Author Topic: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves  (Read 1115042 times)

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Offline FJAG

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Fair enough, I mean the reserves as an entity needs to be fixed whether it's by the government, headsheds or local units,  whomever.

Not saying reserves are at fault for all the issues that plague them but they are responsible for some of it.

Reserves need more funding for basic equipment from the government. They can't afford body Armor or boots for their members, I have no idea how they'll afford specialized equipment for all these special roles coming to them.

I'm not sagging the reserves, I still believe 100% the reg force can't deploy or fight a war without the reserves.
 Still were talking about training 4 or 5 reservists with these special skills and tasks  to ensure at least 1 can augment the regular force, I think even that is optimistic.


I've said this many times. The reserves are a way that you can multiply the fighting force that you have without paying an inordinate amount of money for it. We're just doing it wrong and need to fix the system from the ground up.

I'm writing another novel right now and since my characters are CID agents working out of Florida I use existing Army elements there. In my last one I arbitrarily picked the 1st Battalion 124th Infantry of the Florida Army National Guard where a murder happens for them to solve.

As I researched the 1-124 I found that the battalion's strength is around 600 folks. Their battalion headquarters and headquarters company and C Company is in Miami, A coy in Hollywood Fl, B Coy in Cocoa and D Coy in West Palm (nicely scattered along the eastern coast. Since 9/11 the battalion complete has deployed 2002-2004 for a year and a bit to Iraq; In 2006-2006 for a year and a bit several hundred deployed to Afghanistan training the new Afghan army and 2010 the whole battalion went back to Iraq. The 1-124th sister battalion, the 2-124th (HHC Orlando, A - Leesburg, B - Sanford, C - Ocala, D - Eustis - basically central Florida) has a similar record.

We may wish to denigrate the Yanks but think about their service plans. In general, an individual signs up for Active Duty with a 2,4 or 6 year contract but with a total of 8 years of military commitment. The balance between the 8 years commitment and the active duty contract must be spent in the National Guard or Army reserves (with a one weekend per month, two weeks per year compulsory training requirement) or in the inactive reserve. In addition, of course, the President can activate individual reservists (including the inactive reserves) and reserve and guard units to active duty.

In addition of course, individuals can join the National Guard without doing Active duty first.

There are currently eight "deployable" National Guard Infantry divisions and numerous non-divisional but "deployable" brigades, formations and units (arty, engineer, sustainment, air defence, MP, aviation etc). And while noting is 100% perfect, most are manned and equipped up to their "deployable" state. (Many units are heavy armor, armored infantry and self propelled artillery and missile launcher.

For a current overview, Wikipedia gives you a quick glance:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Army_National_Guard

Here's a 2005 overview of the restructuring that was going on at the time to modernize the system.

https://www.ausa.org/sites/default/files/TBSR-2005-ARNG-Division-and-Brigade-Combat-Team-Designations.pdf

I'm a great fan of our reserves. Have served both regular and reserves for a very long time. Quite frankly I've reached the point that unless we are going to get serious about changing our attitudes as to how to recruit, train, equip and employ our regular and reserve components so that they will actually become one credible force, then we might as well shut the whole piece of crap down and use the money to fund better day-care centers and free community colleges (universities should all be shut down except for the professional faculties)

My rant for the day.  :pullhair:

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Offline Privateer

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From Canadian Forces twitter feed today:
https://twitter.com/CanadianForces/status/1004453419250307072

Quote
Starting in 2018, Army Reserve units will be assigned specific Mission Tasks: mortars, pioneers, light urban search and rescue, and direct fire support
With a link to "Defence Investment Plan 2018": https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/corporate/reports-publications/defence-investment-plan-2018/planned-expenditures.html

Does this mean that the Army Reserve is getting out of "basic" infantry, artillery and armoured reconnaissance work?

Offline Jarnhamar

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Quote from: Privateer

Does this mean that the Army Reserve is getting out of "basic" infantry, artillery and armoured reconnaissance work?

Yup.

Basic skills and experience is the last thing the regular force needs when reservists show up for work  ;D
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Offline RCPalmer

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From Canadian Forces twitter feed today:
https://twitter.com/CanadianForces/status/1004453419250307072
With a link to "Defence Investment Plan 2018": https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/corporate/reports-publications/defence-investment-plan-2018/planned-expenditures.html

Does this mean that the Army Reserve is getting out of "basic" infantry, artillery and armoured reconnaissance work?

These mission tasks above are just the "new" ones.  As part of this process, the expected outputs of the Army Reserve for "basic" Infantry, Arty, Armored Recce, et al. are being codified as well as part of the same mission task framework.

Offline daftandbarmy

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From Canadian Forces twitter feed today:
https://twitter.com/CanadianForces/status/1004453419250307072
With a link to "Defence Investment Plan 2018": https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/corporate/reports-publications/defence-investment-plan-2018/planned-expenditures.html

Does this mean that the Army Reserve is getting out of "basic" infantry, artillery and armoured reconnaissance work?

No.

I'm pretty sure that we will try to do both the jobs, and fail.
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline pbi

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No.

I'm pretty sure that we will try to do both the jobs, and fail.

Oh, no....not this again.

I lived through the ill-fated "Op Tasking" episode in the Army decades ago, which was done for more or less the same stated reasons. Kit and tasks were dumped on Reserve units who couldn't really handle either very well.

Of course, like all ill-conceived military ventures, when it didn't work out like the Powerpoint said it would, blame was freely flung about. The Militia had proved its essential worthlessness, or the Regular Army had once again demonstrated its fundamental ignorance and arrogance. Or both.

Then we all forgot about it. (the Army has the institutional memory of a gnat: we can tell you all about Vimy or Dieppe, but just try asking what happened 20 or 30 years ago...)

So, here it is, back again as a "new idea".  Will the units get more paid days and more qualified instructional staff, so that they can actually be proficient in their MOC skill (which is why the Army has the units in the first place...), AND be proficient in these new skill sets?

If the answer is "yes", well then that's great, and I wish it well.  If "no", then just forget the whole thing right now before we repeat the pain by pointless wheel re-invention.

It's particularly ominous to see the LUSAR task: this brings back the ghosts of the "Snakes and Ladders" era in the 1960s when the Militia was being trained as a big Civil Defence force for post-nuclear strike recovery operations. Ropes, ladders, shoring and block-and-tackle  were the order of the day. It was a huge dissatisfier, and according to people I've spoken with who served at the time, it caused serious attrition in Militia units by people who joined to soldier.

Structural search and rescue is a skill that fire departments (whose business is rescue) usually allocate to dedicated rescue squads, manned by qualified specialists using a wide range of  unique tools and techniques. Venturing into damaged and unstable buildings with electrical power, water and gas hazards, along with fire and HAZMAT threats, is not a job for amateurs. I wonder what skill level an Army Reserve LUSAR-tasked unit could actually achieve, unless it was already a Combat Engineer unit.
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Offline dapaterson

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With the guns currently self-divesting, LUSAR is going to the artillery, mortars to the Infantry, and blackness to my soul.
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Offline pbi

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With the guns currently self-divesting, LUSAR is going to the artillery, mortars to the Infantry, and blackness to my soul.

Oh, well then. It's all good. Nothing to worry about.

I say, my good man, shuffle those deck chairs about a bit would you? I'd like a better view of those icebergs.
The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools. ...

The true measure of a man is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out...

Offline mariomike

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It's particularly ominous to see the LUSAR task:

For reference to the discussion,

Canadian Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) classification guide
https://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/rbn-srch-rsc/index-en.aspx

Covers Light, Medium and Heavy USAR.

Offline daftandbarmy

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For reference to the discussion,

Canadian Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) classification guide
https://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/rsrcs/pblctns/rbn-srch-rsc/index-en.aspx

Covers Light, Medium and Heavy USAR.

We've been toying with the LUSAR thing for years, badly. Without the training, equipment, specialist skills and leaders, and infrastructure, I'm pretty sure we'll just become better informed casualties.
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline pbi

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We've been toying with the LUSAR thing for years, badly. Without the training, equipment, specialist skills and leaders, and infrastructure, I'm pretty sure we'll just become better informed casualties.


So, I looked at the Public Safety LUSAR link, in particular at the training bill for LUSAR. Sorry, but without the additional resources I noted in my earlier e-mail, I really don't see how the unit can achieve the proficiency to operate safely in a significant structural collapse incident without close supervision by Fire Service rescue technicians. (Who would, BTW, already be very busy if it is a major incident)

And I really, really don't see how the unit could have any hope of being certifiably competent at the LUSAR task and still be competent at its MOC skills. It's hard enough now on 37.5 days a year, with unpredictable attendance, and other mandated training and activities.

Maybe this LUSAR task is the wrong answer to the right question. If the question is "Does Canada have enough domestic USAR capability in the event of a major emergency?", and the response is "No", then the proper COA is to establish a civilian volunteer augmentation or auxiliary to the existing Fire Service, similar to the Civil Defense rescue squads of the 1950s and 60s, or the Auxiliary Fire Service in UK during WW2. People who train on rescue as their primary function, to the exclusion of other things.

Granted, it would exist as a municipal or provincial thing, funded by Public Safety, and not as a feather in DND's cap, but it might keep the right things in the right lanes.
The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools. ...

The true measure of a man is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out...

Offline Rifleman62

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Quote
link to "Defence Investment Plan 2018": https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/corporate/reports-publications/defence-investment-plan-2018/planned-expenditures.html

Quote
Defence Investment Plan 2018 | Part II: Maximizing Defence's success

2.2 Maximizing Defence’s success

2.2.1.Capitalizing on innovation

2.2.2 Optimizing procurement

and on, and on. Who writes this stuff let alone believes it?

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Offline Humphrey Bogart

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and on, and on. Who writes this stuff let alone believes it?

The Canadian Government  ;D

The Canadian Federal Public Service is like the French Colonial Army, Operationally Optimistic.

Offline pbi

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and on, and on. Who writes this stuff let alone believes it?

Answers:

a. the usual suspects; and

b. nobody.

The success of any Govt's defense procurement and funding policies can be judged only by looking at what is really sitting in the compound, on the apron, or alongside the jetty: never by what is on paper.

What I don't understand is how, in the short six years of WW2 we went from a tiny little tinpot military to a large and respectable force. How the hell did that happen? And how has it gotten so arsed up?
The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools. ...

The true measure of a man is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out...

Offline pbi

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Here is the kind of civilian volunteer Civil Defense LUSAR unit that was kicking around in the 1950s (see attachment)
The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools. ...

The true measure of a man is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out...

Offline FJAG

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With the guns currently self-divesting, LUSAR is going to the artillery, mortars to the Infantry, and blackness to my soul.

Please tell me that this is just an attempt at humour. I really don't want to hate the Reg F artillery leadership more than I already do.

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Offline Hamish Seggie

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The Canadian Government  ;D

The Canadian Federal Public Service is like the French Colonial Army, Operationally Optimistic.

There’s too damn many good idea fairies infecting DND and the CAF.
Freedom Isn't Free   "Never Shall I Fail My Brothers"

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Offline mariomike

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Here is the kind of civilian volunteer Civil Defense LUSAR unit that was kicking around in the 1950s (see attachment)

Metropolitan Toronto established the Department of Emergency Services ( D.E.S.) under Commissioner John H. Pollard.

It was responsible for the operation of the Emergency Measures Civil Defense division known as, Emergency Measures Organization ( EMO ).

EMO was responsible for training and setting up a Heavy Urban Rescue Service ( now known as HUSAR ).
http://maps.library.utoronto.ca/datapub/digital/metro_1963/metro_1963_046.jpg
 

« Last Edit: June 07, 2018, 12:04:45 by mariomike »

Offline Humphrey Bogart

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There’s too damn many good idea fairies infecting DND and the CAF.

yes, it seems they want us to do everything but actually be a military

Offline Hamish Seggie

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yes, it seems they want us to do everything but actually be a military

How True. It seems charity work, dressing in civvies on Fridays etc is far more important than operations, training and mundane stuff like making sure boots are available for soldiers to wear......
« Last Edit: June 07, 2018, 12:35:24 by Hamish Seggie »
Freedom Isn't Free   "Never Shall I Fail My Brothers"

“Do everything that is necessary and nothing that is not".

Offline FJAG

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How True. It seems charity work, dressing in civvies on Fridays etc is far more important than operations, training and mundane stuff like making sure boots are available for soldiers to wear......

True enough but the stupid thing is that the two do not need to be mutually exclusive. I do wonder how it has gotten this way.

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Offline Fishbone Jones

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I heard the Reserves will be doing civil defence and nuclear fallout surveys. :whistle:

(some may be too young to get the inference)
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What scares me is how comfortable people are doing nothing about it.

Offline Fishbone Jones

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How True. It seems charity work, dressing in civvies on Fridays etc is far more important than operations, training and mundane stuff like making sure boots are available for soldiers to wear......

.....or sleeping bags. I wonder if they'll have to hot bag it in Mali?
Corruption in politics doesn't scare me.
What scares me is how comfortable people are doing nothing about it.

Offline Humphrey Bogart

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.....or sleeping bags. I wonder if they'll have to hot bag it in Mali?

We can start referring to TF Mali as the Sahel Submariners  8)

Offline daftandbarmy

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Metropolitan Toronto established the Department of Emergency Services ( D.E.S.) under Commissioner John H. Pollard.

It was responsible for the operation of the Emergency Measures Civil Defense division known as, Emergency Measures Organization ( EMO ).

EMO was responsible for training and setting up a Heavy Urban Rescue Service ( now known as HUSAR ).
http://maps.library.utoronto.ca/datapub/digital/metro_1963/metro_1963_046.jpg

We had the HUSAR folks in Vancouver in for a weekend of 'getting to know you' type activities. My take away was that we, the Reserves especially, are currently a moon shot away from being able to integrate with, or otherwise support without getting in the way, of the activities of organizations like this.

Confined/ semi-confined space entries and any kind of rescue in any kind of built up area? NBC decontamination? Anything that requires to be done in a fire/flood/chemical toxic environment? No way, uh uh...

Unless you need us to fill and carry body bags... which was something I mentioned we could probably do with our current levels of training and support.
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon