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Better roles for the CH-149

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As someone who does not agree that domestic SAR should be a huge focus or priority for the RCAF. I would like to hear some opinions on how the Cormorant could be utilized in more critical capacities than SAR throughout the forces. Could they be used for Army operations? It could alleviate the utility/transport role of the CH-146s so we could dedicate more Griffons to escort/close support roles?

Just for context, I think the Canadian Coast Guard with its more capable Bell 412s could take on domestic SAR and drop some other capabilities.
 

Zoomie

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If the CAF loses the SAR role to an outside agency (ie CCG) you can expect the aircraft and funding to go with it.  Yellow Cormorants get painted CCG red, RCAF aircrew become unionized CCG aircrew with overtime!
 

SupersonicMax

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QuietSpike2020 said:
Just for context, I think the Canadian Coast Guard with its more capable Bell 412s could take on domestic SAR and drop some other capabilities.

???
 
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Ditch said:
If the CAF loses the SAR role to an outside agency (ie CCG) you can expect the aircraft and funding to go with it.  Yellow Cormorants get painted CCG red, RCAF aircrew become unionized CCG aircrew with overtime!

That would depend on a lot of hypotheticals. I'm not convinced that would be the case.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Ditch said:
If the CAF loses the SAR role to an outside agency (ie CCG) you can expect the aircraft and funding to go with it.  Yellow Cormorants get painted CCG red, RCAF aircrew become unionized CCG aircrew with overtime!

Exactly what happened in 1964 when the RCAF Air-Sea Rescue bases were turned over to the new formed CCG, base, boats, equipment and crews.
 

CBH99

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I THINK he’s referring to their recent buy of new 412’s? 🤷🏼‍♂️


Regardless - interesting question.

If the CCG took over SAR, and the military was able to retain the aircraft. I would say use that fleet to supplement the MH fleet.

Probably lots of better and more educated answers will find their way to you. The government purchased the BARE MINIMUM (actually less than the bare minimum) - and we already lost one.

Plus they have long legs, and are regularly used in demanding weather.


So that’s why I would say use them to supplement the MH fleet.
 

kev994

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No 412 has anywhere near the capability of a 149. You’d need to put them everywhere (due to their lack of range) and still wouldn’t be able to go offshore.
 

CBH99

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Oh absolutely. It’s like comparing apples to bricks.

I understood his suggestion to be that the 149s are retasked, and the CCG takes over SAR with their new 412’s.

I didn’t mean to come across as suggesting a “new build 412 can do the job of a 149”. No no no.


interesting hypothetical question tho. Kinda fun. Curious to see what creative replies pop up here.

(Original poster - a 412 doesn’t have the range for a lot of SAR missions, not the capacity to assist more than maybe a raft.

The government is cheap as hell. 412’s are a LOT cheaper than Cormorants, and if they could buy more from Quebec while saving money, they would. There is a reason we have a big bird with lots of cargo volume and range)
 

dimsum

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So that’s why I would say use them to supplement the MH fleet.
Those would need a lot of modification to be used for the same roles as the CH-148. It's also based on a completely different airframe, and I'm not sure how feasible it is to have a two-fleet solution for MH.

Or are you suggesting those airframes should just be used as utility helicopters, thus forcing the ships/sqns to pick which helicopter to take on deployment?
 

CBH99

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Those would need a lot of modification to be used for the same roles as the CH-148. It's also based on a completely different airframe, and I'm not sure how feasible it is to have a two-fleet solution for MH.

Or are you suggesting those airframes should just be used as utility helicopters, thus forcing the ships/sqns to pick which helicopter to take on deployment?
I have no idea tbh.

I know very very well that it isn’t a great suggestion.


In the context of the hypothetical question asked about re-rolling the Cormorants while the CCG took over SAR... I suggested that may be a good place to put them. (Imaginary scenario land)

We have Chinooks to support heavy lift, and chinooks and griffons seem to be making a decent team so far.

And since our numbers of MH were lower then required when the contract was signed — if I HAD to retask the cormorants, it would be to support that fleet.

genius suggestion? Nope.

But the Chinook is already doing the heavy lifting primarily for army. I don’t think they would need Cormorants also. Hence my suggestion to support the MH fleet.


What about you guys?? Just on the topic of this hypothetical, where would you guys plug the Cormorants?
 

Good2Golf

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For nothing other than the protection of Godfather Chrétien’s decision-making legacy, 149s (aside from all the other practical reasons mentioned) will, for their lifetime, have nothing to do with MH...
 

dapaterson

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Hypothetically, we could buy a couple AW101s per year and slowly replace the Cyclone. Nobody would ever notice....

As long as we keep sims on the east coast only. If the folks out west no longer had to do Victoria - Vancouver - Calgary - Toronto - Fredericton - Halifax, returning Halifax - Montreal - Winnipeg - Edmonton - Vancouver - Victoria flights for recerts that could be written off during routine ops, someone would get suspicious.
 

SeaKingTacco

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As long as we keep sims on the east coast only. If the folks out west no longer had to do Victoria - Vancouver - Calgary - Toronto - Fredericton - Halifax, returning Halifax - Montreal - Winnipeg - Edmonton - Vancouver - Victoria flights for recerts that could be written off during routine ops, someone would get suspicious.
Yeah, that is an important feature: putting the sim some place inaccessible to at least half of your crews.
 

Colin Parkinson

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CCG management hates SAR, the only reason we had a Rescue Specialist program was due to efforts of a few seaman and the Kits base Commanding Officer, is was a bottom up initiative. they didn`t want to spend the money to train us on IV's. Under the CCG, the SAR tech program would be a shadow of it's current self, plus CCG would find ways to get out of doing any interior SAR work, they don't even like doing the inshore rescue boat stations on the lakes.
 

CBH99

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CCG management hates SAR, the only reason we had a Rescue Specialist program was due to efforts of a few seaman and the Kits base Commanding Officer, is was a bottom up initiative. they didn`t want to spend the money to train us on IV's. Under the CCG, the SAR tech program would be a shadow of it's current self, plus CCG would find ways to get out of doing any interior SAR work, they don't even like doing the inshore rescue boat stations on the lakes.
It sounds like our Coast Guard is very much stuck in it's traditional role, and operating in a traditional way. And I very much understand the nostalgia for history, traditions, etc etc in organizations like the CCG.

But maybe we need to give it a solid kick in the pants? Grab it by the horns and make some VERY SIMPLE, yet VERY USEFUL changes. Rescuing people who are in distress, right off the coast? Nah, ya know what? That doesn't sound like a job for the Coast Guard at all 🤦‍♂️



Colin, I'm genuinely curious to ask someone who has been in the CCG (I don't have any experience with, or interacting with, the CCG.) In their fantasy world, what tasks would the CCG leadership ideally want the CCG to focus on?

(Quick question, sorry...don't mean to derail the thread. Just asked because it came up.)
 

LoboCanada

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CCG sounds like an organisation that lacks a long-term and strategic vision. If organisations don't evolve and constantly aim to air their usefulness to politicians (and public) then they are doomed to collapse. It's safe to say Canadians probably don't know we have a Coast Guard, or probably think of it as similar to the USCG (which it isn't). It's terrible but i'm right, look at the state of the CCG fleet if you want to know what happens when you're out of the public eye. Look at the state of the RCN and its capability gaps, or our artillery organisation.

Shove your face into the media, tell show them you're needed, and what you need to continue to function. Tell gov't you need XYZ fleet composition, and show them what you could do with additional support.

1. Environmental law-enforcement agency mandate would fit with Liberal/NDP priorities.
2. Push to take a role off of RCMP, CBSA, Fisheries or even RCN shoulders with lightly armed OPVs or Inshore patrol vessels, sworn-law enforcement agency
3. A counter-narcotics role with RCMP partnership, take over Op Caribbe from the RCN and gain xp working with USCG.
 
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