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CAN Enhanced (Permanent?) Fwd Presence in Latvia

GR66

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An interesting graphic from the UK Daily Mail.

59716231-10968263-image-a-5_1656597206004.jpg



A mech brigade doesn't necessarily need armour. Not every brigade is an ABCT. Even SBCTs do not have tanks. There are enough tanks to flesh out one brigade well and two in a half-assed fashion easily to the standard of an SBCT.

The same for guns. SBCTs use M777s and we have enough guns for one and and two-thirds battalions. I don't like the M777 for a mech brigade either but if its good enough for an SBCT then it will do for us as well. We can fairly easily pick up another six guns to round out two battalions. We already have more than enough FSCCs, FOOs and JTACs. No ABCT or SBCT has rockets. They're a divisional and corps asset as is aviation of which we do have some resources in 1 Wing.

Air defence is the same issue. No ABCT or SBCT has organic air defence units, just scattered Stingers which as I indicated could be UOR'd fairly rapidly. Note as well that 4 RCA(GS)'s has established an AD battery that is becoming the centre of all things command and control of air defence resources while another utilizes the MRRs. That provides critical AD system linkage to whatever theatre resources there are.

There are TOW for anti-armour but quite frankly what's needed could be UOR'd if the situation demands it. My guess is that we will be dealing with this deficiency in the short term.

Between the three RegF brigades, there are enough CSS resources to flesh out two brigades and there is even enough non-tactical CSS transport to flesh out far-rear area supply and transport requirements.

Like I said before, I think Canada's Army is underperforming. I just disagree with the statement that it can't field a brigade. I'm of the view that Canada could field two SBCTs equivalents with fairly minor capability gaps that could be filled rapidly through UORs. In addition there is enough depth in both RegF and ResF personnel that we could sustain them at least through a Roto 0 and 1.

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You may be correct that out of our entire Army we can throw away the current force structure to cobble together a Brigade that is missing some important elements but can work in a pinch. However I think that just proves the point that is being made. We have three Reg Force Mechanized Brigades. None of them are deployable. We don't have a plan to make them deployable. How is that not verging on criminal mismanagement of the Army?
 

FJAG

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You may be correct that out of our entire Army we can throw away the current force structure to cobble together a Brigade that is missing some important elements but can work in a pinch. However I think that just proves the point that is being made. We have three Reg Force Mechanized Brigades. None of them are deployable. We don't have a plan to make them deployable. How is that not verging on criminal mismanagement of the Army?
I find myself in a peculiar situation defending the Army rather than criticizing it. Remember this very, very important point. SSE does not require a brigade deployment. Since the turn of the century Canada's defence demands of the Army are to provide deployable battlegroups of varying sizes. And a limited number of those. Brigades are essentially mandated as force generators with an additional mandate to, from time to time, provide a formation level headquarters. Nowhere, in SSE does it say we are to deploy a full brigade whether light, medium or heavy.

I think that is a great failing in the SSE.

That said, however, the Army has maintained an ability to generate brigades and runs exercises to that test that capability. My argument quite simply is this. We could, if required, cobble together two effective brigades. Are they ABCTs with M1s and Bradleys - of course not but there are numerous types of brigades and one of ours with a purchase of ATGMs and embedded into a proper division, would easily equate to an SBCT and in some respect with their 25mm turrets and supported by Leopards would exceed the capabilities of an SBCT. We have the bulk of the equipment and the trained manpower. Yes, they require some weapon systems that are not now in our inventory but those systems are more in the nature of ammunition rather than anything else.

Honestly, I have much more faith in our ability to generate those two brigades than I have in our government ever committing even one brigade.

For me this new commitment to Latvia will be a test of both the government's will and the Army Leadership's flexibility. This could be a meaningful commitment (even if it involves prepositioned equipment and flyover components) or a rat's nest. So far I do not expect much from the government. SOX's gift of 30 some odd ACSVs instead of armed LAVs shows once again that he is a complete simpleton when it comes to comprehending what an armed conflict actually is (I'm actually still gobsmacked by the fact we sent 4 M777s and CarlG's)

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Kilted

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Actually 6 CCSB has quite a few capabilities and they are growing. It's a new concept for Canada and will take some time to mature. It's definitely a brigade and a valuable one at that.

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I didn't realize that they had given them a number. I just checked and you can buy the brigade patch at cpgear, so I guess that means that they are a real brigade now.
 

FJAG

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I didn't realize that they had given them a number. I just checked and you can buy the brigade patch at cpgear, so I guess that means that they are a real brigade now.
I only saw that for the first time this week myself.

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Kirkhill

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Believe me, I have absolutely no love for Trudeau and his defence policy, but there is plenty of blame to go around on this fiasco we find ourselves in now.

Since 1990 (the end of the Cold War and the last time our Defence spending was at 2% of GDP) we've had both Liberal and Conservative governments (12 years under the Conservatives and 20 years under the Liberals) which have all had a part to play in contributing to this mess (and the 1982-1990 ~2% spending was preceded by sub 2% spending from 1973 to 1981).

A big chunk of the blame should also go to the Military leadership over all this time. To be honest it's shameful that with an Army the size of ours and an annual Defence budget of the $22 Billion range annually that we're scrambling to be able to piece together the ability to lead a Brigade-sized deployment. And that's just to LEAD a Brigade...not deploy an entire Brigade on our own. And what would our situation be if we actually had to fight that Brigade?

I would have loved to witnessed the conversation between the Minister and CDS when NATO called on us to meet our commitment.

Minister: "So General, NATO needs us to step up and take on leadership of a Brigade in Latvia. We have three Reg Force Brigades and nine Reserve Brigades in the Army. How do you propose we make this happen?"

CDS: "Ummm...."
 

IKnowNothing

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I find myself in a peculiar situation defending the Army rather than criticizing it. Remember this very, very important point. SSE does not require a brigade deployment. Since the turn of the century Canada's defence demands of the Army are to provide deployable battlegroups of varying sizes.
But even that defense falls flat when not one single battalion can be fielded to a modern standard of our doctrinal staffing and equipment.

If we were sitting here today calling for a Bde and CA could confidently point at SSE and then to the ability to perpetually field a BG complete with organic SHORAD, a mech battalion with all of: 30/35mm, proper platoon level AT weapons, ATGM under armour, and 120mm under armour, and attached tank squadron + SP 155 battery then sure. You get a pass CA, you did what you were told. Now we're telling you we need a Bde.
 
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Kirkhill

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Believe me, I have absolutely no love for Trudeau and his defence policy, but there is plenty of blame to go around on this fiasco we find ourselves in now.

Since 1990 (the end of the Cold War and the last time our Defence spending was at 2% of GDP) we've had both Liberal and Conservative governments (12 years under the Conservatives and 20 years under the Liberals) which have all had a part to play in contributing to this mess (and the 1982-1990 ~2% spending was preceded by sub 2% spending from 1973 to 1981).

A big chunk of the blame should also go to the Military leadership over all this time. To be honest it's shameful that with an Army the size of ours and an annual Defence budget of the $22 Billion range annually that we're scrambling to be able to piece together the ability to lead a Brigade-sized deployment. And that's just to LEAD a Brigade...not deploy an entire Brigade on our own. And what would our situation be if we actually had to fight that Brigade?

I would have loved to witnessed the conversation between the Minister and CDS when NATO called on us to meet our commitment.

Minister: "So General, NATO needs us to step up and take on leadership of a Brigade in Latvia. We have three Reg Force Brigades and nine Reserve Brigades in the Army. How do you propose we make this happen?"

CDS: "Ummm...."

It occurs to me that Wayne Eyre has had his Sam Hughes "Come to Jesus moment". The realization that his military establishment is not fit for purpose, that parochial interests can't be managed and the need is urgent. And he has nothing.

Time to chuck the Regiments and create a wholly new structure, call it a Canadian Expeditionary Force, recruit from the existing bodies and create numbered Battalions, Batteries and Squadrons.

He has been encouraged in this line of thinking by a Minister who has realized that despite the sixth largest budget in NATO the cupboard is bare. The best we can do is contribute Swedish anti-tank rifles, a handful of Anglo-American M777s, and some funding.

I could read the Memo as calling for getting rid of all the carbuncles that have stuck to the peace-time structure and decided that if there are limitations on the number of people in uniform then there is no room for uniformed civil servants. Any desk job can be contracted out to the Civil Service or the private sector. Maintenance of tanks and LAVs can follow the route of the ships, planes and helicopters and be contracted out to the private sector. Just the way the rest of NATO does it - some countries are more successful at it than others and the successful ones should be emulated. Every logistics supply chain starts in the private sector in any case.

Anand's non-response to every question was 25 BCAD, 6th largest budget in NATO. Rising to 40 BCAD in time for Force 2025.

For the 6th largest budget do we get the 6th most effective force?



As to why the ACSVs rather than the LAV 6.0s?

If that was a Ukrainian ask, perhaps it suggests that the Ukrainians, who generally ride on top of their vehicles when in contact, don't see much value in a vehicle designed to carry troops that wastes interior space to carry a turret armed with a gun that is too big to kill people and too small to kill tanks. Take a look at the Slovakian/NATO statement of requirement for an IFV - they wanted a 7.62 coax with lots of ammunition to kill people and gun larger than 30mm, also with lots of ammo, to kill vehicles. And judging from some of the BTR4 videos out of Ukraine they also expect the turret to be quick on the draw. Oh, and the Slovak IFVs also had to have a mounted ATGM system.

If that was a Canadian offer, perhaps it suggests that the Canadians are really tied to their LAVs and mounted warfare and wanted to keep their LAVs at all costs.

The ACSVs, without all the Gee-Whiz kit cluttering up the interior, would make a great armoured bus for rapidly moving light infantry with all their weapons, including MANPADs, ATGMs and Coy Mortars, to the front along broken roads under shell fire.
 

McG

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If that was a Ukrainian ask, perhaps it suggests that the Ukrainians, who generally ride on top of their vehicles when in contact, don't see much value in a vehicle designed to carry troops that wastes interior space to carry a turret armed with a gun that is too big to kill people and too small to kill tanks.
Despite its lack of turret, the ACSV will be the tallest armoured vehicle in Canadian inventory when it is fielded. Anyone riding in the roof & leaping into combat will be a casualty before firing their first shot. There is no low profile ACSV.
 

KevinB

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I find myself in a peculiar situation defending the Army rather than criticizing it. Remember this very, very important point. SSE does not require a brigade deployment. Since the turn of the century Canada's defence demands of the Army are to provide deployable battlegroups of varying sizes. And a limited number of those. Brigades are essentially mandated as force generators with an additional mandate to, from time to time, provide a formation level headquarters. Nowhere, in SSE does it say we are to deploy a full brigade whether light, medium or heavy.

I think that is a great failing in the SSE.



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From SSE
  • Meet commitments to NATO Allies under Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty;
  • Contribute to international peace and stability through:
    • − Two sustained deployments of ~500-1500 personnel, including one as a lead nation;
    • − One time-limited deployment of
      ~500-1500 personnel (6-9 months duration);
    • − Two sustained deployments of ~100-500 personnel;
    • − Two time-limited deployments (6-9 months) of ~100-500 personnel;
    • − One Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) deployment, with scaleable additional support; and
    • − One Non-Combatant Evacuation Operation, with scaleable additional support.

I'd argue the CAF has been asleep at the switch if they refuse to admit that a Bde would be necessary in the top commitment - and looking at the contributions to international peace and stability has the potential to demand 7k troops plus DART and NEO.

Given the Lead Nation sustained deployment of up to 1,500 and one time limited deployment of 1,500 -- one could reasonably assume that a Bde may be surged for Peace and Stability Ops -- let alone what might be needed under Article 5.

If I was on the CCA staff that is the bare minimum that I would have planned for -- SSE gave the CAF a lot of room, but I would argue that a lot of the staff preferred to build a box, jump in and close the lid.
 

FJAG

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But even that defense falls flat when not one single battalion can be fielded to a modern standard of our doctrinal staffing and equipment.
I've had that debate both here and elsewhere.

As I've said before, I think we need to do much better, but I would never go so far as to say that we can't field a single battalion to a modern standard unless someone like @Infanteer or @TangoTwoBravo, who have much better knowledge of the state of things than I do, were to unequivocally state that to be the case.

For me the dividing line is what is a "modern standard of our doctrinal staffing and equipment" and what is an adequate force. The former, to me is aspirational, the latter is a version of Rumsfeld's "army that we have". During the 1980s we stood watch in Germany with a fair bit of gear but nothing like what the doctrine of Corps 86 called for. There has always been a gap between the doctrine we write and the the equipment we have. What concerns me more than the actual gap is that we seem to have no contingency plans as to how to close that gap when the balloon goes up.

There is equipment that I would not send troops to war without. Useful ATGMs and self defence air defence would be an example but I'm confident that if we were to commit to an alliance members of the alliance would provide that (for a cost of course). Other than that, while I would prefer better equipment, I wouldn't hesitate for a moment sending Canadians to fight with A4s and A6s, LAV6.0s and M777s. Many armies are actually fighting with equipment that falls below the standard of the equipment that we have.

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Kirkhill

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As to DIANA and eco-funding?

Budget Chapter 5

Canada’s Leadership in the World​

Key Ongoing Actions​

  • $5.3 billion over five years to double Canada’s international climate financing to help developing countries tackle climate change;

I'm guessing that Canada, which has not yet committed funding to this new NATO centre, is negotiating to spend a billion a year to buy multi-billions a year from NATO partners who have already committed - and establishing a centre out of reach of both Washington and Moscow.

That preceded section 5.1 which laid out the 25 to 40 BCAD budget plan for the 2025 "Armed" Forces.




 

KevinB

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Despite its lack of turret, the ACSV will be the tallest armoured vehicle in Canadian inventory when it is fielded. Anyone riding in the roof & leaping into combat will be a casualty before firing their first shot. There is no low profile ACSV.
I believe you already pointed out the most likely ACSV in the Ambulance - which won't have folks riding on top.
 

Kirkhill

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Despite its lack of turret, the ACSV will be the tallest armoured vehicle in Canadian inventory when it is fielded. Anyone riding in the roof & leaping into combat will be a casualty before firing their first shot. There is no low profile ACSV.

Got that. Which is why I figure it would make a great bus.
 

KevinB

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I've had that debate both here and elsewhere.

As I've said before, I think we need to do much better, but I would never go so far as to say that we can't field a single battalion to a modern standard unless someone like @Infanteer or @TangoTwoBravo, who have much better knowledge of the state of things than I do, were to unequivocally state that to be the case.
Night Vision - fail
MFAL - fail
IFF - fail
ATGM - fail

For me the dividing line is what is a "modern standard of our doctrinal staffing and equipment" and what is an adequate force. The former, to me is aspirational, the latter is a version of Rumsfeld's "army that we have". During the 1980s we stood watch in Germany with a fair bit of gear but nothing like what the doctrine of Corps 86 called for. There has always been a gap between the doctrine we write and the the equipment we have. What concerns me more than the actual gap is that we seem to have no contingency plans as to how to close that gap when the balloon goes up.
Agreed 110%
There is equipment that I would not send troops to war without. Useful ATGMs and self defence air defence would be an example but I'm confident that if we were to commit to an alliance members of the alliance would provide that (for a cost of course). Other than that, while I would prefer better equipment, I wouldn't hesitate for a moment sending Canadians to fight with A4s and A6s, LAV6.0s and M777s. Many armies are actually fighting with equipment that falls below the standard of the equipment that we have.

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I'm simply furious that for a G7 Nation with a Defense Budget to what it is, that the CAF is structured and supported in such a criminal manner.
 

IKnowNothing

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For me the dividing line is what is a "modern standard of our doctrinal staffing and equipment" and what is an adequate force. The former, to me is aspirational, the latter is a version of Rumsfeld's "army that we have". During the 1980s we stood watch in Germany with a fair bit of gear but nothing like what the doctrine of Corps 86 called for. There has always been a gap between the doctrine we write and the the equipment we have. What concerns me more than the actual gap is that we seem to have no contingency plans as to how to close that gap when the balloon goes up.

There is equipment that I would not send troops to war without. Useful ATGMs and self defence air defence would be an example but I'm confident that if we were to commit to an alliance members of the alliance would provide that (for a cost of course). Other than that, while I would prefer better equipment, I wouldn't hesitate for a moment sending Canadians to fight with A4s and A6s, LAV6.0s and M777s. Many armies are actually fighting with equipment that falls below the standard of the equipment that we have.

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I overstepped a bit to make the point, because I agree with the bold. To me being on the wrong side of that dividing line is
Bn AT being dismount TOW tubes instead of a proper AT platoon with ATGM under armour + dismount tubes
Bn mortar being dismount 81's instead of 120's UA, (turreted or not)
Platoon AT being a gd CG 84 instead of...

Fix those and the situation was defensible in my opinion
 

Kirkhill

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From SSE
  • Meet commitments to NATO Allies under Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty;
  • Contribute to international peace and stability through:
    • − Two sustained deployments of ~500-1500 personnel, including one as a lead nation;
    • − One time-limited deployment of
      ~500-1500 personnel (6-9 months duration);
    • − Two sustained deployments of ~100-500 personnel;
    • − Two time-limited deployments (6-9 months) of ~100-500 personnel;
    • − One Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) deployment, with scaleable additional support; and
    • − One Non-Combatant Evacuation Operation, with scaleable additional support.

I'd argue the CAF has been asleep at the switch if they refuse to admit that a Bde would be necessary in the top commitment - and looking at the contributions to international peace and stability has the potential to demand 7k troops plus DART and NEO.

Given the Lead Nation sustained deployment of up to 1,500 and one time limited deployment of 1,500 -- one could reasonably assume that a Bde may be surged for Peace and Stability Ops -- let alone what might be needed under Article 5.

If I was on the CCA staff that is the bare minimum that I would have planned for -- SSE gave the CAF a lot of room, but I would argue that a lot of the staff preferred to build a box, jump in and close the lid.

Sorry Kev, but while you are free to interpret SSE as you find appropriate our civil servants, in and out of uniform, are likewise free to interpret that remit as they see fit. That is a feature not a bug.

500 people in Latvia on a sustained deployment - requirement 1a met.
Stanavforlant/Euro Air Patrols - requirement 1b met.
Task Force standing in the GIUK gap or a Hornet deployment to Iceland - requirement 2 met.
A couple of small Companies with Lts Colonel in command attached to multi-national missions - requirement 3 met.
A couple more Company sized short term attachments - requirement 4 met
A DART in being - requirement 5 met
A NEO in being - requirement 6 met

And not a Battlegroup, Brigade, Brigade Group or Division in sight.
 

Fabius

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The numbers outlined in SSE have allowed both the Government and the CAF to say they have met the needs while ignoring reality.

What is a sustained 100-500 person deployment? What capability is that? That statement is not even aimed at one service but the CAF as a whole.
Army thinks that’s a reserve infantry Coy.
Navy thinks that’s two MCDVs. One on each coast.
Airforce thinks it a fighter 6 pack.

All the other numbers are equally vague to the benefit of both government and CAF politicians.
 
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