Author Topic: Canada's Vulnerable Coastlines  (Read 8101 times)

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Offline Underway

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Canada's Vulnerable Coastlines
« on: June 15, 2016, 10:18:05 »
From the Star today:

Canadian coastlines are vulnerable, outgoing navy commander warns

Quote
HALIFAX—The outgoing head of the navy says Canada is vulnerable and needs to work even more closely with the United States to improve the maritime security of North America.

Vice-Admiral Mark Norman, commander of the Royal Canadian Navy, said the government should look at investing in sensors to improve maritime surveillance and the information-sharing relationship between Canada and the U.S.

Norman, who will hand over the navy to Vice-Admiral Ron Lloyd on June 23, said the sensors could take a variety of forms, such as an underwater sensor network or land-based radar.

“At the moment we’re vulnerable,” said Norman during an exclusive interview recently with The Canadian Press onboard HMCS Windsor, as it sailed roughly 57 metres below sea level off the coast of Halifax.

“There are a number of threats and the question is: Are we prepared to simply accept the threats and the implications of them? Or do we want to do something about it? Do we want to know what’s going on?”

Those threats could include drug trafficking in the Caribbean, illegal migration or “potential military threats in a circumstance that perhaps people don’t like to think about,” said Norman.

He added Canada has been “fairly lucky.”

“We’ve been able to avoid any real situations that either have embarrassed the country . . . or have actually threatened the security of Canadians,” said Norman, who starts his new role as second in command of the Canadian Forces on Aug 5.

“But that doesn’t mean that the potential for those things happening isn’t real . . . As senior military officers, our responsibility is to provide advice beyond just being lucky. You don’t base strategy or policy on, ‘We’ve been lucky so far.’ ”

Norman says sensors would bolster what he called “maritime domain awareness” under the NORAD agreement. Established in 1958, NORAD is the joint U.S-Canada command providing aerospace warning, air sovereignty and defence for North America.

Norman’s comments come as the defence department undertakes a review of the future of the Canadian Armed Forces.

Ken Hansen, a professor at the Centre for Foreign Policy Studies at Dalhousie University in Halifax, said working more closely with the United States is imperative because it’s impossible to defend Canada on our own, given its size and population.

“If a serious threat was to develop, we would have absolutely no choice but to call on the Americans for help,” said Hansen in a recent interview.

“That means that they have to trust that we’re doing a reasonable job and not just, as Donald Trump says, freeloading.”

Hansen also agreed with Norman about investing in sensors.

“You need intelligence and you need surveillance systems to get that intelligence and to shape and co-ordinate what we do and where and when,” said Hansen. “You can build a trust relationship by being smart about where you put your resources.”

Norman said investing in a sensor system is important, but it may not be seen as urgent in the context of the defence review currently underway.

“Do I see us having as a result of this defence policy review an explicit mention of improving the underwater sensor network in and around North America? Maybe, maybe not. We’ll see what happens,” said Norman.

“But it’s a growing concern from a maritime defence perspective and it’s something we need to think about going forward.”

Domain awareness is something that Canada does not do as well as we could, given the geographical/climate/budgetary challenges.  There are discussions (some action) on sensors going into the arctic for domain awareness, I wouldn't be surprised if that program were to be expanded to include other areas.  Trinity sure as hell could use the extra info to cross reference with what they already have going.

Interesting how the CAF seems to be able to talk about stuff now that the Harperites are no longer in power.  Whether you liked that particular government or not, all communications were very tightly controlled.  With the new government it seems that the CAF have found that they are freer to speak on issues with the attendant increase in seeing how the CAF leadership thinks and what they are looking at.  This article is an example of that change. 

Offline Colin P

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Re: Canada's Vulnerable Coastlines
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2016, 10:34:03 »
No denying that the message control got way out of hand to their own determent. I know that smuggling was quite the pastime in Newfoundland for years even after the rum running. On the west coast immigrant ships and bit of drug smuggling is the issue. Funny years ago the Captain of one of the BC ferries serving the Queen Charlotte Islands told me how they spotted 30-40 Chinese looking males in ill-fitting clothes board the ferry in QC city and he called Customs to meet them, Customs declined as they had no OT money. a week or so later they spotted an abandoned foreign fishing boat off the coast.
If you are going to protect the coasts, it means a lot of boring patrolling with occasional moments of excitement. Fisheries already uses "Guardians" to watch for illegal fishing and threats to habitat up and down the coast. maybe some more enabling funds for them and also expand the Rangers to form more of a Marine arm. Perhaps another Orca manned with mixed Regs and Reserves to run a coastal patrol, give t a couple of MG and a HMG.

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Canada's Vulnerable Coastlines
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2016, 10:44:46 »
No denying that the message control got way out of hand to their own determent. I know that smuggling was quite the pastime in Newfoundland for years even after the rum running. On the west coast immigrant ships and bit of drug smuggling is the issue. Funny years ago the Captain of one of the BC ferries serving the Queen Charlotte Islands told me how they spotted 30-40 Chinese looking males in ill-fitting clothes board the ferry in QC city and he called Customs to meet them, Customs declined as they had no OT money. a week or so later they spotted an abandoned foreign fishing boat off the coast.
If you are going to protect the coasts, it means a lot of boring patrolling with occasional moments of excitement. Fisheries already uses "Guardians" to watch for illegal fishing and threats to habitat up and down the coast. maybe some more enabling funds for them and also expand the Rangers to form more of a Marine arm. Perhaps another Orca manned with mixed Regs and Reserves to run a coastal patrol, give t a couple of MG and a HMG.

So, like, you mean we need a real strategic plan integrating all our various military and civil assets to safeguard our borders, just like other countries?

Cheeky monkey, aren't you? :)

"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

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Re: Canada's Vulnerable Coastlines
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2016, 10:51:42 »
Why do our flag officers only ever fire parting shots as they walk out the door.

Where are their brass balls and bravery when they first walk into the office ?
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Offline dapaterson

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Re: Canada's Vulnerable Coastlines
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2016, 11:32:12 »
RAdm Norman is moving into the VCDS' chair, not retiring.
This posting made in accordance with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, section 2(b):
Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication
http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/charter/1.html

Online FSTO

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Re: Canada's Vulnerable Coastlines
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2016, 12:06:08 »
No denying that the message control got way out of hand to their own determent. I know that smuggling was quite the pastime in Newfoundland for years even after the rum running. On the west coast immigrant ships and bit of drug smuggling is the issue. Funny years ago the Captain of one of the BC ferries serving the Queen Charlotte Islands told me how they spotted 30-40 Chinese looking males in ill-fitting clothes board the ferry in QC city and he called Customs to meet them, Customs declined as they had no OT money. a week or so later they spotted an abandoned foreign fishing boat off the coast.
If you are going to protect the coasts, it means a lot of boring patrolling with occasional moments of excitement. Fisheries already uses "Guardians" to watch for illegal fishing and threats to habitat up and down the coast. maybe some more enabling funds for them and also expand the Rangers to form more of a Marine arm. Perhaps another Orca manned with mixed Regs and Reserves to run a coastal patrol, give t a couple of MG and a HMG.

Orca's are inshore vessels only. We had one pretty beat up going into Queen Charlotte Sound.

If we want to do offshore patrol get a proper ship. (one with speed and sea keeping ability)

Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: Canada's Vulnerable Coastlines
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2016, 12:45:34 »
Here's the type of "dudes" we are talking about. And something like those could easily be built by many yards in Canada that have not been selected as part of the Shipbuilding Strategy and are sitting quite ready even now.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holland-class_offshore_patrol_vessel
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/River-class_patrol_vessel
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protector-class_offshore_patrol_vessel
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_patrol_vessel_L%27Adroit

My personal preference would be something like the Protector class for three reasons: They are a Canadian design; they are ice strengthened - so could easily replace the MCDV's in Arctic summer ops; they have space for an embarked force - which could be the enhanced boarding team if need be, and could provide lots of space for reservists to train under regulars and qualify on type.

Offline Journeyman

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Re: Canada's Vulnerable Coastlines
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2016, 13:19:39 »
RAdm Norman is moving into the VCDS' chair, not retiring.
Tomato / tom-ah-to   ;D

Offline Colin P

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Re: Canada's Vulnerable Coastlines
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2016, 13:25:08 »
Orca's are inshore vessels only. We had one pretty beat up going into Queen Charlotte Sound.

If we want to do offshore patrol get a proper ship. (one with speed and sea keeping ability)

Wimps  [:p
We used this class for years and took a beating and came back for more.


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Re: Canada's Vulnerable Coastlines
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2016, 13:40:49 »
RAdm Norman is moving into the VCDS' chair, not retiring.

I sit corrected!  Good on him then!
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Re: Canada's Vulnerable Coastlines
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2016, 13:44:15 »
Wimps  [:p
We used this class for years and took a beating and came back for more.



Probably was designed for going offshore. Deeper draft and better built.

An ORCA got caught in a blow in Haro Strait. It was a very close run thing that we didn't lose a boat that day.

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Re: Canada's Vulnerable Coastlines
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2016, 13:59:07 »
They're as thin skinned as The Donald.  I wouldn't want to be going anywhere too far from shore in one of them.

Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: Canada's Vulnerable Coastlines
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2016, 14:01:42 »
Any cork can bob on the water.

We used to have Rapid and Rally  deploy with us when I was on the East coast gate vessels. Their nicknames were Overwhelmed and Overturned, the next two "O" boats (submarines)  ;D.
 

Offline cheeky_monkey

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Re: Canada's Vulnerable Coastlines
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2016, 14:13:11 »
Cheeky monkey, aren't you? :)

There's only one cheeky monkey here.  :)

My personal preference would be something like the Protector class for three reasons: They are a Canadian design; they are ice strengthened - so could easily replace the MCDV's in Arctic summer ops; they have space for an embarked force - which could be the enhanced boarding team if need be, and could provide lots of space for reservists to train under regulars and qualify on type.

The RNZN ran into overweight issues which reportedly had a negative impact on the location and size of the ice strengthened belt. I'm not so sure that it'd be the best design, given it's issues - it's token ice strengthening aside. The remainder of your list of "pros" is also met by the Holland class, which to it's advantage, possess a more advanced sensor suite, a more complete weapons suite, and is larger, allowing for a greater degree of future-proofing. And as an east coast mariner, I'd much prefer a larger ship (presumably) capable of dealing with higher sea states.

Plus, the Holland class just looks bad-***.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2016, 14:23:56 by cheeky_monkey »
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Re: Canada's Vulnerable Coastlines
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2016, 15:05:43 »
There's only one cheeky monkey here.  :)

And as an east coast mariner, I'd much prefer a larger ship (presumably) capable of dealing with higher sea states.

Now you've done it!

Offline Colin P

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Re: Canada's Vulnerable Coastlines
« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2016, 15:16:37 »
Probably was designed for going offshore. Deeper draft and better built.

An ORCA got caught in a blow in Haro Strait. It was a very close run thing that we didn't lose a boat that day.

I have stood on the bulkheads of the Ready as she rolled, the front where the guy is standing got stoved in by a wave, on the Racer we dug our bow in and had a log about 3' wide roll up onto the rails and come to rest against the fire monitors and then we watched it go by the bridge windows with the next wave. Funny how you miss that stuff.

Perhaps we sell you our Hero Class in a few years and get better ships. This ship was sold for pennies on the dollar by CCG


Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: Canada's Vulnerable Coastlines
« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2016, 15:27:17 »
Yes Cheeky_monkey, I know of the Protector weight problem. But all it was, was a miscalculation of the weight of the ice strengthening belt resulting in the belt ending at the actual waterline instead of being centered on the waterline. Now that it's known, I would think it can be remedied.

I kind of like the Holland myself, but ... at 3,750 tons it's almost twice as big as the old steamers used to be. I don't think you need something that big. And if you "canadianize" for cold weather, I think you would be adding a lot of extra weight to it. The Protector already is "arctic" adapted for cold weather. The French Adroit and the UK's River (batch 2/3) seem to be a reasonable size and can take the extra weight of "winterizing" with too much weight increase as compared to Holland.

I agree the Hollands look bad ***!!!

Colin, is that the old Gordon Reid (flats in front of the bridge looks a little small for her, but ...)?

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Re: Canada's Vulnerable Coastlines
« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2016, 15:33:46 »
The John Jacobson, her sistership and run by a University near you I believe. The hulls were a commercial design, the CCG went a bit shorter and bit higher with predictable results. Not helped by the shipyard substituting cheaper and heavier materials up high.