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FORCE 2025: Informing the Army’s future structure

CBH99

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My point was more along the lines of I wouldn't be dumping my eggs all into the Autonomous Vehicle basket...
Oh I know... Sorry, my brain and fingers need to connect from each other sometimes. Especially when I have an actual keyboard infront of me, and not my smart phone which 'autocorrects' my sentences into sounding like jibberish sometimes. You mentioned 'Skynet' and 'destroy us' and - BOOM - my brain took those very select key words and just ran with it 🤷‍♂️ 🤦‍♂️


I wouldn't put all of my eggs in that basket either.

However, as they become cheaper & cheaper to produce (exponentially cheaper when you factor in it doesn't need a pension, training time, instructors, benefits, a salary, death benefits, etc) - it offers a far cheaper solution than deploying actual members, and doesn't risk voter blowback because of friendly casualties.

So on this note, I think we will gradually see their expanded use as time goes on. Not just initially, but I do believe that expanded use will continue for the next several decades, as politicians and field commanders alike would rather deploy those in harm's way than people. Especially if militaries want to maintain certain capabilities during times of aggressive budget cuts.


Right now, I think of this type of tech as almost like the biplane of WW1. A flying machine that could strafe enemy positions from the relative safety of the sky was mind-blowing at the time. That platform then became necessary to rid the skies of enemy planes, and blah blah blah...

I doubt anybody who was alive at the time of that revolution in warfare ever imagined F-22's operating at 50,000ft plus just cruising around at Mach 2.


Some optics, a machine gun or two (backup incase one jams or is disabled), on a cheap to manufacture chassis that is commercially already in production. Replacing the machine gun with ATGM or automatic grenade launcher could probably be coded for/done by tomorrow if industry wanted to, along with passive sensors to minimize it's own electronic signatures. I suspect it's only a matter of time - and not much time - before we start to see passive AD systems, EW systems, etc all deployed on un-crewed vehicles.

And I suspect it's only a matter of time - and again, not much time - before we start to see commanders pushing for 'able to identify between friendly and non-friendly targets, and engage targets on it's own, in the case that communications/link is lost between the vehicle and it's host' as a safety feature of sorts.

Understanding that future state vs. state warfare will include some pretty effective EW, it wouldn't surprise me if this feature makes it's way into these vehicles within a decade or so. (As Russia demonstrated in the opening months of it's operations in Donbass, their EW capabilities were far ahead of what we thought they would be.) It could be argued that having autonomous systems able to take over in a comms-denied environment is critical in some circumstances, and thus we ignorantly get closer to Skynet, one step at a time.

In a land warfare context, these vehicles tend to be pretty basic. You could literally ship dozens of 8x8 vehicles to a theatre, and their weaponry, on the same plane and have them put together by folks on the ground, ready to deploy fairly quickly.

However in a sea warfare context, some of these vehicles will almost absolutely have to go down the autonomous path almost right off the bat in order for them to be effective. (Autonomous underwater vehicles, for example, or even the larger uncrewed sensor/missile platforms the USN is pursuing.)


High Power EW systems will reduce most systems to Ash - and even highly shielded systems will be pretty useless unless they have some sort of AI/ML function that can operate independent from "controller" instructions - which of course gets us to Terminator and SkyNet -- we will build the machines that destroy us...

While I wouldn't put all of my eggs into the Autonomous Vehicle basket, this is perhaps a reason to keep a few more eggs aside for that basket than perhaps initially thought.

Every platform we field these days, especially those platforms designed for state vs. state warfare, are pretty high-tech. And high-power EW systems will absolutely fry some of the systems in these platforms to the point where they will be extremely expensive, yet useless hunks of metal. (Fry one system with EW, the whole platform is disabled. Perhaps an F-35 vulnerability?)

If this is the case, having those platforms get fried without a human present is obviously preferential than having them fried with a human present.

So I see the proliferation of 'optionally crewed vehicles' very much on the horizon, and the likely direction warfare will go. And when you factor in 'able to operate independently in a EW heavy environment' - and the expanded use of EW systems by our potential adversaries - our generation may be quite surprised at how quickly these types of systems are fielded, advanced, and at the least operate in quantities equal to people.



Literally my 0.02 of contemplating with my fingers
 

GR66

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An interesting perspective in this article from the Modern War Institute website.

If you believe the premise of this article then the CA is uniquely unprepared for a modern conflict. We have neither the massed nor precision fires available to target enemy offensive forces, woefully inadequate ISR assets to detect enemy forces, zero capability to defend against enemy fires and a force structure that is based around traditional Cold War type formations with centralized support and logistics.

One small point where I somewhat disagree with the author is that while US (and Canadian) military activities will technically be expeditionary in nature, they in many cases (in particular against a peer enemy) will ultimately be defensive in nature. That means that while our ports of entry and supply infrastructure will certainly be vulnerable to enemy attack, once we are in theatre we will be the defending force and it will be the enemy forces that are required to mass their forces for offensive maneuver and push their logistical elements forward into enemy territory to support their attack. This will make them vulnerable to the same types of forces/weapons that he points out as being a threat to our own military operations.

How different would many of the suggestions put forward in this thread be if we were to take this author's point of view?
 

KevinB

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An interesting perspective in this article from the Modern War Institute website.

If you believe the premise of this article then the CA is uniquely unprepared for a modern conflict.
He isn't wrong...

We have neither the massed nor precision fires available to target enemy offensive forces, woefully inadequate ISR assets to detect enemy forces, zero capability to defend against enemy fires and a force structure that is based around traditional Cold War type formations with centralized support and logistics.
It isn't even based on that.
One small point where I somewhat disagree with the author is that while US (and Canadian) military activities will technically be expeditionary in nature, they in many cases (in particular against a peer enemy) will ultimately be defensive in nature. That means that while our ports of entry and supply infrastructure will certainly be vulnerable to enemy attack, once we are in theatre we will be the defending force and it will be the enemy forces that are required to mass their forces for offensive maneuver and push their logistical elements forward into enemy territory to support their attack. This will make them vulnerable to the same types of forces/weapons that he points out as being a threat to our own military operations.

How different would many of the suggestions put forward in this thread be if we were to take this author's point of view?
Still massively extended supply lines with inadequate resources to even support theatre UNCONTESTED - let alone support the theatre if contested.
Secondly since the CA doesn't forward deploy significant forces - it can't even guarantee it would even get to a conflict given the assets it doesn't have.
 

Kirkhill

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Returning to this thread, separate from the expeditionary diversion of ArmyRick's Napkin Force, I want to come back to the LAV/Stryker Force.

Our Canadian LAV force, I believe, is well constituted for the internal security role and lines of communication work. The US Stryker force is better equipped for the offensive role in certain circumstances but would likely be a follow-on force in an armoured war. The USMC LAV force is explicitly a recce force.

The primary shortfall in the Canadian LAV force, in my opinion, is the lack of fire support. Of all types. Doing a bit of "catalogue shopping" with what is currently on offer I have come up with three "must haves".

Priority 1 - Air Defence

I have changed my mind on this one and come to recognize that the risk of air attack in even an internal security situation is high. Certainly much higher than the risk of an armoured attack

Accordingly I put the MSHORAD requirement as Priority 1

m30_m42_m32_im-shorad4.jpg



In a dispersed battlefield, where I anticipate platoons will be roving with wide separations (beyond gun fire ranges), then I would anticipate adding an MSHORAD vehicle to each platoon based team.

Priority 2 - Armoured Defence

This would be combined with Anti-Structural Attack. I propose, in addition to arming the Platoon LAVs with mounted ATGMs and equipping their dismounts with ATGMs, and adding the MSHORAD with its ATGMs to add the USMCs Hero-120 Loitering Attack Munition LAV. This would replace not just the TOW LAVs but also the Mortar LAVs it being anticipated that in the internal security and follow on force cases that precision fires are going to be more common than massed fires. Massed fires would be supplied by coalition forces.

message-editor%2F1633971496116-lav-m-loitering-munition-launcher-front.jpg







Priority 3 - Fire Support

And here I mean conventional gunfire support that can supply both precision (if close enough) and mass. For that I am offering something that advanced to prototype stage but hasn't made it into the catalogues yet. The Denel 105mm turret on the GDLS Stryker. A self-propelled howitzer that fires existing NATO ammunition over the forward arc ( and the counter arc to the rear) at both low and high angles. This would not just add to the artillery support base but would also replace the 105mm MGS vehicle in the low angle Direct Fire role against structures.

1637339082252.jpeg
iav-sph-gdls-image03.jpg
1637339338421.png

Lightly armoured (to the equivalent standard of the MGS and the infantry LAVs it is accompanying). Transportable by C-130.

1637339570317.png Automatic Handling System with 42 MAC charges and 56 separate projectiles.
Range up to 30 km. Ability to put 3 rounds through the same hole at 1 km in the low angle Direct Fire mode.

The 105mm LSPH demonstrator has a crew of three (driver, commander/gunner and loader). As the system fires off its wheels (no outriggers necessary), it provides for faster in- and out of action times than comparable systems. The basic armor of the LAV III ,covering the Standardization Agreement STANAG 4569 level III ,which provides a all-round protection against 7.62x51mm NATO small calibre rounds. A ceramic appliqué armor (MEXAS) can be added, which protects against 14.5x114mm heavy calibre rounds from 500 meters.





GENERAL DYNAMICS - 105mm LAV III Artillery Weapon System

https://ndiastorage.blob.core.usgovcloudapi.net › ...




Oh, And Priority 4.

The Platoon gets its 60mm mortar back.
 

FJAG

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He isn't wrong...

No he's not. To put it politely, we -- the Canadian Army - is wrong.

Without having to go back to the Roman army and French knight analogies, one simply has to look at NATO v the Soviet models: NATO believes in manoeuvre supported by fires while the Warsaw Pact saw fires supported and exploited by manoeuvre.

In Canada our infantry centric leadership has abandoned not only fires but was in the process of throwing the predominant manoeuvre arm - the tanks - under the bus in the belief that modern warfare just doesn't need that stuff and we can't afford it anyway. It still hasn't taken any steps to correct these egregious errors other than some theoretic musings.

What is scary is that Force 2025 (which appears to be a reorganizational stepping stone to a more extensive Force 2030) does virtually nothing to correct this situation. The lack of vision appears profound. Where is the open debate that should be at the forefront of all our military journals? Is the Army really that asleep and disinterested? Or are we simply that intellectually bankrupt?

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KevinB

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No he's not. To put it politely, we -- the Canadian Army - is wrong.

In Canada our infantry centric leadership has abandoned not only fires but was in the process of throwing the predominant manoeuvre arm - the tanks - under the bus in the belief that modern warfare just doesn't need that stuff and we can't afford it anyway. It still hasn't taken any steps to correct these egregious errors other than some theoretic musings.
There where some TrackToads up there tossing stuff away as well, I don't think it can be solely blamed on the Infantry.
What is scary is that Force 2025 (which appears to be a reorganizational stepping stone to a more extensive Force 2030) does virtually nothing to correct this situation. The lack of vision appears profound. Where is the open debate that should be at the forefront of all our military journals? Is the Army really that asleep and disinterested? Or are we simply that intellectually bankrupt?

🍻
I tend to believe the Army leaders that aren't intellectually or morally bankrupt are either jaded or muzzled.
We have seen clear indications from the A/CDS that he knows the CAF is in dire straights - it seems the PMO is quite happy to keep the CAF on starvation rations at this point - and I am not sure what can be done without some signifiant funding changes, and a PM that actually cares.
 

FJAG

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There where some TrackToads up there tossing stuff away as well, I don't think it can be solely blamed on the Infantry.
Hillier being # 1 on that list - the debate was intense though.

I've been interviewing quite a number of senior gunners from the time and as yet I have not found anyone who was prepared to say "Yup - I told everyone that we needed less guns". I've got a lot of "we couldn't afford to keep them", though.

I tend to believe the Army leaders that aren't intellectually or morally bankrupt are either jaded or muzzled.
Yeah - I don't think so. Our lack of leadership on the capabilities issues long precedes the Night of the Long Knives. I guess they could have been jaded and muzzled for quite a while now but that, in my eyes, means that they really aren't leaders in the first place.

We have seen clear indications from the A/CDS that he knows the CAF is in dire straights - it seems the PMO is quite happy to keep the CAF on starvation rations at this point - and I am not sure what can be done without some signifiant funding changes, and a PM that actually cares.
$23 Billion isn't chickenfeed. The way it's being spent delivers few bangs for the bucks. Honestly, if I was in the PMO I wouldn't give DND another nickel either until they sort their own crap out first. Why spend more money to promote more GOFOs and fill yet more cubicles in Ottawa?

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KevinB

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Hillier being # 1 on that list - the debate was intense though.

I've been interviewing quite a number of senior gunners from the time and as yet I have not found anyone who was prepared to say "Yup - I told everyone that we needed less guns". I've got a lot of "we couldn't afford to keep them", though.


Yeah - I don't think so. Our lack of leadership on the capabilities issues long precedes the Night of the Long Knives. I guess they could have been jaded and muzzled for quite a while now but that, in my eyes, means that they really aren't leaders in the first place.


$23 Billion isn't chickenfeed. The way it's being spent delivers few bangs for the bucks. Honestly, if I was in the PMO I wouldn't give DND another nickel either until they sort their own crap out first. Why spend more money to promote more GOFOs and fill yet more cubicles in Ottawa?

🍻
The CAF as a whole and the CA specifically really needs to do some introspection as what it wants to be.
The amount of baggage the CF has in HQ/Staff positions is exorbitant.
I'd argue the way the money is spent isn't always the fault of the green suiters though - there have been a slew of politically directed programs, and if your not GDLS or Bell, you don't have a hope in those markets regardless of Best Performer, or Best Value for the Government is considered.

Anyone who was cool with divesting M109's, ADATS, and the original Hook capability - as well as making more HQ's when the field army starves should probably have been taken out back and shot in the ear.
 

Kirkhill

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I've been interviewing quite a number of senior gunners from the time and as yet I have not found anyone who was prepared to say "Yup - I told everyone that we needed less guns". I've got a lot of "we couldn't afford to keep them", though.

🍻

For how could you not afford to keep them? What is it 17 Reserve Units? With 76 M109s? Park 4 M109s in each Artillery Armoury and have the local unit polish them up and grease the nipples once a week. At least they would stay warm and dry. And if they took too much space well distribute them more broadly in infantry and armoured armouries, or reserve brigade depots, or training depots, or all of the above.

And I know I am going to get a beating for laying into my drum again but, in fairness to the decision makers, I don't think anybody is going to be convinced the Canadian Government, and the Canadian Armed Forces, are serious about deploying a heavy force, or even a medium force, until the means of delivery are secured.

Big Honking Ships with Leos and M109s. Or MGSs and MMEVs that can be lifted by CC-177s - if there are enough purchased.
 

CBH99

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The CAF as a whole and the CA specifically really needs to do some introspection as what it wants to be.
The amount of baggage the CF has in HQ/Staff positions is exorbitant.
I'd argue the way the money is spent isn't always the fault of the green suiters though - there have been a slew of politically directed programs, and if your not GDLS or Bell, you don't have a hope in those markets regardless of Best Performer, or Best Value for the Government is considered.

Anyone who was cool with divesting M109's, ADATS, and the original Hook capability - as well as making more HQ's when the field army starves should probably have been taken out back and shot in the ear.
Thank You! Yes! This. Exactly this.

We don’t have the size or budget to be ‘all things, all the time, to respond to all problems.’

With our limited size & budget, we really do need to do some deep introspection and soul searching to decide what capabilities serve us best, and the most effective way to generate those capabilities.

Being ‘general purpose, combat capable’ sounds flexible, adaptable, catchy, etc. But as this thread has painfully reminded all of us - that phrase is actually pretty useless and sometimes downright harmful when it comes to effective planning.


Do some introspection. Decide what capabilities serve us best. Talk to our NATO partners to see what capabilities are needed/desired, and formulate a plan so that we can provide a useful part of the puzzle. (Rather than everybody duplicating everybody else’s capabilities.)


0.02
 

Weinie

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Hillier being # 1 on that list - the debate was intense though.

I've been interviewing quite a number of senior gunners from the time and as yet I have not found anyone who was prepared to say "Yup - I told everyone that we needed less guns". I've got a lot of "we couldn't afford to keep them", though.


Yeah - I don't think so. Our lack of leadership on the capabilities issues long precedes the Night of the Long Knives. I guess they could have been jaded and muzzled for quite a while now but that, in my eyes, means that they really aren't leaders in the first place.


$23 Billion isn't chickenfeed. The way it's being spent delivers few bangs for the bucks. Honestly, if I was in the PMO I wouldn't give DND another nickel either until they sort their own crap out first. Why spend more money to promote more GOFOs and fill yet more cubicles in Ottawa?

🍻
FJAG,

As a soldier, then officer, I spent my first 23 years in uniform doing everything I could to avoid Ottawa, It took an Ottawa posting of my then fiancee, now spouse, to change my mind. I arrived jaded, and convinced that NDHQ was a waste of time/oxygen. I heartily agreed with your loathing of all things Ottawa.

Having been here since 2005, I have come to the pragmatic realization that the HQ is bound by bureaucracy, but little of it is of it's own making. The HQ has some fat, but not a lot. Instead it is constrained(overwhelmed) by legislation/acts/statutes/legal findings/orders/commissions/other departments/governmental whims/societal pressures/real world events that mandates that it will provide innumerable reports, will abide by hundreds of acts, provide on-demand information to Parliament and the public, FG soldiers, sailors, and airmen/women, evolve to fit the Op environment, and provide C2. Everything but the last in bold requires people, and lots of them, to ensure compliance .

So,, go ahead with your lament to cut the HQ and push the PY's to the field force. Please do so by lobbying your MP, and Parliament, to exempt the CAF from 80% of the above phucking bullshyte, and ask them to just allow us to sit in the corner and plan for Ops and the next war.
I wish you luck.
 

Kirkhill

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And what do they do with the 4 M109s?

F-all. Just keep them warm and dry and turn them over from time to time. Just in case they come in handy some day. We already own the things. And who knows - somebody might figure out how to get a couple of Big Honking Ships.

(My personal favourite idea of the day is to buy Marine Atlantic three more ferries than they need so they can release one or two on occasion. Meantime they are extending the lives of the remaining vessels in the fleet. BC Ferries buys ferries with too many holes in them.)
 

CBH99

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Oh I am 100% using ‘phucking bullshyte’ in a report I’m actually working on tomorrow.

Royalty cheque inbound
 

FJAG

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FJAG,

As a soldier, then officer, I spent my first 23 years in uniform doing everything I could to avoid Ottawa, It took an Ottawa posting of my then fiancee, now spouse, to change my mind. I arrived jaded, and convinced that NDHQ was a waste of time/oxygen. I heartily agreed with your loathing of all things Ottawa.

Having been here since 2005, I have come to the pragmatic realization that the HQ is bound by bureaucracy, but little of it is of it's own making. The HQ has some fat, but not a lot. Instead it is constrained(overwhelmed) by legislation/acts/statutes/legal findings/orders/commissions/other departments/governmental whims/societal pressures/real world events that mandates that it will provide innumerable reports, will abide by hundreds of acts, provide on-demand information to Parliament and the public, FG soldiers, sailors, and airmen/women, evolve to fit the Op environment, and provide C2. Everything but the last in bold requires people, and lots of them, to ensure compliance .

So,, go ahead with your lament to cut the HQ and push the PY's to the field force. Please do so by lobbying your MP, and Parliament, to exempt the CAF from 80% of the above phucking bullshyte, and ask them to just allow us to sit in the corner and plan for Ops and the next war.
I wish you luck.

Weinie

I actually never loathed Ottawa during my first 30 years. I served in field units and then benign regional reserve legal officer stuff. All fun and innocuous. Through those years my legal practice was litigation which put me in touch with numerous business structures from low to high where things had gone wrong and needed sorting out but which in general gave me a fairly comprehensive view of how the inner workings of business structures that need to make profits function.

Then someone made me DJAG/Res and I had to go to Ottawa monthly for meetings with Chief of Reserves and other things and in 2006 I took a three year Class B contract there to ramrod an IT project for JAG.

I came about my loathing honestly, IMHO. Everything that I saw and was involved in in Ottawa showed me a culture obsessed with a bureaucracy. Processes were Byzantine. Hiring civilian staff takes a ridiculously long time. Thousands of people spend countless hours generating reports which no one reads beyond a very few who might scan the executive summary. Everyone protects their rice bowl. The bloat, the needlessly complex structures have been reviewed countless times and few, if any, attempts have been made to correct things.

The problem, at its root, like with most government bureaucracies, is that there is absolutely no incentive for anyone to streamline the system. Since DND makes no profit, there is nothing to measure performance against that would demonstrate if the bureaucracy is delivering value for money. DND puts together numerous performance measurement systems but if the people in the system were honest with each other they would soon admit that every one of the many dashboards displayed is meaningless as to true performance. IMHO the only performance measure that every DG should have (and on which his/her retention and pay should be based is: Have you streamlined your processes so that they can be continued uninterrupted with 10% less staff in the next FY? If 'yes', the DG keeps his job and the 10% go; if 'no' then the DG becomes a civilian and 5% of the staff go. I know that sounds stupid but can you honestly think of any other way that we will ever reduce the complexity.

Since 2000 we have given up any pretense of measuring our defence outputs. Mike Jeffery went before SCONDA and pretty much everyone else and made it clear that out of an army of over 20,000 and an equally sized reserve force we couldn't generate a full brigade as required under current defence plans. Did we correct the system so that we could? No we lowered the standard to battlegroups. In other words since we couldn't meet our performance standard we lowered the standard so that we could. Did we get more people. Yes we did and then rapidly increased the size of our headquarters above brigade and wing level by 46% from 2004 to 2010. Instead of fixing the VCDS 's oversight over operations we created a herd of new .coms because the CDS didn't like the way he was controlled when he went to Kabul. Every time DND is faced with an issue the response is to increase the bureaucracy to deal with it. It's almost Pavlovian.

I know that there are some outside factors which require some administrative effort but for the most part we're our own enemy. We don't trust our subordinates so we create more and more central departments and directorates that have to be consulted or, worse yet, that are the decision makers for trivial matters. We have majors and lieutenant colonels who are empowered to make life and death decisions on the battlefield who are not allowed to make minor disciplinary decisions or take release actions. We have four actual brigade headquarters and five divisional ones in the Army. The RCAF has 14 Wings and 38 flying and 20 non flying squadrons for some 390 aircraft. And there's really no sense in mentioning the ridiculousness of an Army Reserve that sports hundred-man battalions with no equipment worth speaking of. The Army has a managed readiness system that basically makes 2/3 of the force non-ready at any given time and the Navy has trouble manning and fixing its ships. Those are all internal problems that DND has imposed on itself.

I've always been particulalry struck by these words from the Leslie Report:

Based on a series of brain-storming sessions over the winter with a network of some of the best and brightest officers and civil servants destined for more senior leadership roles, a variety of organizational models were discussed and some big ideas were developed to realize efficiencies and new ways of doing things. Some of these were presented at a large meeting in December 2010 involving the generals, admirals and senior DND civil servants, and it became apparent that the tendency was to argue for the preservation of the status quo within any one particular organization, which is perfectly natural. Though grimly amusing, these interactions proved that consensus has not and will probably never be achieved on any significant change as we are large and complicated, and the different organizations that make up the whole do different things, each of which is believed to be very important by those who are in them.

Sorry. I'm running on too long. I think what bothers me most about this whole situation is that so much of the Yes, Minister defence hierarchy is complacent with where it's at. It needs a very firm shake up or else it will continue to spiral into irrelevancy until the government finally gets smart to the fact that this emperor, who costs Canada $23 Billion annually, has no clothes.

🍻
 

Kirkhill

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Based on a series of brain-storming sessions over the winter with a network of some of the best and brightest officers and civil servants destined for more senior leadership roles, a variety of organizational models were discussed and some big ideas were developed to realize efficiencies and new ways of doing things. Some of these were presented at a large meeting in December 2010 involving the generals, admirals and senior DND civil servants, and it became apparent that the tendency was to argue for the preservation of the status quo within any one particular organization, which is perfectly natural. Though grimly amusing, these interactions proved that consensus has not and will probably never be achieved on any significant change as we are large and complicated, and the different organizations that make up the whole do different things, each of which is believed to be very important by those who are in them.

So what you and General Leslie seem to be describing is a dialog of the deaf amongst blind men trying to describe an elephant in the absence of the elephant.

The RCAF reports to NORAD. The RCN reports to the USN. Canadian Army reports to III ( and XVIII) Corps. CANSOFCOM reports to USSOCOM.

No Canadian exerts sufficient pull to tie the bits together.

And I use the term reports advisedly. NORAD Deputy. III Corps Deputy. Not so sure about the RCN and CANSOFCOM but the RCN seems to be happy enough slotting itself into US carrier groups and the CANSOFCOM slots in with the USSOCOM.

Nobody seems to be overly bothered about Mission Impossible: The Defence of Canada.
 

FJAG

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What is it 17 Reserve Units? With 76 M109s? Park 4 M109s in each Artillery Armoury and have the local unit polish them up and grease the nipples once a week.

The M109 story is actually quite complex and there were numerous attempts to keep a fair number of them in preservation. In fact ADM(Mat) in 2005 was in favour of keeping them and directed that 26 of them go into long term storage (together with six M578 recovery vehicles). That was done and others were also kept in lesser stages of preservation while a few others were cut up for scrap.

There were issues too in that our guns were the A4+ version and the A5 was already starting to take a new line of 155mm ammunition that included higher pressures and modular charges that the A4+ couldn't fire. It wasn't too long after our guns were taken out of service before the US production lines changed to the A6 Paladin and a technical evaluation concluded that an A6 upgrade was probably a step too far for our A4+. Included in the consideration was that the M777 was already in service by then and the immediate pressure with the previously failing LG1 and C3 fleet was therefore no longer a critical concern. The big plus factor with the M777 at the time was the new gun management system and the new line of munitions it could fire including Excalibur which made it a very desirable piece of kit for the type of close support that was prevalent in Afghanistan (and the Russians and Chinese still looked like nice folks)

Eventually in 2008 the forces of darkness won and a new ADM(Mat) directed divestment of the remainder of the M109 fleet which ended up with them being demilitarized and turned into monuments.

While I fully understand some of the technical considerations, I can't see why one needs to divest a perfectly useable M109 because it can't be upgraded to the latest version (after all the older 155 mm is still in large supply) when we decided to keep C3s which are 60 years old and LG1s with cracking barrels. Yup, there's a maintenance cost and an ammunition cost if they're fired (and I think they should be) but essentially one could have kept a goodly number of them serviceable at the cost of a 1/2 time weapon tech and a vehicle tech and a dozen Class B's as apprentice maintainers.

But that's just me.

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MilEME09

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Do some introspection. Decide what capabilities serve us best. Talk to our NATO partners to see what capabilities are needed/desired, and formulate a plan so that we can provide a useful part of the puzzle. (Rather than everybody duplicating everybody else’s capabilities.)

NATO has already said what it wants from us, CAF has turned around and said okay, but we wanna have everything else too! thus is why we are moving towards a light, medium and heavy brigade when only one of those three has been requested by NATO. We canèt do everything but some capabilities need to have some assets, AD? low level sure, patriot batteries? no, NATO wants to turn us into a break through Force, a knife. the CAF wants to be the swiss army knife with half the tools are broken.
 

CBH99

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NATO has already said what it wants from us, CAF has turned around and said okay, but we wanna have everything else too! thus is why we are moving towards a light, medium and heavy brigade when only one of those three has been requested by NATO. We canèt do everything but some capabilities need to have some assets, AD? low level sure, patriot batteries? no, NATO wants to turn us into a break through Force, a knife. the CAF wants to be the swiss army knife with half the tools are broken.
That’s a pretty fair analogy & mental image actually. Puts it in perspective 😅👍🏻
 
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