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Re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe

FJAG

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MilEME09 said:
Alright FJAG I'll bite, experiment here, take Alberta. With what you suggest for a massive retooling of most reserve arty.

20 independent rerolled back to 18th Air Defense Battery,

20th field Edmonton retains its roll as field arty,

20th field red deer rerolls to UAV

19th battery is stood back up in calgary as a dedicated anti armour battery.

All are then grouped as one unit with each city at battery strength. They run a two week summer concentration each year to bring it all together so to speak and practice Regiment level coordination. Thoughts?

Not to shake geographic affiliations, the Maritimes could be a better location due to the presence of 4 GS Regt RCA and the School of Artillery there. Most of the institutional brain trust for UAV and GBAD is there and a fair bit of anti-armour expertise as well. So that has me looking at 1 Fd, 3 Fd, and 84 Ind Bty. (and I'd probably re-role the Halifax Rifles just out of spite  ;D)

:cheers:
 

CBH99

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Also agreed on a 120mm LAV system.  Extremely useful, doable, and really is a form of SPG even if it doesn't have the range of an M109 or HIMARS.

Solid tool in the toolbox.  Easy to acquire and field.  Solid choice  :nod:
 

LoboCanada

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CBH99 said:
The US Army's interim AA vehicle seems like a great project to jump onboard.  It uses the LAV chassis, easily integrates into our existing organizations, and brings both missiles & a gun to the AA fight.  Manufactured in Canada too, so nice bonus.

Long range artillery - something along the lines of HIMARS.

While both artillery systems offer long range fire support (distances notwithstanding) - the approach to their employment would be fundamentally different in terms of how the systems are operated. 

HIMARS again would be fairly inexpensive and easy to acquire, and would be ideal as we could plug training and spare parts in with our brother & sisters from the south.  2 vehicles fit inside a C-17, making them fairly easy to deploy.  It would give us the ability to take out key targets from extreme distances, such as enemy OP's, command vehicles, AA vehicles, EW vehicles, etc.  All of which, when taken out, changes the fight in our favour.

In the short term, focusing on the goal of this thread, that is what I would do.  All of the above is inexpensive, easy to acquire, easy to train folks on, easy to deploy, and would drastically change the game in a fight. 

In the long term, acquiring SPG's and such would be ideal.  But, looking at what is affordable and easy to do for a European operation, these are some things we could do in the near term.

For the purpose of the academic exercise, FJAG, pre-positioning some of this equipment in Europe for emergency use if the balloon goes up would make sense.  How much excess equipment we purchase, in order to ensure we have enough to pre-position in Europe, would be decided once all the details get worked out. 

Agreed. Although I think we should be putting industrial needs over military needs - based on our history. If it can fit/attach to a LAV, we buy it. We've hitched our military to the platform for at least another 20 years, might as well stretch it to fit as many gaps and roles as we can.

I like FJAGs ideas on a reserves shake up too. Is it possible to give them used M777s bought from the USMC (aren't they dumping them in favour of HIMARS?). Buy 37 or so LAV SPH 105mm for the Heavy Brigade? Would be cheaper than HIMARs no?


LAV SPH was already explored, and is possible to restart:

https://ndiastorage.blob.core.usgovcloudapi.net/ndia/2004/armaments/04_Vickory_105mm_Indirect_Fire.pdf
 

daftandbarmy

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LoboCanada said:
Agreed. Although I think we should be putting industrial needs over military needs - based on our history. If it can fit/attach to a LAV, we buy it. We've hitched our military to the platform for at least another 20 years, might as well stretch it to fit as many gaps and roles as we can.

I like FJAGs ideas on a reserves shake up too. Is it possible to give them used M777s bought from the USMC (aren't they dumping them in favour of HIMARS?). Buy 37 or so LAV SPH 105mm for the Heavy Brigade? Would be cheaper than HIMARs no?


LAV SPH was already explored, and is possible to restart:

https://ndiastorage.blob.core.usgovcloudapi.net/ndia/2004/armaments/04_Vickory_105mm_Indirect_Fire.pdf

It will never work. They're too big to fit onto the parade squares at the (100+ years old) Armouries where, you know, Cadets and other local kids like to run around them and hang off of the gun barrels...
 

FJAG

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daftandbarmy said:
It will never work. They're too big to fit onto the parade squares at the (100+ years old) Armouries where, you know, Cadets and other local kids like to run around them and hang off of the gun barrels...

Most 100+ year-old armouries have high ceilings. The restriction is caused by the low sally ports that provide ingress and egress. It's amazing what a jackhammer and a few I-beams of steel (and a little tasteful architectural veneer) can do to make it accessible.

That said; why bring them into the armouries at all? They get into the way of weddings, dances, marching around the parade square, change of command parades, band practices and the annual regimental wild game dinner.

:waiting:

 

CBH99

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LoboCanada said:
Agreed. Although I think we should be putting industrial needs over military needs - based on our history. If it can fit/attach to a LAV, we buy it. We've hitched our military to the platform for at least another 20 years, might as well stretch it to fit as many gaps and roles as we can.

I like FJAGs ideas on a reserves shake up too. Is it possible to give them used M777s bought from the USMC (aren't they dumping them in favour of HIMARS?). Buy 37 or so LAV SPH 105mm for the Heavy Brigade? Would be cheaper than HIMARs no?


LAV SPH was already explored, and is possible to restart:

https://ndiastorage.blob.core.usgovcloudapi.net/ndia/2004/armaments/04_Vickory_105mm_Indirect_Fire.pdf



My understanding (and I could be wrong) in regards to the LAV SPG was that the concept ended up being a dud. 

I think some were deployed to Iraq, as the US Army had already purchased them and fielded them with some units.  There is footage out there of these things providing direct fire against insurgent targets, buildings, etc.  But overall, they had stability issues, hull cracking issues, and were general maintenance pigs. 


I'll wikipedia it tonight and post what I find, but maybe the 120mm mortar LAV would have similar performance as the 105mm SPG, without the vehicle issues? 

If we are talking about the ability to shoot & scoot, would the 120mm mortar version of the LAV suffice?  (I'm not a gunner, I don't know the math behind these things)
 

GR66

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CBH99 said:
My understanding (and I could be wrong) in regards to the LAV SPG was that the concept ended up being a dud. 

I think some were deployed to Iraq, as the US Army had already purchased them and fielded them with some units.  There is footage out there of these things providing direct fire against insurgent targets, buildings, etc.  But overall, they had stability issues, hull cracking issues, and were general maintenance pigs. 


I'll wikipedia it tonight and post what I find, but maybe the 120mm mortar LAV would have similar performance as the 105mm SPG, without the vehicle issues? 

If we are talking about the ability to shoot & scoot, would the 120mm mortar version of the LAV suffice?  (I'm not a gunner, I don't know the math behind these things)

I believe you're thinking of the M1128 LAV MGS system which is mounted with a rifled 105mm gun for direct fire support.  The original M1128's didn't have air conditioning which obviously was problematic in Iraq and the vehicle has other issues including small hatches which make emergency egress difficult.  The gun pod is also unarmoured which leads to it being easily disabled. 

Here's a short critical article from War is Boring in 2014 outlining the criticisms (https://medium.com/war-is-boring/the-wheeled-cannon-that-everyone-hates-d5e6d22bdfcc)
 

FJAG

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CBH99 said:
My understanding (and I could be wrong) in regards to the LAV SPG was that the concept ended up being a dud. 

I think some were deployed to Iraq, as the US Army had already purchased them and fielded them with some units.  There is footage out there of these things providing direct fire against insurgent targets, buildings, etc.  But overall, they had stability issues, hull cracking issues, and were general maintenance pigs. 


I'll wikipedia it tonight and post what I find, but maybe the 120mm mortar LAV would have similar performance as the 105mm SPG, without the vehicle issues? 

If we are talking about the ability to shoot & scoot, would the 120mm mortar version of the LAV suffice?  (I'm not a gunner, I don't know the math behind these things)

There never were any other than prototypes. The vehicle that went to Afghanistan, as GR66 says, was the 105mm Stryker MGS (Mobile Gun System) which is a direct fire version. The original establishment was that every Stryker Rifle coy had a platoon of three. The concept was discontinued in favour of sending about half of the MGS's to the Stryker BCT's Cavalry battalion where they now work as direct fire support to the recce companies.

I took a quick look around as to what SP arty prototypes that there are and generally there is a Krauss 155mm Remote Controlled Howitzer on the Boxer chassis https://www.kmweg.com/systems-products/wheeled-vehicles/artillery/rch-155/ which looks way too big to fit into any aircraft and which makes me cringe every time I watch it fire. It just seems like to much stress on the chassis although the idea of an automated turret with a two man crew up front looks interesting.

The LAV based General Dynamics solution looks interesting but it's based on a 105mm. The glossy brochure assures "fragmentation lethality better than 155 HE" but at 45 lbs it's still only half the mass of the basic 155 projectile. That means more explosive and more steel and therefore better terminal effect. It's been around since 2004 and looks like no sales yet. That makes you wonder.

Honestly, I'm not so sure that a LAV or Boxer chassis is robust enough for a 155. Sometimes it would be good to have a 130mm in the NATO environment. (other than left over Soviet stuff  ;D)

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CBH99

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FJAG said:
There never were any other than prototypes. The vehicle that went to Afghanistan, as GR66 says, was the 105mm Stryker MGS (Mobile Gun System) which is a direct fire version. The original establishment was that every Stryker Rifle coy had a platoon of three. The concept was discontinued in favour of sending about half of the MGS's to the Stryker BCT's Cavalry battalion where they now work as direct fire support to the recce companies.

I took a quick look around as to what SP arty prototypes that there are and generally there is a Krauss 155mm Remote Controlled Howitzer on the Boxer chassis https://www.kmweg.com/systems-products/wheeled-vehicles/artillery/rch-155/ which looks way too big to fit into any aircraft and which makes me cringe every time I watch it fire. It just seems like to much stress on the chassis although the idea of an automated turret with a two man crew up front looks interesting.

The LAV based General Dynamics solution looks interesting but it's based on a 105mm. The glossy brochure assures "fragmentation lethality better than 155 HE" but at 45 lbs it's still only half the mass of the basic 155 projectile. That means more explosive and more steel and therefore better terminal effect. It's been around since 2004 and looks like no sales yet. That makes you wonder.

Honestly, I'm not so sure that a LAV or Boxer chassis is robust enough for a 155. Sometimes it would be good to have a 130mm in the NATO environment. (other than left over Soviet stuff  ;D)

:cheers:


Artillery & mortar folks out there.... thoughts on using the 120mm mortar LAV as a 'shoot & scoot' vehicle compared to an M109??

Manufactured here in Canada.  Training, spare parts, etc etc.  All common amongst our fleet.

I'm assuming the range of a 120mm mortar isn't the same as a 155mm SPG.... just curious to hear from those in the know, their thoughts.  :2c:
 

FJAG

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CBH99 said:
Artillery & mortar folks out there.... thoughts on using the 120mm mortar LAV as a 'shoot & scoot' vehicle compared to an M109??

Manufactured here in Canada.  Training, spare parts, etc etc.  All common amongst our fleet.

I'm assuming the range of a 120mm mortar isn't the same as a 155mm SPG.... just curious to hear from those in the know, their thoughts.  :2c:

There's a whole gunner thread on the issue. Long story short, they are complementary weapon systems. As a gunner I say quite plainly that the grunts should have their own mortars and the 120 is a fine piece of kit. Artillery reaches deeper and can be massed to deliver devastating rates of fire and specialized munitions that the mortars don't have. Like I said -- complementary.

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GR66

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FJAG said:
There never were any other than prototypes. The vehicle that went to Afghanistan, as GR66 says, was the 105mm Stryker MGS (Mobile Gun System) which is a direct fire version. The original establishment was that every Stryker Rifle coy had a platoon of three. The concept was discontinued in favour of sending about half of the MGS's to the Stryker BCT's Cavalry battalion where they now work as direct fire support to the recce companies.

I took a quick look around as to what SP arty prototypes that there are and generally there is a Krauss 155mm Remote Controlled Howitzer on the Boxer chassis https://www.kmweg.com/systems-products/wheeled-vehicles/artillery/rch-155/ which looks way too big to fit into any aircraft and which makes me cringe every time I watch it fire. It just seems like to much stress on the chassis although the idea of an automated turret with a two man crew up front looks interesting.

The LAV based General Dynamics solution looks interesting but it's based on a 105mm. The glossy brochure assures "fragmentation lethality better than 155 HE" but at 45 lbs it's still only half the mass of the basic 155 projectile. That means more explosive and more steel and therefore better terminal effect. It's been around since 2004 and looks like no sales yet. That makes you wonder.

Honestly, I'm not so sure that a LAV or Boxer chassis is robust enough for a 155. Sometimes it would be good to have a 130mm in the NATO environment. (other than left over Soviet stuff  ;D)

:cheers:

The US Army recently put out an RFP for a new, mobile 155mm artillery system with a shoot-off evaluation scheduled for FY2021.  Timing might be right for Canada to purchase at the same time as the US. 

https://defence-blog.com/news/army/u-s-army-wants-new-155mm-artillery-system.html

It most likely won't be LAV-based but more likely truck mounted similar to the British Archer or French Caesar systems.

155mm might be better than 105mm, but if we were to move to asymmetrical brigades would the LAV-based 105mm be sufficient for the Medium Brigade, towed or light-vehicle mounted 105mm for the Light Brigade and have 155mm for the Heavy Brigade (and a portion of the Reserve Artillery Brigade)?
 

FJAG

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GR66 said:
The US Army recently put out an RFP for a new, mobile 155mm artillery system with a shoot-off evaluation scheduled for FY2021.  Timing might be right for Canada to purchase at the same time as the US. 

https://defence-blog.com/news/army/u-s-army-wants-new-155mm-artillery-system.html

It most likely won't be LAV-based but more likely truck mounted similar to the British Archer or French Caesar systems.

155mm might be better than 105mm, but if we were to move to asymmetrical brigades would the LAV-based 105mm be sufficient for the Medium Brigade, towed or light-vehicle mounted 105mm for the Light Brigade and have 155mm for the Heavy Brigade (and a portion of the Reserve Artillery Brigade)?

Not a big fan of Brutus. I like the soft recoil idea which might make it mountable on a LAV. Seen the videos and never yet seen an actual loading drill take place. Ammo handling interests me and it looks primarily manual. What turns me off completely is no crew protection. I like Caesar more because of it's ammo handling capabilities but once again, no crew protection. Archer is a beast. Good concept but I'd be interested in seeing if it truly can be rearmed in 8 minutes though. At 30 tonnes it weighs about the same as an M109 and is considerably longer. Sigh. Very different directions and none strikes me as a clear cut winner.

For the light brigade I prefer an M777 because it can be heliborne. None of the wheeled crowd can do that.

For medium and heavy brigades an SP is required and should be either automated or have a protected gun crew compartment. For medium it should be air transportable on the same aircraft as the rest of the brigade. Not necessary for a heavy brigade as long as it is transportable to same extent as the brigade's tanks. Quite frankly if a good, automated, protected wheeled 155 was found for the medium brigade, it would probably also fit the bill for the heavy.

Honestly it's hard to make a real choice off a video. So much depends on how easily/quickly it goes into and out of action; rates of fire; ease of ammo resupply; ammo handling; accuracy; range; robustness of system in sustained operation; mean time between failures; etc. 105s are a lot simpler and more robust (less firing stress) than 155s and often the increased rate of fire and greater ammo load makes up for an individual round's terminal effects.

:cheers:
 

daftandbarmy

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Maybe we should change the title of this thread to ‘Reestablishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade’.

Location? As determined by events.
 

FJAG

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Not too much new with this other than the formalization of what has been going on for a year or two already:

US troop deployment from Germany to Poland deal signed

By Matthew Lee The Associated Press
August 15, 2020 - 8:24 am

WARSAW — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo sealed a defense cooperation deal Saturday with Polish officials that will pave the way to redeploy American troops from Germany to Poland.

Pompeo, in Warsaw at the end of a four-nation tour of central and eastern Europe, signed the deal with Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak that sets out the legal framework for the additional troops.

“This is going to be an extended guarantee: a guarantee that in case of a threat our soldiers are going to stand arm-in-arm,” Poland’s President Andrzej Duda said during the signing ceremony. “It will also serve to increase the security of other countries in our part of Europe.”

The deal would also further other aspects of U.S.-Polish cooperation, he added, citing primarily investment and trade ties.

Supplements existing NATO deal

The pact supplements an existing NATO Status of Forces Agreement and allows for the enhancement and modernization of existing capabilities and facilities by allowing U.S. forces to access additional Polish military installations. It also sets out a formula for sharing the logistical and infrastructure costs of an expanded U.S. presence in the country.

“The opportunities are unlimited, the resources will be available,” Pompeo said later at a news conference alongside Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz.

“Troop levels matter … but the world has moved on too,” Pompeo said, referring to threats posed in space, cyberspace and disinformation campaigns. He said such defense agreements would allow work on those threats too.

Czaputowicz said the presence of American troops “enhances our deterrence potential because we are closer to the potential source of conflict.”

“It is important that they should be deployed here in Poland and not in Germany,” he said. ...

See rest of article here.

I wonder how much the publication of that arrangement had to do with this:

Belarus's leader pleads for Putin's help as post-election protests grow
Alexander Lukashenko tells the Kremlin that unrest could spread to Moscow next if his regime is destabilised

Shaun Walker in Minsk
Sat 15 Aug 2020 18.42 BST

The embattled Belarusian president, Alexander Lukashenko, has called on Vladimir Putin to help him quell the growing wave of protest inside the country, which has left his legitimacy in tatters and his regime facing its biggest crisis since he first came to power 26 years ago.

Lukashenko appealed to the Russian president’s visceral fear of revolution at home and suggested that if his regime fell, Putin too was in danger. “This is a threat not just to Belarus … if Belarusians do not hold out, the wave will head over there too,” he said in televised remarks to a meeting of advisers on Saturday, claiming that the protests were organised by shadowy figures from abroad.

“Both sides expressed confidence that all the problems that have arisen will be resolved soon,” said a Kremlin transcript of a phone call between the two men, which took place later yesterday. ...

See rest of article here.

Sounds like Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Ukraine deja vu.

I do question how much the US is thinking it is punishing Germany by moving it's forward presence to Poland? The fact that the US is moving itself out of Germany and closer to Russia would, I think, be a disincentive to Germany to strengthen it's forces seeing as the US now forms a buffer with a fairly robust Poland. It's almost a proxy defence line that Russia would have to move through to get to Germany if the proverbial excrement ever hit the fan. On the other hand, how much does Russia really want to get to Germany when disrupting NATO's solidarity with actions in the Baltic States and Poland would suffice?

Do these new developments change anyone's mind about a stronger Canadian forward presence in the region?

:cheers:
 

Colin Parkinson

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Bases pump a lot into the local economy, likley that plays as much or more than the defense side of things. Losing a base may not impact Berlin, but it could cost seats in the region and that makes politicians worry.
 

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Colin P said:
Bases pump a lot into the local economy, likley that plays as much or more than the defense side of things. Losing a base may not impact Berlin, but it could cost seats in the region and that makes politicians worry.

This got me thinking about the local reaction when we closed the bases in Germany (Lahr and Baden-Soellingen) back in the 1990s.  While the closures did have a large negative effect on the local economy, from my limited understanding of the regional political situation at the time there was not much blow-back against politicians.  Just like the decision made by the Trump administration to reduce troop levels in Germany, it was a purely unilateral action without any input from any level of German government.  So why should blame be assigned to German politicians, unless (in a highly unlikely scenario) both the state and federal governments provide no assistance to disrupted businesses and/or displaced workers.
 

Colin Parkinson

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I remember when there was a push in Brandon Manitoba to get rid of the Germans because some people were tired of drunken German soldiers. The German base CO came to the Chamber of Commerce and did a presentation on how much they spent in the local economy and it was reported in the press, that put an end to any idea of asking them to leave. 
 

GR66

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FJAG said:
Do these new developments change anyone's mind about a stronger Canadian forward presence in the region?

:cheers:

It doesn't change my mind about re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe because I think the situation in Belarus is fundamentally different than in the NATO-member Baltic States.  However it definitely reinforces my belief that Canada - and all of NATO - needs to dramatically take our military capabilities more seriously.

We need to show Russia (and China, Iran, North Korea, etc.) that we are not complacent and that we have the military capability to act effectively when required.

For Canada I think that means upgrading our military in general to make it combat effective in a modern battlefield.  And for the Baltics in particular I think it means turning what is essentially a political deployment and backing it up with actual military capability.  Give our troops there real anti-armour and anti-air capability to show the Russians that we take the deployment seriously and that the troops there have some teeth if they ever need to take to the field.

And I think even more importantly would be to show Russia (and the rest) that we have the will and capability to surge effective combat forces to wherever in the world they may be needed.  Re-establishing something like the Reforger exercises would likely be a good start. 
 

daftandbarmy

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GR66 said:
It doesn't change my mind about re-establishing a Canadian Armoured Brigade in Europe because I think the situation in Belarus is fundamentally different than in the NATO-member Baltic States.  However it definitely reinforces my belief that Canada - and all of NATO - needs to dramatically take our military capabilities more seriously.

We need to show Russia (and China, Iran, North Korea, etc.) that we are not complacent and that we have the military capability to act effectively when required.

For Canada I think that means upgrading our military in general to make it combat effective in a modern battlefield.  And for the Baltics in particular I think it means turning what is essentially a political deployment and backing it up with actual military capability.  Give our troops there real anti-armour and anti-air capability to show the Russians that we take the deployment seriously and that the troops there have some teeth if they ever need to take to the field.

And I think even more importantly would be to show Russia (and the rest) that we have the will and capability to surge effective combat forces to wherever in the world they may be needed.  Re-establishing something like the Reforger exercises would likely be a good start.

It's not 'just about Germany' anymore. The 'Defender' exercies sound like a more suitable, modern day version that takes into account multiple threat scenarios:

Reforger redux? Defender 2020 to be 3rd largest exercise in Europe since Cold War

The Defender 2020 in Europe is set to be the third-largest military exercise on the continent since the Cold War, according to Lt. Gen. Chris Cavoli, the U.S. Army Europe commander.

The division-scaled exercise will test the Army’s ability to deliver a force from “fort in the United States to port in the United States,” and then to ports in Europe, and from there to operational areas throughout Europe from Germany to Poland to the Baltic states and other Eastern European nations, Nordic countries and even Georgia, Cavoli told Defense News in an exclusive interview focused on the big event.

While the Army has gone into some detail about Defender 2020 in the Pacific, U.S. Army Europe has been tight-lipped during the coordination of its version.

While the drill has been compared to the Reforger exercises that happened during the Cold War, that is “not a completely apt comparison” because Reforger exercises were about getting a force into one country — Germany — “to defend a very-known location against a force that we all understood very well,” Cavoli said. He recalled hearing about Reforger exercises as a little boy when his father was an Army officer serving in Europe. “The only thing we didn’t know was what time it was going to happen.”

This time, the Army must deploy a huge force onto the continent, move across and operate in many countries, “and we don’t know what we’ll have to deter or even defend against,” he said.

https://www.defensenews.com/land/2019/10/07/reforger-redux-defender-2020-exercise-to-be-3rd-largest-exercise-in-europe-since-cold-war/
 
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