain wave
« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2005, 12:42:05 »
Yeah, a bit of a silly idea, here is a website link to the town of Happy Valley - Goose Bay. There are opportunities for professional people out there, schools, hospitals etc, and they can never get enough of them because no one wants to go there. Also the Voiseys Bay project and the Lower Churchill project are/will be based out of there. Just some info.  8) http://www.happyvalley-goosebay.com/index2.htm
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Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: New Battalion at Goose Bay - Conservative brain wave
« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2005, 13:46:17 »
Yeah, a bit of a silly idea, here is a website link to the town of Happy Valley - Goose Bay. There are opportunities for professional people out there, schools, hospitals etc, and they can never get enough of them because no one wants to go there. Also the Voiseys Bay project and the Lower Churchill project are/will be based out of there. Just some info.   8) http://www.happyvalley-goosebay.com/index2.htm

Good point, Island Ryhno: Goose Bay is not the end of the world, not at all.

The main problem is that basing decisions should be recommended by the defence staff and then blessed or sent back by the Minister, for political reasons.  This a back-asswards; politics driving not just policy (which is part of the process) but the administration and logistics, too.

This proposal is ill-considered and will remain so until it comes up from the defence staff because it is the best option.  It is a poorly aimed hip shot; I do know Gordon O'Connor so I'm not surprised.
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Offline George Wallace

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Re: New Battalion at Goose Bay - Conservative brain wave
« Reply #20 on: May 16, 2005, 15:05:46 »
I don't know.   Perhaps there is some merit in this idea.  It sort of brings back the "Defence of Canada" role the Airborne had in the Seventies......now they are a lot closer to the Arctic they would fight in.  Great to have a large Land element in a 'large' Base in the North to conduct Arctic Warfare Trg and Deployments.  Deployments East over the Pole would be a little shorter from Goose Bay/Happy Valley.  It would attract the type of people who find Yellowknife attractive.  If NATO Air Forces are pulling out, it would leave an established infrastructure that the CF could exploit for other causes.  UAV training would have unrestricted Air Space with the NATO fighters gone. 

Many of the 'Cons' have already been covered, some having been exaggerated a little.  I am sure that many of what we have heard are myths and perhaps Garry who has been there for several years and now posted to Cold Lake could set some of them straight?

There may in fact be some real benefits in some of these musings.
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Offline Teddy Ruxpin

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Re: New Battalion at Goose Bay - Conservative brain wave
« Reply #21 on: May 16, 2005, 15:46:43 »
I can't agree.  I'm hip deep in the challenges being experienced by Wainwright as it tries to expand and it is only two hours from Edmonton, with a long-established Army presence.  Furthermore, I vividly remember the politically-inspired move of 1 CMBG to Edmonton and the resultant $120 million (plus) in extra costs.

There are (as far as I am aware) no major lodger units (444 Sqn with a few Griffons aside) in Goose Bay and it qualifies as an isolated post.  A battalion, with all its bits and pieces, would have to have facilities constructed, plus all the associated housing built.  With the new equipment management concept, a unit would have to fly into its equipment to conduct training - a road move from Goose Bay is a non-starter.  There is no rail.  We can't fly on operations, let alone trying to get a battalion properly trained.

What strategic sense would there be in creating an isolated, orphan battalion and spending hundreds of millions of dollars in infrastructure - right when we're attempting to limit this sort of thing?

As Gunner pointed out at the start of this discussion - it is politics at its most nauseating.
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Offline MdB

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Re: New Battalion at Goose Bay - Conservative brain wave
« Reply #22 on: May 16, 2005, 16:04:11 »
As Gunner pointed out at the start of this discussion - it is politics at its most nauseating.

Argh, disgusting initiative. ??? Where the heck did he took this idea if not from politically-driven motivation?? Man, I mean, even the trucker next door would know a QRF located in Labrador ( ;D ) wouldn't be strategically sound!! Why not move all the 3 infantry regiments up at Alert, they'll only have to cross the Arctic on cross-country skis and be anywhere in Europe or Asia in 4-6 months!! :-X
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Offline Infanteer

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Re: New Battalion at Goose Bay - Conservative brain wave
« Reply #23 on: May 17, 2005, 03:50:58 »
It seems that there are a variety of issues that need to be looked at when building a base - things like community, morale for members and families, distance from town, access to services, etc, etc - gone are the days when you can stick the cavalry in a desolate post.

It appears to me that basing units in bumfuck nowhere (Shiloh, Goose Bay) or basing them in/near big cities (Winnipeg) isn't working - perhaps mid-sized communities are the answer; placed on the outskirts so as not to be to intrusive but close enough that it doesn't feel like a posting to Mars.
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Offline Marty

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Re: New Battalion at Goose Bay - Conservative brain wave
« Reply #24 on: May 17, 2005, 12:00:15 »
Can you imagine the reaction if your spouse is a professional of some sort... "Honey, guess what?  We're posted to Goose Bay!  I've heard the huntin's good!"

Kinda like Shilo!

Just to clarify Goose Bay and Shilo dont have nuch in  common at all "The Goose" is a much more isolated place with alot less to do .You definatly dont want to get sent there.