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

Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves

RCPalmer

Member
Reaction score
0
Points
210
Eye In The Sky said:
I'm sorry, but having heard this argument before, I always remember reading Red Storm Rising and the callup of the Category C units in the old Red Army;  how their fitness, training and equipment actually demonstrated they lacked combat capability when the bullets started flying (yes, I know it was a book, but you get my point).  Strategic Reserve...like how 41 CBG might be able to form a Rifle Coy?  I don't see much punch there for the price point. 

Yup, I was in the PRes when Yugo was going on, UNPROFOR...Afghanistan.  I'm not slighting anyone who served in, well, any operational theatre or on DOMOPs.  Both are important.  But, during any of those, did a Reserve unit go "complete" or were they plugged in here and there?  It's not like the 8 CH loaded up all their Cougars and deployed to FYR, right?  So, we could cut down on the amount of HQs (which are fairly top-heavy in terms of rank/pay) and even Res units...and put that money into Cpls and Lts on the armoury floor.  Example;  what is the actual need for 2 CBGs and CBG HQs in the Atlantic provinces? 

I'm never sold on the "military presence" part.  I don't believe it plays a part, at all, in how big/small the defense budget is.   

Start paying less;  see how many people release, or start 'working less'.  I think our personnel costs (salary, programs, benefits) are reasonable and if we need more for O & M, that indicates we need a bigger budget.

Apologies for the delay.  Its been an extremely busy week.  Yep, there are definitely training deltas, and no one is saying that the reserve component should be part of the "fight tonight" force or Roto 0 scenarios.  Given 6-12 months of warning, a great many of those gaps can be closed.  In many ways, large parts of the RegF would need the same amount of time to spool up.  It is about having some capability depth at a reasonable cost. This methodology has informed the U.S. military's full-time/part time mix since the end of WW2. 

As I've said before, I would completely agree that there are lots of efficiencies that could be gained by restructuring the PRes.  We probably don't need 10 CBG HQs and there are lots of non-viable units that could be rolled into others to save on the HQ positions.  However, when you are only paying most people 40 days per year, the costs of those inefficiencies are a lot less than when you pay everyone full time. 

When we are talking about generating a rifle coy from a CBG, we are talking about pulling volunteers from a part-time force to fullfill the missions of a military that (a few SOF elements aside) is basically operating on a footing of peacetime military engagement and strategic deterrence.  I'm not sure we would want to commit our reserve force to a greater extent than that for those types of missions, nor would we expect or desire a higher proportion of part-time soldiers to put their civilian careers on hold in the service of such missions.  On the other hand, the capability potential from the PRes for DOMOPs is a completely different animal, as is the capability potential for the PRes in the event of a major, protracted conflict.

Also to be clear, when I was talking about personnel savings, I was talking about a smaller force, not decreasing benefits, hence the comparison of  the Canadian 68,000 RegF to the Australian 55,000. The Aussies have elected to focus on capital acquisition to build capability and O&M to maintain readiness, while CAF has over the last 20 years, proportionally increased its personnel costs significantly to a benefit that is not at all clear. 

If you have access to an academic search engine to pull up the full text, you might find LCol Michael Rostek's application of Peak Load Theory to the full-time/part time mix interesting:
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10242690600888205
 

daftandbarmy

Army.ca Relic
Reaction score
4,323
Points
1,060
RCPalmer said:
Apologies for the delay.  Its been an extremely busy week.  Yep, there are definitely training deltas, and no one is saying that the reserve component should be part of the "fight tonight" force or Roto 0 scenarios.  Given 6-12 months of warning, a great many of those gaps can be closed.  In many ways, large parts of the RegF would need the same amount of time to spool up.  It is about having some capability depth at a reasonable cost. This methodology has informed the U.S. military's full-time/part time mix since the end of WW2. 

As I've said before, I would completely agree that there are lots of efficiencies that could be gained by restructuring the PRes.  We probably don't need 10 any CBG HQs and there are lots of non-viable units that could be rolled into others to save on the HQ positions.  However, when you are only paying most people 40 days per year, the costs of those inefficiencies are a lot less than when you pay everyone full time. 

When we are talking about generating a rifle coy from a CBG, we are talking about pulling volunteers from a part-time force to fullfill the missions of a military that (a few SOF elements aside) is basically operating on a footing of peacetime military engagement and strategic deterrence.  I'm not sure we would want to commit our reserve force to a greater extent than that for those types of missions, nor would we expect or desire a higher proportion of part-time soldiers to put their civilian careers on hold in the service of such missions.  On the other hand, the capability potential from the PRes for DOMOPs is a completely different animal, as is the capability potential for the PRes in the event of a major, protracted conflict.

Also to be clear, when I was talking about personnel savings, I was talking about a smaller force, not decreasing benefits, hence the comparison of  the Canadian 68,000 RegF to the Australian 55,000. The Aussies have elected to focus on capital acquisition to build capability and O&M to maintain readiness, while CAF has over the last 20 years, proportionally increased its personnel costs significantly to a benefit that is not at all clear. 

If you have access to an academic search engine to pull up the full text, you might find the LCol Michael Rostek's application of Peak Load Theory to the full-time/part time mix interesting:
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10242690600888205

There, FTFY :)
 

MilEME09

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
699
Points
940
daftandbarmy said:
There, FTFY :)

So you would rather PRes units report directly to the CMBGs? It to Division? Would you then have a cell in charge of the PRes, to coordinate them?
 

daftandbarmy

Army.ca Relic
Reaction score
4,323
Points
1,060
MilEME09 said:
So you would rather PRes units report directly to the CMBGs? It to Division? Would you then have a cell in charge of the PRes, to coordinate them?

All of those are great ideas. But we probably don’t need 50 + people and the associated infrastructure to get between the units and the Div Comd.
 

Eye In The Sky

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
357
Points
910
daftandbarmy said:
All of those are great ideas. But we probably don’t need 50 + people and the associated infrastructure to get between the units and the Div Comd.

I think the resistance there would be from the Div HQ staff, who likely prefer having some Cl B types to hand off routine (annoying) staff functions...and the Cl B'ers like the Cl B gig, more so now that the pay delta has lessened.
 

dapaterson

Army.ca Relic
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
2,241
Points
890
Units with realistic command structures for their size would mean probably 20 or so Res units, in 3 or 4 Res brigades.  Probably with most commanded by full time, not part time, personnel.

Of course, capping Res F progression at Maj with the odd LCol would be extremely unpopular, but likely more productive.
 

Eye In The Sky

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
357
Points
910
MilEME09 said:
So you would rather PRes units report directly to the CMBGs? It to Division? Would you then have a cell in charge of the PRes, to coordinate them?

I'm pretty sure a Div Comd and his/her staff can figure out how to employ, say 41 CBG (which, according to the last few pages, amounts to a Rifle Coy and a mortar platoon).  ;)
 

RCPalmer

Member
Reaction score
0
Points
210
daftandbarmy said:
There, FTFY :)

Touche. There are definitely options.  If we were to go that route, some of the admin functions currently centralized at CBG level would have to be shuffled up or down.  For example, in 41 CBG very few of the units have independent finance capabilities, so the G8 cell does most of that work.  Which brings me to the key efficiency to be gained if we are looking to reduce admin overhead, which is managing the overall amount of admin the institution must actually do to operate effectively. 

The most straight-forward example is the electronic pay system we should have implemented 20+ years ago, (I'm sure were all gun-shy about Phoenix, and would prefer the status quo to something like that), but in many ways we are going backwards.  I started an SI process a few months ago, only to discover several new requirements to include a centralized, Ottawa level approval for the Terms of Reference, and SI training for the assigned officer.  While I'm sure the policy is well intentioned, the net result is leaders spending more time administering and less time with their troops, and developing as professionals. 
 

daftandbarmy

Army.ca Relic
Reaction score
4,323
Points
1,060
dapaterson said:
Units with realistic command structures for their size would mean probably 20 or so Res units, in 3 or 4 Res brigades.  Probably with most commanded by full time, not part time, personnel.

Of course, capping Res F progression at Maj with the odd LCol would be extremely unpopular, but likely more productive.

And realistic. Seriously.
 

dapaterson

Army.ca Relic
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
2,241
Points
890
Although most Res LCols are already unusual...

Present company included.
 

MilEME09

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
699
Points
940
daftandbarmy said:
And realistic. Seriously.

They did that to an extent when they merged CER and Service battalions together in the PRes, Alberta Dragoons got folded into the South Alberta Light horse. Also heard that Engineers are parading with the Fort Gary Horsw because there aren't enough to have their own unit. I agree this doesnt go far enough, units can keep their heritage while till being part of a larger unit in the PRes.
 

FJAG

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
1,796
Points
1,040
MilEME09 said:
They did that to an extent when they merged CER and Service battalions together in the PRes, Alberta Dragoons got folded into the South Alberta Light horse. Also heard that Engineers are parading with the Fort Gary Horsw because there aren't enough to have their own unit. I agree this doesnt go far enough, units can keep their heritage while till being part of a larger unit in the PRes.

Sigh.

We're doing something wrong. Very, very wrong.

:brickwall:
 

daftandbarmy

Army.ca Relic
Reaction score
4,323
Points
1,060
FJAG said:
Sigh.

We're doing something wrong. Very, very wrong.

:brickwall:

It's called 'Tactical Grouping' but should probably be called 'Strategic Compromise'.
 

FJAG

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
1,796
Points
1,040
daftandbarmy said:
It's called 'Tactical Grouping' but should probably be called 'Strategic Compromise'.

I was RSSO for 26th Fd in Brandon back in the 70s and the "regiment" could field a six-gun battery pretty much any day. Since I was CI of the Arty NRQS/ARTS program in the summer I could also give pretty much anyone a full summer job if they wanted one. We always had a pretty good instructor and firing troop complement through those days.

67089995_2498547833617435_6137524458010705920_o.jpg


That's me standing on the left in the good old days.

Now 26th Field is in a 38 CBG Artillery Tactical Group with 10th Fd from Regina and 116 Ind Fd Bty from Kenora and it takes all of them to achieve the same thing (if they can)

The problem isn't so much the folks on paper (although that's low too) but who come out to play.

 

MilEME09

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
699
Points
940
I'd agree FJAG, recent EX at my unit had 29 attend all ranks, and 56 not attend all ranks, that's just from our Coy, not including our Edmonton coy. Unfortunately we have beat that horse to death on here.
 

McG

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
295
Points
880
daftandbarmy said:
We probably don't need any CBG HQs ...
MilEME09 said:
So you would rather PRes units report directly to the CMBGs? It to Division? Would you then have a cell in charge of the PRes, to coordinate them?
There are lots of options, and ...
MilEME09 said:
[Units] can keep their heritage while till being part of a larger unit in the PRes.
Once we come to terms with this reality there are even more options that can be considered.
https://army.ca/forums/threads/24381/post-1463859.html#msg1463859
 

Attachments

  • Enhanced CA PRes.png
    Enhanced CA PRes.png
    401.4 KB · Views: 112

FJAG

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
1,796
Points
1,040
MCG said:
There are lots of options, and ...Once we come to terms with this reality there are even more options that can be considered.
https://army.ca/forums/threads/24381/post-1463859.html#msg1463859

You're thinking along the way that I'm thinking but I go off on a bit of a tangent. Right now we tend to structure our reserves as mini, undermanned brigade groups and not thinking too much of the big picture.

If you look at the structure of the US active army, its National Guard and its reserves, it tells quite the story. The Active Army has 35 manoeuvre brigades and 75 support brigades (which includes everything from artillery, air defence, engineers, intelligence, sustainment) while the ARNG has 27 manoeuvre brigades (including five of the heavy ABCTs) and 78 support brigades and the USAR has 59 support brigades (heavy on sustainment) Think about it - 62 manoeuvre brigades to 201 support brigades. that's more than 3 support brigades for every manoeuvre brigade. Just under one half of the manoeuvre brigades are in the ARNG and almost two thirds of the support brigades are in the ARNG and USAR.

There's little wonder why we can't deploy more than a battle group these days. We just don't have the support legs to do it with.

I think I said it before upthread. Running the numbers for the current reserve force (if you could make it a reliable organization and add in health services and a few other non-army specialists) you could probably come up with between 4 and 6 fully manned brigades (or brigade groups). I've got an article coming out where I suggested two heavy brigades, one artillery brigade, one sustainment brigade and one manoeuvre enhancement brigade (although the later three also contain some infantry, recce and artillery as individual replacements for the three Reg and two Res manoeuvre brigades). If we upsized the reserves then every new person and equipment dollar should go into further support brigades. - we desperately need an enhanced system of maintainers and logisticians that can keep the Army running.

:2c:
 

MilEME09

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
699
Points
940
FJAG said:
There's little wonder why we can't deploy more than a battle group these days. We just don't have the support legs to do it with.

I think I said it before upthread. Running the numbers for the current reserve force (if you could make it a reliable organization and add in health services and a few other non-army specialists) you could probably come up with between 4 and 6 fully manned brigades (or brigade groups). I've got an article coming out where I suggested two heavy brigades, one artillery brigade, one sustainment brigade and one manoeuvre enhancement brigade (although the later three also contain some infantry, recce and artillery as individual replacements for the three Reg and two Res manoeuvre brigades). If we upsized the reserves then every new person and equipment dollar should go into further support brigades. - we desperately need an enhanced system of maintainers and logisticians that can keep the Army running.
:2c:


Problem is our entire structure is still back in 1945, we would need a fundimental complete reorg of the CAF, not just the reserves, our biggest enemy though is geography. 3 Div for example is the largest geographic profile in the CAF, 38 CBG covers Saskatchewan, Manitoba and part of western Ontario. If we restructure to a handful of brigades, and one division total (lets face it this 5 divisions + CJOC and other high level HQ's is ridiculous and needs to end.) we can shift PY's from our tail to our teeth.
 

FJAG

Army.ca Fixture
Reaction score
1,796
Points
1,040
MilEME09 said:
Problem is our entire structure is still back in 1945, we would need a fundimental complete reorg of the CAF, not just the reserves, our biggest enemy though is geography. 3 Div for example is the largest geographic profile in the CAF, 38 CBG covers Saskatchewan, Manitoba and part of western Ontario. If we restructure to a handful of brigades, and one division total (lets face it this 5 divisions + CJOC and other high level HQ's is ridiculous and needs to end.) we can shift PY's from our tail to our teeth.

With my math you have three divisions. 1 Cdn Div does what it does now: command and control all forces assigned and deployed on operations as the C&C arm of CJOC. 2nd and 3rd Division control the Army's force generation aspects (in my scenario that's Ontario including 2 Bde in Petawawa and everything east going to 2 Div and 3 Div taking southern Ontario and everything west. - Each controls four brigades with 3rd Div focused on Latvia/Europe and heavy forces while 2 Div focused on light and medium forces and everything else but Latvia

In part the dividing line between the two Divs is based on the population centres necessary to generate four brigades each and the superiority of Wainwright and Suffield and Shilo for training heavy forces. Petawawa, Valcartier and Gagetown are eminently suitable for light and LAV mech forces.

Distance is a factor but not a problem with communications being what they are. Concentrating forces scattered over a wide region is an opportunity to exercise road, rail, air and even sea movements which is a skill set everyone needs (4 CMBG did it a rail move every year)

:cheers:
 
Top