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Why Not Canadian Amphib/Marine Capability? (merged)

Blackadder1916

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FJAG said:
. . .  I sincerely doubt if they would be prepared to fund even one Naval Reserve RORO ship (much less an LSD) as long as Canada can lease that capability from the civilian market as needed. I'm not sure we can count on a civilian lease system in the event of a major European (and thereby North Atlantic) conflict which is why I'd like to see a Naval Reserve capability instead.

Back a few (or more) decades in the last century, I recall during  a long, quiet night on radio watch leafing through one of the green covered pubs in the CP van.  Can't recall the actual title of the CFP, or it's number, but it was related to movements.  In the section dealing with sea movement, it listed by name and included diagrams of the vessels (with capacity of mil vehs) that were in the CN Marine fleet.  I was most familiar with the ferries on the Newfoundland service.  Back in those days, CN was a crown corporation so it made sense that if we had to move troops and equipment to Europe, the ships already owned by the taxpayers would be the ones used.  When CN was privatized, the ferry business was split off as Marine Atlantic and remains a crown corporation.
 

Cloud Cover

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There must have been some plans for moving the CAST brigade? (The Kremlin should have a website where NATO Cold War plans are available. They knew more about that stuff than anyone.)
Also, at some point in the 80’s as part of the REFORGER exercises,  Canadian and US ships once escorted an actual convoy all the way to Europe. The premise being there would still be a port in NATO hands that wasn’t glowing green. I think most of those ships were USNS and RRF fleet units but there were some Canadian and other vessels. 
 

Underway

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Don't need it and won't use it.  There are far far far more important things we need to invest time and energy into.  Things that will add more capability and bang for the buck than an amphibious capability.  How about a proper submarine fleet?  Or more fighter aircraft than what's currently on the table. Or an AEW / AWAC fleet.  Or new maritime patrol aircraft.  Or new helicopters for the army to replace the Griffons.  Or recce helo's. More heavy lift aircraft (as those are always useful and being used).  Or a 3rd AOR for the navy (above the current iAOR and 2 JSS).

I could go on.  So many more priorities that are much more important.
 

daftandbarmy

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Underway said:
Don't need it and won't use it.  There are far far far more important things we need to invest time and energy into.  Things that will add more capability and bang for the buck than an amphibious capability.  How about a proper submarine fleet?  Or more fighter aircraft than what's currently on the table. Or an AEW / AWAC fleet.  Or new maritime patrol aircraft.  Or new helicopters for the army to replace the Griffons.  Or recce helo's. More heavy lift aircraft (as those are always useful and being used).  Or a 3rd AOR for the navy (above the current iAOR and 2 JSS).

I could go on.  So many more priorities that are much more important.

What could be more important than justifying a wholly anachronistic and unsupportable focus on an Atlantic centric maritime warfare policy that assumes we will, once again, be the second largest Navy in the world responsible for escorting convoys East to liberate an occupied Europe (for the third time).

:sarcasm: :sarcasm: :sarcasm:
 

Michael OLeary

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daftandbarmy said:
What could be more important than justifying a wholly anachronistic and unsupportable focus on an Atlantic centric maritime warfare policy that assumes we will, once again, be the second largest Navy in the world responsible for escorting convoys East to liberate an occupied Europe (for the third time).

:sarcasm: :sarcasm: :sarcasm:

But now that we have pips and crowns back, we're ready to be that army again. It's only right that the Navy gets on board with the Back to the Past franchise.
 

FJAG

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whiskey601 said:
There must have been some plans for moving the CAST brigade? (The Kremlin should have a website where NATO Cold War plans are available. They knew more about that stuff than anyone.)
Also, at some point in the 80’s as part of the REFORGER exercises,  Canadian and US ships once escorted an actual convoy all the way to Europe. The premise being there would still be a port in NATO hands that wasn’t glowing green. I think most of those ships were USNS and RRF fleet units but there were some Canadian and other vessels.

Back in the early 70s I was in 2 RCHA which had a battery as part of the ACE Mobile Force dedicated to Norway and basically a rapid deployment force (primarily deployed by air) that would precede the CAST Bde Gp which essentially came from 5 CMBG.

My recollection of things was that CAST would deploy using ROROs supplied by Norway, however, the details were never really worked out in any serious manner or ever (to the best of my knowledge) exercised at that time. Note that Norway wouldn't allow us to preposition the equipment in Norway a la Reforeger.

I lost all interest in CAST when I was posted back west in 1976, but I do believe that the whole thing was exercised once in 1986 under Exercise BRAVE LION using primarily civilian Norwegian ROROs. While the exercise was called a success at the higher levels (and smoke and mirrors by the lower ones), the whole concept was shelved in 1987 as being wholly impractical. (Interestingly, at the time Canada spent 2.2% of its GDP on defence at which point we were, nonetheless, the second lowest NATO spender)

Here's an article about BRAVE LION https://archive.macleans.ca/article/1986/9/15/thunder-out-of-the-north#!&pid=10 and https://archive.macleans.ca/article/1987/2/23/retreating-from-norway (see pg 12 re Norwegian ROROs)

and the stand down of CAST https://archive.macleans.ca/article/1987/2/23/retreating-from-norway. Note though that rather than committing CAST to Central Europe we ended up pulling everything out.

:cheers:
 

daftandbarmy

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FJAG said:
Back in the early 70s I was in 2 RCHA which had a battery as part of the ACE Mobile Force dedicated to Norway and basically a rapid deployment force (primarily deployed by air) that would precede the CAST Bde Gp which essentially came from 5 CMBG.

My recollection of things was that CAST would deploy using ROROs supplied by Norway, however, the details were never really worked out in any serious manner or ever (to the best of my knowledge) exercised at that time. Note that Norway wouldn't allow us to preposition the equipment in Norway a la Reforeger.

I lost all interest in CAST when I was posted back west in 1976, but I do believe that the whole thing was exercised once in 1986 under Exercise BRAVE LION using primarily civilian Norwegian ROROs. While the exercise was called a success at the higher levels (and smoke and mirrors by the lower ones), the whole concept was shelved in 1987 as being wholly impractical. (Interestingly, at the time Canada spent 2.2% of its GDP on defence at which point we were, nonetheless, the second lowest NATO spender)

Here's an article about BRAVE LION https://archive.macleans.ca/article/1986/9/15/thunder-out-of-the-north#!&pid=10 and https://archive.macleans.ca/article/1987/2/23/retreating-from-norway (see pg 12 re Norwegian ROROs)

and the stand down of CAST https://archive.macleans.ca/article/1987/2/23/retreating-from-norway. Note though that rather than committing CAST to Central Europe we ended up pulling everything out.

:cheers:

I was with 3 Cdo Bde when Canada announced it was pulling CAST out of the picture and, at the time, thought it a bit weak. But, in hindsight, it underlines  the enormously complicated, and vastly expensive, military logistical challenge of moving large numbers of troops by sea within any type of conflict scenario. Canada's military was (and is) just too small to be able to support that kind of capability effectively so, if they couldn't ante up enough resources to do it right, the decision to cancel the commitment was the right one.

The US military are the current masters of the art, of course, largely becasue they invest enough time and resources to get it more right than most.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Ships like the Mistral or the Canberra class, do offer Canada a lot of geo-political flexibility. Such a ship can support a variety of ops beyond just a amphibious landing. Everything from a naval presence, UN peacekeeping, humanitarian and disaster response, anti-piracy and transporting our army and equipment, along with moving other allied troops and equipment. Not to mention conducting summer ops in the arctic.   
 

Underway

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daftandbarmy said:
What could be more important than justifying a wholly anachronistic and unsupportable focus on an Atlantic centric maritime warfare policy that assumes we will, once again, be the second largest Navy in the world responsible for escorting convoys East to liberate an occupied Europe (for the third time).

Justifying an anachronistic and unsupportable focus on Marine forces that require logistical capabilities Canada can't provide for responsibilities we don't have apparently.

:sarcasm: :sarcasm: :sarcasm:
Wait, were you being sarcastic?  ;D



Things that I listed were not entirely maritime, nor Atlantic focused.  Submarines are far more valuable in the Pacific.  MPA's (which in Canada's case are also LRPA) are extremely valuable over all our maritime domains (arctic included) and in overland operations (Iraq for example).

I could go on but frankly, if the Government were to spend the (check price on 2 Mistrals...) 1.6 billion (which would probably be double for Canada) on MPA's, UAVs or renewed army helicopter fleet that would be great.

We need to get what we do right now right and worry about new capabilities when those are properly taken care of.
 

FJAG

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PM's maverick aide Dominic Cummings 'will overhaul wasteful Ministry of Defence spending' after branding £6.2billion aircraft carrier project 'a farce'
- Tory manifesto promised to review the armed forces' capability and equipment
- Claims Dominic Cummings wants to overhaul procurement process at MoD
- No10 aide previously branded the £6.2billion aircraft carrier project 'a farce'
...

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7796581/PMs-maverick-aide-Dominic-Cummings-overhaul-wasteful-defence-spending.html

Cummings seems to have a fairly big say in the PM's office. This could be interesting.

:cheers:
 

a_majoor

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While a bit sideways to the topic, and a US example as well, the basic principles apply for our military and bureaucracy, and likely that of the UK and many others as well. Streamlining the "back end" provides savings which would answer the question of "how do we fund these things"? While maybe not clear in this article, I have seen related ones which suggest these savings can be had without laying off a single service member or parking a tank, ship or airplane.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/pentagon-buries-evidence-of-125-billion-in-bureaucratic-waste/2016/12/05/e0668c76-9af6-11e6-a0ed-ab0774c1eaa5_story.html

So before we start on the doom and gloom about not being able to afford these capabilities, there is probably a lot that could be done to free up funding. OF course having a doctrine to determine what it is we actually need, and a political establishment that actually understood the world as it is would help a lot as well. At this rate I should probably also wish for everyone to get a pony...
 

FJAG

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The problem is that when bureaucracies look for savings they send in bureaucrats with fine tipped pencils to nibble away at the problem. What's really needed is to send in a five-year old with a wide-tipped Sharpie to slash away randomly.

:stirpot:
 

Colin Parkinson

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Thucydides said:
While a bit sideways to the topic, and a US example as well, the basic principles apply for our military and bureaucracy, and likely that of the UK and many others as well. Streamlining the "back end" provides savings which would answer the question of "how do we fund these things"? While maybe not clear in this article, I have seen related ones which suggest these savings can be had without laying off a single service member or parking a tank, ship or airplane.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/pentagon-buries-evidence-of-125-billion-in-bureaucratic-waste/2016/12/05/e0668c76-9af6-11e6-a0ed-ab0774c1eaa5_story.html

So before we start on the doom and gloom about not being able to afford these capabilities, there is probably a lot that could be done to free up funding. OF course having a doctrine to determine what it is we actually need, and a political establishment that actually understood the world as it is would help a lot as well. At this rate I should probably also wish for everyone to get a pony...

Here you go https://media3.giphy.com/media/TJN2AG0ke5hza/giphy.gif?cid=790b76117b293130c1f6529f2059dbbb7d3df06c2e2129e8&rid=giphy.gif
 
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