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FORCE 2025: Informing the Army’s future structure

Kirkhill

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And the "piece de resistance"

Estonian Live Fire Ex.

A light company combined with a 6 gun D30 battery in the DF Anti-Tank role and a section of ZSU-23s mounted portee on the back of two trucks and enhanced by a pair of UGVs. One up to support a Carl-Gustav AT team and one back transporting a cabled spotter drone.

The gun line is to hold against an attacking armoured battalion.


With respect to debating "Structure" - did anybody else note that each of the 122mm D30 howitzers being used in the DF anti-tank role were being manned on the firing line by crews of three - 18 gunners for a battery of 6 guns.
 

TangoTwoBravo

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As long as we have the option of choosing our wars, our Kabinett wars, then the enthusiasm will only last as long as the low cost victories. We can apparently sustain the drip of the occasional loss of a pilot here or there or an SOF operator. But once we surpass the double digits, like the 158 lost in Afghanistan, then the government loses the citizenry.

I agree the frontline infantry is critical to winning wars. I also agree that the frontline infantry takes most casualties and is always in short supply.

But the Canadian public will not support dead Canadians in Estonia.

On the other hand the Estonians, don't feel they have the luxury of the debate. They are confronted with the possibility of taking on tanks with infanteers, machine guns, Carl Gustaf's, truck-mounted anti-aircraft cannons and towed gun/howitzers taking on tanks at ranges under 1 km. They don't have the time or money to wait for the perfect anti-tank solution so they are making it up as they go along and working with what they have.

Meanwhile, we debate.

If we really wanted to help Estonia, or the Ukraine, we would buy them some of the latest war-winning technologies they are asking for and let them get on with it. They have the will to fight for their land and their government.

Another way we could assist, in the future, would be to send a flotilla of CSC frigates loaded to the gunwales with Tomahawks and Air Defence Missiles and park them where they could put an umbrella over the Baltic States, Kaliningrad and St Petersburg.

Canadians will support infantry casualties (maybe) when the Second Battle of the Plains of Abraham is fought.

If you want Canadian casualties in large batches then by all means park a flotilla of CSC in the Baltic as part of a shooting war.

A conventional war does not have to be in Latvia against the Russians. It can be in any number of 2nd/3rd world countries.

While I respect the use of batteries of towed artillery in the AT role, it really shouldn't be your primary plan. If what you are saying is that we should arm them, fine (we are working mostly with the Latvians as opposed to Estonians but the principle is there), but they are also quite small. They are also quite NATO. As are we. That is why we are in Latvia with the EFP.

We should remember that Force 2025 is right around the corner. It is not "blue sky" future stuff from Popular Mechanics and Crisis in Zefra. It needs to be fairly practical and grounded.
 

Kirkhill

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Good enuff. Thanks for the correction on Latvia.

Questions for you:

What portion of our fleet of 600 LAVs, 80 tanks and 37 howitzers should be allocated to repel invaders from the Baltics. When should they be deployed? How should they be deployed? What roles would they perform? How would they contribute to victory?

Three hours drive from the eastern borders to the sea.

And, wrt casualties in the flotilla, yet another reason for automating the vessels as much as possible. Better a Billion lost than a couple of hundred sailors.
 

Kirkhill

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Further to my last and the "Baltic Flotilla"

The Area of Influence of 3x CSC each with a 32 cell Mk41 VLS armed with Tomahawks and parked in the lee of the Shetlands.

Canadian Flotilla.jpg

Potential of up to 96 Tomahawks while operating under NATO air cover and their own point defence of 72 ready to fire CAMMs and 6x 30mm
cannons.

Potential to advance east to Copenhagen before entering the Baltic proper and swapping Tomahawks for SM-6.
 

blacktriangle

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We should remember that Force 2025 is right around the corner. It is not "blue sky" future stuff from Popular Mechanics and Crisis in Zefra. It needs to be fairly practical and grounded.
So should we assume that Force 2025 has none of the following?

-GBAD
-GMLRS, Self-propelled howitzers, or something like Spike NLOS
-Javelin or Spike LR (at least for the CA itself)

It seems like these are far from "blue sky", and yet the CAF doesn't seem close to filling any of these gaps. Unless I'm missing something?
 

Infanteer

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Further to my last and the "Baltic Flotilla"

The Area of Influence of 3x CSC each with a 32 cell Mk41 VLS armed with Tomahawks and parked in the lee of the Shetlands.
.....
Potential to advance east to Copenhagen before entering the Baltic proper and swapping Tomahawks for SM-6.
Compare that to this.

Rus_A2AD.jpg

The CAF needs to determine how to function as an "inside force" (to steal a phrase from the USMC). Sailing a surface warship into all that red doesn't strike me as an optimal way to do so.
 

Kirkhill

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Seen

Assumptions

- Canadian 3-ship Flotilla off the Shetlands at extreme range of SU-35s. 96 ready to fire Tomahawks on board. 72 CAMM air defence missiles ready to fire. Supplemented with 127mm and 30 mm guns. Operating under the umbrella of the RAF

- Russia opposes with SU-35S - 112 built since 2007 (18 years of production - slow production rate - maintenance?)

Roll the dice, the Canadians get their missiles off, the Russians press home their attack and sink the three Canadian ships. What were their losses on the approach, the attack and the egress? What are the odds of replacing their aircraft?

Canada despatches another 3-Ship Flotilla from its 4 Flotilla reserve. We thank the RCN for its service. Did it really need 200 sailors on board each vessel?

As for operating as an inside force - it could be kind of neat to see what the effect of equipping 4GSR, or better yet all the regular Arty regiments with JLTV mounted NSMs would be and have the launchers scatter all over the Baltics, Poland or Romania.


NSM-JLTV.jpg
What is the launcher to troop ratio expected by the USMC? How many bodies do they expect to put at risk to achieve the anticipated effect?

That picture changes again with dispersed HIMARs trucks, also potentially autonomous, launching GMRLS out to 150 km and PrSMs in the 500 to 1500 km band. We could talk about GLCMs, SM6s and HVMs but I think that they can be more effectively, and safely, delivered from the sea.

I have to believe that a few batteries (and ships) would be more welcome than a few hundred willing bodies with C7s. And be more useful, and be more easily expended by Canada.

Cheers :)

Edit - Marine Littoral Regiment

- 1800 to 2000 all ranks
1 Log Battalion
1 AD Battalion
1 NMESIS Battalion - NSM-JLTV Rogues - 84 JLTV Launchers to the Battalion (with 166 ready to launch missiles)
 
Last edited:

MilEME09

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So should we assume that Force 2025 has none of the following?

-GBAD
-GMLRS, Self-propelled howitzers, or something like Spike NLOS
-Javelin or Spike LR (at least for the CA itself)

It seems like these are far from "blue sky", and yet the CAF doesn't seem close to filling any of these gaps. Unless I'm missing something?
GBAD project is a factor into F2025, part of the driving factor into F2025 is what NATO has requested of us.
 

daftandbarmy

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Compare that to this.

View attachment 65327

The CAF needs to determine how to function as an "inside force" (to steal a phrase from the USMC). Sailing a surface warship into all that red doesn't strike me as an optimal way to do so.

An airborne 'Baltic Cork Opening' Danish land grab, a la the Crimea, has always been a Russian strategic possibility. It helps that they're within range of substantial air cover, of course. However, as this article suggests, they're having some modernizaton issues of their own in this part of their military:

Rethinking the Structure and Role of Russia’s Airborne Forces

The Russian Airborne Forces (VDV) compose one of the more important instruments in the General Staff’s toolkit, serving as a rapid reaction force for local conflicts, supporting special operations, or striking behind enemy lines in a conventional war. The VDV has proven to be leading edge of Russian (and Soviet) military power in operations from the 1956 intervention in Hungary, to the 2014 seizure and annexation of Crimea. A combat arm distinct from the Land Forces, the VDV may be used tactically, operationally, or play a strategic role, depending on how it is employed. Whether responding to a crisis, or choosing to visit the territory of its neighbor without notice, Russia is likely to lean on the highest readiness units with elite training, and good mobility, which in many cases means the VDV.

Today the VDV consists of two parachute divisions, two air assault divisions, four independent brigades, along with a signals and an independent reconnaissance brigade. Parachute divisions can be air dropped to seize enemy air fields and key points, making them a strategic asset, while air assault units are flown into secured landing zones. Brigades represent a mix, often with one parachute battalion and two assault battalions. The Russian operation in Crimea, together with other military actions have demonstrated that if the VDV can seize an airport then they can fly in supporting battalions, and those follow-on units can secure terrain for Russia’s land forces to enter the battle space. In theory, it is a Soviet Airborne, simply cut down to Russian size (VDV Divisions used to have three regiments each, but were long ago reduced to two)."

 

TangoTwoBravo

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Good enuff. Thanks for the correction on Latvia.

Questions for you:

What portion of our fleet of 600 LAVs, 80 tanks and 37 howitzers should be allocated to repel invaders from the Baltics. When should they be deployed? How should they be deployed? What roles would they perform? How would they contribute to victory?

Three hours drive from the eastern borders to the sea.

And, wrt casualties in the flotilla, yet another reason for automating the vessels as much as possible. Better a Billion lost than a couple of hundred sailors.
We already have LAVs there, and M777 Batteries rotate through. Just saying. This isn't hypothetical.

Were it suddenly up to me I would put a squadron of Leopard 2A6M there, with half-squadron crews rotating through. The point of the EFP (of which we are only one component) is to prevent "little green men" and opportunistic grabs presenting the West with a fait accompli. The point is to make a "three hour drive to the sea" impossible. If there was a general war, there would be mobilization and deployment of forces from Canada. I've been part of few exercises of that at various levels with NATO, including one with actual troops, ships and aircraft to Norway. Do you know how a Light Battalion gets to Europe? The troops fly, but the equipment goes by ship. I would prefer that our Navy focus on keeping our sea lanes open than trade missiles with ground targets that only have to have two or three successes to wreck the whole enterprise.

I will come back to my point that Latvia is part of NATO - that is how we ended up there. Our Army should have NATO commitment on the continent in defence of NATO allies as part of our mission set. We also need a force to handle COIN missions as well as more traditional peacekeeping and stability operations. And of course our next shooting war will be something unexpected, but it will likely have aspects of all those types of operations.

I certainly hope that GBAD and ALAWS find themselves in our 2025 structures. HIMARs or equivalents would, of course, also be welcome.
 

Kirkhill

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I am in absolute agreement that, since the government has deployed the Battle Group, and it is integrated into the plan then two things should happen -

1 - Stick to the plan

2 - Properly equip and support the Battle Group to the full extent of our capabilities. Some of those Force 2025 gaps could/should be trialled in Latvia with UORs. As you say - ALAWS and MBTs would be nice, at least.

The heavy-handed point I was making was that there are other options that the government could be exploring within the envelope it has set, options with different "pain" levels, that may be more acceptable to the voter that pays attention.

Cheers, :)
 

FJAG

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We already have LAVs there, and M777 Batteries rotate through. Just saying. This isn't hypothetical.

Were it suddenly up to me I would put a squadron of Leopard 2A6M there, with half-squadron crews rotating through.
I don't think there is a need for our Leopards there as there are already heavy armour elements there from other countries.

That said I think that it would be a very good idea to have a full squadron there manned by a half squadron and augmented by the rest of the squadron for exercises if for no other reason than to provide opportunities for both our infantry and armour to practice combined arms operations at both the combat team and battle group level.

For the same reason, I would leave the M777s there (even though I firmly believe they are the wrong gun for the force there) so that both FOO/FACs, FSCCs, STACCs and gunline gunners return to conducting exercises for mechanized high intensity conflict.

Lord, we desperately need an experimental battle group over there for testing out new weapon systems and TPPs on a continuing basis.

🍻
 

daftandbarmy

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I don't think there is a need for our Leopards there as there are already heavy armour elements there from other countries.

That said I think that it would be a very good idea to have a full squadron there manned by a half squadron and augmented by the rest of the squadron for exercises if for no other reason than to provide opportunities for both our infantry and armour to practice combined arms operations at both the combat team and battle group level.

For the same reason, I would leave the M777s there (even though I firmly believe they are the wrong gun for the force there) so that both FOO/FACs, FSCCs, STACCs and gunline gunners return to conducting exercises for mechanized high intensity conflict.

Lord, we desperately need an experimental battle group over there for testing out new weapon systems and TPPs on a continuing basis.

🍻

What about Engineers?

Nothing like an Engineer Regiment to add 'texture' to the defence, of course :)
 

daftandbarmy

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Spain is providing engineers to the BG.

I was always of the opinion that the Infantry could waltz around in our underwear as long as the Engineers, Artillery and Armoured Corps were dialled in.

Or maybe just for the hell of it anyways, of course :)

tim curry GIF by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
 

FJAG

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What about Engineers?

Nothing like an Engineer Regiment to add 'texture' to the defence, of course :)
Yeah. I agree.

Spain is providing engineers to the BG.
Yes they are but I take the view they only need to be there for an exercise or two for their own and their Canadian supported arms training's sake not so much to bolster the overall force.

🍻
 

McG

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What do troops train on at home if we put all the vehicles, weapons, and equipment for a tank squadron, engineer squadron, and artillery battery in Latvia for a few exercises a year?
... and if the collective of eFP BGs fail to deter then all those resources are lost before the defeat battle.
 

daftandbarmy

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What do troops train on at home if we put all the vehicles, weapons, and equipment for a tank squadron, engineer squadron, and artillery battery in Latvia for a few exercises a year?
... and if the collective of eFP BGs fail to deter then all those resources are lost before the defeat battle.

Militia bullets :)
 
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