Author Topic: Comm Res No More?  (Read 31432 times)

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Offline 2929

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Comm Res No More?
« on: February 06, 2007, 04:16:25 »
I've heard some RUMINT recently from friends at multiple Com Res units that basically states the Communication Reserve as we know it is no longer. As the rumor goes, we are no longer our own separate little organization and now fall under Land Force command w/ units from the respective Comm Gp's being part of the regular old reserve brigades (i.e. 74 Comm Gp units now fall under 39 Bde).

Now having heard nothing official about this matter and knowing how fast rumours travel in the Comm Res I am taking this news to be pure poppycock (as should you if this is the first you have heard of it) but, being the curious cat I am, I'm wonder if anyone else has heard this rumour?

This idea (true or not) intrigues me as I have wondered if having the Comm Res fall under the same command as the rest of the Army Reserves would allow for more integration with/support of Army Reserve units and, in turn, more effective trg for Comm Res units. For example, the trg we currently do at my unit usually involves:

     1) Setting up at different locations and having a bunch of Sig Ops try to talk to each other.
     2) Trying to get the LCT to actually work.
     3) Setting up a giant CP just to have someone come by, call it pretty, and then have us tear it down.

I have always found this can you hear me now and look at our giant CP type trg, for the lack of a better word, stupid. The most useful trg I ever received was when I actually supported other reserve units on their exercises, you know doing our job by providing commanders and their staff the means to exercise command and control. I'm not trying to question the direction we are going in (DOMOPS, etc), but the integration of the Comm Res w/ other Army Reserve units.

So I ask, do you think that having the Comm Res fall under the same command as the rest of the Army Reserves would allow for more integration with and support of Army Reserve units and, in turn, more effective trg for Comm Res units?

Sorry for the double question, but I'm curious if others have heard this rumor and what others think about the general idea of the rumor.


Edit for Clarity
« Last Edit: February 06, 2007, 04:20:53 by boehm »

Offline Breacher41

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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2007, 04:44:20 »
Funny thing because I have heard of this as well, and I am of the Health Services World. I think the reintegration of all assets into the Army would have its ups and downs. I will not elaborate because my quips are more for the Medical side, but ya... I've heard of this little rumor.
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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2007, 05:11:03 »
I've heard this rumour too and am quite glad to see it happening. I have been on my fair share of Exercise Jupiter-can-you-here-me-nows'? and Exercise-F***ing Mod! I can only agree with you whole heartedly that the best training I've ever received was supporting other units. I was still talking to other jimmies but at least my log book wasn't filled with RC // LC (hence my army.ca name). The only downside I can see is that unit budgets might be effected as training gets amalgamated. But who cares, the commres is actually part of the army now!  ;D (... well of course here's to hoping that RUMINT is a reliable source ;))
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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2007, 06:32:28 »
While I was at 746(Calgary) Comm Sqn, 1991-98, we supported the local Militia units a great deal and had a very good rapport with them. Note that I don't know about the situation since I've been away.

From a selfish point of view, I would hate to see the Comm Res units amalgamated into the Militia. We always had more trg money per soldier and were able to conduct more training nights, exercises, and other support tasks because of this. If the Comm units join the Militia, that money goes into the big pot and will be thinned out. Again, I point out that this situation was as of 91-98 and things may have changed that I'm unaware of.

Another positive, from the Comm Res point of view, of the existing system, is not being caught up in the bureaucracy and politics of the Militia world. That in itself made life great many times.

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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2007, 08:04:54 »
It'll be interesting to see if this is actually happening now. I've been aware of this intent for years now. When I first came to Ottawa (2000) to start working on moving the Med Coys out from the Army, I had many discussions with the LFRR folks, and some with the Comm Res world (to see how they had managed 'the divorce').

Back then, the Army was upset in that they had, when the Comm Res became its own entity, given up approx 400 funded positions for the founding of the Comm Res (Baseline Transfer, as was done for the Health Services Reserves I think). This was done with the tacit agreement that the Army would get all the support it ever needed from the Comm Res, whenever, however. But.......the Comm Res (I'm speaking in very general terms here) began heading off and away from the tactical level support that the Army so acutely required. The Army has been less than happy about it ever since.

In the end, the Army has been slowly pushing since around 2001 (that I know of) to get them back.

Makes we wonder if they'll try to get the Res Field Ambs back some day????

Offline Beadwindow 7

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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2007, 09:49:34 »
I held off on posting about this. Until recently, only senior and day staff at Comm Res units was aware of this being pushed on. From what I've heard, speaking with a CO, is that there will be a 1 year transitional period. Yes, Res Sigs, we're back in the army. Yay!

I think there's some good and bad on both sides:

Individual Training:

-BMQ/SQ/PLQ will most likely go back to Regional Levels. This means no more flying all Comm Reservists to Shilo for summer training. Access to Bde training courses. Possibly more positions. Good

-Not having the recruit school in Shilo to be manned means more staff to teach at F Squadron at CFSCE during the summer. Good

- Comm Reservists will have better opportunity for summer taskings. In the Past, certain Comm Gps wouldn't approve summer taskings unless all the positions at Shilo and CFSCE were filled. Basically, unless you had a good reason, no tasking unless there's no more Comm Res taskings. Good

-Access to more soldier skills training. Good

-May lower the ammount of Comms skill training during the year. Bad

Unit Training:

- I think what we'll see is less of a Comm Gp comms ex, and more of a Bde spprt capability. Ex: Det A of 7** Comm Sqn will be assigned to 3X Field Engineer Sqn. When 3X deploys on weekend Ex, Det A will provide a CP and Comms support. Probably good. The downside in this, will a Bde G6 staff have the resources to write up multiple comm plans and CEOIs for multiple excersizes, or will units have to incorporate more Comms planning in their ops cells, or will this revert to the Comms unit to make up CEOIs for units they're attached to?

- Less cross training with other Comm units in regions.

- Will there be specific funds available to Comm Res units? Comms are expensive.

- What will happen with the R291 initiative?

This is all I can think of off the top of my head. But like I said, all speculation til we see the directive come out.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2007, 10:15:18 by Sig_Des »
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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2007, 10:15:57 »
My understanding is that this is not limited to Res - I have heard that the Joint Signals Regiment is going back to the army too.
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Offline Beadwindow 7

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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2007, 10:18:51 »
My understanding is that this is not limited to Res - I have heard that the Joint Signals Regiment is going back to the army too.

The difference is that Reg F Sig Ops ARE a part of the Land Element. Comm Res was it's own element.
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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2007, 10:19:15 »
Good point ;)
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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2007, 10:37:27 »
The difference is that Reg F Sig Ops ARE a part of the Land Element. Comm Res was it's own element.

Proud passengers of the short yellow bus, right Des?  :)
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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2007, 10:53:21 »
The passengers of the short bus weren't all bad, it was the drivers and sometimes the dispatch  ;)
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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2007, 10:58:48 »
I'm depressed about this, solely from the point of view that the comm res always had more money, and more training time...

I know from the point of view of our unit, to say that we weren't supporting the local army units was ridiculous, we gave them all the support they asked for. I know from personal experience, at least half the exercises the local units did, we sent out a CP. And about half of those worked out. The problem was that we were generally left out of the planning process for the exercises, even left out of pre-deployment o-grps for that matter... end result is, we provide what they request (A tac rad CP), they don't always get what they want (Or even WHERE they want it, I've actually been in situations where they failed to give us a LOCATION). End result is we're frustrated because they exclude us but still expect the full level of support, they're frusted because they don't get what they expected, and as a result, don't bother to request our support in the future.

Sticking the comm squadrons into the brigades will NOT fix this lack of communications.

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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2007, 11:14:43 »
I'm depressed about this, solely from the point of view that the comm res always had more money, and more training time...

I know from the point of view of our unit, to say that we weren't supporting the local army units was ridiculous, we gave them all the support they asked for. I know from personal experience, at least half the exercises the local units did, we sent out a CP. And about half of those worked out. The problem was that we were generally left out of the planning process for the exercises, even left out of pre-deployment o-grps for that matter... end result is, we provide what they request (A tac rad CP), they don't always get what they want (Or even WHERE they want it, I've actually been in situations where they failed to give us a LOCATION). End result is we're frustrated because they exclude us but still expect the full level of support, they're frusted because they don't get what they expected, and as a result, don't bother to request our support in the future.

Sticking the comm squadrons into the brigades will NOT fix this lack of communications.

First point: We spent our extra training time cleaning out the cages sometimes 2-3 weeks in a row. That's if we were able to find the mystical keys to the very real locks on the cages which no one seemed to have. Great use of time  ::) Although I must give credit to the Senior NCOs for improving the training schedule and putting a lot of effort in to training the stuff that they know from personal experience (tricks of the trade). But that still wasn't unit training because we never really got a chance to get out in the field to apply that knowledge.

Second point: Yes I have seen that too, when comm res sqdns were left out of the planning phase. Talking to the Bde staff that was because most of them were unsure who to contact Comm Res or the local unit, nor were they sure if they could even use Comm Res because supporting local militia units was like our 7th mandate!!!

Third point: finding the location is easy: "Sir where are you sleeping? Right here? ok we'll bring the truck right up."

Fourth point: bringing everyone under the same roof SHOULD, in theory, improve communications.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2007, 11:22:53 by career_radio-checker »
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Offline Not a Sig Op

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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2007, 11:32:50 »
First point: We spent our extra training time cleaning out the cages sometimes 2-3 weeks in a row. That's if we were able to find the mystical keys to the very real locks on the cages which no one seemed to have. Great use of time  ::)

Sorry, but if the training time isn't being spent wisely, it's the fault of the unit, joining with the brigades isn't going to help. We had effective training pretty much every time we were signed in. We ran regular refreshers on everything, we had extra money if we needed to run unofficial courses on anything the unit felt people needed to be trained to do, and it wasn't at all abnormal to show up on a thursday night at 1900 with orders to have your truck deployed by 1930.

Quote
Second point: Yes I have seen that too, when comm res sqdns were left out of the planning phase. Talking to the Bde staff that was because most of them were unsure who to contact Comm Res or the local unit, nor were they sure if they could even use Comm Res because supporting local militia units was like our 7th mandate!!!

Sorry, but I don't consider that an excuse either. Our local militia units regularly requested our support, and we were in direct contact with the people planning the exercises. They just chose to make the requests and then ignore us until the day before the exercises, even when we flat out begged to be included in the planning phases. But to heck with the planning phases, we generally weren't even included in basic things like the pre-deployment o-grps.

The comm res has been around a long time... if they don't know by now who to contact, doesn't sound like a fault with the comm-res...

Quote
Third point: finding the location is easy: "Sir where are you sleeping? Right here? ok we'll bring the truck right up."

Nonsense. For weekend level exercises, the CP generally deployed with the advance party, because we were given no move orders, we had no choice but to either find somone who looked like they knew what they were talking about within the advance party, and check with them  (Generally the quarter-master, who somtimes had the information we needed, and if he/she didn't, it certainly wasn't their fault) or follow the advance party to where-ever they were setting up, which usually ended in somone else being angry because we weren't in the location they wanted us to be (Despite having been asked earlier where they'd like us to go)

Quote
Fourth point: bringing everyone under the same roof SHOULD, in theory, improve communications.

How?

I'm not saying that shifting us to the brigades is nessiscarily a bad thing (It is if we get our funding cut), I'm just saying don't expect it to fix anything.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2007, 11:40:30 by Just a Sig Op »

Offline Beadwindow 7

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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2007, 12:03:08 »
I remember one excersise, it was a Cambrian Patrol Ex in support of a Bde.

We were tasked with a Det. Bde said, don't worry, we have everything, we just need the ops.

So being a believer in problems, I snagged a couple RRB Cables from our QM. We sent one guy ahead on the advance party the friday morning, and that afternoon the rest of the Det drove to Pet in a milcots.

I actually have a video, of me on my cell phone, talking to the guy with the advance party. You should see the look on my face when I'm told that they only have one vixam mast between 2 trucks, and that it doesn't have any guy wires or a base plate. That on friday afternoon, they wonder if we have suggestions as to where to place an RRB. That they want us to program all the 521s Friday night. And finally, when we get there. No CEOIs. A list of frequencies..that's it.

So they tell us: Fine, you're sigs. Make us a plan. This is around 1-2 AM in the morning, Ex starts at 6:30. We made it work, but it was something that rhymes with blustertuck.

What was the problem?

They didn't have proper CEOIs. They didn't know what equipment they needed. We were only told "we have everything ready. Just provide the operators".

Now, I worked with the G6 cell of that Bde after. I dealt with one Sgt in particular, who would call me up the week before, and ask me what he should have, what could he get from us. That's what the G6 cell is for. They should find out what the unit in question needs, see what they have, and liaise with the Comms unit to plan the comms aspect of the ex.

Involving the Sigs is key. If we know what you want, we can do our damndest to provide it. Wether we're a Comm Res or Area/Bde asset, this has to happen.

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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2007, 12:56:48 »
Quote
This means no more flying all Comm Reservists to Shilo for summer training
Meeting people literally from one coast to another was actually rather interesting.
On the other hand, i never want to go back to shilo ever again :D.

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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2007, 13:28:08 »
I remember a time that Comm res had much more of a budget than the remainder of the Army type reserves.  Much training & special projects were conducted under their funding...... too bad that`s about to dry up.... but I would venture that if the Med branch also rejoins the army, all land reserve units would fall under local command.... time will tell, time will tell"!
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Offline 2929

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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2007, 14:44:45 »
Involving the Sigs is key. If we know what you want, we can do our damndest to provide it. Wether we're a Comm Res or Area/Bde asset, this has to happen.

This is somewhat what I was trying to get at in my original post. In my experience (BC Comms Unit) we've rarely been involved with anything but ourselves, maybe 1 or 2 support ex's in a trg year. As to the factors that caused this I have no idea, I'm just a lowly Signalman w/ a rudimentary grasp of army politics.

That being said, do you think that being an actual Bde asset lead to more involvement of Sigs with other units? From my point of view, it would indeed lead to better communication and therefore more involvement with other Army Reserve units (and in my opinion better and more effective trg) just from the simple fact that we would generally fall under the same chain of command (correct?).

I know I may have answered my own question but, I'm curious as to what others think will happen and why.

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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2007, 15:02:56 »
That being said, do you think that being an actual Bde asset lead to more involvement of Sigs with other units?

Your profile says Vancouver so I'm guessing you are with 744 Regt? Being in the same chain will mean attending O Gps and conferences and such so that so remind the Militia that you exist and raise your profile.

But I have to wonder why a unit that is in the same city as so many Militia units and a Bde HQ seems to have such little contact with them now? 1 or 2 sp ex's in a year with all those units around? That's unbelievable. 746 would get that a month during the trg year back when I was in.

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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #19 on: February 06, 2007, 15:14:19 »
The difference is that Reg F Sig Ops ARE a part of the Land Element. Comm Res was it's own element.

There are three elements: Sea, Land and Air.  Comm Res is Land Element.  They are, however, a seperate sub-component of the Primary Reserve.

That, in a nutshell, is why there is an increasing call to move some elements back to LFC from CFSTG, CANOSCOM and ADM(IM) - to ensure the land-centric portions of training are better integrated.  It should also enable better co-operation - as the replies in this trhread have shown, it's hit and miss right now whether Comm Res units work closely with their Army Reserve bretheren.

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Offline 2929

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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #20 on: February 06, 2007, 15:21:24 »
Your profile says Vancouver so I'm guessing you are with 744 Regt? Being in the same chain will mean attending O Gps and conferences and such so that so remind the Militia that you exist and raise your profile.

But I have to wonder why a unit that is in the same city as so many Militia units and a Bde HQ seems to have such little contact with them now? 1 or 2 sp ex's in a year with all those units around? That's unbelievable. 746 would get that a month during the trg year back when I was in.

I honestly have no idea why it is the way it is but, besides the annual Bde level ex, we rarely support other unit exercises. It is unfortunate because I find that to be the most effective trg. I'm hoping that being a Bde asset instead of a separate entity will change this.

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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #21 on: February 06, 2007, 15:38:36 »
WRT the HS Res going back to the Army Res, the RumInt word I've gotten is that the Army, when asking for the Comms back, were asked if they'd like us back, too.  The word I've got is they politely declined. 

I suppose we we can be a bit demanding at times.    ;D

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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #22 on: February 06, 2007, 15:59:15 »
ParaMedTech - I'm wounded by the thought - okay, we are damned demanding......

For Comm Res - I've got to say, as an OC and Ops O on various CAC, Trillium Phoenix, VG exercises etc, I've never received anything but the highest level of support from the Comms folks! I've got a wealth of stories of Signallers going the extra mile to set up our CP, and teach us HS folks how to work the kit. I can think of a few No Duff cases that might have been lost if it wasn't for the Sigs folks helping out in the CP.

Do Res units not under LFC get isolated - darn right - but I think both sides can share some in the 'blame' for not ensuring that they talk.

That said, if I had to pick a side, from our own experience in the Fd Ambs, I'd say that the Res CBGs typically neglect CS and CSS until the very last minute, and then they can't figure out why their plan doesn't work. A well rounded G3 and Bde is going to ensure that the CS and CSS units are fully integrated into the plan - because they know that everything falls apart quickly without it.

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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #23 on: February 06, 2007, 17:31:19 »
There are three elements: Sea, Land and Air.  Comm Res is Land Element.  They are, however, a seperate sub-component of the Primary Reserve.

Absolutely correct DP. Brainfart on my part, got the 2 mixed up
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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #24 on: February 07, 2007, 04:35:18 »
This is somewhat what I was trying to get at in my original post. In my experience (BC Comms Unit) we've rarely been involved with anything but ourselves, maybe 1 or 2 support ex's in a trg year. As to the factors that caused this I have no idea, I'm just a lowly Signalman w/ a rudimentary grasp of army politics.

A thought for you, don't think about how many exs you do where you support the other units in their training, but think about how many exs they actually DO that would require comms support... I know locally, most of our militia units can only manage to do 2 or 3 actual exercises large enough to require our support every training year.

As far as your own unit in particular goes, there's probably a reason why you haven't been doing much support of local militia units, and instead, I'm guessing you've been doing a lot of aide to civil power...

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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #25 on: February 07, 2007, 06:46:52 »
As far as your own unit in particular goes, there's probably a reason why you haven't been doing much support of local militia units, and instead, I'm guessing you've been doing a lot of aide to civil power...

From what I remember of people if vic, a lot more aide to civil power, and due to the landscape, a lot more HF/NCCIS, vs VHF Tac Comms
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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #26 on: February 07, 2007, 07:58:27 »
A thought for you, don't think about how many exs you do where you support the other units in their training, but think about how many exs they actually DO that would require comms support... I know locally, most of our militia units can only manage to do 2 or 3 actual exercises large enough to require our support every training year.


Things have changed since I was an R031 back in the mid-80s. Even then, generally, we only held exercises at the Coy level. For a reserve unit, this was actually an overstrength Pl. At that level, we did our own comms, mind you with 77 sets in the sections and 524s in the trucks, it wasn't rocket science. About twice a year, the Bn would have a full EX, but again, a Res Bn was only about the size of an overstrength Coy. I never saw a Comm Res on EX with us for the four and 1/2 years I was with the militia, even on the summer concentrations.

Many years later, in '92 I was posted to LFAA HQ with the G6. They had this thing called ARCON were all the res units would get together for the concentration. It was the first time I had seen a Res BG, with all the Res units from Atlantic Area together.
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Offline ettibebs

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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #27 on: February 07, 2007, 08:09:05 »
Just a little bit of info I had yesterday from CO.
The comms Res is going to be transfer as a whole to the land force and we wont have budget cut until the land force learn a bit more about us.  So there wont be immediate structural change.  The plan is to integrate us in the bde gradually in the next 2 years.  After that the budget and number of training day a year per head will be adjust the way the land force see it.

Could be good or bad.  My great fear is to see our number of training day cut to the level of the milicia(45 vs 80).  On the other side, i hope it does improve the level of knowledge of the bde officer about what we can do for them.  I went to Mississippi in january and on the comm side the planification was awful.  Some of the officers there didnt even know what a RRB is and used cell phone instead. Until we told them that a RRB could be made just out of to 522.

Offline 2929

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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #28 on: February 07, 2007, 16:06:05 »
A thought for you, don't think about how many exs you do where you support the other units in their training, but think about how many exs they actually DO that would require comms support... I know locally, most of our militia units can only manage to do 2 or 3 actual exercises large enough to require our support every training year.

Excellent point.

As far as your own unit in particular goes, there's probably a reason why you haven't been doing much support of local militia units, and instead, I'm guessing you've been doing a lot of aide to civil power...

That is in fact what we have been focusing on recently. But, even w/ DOMOPS we still should be doing more then going R/C // L/C over and over again on ex. The only time we seem to do that is when we support other units.

From what I remember of people if vic, a lot more aide to civil power, and due to the landscape, a lot more HF/NCCIS, vs VHF Tac Comms

We are very different from Victoria, they focus on TTCC (I believe) while Nanaimo does mostly HF/NCCIS. Besides our LCT and BASERAD Dets, we exclusively do VHF Tac Comms.

Offline Not a Sig Op

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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #29 on: February 07, 2007, 16:19:54 »
That is in fact what we have been focusing on recently. But, even w/ DOMOPS we still should be doing more then going R/C // L/C over and over again on ex. The only time we seem to do that is when we support other units.

Actually, you're still way off. Just because you're passing traffic doesn't mean you're getting valid training. You know the VP, move on. Beyond that, just because you're supporting the local mo' units doing tactical exercises doesn't mean you're getting all the relevant training.

Remember, you guys actually have somthing you're preparing for. Eventually, there's going to be a serious earthquake in BC. Radio recces are VERY important.

Beyond that, the ideal exercises right now involve mostly aide to civil power (Combined with SOME tactical exercises), joint exercises with local emergency response agencies, fire departments, ground search and rescue, heck, even BC Hydro if you can get them in on it.

Regardless, as has been pointed out, joining the brigade doesn't mean all the problems will be instantly solved.

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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #30 on: February 07, 2007, 17:04:58 »
Beyond that, the ideal exercises right now involve mostly aide to civil power (Combined with SOME tactical exercises), joint exercises with local emergency response agencies, fire departments, ground search and rescue, heck, even BC Hydro if you can get them in on it.

         I'm forced to disagree with you on that one. We're at war. Ideal exercises are those that involve training our soldiers for overseas deployments in support of combat operations.Working in a CP supporting militia units is an excellent way to get Sig Ops to practice maintaining situational awareness of a battlespace, just like they'll be expected to do overseas. Hopefully joining the Bdes will move comms units into more of a war fighting mind set.

Offline 2929

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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #31 on: February 07, 2007, 17:10:29 »
Actually, you're still way off. Just because you're passing traffic doesn't mean you're getting valid training. You know the VP, move on. Beyond that, just because you're supporting the local mo' units doing tactical exercises doesn't mean you're getting all the relevant training.

Remember, you guys actually have somthing you're preparing for. Eventually, there's going to be a serious earthquake in BC. Radio recces are VERY important.

Beyond that, the ideal exercises right now involve mostly aide to civil power (Combined with SOME tactical exercises), joint exercises with local emergency response agencies, fire departments, ground search and rescue, heck, even BC Hydro if you can get them in on it.

I'm sorry, but I'll have to disagree. It would be nice if we could have aid to civil power exercises where we worked w/ civilian agencies but in reality that does not happen, at least not at my end.

As of right now our aid to civil power exercises involve, as I've said before, setting up a huge CP (not running it while working w/ other agencies or militia units, just setting it up and tearing down) and testing our RRB locations. Granted testing out RRB locations is very important but, when you have people in those dets who don't know how to use the equipment (our quad mount for example) how effective is the testing really? Skill fade is a huge problem.

What I'm trying to get at here is that we need to do more actual tactical (or DOMOPS) exercises with other units (civilian or militia). Doing this allows the operators to actually use and improve their skills. What we are doing right now helps nothing. Actually using the equipment for more then ten minutes and falling into det routine (while supporting other units/civilian agencies) is what we need to be doing. It gives the operators a challenge when problems arrive, it allows them to interact w/ other units, it lets them actually use the equipment, it gives them a chance to do their job, it challenges their skils. Sig Ops are not mod monkeys, they are there mainly to PROVIDE COMMANDERS AND THEIR STAFF THE MEANS TO EXERCISE COMMAND AND CONTROL. If all you do is set up giant CP's and test RRB locations when the big one hits you'll wont be able to provide anything but a well put together piece of mod and the ability to screw in an RRB cable.

Regardless, as has been pointed out, joining the brigade doesn't mean all the problems will be instantly solved.

This I agree with.

Will being a Bde asset solve some of our problems? Yes.
Will it solve all our problems? No.
Will it create more problems? Maybe

Offline 2929

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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #32 on: February 07, 2007, 17:13:22 »
         I'm forced to disagree with you on that one. We're at war. Ideal exercises are those that involve training our soldiers for overseas deployments in support of combat operations.Working in a CP supporting militia units is an excellent way to get Sig Ops to practice maintaining situational awareness of a battlespace, just like they'll be expected to do overseas. Hopefully joining the Bdes will move comms units into more of a war fighting mind set.

+1

Also a good point.

Situational awareness of a battlespace (or a domestic emergency space for that matter) is an important skill for Sig Ops. The trg we currently do does nothing to help that skill. Supporting other units does.

Offline geo

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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #33 on: February 08, 2007, 08:18:16 »
FWIW, I have regularly participated with Comms Res & Reg types on Bde exercises.  However,  getting dets to come out on the smaller training ex at Bn & Coy level would make Comms a regular part of the scenery & we would learn how to better use the resources you have to offer.

It's a little bit like a Service Battalion that is too busy training it's own troops ... so they never go out into the field to support units on Ex.   Then they complain on large Ex when same said units don't use the resources they have to offer..... ?/?  Go figure!
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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #34 on: February 09, 2007, 19:25:40 »
Wow, I read the whole post without hitting reply eventhough some points I wanted to lash out but someone had already beat me to it.   What those of you in the reserves are going through right now is what HQ and Sigs were going through 5 years ago.  Our main mandate changed from supporting only the Bde HQ to supporting the HQ and units.  This not only meant more training, it meant more realistic training.  When a unit such as the RCRs go out to do a lvl 5 or higher exercise, sigs go to support and provide a link to the Bde HQ.  Some times we would set up the CP, sometimes we would just remote it into the HQ's building.  Logging of information and tracking of training was done in real time in a method that most will see overseas.  We may use a different radio (522 vs 117) but the VP and shift working is more along what would be done in Afghanistan or during an Aide to Civil Authority/Power Ex.  The only unit in the comms world who is a bit different (inject your laughter here) is the Regiment in Kingston.  They support missions through broad band satcom from command elements on the ground to command elements in Ottawa.  This involves some special training and therefore, different consideration.  They are also asked to support all branches of the military.  Right now, they support mainly army formations but don't forget, Mirage is Airforce.  As for funding, if the exercises are conducted properly, the units using the resourse ussually pay for that resourse.  Therefore, if the N Sask R in Saskatoon uses the comms reserves to run a CP for them during an exercise, the pay for those soldiers, the fuel for their generators and vehicles and allowences should come from their budgets.

What is a bigger concearn for me being reg force, is the trg level of the people coming to us from the reserves.  We get some good soldiers, mainly adequet soldiers and some horrible ones just like what we have in the units.  The problem is highlighted though because of a lack of training/experience of these same soldiers.  We had reservists with us both in Kingston and Pet.  For the most part, these soldiers worded hard to become competant soldiers in the field (I use that term loosely for all my friends still at the Regiment as I include you in that trainting).  Unfortunately, the soldiers need time to get to the level we need them to work at which takes time, money and resourses (read the other topics for more on this).  We both need the reserves to work more with the regs as well, to come out and see how we do things, see what we stress and see if your training is meeting or exceeding ours.  For ex/ we had an ex in Ottawa where the reserve det was attached to us who took 45 min to back up their trailer, started to set up their sleeping accommidations before the HQ and didn't crack the door to the back of their truck until well after 1 hr of arriving in loc.  We told them that this was unacceptable and they said that was the way their unit did things.  They obviously didn't realize that the RSS Sgt who was in their unit had just came from our unit.  He didn't see it that way.
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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #35 on: February 09, 2007, 19:45:56 »

What is a bigger concearn for me being reg force, is the trg level of the people coming to us from the reserves.  We get some good soldiers, mainly adequet soldiers and some horrible ones just like what we have in the units.  The problem is highlighted though because of a lack of training/experience of these same soldiers.  We had reservists with us both in Kingston and Pet.  For the most part, these soldiers worded hard to become competant soldiers in the field (I use that term loosely for all my friends still at the Regiment as I include you in that trainting).  Unfortunately, the soldiers need time to get to the level we need them to work at which takes time, money and resourses (read the other topics for more on this).  We both need the reserves to work more with the regs as well, to come out and see how we do things, see what we stress and see if your training is meeting or exceeding ours.  For ex/ we had an ex in Ottawa where the reserve det was attached to us who took 45 min to back up their trailer, started to set up their sleeping accommidations before the HQ and didn't crack the door to the back of their truck until well after 1 hr of arriving in loc.  We told them that this was unacceptable and they said that was the way their unit did things.  They obviously didn't realize that the RSS Sgt who was in their unit had just came from our unit.  He didn't see it that way.

Was the location at NDMC? And did this ex happen about 2 yrs ago?
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Offline geo

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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #36 on: February 10, 2007, 18:45:53 »
well... practice makes perfect.  If you don't include practice in your formula - you won't get perfection.

Radop, you are absolutely correct, there are Heros & Zeros in the Regs AND the Res.  Because the Res guys have less practical experience, their weaknesses are magnified BUT, the reservists bring some skill sets that their Reg counterparts don't necessarily have.

One of my former NCOs was deployed to BH sometime around '94 or 95,  slated as a section 2 i/c in one of the rifle platoons, someone suddenly caught on that this guy was a senior electronic tech with CAE.... and suddenly he was "otherwise occupied" for the duration of his deployment.
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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #37 on: February 24, 2007, 21:35:13 »
I just signed up for an account I ran across this thread, so I guess I'll weigh in.
Having spent time in both the Militia (Infantry) and the Comm Res (Sig Op), I have seen the best and worst of both organizations.

WRT Comms Spt provided by Comm Res units to Bde and Area Ex, for the most part the Comm Res Tps have stepped up to the plate, and done fine job providing CPs, Signallers, etc. I think part of the problem lies in a lack of experience coordinating the expected training outcomes of a combined exercise. It seems at time the "grownups" don't talk enough. I've had Signallers working with my platoon on Infantry exercises that loved being a Pl Sig, while others would rather be in a CP drinking coffee. The point I'm trying to make is the Bde HQ staff should be looking at what is required by all of the participating units WRT Training Outcomes and required Support, and do their best to accommodate them. Not everyone will be happy all the time but with time hopefully it will get better. We can't expect it work overnight.

In the area of soldier training I would have to agree with Sig_Des on this. The Comm Res running it's own recruit training school is ludicrous. There is no reason to fly troops to Shilo to do a Basic. There are resources at the Area Training Centres to accomplish the ends. The addition of the potential Instructors and Unit resources to the mix would certainly help with the equipment and personnel requirements. It just never made any sense to me flying troops out there when they could drive, in most cases, a few hours and be at an ATC. Also the ability to load Comm Res Tps on a Garrison run BMQ would certainly shorten the amount of time required to get them loaded on a QL3 and doing trades training. One thing the Comm Res can benefit from with this change is more experience working with the other trades on a more regular basis. No trade operates alone in the field. Once the working relationships get hammered out, BOTH sides can garner some positive results. IMHO there hasn't been enough of a priority set on providing the Militia the Sigs support it needs. As stated above, it was fairly low on the list of unit priorities. This will most likely change, and I think that's a good thing. 

I totally agree with Radop that the Reg and Res signallers need to work more closely. One of the areas that is problematic is kit. I was in Kingston on my QL 5 last summer. When we were completing the NCCIS portion we had some NS kit issues. When the Techs showed up to assist (I should mention that they went above and beyond helping us resurrect some old kit ), they hadn't seen an LCT or QRT in years. Obviously the Reg Force is using newer kit, so trying to train to a more common standard WRT equipment is going to be a problem.  Also as Radop stated there are good, adequate, and poor soldiers in both components, we are just a cross section of the society  from whence we came. I think that time, money, equipment, familiarity and patience can help to bridge the some of gap, but cooperation in training is probably going to give us the most bang for the buck.

To sum up, I think the Comm Res "going away" is not necessarily a bad thing (other than the money), but the task of integrating the Sqns into the Bde framework should really be scrutinized and examined thouroughly. The last thing we need is a convoluted "New Approach". Let's look at the Reg Force Bde HQ Sigs Sqn model and not try to reinvent the wheel.

At the end of the day we all belong to the same team and have a common purpose, to "make talky-box work", and give the members of the chain the ability to pass info up and orders down.


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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #38 on: February 24, 2007, 21:58:22 »
At the end of the day we all belong to the same team and have a common purpose, to "make talky-box work", and give the members of the chain the ability to pass info up and orders down.

Excellent first post Smitty and I think your last comment sums up the message loud and clear.
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Offline Beadwindow 7

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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #39 on: February 25, 2007, 19:44:07 »
Smitty,

always good to see a familiar name here, and seeing yours has brought a huge smile to my face. Welcome to the addiction!

Glad to see that you agree.

While I'm disappointed that I won't be back to the Comm Res world to enjoy them, I'm personally looking forward to some positive changes.

Definitely agree with your point about some of the kit, particularly on our QL5 courses. Now, just to clarify, when we used the LCTs and QRTs we were on an "NCCIS light" course, not an official course (It doesn't have a course number) something that was tacked on by Comm Res after a member's QL5A course.

In fact, one of Smitty's roomates had been excused from said course as he had already done an NCCIS Heavy course. What's the use of an NCCIS light course? I don't see it if it's not an official course.

As far as the kit, agreed wholeheartedly. Those techs did an amazing job patching up these trucks, but there's only so much you can do when pieces of equipment for the kit aren't available for replacement and you don't deal with the equipment. We had to cannibalize about 7 QRT kits to get 3 working.

I understand that the NCCIS Light would teach Res Sig Ops how to use kit that's used at their units, but I'd rather see that as unit run OJT training, and make Res Sig Ops available for NCCIS Heavy courses, especially with the number of Res Sig Ops going on deployments nowadays. Would make a much easier common ground when working with Regs.
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Offline Bangforbuck

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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #40 on: July 03, 2007, 15:27:10 »
My thoughts on this topic is that the Comm Res joining the Army.....at least on the west Coast......would be a very good thing for both the Comm Res and the Bde.

From my experience it is not that the Bde units don't know that the Comm Res exists, actually the opposite is true. The big problem is getting authority for them to participate on Bde exercises from their HQ. Comms support, with the exception of the annual BTE, seem to be very low on the Comm Res priority list. In the past units have been turned down for comms support because unit trg, such as setting up modular tentage or conducting entire exercises devoted to radio checks, his higher on the priority list than supporting a unit exercise. After being turned down a number of times you kinda assume you are not going to get it and plan around the problem.  For the Sig Ops this is not a great situation as playing by yourselves doesn't give you realistic trg, nor do you get the opportunity to see how the Comms fits in in the big picture.

If the Comm Res does join the Army, and falls under the local Bde's, I'm willing to bet that the opportunities for realistic and meaningful trg will greatly increase. Another benefit for the Comm Res is the access to all the local Bde's comms eqpt. In our Bde we constantly lend out our comms eqpt to other units that require it. I've noticed that most Comm Res units have only three or four CPs. You could easily quadruple that number if you had access to Bde resources.

Doubt that you would see a reduction in pde trg days. Even if you went to parading Wednesday nights and one weekend a month there would still be a ton of exercises to support to make up for lost parade days. Besides, if you really think about it how many of those parade days involve valuable trg? How many times do you have to set up an antenna to make sure you know how to do it? I guess you have to ask yourself whether you'd rather be setting up an antenna for the umpteenth million time this year, or communicating on an exercise in a more realistic setting. All depends on what your priorities are I guess.


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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #41 on: July 03, 2007, 15:50:54 »
I appreciate Comm Res hesitation in joining Army Res. The job is easy to see and justify, but if swallowed up in the green machine, Comms is a small cog. To operate effective Comms, takes a large budget, the reserve is budget sensitive. If Comm Res is absoured into the Army Reserve, I think there would be a decrease in Comms training, as the extra money would be directed to the pointy end.
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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #42 on: July 03, 2007, 15:55:10 »

Definitely agree with your point about some of the kit, particularly on our QL5 courses. Now, just to clarify, when we used the LCTs and QRTs we were on an "NCCIS light" course, not an official course (It doesn't have a course number) something that was tacked on by Comm Res after a member's QL5A course.


NCCIS heavy and light courses are both official courses -

Heavy is 115719 (Nat Qual AIWH) and Light is 115720 (Nat Qual AIWG)
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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #43 on: July 03, 2007, 16:07:33 »
I understand that the NCCIS Light would teach Res Sig Ops how to use kit that's used at their units, but I'd rather see that as unit run OJT training

I missed this before.  I think you have a good idea on the face of things, but it's more complicated than you let on. First off, the NCCIS gear that is in place in reserve units isn't easy to use.  A lot of our guys think they know what's going on with it, but they're wrong. Asking the units to train their own guys is a bad idea if they don't have anyone who really knows what he's doing to run the trg. Centralized training will help to assure quality control over the teaching process. Then we would just have to track down the 10 or so guys in this organization that actually know what they're talking about regarding that stuff, get them to Kingston and go from there.  (Admittedly that in itself is going to be a bit tricky).

NCCIS heavy and light courses are both official courses -

Heavy is 115719 (Nat Qual AIWH) and Light is 115720 (Nat Qual AIWG)

As of last year, CFSCE F Sqn is not running NCCIS Lt, they're running (Res) NCCIS Lt, which has no crse code issued as yet.  The light crse run at the regiment is a different animal.  This info is a year old though, so if things have changed and someone knows better, pls correct me.

make Res Sig Ops available for NCCIS Heavy courses, especially with the number of Res Sig Ops going on deployments nowadays. Would make a much easier common ground when working with Regs.

That's a great idea. But who's going to pay for it?  JSR is the only show in town for that course, and their priority is to qualify their own guys. If they can fit the odd reservist in then great, if not, then it's no skin off their nose. They've now gotten rid of the QRT, so their NCCIS no longer resembles reserve NCCIS at all. Different courses are going to be required for the forseeable future.

My thoughts on this topic is that the Comm Res joining the Army.....at least on the west Coast......would be a very good thing for both the Comm Res and the Bde.

From my experience it is not that the Bde units don't know that the Comm Res exists, actually the opposite is true. The big problem is getting authority for them to participate on Bde exercises from their HQ. Comms support, with the exception of the annual BTE, seem to be very low on the Comm Res priority list.

I agree that the bun fighting between the two organizations has to stop, and hope that it will now that the new arrangement is in place. I've been trying to get better cooperation going for the past 2 years, and it's been a slow process.  I think both sides are to blame. For example: though it might be nice to commit to more joint trg and say that we will place support to your exercises high on the list of priorities, we both know that list is not mandated by individual units themselves- it comes from much higher and it ties our hands.  When the Brigade phones up on Monday and asks us to support an exercise that starts the coming Saturday, it's pretty unreasonable for them to get upset when we say no- sorry fellas, turns out we already have plans for that weekend. Likewise with asking us to run ATCIS courses with very short notice and so forth.  Better coordination and willingness to make compromises is required from both sides on this one.  It seems to be getting better, but we still need to work on it.

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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #44 on: July 03, 2007, 19:41:00 »
As of last year, CFSCE F Sqn is not running NCCIS Lt, they're running (Res) NCCIS Lt, which has no crse code issued as yet.  The light crse run at the regiment is a different animal.  This info is a year old though, so if things have changed and someone knows better, pls correct me.

I taught a QL5 last summer, and all of my students received the NCCIS Lt qual, and the Journeyman qual, the same as the regular force members get. There was a drive by Standards before all the students arrived to get a final copy of the compressed training requirements and put them into a TP. I was pleasantly suprised when it happened, and I think it bodes well for us to train more competent operators.

As with anything in the Army, I think a "watch and shoot" approach would probably solve some problems from the get-go. People sliding into working with the Army Reserve with a chip on their shoulder about being the small cog that moves the pointy end will probably just fulfill all their own prophecies. Then again, it is a soldier's God-given right to complain, and I probably won't be quiet when some RadVans or Cl A training money goes missing.  ;D

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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #45 on: July 03, 2007, 19:43:27 »
If you mean that the Reg F students get an NCCIS Lt qual in conjunction with their 5's then that's not correct.  F Sqn is the only one that does that.

And the NCCIS Lt Qual we gave, last year, is not the same as the real NCCIS Lt crse.  It was a trg session, based on a draft CTP, for which no qual currently exists.  I was there too.

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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #46 on: July 03, 2007, 20:00:53 »
I stand corrected, thanks for clearing that up.

Offline Willy

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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #47 on: July 04, 2007, 03:08:54 »
There was a drive by Standards before all the students arrived to get a final copy of the compressed training requirements and put them into a TP.

Just to clarify one more point, there is/was no compressed trg requirement.  The QL5 that's done within F Sqn is the same as the one done in B Sqn, i.e. it's now a "Total Force" crse, same for Reg and Res.  That became the case last year.  You're probably thinking of the fact that the courses we ran were pilot courses in the sense that although the CTP had been in place for Reg F troops for a while, it had never been run for Reserve troops before, which is why Standards were involved the way they were.

Not trying to jump on you, just clarifying.

Offline Avro_Arrow_1976

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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #48 on: July 04, 2007, 10:52:44 »
Is it true in Kingston 10 years ago someone molded a 10 foot long penis onto the Jimmy statue at CFB Kingston?

Offline Beadwindow 7

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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #49 on: July 04, 2007, 14:29:46 »
I missed this before.  I think you have a good idea on the face of things, but it's more complicated than you let on. First off, the NCCIS gear that is in place in reserve units isn't easy to use.  A lot of our guys think they know what's going on with it, but they're wrong.

I can agree to that. a bit of a pipe dream, and sometimes is seems that operating an LCT/QRT is more art than science. But since the NCCIS Lt run by F Sqn is reserve specific, and only 3 weeks, could it possibly be broken down to a regional level? Maybe a Group run training session?

Quote
That's a great idea. But who's going to pay for it?  JSR is the only show in town for that course, and their priority is to qualify their own guys. If they can fit the odd reservist in then great, if not, then it's no skin off their nose. They've now gotten rid of the QRT, so their NCCIS no longer resembles reserve NCCIS at all. Different courses are going to be required for the forseeable future.

I can understand that. I haven't done the course, don't know how long it is. Would it be looked at to possibly run the NCCIS Heavy course during the summer at F Sqn as an addendum to Journeyman courses?

Is it true in Kingston 10 years ago someone molded a 10 foot long penis onto the Jimmy statue at CFB Kingston?
What does that have to do with anything in this topic?
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Offline Scone

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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #50 on: July 04, 2007, 14:36:38 »
I can understand that. I haven't done the course, don't know how long it is. Would it be looked at to possibly run the NCCIS Heavy course during the summer at F Sqn as an addendum to Journeyman courses?

I know the Reg NCCIS heavy and light courses (JSR's) were both over a month long... not sure if the Res version is the same or not. I also know that part of the training took place outside the Regt at the local IT training school (Micromarket here).

If I recall Light Det was 1 month, and Heavy was 2 months.


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Offline Willy

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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #51 on: July 04, 2007, 15:18:04 »
Maybe a Group run training session?

If there are enough legitimate SME's within a Gp to make that work then sure, but as I said, I know of less than 10 guys in our whole organization who I trust to really teach that stuff properly.  If there are more then I have yet to meet them.  I'd prefer to see those guys get identified as the SME's, and then sent to Kingston to conduct centralized, standardized trg for everyone.


I know the Reg NCCIS heavy and light courses (JSR's) were both over a month long... not sure if the Res version is the same or not. I also know that part of the training took place outside the Regt at the local IT training school (Micromarket here).

If I recall Light Det was 1 month, and Heavy was 2 months

That was true when I got my qual in 2003, but it may have changed considerably since then, I don't know.  The NCCIS CTP is constantly under revision to reflect the constantly changing nature of the kit used in those dets.  My course was the last one to include IMRCT, the Regiment has since gotten rid of their QRT, IS is always changing to reflect updates/changes, etc.

I think we're going to have to go with different courses for Reg and Reserve for the time being.  Kit differences, etc just make it too hard to do otherwise.

Offline smitty66

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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #52 on: July 05, 2007, 21:43:43 »
I'd have to agree with Willy regarding the GP run training sessions. Perhaps the idea of establishing a small cadre of the SME (in Kingston) to pass on the "mojo" needed to make some of usually N/S kit work and have them teach that exclusively. Instead of having an instructor who is not very familiar with the idiosyncrasies of the QRT/LCT trying to teach it, allow the NCCIS Lt portion of the training to be taught by the gurus. It may be a bit of a scheduling headache, but that's what good Snr NCO's are for, eh Willy?  ;D
It may allow the establishment of a bit of corporate knowledge to be reestablished WRT some of this kit.
Overall I think the unfortunate fact is that due to the cost of the more current kit, most Comm Res personnel aren't going to see it unless they spend some time with the JSR. Nature of the beast I guess!
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Offline dapaterson

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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #53 on: July 05, 2007, 21:50:24 »
Overall I think the unfortunate fact is that due to the cost of the more current kit, most Comm Res personnel aren't going to see it unless they spend some time with the JSR. Nature of the beast I guess!

That can be extended to the Comms world as a whole, and not just the Comm Res - unless you're in the JSR you won't see some of the kit.  It's the nature of the beast.
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Offline SigPeterGriffin

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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #54 on: November 13, 2007, 07:38:49 »
I think moving sig units into the brigades will be a good thing. As I understand it with the money pit Com Res Shilo shut down CFSCE there will be more people filling the positiong in Kingston.

I could go into a rant on why Comm Res School Shilo should be shut down and a parking lot put in its place. I just have to say that most of the MCpls who came out of that School couldnt organize a coffee run, but they could yell and screem and jack up some poor troop who happened to roll mod the wrong way. I was lucky to do my JNCO with the Leadership school in Pet.

Damn it another rant. I came here to talk about the 521

Offline c_canuk

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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #55 on: November 19, 2007, 15:12:20 »
I hope the future of comm res is as rosy as most of you see it.

I'm pretty pesimistic

Comm res from my experiance while isolated by a seperate coc actually supports the militia units better than they do themselves, I've supported Arty, Armd Recce, Svc Bn, and Inf. None of those exersizes included other militia units, it was one milita unit and a CP supplied by us.

once our budget gets gutted and re distributed to the milita units, which is what I see as the adgenda for the milita pushing for this, we are not going to be able to maintain the lack luster standard we have now let alone improve it... rumormil has it they want sig op 3s and 5s combined into a 2 month course which is not feasible imho if there is any truth to it.

I see the reserve training in Kingston becomming a tool for the militia to send designated sigs from their own units to be trained to fufill the jobs we do for them which will be more convienient for the militia units. Due to this shift in skill assets to the militia units I think that Comms units will fade away as skill sets disapear and the usefulness of individual units diminishes once the militia get their own cells.

As for militia units complaining that they don't get enough support... supporting the Reg force is the reason reserves exist in the first place and there is a war on, my unit is gutted right now with people tasked in backfill and operational roles, so no Svc Bn's exersize in the parking lot where they want to send sup reqs 10 feet isn't the top of our priority and if we don't train our remaing troops, whats the point? In the past my unit would send a fully kitted CP to any unit requesting one even when we were training because we had the budget to employ a large staff... the unit is threadbare now and the timing of a massive restructuring could not be worse.

I hope I'm wrong but I don't see the Comm units existing longer than 5 years due to gutted budgets, turmoil during the restructuring, the mass amount of budget restructuring will eat up, the confusion injected into the already faltering training program and the majority of skilled pers on tour or backfilling for the reg force.

Sure if we had 5 years to restructure and retrain the whole militia/comms relationship with a plan of action, abundant patience to carry it out, and avoid just letting everything evolve as each part grabs their share; things might turn out for the better.

I hope I'm horribly wrong and someone can fill me in on what I'm missing but thats what I predict.

Shilo is seen as a waste of resources but the militia is not willing to take on the additional pers that shilo churns out every year which is why it still exists, and even shilo last year could not provide enough seats while even the ATCs were accepting some of our overflow. Shilo's problems are due to the militia refusing to swap personnel (sigs to ATC to teach sigs on their courses for Cbt Arms from militia to teach at Shilo) and that was due to com res command being difficult to work with which is probably the second motivation for the restructuring. Though 2006 and 2007 showed those problems are not unique to comm res.

Group level exersizes at least in the atlantic area are a gross misuse of funds imo. flying 10 people from each unit to the instructors for a weekend is... odd. instead what should be done is the group assembles a cadre of skilled instructors and sends them to the units with the kit to teach and refresh whole units. Prefably for things like NCCIS the instructors could visit JSR and/or CFSCE for refresher and confirmation during the summer months then visit units on weekends to conduct the trg.The funds saved and extra trg time alotted to the units due to not having to tie up 2 days with traveling in a friday night-sunday night period would be enormous and the dollars per number of people trained and brought up to speed would go a lot further.

ARCON is useless as it is organized, it should be modeled against the confimation ex in Wainright for the Op workup trg and needs a more tightly integrated command structure. When the infantry are in a school doing an urban ex being supplied by Svc Bn 50 km away on 30km/hour MSRs doing a classic cold war ex, something has gone horribly wrong.
"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."
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Offline SigPeterGriffin

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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #56 on: November 19, 2007, 15:21:57 »
outstanding rant.

Offline c_canuk

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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #57 on: November 20, 2007, 07:16:44 »
it started out as a couple of lines then flowed out from my fingertips... perhaps it was a little wordy  :)

but like I said that's what I see, I'm hoping someone can show me some part of the picture I'm not seeing
"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."
-John Stewart Mill

Offline SigPeterGriffin

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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #58 on: November 20, 2007, 13:50:05 »
I agree with you that out budget would most likely be reallocated in order to fund other things. If anyone of any decision makeing power is reading this. DONT SLASH the SIG training budget. Please and Thank you. I like the idea of the JTFA,JTFN JTFetc Can Com org. Gen Hiller says soldiering skills first and us purple trades have to improve on out skills. In my mind COMM RES Shilo, though given a nice training area, did not have the expertise in house in order to run such courses.(SQ, MOD 6 PLQ) Why would a sig op teah another sig op about the sectioN ATTACKS and roles of such and such in the defensive when we our selves are not expertes or even conversant in the methodolgy. It would be like a infanteer trying to teah another infanteer how to operate the 138, when he only saw iut once on his Long Range Recce crse. He can probably do it. But it would be better for a sig op to teach the 138.

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Re: Comm Res No More?
« Reply #59 on: September 24, 2008, 01:51:44 »
I'm sorry, but I'll have to disagree. It would be nice if we could have aid to civil power exercises where we worked w/ civilian agencies but in reality that does not happen, at least not at my end.

As of right now our aid to civil power exercises involve, as I've said before, setting up a huge CP (not running it while working w/ other agencies or militia units, just setting it up and tearing down) and testing our RRB locations. Granted testing out RRB locations is very important but, when you have people in those dets who don't know how to use the equipment (our quad mount for example) how effective is the testing really? Skill fade is a huge problem.

I realize this post is over a year old, but...some things never change at that unit.  When I was there in 1996-1999 we did the same sort of things as mentioned by this poster as training in our Aid to Civil Powers role, and if we were really lucky and had some money left in the budget, we would actually deploy our out-dets to Chilliwack, Surrey, North Van etc. along with manning Base Radio at Jericho on a weekend ex to practice the sorts of VHF and HF comm problems we'd be experiencing in real-time in the event we'd need to step in as backup or parallel comms after an earthquake or other similar disaster.  If we were lucky. 

Frequently we weren't lucky.  "We don't have the budget" was the usual cry, but we had other problems too.  Morale was a large one, which resulted in poor showings, particularly on weekends.  One year I swear we practically did nothing MOS related at all but instead did tons of drill.  Drill for the sake of practice.  Drill as part of contingents sent here or there to march in various special occasions - drill to the point you had to stop and fix your eyes on an LS with an antenna mount in some corner just to remind yourself you were in a comms unit.  One night I actually asked one of the MCpl's what the deal was with so much drill when we could...I dunno....learn about The Erection of Field Expedient Antennas or something...and was told:

"Like it or not, people looking at this unit from the outside are going to be judging it by its drill..."

Straight up.  I can't fault the NCO because because that sounds exactly like the sort of thing our DCO would've heard in some seminar with hot and cold running donuts and a slick powerpoint presentation and passed all the way down the chain to the person giving us endless drill.  But those lying in two feet of mud post-earthquake with no food, electricity, clean water or way to contact anyone most certainly would not be judging us on our drill, and its those  people who mattered.   People joined our unit and showed up because they liked comms, liked thinking they'd be useful in the event anything happened, and liked learning.  They didn't show up to perfect the Right Wheel; didn't show up to burn off most of an afternoon playing soccer -- and didn't show up to relive highschool PT.  Pretty soon they just didn't show up. "Lack of numbers" was then used as an excuse not to do anything formal with regard to what what we were supposed to be doing comms wise which meant more drill, more PT and more soccer -- the proverbial snake eating its own tail.  People didn't show up because they weren't getting any training - training wouldn't happen because (ostensibly) not enough people were showing up. 

One notable ex - Jupiter Dogwood, I think (frequently referred to as "Stupider Dogf*ck") -  was again supposed to have us deploy our out-dets to those far-flung locations already mentioned, and indeed we'd inventoried all our kit, packed our rucks and dufflebags, arranged for pets to be fed and the whole bit -- only to be told on the Friday night that we wouldn't be deploying anywhere ("we don't have the budget") - but would instead just spread ourselves around the back forty of Jericho with our LSs and just imagine  forty-fifty-seventy intervening kilometers even though the Grouse Mtn. det and the Dogwood Trailer Park det and the Chilliwack det were physically close enough that you could yell "hey dawg - you got some extra remote batteries? Mine are all pooched" and borrow same after an unrealistically short walk which wouldn't be possible if you were deployed for real.   People who joined *wanted* to deploy and *wanted* to sleep in watertight recce tents (as opposed to waterproof  ;)  ) and *do* something rather than occupy the finest address on Silly Street for a weekend and sleep on cots in Base Radio when you weren't on duty. 

In the ACP role we were supposed to work - at least theoretically - with Emergency Preparedness Canada and PEP, but I don't remember doing anything with them at all save for hearing some stuff on the periphery once a year when PEP did their own, large, in-house ex.   We did have an ancient Magnavox Magnaphone INMARSAT-A terminal at the unit which was loaned by Emergency Preparedness Canada, but I think I only saw it set up one particular ex and even then I don't think it did anything but turn on and go through the BIT (and then return an error, I think!)

As to supporting 39 Bde militia units - we did that - or more specifically, you'd get the (very) odd callout and volunteers would be asked for to fill it.  From what I recall back then, it was mostly 12 Med doing the asking.  That was about it other than on things like Cougar Salvo where you'd loan rad ops etc. out to outfits like Svc Bn and some opportunities during the summer for those not on course.

Anyway, drifted a bit - but in this particular unit - and probably many other CommRes units - people join to feel useful, and know when they're not.  They also know when training days are just "keep them busy" days which don't further unit proficiency in any useful direction.  We had a lot of those.  We also needed a real role and an ongoing dialogue with PEP and Emergency Preparedness Canada in our ACP role so we could be like those hockey players who always know exactly where their teammates are going to be and what they're going to be doing at key moments when it comes time to pass - and I got the sense that wasn't happening either (and apparently still isn't.)   Oh well.

(There were some awesome people at that unit while I was there, though, who were great fun to work with!)