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CH-146 Griffon

George Wallace

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peaches said:
Forgot about YTR, sorry.  With ref to Gagetown, it is a training unit, if we establish co-training with the US Army we would no longer need it, that is why I said 403 Sqn to support 2 CMBG.

Here's another idea, how about consolidating 1Wg on a single base, perhaps Borden or North Bay (NB is under used).  At Borden/NB, with perhaps 28 attack helos, set up an attack helo squadron of 20 a/c, an assault squadron with 20-24 Grifs, and a Chinook squadron of 12.  These three squadrons would support 2 & 5 CMBGs and CSOR, and also conduct type training.  Then stand up a fourth TACHEL sqadron, with the last 8 attack helos and 4 Chinooks out west in Cold Lake to support 1CMBG. By closing down the TCHEL squadrons at the brigade bases and consolidating them on existing airbases we could reduce their need for support services such as fire, ATC, medical, log etc... as these services already exist on these bases.  It is a radical idea I know, and I understand the manning issue, just throwing out some new ideas......

The above post just shows how little you really know about the CF and how it functions.  I have noticed your lack of knowledge in other posts also, ie. your comments on Shearwater, Greenwood and Bagotville.  You are making comments on matters that you really know nothing about, and as a result drawing totally out to lunch conclusions.  Please STOP!
 

Rowshambow

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Ya peaches, I am with George on this one! If the 408 (Edmonton) was moved to Cold lake, how could it support the 1 CMBG units. We now can walk over and work with them, if they were at Cold lake, you would need way in advance bookings, the logistics would be a nightmare, just think about how much fuel and training would be lost with units or helos moving to and fro! just one example!
 

Loachman

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Tac Hel (not TACHEL) exists to support the Army. If you remove it from the troops that it serves, you remove that support and also reduce its ability to train for its prime function.

There are good practical and historical reasons why each brigade group has/had an associated Tac Hel Sqn, just as they have artillery, armoured, and engineer regiments and infantry battalions. Tac Hel is, in reality, another combat arm - its present asinine link to the a** f**ce not withstanding.

Tac Hel is truly an Army function. Look at the US Army Aviation Branch as the best example of that. It began as such in the CF too, but unification set things up to go wrong. The formation of Air Command in 1975 was the first real step in the wrong direction. It was billed as "giving airmen a common identity" among other things - not that too many proud Army and Navy guys felt that they had much in common with either each other or those in light blue. The "common identity" should instead have remained between Army pilots and their ground-bound brethren and Naval aviators and those on the briney ocean toss'd. Separate dress uniforms in the late eighties was another wedge driven between Tac Hel and the Army - when I was flying Kiowas in Pet and working closely with Recce Sqn and the Guns we used to socialize with them in their Mess more than we went to our own, but soon we were no longer part of the same group and became "you a** f**ce guys" instead. Various developments since have continued to pound the wedge deeper.

Travelling from Borden to Wainwright (as we are about to do in August to support LFCA's Ex Maple Defender 07/MILCON) represents a three-day trip each way for hels self-deploying and commercial air for spare aircrew, groundcrew, and other support types plus requires borrowing major equipment from 408 Squadron as deploying it is impractical. This is acceptable for a one-time-only thing (this being the first time in twenty-two years that this Sqn has done this), but would be excessively expensive, place tremendous wear and tear on equipment, and major stress on personnel and families on a regular basis. I spent nine months away from home on various exercises and deployments and courses in my first year at 427 Squadron alone, and such a move as you are suggesting would push that to over twelve months per year. Even for shorter distances, you'd be burning up more hours in transit to Army training areas than you would in actual support.

What would be the advantage of locating in Cold Lake rather than Edmonton anyway?

And then there's the matter of local tactical low flying training areas...

We'd have the less-patient local citizenry gathering at the main gate to ambush us on the way out if we plonked everything in one place, and claims against the Crown would be astronomical.

Savings would be illusory, if they occurred at all after all of the construction of necessary facilities. All Tac Hel Sqns are on major bases, with medical and fire services etcetera, as it is.

As for eliminating our training capability: _if_ we had _exactly_ the same equipment as the US, had _exactly_ the same unit and formation structures, followed _exactly_ the same doctrine _to the letter_, and operated in _exactly_ the same manner then maybe (maybe) it would work - but then why not go all the way and just contract everything out to the US Armed Forces as most provinces contract policing out to the RCMP?

There are enough official bad ideas being bandied about out of stupidity or desparation as it is.
 

peaches

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GW,  I am fully in tune to how the CF works, thanks...

All I am hearing these days from every corner in the CF is "we have no $$, we need more $$".  If the CF is not going to get more $$ then we have to find other ways to get it, better ways to do business.  Is consolidation of bases the answer, I don't know, just asking??  The whole idea of this website is for military people to openly discuss ideas, not to bash each other, we get enough of that from the NDP.

Perhaps a good hard look at our basing system could free up some badly needed money.  $170 million to upgrade Shearwater, could that money be put to better use somewhere else??  That's a legitimate question.  Is there a better way to do business? 
 

Michael OLeary

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Haven't we already trimmed Shearwater to basically the minimum to support shipborne flight ops? (I don't know, so I am asking.)  Even if we moved the last flight support functions out of Shearwater, doesn't the Navy have other elements there that would preclude shutting down the property?  A similar assumption was made with respect to London in moving 1RCR in 1992.  I have been told that in one of the last planning meetings regarding the 'closure' of Wolseley Barracks, someone said "and that puts the end to CFB London."  That comment was quickly followed by the question "what about the third-line maintenance facility in London?", a comment which was met by stunned silence, because it wasn't an Army asset, they didn't think of it at all.

 

Good2Golf

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Michael, yes, there are remaining functions required at Shearwater that make any more "divestment" at the base a negative effort.  The worst part of the early-mid 90's "peace dividend" gutting of capability and off-loading of many functions through alternate service delivery (the dreaded ASD) was that it simply redirected where the money was flowing from CF to contractors and once the bit of "excess" capability remaining with the CF assets (while the ASD was fully taking hold) was gone, we were pretty much hooped to do anything other than what the bean-counters saw as "making things work"...short-term gain on somebody's balance sheet with long-term pain losing the military depth that we once had.  Shearwater is but one example.

Peaches, Tac Hel units sitting in the location of their prime user (the Army, as Loachman correctly points out) is already the most economical AND effective expenditure of resources for capability that the Air Force has.  It is a fallacy to think that massing all army aviation assets in a single geographical location, especially in a country the size of Canada, would be effective.  Apply your argument to the Army and Navy and even other elements of the Air Force...all Army in Petawawa (I picked that as the closest single location to Army center-of-mass), all Navy in Halifax, and all Air Force in Winnipeg.....it just doesn't work.  1 Wing HQ in Kingston very nicely effects "centralized control, decentralized execution"...I can tell you, there are a lot more units in all three services that are more "broken" than 1 Wing.

G2G
 

peaches

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I know 1 Wg is not broken, they do a great job.  My whole point is/was, if we trimmed a few bases/Wings, could we free up $$ for other things??  Consolidate/Reduce infurstucture, more $$ for ops.  Perhaps if we looked at how we do business we could come up with some more money....  that's all......

I was in Halifax on a course in Feb, a Seaking Nav Maj spoke to us about the problems between the helo communities and the Airforce.  He mention that there is and idea out there about creating another Air Div, 2 CAD to handle helo issues.  One CF helo force.  I thought it odd.  He also went on about the new "joint ops" world order, on how the maritime helo and tachel units would be required to work more closely together.  An example he gave was along the loines that, "an army BG deploys to some world hot spot, and not only does it take a few Griffons along, some H92 are attached as well".  It sort of was that way in Somalia in 1992, Seakings doing some limited air support to the army......
 

geo

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Rowshambow said:
So how would consolidating them away from the army units help?

Uhhh... think he was talking about separating the Helos from the fixed wing flyers...
 

Loachman

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The PRIME employer of Tac Hel is the Army. The PRIME employer of Sea King/Cyclone is the Navy.

Moving them AWAY from their rpime employers achieves nothing useful, and a lot bad.

The current locations make sense.
 

Rowshambow

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uhhh actually geo
if you read all of peaches prior posts, you would see that they were suggesting moving (for instance) 408 from Ed to cold lake, so thanks!
 

Welshy

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peaches said:
I know 1 Wg is not broken, they do a great job.  My whole point is/was, if we trimmed a few bases/Wings, could we free up $$ for other things??  Consolidate/Reduce infurstucture, more $$ for ops.  Perhaps if we looked at how we do business we could come up with some more money....  that's all......

I was in Halifax on a course in Feb, a Seaking Nav Maj spoke to us about the problems between the helo communities and the Airforce.  He mention that there is and idea out there about creating another Air Div, 2 CAD to handle helo issues.  One CF helo force.  I thought it odd.  He also went on about the new "joint ops" world order, on how the maritime helo and tachel units would be required to work more closely together.  An example he gave was along the loines that, "an army BG deploys to some world hot spot, and not only does it take a few Griffons along, some H92 are attached as well".  It sort of was that way in Somalia in 1992, Seakings doing some limited air support to the army......
Bringing all the Sqn to one location would not save money nor be practical. Think of all the new infrastructure that would have to be built to house all the additional aircraft and personnel. In no way would this save money.

The people who have been commenting here know what they are talking about. Working were I do I have one of the best pictures of what the 1 Wg aircraft are doing and ss it is right now the aircraft are always in demand in their respective areas. Consolidation would destroy much of the capability to be anywhere in the country within 24 hrs (minus the north).

Additionally with supporting the army in Pet we do use 427 when they have excess capacity and as mentioned 400 and 438 are not far at all, and therefore we would not need another Sqn in Pet.
 

RetiredRoyal

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Would someone with knowledge on the topic care to expand on the thought that the reserve squadrons, ie 400 Sqn, would be eliminated or lose their rides?

Is this fact or is it speculation and if it is fact, what is the time frame? I thought 400 Sqn was a 'total force' sqn? Would that concept have impact on the future of the reserve THS's.
 

Sf2

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i dont see it happening in the near future....with 427 no longer supporting 2CMBG, someone close needs to backfill.
 

Loachman

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RetiredRoyal said:
Would someone with knowledge on the topic care to expand on the thought that the reserve squadrons, ie 400 Sqn, would be eliminated or lose their rides?

Is this fact or is it speculation and if it is fact, what is the time frame? I thought 400 Sqn was a 'total force' sqn? Would that concept have impact on the future of the reserve THS's.

I've seen nothing concrete, but a few concepts and rumours are floating around.

400 and 438 Sqns are "reserve-heavy" squadrons.

As far as I am concerned, shutting down these two units would be a huge mistake.
 

MarkOttawa

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Two relevant stories:

Air force to beef up its helicopters  TheStar.com - News - Air force to beef up its helicopters
Existing Griffons will be refitted with machine guns, rockets until gunships arrive

http://www.thestar.com/printArticle/225291

Canada's air force wants to buy a fleet of gunship helicopters to protect its new transport choppers as they haul troops and equipment in enemy zones [emphasis added].

But until these new attack choppers arrive, the air force plans to outfit its existing Griffon helicopters with machine guns and rockets to do the job.

The danger facing the big transport helicopters was driven home last month when insurgents downed a U.S. Chinook chopper in Afghanistan, killing all seven people onboard, including a Canadian military photographer.

"We have officially recognized that there is a requirement to have a helicopter that would accompany the medium- to heavy-lift helicopter ... in a battlefield type environment," said air force spokesperson Capt. Jim Hutcheson.

Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor last summer unveiled the Conservatives' $4.7 billion plan to buy 16 medium-to-heavy lift helicopters, likely the Boeing Chinook.

While the twin-rotor Chinooks will have their own anti-missile gear and other defensive aids, air force officials say they're still too valuable an asset to fly around a battlefield unguarded...

As a result, the air force has launched a program to outfit some of its Griffon choppers to serve as flying bodyguards to the Chinooks when they arrive in the air force fleet in 2011.

Under the program, it's expected the Griffons, already able to carry machine guns, will be outfitted with extra armament as well as infrared and optical sensors to spot enemy forces on the ground .

In the long-term, the air force hopes to buy helicopters designed as flying gunships.

"Further down the line, they would be looking at a helicopter that was more specifically dedicated and designed for that role," Hutcheson said.

The air force was making plans for this new capability before the downing of the Chinook last month. But Hutcheson said the crash drives home the need to give the Chinooks some protection.

"Certainly we can learn lessons from the experience in Afghanistan," he said.

Troops still waiting on helicopters
http://www.rbcinvest.theglobeandmail.com//servlet/ArticleNews/PEstory/LAC/20070614/CASWELL14/

No relief is in sight for Canadian troops in Afghanistan who are hankering for more helicopters to fly them over the country's deadly roads.

As it stands, soldiers in Afghanistan rely on U.S. and Dutch helicopters to travel to forward operating bases, but officials acknowledged yesterday that there is a "high demand and a limited supply" of coalition aircraft in the country.

The next possible option for Canadian troops would have been the delivery of 28 Sikorsky maritime patrol helicopters. Federal documents show that in late 2005, the federal government changed its contract with Sikorsky to ensure that the new Cyclones - replacements for the aging Sea Kings - could be transformed into troop carriers with 22 seats.

However, a Sikorsky official said yesterday that the fleet of Cyclones will not be suited to transport troops in hot and high-altitude regions such as Afghanistan, where dozens of Canadian soldiers have died on the roads.

"If you really want to employ it in that environment predominantly, you probably want to look at giving it more capability," said Lloyd Noseworthy of Sikorsky.

"You could upgrade the engine, more powerful engines, and you could upgrade the rotor system, through a more lift-capable rotor system."..

Mark
Ottawa

 

Loachman

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The Griffon IBRUH (Interim Battlefield Reconnaissance and Utility Helicopter) is still just a pipedream, and is forecast to be a small fraction of the current fleet.

A lot of this will indubitably be driven (or, more likely, reigned in) by funding as well as manpower. Crewing and maintaining the incoming Chinook fleet will suck up Griffon crews and maintainers.

That's another reason why, in my opinion, cutting the two res-heavy Squadrons to redirect a few PYs is an error as it would result in the loss of the reservists from those Squadrons and that would be a stupid loss.

I have seen a concept calling for beefing up the base rescue squadrons, however they are not necessarily located anywhere near ground troops plus that would eat up about as many PYs that cutting the res-heavy Squadrons would free up. I see no gain in that, and it entails the loss of reserve crews, maintainers, and support pers as well.

Plus, would half of each squadron have yellow helicopters and half green? Given the serviceability issues, a mixed bag would show up for an airmobile. Robin Williams/Good Morning Vietnam comes to mind: "You're going into combat - CLASH!". Training would also be a problem with dual roles.
 

fighter puke

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Straight out of the AEO's mouth.........that will be the F***** day..........! There are no plans for the Griffon except for the SPS mod (ongoing), this is something cranked up in someones imagination!!
 

Mortar guy

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fighter puke said:
Straight out of the AEO's mouth.........that will be the F***** day..........! There are no plans for the Griffon except for the SPS mod (ongoing), this is something cranked up in someones imagination!!

Wow. 23 years of experience according to your profile and yet you seem unaware of the "plans for the Griffon". I suggest you get on the DIN, visit the new CFAWC web pages and look at the plans for the Griffin. Or there's always DAR's website which has some info on Griffon plans. Or better yet, go to the CID web page and look up the IBRUH project.

Enjoy!

MG
 
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