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Canadian Artillery-5 Years[and counting] of Artillery Thoughts

It is better for some res arty units to convert to mortat than to lose the mortar capability from the reserves altogether. And that is very likely.
In the regs their is talk of the arty regts taking over the mortar as well. Many people believe the new arty regt will be 2 light gun batteries and 1 mortar battery. Reason being money. Money and a lack of understanding on the part of senior staff as to the role of the arty. Already we lose survey ( a birgade and div asset ) what next ?
How about leaving the 81‘s to the infantry, and equipping some arty units and/or sub-units with 120‘s ?
As far as I‘m aware there are no Res F Infantry units out there with an operational task/mission task to provide a mortar platoon. Am I wrong?

If I recall correctly, under the proposed restructure, Reg F Infantry Bns (3 PPCLI has already disbanded theirs) are losing their mortar platoons and pioneer. The Arty and Engrs will be tasked to provide these assets to the Battle Group Comd as required. Similar as the Bde Comd has always allocated a BC and FOO party, Armd Sqn, AD assets, etc.

IIRC, the Arty Regt is going to be converted into the following: 1 x M109 bty, 1 x Mor Bty (12 Mortars or 16?), 1 x TA Bty, 1 x HQ & Svcs Bty. It may have another bty that would be LG1, however, I seem to recall a discussion about the Regts losing this capability as well. Anyone know?

I haven‘t heard any Res F units being converted to 81 mm Mortar. In fact I‘ve heard the Res F will be beefed up to provide a more robust artillery capability. This includes the provision of an M109 Bty/LFA for the Reserves to man. Does this sound familiar RCA?

I agree with RCA that the benefits of Artillery on the modern battlefield are not given their just due. However, from the CLS‘s (arty guy) standpoint the possibility of participating in a modern war is alot less than the possibility of participating in a peace support operations where the CF will be required to operate under specific ROEs and ever round fired by indirect fire weapons will be observed by a CNN reporter. Hence, a greater emphasis on TA capability and precision weapons. Missiles anyone?

It‘s an interesting discussion and I meant to post something a couple of days ago but 9er Domestic has me working my fingers to the bone.

Gunner what is TA ?
As for the reserve infantry, I believe that each militia infantry unit supports a reg battalion in a specific role i.e. rifle coy, recce, pioneer, mortar.
Hopefully the grunts will keep the 81 and the gunners will get 120‘s ( ever here of the LAV 120 ? Beautifull ) But if doesn‘t make much sense for 1 regt to field three differnt systems. Thats three different ammo types, position layouts, teching will be right confusing, three differnt conversion courses. etc
Herbie, TA = Target Acquisition (counter mortar radar, sound ranging, UAVs, etc)

There was some discussion many years ago with replacing the 81 mm mortars with the 120 mm but I only heard the rumours.

I agree with your comments about units becoming very clumbersome with the different batteries and each role they have. As an aside, I believe the CF missed an opportunity by only purchasing enough LG1 for the Reg F. It simply added another weapon delivery system to the overall weapon arsenal that gunners must train on. It would have been good to outfit all the Res F Arty Regiments, thereby allowing the use of Res F units for augmentation purposes.

Be carefull Gunner, you are thinking common sense . . . the Army can‘t handle common sense. :D
The reason I started this thread was beacuse a certain Bde Comd floated a trail ballon to his Arty Unit with the possiblity of them taking over the 81s the infantry were losing. The tone of the letter was repalce the 105s

As to making a Res Bty a 109 bty, oh yes I ‘ve heard that one before. It sounds nice and exotic to go SP, but for every rd fired would means hours of maintaince. Gunner, it seems somethings never change and we know which Res Regt would get the 109s , don‘t we. It‘d be nice for recruiting, but the unit would end up like 30 Fd, looks pretty, but never fires live.

The thought of moving to 3 different type batteries is like being a jack of all trades and master of none. At least the Russians had it right when it came to standization. If we were to move to different waepon systems, it is better to do it at the Regt level as opposed to Bty level
RCA - the person you mention is an old mortar guy as his previous unit had the operational tasking to provide a mortar platoon. I‘m not a fan of reserve units using mortars and believe that if the artillery requirement required for war fighting is not going to be maintained in the Reg F, it had better be maintained in the Res F.
Egad, don‘t let this happen.

I think it‘s worth exploring the idea of dividing responsibilities along functional arm lines (black hats drive the tanks and LAVs; gunners run all types of tubes; engineers deal with all aspects of armoured, field, general support, and pioneer tasks, etc).

Using that as an excuse to downsize the traditional functional capabilities is a risk. Move things, don‘t replace them.
I don‘t like that transfering of responsibilities concept at all. If you cut the Pioneer Pl from each Inf Bn in a CMBG that is almost a Coy. I cannot imagine the CERs being increased in size by a Sqn to accomodate this (especially considering how grossly undermaned the existing Sqns are). They will be required to perform the extra work with no extra man power. And were would all the armoured LAV drivers come from? It would deplet the entire corps to provide enough drivers for all the Infantry‘s APCs, and nobody would be left to performe Recce or crew tanks. The same fate would be true of the Arty. To man a mortar Bty, a real Arty Bty would have to be eliminated. In the end, the only benifit is to Infantry Rifle Coys which will then have more dissmountable soldiers.

I would also see such a move as a first step toward American style specialization. Armoured and Artillery trades would become collections of disticly different specialties. How long before we would see a Mortarman MOC or an APC Crewman MOC? This would be a step back, not forward.
McG, I think you are being paranoid. Even still, I don‘t agree with the idea of transfering the responsibility of specialist jobs between trades. They could be shared however. Manning a Mortar requires a different skill set than is typical on a gunner or a grunt, an APC crewman requires different skills than a tanker or a typical Infantryman, and TUA requires different skills aswell. The ideal solution would be to leave these support platoons in the Infantry but open them up to more than one trade. Both Infantry and Armour could take TOW of LAV III course to fill these roles, and Infantry and Artiller could share the manning of Mortars. As for Pioneers . . . well, I think the Engineers could take over thier jobs. However, current Pioneers could be posted to CERs to help fill out their "grossly understregth squadrons." dispersed through the CER, there short fall in some skills could be learned OJT.

:cool: Yard Ape
Here is the grudging admission of an Infantryman to the gunners that arty is still the king of the battlefield, as explained by Anthony Lyod, who was unlucky enough to experience it....

"No weapon frightens me as much as the shell. Bullets have a certain logic. Put a sizeable enough piece of concrete between yourself and the firer and you will be untouched. Run between cover, for it is difficult even for an experienced shot to hit a man who sprints fast. Even when people around you are hit the wounds seldom seem so bad, unless the bullet has tumbled in flight or hit them in the head. But shells? They can do things to the human body you never believed possible.... And there is no real cover from shellfire. Shells can drop out of the sky to your feet, or smash their way through any piece of architecture to find you.
(And this is my favorite part)
There is a philosophical element to it all too: a bullet may or may not have your number on it, but I am sure shells are merely engraved with ‘to whom it may concern‘."

...Well, I found it to be a convincing passage. Maybe this should be in the infantry forum under the heading "Why to dig real deep."
Anyways, gunners, please remember that friendly fire...isn‘t.
Another who has seen the light

Remember, we aim to please.
Sounds more like a tribute to the shell than to the Gunner himself... By the way, have you heard that the Artillery is supposed to be downgraded to combat support ? It would make sense since the Arty is the only Combat Arms trade who have to go forward to take a shower !!!
RELAX Gunners... just a little bit of humour!!! ;)
Grrr! :mad:

Don‘t come whining to me if you ever need a fire plan to get your *** out of the fire! :D


PS. Remember there are two types of people in this world ... Gunners and Targets. ;)
After years of fighting the Fantasians, et al..in order to prepare for war against the Soviet Union - has the Arty School and thusly, the Regiments began to shift their mission focus and training? Have we even defined our future role, in the Army of the future? Just curious about the job security for future Gunners, especially, I suppose, in Militia Regiments. I am sure a similar trend is taking place amongst the Armoured Corps, and some of Recce41‘s posts have indicated that. I was thinking about going back and being BSM at my old Unit, when done my little sabbatical, here in the desert ;)
I‘m the OpsO at the Arty School right now (and the brother of the geek who runs this site) and thought I‘d take a shot at answering your question.
The Canadian Army (CA)is in the midst of restructuring itself to make it more relevant to the current world situation (small assymetric conflicts around the globe) instead of fighting the Cold War - took ten years to start, but at least we‘re on the path. Similar to the American Stryker Bdes, the CA is moving towards medium weight (LAV III) knowledge based organization which will use information dominance and more punch for the pound to make up for its smaller size and lack of heavy eqpt. It see increased emphasis on ISTAR and take advantage of digital systems to increase situational awraeness. In the near future (5 years) we are moving towards an "interim model" along the road to this new forces structure. It‘s still in development, but it will likely see two medium Bdes (an Armd Recce Regt, 2 LAV Inf Bns, Engr Regt and Arty Regt plus sp elms incl a Comd Sp Bn - ISTAR geeks with UAVs etc) and a heavy Bde (out West, a Tank Regt plus an M109 Arty Regt and two Lav Bns). The plan is to also have three true Light Inf Bns (similar in structure and role to Ranger Bns). What about the guns in the Light Regts? It‘s still under review, but it will likley be 2-3 Btys of Light Guns (either LG1 or C3) with Grizzly Gun Tractors plus a Loc Bty (CB Rdr/UAV). The standup of the ISTAR orgs, and the plan to start a Manouevre Trg Centre (MTC) in Suffield will take addn soldiers, however the army is not auth to increase its strength. Some of these additional soldiers are coming from the stand down of the Pioneer and Mor platoons in the Inf Bns - Engrs are taking over the Pioneer role and the Arty is taking over the Mor role. Mors will be retained as a residual capability in 1 Lt Bty/Regt (ie - tubes kept in the gun cage, hauled out for annual refresher trg and to deploy Mor Pls as required). So that‘s the Interim model, in the long term (10+years) we will be going even further down these paths. For Arty, there are several options incuding some sort of wheeled SP gun (ideally on a LAV Chassis) either 155 or 105, TBC, or a combination of SP 120mm Mors and HIMARS. With the ISTAR programme, there is also a big push to get UAVs and CB Rdrs - we‘ll see.
On the reserve side, I don‘t see significant changes in the near future (interim model), other then the liklihood of some Res Arty units taking on the Mor role. Thes remainder will cont to man 105mm C3 Btys, although the Land Force Reserve Restructure project is contunuing, not sure what direction they are going in, but it may involve reducing the number of reserve units out there - if you can only field a Bty, then you should be org/equipped as a Bty not a Regt. Just my personnel feelings, and there‘s a lot of resistance to this from many reservists. In the long term, the gap between reg and reserve capability is likely to widen - with the introduction of the LAV OPV (with Inertial Navigation and Gyo good to 10 metres and 0.6mil pluas a laser range finder, added to the new Gun Laying Positioning System (GLPS) on the gunline and accurate MVs we can achieve first rd accurate fire - lase a tgt and go right into FFE) and as the regs get new eqpt, it will be more difficult for the reserves to join the reg, either individually or collectively, to trg/fight. It makes some sense to have reserve arty units take on niche roles - perhaps they man the Mor pls or rocket units, both of which take reduced trg time. Or amybe they only provide specific functions, like only gunlines and no FOO parties. Just a few of my own thoughts, as far as I‘m aware there is as of yet no coherent plan for the restructure of the Reserve Arty. Hope this (long) reply answers some of your questions. on a final note, as part of these changes we are in the process of streamlining arty careers into OP< CP and Gun/Recce career paths for NCMs. This will be implemented in 04/05 in the regs, later in the reserves. Feel free to reply back with any further questions.
Thanks Sir - Very informative indeed. I spent a good deal of time working around the school - my career was spent at 89 Bty in Woodstock. Lots of old friends probably still kicking around there, or between Woodstock and Saint John....
How about the possiblity of having res units mot.
and a few unit‘s long range op‘s?
just a thought.
After attending my unit‘s towhall, it looks as if the Res Arty units won‘t be changing their main role as per LFRR Ph II (at least my unit isn‘t). We are still tasked to provide fire support. As for a Regt structure to run a Bty sized organization. I can‘t see that changing as one of the tasks is mobilization and therefore we run at cadre level ie Bty for Regt. However, we should train smarter by combing Regiments into Battery sized fire units (38 CBG does this and 41 to a smaller extent). One the numbers increase it would be possible to deploy two fire units in a Regt context.

However some other roles that could come to the reserves could be TA and Locating, dieing animals in the Reg F. As well we could move into the OP role by providing OP Btys as oppsed to gun btys. OP btys could be deloyed on PK missions giving a viable role to the Arty.

The Army is changing at the Artillery changing with it. Our primary role shouldn‘t change, because once a skill is lost, it is very difficulkt to bring it back.

Thats my two cents anyway.