• Thanks for stopping by. Logging in to a registered account will remove all generic ads. Please reach out with any questions or concerns.

Best Base/Training Area for Tanks/Combined Arms

Kirkhill

Army.ca Legend
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
712
Points
1,060
Air Defence
Artillery
Counter Battery
EW
EW - Full time trade - EW happens even when bullets and bombs don't

Counter-Battery - Redesignate as Long Range Precision Fires under a Multi-Domain Task Force (Reg Force 384) Work with RCAF RPAS Squadron (Reg Force 300) 2 Reg Force Firing Batteries 2 to 6 Reserve Firing Batteries

Air Defence - GBAD-CRAM RCA Joint with RCAF and RCN. Reg Force. Full time Sensors. Highly automated firing batteries. Reserve sensor operators.

Artillery - Stand down the Brigade Group Structure and emphasise Battle Groups and Combat Teams. Concentrate Reg Force in a single Arty Brigade with all the CS and GS Regiments. Reserve Force to supply Firing Troops/Batteries.
 

FJAG

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
1,810
Points
1,040
EW - Full time trade - EW happens even when bullets and bombs don't

Counter-Battery - Redesignate as Long Range Precision Fires under a Multi-Domain Task Force (Reg Force 384) Work with RCAF RPAS Squadron (Reg Force 300) 2 Reg Force Firing Batteries 2 to 6 Reserve Firing Batteries

Air Defence - GBAD-CRAM RCA Joint with RCAF and RCN. Reg Force. Full time Sensors. Highly automated firing batteries. Reserve sensor operators.

Artillery - Stand down the Brigade Group Structure and emphasise Battle Groups and Combat Teams. Concentrate Reg Force in a single Arty Brigade with all the CS and GS Regiments. Reserve Force to supply Firing Troops/Batteries.
I'll meet you part way on the "Artillery" element. Assuming we're talking about Reg F CMBGs;

Reduce the CMBG's Close Support regiments to the following;

1. a hybrid regimental headquarters that has a Reg F CO and FSCC capability, and a hybrid regimental command post and support capability;

2. a complete Reg F FOO Bty with FSCCs and FOOs/JTACs;

3. a complete Reg F, six-gun, gun battery;

4. two complete Res F six-gun, gun batteries;

5. a complete Res F STA battery; and

6. the Res F remainder of the regimental headquarters and support capability.

All remaining full time PYs, (probably just under one half - let's say 250 out of 550) go to the Arty brigade for repurposing.

The rationale here is quite simple. As long as you have a battle group concept, each battle group needs to train on a regular basis and deploy with its FOO/JTACs and also have a battle group FSCC all of which come from the CS regiment. So the FOO/JTAC Bty must remain with the brigade and if the brigade is full-time then this Bty needs to be full-time as well.

Similarly, we do not generally deploy battle groups in isolation. We typically deploy battle groups with a supervising bde gp headquarters so that the battle group can concentrate on the tactical operations while the bde HQ focuses on the bigger picture including the integration of a multitude of enablers and other support. This means the bde HQ cannot be just tossed aside. They need to be retained and need to train regularly and deploy with their FSCC elements which comes from the CS regiments.

In order to keep the FOOs current they need to regularly train with at least one gun battery. In addition you need one Roto 0 battery available to deploy with the brigade. Finally one needs to keep current on gun line practices/doctrine and provide a career path focused on CS functions.

With the reduced size of the full-time component of the CS regiment you can reduce much of its support structure.

Everyone else can be reservists organized into fully equipped batteries in a way to be able to form additional CS batteries for subsequent rotos or to mobilize to a full sized regiment if required.

Note that if you do organize like this, then the artillery brigade does not need to concern itself with any CS functions such as FOOs, JTACs or FSCC resources at the bde or below level. It can concentrate on fire delivery systems, long range STA capabilities and integrating/coordinating ground based fire resources with sensors and delivery systems from other agencies.

In short while "brigading" artillery resources may sound like an efficiency, it is not because of the need for FOO/JTAC and FSCC capabilities to remain close to and involved with the brigade/battle groups on a frequent basis. That requires at least some fires resources to be close as well.

🍻
 

Kirkhill

Army.ca Legend
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
712
Points
1,060
I'll meet you part way on the "Artillery" element. Assuming we're talking about Reg F CMBGs;

Reduce the CMBG's Close Support regiments to the following;

1. a hybrid regimental headquarters that has a Reg F CO and FSCC capability, and a hybrid regimental command post and support capability;

2. a complete Reg F FOO Bty with FSCCs and FOOs/JTACs;

3. a complete Reg F, six-gun, gun battery;

4. two complete Res F six-gun, gun batteries;

5. a complete Res F STA battery; and

6. the Res F remainder of the regimental headquarters and support capability.

All remaining full time PYs, (probably just under one half - let's say 250 out of 550) go to the Arty brigade for repurposing.

The rationale here is quite simple. As long as you have a battle group concept, each battle group needs to train on a regular basis and deploy with its FOO/JTACs and also have a battle group FSCC all of which come from the CS regiment. So the FOO/JTAC Bty must remain with the brigade and if the brigade is full-time then this Bty needs to be full-time as well.

Similarly, we do not generally deploy battle groups in isolation. We typically deploy battle groups with a supervising bde gp headquarters so that the battle group can concentrate on the tactical operations while the bde HQ focuses on the bigger picture including the integration of a multitude of enablers and other support. This means the bde HQ cannot be just tossed aside. They need to be retained and need to train regularly and deploy with their FSCC elements which comes from the CS regiments.

In order to keep the FOOs current they need to regularly train with at least one gun battery. In addition you need one Roto 0 battery available to deploy with the brigade. Finally one needs to keep current on gun line practices/doctrine and provide a career path focused on CS functions.

With the reduced size of the full-time component of the CS regiment you can reduce much of its support structure.

Everyone else can be reservists organized into fully equipped batteries in a way to be able to form additional CS batteries for subsequent rotos or to mobilize to a full sized regiment if required.

Note that if you do organize like this, then the artillery brigade does not need to concern itself with any CS functions such as FOOs, JTACs or FSCC resources at the bde or below level. It can concentrate on fire delivery systems, long range STA capabilities and integrating/coordinating ground based fire resources with sensors and delivery systems from other agencies.

In short while "brigading" artillery resources may sound like an efficiency, it is not because of the need for FOO/JTAC and FSCC capabilities to remain close to and involved with the brigade/battle groups on a frequent basis. That requires at least some fires resources to be close as well.

🍻
Sold!

It kind of melds with the notion of the close combat elements primarily acting as the eyes of the artillery as they close.

Ideally, if everybody does their part right by the time they close there is nothing to close on.
 

Kirkhill

Army.ca Legend
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
712
Points
1,060
For the record - I wasn't considering "brigading" as an "efficiency". I was looking at a response to uncertainty. We don't know the targets. We don't know the tools. We don't know the techniques. We need a qualified pool of people with a budget to sort this stuff out.

Also I discover that I am heading back to 1718 and the Georgian renovation of the Arsenal. That period gave rise to the modern Ordnance Corps, the Engineers, the Royal Artillery (Horse, Field, Garrison, Coastal, Air Defence, Royal Air Force), Signals and Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. In fact all of the technical trades that gained new prominence with the scientific discoveries of the Enlightenment and the Royal Academy. Arguably it also marked the origins of the modern Royal Navy. Ordnance being the common denominator. That and Blue Suits and Royal titles.

Scarlet infantry and cavalry are something else again.

With the Brigade I am attempting to put the RCA on the same professional footing as the RCAF and the RCN and CSE. I see CSE, with the addition of Cyber, EW and Space Assets as a further extension of the Ordnance in the modern world.

Again infantry and cavalry are something else again.

They employ ordnance. The Cavalry employs ordnance that can be mounted on wheels. The infantry employs ordnance they can carry on their backs (if the situation demands it). The RCN employs ordnance at sea. The RCAF employs ordnance from the air. CSE employs electronic ordnance. The RCA employs ordnance - particularly the more long range, technically demanding varieties.
 

Kirkhill

Army.ca Legend
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
712
Points
1,060
Does "everybody" include the enemy?

All he has to do is get the message and depart. How difficult can that be? Does he really have to wait until he has a bayonet up it? ;)

'Course, some require more persuasion than others so the infantry have to earn their shilling.
 

Kirkhill

Army.ca Legend
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
712
Points
1,060
Armed Reconnaissance? Is that the concept I am searching for?

Surveillance of the national territory can be an unarmed, civilian function. However, surveillance, inevitably leaves holes which need to be patched. The patching is done by recce. And the recce element is better armed both for self defence and for the ability to influence the situation. It also needs to be able to communicate to concentrate available forces if the situation demands more than the recce element has on hand. The ability to reach back to heavier ordnance in a timely fashion.

Equally Armed Recce maintains a screening function to disrupt approaching enemy concentrations. It also controls the lines of approach.

And it can link up with neighbours and allies.

Would we get what we needed if we concentrated on ISR with a strong Armed Recce element? Would it be useful if we could maintain a three service armed reaction capability that could respond in as timely a fashion as the national SAR system? Or the NORAD system?
 

FJAG

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
1,810
Points
1,040
Armed Reconnaissance? Is that the concept I am searching for?

Surveillance of the national territory can be an unarmed, civilian function. However, surveillance, inevitably leaves holes which need to be patched. The patching is done by recce. And the recce element is better armed both for self defence and for the ability to influence the situation. It also needs to be able to communicate to concentrate available forces if the situation demands more than the recce element has on hand. The ability to reach back to heavier ordnance in a timely fashion.

Equally Armed Recce maintains a screening function to disrupt approaching enemy concentrations. It also controls the lines of approach.

And it can link up with neighbours and allies.

Would we get what we needed if we concentrated on ISR with a strong Armed Recce element? Would it be useful if we could maintain a three service armed reaction capability that could respond in as timely a fashion as the national SAR system? Or the NORAD system?
I'm not sure what concept you are searching for.

Let's get back to the late seventies and eighties when we were defining our roles and organizations for defensive war in Europe. Recce consisted of two parts: the brigade recce squadron (with three seven-car troops) and the recce troop and recce platoon of each of the tank regiment and mechanized infantry battalions respectively. Each had their own roles. Each provided information gathering functions on behalf of their bde or unit by screening the formation/unit (and other tasks) and generally little direct combat function.

In a defensive battle, however, you had more elements at play. Corps or division would ordinarily provide a covering force quite some distance forward of the main defensive area. The covering force was robust and mobile usually armour heavy and would contest ground to the advancing force's advance guards hoping to force premature deployments by the main body and wasting their artillery resources on generally empty positions. For a division defence the better part of a brigade, including its close support artillery regiment, might be in the covering force.

As the covering force collapsed onto the division's main defensive position the brigade's recce squadron (if reinforced with anti armour elements and even infantry and/or some tanks) might take up the fight to allow the covering force to break clean and move through the main defensive position and usually take up the division's reserve and counter attack role. The brigade's recce squadron would avoid getting decisively engaged - just enough to ease the covering force through - and pull their own butts through the lines or to the flanks.

I don't think that things have changed overly much. When I see the Brit's Deep Strike Brigade, what I see is a rapidly moving force that can move a long distance into a threatened area and act as a covering force using long range artillery and other long range system while the slower heavy elements of the division move into main blocking/defensive positions. It's essentially a standard divisional defensive battle adjusted for wider dispersed operations.

While originally built for a different purpose, I see a Stryker BCT being able to offer the same general function. What I question is whether discarding the heavy armour from the Deep Strike Brigade and the SBCT in favour of its organic anti-armour resources and long range artillery and even loitering munitions will provide the robust capability to facilitate disengagement and clean breaks when required (and they will be required at some point).

Canada's problem is that we think small. We're trying to create covering forces for a single brigade or even a battle group. That's very difficult to do because of the narrowness of a battle group and even a brigade's frontage, even when dispersed. It's not that you can't assemble the systems required for a covering force but the coordination with flanking elements is difficult and the risk of being flanked increases significantly.

Remember too that the covering force (or whatever is left of it) usually also provided the reserve/counter attack capability of the formation that created it. As such it needs to be a robust enough element to carry out offensive operations against what undoubtedly was a heavy force that just kicked the butt of a portion of your main defensive position.

One key point here is that for the '80s brigades, one recce squadron was all there was. It was not "armed" by any stretch of the imagination. It could be and was reinforced on occasion to either fight for info or to do a limited task (such as easing a covering force through). The brigade's "armed" element was the armoured regiment and its four tank squadrons and yes, a half or full squadron could be tasked to work with recce in appropriate circumstances.

We lost focus when we gave up tanks but not armoured PYs and formed recce regiments with several brigade recce squadrons which surprisingly would end up being mirrored when the US broke up its divisional cavalry regiments to provide three-company sized squadrons to each BCT.

So the big question here is: doctrinally what do we want recce/cavalry to do? Are we concentrating on fighting individual brigades in widely dispersed operations and if so, will there be a "divisional" covering force like how, I assume, the Deep Strike Brigade will be used? Or will we uparm a CMBG with anti armour weapons so that we can use it like how, I assume, an SBCT might be used? Or will we rely on mix and match battle group or a heavy cavalry regiment to provide that covering force on a brigade by brigade basis? We obviously need to work out our doctrine because there are just too many unanswered questions.

That leaves the question of the Army's role within the concept of surveillance of the national territory. Here the biggest challenge is the vast territory to be covered and the role that the Army in that surveillance and in reacting to a threat. Theoretically we already have a three-service armed reaction capability through the auspices of JSOC which will tailor a force as required. Where we have a shortfall is in having all of the equipment, facilities and training necessary to react with. It's one thing to plan for months to send an Arctic Response Company group into the north for an exercise, its quite another to rapidly deploy one on an operation and sustain and support and, if necessary, reinforce it. Again, the missing element is a strong overarching doctrine to build on. The Arctic is not the place for ad hocery.

🍻
 

Kirkhill

Army.ca Legend
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
712
Points
1,060
I'm not thinking about fielding a division. I am thinking first and foremost about what it will take to react to threats to the homeland. Once that is done then we can start thinking about recreating divisions, despatching Expeditionary Forces and making allied Armies.

So my first priority is surveillance, the second is rapid reaction. And the scope of reaction should range from SAR, to HA/DART, to armed response from air, sea and land. The land response needs to be co-ordinated with the RCAF to meet that timeliness. And I fully agree that rapid reaction into the Arctic is no time for Ad Hocery. That is the first thing that we should be able to do. Not the last thing.

Once we get that sorted then we can consider rapid response elements on board Her Majesty's Canadian Ships.

Then we can look at what we can do with those deployable assets.

Then we can look at what dedicated Expeditionary Force we are willing and able to buy to despatch overseas.

One of our big problems in Canada, I believe, is that we give our taxpayers little reason to understand the value of a national defence force. Saying that it is not worthwhile trying domestically because we are so few and the place is so big, we can't help you. In the meantime please send money so that I can go to Cyprus, Latvia, Germany, and travel the US.

Once we can demonstrate domestic value, a higher domestic profile, then I believe you will see more support that will permit overseas operations.
 

daftandbarmy

Army.ca Relic
Reaction score
4,381
Points
1,060
Once we can demonstrate domestic value, a higher domestic profile, then I believe you will see more support that will permit overseas operations.

Three record fire seasons, the most disastrous flood in Canadian history (Calgary) and a bunch of other floods, the ice storm, and sorting out care homes during the great plague wasn't even enough, clearly.

Yeah, we're pretty much screwed from that POV.
 

FJAG

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
1,810
Points
1,040
I'm not thinking about fielding a division. I am thinking first and foremost about what it will take to react to threats to the homeland. Once that is done then we can start thinking about recreating divisions, despatching Expeditionary Forces and making allied Armies.
Neither was I. What I'm saying though is that as long as we have the words "Russia" and "China" and "full spectrum" and "deterrence" in our defence policy then it behooves us to determine what our role in that scenario is and build an appropriate doctrine for it. If our contribution is to only supply a liaison officer to Brussels then lets be honest enough to say that. On the other hand, our commitment to Latvia's Enhanced Forward Presence makes it pretty darn clear we are committed to full spectrum deterrence by the highest level of our government.

That, in short, means we need to develop a doctrine for that role and a possible expansion of it. That does not mean that you do not develop a doctrine for the defence of Canada. In fact its absolutely essential that there is one. In fact many parts of the doctrine might overlap or be common to both.

Economy of effort and complexity of training would indicate that you should concentrate your equipment and training efforts on the most complex and most likely. It's easier to step back from being prepared for a complex scenario to a simpler one rather than vice versa. Where possible and where resources permit you can create a separate force for each role. Resources availability is not a strong suit for the CAF and as a result your forces will need to be capable of primary and secondary employment.
So my first priority is surveillance, the second is rapid reaction. And the scope of reaction should range from SAR, to HA/DART, to armed response from air, sea and land. The land response needs to be co-ordinated with the RCAF to meet that timeliness. And I fully agree that rapid reaction into the Arctic is no time for Ad Hocery. That is the first thing that we should be able to do. Not the last thing.
The geography of Canada dictates that homeland is an air and sea (and Ranger) function. What the Army needs are deployable assets, relevant equipment and support facilities to enable QRF forces against incursions.

In fact, I have a pretty hard time imagining any incursion that can't be met by a long range strike. About the only thing that might need a ground force is if they seize a local settlement and hold hostages while they set up early warning radars. That's more a special forces operation but only after a serious political negotiating campaign to get them out.

Should we have a force that can bring ground combat power to bear? Sure. We're already a winter wonderland and all of our troops are trained in winter warfare (or at least we were back in the '70s and I presume they still are). There are clear peculiarities for operating in the Arctic that we don't have as a big problem down south in the winter - communications, distances and lack of routes, lack of cover, and the biggie - supply and support. That's all equipment and facility based. The basic organization and fighting skills don't vary much from our standard winter warfare training.

All of the troops that we need can easily be sources from CANSOFCOM or, if a bigger force is needed, from a single Reg F light brigade organized and trained in full spectrum warfare but properly equipped and occasionally exercised in Arctic warfare. If you wish to add a few Res F Arctic Response Companies - okay too.
Once we get that sorted then we can consider rapid response elements on board Her Majesty's Canadian Ships.
With respect to the Navy, ships are not a QRF vehicle. Having a ship-rider force is a waste of resources. Training for the eventuality - okay. The light brigade can send the odd platoon out for training but as a standing force - no.

Then we can look at what we can do with those deployable assets.

Then we can look at what dedicated Expeditionary Force we are willing and able to buy to despatch overseas.

One of our big problems in Canada, I believe, is that we give our taxpayers little reason to understand the value of a national defence force. Saying that it is not worthwhile trying domestically because we are so few and the place is so big, we can't help you. In the meantime please send money so that I can go to Cyprus, Latvia, Germany, and travel the US.
One of our problems in Canada is that we can't get our taxpayers to understand the value of vaccinations and wearing masks during a pandemic. Much of our population is uninformed (unless its about Justin Bieber or the latest hockey score). The best public education campaigns our governments put together fail dismally because the public doesn't listen and doesn't care - not just about the military but about many essential issues.

They leave foreign policy to their elected governments. We've had some dreadful governments - Chretien and Trudeau I'm looking at you - but also some that understood the military's role in projecting foreign presence amongst our allies - Martin and Harper.
Once we can demonstrate domestic value, a higher domestic profile, then I believe you will see more support that will permit overseas operations.
The only way we can demonstrate domestic value is through a domestic defence manufacturing capability - jobs. I have zero confidence that the public in general understand the nuance of working with our ally in NORAD from working with our allies in NATO. Both essentially guard against the same enemy and have roughly the same likelihood of being invoked.

Our biggest public relations victory is the continued belief in our military as peacekeepers which is essentially a deployed operations situation. The fact that peacekeeping is now much more robust is merely a sign of the times.

Sorry. I don't buy your position. The best way to prepare for homeland defence, IMHO, is in strong, credible participation with our allies where our efforts are seen and appreciated and buy us international brownie points and a voice at the table.

🍻
 

lenaitch

Sr. Member
Reaction score
409
Points
810
Three record fire seasons, the most disastrous flood in Canadian history (Calgary) and a bunch of other floods, the ice storm, and sorting out care homes during the great plague wasn't even enough, clearly.

Yeah, we're pretty much screwed from that POV.

The problem with most domestic activations is the public - particularly urban - and media see a bunch of unarmed folks in funny looking clothes and some trucks (maybe the odd plane) being nice and helpful, and once the event is over they disappear. If they think about the matter at all, the public doesn't translate that image with calls for billions in modern, expensive high-tech equipment. None of the recent activations for fires, floods or Covid was seen compelling enough to any of the political parties to lift national defence off the back pages of their platforms.

The Canadian public holds onto this nostalgic view of Chapter VI peacekeeping as our natural role in the world. It's nice, and helpful, and relatively inexpensive. That, and the whole 'the US will protect us - who's going to invade us, we're nice'.
 

daftandbarmy

Army.ca Relic
Reaction score
4,381
Points
1,060
The problem with most domestic activations is the public - particularly urban - and media see a bunch of unarmed folks in funny looking clothes and some trucks (maybe the odd plane) being nice and helpful, and once the event is over they disappear. If they think about the matter at all, the public doesn't translate that image with calls for billions in modern, expensive high-tech equipment. None of the recent activations for fires, floods or Covid was seen compelling enough to any of the political parties to lift national defence off the back pages of their platforms.

The Canadian public holds onto this nostalgic view of Chapter VI peacekeeping as our natural role in the world. It's nice, and helpful, and relatively inexpensive. That, and the whole 'the US will protect us - who's going to invade us, we're nice'.

As I've said before I think we do ourselves a disservice by posting our troops to various 'Gulags' around the country, mainly to be close to training areas, which has the effect of keeping the troops well out of the public eye.

This is very tactical.

Meanwhile, in places like the UK, they have barracks in cities and near other urban concentrations (Hownslow Bks, Edinburgh Castle/Redford Bks anyone?) where they are very much in the public eye. When they need to train they hop in buses and travel to Wales, or wherever.

For example, in Norway I recall watching the local infantry unit doing their version of the BFT, which took them down the main street, and people came out to clap and urge them on while handing them pop, for example.

This has its problems of course, as the size of the Monday morning charge parades might testify, but in strategic terms the military is always directly intermingled and engaged with the civilian population of the country it serves.

This is a good thing, for both the military and the civilian population.
 

Kirkhill

Army.ca Legend
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
712
Points
1,060
Neither was I. What I'm saying though is that as long as we have the words "Russia" and "China" and "full spectrum" and "deterrence" in our defence policy then it behooves us to determine what our role in that scenario is and build an appropriate doctrine for it. If our contribution is to only supply a liaison officer to Brussels then lets be honest enough to say that. On the other hand, our commitment to Latvia's Enhanced Forward Presence makes it pretty darn clear we are committed to full spectrum deterrence by the highest level of our government.

That, in short, means we need to develop a doctrine for that role and a possible expansion of it. That does not mean that you do not develop a doctrine for the defence of Canada. In fact its absolutely essential that there is one. In fact many parts of the doctrine might overlap or be common to both.

Economy of effort and complexity of training would indicate that you should concentrate your equipment and training efforts on the most complex and most likely. It's easier to step back from being prepared for a complex scenario to a simpler one rather than vice versa. Where possible and where resources permit you can create a separate force for each role. Resources availability is not a strong suit for the CAF and as a result your forces will need to be capable of primary and secondary employment.

The geography of Canada dictates that homeland is an air and sea (and Ranger) function. What the Army needs are deployable assets, relevant equipment and support facilities to enable QRF forces against incursions.

In fact, I have a pretty hard time imagining any incursion that can't be met by a long range strike. About the only thing that might need a ground force is if they seize a local settlement and hold hostages while they set up early warning radars. That's more a special forces operation but only after a serious political negotiating campaign to get them out.

Should we have a force that can bring ground combat power to bear? Sure. We're already a winter wonderland and all of our troops are trained in winter warfare (or at least we were back in the '70s and I presume they still are). There are clear peculiarities for operating in the Arctic that we don't have as a big problem down south in the winter - communications, distances and lack of routes, lack of cover, and the biggie - supply and support. That's all equipment and facility based. The basic organization and fighting skills don't vary much from our standard winter warfare training.

All of the troops that we need can easily be sources from CANSOFCOM or, if a bigger force is needed, from a single Reg F light brigade organized and trained in full spectrum warfare but properly equipped and occasionally exercised in Arctic warfare. If you wish to add a few Res F Arctic Response Companies - okay too.

With respect to the Navy, ships are not a QRF vehicle. Having a ship-rider force is a waste of resources. Training for the eventuality - okay. The light brigade can send the odd platoon out for training but as a standing force - no.


One of our problems in Canada is that we can't get our taxpayers to understand the value of vaccinations and wearing masks during a pandemic. Much of our population is uninformed (unless its about Justin Bieber or the latest hockey score). The best public education campaigns our governments put together fail dismally because the public doesn't listen and doesn't care - not just about the military but about many essential issues.

They leave foreign policy to their elected governments. We've had some dreadful governments - Chretien and Trudeau I'm looking at you - but also some that understood the military's role in projecting foreign presence amongst our allies - Martin and Harper.

The only way we can demonstrate domestic value is through a domestic defence manufacturing capability - jobs. I have zero confidence that the public in general understand the nuance of working with our ally in NORAD from working with our allies in NATO. Both essentially guard against the same enemy and have roughly the same likelihood of being invoked.

Our biggest public relations victory is the continued belief in our military as peacekeepers which is essentially a deployed operations situation. The fact that peacekeeping is now much more robust is merely a sign of the times.

Sorry. I don't buy your position. The best way to prepare for homeland defence, IMHO, is in strong, credible participation with our allies where our efforts are seen and appreciated and buy us international brownie points and a voice at the table.

🍻

It is funny how we can agree on so much and yet see different futures. :giggle:

WRT CANSOFCOM - I think CANSOFCOM is going to be very busy and much in demand overseas. It needs reinforcing/supporting and it will likely benefit from the availability of long range QRFs geared towards conventional small unit operations. The role I see for the Light Infantry Battalions - both abroad and domestically. Domestically they are the IRUs and the Arctic Response Companies.

WRT liaison with the Navy - I don't see the army floating around in the navy's ships cluttering up the decks. What I do see, especially in the Canadian context, is needing a warm, dry place from which to operate in inhospitable territory. So, when the Arctic Response Company gets called out it would be nice if the navy could bring a couple of ships into the area of operations and provide a bunk, a mug of kye, a radio in support and a good viewing platform. And perhaps that inhospitable area, someday, will be off the Phillipines, or Latvia.

WRT Brownie Points - yes that has worked for us in the past. It has generated trade and prosperity for us. And freedom of action. The world will continue to be a transactional environment, not a moral one. I am not convinced that replicating the base protection force for CFB Lahr is likely to win us as many Brownie Points as it used to. On the other hand a modernized version of that contribution, a force that can defend an airfield from which the RCAF and CANSOFCOM and yes, even LAV mounted infantry can operate might gain us a gold star or two which we can trade in later.

But I don't have as much faith in our allies as I used to.

Cheers.
 

lenaitch

Sr. Member
Reaction score
409
Points
810
As I've said before I think we do ourselves a disservice by posting our troops to various 'Gulags' around the country, mainly to be close to training areas, which has the effect of keeping the troops well out of the public eye.

This is very tactical.

Meanwhile, in places like the UK, they have barracks in cities and near other urban concentrations (Hownslow Bks, Edinburgh Castle/Redford Bks anyone?) where they are very much in the public eye. When they need to train they hop in buses and travel to Wales, or wherever.

For example, in Norway I recall watching the local infantry unit doing their version of the BFT, which took them down the main street, and people came out to clap and urge them on while handing them pop, for example.

This has its problems of course, as the size of the Monday morning charge parades might testify, but in strategic terms the military is always directly intermingled and engaged with the civilian population of the country it serves.

This is a good thing, for both the military and the civilian population.

But that's the conundrum, isn't it. The reality is that our major population centres, actually the majority of the population, is clustered near the US border. The land costs alone would seem to make any sizable facility prohibitive, plus the distances to adequate training facilities, unlike the UK which is comparatively compact. I would think that having 'domicile' urban garrisons, plus adequate training bases that aren't a great distance away, would be seen as unsustainable for a military our size. Dunno - I'm just an outsider looking in. Add to that the attendant higher cost of living for the members.

If the assumption is that land forces are essentially expeditionary, then I suppose where they are located is less operational and would more benefit from public exposure as you say. Not so much for the other services in terms of operational necessity (obviously, the Navy has to be near the sea). There many posts here and elsewhere about the downsides to personal life, recruiting, etc. caused by places like Cold Lake and, one assumes Gander and Goose Bay. I've even seen complaints about Greenwood, which struck me as a tad odd since I look upon the Annapolis Valley as heaven on earth. Many feel there should be at least one full RCAF base in the Arctic for our NORAD response. Fine - how many would want to live there?
 

quadrapiper

Sr. Member
Reaction score
50
Points
330
Meanwhile, in places like the UK, they have barracks in cities and near other urban concentrations (Hownslow Bks, Edinburgh Castle/Redford Bks anyone?) where they are very much in the public eye. When they need to train they hop in buses and travel to Wales, or wherever.
Not sure of the overall magnitude (how many Regular personnel will remain in urbanish areas), but hasn't there been a move to what're being referred to as IIRC "superbases" in the UK, with mooted disconnection from the public, etc.?
For example, in Norway I recall watching the local infantry unit doing their version of the BFT, which took them down the main street, and people came out to clap and urge them on while handing them pop, for example.
How much of that do PRes units currently do? Might just be in the wrong place, at the wrong time, but I think I've seen personnel out and about maybe three times in the last decade, not counting parades, on an island with at least six PRes locations (Bay Street, Ashton, Comms out by Naden, MALAHAT, Nanaimo, and Courtenay) and a gaggle of units.
 
Top