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US Navy Woes

Good2Golf

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If 25% of Canada's population was in the Arctic, that might be needed.

This is not a panacea for all the RCN's manning problems, but it's one step.

How long do we let the RCN continue to fail without trying something?
Failing operationally, or failing to hit a target? If a target, then the RCN joins the RCAF and CA in failing to have enough women. Is geographical and societal representation an explicitly assigned target for the RCN (and RCAF, CA, CANSOF, etc.) or implicit?

So what solution do you see for the RCN to address the chronic shortfall of Francophone sailors (if SKT’s proposal to home port some AOPS in QC isn’t deemed enough)?
 

SeaKingTacco

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Failing operationally, or failing to hit a target? If a target, then the RCN joins the RCAF and CA in failing to have enough women. Is geographical and societal representation an explicitly assigned target for the RCN (and RCAF, CA, CANSOF, etc.) or implicit?

So what solution do you see for the RCN to address the chronic shortfall of Francophone sailors (if SKT’s proposal to home port some AOPS in QC isn’t deemed enough)?
Part of the issue is, in maritime matters like aviation, the international language of the business is English.

Quebec/Canada can rail against it all they like, but even the French acknowledge reality and require all of their aviators/mariners to be functional in English.

Now, I grant that this does not mean that families have to get dragged into this, with inadequate schooling and work opportunities for unilingual francophone family members (Especially in Halifax and Esquimalt). That is certainly an area where DND/CAF need to focus efforts.
 

daftandbarmy

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Failing operationally, or failing to hit a target? If a target, then the RCN joins the RCAF and CA in failing to have enough women. Is geographical and societal representation an explicitly assigned target for the RCN (and RCAF, CA, CANSOF, etc.) or implicit?

So what solution do you see for the RCN to address the chronic shortfall of Francophone sailors (if SKT’s proposal to home port some AOPS in QC isn’t deemed enough)?

Get 'em while they're young! See Colin for more solutions in this vein ;)

The Navy League of Canada is a civilian non-profit organization working in partnership with the Canadian Armed Forces to support the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet program. Volunteer-led, the Navy League independently operates the Navy League Cadet program and maintains an abiding interest in Canada’s maritime security through its Maritime Affairs portfolio.

 

Good2Golf

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Part of the issue is, in maritime matters like aviation, the international language of the business is English.

Quebec/Canada can rail against it all they like, but even the French acknowledge reality and require all of their aviators/mariners to be functional in English.
‘Why must I speak English?” (J/K)

Now, I grant that this does not mean that families have to get dragged into this, with inadequate schooling and work opportunities for unilingual francophone family members (Especially in Halifax and Esquimalt). That is certainly an area where DND/CAF need to focus efforts.
👍🏼 Absolutely!
 

Oldgateboatdriver

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Part of the issue is, in maritime matters like aviation, the international language of the business is English.

Quebec/Canada can rail against it all they like, but even the French acknowledge reality and require all of their aviators/mariners to be functional in English.

That, SKT, is actually complete bull, and the very type of bull that has been used for years (decades?) by the CAF to resist the Official Languages Act.

Now, before I expand: Mods, it seems to me this thread has long since ceased to be about the US Navy Woes. May I suggest it be split and put where it belongs, in the Navy general thread under a name like: "How can the RCN Attract More Francophones?"

Now back to the regularly scheduled program:

SKT, English is NOT the "international language of business in aviation and maritime matters". It is the agreed language of communication between airplanes and ships of different nationality or flag or between ships and airplanes and shore/land authorities when they are of a different nationality. It doesn't go past that. Both the IMO and IACO operate and publish their various guides in 20 different languages - they are after all working under the aegis the UN.

There are thirty nations in NATO and just about all of them have a navy. But only three of them are English, if you count Canada. Guess what: the other 27 navies completely work in their own language. I've been out as observer on board French, Dutch, German and Italian ships. The only language used on board was French, Dutch, German and Italian (the last three were kind enough to provide me with a bilingual officer who could help me around - not needed with the French obviously). When they communicated with other NATO countries, English was used but only if the message at issue could not be transmitted using the various encoding books (ATP's) which were available to each country in its own language. Not every officer on board could speak English.

Same goes for the Air, BTW: A french small plane pilot talking to air control in France speaks to them in French , just like other countries use their own language for internal communications.

Let me now address other points I have read earlier in this thread and bring some up of my own:

1) Posting ships in Quebec: Yes, by all means, but please not in Bassin Louise (in front of NCSM MONTCALM). That bassin is for service crafts (tugs, refuelling ships, etc.), is tight as all hell, has a narrow opening gap that is approached at 90 degrees to a current that varies between four and seven knots depending on the tide. There is, however a perfect spot, just across the River: Davie shipyard. It is currently only used at 20 to 30 percent of wharf capacity, and even if the shipbuilding strategy that now includes it is successful, it is unlikely to be more than 30 to 40 percent used at any time. Make a deal, or expropriate with proper compensation if need be, but you have the makings of a near instant dockyard with shipyard support right next door.

2) I am completely flabbergasted to read that access to French trade course is still a problem. It was already an issue in the 70's and 80's and we were constantly told in those days that the OLA was new and these things took time, but it would be coming soon. It's been more than 40 years: This is not a matter of things taking time any more, it is a matter of upper echelon pigheaded refusal to abide by their legal obligation and not being held accountable for disobeying their civilian masters. It's time the RCN lived up to its obligations.

3) On another note: It is also time the RCN stopped looking at French courses as merely English courses given in French to French-Canadians so they can "integrate" in the "English" navy. Currently, the franco courses are taught in French, but using extensively (one would say almost exclusively) the English vocabulary. The result is franco sailors passing the course because they understand the material being taught, but only capable of working with it in English, because that is the specialized vocabulary they were taught. Well, there is a complete and proper French naval/maritime vocabulary out there, used by the French Navy and the Belgian Navy (or part of it), and used in all naval documentation, textbooks, novels, films, etc. made in the French language. It is time that it becomes the way to teach franco courses in the Navy.

4) Stop having false "Franco naval units", with the excuse of safety to make English have priority over French. If you are posted to Valcartier, you better know French, because it is a franco unit and if you try to speak to them in English on their base, you'll be drummed out of there faster than the speed of light. Why shouldn't it be the same in the RCN? The designated French ship(s) can only work in French, but not operate in French, and only tot he extent that it doesn't affect anglos onboard (or god forbid, require that they actually learn French). When you decide (RCN) that emergency pipes onboard franco ships have to be repeated in English for the safety of the anglos on board, but do not reciprocate by forcing all anglo ships to repeat emergency pipes in French for the safety of franco sailors, you are saying that only English matters and French is just nuisance to be dealt with as little as possible.

When the RCN gets serious about addressing these points above, it will attract and retain more French-Canadians. I will address more points later as need be.
 
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Colin Parkinson

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Get 'em while they're young! See Colin for more solutions in this vein ;)

The Navy League of Canada is a civilian non-profit organization working in partnership with the Canadian Armed Forces to support the Royal Canadian Sea Cadet program. Volunteer-led, the Navy League independently operates the Navy League Cadet program and maintains an abiding interest in Canada’s maritime security through its Maritime Affairs portfolio.

So far my plans to offer the kids Slurpee on the King's shilling in exchange for 3 years service or press gangs to the local playground have been met with resistance by HQ.
 

FJAG

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...SKT, English is NOT the "international language of business in aviation and maritime matters". It is the agreed language of communication between airplanes and ships of different nationality or flag or between ships and airplanes and shore/land authorities when they are of a different nationality. It doesn't go past that. Both the IMO and IACO operate and publish their various guides in 20 different languages - they are after all working under the aegis the UN. ...

There are thirty nations in NATO and just about all of them have a navy. But only three of them are English, if you count Canada. Guess what: the other 27 navies completely work in their own language. I've been out as observer on board French, Dutch, German and Italian ships. The only language used on board was French, Dutch, German and Italian (the last three were kind enough to provide me with a bilingual officer who could help me around - not needed with the French obviously). When they communicated with other NATO countries, English was used but only if the message at issue could not be transmitted using the various encoding books (ATP's) which were available to each country in its own language. Not every officer on board could speak English. ...

That reminds me of an epiphany I had a few decades ago while involved in some low-level NATO stuff. The populations of northern European countries, like Germany and the Scandinavian ones, treat English very seriously as a second language. On the other hand the southern European Latin-based countries (France, Spain, Italy) do not and tend to have some push back against English amongst the general population. While their ships and units speak their own native language, more of the northern Europeans have a credible capability to intercommunicate in English (and let's face it Norwegian isn't German so they too need a common language to interact with)

I tend to view Quebec's position on English, very much as a simile to southern Europe's position on English. Notwithstanding the fact that far more people on this continent speak English (and for that matter five times as many speak Spanish) than French and that there would be an advantage to a common language, French Canada continues to go to extraordinary lengths to protect their language.

The point though is that the genesis of this reality doesn't matter. It is a fact that a large percentage of Canadians are most comfortable and capable with French and as such the Navy needs to address it and do so quickly. In a time of personnel shortages, the fact that we are letting a large part of the country feel left out and unwilling to join is simply ridiculous.

There needs to be a concerted effort made along the lines of some of those listed above. Creating a physical presence within Quebec (over and above a Naval Reserve HQ) would be costly but well worth the effort.

🍻
 

PuckChaser

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So what solution do you see for the RCN to address the chronic shortfall of Francophone sailors (if SKT’s proposal to home port some AOPS in QC isn’t deemed enough)?
What's old is new again: Press Gangs.
 

FJAG

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So what solution do you see for the RCN to address the chronic shortfall of Francophone sailors (if SKT’s proposal to home port some AOPS in QC isn’t deemed enough)?

I tend to view the idea of getting them while they are young and can earn a wage during the summer months while continuing their education over the winter. Couple that with service close to home and your enlistment and retention rates of all recruits should go up - especially if you train reservists looking for a short career - some will stick for a lifetime. Maybe initial contracts could offer a commitment to a station of the individual's choice for the first contract.

Shorter rotations - let's say two to three months. Why not fly out replacement crews to a safe port close to the deployment area and hand over the whole ship sparing the long transit times for two vessels. Have a home squadron for training and an away squadron for deployments (That also saves wear and tear on the ship). Bring deployed ships home and rotate them only when its time for heavy maintenance.

Besides a Quebec squadron, create a Great Lakes squadron for training purposes - maybe one frigate and a couple MCDVs. They can train during the ice free times, send the ships to Halifax or Quebec for maintenance and deploy the crews out of country during the heavy freeze up periods. Heck, Quebec and Ontario could be one squadron headquartered out of Quebec. Again, it keeps people closer to friends and families for much of the year and gives a much needed visible presence in the population heartland of the country.

Be accepting of the fact that some folks aren't looking for a lifetime career and lower their individual training requirements during the early years but up their usage during that short period. Plan for and incorporate turnover. We tend to favour versatility in our people which takes much training effort. Find better ways to employ folks so that their training is shorter and focused on a particular skill set with the result that less people are away in the individual training system rather than participating in the collective one. (The Army could use this too)

Yup it all takes some money (albeit some could just be a transfer of funds and there are some serious cost savings involved as well.) but on the positive side, the Navy could create a whole new flag officer position. 😉

🍻
 

Colin Parkinson

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Crew rotations is the norm for marine operations and that is what the RN will do for their oversea River Class OPV's
 

daftandbarmy

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That, SKT, is actually complete bull, and the very type of bull that has been used for years (decades?) by the CAF to resist the Official Languages Act.

Now, before I expand: Mods, it seems to me this thread has long since ceased to be about the US Navy Woes. May I suggest it be split and put where it belongs, in the Navy general thread under a name like: "How can the RCN Attract More Francophones?"

Now back to the regularly scheduled program:

SKT, English is NOT the "international language of business in aviation and maritime matters". It is the agreed language of communication between airplanes and ships of different nationality or flag or between ships and airplanes and shore/land authorities when they are of a different nationality. It doesn't go past that. Both the IMO and IACO operate and publish their various guides in 20 different languages - they are after all working under the aegis the UN.

There are thirty nations in NATO and just about all of them have a navy. But only three of them are English, if you count Canada. Guess what: the other 27 navies completely work in their own language. I've been out as observer on board French, Dutch, German and Italian ships. The only language used on board was French, Dutch, German and Italian (the last three were kind enough to provide me with a bilingual officer who could help me around - not needed with the French obviously). When they communicated with other NATO countries, English was used but only if the message at issue could not be transmitted using the various encoding books (ATP's) which were available to each country in its own language. Not every officer on board could speak English.

Same goes for the Air, BTW: A french small plane pilot talking to air control in France speaks to them in French , just like other countries use their own language for internal communications.

Let me now address other points I have read earlier in this thread and bring some up of my own:

1) Posting ships in Quebec: Yes, by all means, but please not in Bassin Louise (in front of NCSM MONTCALM). That bassin is for service crafts (tugs, refuelling ships, etc.), is tight as all hell, has a narrow opening gap that is approached at 90 degrees to a current that varies between four and seven knots depending on the tide. There is, however a perfect spot, just across the River: Davie shipyard. It is currently only used at 20 to 30 percent of wharf capacity, and even if the shipbuilding strategy that now includes it is successful, it is unlikely to be more than 30 to 40 percent used at any time. Make a deal, or expropriate with proper compensation if need be, but you have the makings of a near instant dockyard with shipyard support right next door.

2) I am completely flabbergasted to read that access to French trade course is still a problem. It was already an issue in the 70's and 80's and we were constantly told in those days that the OLA was new and these things took time, but it would be coming soon. It's been more than 40 years: This is not a matter of things taking time any more, it is a matter of upper echelon pigheaded refusal to abide by their legal obligation and not being held accountable for disobeying their civilian masters. It's time the RCN lived up to its obligations.

3) On another note: It is also time the RCN stopped looking at French courses as merely English courses given in French to French-Canadians so they can "integrate" in the "English" navy. Currently, the franco courses are taught in French, but using extensively (one would say almost exclusively) the English vocabulary. The result is franco sailors passing the course because they understand the material being taught, but only capable of working with it in English, because that is the specialized vocabulary they were taught. Well, there is a complete and proper French naval/maritime vocabulary out there, used by the French Navy and the Belgian Navy (or part of it), and used in all naval documentation, textbooks, novels, films, etc. made in the French language. It is time that it becomes the way to teach franco courses in the Navy.

4) Stop having false "Franco naval units", with the excuse of safety to make English have priority over French. If you are posted to Valcartier, you better know French, because it is a franco unit and if you try to speak to them in English on their base, you'll be drummed out of there faster than the speed of light. Why shouldn't it be the same in the RCN? The designated French ship(s) can only work in French, but not operate in French, and only tot he extent that it doesn't affect anglos onboard (or god forbid, require that they actually learn French). When you decide (RCN) that emergency pipes onboard franco ships have to be repeated in English for the safety of the anglos on board, but do not reciprocate by forcing all anglo ships to repeat emergency pipes in French for the safety of franco sailors, you are saying that only English matters and French is just nuisance to be dealt with as little as possible.

When the RCN gets serious about addressing these points above, it will attract and retain more French-Canadians. I will address more points later as need be.

Play on historical sentiments. Promise them a bush wife/husband :)

1627244198889.png
 

MarkOttawa

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Two aspects of US Navy's problems:

1) Less jointery?

Congresswoman calls for Pentagon reorg to help Navy develop maritime strategy​


An influential congresswoman has said the Navy needs a proper maritime strategy that defines its role in the world, but that a reorganization at the Pentagon must be the first step. More specifically, said Rep. Elaine Luria, if China is America’s top threat, then the Navy needs to identify how it can prevent war against the country or win in a fight if one arises.

The Virginia Democrat, who spent 20 years in the Navy as a nuclear-qualified surface warfare officer and is serving her second term in Congress, is eyeing a reform of the Goldwater-Nichols Department of Defense Reorganization Act of 1986. She said this would take the next four or six years to do right, but believes it’s important for the future success of the Navy.

The problem as she sees it? The Navy’s recent attempts at defining its future force were constrained by budget limitations. The service assumed flat or declining budgets and therefore never fully lay out what it needs and for what purpose...

Under the current law, the Navy really can’t write a strategy … because nothing is done as a service; it’s actually done jointly, and the different strategy roles reside at the Joint Staff — operational plans and theater-specific ones reside at the combatant commanders [emphasis added]— so I think that that is really one of the things that I want to focus on long term, legislatively: How do we fix this problem that was caused by Goldwater-Nichols?” she said during an event hosted by the Hudson Institute.

Compared to the 1980s, “with Goldwater-Nichols happening, the naval strategy is dead. And there really is no long-term vision as far as strategy for the Navy. And the real truth of it is, is that I think the strategy has to come before requirements, before the [president’s budget request], before the budget, and we’re doing it all backwards,” she added.

‘One of the biggest mistakes’

Among the issues with which the Navy is contending is that it has little say over how its fleet is used.

“We can do more with what we have by changing how we deploy, how we focus on where we put those ships and aircraft,” she said, but those decisions don’t reside with the Navy today...

2) CNO goes after industry, esp. lobbying Congress:

Top Admiral: Defense Firms Are Lobbying Against the Weapons the US Navy Needs​

Adm. Mike Gilday also accused companies of slow-rolling ship repair.

The U.S. Navy’s top admiral accused defense companies of slow-rolling the production of certain weapons, moving too slowly on ship repairs, and lobbying against newer types of ships and aircraft that needed to compete with China.
“Although it's in industry's best interest…building the ships that you want to build, lagging on repairs to ships and to submarines, lobbying Congress to buy aircraft that we don't need that excess to need, it's not helpful,” Adm. Mike Gilday, chief of naval operations said Monday. “It really isn't, in a budget-constrained environment.”

Gilday spoke at the start of the Navy League’s 2021 Sea Air Space convention, the first large defense trade show held in-person since the pandemic began last year.

The Navy wants to stop buying Boeing-made F/A-18 Super Hornets (Congress is expected to add $1 billion to buy another batch). It also has slowed its purchase of Arleigh Burke-class destroyers. General Dynamics’ Bath Iron Works has said it will lay off thousands of shipyard workers before the 2024 presidential election if the Biden administration does not place a long-term order for at least 15 Burke destroyers by 2023 [emphasis added]. Bath is at least six months behind schedule on ship construction. It is one of two companies that builds the Burkes, along with Huntington Ingalls Industries.

“One of the things, I think, where industry can really help us is to be a bit more agile in pivoting to new technologies and new platforms,” Gilday said. “It's not the ’90s anymore, as we go to the tri-service [maritime] strategy and really try to punctuate the sense of urgency that we feel every day against China to move the needle in a bureaucracy that's really not designed to move very fast.”

Military leaders have been calling for new types of next-generation ships and warplanes to counter Chinese and Russian advancements. But these projects, like a new class of destroyer and sixth-generation warplane are a decade or more from entering serial production. Congress routinely opposes military officials’ calls to retire existing weapons and end production of new ones.

Gilday said the Navy needs to regularly include industry executives and lawmakers in its wargames to better show how existing weapons stack up against global threats [emphasis added].

“About a year ago, the Navy spent a day with industry leaders, showing them the results of some of our wargaming,” he said. “I think that was really, really instructive. We need to do that again...and we need to do more of it not only with industry, but with the Hill.”..

USN (and indeed other services) seem increasingly up that creek and running out of paddles with which to take on PRC in Western Pacific without needing to go nuclear to "win".

As for those war games, re-upping this article from The Drive's "War Zone":

Joint Chiefs Seek A New Warfighting Paradigm After Devastating Losses In Classified Wargames​


U.S. Forces "failed miserably" in the wargames, which simulated a battle for Taiwan among other scenarios.​


Mark
Ottawa
 

CBH99

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Two aspects of US Navy's problems:

1) Less jointery?




USN (and indeed other services) seem increasingly up that creek and running out of paddles with which to take on PRC in Western Pacific without needing to go nuclear to "win".

As for those war games, re-upping this article from The Drive's "War Zone":



Mark
Ottawa
I have no idea how much it actually costs various arms manufacturers to build some of these weapon systems - for example an SM3, or the like.

With efficient manufacturing methods, a very active product line, and a lot of R&D money coming in from government coffers - I imagine their profit margin is pretty darn healthy. To the point where it should probably be looked at to see if taxpayers are being hosed for more than is ‘reasonable’.

Defense companies are going to charge as much as they can get away with, with every program & product they have. But if a war kicks off against China, it won’t be sustainable by any means if every shot costs hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more)
 

OldSolduer

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Eisenhower warned every one about the military industrial complex. And now here are the results.
 
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