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

Hospital ship for Canada

Kirkhill

Army.ca Myth
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
2,837
Points
1,060
Not a Sig Op said:
....

Beyond that, what purpose would it even serve? We have no marines.

If it's just something to wave the flag and feel good about in the crappies parts of the earth, then why dump it on the military?

I will not argue the requirement for a large floating military hospital.  As noted the military isn't big enough to need it.

But.

I continually hear concerns from the fighting forces that they can't get they stuff they need where and when they need it.  The logistics piece of the puzzle.  And yet nobody ever seems to want to spend the money on the cargo lift.

This type of ship, could just as easily be a variant of a JSS/LPD like HMS Argus.  You could get the planning for the LPD done by commissioning the Hospital Ship variant out of the gate first.

And I am not of the opinion that air lifting 1CFH is an equivalent solution, as the C17s need a secure strip to land on and then the strip needs a security force to keep it secure.  And helicopters are going to be in demand if the situation is such that a large hospital is required to manage a large number of casualties.

Your current army may not need a large logistics capability but it comes in very handy very fast.  And when you aren't using it then it can be quite useful in domestic emergencies and in making friends overseas.

I daresay that there have been numerous occasions when civil authorities would have much preferred to see a battalion of truck drivers and their vehicles show up than a battalion of infanteers.  And DFAIT would no doubt have much preferred to have an LPD/H with a good sized hospital facility in containers on board to offer to New Orleans or Haiti.

It is argued that SAR, as conducted by the CAF, is not a military function and yet I hear that you don't want to get rid of the function because you fear losing the budget. But the budget isn't serving any useful military function.  So you have already "lost" that money.  Except that it also bought 15 helicopters that could be used for other military functions if repainted and you have a corps of very proficient personnel that have a unique set of skills.

The more I see of the discussions the more I think that the Logistics Branch should be its own service with its own fleet of aircraft, ships and trucks.  Because everyone in the fighting forces seems to want to spend money on guns even if it means there is no money to deliver bullets to the guns.

And strangely enough those militarized civilian functions that you need to be able to spool up rapidly are the very areas where a part-time force of civilians could come in handy.

/rant off.
 

Cloud Cover

Army.ca Veteran
Subscriber
Reaction score
30
Points
530
Oldgateboatdriver said:
military[/u] forces (of any size or description) into another country without that country's government permission: It's called an invasion and it is an act of war. Just because we happen to be Canadians and have good intentions will not change that. So the question becomes: In the next, say 35 years, how often do we expect to have major disasters occurring in foreign countries or localized wars lead to cease-fires but lengthy peace negotiations requiring peacekeeping, for which the foreign government will ask for or accept the offers of Canadian military assistance? Then is such a number high enough to warrant the expenditure of funds, or is there a cheaper way to provide the same assistance? Canadians wanting the CF to do more disaster relief and peacekeeping is irrelevant without the "receiving" nation giving permission.

My gut feeling is that it is a very small number, bordering on zero.

No shit. Thanks for giving me an education. NO WHERE in my post did I suggest an invasion or entering the jurisdiction without the invitation of a foreign state. In fact, I specifically made it clear that others will do the fighting/invading or whatever happens in between. Obviously there would have to be UN mandates and all the months long prerequisites of international law. Just like Haiti, Lebanon etc. [sarcasm]... 

Of course there's a cheaper way to assist - send cash, lawyers, and government/governance experts. Even factoring in a 100 percent over expenditure for graft, corruption, inefficiency and incompetence, it would still be cheaper than having a Navy or military which successive governments in power have failed to understand or support.     

And they may as well just get on with disbanding and removing any part of the armed forces that could be deployed (which would be most of it).  I don't really care about the good intentions of Canadians either, those intentions shift with the wind and are not reliable enough for planning. In any event, if they ever have to choose between a social assistance benefit or (a) the armed forces or (b) giving up some remote northern islands and resources or (c) embracing the idea of responsibility to protect and similar theories  ...well, we all know the answer to that.

On the other hand, the horizon for the armed forces is already pretty grey with rainbow smoke and a scattered mist of unicorn feces.  The people up top better come up with something that will be seen as useful to foreign policy which will also make the government look good to the electorate. It does not matter if the option is useless to actual need for national defence, or to any future conflict or PSO. It seems trite to say, but Parliament long ago abandoned it's duty to act responsibly for national defence (if they ever did), and so this is left to the ideological whims and the issues that influence the government of today, and not the government(s) we will have for the next 35 years (although it may just be the same party ....).

 
 

Oldgateboatdriver

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
300
Points
880
Chris Pook said:
I continually hear concerns from the fighting forces that they can't get they stuff they need where and when they need it.  The logistics piece of the puzzle.  And yet nobody ever seems to want to spend the money on the cargo lift.

This type of ship, could just as easily be a variant of a JSS/LPD like HMS Argus.  You could get the planning for the LPD done by commissioning the Hospital Ship variant out of the gate first.

I believe you are mixing apples and oranges here, Chris.

First of all, HMS ARGUS is neither a JSS nor a LPD. She is a converted container ship, part of the fleet auxiliaries, whose original purpose is (was?) aviation training. She happens to have a good shipboard hospital for up to seventy people in order to support British forces engaged in combat oversea. This is hardly an hospital ship, even though this mission has now become it's primary focus.

Secondly, the LPD's and JSS' you talk about don't have "variants", one of which is "hospital ship". They carry a hospital as part of their standard fitted facilities. However, for the JSS (the only known one, HNLMS Karel Doorman) this is a 20 beds facility; for two of the most likely candidates for LPD/H, the Mistral or Canberra classes, the hospital facilities are for about seventy beds. So again here, we are not talking "hospital ships".

And a true hospital ship does not give you sealift capability for cargo.

There is no denying (and no one in the Navy has denied) that afloat logistics is a valid naval mission and that true JSS or LPD/H would be good additions to the fleet. However, we are dealing. from naval point of view, with very limited financial resources and almost even more limited manning capability. Choices are then required and maintenance of general purpose fighting forces takes first priority - that's all. And I don't know who would complain about having such ship as JSS or LPD/H, just not a single task dedicated hospital ship.

As for the usefulness of an LPD with medical facilities in containers loaded on board, what you are describing is CFH1 embarked on an LPD. Just get the LPD and you're there - but you then also get the usefulness of an LPD.

Also, airlifting CFH1 is equivalent. I'll say it again (its not sinking in some people) you CAN'T just drop in another country with your military (or other government service) uninvited. If you are invited, then the government of that state will provide you with a secure airfield and ensure it's security. In any event, the same requirement for invitation and a secure harbour exists for deploying by sea. And if we are talking disaster relief, why would there be any "security" concern one way or the other?

Finally, turning the Logistics branch into it's own service would be a disaster. When we don't get proper support now, at least we can turn to our own logistic chain directly. If it was it's own service, it would look for its own first and in case of problems, operators would have to go up to service chiefs to resolve almost all problems. In any event, it would be dangerous for the "logistic service" ships and trucks. In the Navy and Army, we have geographical command: If it comes into our box, it belongs to us. If it doesn't, it's an enemy and we shoot it  [:D.   
 

Journeyman

Army.ca Legend
Subscriber
Reaction score
899
Points
940
whiskey601 said:
Of course there's a cheaper way to assist - send cash, lawyers, and government/governance experts.

What a crappy thing to do;  like they don't have enough difficulties!  ;D
      :stirpot:
 

Colin Parkinson

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
3,120
Points
1,060
I would purchase a Mistral class and have a kit to install a semi-hospital in it. Can't service as many people at one time, but it would be more flexible, able to bring people to itself by helicopter and landing craft. Plus it could do other non-hospital stuff as well.
 

Oldgateboatdriver

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
300
Points
880
Colin: The Mistral's already have a full NATO level 3 hospital in them. No need for any kit. This is a facility equivalent to those for a 25,000 people small town. If you add to that the fact that an extra 100 beds from the accommodation facilities can be assigned to that hospital, it becomes equivalent to  an hospital for a 100,000 inhabitants city - again with no need for any kit.
 

JLB50

Jr. Member
Reaction score
79
Points
280
Do the Juan Carlos/Caberra-class ships have medical facilities equal to or greater than the Mistrals?
 
J

jollyjacktar

Guest
Oldgateboatdriver said:
Wow! Don't  storesmen know the value of brass bronze on the secondary market? It's not like anyone will come looking for one, just sayin'  ...  :temptation: :whistle:

FTFY

It's true that there are still parts lurking out there.  I recently disposed of some Annapolis class TAU bits and bobs.  They are at present on a massive hunt to find all these out dated things and get rid of them.  It's a money saving move, of course.
 

George Wallace

Army.ca Dinosaur
Reaction score
4
Points
410
Oldgateboatdriver said:
Colin: The Mistral's already have a full NATO level 3 hospital in them. No need for any kit. This is a facility equivalent to those for a 25,000 people small town. If you add to that the fact that an extra 100 beds from the accommodation facilities can be assigned to that hospital, it becomes equivalent to  an hospital for a 100,000 inhabitants city - again with no need for any kit.

A good selling point for the Mistral's; but that was a completely different topic that we saw passed over by the Government, and SMEs on Canada's Naval matters.
 

Colin Parkinson

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
3,120
Points
1,060
Oldgateboatdriver said:
Colin: The Mistral's already have a full NATO level 3 hospital in them. No need for any kit. This is a facility equivalent to those for a 25,000 people small town. If you add to that the fact that an extra 100 beds from the accommodation facilities can be assigned to that hospital, it becomes equivalent to  an hospital for a 100,000 inhabitants city - again with no need for any kit.
Thanks I knew they had "large sickbay" but did not realize at that level.
 

chrisf

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
2
Points
430
Oldgateboatdriver said:
Orphan class costs a lot more per ship to maintain. Think set of plans. One per class to keep up to date. Same cost for an orphan as a full class, but per ship, the plans of the large class get divided by the number in the class. Same for stocks of IOR items that would otherwise restrict a ship alongside. Example: anchor. Sounds benign, but you are not allowed to sail without your full complement of anchors. Sure, you very, very  seldom need an anchor replaced, but when you do, it is extremely important to be able to replace immediately. So, emergency stocks are kept in store as long as a class of ships is in service. However, that means that for an orphan class, you may keep one in stock for the individual ship, while for a full class of, say, seven ships on one coast, you will only keep two in stock.
Comparing obsolete steam boats to a modern vessel on a lease really isn't an apt comparison.

Hopefully, if they're "doing it right", then they're making maintenance responsibility of Davies.

You can get pretty much any part for any boat you like anywhere in any civilized part of the world in 48 hours (72 for the less civilized parts, such as Africa, Russia and the Grand Banks of Newfoundland) if you're willing to throw the logistics behind it to get it there (depending on where you are you may need a few dollars for "diplomatic gifts" as well)

If you've got the leasing company handling maintenance, then you're not hamstrung by government purchasing, no one it the private world keeps spares of something as silly as an anchor, they buy it and fly it as needed, only critical and consumable spares are kept on board.

 

dapaterson

Army.ca Relic
Subscriber
Donor
Reaction score
5,532
Points
990
jollyjacktar said:
FTFY

It's true that there are still parts lurking out there.  I recently disposed of some Annapolis class TAU bits and bobs.  They are at present on a massive hunt to find all these out dated things and get rid of them.  It's a money saving move, of course.

Given how much is spent on warehousing, it's something very necessary.  I recall a few years ago hearing about a massive collection of CF-5 drop tanks in a warehouse somewhere.  Holding spares for vessels or vehicles that are no longer in service makes little sense.
 
J

jollyjacktar

Guest
dapaterson said:
Given how much is spent on warehousing, it's something very necessary.  I recall a few years ago hearing about a massive collection of CF-5 drop tanks in a warehouse somewhere.  Holding spares for vessels or vehicles that are no longer in service makes little sense.

And that is exactly what's driving this project.  The monies spent on warehousing obsolete items is an anchor they need to get rid of.  Money saving, as I said and sensible, as you said.
 

Colin Parkinson

Army.ca Legend
Reaction score
3,120
Points
1,060
Nothing wrong with warehousing and storing equipment and parts. Knowing what your storing and doing it correctly is important. Look at the FN's, we could have stored them the way the Russians did and they be good for another 60 years. Same with bridging equipment, older radio's, webbing, etc. We were able to equip our SYEP program with webbing because we had squirreled away the 51 pattern. We have to much of a "toss and get rid of stuff" mentality and then suck wind when we realized that maybe we should not have gotten rid of X so quickly. I remember the story of the weatherships, Crown assets sold them off at bargain basement prices (with full fuel tanks). then we had to go back to the buyer to purchase the meteorological gear off of them to keep the remaining equipment going and the price was steep.
 

George Wallace

Army.ca Dinosaur
Reaction score
4
Points
410
Colin P said:
Nothing wrong with warehousing and storing equipment and parts. Knowing what your storing and doing it correctly is important. Look at the FN's, we could have stored them the way the Russians did and they be good for another 60 years. Same with bridging equipment, older radio's, webbing, etc. We were able to equip our SYEP program with webbing because we had squirreled away the 51 pattern. We have to much of a "toss and get rid of stuff" mentality and then suck wind when we realized that maybe we should not have gotten rid of X so quickly. I remember the story of the weatherships, Crown assets sold them off at bargain basement prices (with full fuel tanks). then we had to go back to the buyer to purchase the meteorological gear off of them to keep the remaining equipment going and the price was steep.

That can be done with certain items that are reusable as per the examples you gave of clothing articles; but for items that are no longer useful because the major equipment they would be used on have long disappeared from the inventories, it only takes up space and transforms your warehouse from a warehouse into a "museum for nick knacks".
 
J

jollyjacktar

Guest
All true with the parts I disposed of, they were obsolete,  honestly so and had no place in current systems.

As for the FN I once had assigned to me, she was really clapped out when I knew her.
 

MedCorps

Sr. Member
Reaction score
67
Points
330
Oldgateboatdriver said:
I am not aware of any government run similar organization that provide such service, and for good reasons: For a government to go and operate in another country is much more complex to organize than a NGO. You need permission from the other state government, inter-government coordination, consideration for the existence or not of disputes between government, influence of ex-colonial status or not, or interference from other foreign government for their own purpose, etc. etc. You make the "mercy" ship military and you just doubled the complexity of making arrangements. (If you think that providing needed health care to its citizens takes priority over maintenance of at least the appearance of legitimately governing the country by overtly "lording-it" over the rich Western democracy government offering aid for the "presidents for life" of those "democracies", you are deluding yourself.)

The Chinese People's Liberation Army Navy has started doing this with some vigor using their new'ish Type 920 hospital ship the "Peace Ark".  It is being used for Global Medical Engagement & Diplomacy missions to further the foreign policy and influence of the Chinese government (whilst at the same time doing some good in the world). It is big... like 50 surgeries a day big!  You can find it in places close to us like say, Mexico, Barbados, Grenada, Peru, Cuba, Trinidad, Costa Rica and Jamaica as well as the Philippines, French Polynesia and Yemen.

MC

 

chrisf

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
2
Points
430
Colin P said:
I remember the story of the weatherships, Crown assets sold them off at bargain basement prices (with full fuel tanks). then we had to go back to the buyer to purchase the meteorological gear off of them to keep the remaining equipment going and the price was steep.

I'm not sure if that's meant to illustrate the importance of hanging on to old junk or the ineffectualnes of government procurement?
 

Oldgateboatdriver

Army.ca Veteran
Reaction score
300
Points
880
You're quite right MedCorps. I forgot about PLAN Peace Ark, though, while it visited Jamaica, Mexico and French Polynesia, it did not perform any medicine in those specific countries (and why would they as they are well served medically speaking, particularly Polynesia which as French territory has the same level of medical service as all French over sea territory and damn near same as continental France.

However, you do confirm my point, which is that when done by a government as opposed to a NGO, it becomes a matter of diplomacy and foreign affairs, not a mere medical matter anymore, and thus subject to the vagaries of international relations.
 
Top