Author Topic: Armour Driving Engineers  (Read 8558 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline reccecrewman

  • Another fine day to be in the Corps..............
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • 3,191
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 575
Armour Driving Engineers
« on: December 06, 2005, 23:42:16 »
The soldiers of 'A' Sqn. RCD who are supposed to deploy to Afghanistan in August '06 had a briefing last week.  The nuts and bolts of it were as follows; On top of the positions within the Squadron, they're supposed to be supplying 2CER with LAV III Drivers, Gunners and crew commanders.  Now, is this because 2CER is so undermanned that they want to free up these positions for black hatters to fill up their Sections for this particular tour, or is this one of the future roles of the Corps?  Will all tours that follow see black hatters crewing the Engineers LAV's?  In any event, the news was greeted enthusiastically since it'll give us more positions on tour and a chance for crewman to get a different taste of life on operations.

Cheers
Some people wonder all their lives if they've made a difference....... Soldiers don't have that problem.

Better to die fighting, standing on your feet than to live life serving on your knees.

Offline MCG

  • Army.ca Legend
  • *****
  • 208,030
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 11,764
Re: Armour Driving Engineers
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2005, 14:39:01 »
It is a logical course of action when a national level decision was made that not one additional 043 position could be added to the TO&E because it would be unsustainable by the branch.

Offline George Wallace

  • Army.ca Fossil
  • *****
  • 436,750
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 31,593
  • Crewman
Re: Armour Driving Engineers
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2005, 15:56:06 »
Tried to post just as the site went off the air this morning.....It isn't new.  We did the same thing a couple of years ago when Cpl Murphy was killed, and they decided to beef up D&S Platoon/QRF.  Crewmen were sent over as Dvrs, Gnrs and Comds of the LAVs.  I can see it being done in other instances, such as with EW and Sig Dets that may be sent out.  It is easier and cheaper to take qualified pers to do the job, than to rush and train other Trades to do it, when those other Trades may never require the training ever again in their careers.
DISCLAIMER: The opinions and arguments of George Wallace posted on this Site are solely those of George Wallace and not the opinion of Army.ca and are posted for information purposes only.
Unless so stated, they are reflective of my opinion -- and my opinion only, a right that I enjoy along with every other Canadian citizen.

Offline geo

  • Army.ca Legend
  • *****
  • 26,410
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 10,648
Re: Armour Driving Engineers
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2006, 21:09:03 »
Do we spend time, money, personnel and equipment to train Engineers, Infantrymen, Gunners & Signallers how to fill Driver/Crew Commander/Gunner positions on a LAV/Coyote or is it preferable to leave professionals fight our light armoured equipment while the other Combat arms take care of business?

I think the question answers itself.

Nuff said.

Chimo!
Chimo!

Offline Allan Luomala

  • Banned
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • -20
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 637
Re: Armour Driving Engineers
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2006, 20:05:50 »
Do we spend time, money, personnel and equipment to train Engineers, Infantrymen, Gunners & Signallers how to fill Driver/Crew Commander/Gunner positions on a LAV/Coyote or is it preferable to leave professionals fight our light armoured equipment while the other Combat arms take care of business?

I think the question answers itself.

Nuff said.

Chimo!

This doesn't ring true to me. When we (crewmen) have a soldier dismount from the back of a vehicle to secure a lateral, should he be an infantryman (instead of the Surv Op) because he is doing an infantry-style task?  When we have to have someone cook our meals in the morning (in hides, or manning an OP), should we have to bring in a cook? Do we need to have a Rad Op speak for us on the radio to send in a Contact Report? I think not, in every case, including the examples you gave.

Frankly, there are many people who relish this prospect, be they black hatters, or otherwise. I think the danger here is then "we" become nothing more than chaffeurs, and really, indentured servants of the arm that we "support". Unless, of course, these other arms (Engineers, Infantrymen, Gunners & Signallers) feel that they are "above" crewing a vehicle. As well, do we then deplete the Armour regiments just to crew every Tom, Dickless, and Harry's vehicle, just because they don't want to do the dirty work (of maintaining them)?? Sorry, but we didn't have Engineers come over to clean our Assault Troop equipment (back in the day).

It's all about training: honestly, it isn't rocket science to driver, crew command, or gun the vehicles. I am NOT degrading the abilities of our soldiers (crewmen) as there is much more to the Armour Corps than crewing a vehicle. Fighting the vehicle is difficult (and the other arms wouldn't be expected to become Tankers-Lite), but it can be taught to other arms, much in the same way that Comms can be taught to crewmen, infantry were taught engineer type tasks (Pioneer Platoon), gunners have crewed armoured vehicles before (ADATS ring a bell?). Should we take over the AVLB and AEV? I think Kat Stevens might have a word or ten for you ref that.

I sometimes cringe when I see, what I consider to be unqualified (to Armour Corps standards) personnel crew AFV's: standing up to the waist in the hatches (gunner and commander), drivers hatch open when gun in stab (not on LAV III, but back when Inf manned Coyote's), vehicles flanging around completely non-tactically (not using best ground available), getting stuck in OBVIOUS places (the saying used to go: "Bambi [RCD hatbadge is a Sprinbok, a form of antelope, sorta like a deer, hence Bambi] don't go where the cat-tails grow!!!", beating the rat-crap out of the vehicle and then being proud of breaking it (I heard Inf drivers boast about how much damage they did to their LAVIII (and the crew): in the Armour Corps, you get the crap kicked out of you for hurting your crew (deliberately), and if you bust your ride, you walk..... why would a grunt prefer walking to riding?). Much in the same way that Engineers shudder watching/hearing about Crewmen, Inf, Gunners discussing how THEY would carry out the SANDI drill. Or Inf shudder hearing us talking about how WE conduct dismounted ops.

In closing, I don't think we need to go down the "specialized" military that we disparage to our South (which is a lot of urban legend-type of crap, but I have heard some pretty bizarre stories, so how much is true). We can't have Armour Corps try to out-Engineer the Engineers, or Infantry try to out-Artillery the Artillery. We can have overlap without stepping all over each other, and to be honest, it gives us a greater appreciation for how difficult the other's job can be. I, for example, would never want to have to clear a minefield after doing it (in broad, basic terms) on the different courses I was on and jobs I had. But I could self extract from a minefield in a pinch (laugh all you want, 041 types). Why? Because an Engineer taught me. Just as an 041 can drive, gun, and command a LAVIII, TLAV (engineer variant, which the designation escapes me at the moment (TLAV-E??), etc. I don't relish the thought of having to have all our instructors go teach the 021, 031, 041, etc courses (6A level) tactical crew commanding in the way we do for ourselves (we are stretched just as thin as everyone else). But we could run Train the Trainer courses (sound familiar..... ref the MAT level 1 argument from many moons ago?!?!), which we do right now for Gunnery (we actually have an Infantry Captain as the Gunnery Troop Leader (IG Team) at the Armour School!! Cats and dogs will lay down with each other now!!! Water and oil will mix!!).

Was that "nuff" said??

Al

Offline MCG

  • Army.ca Legend
  • *****
  • 208,030
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 11,764
Re: Armour Driving Engineers
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2006, 03:10:18 »
I have to agree with Allan.  Despite that big cannon, Engineers still use the vehicle as an APC (and not an IFV as the infantry employ it).  Crewmen should not be required to do this job.  However, when we cannot get additional 043 for operations, then it makes sense to take them out of turrets & put them into the back.

Offline geo

  • Army.ca Legend
  • *****
  • 26,410
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 10,648
Re: Armour Driving Engineers
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2006, 12:34:54 »
MCG...
which is the point that I was getting at.....
while in operation, Sappers are better employed as .... sappers. Having "tankers" crewing the vehicle and fighting the vehicle (instead of having em in a zulu harbour), providing protection while we look after job #1 is the more logical route to follow.

Should Sappers know how to drive, fire and command the LAVs? ... sure but; there's plenty for us to do without being SMEs on em.
Chimo!

Offline Allan Luomala

  • Banned
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • -20
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 637
Re: Armour Driving Engineers
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2006, 14:49:53 »
MCG...
which is the point that I was getting at.....
while in operation, Sappers are better employed as .... sappers. Having "tankers" crewing the vehicle and fighting the vehicle (instead of having em in a zulu harbour), providing protection while we look after job #1 is the more logical route to follow.

Should Sappers know how to drive, fire and command the LAVs? ... sure but; there's plenty for us to do without being SMEs on em.

Nobody is asking you (that I know of) to be SME's on them: be proficient enough so as not to be dangerous to yourself and other's around you on the battlefield (except the enemy). We (crewmen) are not expected to be super-duper snake eating commando's when we do dismounted patrols: get the job done, and get back to the task at hand. If we need assistance in peacetime (training wise), sure we defer to the experts (whomever they may be in that field) and then train ourselves as neccesary, and that way we aren't a drain on their resources when push comes to shove (wartime).

It's all about education and training.

Al

Offline TCBF

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 13,760
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,941
Re: Armour Driving Engineers
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2006, 15:26:44 »
Well, are we now regretting our decision to go with a 25mm turret on our LAVs, rather than an 'easy and cheap to train on RWS'?

 ;D

I think using soldiers to their max flexibility is good as a TEMPORARY measure, but we have to put in some permanent fixes.  I don't see Crmn crewing all of the AFVs. No adult Army has done it, and that is because of the Career implications in the medium and top slots of the corporation.  If you were an Armoured officer commanding a future Div, and you realized that your non-Armour Bde and Bn Comds had climbed their respective pyramids without EVER successfully commanding an AFV on battle runs and exercises, you are going to realize that a key building block of their tactical experience and understanding is missing.  In short, you will trust those  guys to command a mech force about as far as you can throw the Officer's Mess piano.

In any case, when the crunch comes and the Crmn trade gets hard pressed, they will say "If we crew your vehs, we want those PYs. Shrink the other trades and give us 1000 more Crmn (and all of the pyramid CWO positions that implies)".

Basically, fill your slots, or give up the load-stations to trades that can effectively recruit, train, and RETAIN their soldiers.

Tom
"Disarming the Canadian public is part of the new humanitarian social agenda."   - Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axeworthy at a Gun Control conference in Oslo, Norway in 1998.


"I didn’t feel that it was an act of violence; you know, I felt that it was an act of liberation, that’s how I felt you know." - Ann Hansen, Canadian 'Urban Guerrilla'(one of the "Squamish Five")

Offline Target Up

    ........pull, patch, and score.

  • Army.ca Subscriber
  • Army.ca Fixture
  • *
  • 225,165
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 5,856
  • that's how we roll in redneck land
Re: Armour Driving Engineers
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2006, 16:03:57 »
I'm with Al all the way on this one.  It's bad enough sitting around waiting for the 935s to show up with the Bluebirds.  Can you imagine waiting for the AFVs to show up for first light?  As we all know, first light is a half hour later for the Armd Corps  ;D.  The crewman ain't been born that could have taken my AVLB/AEV away, that kind of power requires a politician.
Apparently, a "USUAL SUSPECT"

“In peace there's nothing so becomes a man as modest stillness and humility; but when the blast of war blows in our ears, then imitate the action of the tiger; stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood, disguise fair nature with hard-favor'd rage.”

 Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and start slitting throats

Offline Chimo

  • Full Member
  • *****
  • 1,190
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 282
Re: Armour Driving Engineers
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2006, 17:39:54 »
Easy springs here. The Engineers certainly do not like it any more then anyone else.

What no one has mentioned is that we are suffering from second and third level effects from fielding a vehicle, LAV III without a proper plan to qualify the crews and maintain that qualification. That coupled with a high op tempo makes it hard to get to courses that Engineers need for career progression let alone vehicle qualifications. Then add in the variety of vehicles an Engineer Regiment holds and expects our soldiers to be qualified on, and oh yeah, we need you to do that Sapper stuff too!

What we need to identify is this a short term problem that will be overcome eventually or do we need to change our training system to adequate meet the demand. Or, shudder, are our standards require to drive, operate and maintain the vehicle too high? Do we need as much time qualifying on it?

I don't know the answer. I do know every time we bring a new vehicle into the inventory of a Regiment, we jump through hoops trying to find qualified drives or we quasi qualify someone. The next Drama will be finding drivers for the RG-31s.

So what is the solution?  :salute:
All my heroes are soldiers...and all my soldiers are heroes.

Offline TCBF

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 13,760
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,941
Re: Armour Driving Engineers
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2006, 20:29:20 »
Well, to start with, we have to stop lying about what our Soldiers do all day.  When we start filling out time-sheets and cost accounting Inf/Armd/Arty/FE the way we do mechs and techs, we will find that we spend a lot of time treating units as labour and penal battalions, and not enough time soldiering.

In peacetime, in Garrison, every Cbt A soldier should be either taking a course, teaching a course, administering a course, or doing pre/post EX maint.  The Air Force concept of 'Train to Need' is killing the Army, and we have to dump it - now.

We also have to dump civie-type fleet management and cost accounting.  Don't charge a unit money for them to take a soldier to the field - charge them money for every soldier they leave in garrison!

Tom
"Disarming the Canadian public is part of the new humanitarian social agenda."   - Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axeworthy at a Gun Control conference in Oslo, Norway in 1998.


"I didn’t feel that it was an act of violence; you know, I felt that it was an act of liberation, that’s how I felt you know." - Ann Hansen, Canadian 'Urban Guerrilla'(one of the "Squamish Five")

Offline Allan Luomala

  • Banned
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • -20
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 637
Re: Armour Driving Engineers
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2006, 20:39:26 »
TCBF for PM!!!!

Offline MCG

  • Army.ca Legend
  • *****
  • 208,030
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 11,764
Re: Armour Driving Engineers
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2006, 16:28:15 »
What we need to identify is this a short term problem that will be overcome eventually or do we need to change our training system to adequate meet the demand.
I see a significant part of the problem stemming from differnet trg and operational fleets.  We trg engineers to drive & crew MTVE and TLAV in order to use these for collective trg in Canada.  Then we send them overseas into LAV III.  If we used the same vehicle for trg and for deployments, it would vastly reduce our trg deficiencies.

However, I do not believe this is a problem of trg deficiencies (we managed to close the delta for TF 1-06).  The problem is deficiencies in manpower.  You have X number of positions in the Fd Sqn TO&E, but the number of 043 that can sustainably be deployed does not meet that.  You need to start identifying positions that other MOSs can fill.

Offline Allan Luomala

  • Banned
  • Sr. Member
  • *
  • -20
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 637
Re: Armour Driving Engineers
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2006, 17:50:53 »

However, I do not believe this is a problem of trg deficiencies (we managed to close the delta for TF 1-06).  The problem is deficiencies in manpower.  You have X number of positions in the Fd Sqn TO&E, but the number of 043 that can sustainably be deployed does not meet that.  You need to start identifying positions that other MOSs can fill.

I think that this is starting to become a recurring theme: farm out everything that you can't or don't want to do. I hate to point out to you that other MOS's have their own problems, shortfalls, trg issues.

I would love to say that we need Engineers to come and dig our latrines, slit-trenches, etc because we aren't qualified "excavating", but I'm sure the response to that would be hardly overwhelming. The Army is mechanized now, actually has been for some time. Yes, there is a large number of platforms to worry about, but that is common to all Cbt Arm trades (all trades, in some shape of have this issue, be it radios, tools, software, etc).

We ***** when we don't have the kit, we ***** when we get it.

Al

Offline TCBF

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 13,760
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,941
Re: Armour Driving Engineers
« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2006, 19:02:58 »
 "The problem is deficiencies in manpower."

Yup.  In 1990, we were rapidly heading towards 90,000 and in fact were at 88 plus, maybe more.  Then the 'White Paper' turned 'Brown' as the Commies in Cabinet found that too much money in the DND budget ( 2 billion of 12 billion) was spent on CFE, and since Germans don't vote in Canadian elections...

That, and other factors such as a gutless bureaucratic attempt to punish the military be denigrating it as an institution after Somalia led to them letting us drop to waaay below 50,000.  Some say as low as 45,000, while still keeping 3 of 4 brigades. 

Granted, the Navy and Air Force also took a big hit, loosing ships, planes, stations and bases.

So, now we decide to get bigger, but we cut to the bone and do not have the people to do tours AND teach the new soldiers - but it IS getting better.

I think we should be at 100,000 myself.

Even Trudeau had us at 76,000 - but that was with 4CMBG, The Pinetree line, nukes, etc.

Comments? 

Tom
"Disarming the Canadian public is part of the new humanitarian social agenda."   - Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axeworthy at a Gun Control conference in Oslo, Norway in 1998.


"I didn’t feel that it was an act of violence; you know, I felt that it was an act of liberation, that’s how I felt you know." - Ann Hansen, Canadian 'Urban Guerrilla'(one of the "Squamish Five")

Offline geo

  • Army.ca Legend
  • *****
  • 26,410
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 10,648
Re: Armour Driving Engineers
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2006, 20:50:01 »
Still looking to see how recruiting is doing.
Regiments are still hurting for troops and the Sappers are in ever increasing demand.

Still looking forward to the day when we see the reservoir go above the "half empty" mark
Chimo!

Offline MCG

  • Army.ca Legend
  • *****
  • 208,030
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 11,764
Re: Armour Driving Engineers
« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2006, 01:23:55 »
I would love to say that we need Engineers to come and dig our latrines, slit-trenches, etc because we aren't qualified "excavating", but I'm sure the response to that would be hardly overwhelming.
But see, you are trying to (once again) make this a trg deficiency issue (which it is not).  We can crew our vehicles.  We cannot fill all the 043 slots that are required for overseas.

Offline TCBF

  • Army.ca Veteran
  • *****
  • 13,760
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 3,941
Re: Armour Driving Engineers
« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2006, 13:35:20 »
If we have more missions than we have soldiers to fill them, then it IS a deficiency issue. 

Tom
"Disarming the Canadian public is part of the new humanitarian social agenda."   - Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axeworthy at a Gun Control conference in Oslo, Norway in 1998.


"I didn’t feel that it was an act of violence; you know, I felt that it was an act of liberation, that’s how I felt you know." - Ann Hansen, Canadian 'Urban Guerrilla'(one of the "Squamish Five")

Offline MCG

  • Army.ca Legend
  • *****
  • 208,030
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 11,764
Re: Armour Driving Engineers
« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2006, 14:39:06 »
If we have more missions than we have soldiers to fill them, then it IS a deficiency issue. 
But, not a training deficiency.

Offline armybuck041

  • Donor
  • Member
  • *
  • 2,580
  • Rate Post
  • Posts: 219
Re: Armour Driving Engineers
« Reply #20 on: January 16, 2006, 23:05:02 »
As a member of the unit who will be having the Black Hatters crew our LAV III's, I can assure you that no one here is happy about it, but we have no other choice and welcome their technical assistance. This is not a matter of "Farming" out our crew positions for a lack of interest, so please dump that concept as it is offensive. We take great pride in striving to be self suficient and professional, but we do not have enough deployable/qualified people left..... plain and simple. This just further demonstrates the the current Op Tempo and the resources we have to deal with it.

   

 
Gone but never forgotten: Sgt Shane Stachnik, Killed in Action on 3 Sept 2006, Panjwaii Afghanistan