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Opinion - Liberators of the Netherlands in 1945, today... - CBC

FJAG

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Tcm621 said:
I wonder if the problem isn't that our tail too large but the fact we have a tiny head with only a few teeth. I have never met someone working in HQs that would say they were under worked. Everyone I meet agrees we need to cut the fat but not in their shop, they are too busy. In fact, they could probably use another person. We have cut so much in the last 30 years, we are past capacity to the point that commander have to choose which part of their mandate they can fail at.

It's like you read Leslie's report on transformation from 2011.

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.  Once again, perfectly natural and probably true.  We found ourselves constantly going back to the intent of the Government for guidance, namely to reduce tail and invest in teeth.

:cheers:
 

Navy_Pete

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dapaterson said:
I;ll highlight this as one of my main bones of contention: Military are not less expensive than SWE.  Reg F pay is centralized so never seen, but represents over 25% of defence expenditures.  The cost of military personnel is significantly greater than civilians in many different respects.

Lots of false economies based on the misconception that Reg F personnel are "free".

Nope, that's based on the total cost to the SWE for Reg F personnel in project billets being consistently lower then their civilian counterpart doing the same job. That includes a roll up of benefits etc.

For example, if you compare the payscales of an Eng 4 to a Captain, they are roughly the same (with the eng 4 salary being slightly higher) but their benefit package is costed higher by TBS, and they can also get things like O/T, so the same position will be budgeted for more if a civvie is doing it on the annual budget.  That's a pretty common working rank in the EPMs for officers, but it's the same idea if you look at techs and the admin staff. The gap gets bigger as the rank goes up as well.

Not complaining, but it's a simple fact that we're anywhere from 5-10% less of a SWE hit for normal working hours, with no extra cost to work late, travel on weekends etc. That adds up when you are talking about hundreds of people, and the massive flexibility that they have with tasking uniforms that they don't have with unionized employees is a big deal.

For the cook thing, one of the best parts of deploying with a ship is that the cooks still do the meal planning. The viteler still does get some frozen stuff so it lasts between port visits, but usually the first week is a lot of fresh goods. Have always lucked out and gotten really good cooks, but the last trip I was on they were even training everyone working the line on how to plate it and everything, it was awesome.  They were really happy to have that freedom, and of course the crew loved it, so it was a win all the way around. It took them a fair bit of effort and probably cost more, but the quality of the food was excellent. Can see why someone would hate going to a base though; heating up prepared food isn't what I'd want to be doing if I joined to be a cook.

 

dapaterson

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Direct pay is not the only element of cost associated with military personnel.  The TBS directives on costing differentiate between civilian and military for that reason - there are significant indirect costs associated with military personnel (increased cost of pensions is the  most obvious, due to the more generous pension provisions in the CFSA vs the PSSA).  There are also direct enterprise costs not borne by the employer - your cost moves aren't charged to the program budget; your health care isn't charged to the program budget...


There's also a larger philosophical issue: if the majority of a military occupation is located in the NCR doing office work, why are they military?  If most PSel officers are academics doing research in Ottawa, why can't those functions be converted to Defence Scientists?

The CAF has an unfortunate uniform fetish that costs money, and costs military PYs that could be re-invested in core military functions.
 

FJAG

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dapaterson said:
...
The CAF has an unfortunate uniform fetish that costs money, and costs military PYs that could be re-invested in core military functions.

The basic concept is that you can deploy a service member but not a civilian. Then again there are numerous service members who don't really fit into the deployment package scheme either. Then again they don't have unions.

You know my old song. We need less of both in Ottawa so that we can invest in core military functions.

:violin:
 

MJP

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Tcm621 said:
I wonder if the problem isn't that our tail too large but the fact we have a tiny head with only a few teeth. I have never met someone working in HQs that would say they were under worked. Everyone I meet agrees we need to cut the fat but not in their shop, they are too busy. In fact, they could probably use another person. We have cut so much in the last 30 years, we are past capacity to the point that commander have to choose which part of their mandate they can fail at.

That is a very good point!  We tend to want reports and data on a million things that really don't matter much or have automated process but we don't use them because we don't trust the data being put in. So we just have people put things together, the annual Material Attestation (and the equally useless Fin Attestation)f or example is a useless L4-L2 time suck. The L1 level could pull the stats that get reported for their entire formation. The general push/feedback whenever that is raised is that the L4-2 level needs to know their unit/formation trends and issues. That is part of the staff's job at every level already, formalizing it in a useless report that everyone plays lip service too means nothing.

On the flip side, as shitty as the pandemic is it has really highlights how much useless shit we do. Although very anecdotal. in my unit we continue to function on about 20% of the work force actually doing work day to day. The kicker is we have a better grasp of our preparedness and our soldiers because everyone can focus on their core jobs, not the million extra tasks that are on top of our core jobs.  Hell our VOR is the best it has been in years if ever...
 

MilEME09

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MJP said:
On the flip side, as shitty as the pandemic is it has really highlights how much useless crap we do. Although very anecdotal. in my unit we continue to function on about 20% of the work force actually doing work day to day. The kicker is we have a better grasp of our preparedness and our soldiers because everyone can focus on their core jobs, not the million extra tasks that are on top of our core jobs.  Hell our VOR is the best it has been in years if ever...

A sad Silver lining if you think about it, though maybe that will trigger a few like minded folk to realize that maybe we have a lot of extra stuff effecting our readiness, VOR rate, etc....
 

Halifax Tar

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Navy_Pete said:
Nope, that's based on the total cost to the SWE for Reg F personnel in project billets being consistently lower then their civilian counterpart doing the same job. That includes a roll up of benefits etc.

For example, if you compare the payscales of an Eng 4 to a Captain, they are roughly the same (with the eng 4 salary being slightly higher) but their benefit package is costed higher by TBS, and they can also get things like O/T, so the same position will be budgeted for more if a civvie is doing it on the annual budget.  That's a pretty common working rank in the EPMs for officers, but it's the same idea if you look at techs and the admin staff. The gap gets bigger as the rank goes up as well.

Not complaining, but it's a simple fact that we're anywhere from 5-10% less of a SWE hit for normal working hours, with no extra cost to work late, travel on weekends etc. That adds up when you are talking about hundreds of people, and the massive flexibility that they have with tasking uniforms that they don't have with unionized employees is a big deal.

For the cook thing, one of the best parts of deploying with a ship is that the cooks still do the meal planning. The viteler VICTUALER still does get some frozen stuff so it lasts between port visits, but usually the first week is a lot of fresh goods. Have always lucked out and gotten really good cooks, but the last trip I was on they were even training everyone working the line on how to plate it and everything, it was awesome.  They were really happy to have that freedom, and of course the crew loved it, so it was a win all the way around. It took them a fair bit of effort and probably cost more, but the quality of the food was excellent. Can see why someone would hate going to a base though; heating up prepared food isn't what I'd want to be doing if I joined to be a cook.

Just a slight and common spelling error ;)
 

CBH99

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Someone mentioned earlier in the thread that they would prefer our organization and equipment issues over that of the Dutch.

I was wondering if they could elaborate on that?  Or if someone else who is more familiar with their organization could expand on that?


Every military tends to look good from the outside, until you see how it functions from the inside.  Even the USN, with 290 ships in it's battle fleet, mostly state of the art - is a gigantic rolling clusterf**k when your looking at it from the inside as a uniformed member.  (I imagine the same goes for most large military organizations...everybody has problems, just different kinds of problems.)


Getting the thread somewhat back on track.  Could whoever mentioned that, or someone else who is familiar with their organizational/equipment issues, elaborate on that a bit more?  (Bosnia massacre excluded)
 

Good2Golf

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Years back, the Dutch came to the CAF to see if we’d be interested in not swapping, but outright taking several of their Apaches off their hands, as they were a proportionately huge drain on their aviation budget.  They wanted to reinvest in their tactical transport fleets, particularly Chinook (which they have since expanded).  CAF looked at the life-cycle costs and the estimate stopped right there in its tracks. The Dutch essentially told us they had bitten off a lot to chew and they were trying to figure a way off drastically cutting the O&M and LCM costs...they weren’t even worried about taking a haircut on the capital acquisition costs.  Canada will never buy/procure any helicopter with ‘attack’ in its name.

Just one example where Force-to-Force comparisons don’t tell the whole story.

Regards
G2G
 

Ralph

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Two of the three Dutch brigades are part of German divisions, and the countries share a corps HQ.
 

dapaterson

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Ralph said:
Two of the three Dutch brigades are part of German divisions, and the countries share a corps HQ.

Makes sense. 


Why put off integration until after the Germans invade again?
 

LoboCanada

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Good2Golf said:
Years back, the Dutch came to the CAF to see if we’d be interested in not swapping, but outright taking several of their Apaches off their hands, as they were a proportionately huge drain on their aviation budget.  They wanted to reinvest in their tactical transport fleets, particularly Chinook (which they have since expanded).  CAF looked at the life-cycle costs and the estimate stopped right there in its tracks. The Dutch essentially told us they had bitten off a lot to chew and they were trying to figure a way off drastically cutting the O&M and LCM costs...they weren’t even worried about taking a haircut on the capital acquisition costs.  Canada will never buy/procure any helicopter with ‘attack’ in its name.

Just one example where Force-to-Force comparisons don’t tell the whole story.

Regards
G2G

Fascinating. Any official sources or more info? Looks like the proposal was only stopped once we looked at the long-term costs and would've otherwise moved forward to a new stage? The Dutch did upgrade their Apache fleet a few years ago too? Why didn't they sell them elsewhere or to Qatar, who just bought a few AH-64E's?

Maybe this is the idea why we haven't bought some Apaches or Vipers? Little to no direct benefit to CDN industry for a big-ticket attention-grabber purchase. Although, I don't see why Bell Mirabel couldn't pick up a maintenance package or IRB condition if we bought a few Vipers.

 

blacktriangle

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LoboCanada said:
Maybe this is the idea why we haven't bought some Apaches or Vipers? Little to no direct benefit to CDN industry for a big-ticket attention-grabber purchase. Although, I don't see why Bell Mirabel couldn't pick up a maintenance package or IRB condition if we bought a few Vipers.

I think G2G hit the nail on the head - Canada isn't going to buy an "attack" helicopter like an Apache or Cobra/Viper.
 

Blackadder1916

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Halifax Tar said:
The viteler VICTUALER . . .
Just a slight and common spelling error ;)

Not quite a spelling error, just using an alternative (and archaic) form.  :)

https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/vitailler#Middle_English
vitailler

Alternative forms
vitaillier, vitteller, vytalere, veteler, viteler, vytheler, vittailler, vitaler, vytayler

Etymology
From Old French vitaillier; equivalent to vitaile +‎ -er.

Noun
vitailler (plural vitaillers)

1.  A foodmonger; a grocer or merchant who sells food.
2.  A provisioner of food for a military force or company, a victualler or sutler.
 

Ostrozac

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FJAG said:
The basic concept is that you can deploy a service member but not a civilian. Then again there are numerous service members who don't really fit into the deployment package scheme either. Then again they don't have unions.

You know my old song. We need less of both in Ottawa so that we can invest in core military functions.

:violin:

We had plenty of civilians in Afghanistan -- most were contractors but some were civil servants. You don't need to wear a uniform to deploy. So it isn't a perfect argument that an entire occupation needs to be military based on the fact that one PSel, or one musician, or one <<insert some other trade that has a tangential connection to the profession of arms>> might have a requirement to put personnel into Iraq or Korea at some point in the future.

We famously demilitarized our physical training instructors years ago -- there is an argument that if physical training can be civilianized, so can several career paths that mostly or partially revolve around cubicle duty.
 

Good2Golf

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reverse_engineer said:
I think G2G hit the nail on the head - Canada isn't going to buy an "attack" helicopter like an Apache or Cobra/Viper.

Perhaps if we redesignated it a Unicorn Helicopter (UH) and renamed it...UH-1Z Fairie Dust?
 

MilEME09

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reverse_engineer said:
I think G2G hit the nail on the head - Canada isn't going to buy an "attack" helicopter like an Apache or Cobra/Viper.

Even the last major report from the senates defense committee recommended buying 12 to 24 attack helicopters to provide escort to our Chinook due to increasing danger to our air crews. Looks like that along with many other issues were ignored.


Edit: I know this is a loosing battle but I am of the opinion we should, with some equipment give the old generation to the PRes when the reg force gets new kit. Example tanks, and AFV's but only if it's economically possible to maintain them such as parts supply etc... All of our reserve infantry are light infantry, all of our reserve armoured are recce, After WWII some Reserve units had Shermans until 1968, we then had the Cougar "tank trainer" in the 80's and 90's. To late now but what if we kept the Leopard 1's and re-designated some Pres unit's as full armoured?

this feeds into FJAG's post about having reinforcement's/ replacements for combat losses. Right now it is a larger training delta to pull armoured recce guys to full armoured from my understanding. Would it not be better if we had PRes feeder units for the armoured corp's tanks?
 

daftandbarmy

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Ostrozac said:
We famously demilitarized our physical training instructors years ago -- there is an argument that if physical training can be civilianized, so can several career paths that mostly or partially revolve around cubicle duty.

Like 70% of post-Command LCols? :)
 

ballz

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Good2Golf said:
Perhaps if we redesignated it a Unicorn Helicopter (UH) and renamed it...UH-1Z Fairie Dust?

Patrol Carbines Helicopters instead of Assault Attack Helicopters... sadly this is not a joke and has been demonstrated effective for Canadian buy-in already.
 

Ostrozac

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daftandbarmy said:
Like 70% of post-Command LCols? :)

Looks to me like an ideal defence operations civil servant -- conceptually EX-Zero or EX-Negative One. Make JCSP a mandatory requirement of the hiring process. Slide the pension plan over (or double dip if 25+ years of service). This allows for personnel with deep expertise in one of the ADMs or the environmental staffs, retains access to their years of experience, and means no requirement for these ageing staff officers to continue to expend work place effort on the range, parades, or PT.

Of course, it wouldn't work. Three quarters of them would immediately transfer to other parts of the civil service where they aren't required to deal with defence-specific nonsense and could happily fly to conferences business class without senior leadership blowing a gasket.
 
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