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Army Reserve Restructuring

Halifax Tar

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The RCN and RCAF seem to be able to have complimentary Reg and Res forces. 

What is stopping the Army ?

Rice bowls and capbages ?
 

dapaterson

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RCN has the MCDVs vs the rest of NavRes, and RCAF reserve is a pack of double dipping retirees.  Very different.
 

FSTO

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dapaterson said:
RCN has the MCDVs vs the rest of NavRes, and RCAF reserve is a pack of double dipping retirees.  Very different.

Well actually NAVRES pers now have opportunities to sail in all platforms (even subs if a reservist could get qualified) in the RCN.
The original concept of the MCDV's (reserve only ships) damn near destroyed the NRD's. They are still recovering from that decision and some units may never fully recover.
 

PuckChaser

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MilEME09 said:
Maybe we just need newer computers? VAC's Ombudsman's systems run on DOS, how expensive is it to keep that going these days? We all know kit is getting more complicated, and more costly to build and maintain, I do not think the defense industry has struck a balance between the high tech and the low tech when it comes to military hardware. At the end of the day 1000 cheap, easy to maintain but effective tanks will eventually win out against 100 super high tech tanks with all the bells and whistles
Its not expensive, that's the point. Why pay millions for new software to be designed when you can use stuff we finished paying for in 1988?
 

GR66

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The idea of fully deployable Reserve Brigades (or Battle Groups at the least) I think makes sense for many of the reasons that FJAG and others have mentioned.  A smaller, ready Regular Force for the types of deployments you see on a more regular basis and a larger, cheaper to maintain, Reserve Force for times when you have to face the rarer, larger military threats.  The US ANG is one model that shows this could be done.

However, I think we're a very long way from the current structure of a multitude of individual Reserve Regiments and a focus on individual augmentation of the Regular Force to the kind of Reserve Force being suggested.  Add in the fact that in the current economic situation there is no way I see an influx of new equipment and support for the Reserves in the near future and I think it would be best to focus on incremental steps toward the final goal.

One possible first step would be to officially recognize that Reserve "Regiments" are actually Company/Squadron/Battery-sized sub-units and structure and group them together as such.  This would create the basic framework to build upon for fully deployable units and each Company/Squadron/Battery-sized sub-unit could have an objective of being able to immediately force generate a complete Platoon/Troop/Gun-sized sub-sub-unit to either augment the Regular Force or be grouped together with other units within their Reserve Brigade for form Companies/Squadrons or even complete Battle Groups.  On full mobilization they should eventually be able to form the Brigades originally envisioned.

I've attached images of the existing Reserve Force structure and one possible model for how it could be re-organized.  This is obviously just a rough idea of how an initial re-organization could take place and there are obviously many different variations/modifications or evolutions that could work as well or better.  The basic idea though is to start by building the organizational framework for an effective Army Reserve and then begin adding in the other required elements (changes to training, new equipment, CS and CSS elements, etc.) as they become feasible. 



 

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Halifax Tar

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dapaterson said:
RCN has the MCDVs vs the rest of NavRes, and RCAF reserve is a pack of double dipping retirees.  Very different.

As stated the MCDVs are Reg Force staffed and always had a couple of Reg Force onboard even when the majority were reserve.  NRDs are what they are, administrative units that are there to provide augmentation to the Regular and full time resserve Navy. 

Even when the MCDVs were totally reserve I never wittnessed this kind of sly look at one another.  In fact in the Reg Force we had allot of respect for the MCDV crews as the did more sea time than most of the heavies (CPFs, 280s and Tanker) crews.

The RCAF Res seems to be able to function and meld with their Reg Force counter parts seamlessly.  Not sure I would knock that method. 

Perhaps the Big Army should step down off its stool and see if there isnt some concepts that the RCN and RCAF have that they could implement.  I know that might seem to run counter to how we do things; but the big green machine doesnt look all that effiencent or capable the way you guys go on about its components.

Again it just seems to be about rice bowls and capbages. 
 

daftandbarmy

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GR66 said:
The idea of fully deployable Reserve Brigades (or Battle Groups at the least) I think makes sense for many of the reasons that FJAG and others have mentioned.  A smaller, ready Regular Force for the types of deployments you see on a more regular basis and a larger, cheaper to maintain, Reserve Force for times when you have to face the rarer, larger military threats.  The US ANG is one model that shows this could be done.

However, I think we're a very long way from the current structure of a multitude of individual Reserve Regiments and a focus on individual augmentation of the Regular Force to the kind of Reserve Force being suggested.  Add in the fact that in the current economic situation there is no way I see an influx of new equipment and support for the Reserves in the near future and I think it would be best to focus on incremental steps toward the final goal.

One possible first step would be to officially recognize that Reserve "Regiments" are actually Company/Squadron/Battery-sized sub-units and structure and group them together as such.  This would create the basic framework to build upon for fully deployable units and each Company/Squadron/Battery-sized sub-unit could have an objective of being able to immediately force generate a complete Platoon/Troop/Gun-sized sub-sub-unit to either augment the Regular Force or be grouped together with other units within their Reserve Brigade for form Companies/Squadrons or even complete Battle Groups.  On full mobilization they should eventually be able to form the Brigades originally envisioned.

I've attached images of the existing Reserve Force structure and one possible model for how it could be re-organized.  This is obviously just a rough idea of how an initial re-organization could take place and there are obviously many different variations/modifications or evolutions that could work as well or better.  The basic idea though is to start by building the organizational framework for an effective Army Reserve and then begin adding in the other required elements (changes to training, new equipment, CS and CSS elements, etc.) as they become feasible.

FWIW, the 'Reserve Force Mobilization' mechanism we have in place right now seems to work pretty well, and we've been using it effectively over the course of some of the worst situations we've ever faced in a DOMPOPS scenario over the past 10 years or more e.g., record setting fire, flood, ice storm and, now, pandemic events.

If anything, a major area of improvement might be to increase the numbers of troops who can 'DAG Green' at the start of such events, which is an excellent measure of readiness. This would lead us down the path of making sure everyone is medical/dental/Pers Adm ready, and there are alot of areas for improvement we could make there, as well as the usual physical fitness and trade/specialty soldier qualifications requirements. And Regiments, Brigades and Divisions need to make sure this all is happening consistently and successfully during the training year. Of course there are a few other administrative process improvements that could be implemented e.g., it took 4 months to get me paid for my meagre 2 week hitch on OP LENTUS a couple of years ago. I was well finished my commitment by the time I got the money in the bank and no doubt others were in the same boat.

Of all the qualifications, PLQ is the most important IMHO as it prepares more junior leaders to operate effectively with small teams in less certain scenarios. If we were to increase our investment anywhere in an area of training designed to prepare more leaders, to a higher standard of readiness for both peace and war time requirements, it would be ....... leadership.

However, overall, the basic process seems to be serving us well. Let's not chuck it out.
 

dapaterson

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The intent of a Reserve Force is not a "Reg F on the cheap" - lower cost full time permanent augmentation.  It is an "in case of emergency, break glass" type thing.

NavRes as noted above was nearly completely broken by the MCDVs, and resulted in major clefts between the full-time and part-time elements of the force.

RCAF Res is already running full tilt with little ability to surge, and does virtually no ab initio entry (partly because the RCAF has mismanaged its individual training system for at least three decades).

If you look at my posting history, I have been an advocate for fundamental restructure of the Army Reserve.  There are valid lessons to learn from the RCN , RCAF and from other international partners.  But to claim the RCN and RCAF are free from problems (some foundational) in their generation and maintenance of their forces, both Reg and Res, is to wear terrible, wilful blinders.

 

daftandbarmy

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dapaterson said:
The intent of a Reserve Force is not a "Reg F on the cheap" - lower cost full time permanent augmentation.  It is an "in case of emergency, break glass" type thing.

Nailed it.

Now if we can just instill this vision statement into the minds of our most senior leadership, both political and military, we'll be OK :)
 

FJAG

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GR66 said:
The idea of fully deployable Reserve Brigades (or Battle Groups at the least) I think makes sense for many of the reasons that FJAG and others have mentioned.  A smaller, ready Regular Force for the types of deployments you see on a more regular basis and a larger, cheaper to maintain, Reserve Force for times when you have to face the rarer, larger military threats.  The US ANG is one model that shows this could be done.

However, I think we're a very long way from the current structure of a multitude of individual Reserve Regiments and a focus on individual augmentation of the Regular Force to the kind of Reserve Force being suggested.  Add in the fact that in the current economic situation there is no way I see an influx of new equipment and support for the Reserves in the near future and I think it would be best to focus on incremental steps toward the final goal.

One possible first step would be to officially recognize that Reserve "Regiments" are actually Company/Squadron/Battery-sized sub-units and structure and group them together as such.  This would create the basic framework to build upon for fully deployable units and each Company/Squadron/Battery-sized sub-unit could have an objective of being able to immediately force generate a complete Platoon/Troop/Gun-sized sub-sub-unit to either augment the Regular Force or be grouped together with other units within their Reserve Brigade for form Companies/Squadrons or even complete Battle Groups.  On full mobilization they should eventually be able to form the Brigades originally envisioned.

I've attached images of the existing Reserve Force structure and one possible model for how it could be re-organized.  This is obviously just a rough idea of how an initial re-organization could take place and there are obviously many different variations/modifications or evolutions that could work as well or better.  The basic idea though is to start by building the organizational framework for an effective Army Reserve and then begin adding in the other required elements (changes to training, new equipment, CS and CSS elements, etc.) as they become feasible.

You're on point. The amalgamation is the only real option for us based on the size of the force we have. 4 to 6 brigades is all that one could reasonably construct out of an establishment of under 25,000.

I only have one issue with what you propose. We desperately need support brigades more than extra manoeuvre brigades which is what drew me to create an establishment of two reserve heavy manoeuvre brigades, one artillery brigade, one sustainment brigade and one manoeuvre enhancement brigade.

I'll concede that your establishment would be easier to find acceptance within the reserve communities because there are fewer requirements to convert existing "combat" units into "sustainment" or "manoeuvre enhancement" units. (the artillery brigade is easily do-able). At some point, however, we need to face the question of: what should the Army have to be more lethal and credible rather than how do we maintain every cap badge, band and regimental museum that we have now. If we do have the need and opportunity to "mobilize" in the traditional sense, we can always bring units back from the Supp Order of Battle.

I actually ran the exercise of doing just that and it was a gut wrenching task to strike out famous regiments willy nilly just on paper. It's going to take a cold hearted bugger to do what actually needs to be done in real life.

dapaterson said:
The intent of a Reserve Force is not a "Reg F on the cheap" - lower cost full time permanent augmentation.  It is an "in case of emergency, break glass" type thing.

Bingo!

dapaterson said:
NavRes as noted above was nearly completely broken by the MCDVs, and resulted in major clefts between the full-time and part-time elements of the force.

RCAF Res is already running full tilt with little ability to surge, and does virtually no ab initio entry (partly because the RCAF has mismanaged its individual training system for at least three decades).

If you look at my posting history, I have been an advocate for fundamental restructure of the Army Reserve.  There are valid lessons to learn from the RCN , RCAF and from other international partners.  But to claim the RCN and RCAF are free from problems (some foundational) in their generation and maintenance of their forces, both Reg and Res, is to wear terrible, wilful blinders.

Bingo again!

With the "break glass" analogy my thoughts have been along this line: If a significant portion of the Army reserve is oriented towards the extreme but more hostile European theatre then:

a) the Navy reserve should be oriented to the "break glass" possibility of moving and sustaining large armoured forces by sea to Europe, the maintenance of sea lanes and counter area denial strategies, and

b) the Air Force reserve should be oriented towards the more "break glass" needs such as  medical evacuation, armed UAVs, attack helicopter, and forming a deployable air wing headquarters with air field engineering and defence and an aviation maintenance squadron. (many of those in hybrid Reg/Res elements and I tend to think of it as a deployable aviation brigade that can be tailored with additional helicopter transportation squadrons if and as needed)

A man can dream.  8)

:cheers:
 

FJAG

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One additional point.

Consider creating a depot battalion in each region. The only job of the depot battalion is to provide individual training at the DP 1 and DP 2 level for both Reg F and Res F ORs and DP 1 for Reg F and Res F officers of all trades in the region. The purpose for doing this is to:

a) leave the units within the brigades free to organize and concentrate on solely collective training; and

b) in the event of "total" mobilization, the depot battalions stay behind and continue to train DP1 and 2 reinforcements/ replacements for the field force and (in really extreme circumstances) for additional battalions to augment the field force.

Incidentally, with three Reg F brigades and around five Res F brigades you can run the force with three division headquarters: 1 Div as the force employer holding no units or formations until assigned for employment and 2 Div in the East and 3 Div in the West which are the force generators.

:cheers:
 

MilEME09

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reverse_engineer said:
Are any PRes regiments actually authorized to be larger than Coy/Sqn/Bty size?

Taking the average for a coy is between 80 to 150 pers, my unit is about 2 coy's plus a bit extra in authorized strength. The new reserve recruitment system shifts numbers a fair bit, units not recruiting get reduced intake and the positions/ funding goes to units that are.
 

blacktriangle

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Interesting, thanks. Out of curiousity, what is the actual strength in contrast to what is authorized?
 

MilEME09

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reverse_engineer said:
Interesting, thanks. Out of curiousity, what is the actual strength in contrast to what is authorized?

Last I checked (about a year ago) 240+ and growing fast. The issue facing the reserves is the new recruitment system opening the flood gates so to speak. The Training system can't keep up,we have 2 platoon pluses of PAT. Though there is a plan and a way to deal with it thanks to this pandemic.
 

Halifax Tar

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dapaterson said:
The intent of a Reserve Force is not a "Reg F on the cheap" - lower cost full time permanent augmentation.  It is an "in case of emergency, break glass" type thing.

I am not sayin it is.  What the RCN and RCAF have done though is made sure their Reg and Res folks are as counter trained as possible.  Hence the reason my Ops room has a bunch reserve NCIOPs right now.  And the Deck Dept has 5 reserve boatswains.  The RCAF has a ready reserve of people who are capable of being the brake-glass force, same with the RCN.  Are we perfect ?  Nope but compared to what guys spout off about WRT the Army Res we are worlds ahead of you.

dapaterson said:
NavRes as noted above was nearly completely broken by the MCDVs, and resulted in major clefts between the full-time and part-time elements of the force.
I dont buy it.  I was in NavRes we've always have big NRDs and little ones.  They really are just recruiting depots and public affairs concentrations.  They do their job well.  These units were never expected too and never will deploy as a unit.  They are people suppliers.

dapaterson said:
RCAF Res is already running full tilt with little ability to surge, and does virtually no ab initio entry (partly because the RCAF has mismanaged its individual training system for at least three decades).
Maybe but their reserve Sqns sure seem able interoperate the same magical dust flying thingys. 

dapaterson said:
If you look at my posting history, I have been an advocate for fundamental restructure of the Army Reserve.  There are valid lessons to learn from the RCN , RCAF and from other international partners.  But to claim the RCN and RCAF are free from problems (some foundational) in their generation and maintenance of their forces, both Reg and Res, is to wear terrible, wilful blinders.

Telling the Army they are imperfect and we (RCN) may have a couple things to learn from does not mean we perfect.  I sure could pick apart the RCN, no problem; you should see the TM we just released on writting Theatre PDRs.  It boggles the mind.  Try not to be so defensive.  We might have a trick or two you could use.
 

blacktriangle

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MilEME09 said:
Last I checked (about a year ago) 240+ and growing fast. The issue facing the reserves is the new recruitment system opening the flood gates so to speak. The Training system can't keep up,we have 2 platoon pluses of PAT. Though there is a plan and a way to deal with it thanks to this pandemic.

Wow, that's not so bad. Hope getting them all trained works out ok. I suppose my perspective on the PRes is very skewed as it is only based on a short time during the Afg years. Lots of people were out on long-term Class Bs and rarely seen, or on pre-deployment/deployment. So things felt pretty thin on the ground...and many of us that were there either had CTs in the works or were trying to jump on an upcoming roto.

Did the Class B cuts years back have any impact (positive or negative) on the Class A parade numbers?
 

FJAG

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Halifax Tar said:
I am not sayin it is.  What the RCN and RCAF have done though is made sure their Reg and Res folks are as counter trained as possible.  Hence the reason my Ops room has a bunch reserve NCIOPs right now.  And the Deck Dept has 5 reserve boatswains.  The RCAF has a ready reserve of people who are capable of being the brake-glass force, same with the RCN.  Are we perfect ?  Nope but compared to what guys spout off about WRT the Army Res we are worlds ahead of you. ...
I dont buy it.  I was in NavRes we've always have big NRDs and little ones.  They really are just recruiting depots and public affairs concentrations.  They do their job well.  These units were never expected too and never will deploy as a unit.  They are people suppliers. ...
Maybe but their reserve Sqns sure seem able interoperate the same magical dust flying thingys. 
...
Telling the Army they are imperfect and we (RCN) may have a couple things to learn from does not mean we perfect.  I sure could pick apart the RCN, no problem; you should see the TM we just released on writting Theatre PDRs.  It boggles the mind.  Try not to be so defensive.  We might have a trick or two you could use.

The problem in a general sense, the way that I see it, is that the Navy, the Air Force and the national and other headquarters are using reservists as office overload to fill full-time positions that are not authorized under the government's Regular Force manning limitations. In some cases they are filling temporarily vacant positions but in many cases (especially the Air Force) it's just permanent full-time extra positions that have accreted over time recruited primarily from retired Reg F members.

The definition of a reservist is "enrolled for other than continuing, full-time service". CAF has been stretching the meaning of "other than continuing ..." for quite some time now. That's where the idea of "in case of emergency, break glass" comes into play. It should be a force made up of individuals, units and formations that are trained and equipped to be available for call-out in cases of emergencies from domops to war and not for continuous augmentation of routine duties.

:cheers:
 

tomahawk6

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Not all reservists need to be in a unit they can be managed by a central command and doled out as individual augmentee's.
 
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