Author Topic: Army Reserve Restructuring  (Read 22838 times)

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Offline MCG

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Re: Army Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #150 on: August 17, 2020, 15:50:23 »
Agree that we need to look at trades to determine which should be regular and which could or should be reserve.

My criteria is that any trade in great demand on a day to day basis (like technicians maintaining equipment) or which need to exercise their skills continuously (like special forces) should be regular force; those only needed in time of crisis (such as gunners, tankers) should be largely (but never completely) reservists. I can certainly see things such as horizontal and vertical engineers being reservists. What I don't want to see is reserve force trades (even refrigeration techs, or carpenters) that spend an entire career on Class B service with Base CE.
"The Journey" provides a path to correcting the miss-use of PRes to fill permanent full-time requirements.

So, here is a crazy idea to some of the underlying problems (as I see them) of unrestrained Class B bloat.  As I see it we need a system that:
  • prevents just anyone with a budget from using money for empire building
  • ensures full time personnel growth has oversight & control at the appropriate levels
  • allows full time pers to be centrally managed so that low priority positions are not filling-up and leaving high priority work unfilled
  • ensures uniformity of training standards in full time pers
  • provides an option for those pers who still want to serve, but cannot keep doing the postings
  • provides a financial incentive for pers to continue serving when they reach the point where they are ready to get out
  • does not provide a financial incentive that encourages pers, who would have kept serving, to reduce their utility to the CF

To do this, I propose that Class B employment > 100 days be prohibited outside of Primary Reserve Units & formations.

Instead, we create a "limited obligation" regular force TOS that are renewable on a three year cycle.  The "limited obligation" means the regular force soldier never gets a posting out of the geographic region and is paid at the reserve rate.

A "limited obligation" regular force soldier would be managed by the same career manager as any other regular force member of the same occupation.  Come APS, the "limited obligation" soldier would never receive a cost move to another location but there would be no restrictions against no-cost moves.  The "limited obligation" soldier could be moved to fill a higher priority job, for career development reasons, or to avoid stagnant thinking within a staff organization.  Promotions could still occur for "limited obligation" soldiers, but they would be penalized by point reduction at the boards to reflect the reduced utility of not being geographically postable.

Double-dipping would no longer be possible as this is simply an incentive to reduce one's utility to the CF by becoming unpostable.  However, to provide an incentive for pers considering retirement to not leave entirely, pensionable "limited obligation" soldiers could stop paying into the pension (thus freezing the benefit at its current level) and recieve a pay top-up (so they make the same pay as though they were not "limited obligation").

Unrestrained growth would be put to a stop because the "limited obligation" still fills a regular force establishment position, and so any growth would have to go through the same checks & approvals as are required for getting new regular force PYs now.

There are a lot more finer hand details that would need to go into this concept.  Occupations at or above PML would not be allowed to issue/renew "limited obligation" TOS (so those pers who choose to be of lower utility would be let go to make room for postable pers).  At the same time, there should be an occupation manning level threshold above which pers may only convert to "limited obligation" TOS on expiry of a "full obligation" regular force TOS, but below this manning level threshold it would be acceptable for direct reserve component transfer into a "limited obligation" TOS.

If we were to go down this crazy path, implementation should involve identifying every Class B possition outside of reserve units/brigades that has existed for three or more years.  All of those possitions would be converted to regular force and the incumbents would be invited to accept a component transfer and "limited obligation" TOS.
Somewhere on these boards, I have suggested something similar to elements of this Journey.  Instead of looking at it from a Reg F career flexibility perspective, I was looking more at the RegF/PRes boundary.

Currently, all Reg F positions have an Operational Baseline Type and I would either build on this or create a separate designation to differentiate between positions that can accept a limited liability occupant and positions require an unlimited liability occupant.  All Class B/A positions would become Reg F positions with a limited liability occupant acceptable designation (PRes incumbents would remain until end of current TOS, then be given the option to CT or vacate the position).

By default, all Reg F pers would be enrolled under unlimited liability TOS (with a skilled entrant enrollment plan offering an optional exception for re-enrollment and component transfer).  Once the initial TOS are complete, members would have the option to select either unlimited liability service or limited liability service (and they would have the flexibility to move between the two streams at any point thereafter).

Limited liability would be much like current PRes Cl B/A with 85% pay, no mandatory cost moves, and no obligation to deploy on international operations unless posted to an LDA or SDA unit (note: normally LDA and SDA positions would be designated unlimited liability required, but exceptions could exist if positions would otherwise be vacant and the member volunteers for the spot).  Unlimited liability would be like RegF with 100% pay, an obligation to move when posted, and an obligation to deploy anywhere when called to do so.  Both limited and unlimited liability members would be managed by the same CMs, attend the same career courses, and be selected for promotion through the same boards.  This means that the limited liability member can be posted, but only within the geographic location such that a move is not incurred.

Much like a PER opt-out, you cannot wait until you know the outcome is unfavourable to subscribe to the exemption.  To avoid an out-of-APS posting, the application for limited liability service need only be submitted before a posting message is cut.  To avoid an APS posting, the application for limited liability service need be submitted before December, with applications received after 01 Dec incurring a 4 month deferment to activation.  By contrast, if a member opts from limited liability to unlimited liability, a posting message could be cut the very next day regardless of timing as APS or out-of-APS.  For exceptional personal circumstances, compassionate status would continue to exist, and would not be governed by the same timelines as opting into limited liability.

Lots more meat to put on this skeleton though, and a lot of scenarios that I have not taken the time to describe (and likely even more that I have not thought of).


Offline FJAG

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Re: Army Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #151 on: August 17, 2020, 17:34:32 »
"The Journey" provides a path to correcting the miss-use of PRes to fill permanent full-time requirements.

I like some of your concepts and not too thrilled with others. I'll only make two comments though.

1. I absolutely detest the concept of "limited liability service" and "unlimited liability service" because they are dead wrong terminology. Every member of the CAF, once enrolled is subject to "unlimited liability" insofar as even reservists can be involuntarily placed on active duty and at that point can be sent into harm's way (or anywhere else) on the government's whim. This whole limited/unlimited liability thing harkens back to the Reserve Force Employment Project (RFEP from around the turn of the century) where we told them that it was an improper concept. I know what you are trying to do -- create a hybrid soldier -- but it needs new classes of service and terminology (possibly requiring NDA amendments) although much of it can be done through admin instructions. I'm not sure it's worth it though. The existing Class of reserve service system works very well for what the reserve force was designed for. It's perceived shortcomings are only because the leadership is trying to make it an ad hoc full-time labour pool for headquarters administration jobs to circumvent the PY limitations imposed by the government; and

2. One of my fundamental arguments in just about everything is that our military is significantly handicapped because such a large component of our budget goes to the pay of full-time members and civilians. If we ever want to have a military that can keep up to date and be effective then we need to cut money from the full-time pay budget and direct it to the equipment and the operations and maintenance budgets. To me that means reducing full-time PYs by rigorously getting rid of large numbers of people who are working primarily in administration at the headquarters level (many of whom to me are working on self licking ice cream cone jobs -- and that includes cutting out programs, regulations, directives etc that create these positions which are needed to administer them). We have entirely too much bureaucracy for the size of force that we are. Once the numbers of PYs are down to an acceptable level, then we need to rigorously enforce that number by ensuring that there are no additional full-timers brought in through the backdoor regardless if they are full timers or whatever class of reservists. It's the full-time pay envelope that we need to control. A reservist filling in on Class B in a vacant PY because the incumbent retired or died or has been put on an ATL etc, is fine with me. Anything that creates even one full-timer above the established PYs - absolutely not.

 :cheers:
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Offline quadrapiper

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Re: Army Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #152 on: August 17, 2020, 18:01:31 »
Agree that we need to look at trades to determine which should be regular and which could or should be reserve.

My criteria is that any trade in great demand on a day to day basis (like technicians maintaining equipment) or which need to exercise their skills continuously (like special forces) should be regular force; those only needed in time of crisis (such as gunners, tankers) should be largely (but never completely) reservists. I can certainly see things such as horizontal and vertical engineers being reservists. What I don't want to see is reserve force trades (even refrigeration techs, or carpenters) that spend an entire career on Class B service with Base CE.

 :cheers:
Depending on the need for deployable tradesmen, would Base CE (or a "reserve district" CE section) actually be a good home? X a month days of A service working at the base/armouries within a given footprint, or Y a year B, with the member filling in with civvy contracts, assuming CAF and civvy certs are 1:1?

Build things so, should there be a need to deploy Bloggins, you just boost the hours or days/month of others in that trade on site.

Just tossing ideas around.

Offline FJAG

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Re: Army Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #153 on: August 17, 2020, 20:33:58 »
Depending on the need for deployable tradesmen, would Base CE (or a "reserve district" CE section) actually be a good home? X a month days of A service working at the base/armouries within a given footprint, or Y a year B, with the member filling in with civvy contracts, assuming CAF and civvy certs are 1:1?

Build things so, should there be a need to deploy Bloggins, you just boost the hours or days/month of others in that trade on site.

Just tossing ideas around.

I've kind of had some thoughts along that line for reserve recruiting of specialist trades (think construction engineers, vehicle maintenance technicians, diesel mechanics, medical staff, truckers, cooks, computer technicians/programmers, heavy equipment operators etc).

Essentially you recruit them, train them military in the summer with pay, send them to community college in the winter where the Army pays their tuition and fees but not wages, then after they finish their certificate and DP1 training, you offer them employment locally within trade for a year or two to gain experience at the end of which they have to fulfill a period of years of obligatory Reserve Class A service (same as we do now for RMC graduates, pilots and pharmacists etc). In the end you get a trained and experienced tradesmen, their education is paid for and they have a number of years' experience to make them more attractive for a civilian job. Everybody is happy.

 :cheers:
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Offline jeffb

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Re: Army Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #154 on: August 17, 2020, 22:56:40 »
This is not dissimilar to the "Minuteman" program several states use with their National Guard. I worked with a Lt from the Florida National Guard who had his full university paid for. His return was 7 years in the National Guard with with one period of active service on 270 day orders. Seems like a pretty good deal given the price of US post-secondary education.
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Offline FJAG

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Re: Army Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #155 on: August 17, 2020, 23:22:34 »
This is not dissimilar to the "Minuteman" program several states use with their National Guard. I worked with a Lt from the Florida National Guard who had his full university paid for. His return was 7 years in the National Guard with with one period of active service on 270 day orders. Seems like a pretty good deal given the price of US post-secondary education.

And it meets two valid objectives: a trained soldier and a trained and employable citizen. What more could you want. Win! Win!

 :cheers:
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Offline MilEME09

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Re: Army Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #156 on: August 17, 2020, 23:41:48 »
And it meets two valid objectives: a trained soldier and a trained and employable citizen. What more could you want. Win! Win!

 :cheers:

Equipment to train them with, a rationally sized HQ, a useful reserve force,..... I can go on if you would like.
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Re: Army Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #157 on: August 22, 2020, 13:03:51 »
I'm going to throw this in here, but it really touches on Reg Force Restructuring as much as the Reserves, but realistically can/should one be done without the other?

Nicholas Drummond has an article on the Wavell Room website (https://wavellroom.com/2019/08/29/the-universal-battalion-possible-future-infantry-unit-structures/) in which he proposes that the British Army adopt a standardized Infantry Battalion structure across all of their existing Infantry Battalion types (Armoured, Mechanized, Air Assault, Light and Specialized)

In the article he suggests:
Quote
At one end of the spectrum, Armoured Infantry battalions are well-resourced with 732 soldiers, while Specialised Infantry battalions have just 267, but this is for training and mentoring roles, rather than high-intensity combat. The disparity in numbers across different battalion types makes it difficult to monitor shortfalls in manpower and to fill gaps quickly. When it becomes necessary to re-role a battalion at short notice, there is a risk of not being able to deploy it with the required number soldiers it needs to complete the mission. Six different battalion types means that ORBATs are constantly in a state of flux, which makes human resource planning more complex than it needs to be. Many battalions of all types are currently operating below their headcount caps, with very few, if any, operating with the same number of personnel. Ultimately, having multiple battalion types is inefficient and an unmilitary approach to resource allocation and management. It makes the planning and implementation of sub-unit tasks more difficult and detracts from the infantry’s ability to perform its most important role: dominating ground.

Would there be a benefit to implementing something like this for the Canadian Army as part of a larger re-organization of both the Regular Force and Reserve Force?  Perhaps something along these lines:

Re-structure the infantry along the lines proposed in the article.  Reduce the number of Regular Force Infantry Battalions from 9 to 6 which should allow each of the Battalions to be fully manned including Combat Support Companies (Recce, Sniper, Assault Pioneer, Mortar and AT Platoons).  All six Regular Force Battalions and all  Reserve Infantry Battalions would be identically organized as light infantry.

I'd suggest a 10-man Infantry Section which could allow for 3 x 3-man Fire Teams plus the Section Commander or 2 x 4-man Fire Teams plus the Section Commander and one other (runner, designated marksman, Carl-G gunner, UAV operator, etc.).

This would be the bigger change.  The LAVs from the six existing Regular Force Mechanized Battalions would be transferred to the three Armoured Regiments which would be re-roled as Cavalry Regiments.   Each Cavalry Troop in the Cavalry Squadrons would have 7 or 8 LAVs which would allow each Troop to embark an Infantry Platoon.  Depending on how the Infantry Sections are organized, each LAV would have 5-6 dismounts which would also leave room for attachments to the Infantry (JTAC, Medics, etc.).  Each Armoured Regiment would have their own Combat Support Squadron with their own LAV-mounted Mortar Troop, AT Troop, etc.

All three existing tank Squadrons would be grouped together in a single Tank Regiment which could be partially shifted to the Reserves, with one Tank Squadron and the bulk of the maintenance elements being Regular Force and the other two Tank Squadrons being manned by Reserves.

Existing Reserve Infantry Regiments would be grouped together to form the new Standardized Infantry Battalions with the same equipment and training standards as the Reg Force Light Battalions.  Some Reserve Regiments could be tasked to provide the Recce, Pioneer, Mortar and AT Platoons for the Reserve Battalions.

Savings from a reduced number of Divisions/Brigades and full-time vs part-time Battalions could be directed toward new equipment.

While the government is not likely to invest in new, tracked IFVs, they could possibly be convinced to go with all-terrain carriers such as the Bronco 3 ()http://www.military-today.com/apc/bronco_new_gen.htm or BvS 10 (http://www.military-today.com/apc/bvs10_viking.htm).  These vehicles could be issued to Reserve "Mobility Battalions".  They have room to accommodate the new standardized 10-man Infantry Sections and in addition to being able to provide cross-country and amphibious mobility to the infantry (with protection up to STANAG 4 available) they can be equipped with remote weapon stations, be used as mortar carriers, ambulances, recovery vehicles, are air transportable by C-130 and Chinook and could be used in the Arctic or for flood and forest fire response.

A system like this would allow for all Infantry units to be identically organized and equipped, give greater strength for dismounted operations (due to the larger Infantry Sections), and allow any Infantry Battalion to be used in Light (dismounted), Medium (mounted in ATTC's or LAVs), or Heavy roles (mounted in ATTC's or LAVs with a Tank Regiment attached)


Offline FJAG

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Re: Army Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #158 on: August 22, 2020, 16:17:42 »
I read the article and I think Drummond is trying to solve a problem that isn't really there.

Most of the disparities in numbers are based on: 1) different types of vehicles have different crewing requirements (usually two or three) and differing dismount capacities (eg Warrior seven, Boxer eight); 2) different types of vehicles have different types of roles which can change the numbers of combat support personnel required/desired; and 3) different types of vehicle fleets and their manner of usage may have higher maintenance and/or supply requirements (i.e. additional vehicles and personnel) You should ignore the "specialized infantry battalions" as their roles is completely different from the other ones (they're more like US special forces or training cadres)

Everything starts with the dismounted rifle section which ideally should be nine (based on US squads and the Drummond model) however, that doesn't fit in either the Warrior or Boxer or LAV or Bradley. We immediately need to change the dismounted section to fit the vehicle or find a way to redistribute them. That's a problem I leave to guys like Infanteer to work out because while I understand the nuances involved I have nowhere near the expertise to argue it one way or the other.

Note that the last real-world Canadian establishment that I looked at (end of 2017) set the PYs allocated to a Reg F infantry battalion at 594 for a mech bn and 561 for a lt bn (that may have gone up with the return of mortars and pioneers - I'm not sure). Res F battalions were set at around 170-320 depending on the particular battalion (that's not to say they actually had the paid strength to fill that establishment). IMHO based on some papers I exchanged with Infanteer about a year ago, the "war establishment" for a battalion should be around 750-760 which is close to the UK mech battalion. Note that there was little change between a light and a mech battalion. Each rifle company came in at around 128 it's just that the mech company might have fewer dismounts and no weapons dets in exchange for crewing the LAVs. The point here is, I think, that you can arbitrarily assign a common number of pers to these establishments, but their equipment holdings and tactical employment will dictate who does what where.

I wouldn't reduce 9 bns to 6 just to bulk them out. If total PYs are an issue (and they are) I would designate certain components within the bn that isn't needed day-to-day as a reserve job but rather than having a res bn fill the positions I would have the RegF bn have a reserve company that is part of the unit's war establishment (wearing the same cap badge and under command of the Reg F CO - for example mortars, anti-tank gunners, some recce, some pioneers, medics, some truckers etc)

I'm a firm believer that reserve inf bns (and other units) should be "brigaded" into single, full-war establishment units and equipped. That reduces the overall number of units and the command structure but creates trainable/deployable units. That, however, takes some changes in the terms of service and other administrative matters and would be heavily resisted by senior reserve leadership (and Reserves 2000). Regardless of the resistance change is necessary.

I'm not in favour of transferring the LAVs to the armoured corps. The Aussies used to assign their M113s to the armoured branch as carrier companies which could then be assigned to whatever infantry battalion needed a mechanized lift. That was fine in the battlefield taxi days but the LAVs are a more integral part of the tactics of a mech company and need people running them who are well schooled in basic infantry tactics first and who can be switched out for a rifleman when needed.

IMHO there's a distinct role separation between cavalry and tanks and mounted infantry. To me, cavalry is recce with the ability to be aggressive. I know that the UK Strike brigades have a bit of a mounted/dismounted mix to them and I do see cavalry that's a mix between electronic sensors, UAVs and anti-armour (maybe mortars) but I wouldn't go in the direction that you are.

I think that tanks should be grouped as you suggest with a core of Reg F but mostly reservists on the basis that armor is not one of those things we need day-to-day but only in emergencies. Same for artillery, air defence and cavalry. Just as importantly we need to brigade and assign tasks and formations to our combat service support elements.

Yup. Reorganization could and should lessen the command structure (by my estimate using the available PYs and reserve numbers, three division headquarters - one operational, two force generating; 5 manoeuvre brigades (three Reg, 2 Res); three support brigades; and about 2/5th of the unit headquarters)

 :cheers:
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Re: Army Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #159 on: August 24, 2020, 21:19:18 »
I read the article and I think Drummond is trying to solve a problem that isn't really there.

Most of the disparities in numbers are based on: 1) different types of vehicles have different crewing requirements (usually two or three) and differing dismount capacities (eg Warrior seven, Boxer eight); 2) different types of vehicles have different types of roles which can change the numbers of combat support personnel required/desired; and 3) different types of vehicle fleets and their manner of usage may have higher maintenance and/or supply requirements (i.e. additional vehicles and personnel) You should ignore the "specialized infantry battalions" as their roles is completely different from the other ones (they're more like US special forces or training cadres)

Everything starts with the dismounted rifle section which ideally should be nine (based on US squads and the Drummond model) however, that doesn't fit in either the Warrior or Boxer or LAV or Bradley. We immediately need to change the dismounted section to fit the vehicle or find a way to redistribute them. That's a problem I leave to guys like Infanteer to work out because while I understand the nuances involved I have nowhere near the expertise to argue it one way or the other.

Note that the last real-world Canadian establishment that I looked at (end of 2017) set the PYs allocated to a Reg F infantry battalion at 594 for a mech bn and 561 for a lt bn (that may have gone up with the return of mortars and pioneers - I'm not sure). Res F battalions were set at around 170-320 depending on the particular battalion (that's not to say they actually had the paid strength to fill that establishment). IMHO based on some papers I exchanged with Infanteer about a year ago, the "war establishment" for a battalion should be around 750-760 which is close to the UK mech battalion. Note that there was little change between a light and a mech battalion. Each rifle company came in at around 128 it's just that the mech company might have fewer dismounts and no weapons dets in exchange for crewing the LAVs. The point here is, I think, that you can arbitrarily assign a common number of pers to these establishments, but their equipment holdings and tactical employment will dictate who does what where.

I wouldn't reduce 9 bns to 6 just to bulk them out. If total PYs are an issue (and they are) I would designate certain components within the bn that isn't needed day-to-day as a reserve job but rather than having a res bn fill the positions I would have the RegF bn have a reserve company that is part of the unit's war establishment (wearing the same cap badge and under command of the Reg F CO - for example mortars, anti-tank gunners, some recce, some pioneers, medics, some truckers etc)

I'm a firm believer that reserve inf bns (and other units) should be "brigaded" into single, full-war establishment units and equipped. That reduces the overall number of units and the command structure but creates trainable/deployable units. That, however, takes some changes in the terms of service and other administrative matters and would be heavily resisted by senior reserve leadership (and Reserves 2000). Regardless of the resistance change is necessary.

I'm not in favour of transferring the LAVs to the armoured corps. The Aussies used to assign their M113s to the armoured branch as carrier companies which could then be assigned to whatever infantry battalion needed a mechanized lift. That was fine in the battlefield taxi days but the LAVs are a more integral part of the tactics of a mech company and need people running them who are well schooled in basic infantry tactics first and who can be switched out for a rifleman when needed.

IMHO there's a distinct role separation between cavalry and tanks and mounted infantry. To me, cavalry is recce with the ability to be aggressive. I know that the UK Strike brigades have a bit of a mounted/dismounted mix to them and I do see cavalry that's a mix between electronic sensors, UAVs and anti-armour (maybe mortars) but I wouldn't go in the direction that you are.

I think that tanks should be grouped as you suggest with a core of Reg F but mostly reservists on the basis that armor is not one of those things we need day-to-day but only in emergencies. Same for artillery, air defence and cavalry. Just as importantly we need to brigade and assign tasks and formations to our combat service support elements.

Yup. Reorganization could and should lessen the command structure (by my estimate using the available PYs and reserve numbers, three division headquarters - one operational, two force generating; 5 manoeuvre brigades (three Reg, 2 Res); three support brigades; and about 2/5th of the unit headquarters)

 :cheers:

I'm not qualified to judge whether the current Infantry manning model works or not.  The numbers I see (from Force 2013) show Mech Battalions with an Establishment of 833 All Ranks and Generation Strength of 593 All Ranks.  Light Battalions have an Establishment of 834 All Ranks and a Generation Strength of 560 All Ranks.  That means that the Infantry Battalions are currently manned at roughly 70% of their authorized Establishment Strength.

News reports and anecdotal comments here and on other sites say that Afghanistan nearly "broke" the Army.  Did below Establishment manning contribute to that?  Even with 15% - 25% Reserve augmentation per rotation (http://natoassociation.ca/canadian-reserves-in-afghanistan-an-expanding-legacy/) did manning issues result in a lack of available instructors, training difficulties in non-deployed Battalions, multiple deployments for key personnel, etc.?  Would concentrating the limited Reg Force Infantry PYs into fewer, fully-manned Battalions help with these issues?  I'd be interested in hearing the thoughts of Infantry folks on this.

I have absolutely no issue with having certain components of Reg Force units being Reserve positions like you suggest to bring the units up to wartime strength.  We just need to make sure that the training, equipment, organization and legislation required to quickly integrate these elements into their parent units when the balloon goes up are in place. 

I guess the same goes for the Reg Force Battalions.  If as you suggest elsewhere that we need to pre-deploy the equipment for a Battle Group in Europe because we may not have time to deploy our forces from Canada in case of a rapid Russian invasion, then how does having 70% manning for our Battalions affect their ability to rapidly deploy in wartime?  Maybe the big brains could come up with a way to bring at least the high readiness Battalions to Establishment Strength in case there's the need for rapid deployment?

As far as the reduction in the number of LAV Battalions from 6 to 3 that is meant to address the question of Infantry Section size which as you said, everything starts there.  The thing that interested me about the article was the standardization of units across types.  We currently have variances between our light and mechanized infantry.  Both have 10-man sections but in reality the Mechanized infantry only have 7-man sections because three troops are tied to the vehicles. 

To me it would seem that 10-man sections would be better across the board.  More firepower, more flexibility in organization and more ability to absorb casualties.  As you suggested you can swap out the vehicle crews for more riflemen, but that degrades the capabilities of the LAV to provide support.  There's also a training price as your Infantry now have to learn additional skill sets (vehicle driving, maintenance, turret operations, mounted tactics, etc.) which takes time away from their primary skills of closing with and defeating the enemy. 

The halving of the number of LAV Battalions was to provide enough LAVs to accommodate 10-man sections (5 dismounts per LAV plus room for attached personnel).  As to what colour beret drive the LAVs I guess that's really not that important.  I think the real benefit (other than larger dismounted section size) is that the dismounts can train and concentrate on dismounted infantry skills while the LAV crews can concentrate on vehicle-related skills.  I know this kind of split has been brought up more than once in various threads and I guess you can tell where I stand on the question.

You brought up the Australian M113 carrier company experience.  You suggest that model was OK in the "battle taxi" days but it's not suitable for the LAV.  I'd argue that the general consensus on these forums is that the LAV is more of an up-gunned battle taxi rather than a true IFV.  They can provide valuable fire support in an Afghanistan-type scenario, but would you want to expose them to an enemy with AT capabilities?  If in a peer/near-peer scenario we're going to keep the LAVs out of the line of direct enemy fire and deploy our infantry in dismounted attack/defence, then wouldn't it make sense to have larger dismounted sections?

Offline ArmyRick

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Re: Army Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #160 on: August 25, 2020, 10:02:08 »
following thread. Interesting article but agreed with FJAG, its not a big issue exact size and manning per battalion.
M'eh

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Re: Army Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #161 on: August 29, 2020, 10:18:15 »
following thread. Interesting article but agreed with FJAG, its not a big issue exact size and manning per battalion.

So if we stick with the current 70% manning of Reg Force Infantry Battalions, then what do our Reserves have to look like?

I think it's pretty fair to say that in the current financial situation we can't expect anything in the way of new APCs/IFVs in the near future, and assuming there's no interest in reducing the number of Reg Force Infantry Battalions, then what should our expectations be?

Let's say we re-group our existing Reg Force Battalions into two LAV Brigades and one Light Brigade with the individual Battalions cycling through readiness levels.

Let's assume that one LAV Brigade is responsible for supplying it's high readiness Battalion to man the Enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group in Latvia.

The 2nd LAV Brigade would presumably be training to be available to deploy their high readiness Battalion as the 2nd of the "sustained deployments of ~500-1500 personnel" outlined in Strong Secure Engaged. 

I'm thinking that the 3rd (Light) Brigade's high readiness Infantry Battalion, due to the comparative ease of deploying them and their light equipment more quickly by air, would be the "stand-by" Battalion available to rapidly respond to an evolving situation.

What does that make our Reserve augmentation requirements.

Latvia isn't a full Infantry Battalion deployment.  Is a 70% manned Regular Force Infantry Battalion enough to fulfill that deployment without any augmentation?

Presumably if the balloon goes up in Europe or somewhere else, then the high readiness Light Battalion I think would be the logical unit to deploy as a rapid response.  They could fill out the EFP Latvia Battalion, or make the initial deployment to another trouble spot.  Would we deploy an under-manned Battalion in this situation, or would we need a high readiness Reserve unit to quickly fill out the Reg Force Battalion?  Is a rapid response Reserve force even practical under our current model, or are we better off drawing the required troops from other Reg Force Battalions (which are themselves already under manned)?

In the case of a European conflict or a 2nd Battle Group sized deployment elsewhere, it would then fall to the 2nd high readiness LAV Battalion (possibly in relief of the Light Battalion's initial deployment).  How many Reserve Infantry units would be required to fill out this Battalion and how many other units would be required to cycle through readiness to support this as a sustained deployment?

All of this of course ignores the Armour, Artillery, Engineer and Logistics elements of supporting these deployments and completely sets aside the idea of being able to deploy a complete Brigade Group any time in the near future.  But should figuring out this part not be the first step in restructuring? 


Offline FJAG

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Re: Army Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #162 on: August 29, 2020, 15:15:47 »
Latvia isn't a full Infantry Battalion deployment.  Is a 70% manned Regular Force Infantry Battalion enough to fulfill that deployment without any augmentation?

Yes and no. If we stay on a six month rotation then any given infantry company would go every eighteen months which is difficult to sustain. If we go to a one year deployment then every three years which is more doable but a bit tough on families although American line (not SOF) units in Iraq and Afghanistan generally stayed for more than a year. An additional problem is that we also furnish a battalion HQ which would mean it would have to stay there permanently. On the other hand if all of 1 CMBG is responsible for the rotations, then it's quite doable.

Quote
Presumably if the balloon goes up in Europe or somewhere else, then the high readiness Light Battalion I think would be the logical unit to deploy as a rapid response.  They could fill out the EFP Latvia Battalion, or make the initial deployment to another trouble spot.  Would we deploy an under-manned Battalion in this situation, or would we need a high readiness Reserve unit to quickly fill out the Reg Force Battalion?  Is a rapid response Reserve force even practical under our current model, or are we better off drawing the required troops from other Reg Force Battalions (which are themselves already under manned)?

The Latvia battalion doesn't need rounding out as the rest of the battalion is already filled by companies from each of  Italy, Spain, Slovakia, Poland and several other countries.

What additional rapid deployment force we would send needs to be well planned out ahead of time. Even a light battalion in a near-peer conflict needs equipment.

I'm a great fan of using fully formed reserve units (if our system of reserve service was changed to make that possible) but rapid response is not one of those.  My guess would be a reserve unit or formation during it's "ready" cycle could deploy onto prepositioned equipment if a minimum of seven days is available. Obviously significantly more if they are at any stage other than "ready".

Quote
In the case of a European conflict or a 2nd Battle Group sized deployment elsewhere, it would then fall to the 2nd high readiness LAV Battalion (possibly in relief of the Light Battalion's initial deployment).  How many Reserve Infantry units would be required to fill out this Battalion and how many other units would be required to cycle through readiness to support this as a sustained deployment?

That's a difficult question to answer under our current system. This is why I believe it is imperative to restructure the entire system from the ground up. Right now we think in the way of Reg F and Res F units. As long as we stay with the 70% solution we will always need to cobble together Reg F units in order to field a deployable high readiness force at 100% strength. If we change the system to filling the remaining 30% with designated reservists in a hybrid unit then we need a completely new paradigm for how those 30% are generated for a deployably ready, high readiness situation.

Quote
All of this of course ignores the Armour, Artillery, Engineer and Logistics elements of supporting these deployments and completely sets aside the idea of being able to deploy a complete Brigade Group any time in the near future.  But should figuring out this part not be the first step in restructuring?

It absolutely is and is a topic I address with my view of how we can get there in my little book. This is why I'm so critical of our leadership because, in the words of General Belzile from 2005:

Quote
Another way of putting this is that no planning is being done for a major war.
This is shortsighted in the extreme. A military that thinks in terms of turning itself into a great host in a crisis is very different from one that is small, thinks small, and plans for very little.
The Canadian Forces needs a plan.

Considering the fact that we have a Reg F Army of some 23,000 folks in three manoeuvre brigades and one support brigade and another 20,000 reservists, we should have plans that would allow us to efficiently deploy something much greater than a battle group. We have enough people to man two divisions even though we only have enough equipment for perhaps 3/4 to one division if we scrape it all together (with some very serious capability gaps) What we don't have is a plan to grow the force in an emergency and, even worse, we don't have a plan towards equipping and organizing the force over time so that in an emergency in the future we can be "a great host". We have set very low goals for ourselves by way of SSE (and seem to have troubles meeting those goals)

 :cheers:
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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Army Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #163 on: August 31, 2020, 00:27:12 »
Considering the fact that we have a Reg F Army of some 23,000 folks in three manoeuvre brigades and one support brigade and another 20,000 reservists, we should have plans that would allow us to efficiently deploy something much greater than a battle group. We have enough people to man two divisions even though we only have enough equipment for perhaps 3/4 to one division if we scrape it all together (with some very serious capability gaps) What we don't have is a plan to grow the force in an emergency and, even worse, we don't have a plan towards equipping and organizing the force over time so that in an emergency in the future we can be "a great host". We have set very low goals for ourselves by way of SSE (and seem to have troubles meeting those goals)

 :cheers:

Ironically, we send OMLTs to build the armies of other countries when we could use them here to build the Reserves to the point where they could seamlessly integrate with the Reg F, in large numbers, as required.

And I’m guessing that you wouldn’t even need to change the terms of service, assuming they receive high quality training and a ‘good go’ overseas every once in awhile.
“To stand on the firing parapet and expose yourself to danger; to stand and fight a thousand miles from home when you're all alone and outnumbered and probably beaten; to spit on your hands and lower the pike; to stand fast over the body of Leonidas the King; to be rear guard at Kunu-Ri; to stand and be still to the Birkenhead Drill; these are not rational acts. They are often merely necessary.”
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Re: Army Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #164 on: September 06, 2020, 12:51:02 »
...
Considering the fact that we have a Reg F Army of some 23,000 folks in three manoeuvre brigades and one support brigade and another 20,000 reservists, we should have plans that would allow us to efficiently deploy something much greater than a battle group. We have enough people to man two divisions even though we only have enough equipment for perhaps 3/4 to one division if we scrape it all together (with some very serious capability gaps) What we don't have is a plan to grow the force in an emergency and, even worse, we don't have a plan towards equipping and organizing the force over time so that in an emergency in the future we can be "a great host". We have set very low goals for ourselves by way of SSE (and seem to have troubles meeting those goals)

 :cheers:

I guess this section is the crux of the problem.  We have quite a few expensive full-time troops without enough equipment to field and maintain them in any significant type of conflict.  We have a pool of less expensive part-time troops with no combat worthy equipment at all and an organizational structure that doesn't lend itself to anything other than individual augmentation of the Reg Force. 

We're completely missing, or seriously lacking in some key supporting capabilities.  By virtue of our geography we're by definition an expeditionary Army, but have virtually no capability to project our forces in anything like a timely manner.  There is no real political will to increase the size of the Army and there is minimal political will to expand the size of DND's budget in these difficult times.  On top of that much of any money that is/will be available will go the CSC and CF-188 replacement projects, not the Army. 

So I guess the question isn't really what we dream or wish the Army could look like, but rather given the current limitations, what is something achievable in the short term that would at least make the Army (Reg Force and Reserves) relevant, capable and deployable?  This could at least provide a solid base which it could grow from once the political and economic situation changes.

 My assumptions would be:
- The size of the Reg Force Army will not grow.  It could be re-structured but I don't see any additional PY's being added.
- The Reserves could potentially grow, but I think any increase in size would be moderate and the cost of any increase in size would likely have to be offset by cost savings elsewhere.
- I don't believe there will be any increase in the size of our armoured vehicle fleet.  It may be possible that we could see some additional support vehicles/weapons (AT, Artillery, GBAD, etc.) which could potentially be LAV-based, but I don't see any IFV's/APC's to equip Reserve Battalions any time soon.  I think we should assume for the short-term at least that Reserve Battalions will be light, or will augment Reg Force units with Reg Force equipment.

Given this, what could realistically be done to restructure, or do we just throw up our hands and muddle along with what we have in place now and hope that nothing bad happens?


Offline MilEME09

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Re: Army Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #165 on: September 06, 2020, 14:39:56 »

Given this, what could realistically be done to restructure, or do we just throw up our hands and muddle along with what we have in place now and hope that nothing bad happens?

First: Full reorg of the PRes, tactically group smaller units under one command team. They can retain any traditions at the company/platoom level.

Second: create a force similar to a OMLT the goes and mentors the command staff, and NCOs of the PRes.

Third: Give the OMLT a 5 year goal to prepare reserve units for deployment.

Fourth: Reserve units are required to deploy at minimum a platoon every deployment cycle after the 5 year build up. In theory each division except 5 Div would be able to field a small reserve battle group with two companies of infantry as the back bone and a full CSS element if everyone supplied a platoon.

Fifth: cut out mess dinners(except Christmas), paid hockey teams, and any non training events that take budget away from training.

Just my 2 cents but it may be doable but I don't address equipment issues, only the training aspect.
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Offline CBH99

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Re: Army Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #166 on: September 06, 2020, 15:02:18 »
First: Full reorg of the PRes, tactically group smaller units under one command team. They can retain any traditions at the company/platoom level.

Second: create a force similar to a OMLT the goes and mentors the command staff, and NCOs of the PRes.

Third: Give the OMLT a 5 year goal to prepare reserve units for deployment.

Fourth: Reserve units are required to deploy at minimum a platoon every deployment cycle after the 5 year build up. In theory each division except 5 Div would be able to field a small reserve battle group with two companies of infantry as the back bone and a full CSS element if everyone supplied a platoon.

Fifth: cut out mess dinners(except Christmas), paid hockey teams, and any non training events that take budget away from training.

Just my 2 cents but it may be doable but I don't address equipment issues, only the training aspect.



Would you mind expanding on your Point # 3, re: a 5 year goal of preparing a unit to deploy?

That just seems like an awfully long time to prepare a unit for deployment?
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Re: Army Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #167 on: September 06, 2020, 15:51:30 »
I guess this section is the crux of the problem.  We have quite a few expensive full-time troops without enough equipment to field and maintain them in any significant type of conflict.  We have a pool of less expensive part-time troops with no combat worthy equipment at all and an organizational structure that doesn't lend itself to anything other than individual augmentation of the Reg Force. 

We're completely missing, or seriously lacking in some key supporting capabilities.  By virtue of our geography we're by definition an expeditionary Army, but have virtually no capability to project our forces in anything like a timely manner.  There is no real political will to increase the size of the Army and there is minimal political will to expand the size of DND's budget in these difficult times.  On top of that much of any money that is/will be available will go the CSC and CF-188 replacement projects, not the Army. 

So I guess the question isn't really what we dream or wish the Army could look like, but rather given the current limitations, what is something achievable in the short term that would at least make the Army (Reg Force and Reserves) relevant, capable and deployable?  This could at least provide a solid base which it could grow from once the political and economic situation changes.

 My assumptions would be:
- The size of the Reg Force Army will not grow.  It could be re-structured but I don't see any additional PY's being added.
- The Reserves could potentially grow, but I think any increase in size would be moderate and the cost of any increase in size would likely have to be offset by cost savings elsewhere.
- I don't believe there will be any increase in the size of our armoured vehicle fleet.  It may be possible that we could see some additional support vehicles/weapons (AT, Artillery, GBAD, etc.) which could potentially be LAV-based, but I don't see any IFV's/APC's to equip Reserve Battalions any time soon.  I think we should assume for the short-term at least that Reserve Battalions will be light, or will augment Reg Force units with Reg Force equipment.

Given this, what could realistically be done to restructure, or do we just throw up our hands and muddle along with what we have in place now and hope that nothing bad happens?

Let me jump off my wish list (which essentially is cut 10,000 full time positions from NDHQ/CFHQ and take the annual $1 billion per year savings, reorg the army reserve system to two manoeuvre and three support brigades and equip the army reserve slowly) and take a look at what can be done realistically within the existing budget framework. Incidentally I agree with the highlited points above.

1. We should still cut headquarters positions to both save money to reallocate to equipment and O&M and improve efficiency within DNDHQ/CFHQ
- our current authorized CF establishment is for 61,250/47,300 (RegF/ResF). NDHQ has another 24,000 employees.
- the Army is established for 21,706/30,486 (although we are provided pay for only around 20,000 PRes); Navy at 8,125/5,720; Air Force at 12,723/3,416; CJOC at 2,061/215; CANSOFCOM at 1,135/288 which leaves 15,500/7,175 in other positions (including Health Svc and the MPs) (and once again there are actually about 10,000 less Army PRes folks then indicated here based on paid ceilings. And lets not forget that many of the PRes are on full time contracts and that there are also a herd of contractors filling basically full-time jobs (Note my figures were accurate as of 2017 and I don't have the charts to update them but they haven't changed that much)
- over half of our DND's budget goes to pay and benefits so roughly for every 10,000 full-time positions Canada spends roughly $1 billion.

2. Realistically we will not be able to cut the NDHQ/CFHQ sides by more than 10,000 full-time positions without impacting capabilities (I think all the unimportant functions will go with the first 10,000). So if we wish to reallocate even more pay and benefits to equip and O&M then we will have to start cutting into the Army, Navy and Air Force establishments (CJOC and CANSOFCOM look fairly lean for the capabilities they manage)

3. 1 part-time reservist costs us between 1/3 of a full-time position during the first few training years and around 1/6th of a full-time position in the later steady state period. So in theory, for every full-time brigade that we cut, we should be able to generate the personnel costs for three to six reserve brigades (but adjusting for O&M we are realistically probably looking at three to four) If we do cut a full-time brigade, it's equipment would still be in play for the new part-time brigades, however, if we wish to grow the force overall capability we would need to fund the equipment acquisition for the additional reserve brigades created. (I won't get into terms of service, RSS roles, etc at this time as the only way the whole thing becomes an effective force is if we change the basic ground rules)

4. Expeditionary is a key point. In essence that's a Navy and Air Force issue. Both need to change to build in that capability. Back in the early 1970s, I was the Unit Emplaning Officer for 2 RCHA. My job was to create and keep current the air and sea cargo manifests for moving my regiment to Europe (in part with the ACE Mobile Force and in part with the CAST Brigade Group) CAST deployment depended on leased air and sea transport and was only ever exercised once on Ex BRAVE LION which was pretty much a logistical disaster. You are absolutely right that we are "expeditionary" in every thing the Army does which means quite clearly that all three services MUST have a plan and the equipment for expeditionary operations (IMHO in up to brigade scale) and exercise them on a regular (IMHO annually) basis. If we preposition equipment in Europe, we need a transport element with the Air Force (including rapidly available charters) to fly us onto the equipment. In addition we need sea lift (and it's escorts) to reinforce and sustain any deployed force.

5. Note following statement in SSE at page 36:

Quote
THE BRIGADE GROUP
The Army trains to fight at the brigade group-level. This is the minimum level at which it is possible to execute joint campaigns while integrating various components, be they from another service, government department, non-governmental organization, or coalition partner. The brigade group consists of approximately 4,800 soldiers, organized in eight major units generally including Artillery, Armour, Infantry, Engineer, and Combat Service Support organizations. Combinations of these units operate together in “battle groups” to provide the joint force with the requisite firepower, mobility, protection, sustainment, and command and control functions to effectively coordinate their employment.
I defy you to show me anywhere in the SSE that requires DND/CAF to have the capability to project and sustain a brigade group expeditionary force.

6. Some random thoughts.
- The Air Force has 2,913/801 officers and 391 operational aircraft (there is roughly one RCAF LCol and above for every aircraft); The CF as a whole has 13,497/8,088 officers and 47,503/38,325 other ranks; there are 531/215 CWOs. Our rank pyramid looks more like a cylinder.

 :cheers:
« Last Edit: September 06, 2020, 15:56:18 by FJAG »
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Offline MilEME09

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Re: Army Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #168 on: September 06, 2020, 16:03:50 »


Would you mind expanding on your Point # 3, re: a 5 year goal of preparing a unit to deploy?

That just seems like an awfully long time to prepare a unit for deployment?

I picked  5 years for two reasons, one given the max  90 days per year the PRes train per year (if lucky) and the fact that PRes has not deployed more then individual augmenting to the reg force since probably Korea. We lack the ability to properly manage company, Regiment,  and battle group level coordination, it will have to built from scratch properly.

I do not call what I see PRes units pass off as level 3 and 4 exercises as actially that.
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Offline reveng

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Re: Army Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #169 on: September 06, 2020, 16:26:56 »
PRes has not deployed more then individual augmenting to the reg force since probably Korea.

Are you sure about that?

Offline MilEME09

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Re: Army Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #170 on: September 06, 2020, 16:32:57 »
Are you sure about that?

41 CBG recently sent a motor platoon over, but even that took a lot of work, and two infantry Regiments to pull off a platoon. If you have an example of anything platoon or larger from a single unit, i am happy to be enlightened.
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Offline CBH99

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Re: Army Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #171 on: September 06, 2020, 19:47:39 »
The Calgary Highlanders deployed a platoon of roughly 50 personnel sub-unit to Afghanistan, I believe in 2 separate occasions.  (I'm not sure if it was 2 consecutive rotations.)

The sub-unit remained as a sub-unit on deployment.


18 AD also deployed I believe a 12 person sub-unit (for that unit's size, from a small city, it was actually really well done) to Afghanistan also.  Upon deployment, I believe half went to augment M777 dets, while the others were rolled as helicopter loadmasters.


(I know helicopter loadmaster isn't a trade.  However I am 100% certain this is what they were rolled as, as I had several friends in that unit who deployed as such.)
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Offline MilEME09

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Re: Army Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #172 on: September 06, 2020, 20:28:20 »
The Calgary Highlanders deployed a platoon of roughly 50 personnel sub-unit to Afghanistan, I believe in 2 separate occasions.  (I'm not sure if it was 2 consecutive rotations.)

The sub-unit remained as a sub-unit on deployment.


18 AD also deployed I believe a 12 person sub-unit (for that unit's size, from a small city, it was actually really well done) to Afghanistan also.  Upon deployment, I believe half went to augment M777 dets, while the others were rolled as helicopter loadmasters.


(I know helicopter loadmaster isn't a trade.  However I am 100% certain this is what they were rolled as, as I had several friends in that unit who deployed as such.)

I'll consider my self educated, I knew the cak highs had multiple large deployments, didn't know they stayed togetherness.
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Re: Army Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #173 on: September 06, 2020, 21:07:32 »
A sub-unit is a company; fifty soldiers does not a company make.  In the late 90s or early 2000s there was a Composite Reserve Infantry Company (CRIC) deployed to the former Yugoslavia; its success (from selection through training through deployment) was never fully assessed (and and such assessment would be subjective, at best).

Putting the *** in acerbic.

Offline Ostrozac

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Re: Army Reserve Restructuring
« Reply #174 on: September 06, 2020, 21:07:55 »
The line from SSE Para 36 about the importance of the brigade bears examining. On its face, its a motherhood statement saying the patently obvious -- you need to bring at least a brigade to a ground war if you want to have actual effect or influence. We knew that when we sent brigades to Korea and to West Germany. But we, as an Army, have mostly neglected the brigade level as "too hard, too expensive" since the end of the Cold War and the shut down of 4 Brigade in West Germany. We have been trying, and mostly failing, to make the Battle Group level work as a cheap substitute, but a full look at the structure of the Army, Regular and Reserve, needs an honest look at our brigades.

Regular brigades need to be symmetrical, so that they can replace each other in a sustained operation. We can't have a light brigade, a LAV brigade and a tank brigade and then expect them all to deploy in succession in a LAV role over three rotos. A LAV brigade that has the ability to also deploy in a lightish (truck mounted, not airborne/airmobile) role is probably a suitable compromise. The brigades need to be able to replace each other over the course of an extended war. Are we married to the 6 month deployment, or are we ready to commit to 12 months? Given that it's taking 12 months to train units, and probably 12 months for a unit to recover from war, 3 brigades would just barely be sustainable with 12 month deployment cycles. With 6 month tours, we need 5 brigades. So deployment length isn't just a whim of CJOC commander the day the Op Order is written -- it drives force structure.

Centralized control of scarce resources. The Combat Support Brigade is, in my opinion, long overdue. For too long, we've had a strange habit of concentrating national level resources, allocating them to low level regional or tactical headquarters, and then wondering why those HQs didn't have the ability or influence to manage them properly. I'm thinking Electronic Warfare, tanks and the short-lived TOW company. I do wonder about putting the Combat Support Brigade under one of the divisions though, I would have it as a direct report to Army HQ. And I don't think that the concept went far enough -- if we don't have enough to share, tanks belong in the Combat Support Brigade. That doesn't mean they don't belong in Edmonton and Gagetown -- it means that I think they need central stewardship. If we insist on having minimal indirect fire, there's a argument to pulling the M777 up under central control, too.

Role of the reserves? Throughout. I'd have the high readiness brigade at full strength, all units topped up with Class C reservists for the duration of road to high readiness and high readiness. Whether 6 or 12 month tours, maybe instead of Class C we have them enrol in the Regular Force or the Special Force for a 18-24 month engagement for the entire road to high readiness and the deployment/high readiness period. Could this augmentation go behind individuals, and include entire platoons or companies or even a battalion of reservists, giving reservists the ability to command on operations? Of course, but probably on a lesser rotation cycle than the regulars. If there are 3 regular brigades, we might need 6 or 9 reserve battalion equivalents, plus reserve augmentation for the Combat Support functions -- but certainly not a structure of 10 reserve brigades.

Anything on top of that is an extra bill. Making the Latvia battalion a permanent non-rotational posting adds a battalion to the force structure, but removes that task from the brigades. If it stays rotational, that's another brigade on the force structure. A standing light NEO battalion, that's probably another brigade. You can easily get to a 5 to 7 brigade structure. Which is what we might need to be a credible army with influence and effect -- but then we get back to where we started at the end of the Cold War: "too hard, too expensive". None of this would be easy and cheap -- if was, we would have done it by now.