The Post-pandemic Canadian Armed Forces

daftandbarmy

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The problem is that with increasing personnel costs and increasing weapon costs you end up with smaller and smaller fleets of vehicles/weapon systems. Does having the capability of fielding a single sub operationally mean we have a sub force? A single deployable tank squadron means we have an armoured capability? Is 65 fighters enough to defend an airspace the size of Canada's?

Which capability is easier to generate in modern Canadian society and to train for operations? IT techs or pilots? Mechanics or tankers? The kind of trades that can support technology have direct civilian analogies unlike military-specific trades. Are we more likely to find recruits that want to join the military in a trade that will give them skills that will set them up for a civilian career when they release?

All I know is that my gut tells me that what we are doing now isn't working.
This article about US Defense spending suggests cuts might b a feature of a Biden government. We might follow suit, now free of the Trump bullying, and emboldened by another 'left wing' government next door. I mean, we own a pipeline now and nee dot pay for that, right? :)

"A Biden administration would likely see Democrats keep control of the House and possibly win the Senate. Should Democrats control both chambers and the White House, they would likely seek to reduce topline defense growth, if not impose cuts on defense spending. There are clear divisions in the Democratic caucus between progressives and moderates that might mitigate against such cuts (defense spending remained high during the period of unified Democratic control in 2009 to 2010), but the party has shifted somewhat to the left in the interim. It is difficult imagine the broader caucus not pushing for reductions when, for instance, the chairman of House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Adam Smith, has talked about level or reduced spending. Republicans in this scenario would likely try to block Democratic moves in the Senate through the use of the filibuster. However, the party in the White House tends to struggle in midterms, so Democratic control of government might not extend past 2022. Should Democrats fail to take the Senate, it becomes much harder to see defense spending falling significantly, as Senate Republicans will almost certainly demand defense spending levels be treated similarly to non-defense spending."

 

HiTechComms

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This article about US Defense spending suggests cuts might b a feature of a Biden government. We might follow suit, now free of the Trump bullying, and emboldened by another 'left wing' government next door. I mean, we own a pipeline now and nee dot pay for that, right? :)

"A Biden administration would likely see Democrats keep control of the House and possibly win the Senate. Should Democrats control both chambers and the White House, they would likely seek to reduce topline defense growth, if not impose cuts on defense spending. There are clear divisions in the Democratic caucus between progressives and moderates that might mitigate against such cuts (defense spending remained high during the period of unified Democratic control in 2009 to 2010), but the party has shifted somewhat to the left in the interim. It is difficult imagine the broader caucus not pushing for reductions when, for instance, the chairman of House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Adam Smith, has talked about level or reduced spending. Republicans in this scenario would likely try to block Democratic moves in the Senate through the use of the filibuster. However, the party in the White House tends to struggle in midterms, so Democratic control of government might not extend past 2022. Should Democrats fail to take the Senate, it becomes much harder to see defense spending falling significantly, as Senate Republicans will almost certainly demand defense spending levels be treated similarly to non-defense spending."

LOL. Democrats making cuts.. They are more likely to start more wars and conflicts. Hate the orange man but he had a longer streak of non authorized use of military then Jimmy Carter.

Trump bullying.. How so.. by saying pay for your own defense? Why should the American tax payer pay for world security?

Biden is a Warhawk so is Harris. Their track record of voting speaks in volumes.

I rather see a world of no conflict and carry a big stick.. Despots, dictators and crazies don't care if you are a pacifist.
Than again I am an eastern european and I know better.
 

lenaitch

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That's pretty much a red herring. Those issues will always be there regardless of the weapon systems. The real issue is recurring personnel costs to develop a defence capability output.

When I look at some of the newer artillery systems I see a gun capable of being operated by a single driver and one operator. Sure there's an ammo reload team at the back but how highly trained do they have to be compared to the driver/gunner. Veh and system techs - you betcha. My old M109 battery had around fifteen give or take. I'm not sure that a battery of Archers or HIMARS, being primarily wheeled and with fewer vehicles, need that many.

Same for wheeled UAV systems - a small core of highly trained personnel and a number of handlers who require less training and experience.

🍻
I think there's a difference between fewer human assets operating a particular platform or performing a particular function in a high risk/warzone and personnel executing combat or lethal functions hundreds or thousands of kilometers away.
 

FJAG

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I think there's a difference between fewer human assets operating a particular platform or performing a particular function in a high risk/warzone and personnel executing combat or lethal functions hundreds or thousands of kilometers away.
You're right, there is.

However, your previous point was that operators of remote weapon systems also had mental health issues like their combat zone counterparts which I agree with to a point. My position simply was that mental health issues are irrelevant in a discussion about using fewer operators (or part-time operators or minimally trained operators) in systems that are highly automated and thus cheaper to operate year to year.

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GR66

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Interesting article from the Modern War Institute reporting on Stanford's class on "Technology, Innovation and Modern War".

https://mwi.usma.edu/what-we-learne...lass-on-technology-innovation-and-modern-war/

I found the link to the interview with Adm. Lorin Selby, the Chief of Naval Research quite interesting in terms of less reliance on "exquisite" platforms and more on networks of shorter-lived platforms that turn over technology more quickly.

It would be interesting to apply this thought process to what the CAF could look differently if it applied these concepts.
 

FJAG

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Interesting article indeed. It reminds me of two quotations:

"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist." - Dwight Eisenhower

"You go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have at a later time." - Donald Rumsfeld

🍻
 

CBH99

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This article about US Defense spending suggests cuts might b a feature of a Biden government. We might follow suit, now free of the Trump bullying, and emboldened by another 'left wing' government next door. I mean, we own a pipeline now and nee dot pay for that, right? :)

"A Biden administration would likely see Democrats keep control of the House and possibly win the Senate. Should Democrats control both chambers and the White House, they would likely seek to reduce topline defense growth, if not impose cuts on defense spending. There are clear divisions in the Democratic caucus between progressives and moderates that might mitigate against such cuts (defense spending remained high during the period of unified Democratic control in 2009 to 2010), but the party has shifted somewhat to the left in the interim. It is difficult imagine the broader caucus not pushing for reductions when, for instance, the chairman of House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Adam Smith, has talked about level or reduced spending. Republicans in this scenario would likely try to block Democratic moves in the Senate through the use of the filibuster. However, the party in the White House tends to struggle in midterms, so Democratic control of government might not extend past 2022. Should Democrats fail to take the Senate, it becomes much harder to see defense spending falling significantly, as Senate Republicans will almost certainly demand defense spending levels be treated similarly to non-defense spending."

Sorry for replying to a post from a week or so ago.

I don't think it will matter whether it's the democrats or republicans in the white house, when it comes to defense spending.

As much as I am not a Trump fan, he increased the budget & was a very pro military guy. He also did this at the same time as not starting any 'lets call it anything but war so we don't have to get Congressional approval' during his time.


The conflict with China, I believe, will dictate the US military budget over the next few years. That is the real threat, and that is going to be a very nasty fight when it finally kicks off. I think circumstances will dictate budget & priorities.

0.02
 

MilEME09

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Related, covid is causing a significant back up, short 2k reg force doesn't seem like much but of the troops we have I am willing to bet a large chunk are not trained either. Tough calls are going to need to be made if we are to clear the back log.
 

Colin Parkinson

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People could be brought into recruit training, while awaiting certain checks. Teaching people how to live in a group, use a mop, polish their boots and march is not exactly a high security risk. Yes you lose a few people and resources, but likley the long term gain far out weighs that. Be honest that there is no guarantee till all the checks have cleared.
 

Ostrozac

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People could be brought into recruit training, while awaiting certain checks. Teaching people how to live in a group, use a mop, polish their boots and march is not exactly a high security risk. Yes you lose a few people and resources, but likley the long term gain far out weighs that. Be honest that there is no guarantee till all the checks have cleared.
Recruiting people without security checks doesn’t really solve the problem — it just moves it down the road, instead of people waiting at home for the go-ahead to enlist you’d have BMQ qualified people waiting for the go-ahead to start their DP1. And PAT as it is constructed seems to be a dissatisfying experience.

Personally, I’d replace the whole concept of PAT platoons with a posting to a ceremonial/force protection unit. That way the CAF gets some value out of a post-BMQ recruit, and if a member never gets their clearance, they can spend their initial contract presenting arms and guarding ships/airfields/bases. But given that the NCR is brutally expensive and has no single quarters that may not be the best place to put these Privates — maybe Montreal/St Jean and then TD detachments up to the NCR or wherever they are needed.
 

Colin Parkinson

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We ran SYEP courses, with minimal security checks and did not have that many issues. You could have them parade at a militia unit in each major city. Teach a standard course and they can choose to live a barracks (if available) or commute to work everyday. This way you make use of existing infrastructure, employ reservists in a useful role.
 

TB

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My main concern reading this is the crazy backlog we will have in some trade like aircrews. It takes years to get someone through the pipeline and trained. This is really gonna hit the RCAF and other elements really hard.
 

PuckChaser

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People could be brought into recruit training, while awaiting certain checks. Teaching people how to live in a group, use a mop, polish their boots and march is not exactly a high security risk. Yes you lose a few people and resources, but likley the long term gain far out weighs that. Be honest that there is no guarantee till all the checks have cleared.
You know ERC is basically just a Criminal Records Check, right? Which is contracted to take less than 30 days? The only people who do full Secret screening are individuals who have lived outside of Canada for long periods in the last 10 years.

By removing the ERC requirement you could potentially get sex offenders and career criminals into BMQ... sounds like a recipe for success.

The problems in recruiting are bureaucratic, not security based.
 

MilEME09

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You know ERC is basically just a Criminal Records Check, right? Which is contracted to take less than 30 days? The only people who do full Secret screening are individuals who have lived outside of Canada for long periods in the last 10 years.

By removing the ERC requirement you could potentially get sex offenders and career criminals into BMQ... sounds like a recipe for success.

The problems in recruiting are bureaucratic, not security based.
I agree, my understanding is the security checks are done in Ottawa, how much faster could things get done if it was decentralized to local cells of the MPs? Or other organizations?
 

Eye In The Sky

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Related, covid is causing a significant back up, short 2k reg force doesn't seem like much but of the troops we have I am willing to bet a large chunk are not trained either. Tough calls are going to need to be made if we are to clear the back log.
Reading thru the article...I am wondering how much the impact had on the training system because "it shut down temporarily", vice "recruiting numbers". Most trades have untrained members (PATs) who are waiting; my trade had a good sized buffer last spring (I was looking after BTL folks at that time). Short term production should have been mainly affected by the stand-down of CAF TEs. The "lack of ability to recruit effectively" should really only be realized in the production of newly qual'd folks in the 21/22 FY (or, perhaps longer) possibly?

I think the CAF has been "below PML" in recent years, including before COVID...is it accurate to name COVID as the PML shortfall at this point?
 

Colin Parkinson

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You know ERC is basically just a Criminal Records Check, right? Which is contracted to take less than 30 days? The only people who do full Secret screening are individuals who have lived outside of Canada for long periods in the last 10 years.

By removing the ERC requirement you could potentially get sex offenders and career criminals into BMQ... sounds like a recipe for success.

The problems in recruiting are bureaucratic, not security based.
With every course of action, there are risks, we managed those risks before. Currently you seem to be losing people because they end up waiting for a year or so to join. Getting them to do the SYEP style course gives both the military and them a taste of each other and chance to decide what is the best next course of action.
 

PuckChaser

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I agree, my understanding is the security checks are done in Ottawa, how much faster could things get done if it was decentralized to local cells of the MPs? Or other organizations?

Considering a VSS/CPIC is about 3 weeks when you go to the OPP/MPs, we're not really saving any real time here on a process that is over a year for most people.

With every course of action, there are risks, we managed those risks before. Currently you seem to be losing people because they end up waiting for a year or so to join. Getting them to do the SYEP style course gives both the military and them a taste of each other and chance to decide what is the best next course of action.

The risk of having a career criminal or registered sex offender show up at BMQ or any DND program is not worth it. We're losing people for a myriad of reasons, long recruiting process is just one of them. Clogged training systems, COVID-19 and a benefits/PLD system stuck in the 1990s are significantly more pressing issues than ERCs.
 

CBH99

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What about just setting up some sort of agreement with the local police service, and have the CPIC check done the same day it's requested? It isn't hard to check CPIC, and print it out.

As long as the local police service is accredited (which shouldn't be an issue) -- this would make things easier on Ottawa, and speed up that aspect of the process immensely.
 
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