Author Topic: The Canadian Commando Course  (Read 113013 times)

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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: The Canadian Commando Course
« Reply #100 on: January 08, 2013, 22:34:24 »
Counting my lucky stars. This took place in the same area I was in last Friday. Talking to soem Alpine Club guys who have more detials, I assume they were following our tracks.  We got out as it started to snow heavily and I guess they encountered over a foot of new stuff on the fairly firm base layer we skied in on:

Man injured in avalanche on Vancouver Island

Comox RCMP say 4 people were caught in minor slide

Four men were caught in an avalanche on Vancouver Island on Tuesday, but only one 18-year-old suffered a minor leg injury, the RCMP has confirmed.

The small slide happened near Moat and Circlet Lakes in Strathcona Provincial Park, according to a statement issued by Cpl. Darren Lagen.
"The group used a cellphone to call for help, leading to the activation of the Comox Valley Search and Rescue Team and the Comox Valley RCMP," said Lagen.

A spokesman for Comox Search and Rescue said it appears nobody was buried or trapped in the slide.

The group was about two kilometres away from the Mount Washington Alpine Resort when the slide occurred, an official at the resort said.
RCMP said a command centre had been set up at the Raven Lodge at the resort and rescue technicians were using snow machines to reach the group.

The Vancouver Island Avalanche Centre rated the avalanche danger for areas at the treeline or higher as considerable on Tuesday.
Heavy snow is expected in the area overnight as part of a major storm passing over southern B.C.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2013/01/08/bc-avalanche-mount-washington.html

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Offline UnwiseCritic

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Re: The Canadian Commando Course
« Reply #101 on: March 01, 2013, 00:01:36 »
With regards to canoes,  is that a relevant skill?  What I mean is,  are canoes a realistic insert/extract method?  Or would it be better off with a Zodiac/raft?

As long as it's paddling.

Having water insertion techniques would be a great skill to have as radar equipment is becoming more available and cheaper. Yet how easy would it be too sneak in by sea,. Nobody watches coastlines. And having courses that offer such extremes in training is exactly why a lot of young guys sign up in the first place. It gives them something to be proud of. As there isnt much of that left in the CF, as most courses tend to be push courses. Plus giving someone a canoe, pack, rifle and compass is a fairly cheap training trick and I bet people would be volunteering for the course left, right and center. And this would bring competition levels up within the battalions as well as fitness levels as well as refining individual soldiering skills. And anyone scared to call it a commando course... Just tell em to stuff it. It's the army.
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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: The Canadian Commando Course
« Reply #102 on: March 01, 2013, 00:37:16 »
With regards to canoes,  is that a relevant skill?  What I mean is,  are canoes a realistic insert/extract method?  Or would it be better off with a Zodiac/raft?

As long as it's paddling.

Having water insertion techniques would be a great skill to have as radar equipment is becoming more available and cheaper. Yet how easy would it be too sneak in by sea,. Nobody watches coastlines. And having courses that offer such extremes in training is exactly why a lot of young guys sign up in the first place. It gives them something to be proud of. As there isnt much of that left in the CF, as most courses tend to be push courses. Plus giving someone a canoe, pack, rifle and compass is a fairly cheap training trick and I bet people would be volunteering for the course left, right and center. And this would bring competition levels up within the battalions as well as fitness levels as well as refining individual soldiering skills. And anyone scared to call it a commando course... Just tell em to stuff it. It's the army.

Some interesting shaky boats stuff in here FYI:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Black-Water-Strength-Don-Camsell/dp/0753505126

There is still a place for self-propelled boats on ops, but their deployment needs to be managed within the context of a much larger op, or you are likely dooming the troops involved to extinction. It's a special skill at more than just the paddlers' level.
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Offline Fishbone Jones

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Re: The Canadian Commando Course
« Reply #103 on: March 01, 2013, 02:52:50 »
I took a kayak course, in the 70's, based in Norway.

It was run by the SAS. At the time kayaks were one of their main methods of ingressing from the water.

They called kayaks canoes.

They thought big rubber rafts were clumsy and not very stealthy.

They also thought that going into a 'bad' area, all in one big, clumsy, rubber boat, was not a very good idea.

Terminology might be the key here. Canoes to Brits are not open top native type watercraft that we think of in North America. Kayaks also fit the nomenclature.
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Offline little jim

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Re: The Canadian Commando Course
« Reply #104 on: March 01, 2013, 04:46:02 »
With regards to canoes,  is that a relevant skill?  What I mean is,  are canoes a realistic insert/extract method?  Or would it be better off with a Zodiac/raft?

As long as it's paddling.

Having water insertion techniques would be a great skill to have as radar equipment is becoming more available and cheaper. Yet how easy would it be too sneak in by sea,. Nobody watches coastlines. And having courses that offer such extremes in training is exactly why a lot of young guys sign up in the first place. It gives them something to be proud of. As there isnt much of that left in the CF, as most courses tend to be push courses. Plus giving someone a canoe, pack, rifle and compass is a fairly cheap training trick and I bet people would be volunteering for the course left, right and center. And this would bring competition levels up within the battalions as well as fitness levels as well as refining individual soldiering skills. And anyone scared to call it a commando course... Just tell em to stuff it. It's the army.

Interesting comments given some of the other posts.

The AUS Commando Regiment has an amphib qualification as one of the two cricitcal methods of insertion that you need to have to get your green beret (their green).  Agreed that with a small (under five metre) zodiac you can insert anywhere on a coast line.  This is quite a thing to deal with when planning a defence of a coast line.

There are two things to consider, especially as the current doctrine seems to be rooted in the Korean war:

Yes you can land troops anywhere in a small zodiac.  Problem is that to bring in vehicles and support you start limiting the places you can get into.  Fine for raids but in todays world.....there are only some many places you can bring support ships.

Even a bunch of 470s require a fair amount of support for training in particular.  Unless that is your primary effort then it is probably not worth it - look at the problems the Engr have with keeping up their Dive Troops.  Back when they were 4 RAR(CDO) they off loaded all their COWs onto 1 CDO Regt.

The AUS ability to jump a company into the sea 40 nautical miles off-shore and have them established on the shore that night is similar to other types of deterant (like nuclear) - it makes sense for AUS to have that capability given their geo location and their governments stated foreign policy goals in the region.

Is it a capability Canada needs? 

I know the USMC play with small boats as well but no detailed knowledge of that. 

I think if you want to play with boats it goes back to getting onto the PPF course. 

That's probably the direction it should take rather than the "Badge-finder" it seems to have become in the past years.

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: The Canadian Commando Course
« Reply #105 on: March 01, 2013, 10:26:29 »
I took a kayak course, in the 70's, based in Norway.

It was run by the SAS. At the time kayaks were one of their main methods of ingressing from the water.

They called kayaks canoes.

They thought big rubber rafts were clumsy and not very stealthy.

They also thought that going into a 'bad' area, all in one big, clumsy, rubber boat, was not a very good idea.

Terminology might be the key here. Canoes to Brits are not open top native type watercraft that we think of in North America. Kayaks also fit the nomenclature.

We worked with these guys regularly in 45 Cdo. They did the beach recces for all the big exercises by either 'swimming' or 'canoeing' hence the qualification SC - or Swimmer Canoeist.

I recall that one of their most important 'special' tools was a long stick which, dipped into the water ahead of the boat as they went in, gave immediate feedback on whether or not it was possible to get a boat onto shore without sinking. So much for fancy-tech.
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Offline ArmyRick

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Re: The Canadian Commando Course
« Reply #106 on: March 01, 2013, 10:29:48 »
I wonder what would happen if we got involved in an operation that was very heavy in littoral environment? I think our priorities would change quickly in the CF and there would be some gucci kit and training available for units outside CANSOFCOM.
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Offline Humphrey Bogart

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Re: The Canadian Commando Course
« Reply #107 on: March 01, 2013, 11:08:13 »
I wonder what would happen if we got involved in an operation that was very heavy in littoral environment? I think our priorities would change quickly in the CF and there would be some gucci kit and training available for units outside CANSOFCOM.

The French Troupes de la Marine and French Foreign Legion make extensive use of small boats and kayaks in French Guiana.  Of course it is the only way they are able to get around. 



If the CF were required to conduct operations in a place like the Congo I would imagine we would do some small boat training.  I don't really see a need for a course for this sort of thing though.  Basic Recce already incorporates the use of zodiacs into the curriculum and I believe their are enough pers in a Battalion with the skills that if we needed to run some training we would be able to ramp it up fairly easy.

Offline Towards_the_gap

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Re: The Canadian Commando Course
« Reply #108 on: March 01, 2013, 11:33:10 »
A la SPARTAN BEAR I?


Don't forget you also have CER's full of dudes trained as small boat operators.

Offline dapaterson

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Re: The Canadian Commando Course
« Reply #109 on: March 01, 2013, 12:00:47 »
Any course can be a commando course if you don't wear underwear.
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Offline Humphrey Bogart

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Re: The Canadian Commando Course
« Reply #110 on: March 01, 2013, 18:54:43 »
A la SPARTAN BEAR I?


Don't forget you also have CER's full of dudes trained as small boat operators.

I wouldn't use SPARTAN BEAR I as an example; however, the year before that N Coy did a Coy raid in support of the Basic Recce Patrolman course and crossed the Ottawa River in three waves using Zodiac's.  Recce had inserted early as well and established a beach head for us. 

As well we ran a swift water rescue course this past summer at 3 RCR, with the intent of eventually including it in the BRP.  We took our zodiac's down some pretty heavy rapids as well and they held up quite nicely.  For this training we sourced it from outside the army and got support from Wilderness Tours, who were absolutely wonderful might I add.  I will post some pictures:









We already do a lot of the stuff mentioned in this post in the Light Battalion's its just nobody knows about it because they think this is still WWI and all we do is march everywhere with our rucksacks.

We have been working on some other things as well as part of our plan to get ready for the incoming Chinook Sqn.  One of our biggest projects is our new Air-Mobile/Airborne CP for C/S 0 and 0A.  We recently successfully airdropped our Tac CP, here are some photos:

  (0A trailers w/equipment and ATV's packed for air-drop)

(Loading them into a Herc)

(prepping to drop)

(the drop)

(We also just dropped our CP in North Carolina on ex with the 82nd Airborne IOT confirm our ability to use it on an op)



http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10152389610240531 (Video of the CP drop)

I don't really see a need for anymore courses, if anything what the army needs to do is rationalize and stream-line the courses they have right now.  For instance, some of the courses such as Basic Hel Ops/LZDZ Controller/HII should be combined into one course, call it air-mobile ops course.  Not only would this save money on airframes but you could rationalize a schedule to make the course involve less training days while hitting the same POs/EOs.

Offline Jungle

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Re: The Canadian Commando Course
« Reply #111 on: March 01, 2013, 20:23:10 »
The French Troupes de la Marine and French Foreign Legion make extensive use of small boats and kayaks in French Guiana.  Of course it is the only way they are able to get around.

Actually, we used pirogues to get around. Other small boats can be of limited use, but the pirogue is the best all-around vehicle out there.
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Offline Humphrey Bogart

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Re: The Canadian Commando Course
« Reply #112 on: March 01, 2013, 20:36:29 »
Actually, we used pirogues to get around. Other small boats can be of limited use, but the pirogue is the best all-around vehicle out there.

Thanks, I have seen photos from French Guiana but was not sure what they called their boats.

Offline Infanteer

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Re: The Canadian Commando Course
« Reply #113 on: March 01, 2013, 20:42:45 »
I don't really see a need for anymore courses, if anything what the army needs to do is rationalize and stream-line the courses they have right now.  For instance, some of the courses such as Basic Hel Ops/LZDZ Controller/HII should be combined into one course, call it air-mobile ops course.  Not only would this save money on airframes but you could rationalize a schedule to make the course involve less training days while hitting the same POs/EOs.

I like the cut of your jib.

As well, I've seen 3 RCR's concept work on HQ and service support and its pretty good.
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Offline Towards_the_gap

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Re: The Canadian Commando Course
« Reply #114 on: March 01, 2013, 21:44:32 »
@ RoyalDrew:

I found those photos of the swift water course your guys took when perusing sharepoint, and my oh my did I go off on a rant on my ops and training.

The rant went something like this:

'Can any of you boy wonders tell me why no one has thought of this type of training for us, seeing as we are supposed to be SME's on water crossing?? No idea? That's ok then, we'll just stick to revisiting WWII gap crossing tactics and planning for the 3rd Shock Army to cross the IGB.....' The captain who I was ranting at just shrugged.

3 RCR is certainly the place to be for forward, outside the box thinking. I envy you guys sometimes.


Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: The Canadian Commando Course
« Reply #115 on: March 01, 2013, 23:42:59 »
I like the cut of your jib.

As well, I've seen 3 RCR's concept work on HQ and service support and its pretty good.

Whoa... what is this, a PPCLI - RCR detente?

Don't ruin yet another illusion for me.  :crybaby:
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Re: The Canadian Commando Course
« Reply #116 on: March 02, 2013, 11:41:00 »
We have been working on some other things as well as part of our plan to get ready for the incoming Chinook Sqn.  One of our biggest projects is our new Air-Mobile/Airborne CP for C/S 0 and 0A.  We recently successfully airdropped our Tac CP, here are some photos:

As a soldier, that's pretty cool. As an operator, its awesome. Was that a gopro attached to one of the CP rigs? It doesn't seem to impact the ground very hard, which would be my only concern with the 5121s being so tempermental at times.

Offline Humphrey Bogart

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Re: The Canadian Commando Course
« Reply #117 on: March 02, 2013, 11:50:57 »
As a soldier, that's pretty cool. As an operator, its awesome. Was that a gopro attached to one of the CP rigs? It doesn't seem to impact the ground very hard, which would be my only concern with the 5121s being so tempermental at times.

That was a gopro attached to the rig and the equipment worked fine.  We have been working on this for awhile and have got the packing and manifesting of equipment down pretty well now.  It takes us an hour and half from the time of the drop to move all the equipment of the dropzone and have the CP fully functioning. 

On top of this we have qualified a bunch of sigs guys as jumpers to be able to jump with the CP and set it up.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2013, 11:53:52 by RoyalDrew »