Author Topic: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves  (Read 1109440 times)

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Offline Hamish Seggie

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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.

 :cheers:

I think it’s simple yet complex. Politicians that think they know everything about the military and messing things up. Military members who are outside their element and haven’t got the sense to realize it.
The CAF has a plethora of GIF (Good Idea Fairies) who have not been told to “sit down and STFU”.
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Offline mariomike

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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.

Everything is so specialized now.

Apart from the Emergency Support Unit ( ESU ) I was a member of, there was HUSAR, and separate from ESU and HUSAR, there was the Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear Response Team (CBRN).

Not to mention Marine, ETF, PSU etc...

I do not recall much interest for that sort of training when I was in the Reserves.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2018, 13:56:32 by mariomike »

Offline Fishbone Jones

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Everything is so specialized now.

Apart from the Emergency Support Unit ( ESU ) I was a member of, there was HUSAR, and separate from ESU and HUSAR, there was the Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear Response Team (CBRN).

Not to mention Marine, ETF, PSU etc...

I do not recall much interest for that sort of training when I was in the Reserves.

Civil Defence was the Reservists raison d'etre in the 60's and early 70's Radiac meters https://www.orau.org/PTP/collection/radiac/IM174B.htm and personal dosimeters https://www.orau.org/PTP/collection/radiac/IM9.htm for everyone :rofl:
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Offline daftandbarmy

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Everything is so specialized now.

Apart from the Emergency Support Unit ( ESU ) I was a member of, there was HUSAR, and separate from ESU and HUSAR, there was the Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear Response Team (CBRN).

Not to mention Marine, ETF, PSU etc...

I do not recall much interest for that sort of training when I was in the Reserves.

One area where we COULD focus, and where it makes sense IMHO, is the CBRN stuff. It's a skill and capability that we don't really maintain effectively throughout the CF, I don't think, and it's a good match with the potential needs of municipalities.

But even that one capability would consume all of our training time to keep up the courses, skills and training required, and the infrastructure/ kit demands would be daunting.

"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 Humphrey Bogart

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I think it’s simple yet complex. Politicians that think they know everything about the military and messing things up. Military members who are outside their element and haven’t got the sense to realize it.
The CAF has a plethora of GIF (Good Idea Fairies) who have not been told to “sit down and STFU”.

This made me think of something I saw on Reddit yesterday:



Yes Retired General Cox, I'm certain you were able to provide very sound advice about "Winning the War in Aghanistan" and "Solving the Insurgency" to the man that commanded maybe 1% of total NATO Forces at the time in Afghanistan. 

I'm certain he has had some good ideas, but 'Winning the War" was probably a little outside of Canada's scope  :dunno:


Offline ArmyRick

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Sad. I am in the release procedures now (in the P Res, its taking awhile) and I am not impressed with the Good idea fairyism going on.

I will speak for infantry P Res (if I may after 27.5 years), focus on individual skills at a HIGH standard, focus on Section and platoon level training during the "school year" and then have a kick *** coy+ FTX in the summer concentration period. Fall arrives, re-start, hopefully some have moved up one on the totem pole.

For infantry, keep it basic. Focus on good solid soldiering skills and you can still pull off some high speed stuff with minimal training/rehearsals

Skills that are vital
-Small arms handling (know the drills cold for every company weapon)
-basic comms
-CRBN and combat ish first aid (not boring refresher crap that most troops practically sleep through)
-NAV (many soldiers suck at it and don't do enough instead they get to know their local bases and training areas)
-PW drills, casualty evacuation, resupply, vehicle searches, person searches, etc
-Section Hasty attacks
-Platoon hasty and deliberate attacks (day and night)
-platoon defensive occupations and withdrawals
-Urban ops (breaching, room clearing, building searches, etc)
-Keep winter warfare skills going

ALL of the above mentioned skills can easily gobble up all the training time September through June. It may not be sexy for some senior officers but at the end, the most important asset is there, a well trained and prepared infantry soldier
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Sad. I am in the release procedures now (in the P Res, its taking awhile) and I am not impressed with the Good idea fairyism going on.

I will speak for infantry P Res (if I may after 27.5 years), focus on individual skills at a HIGH standard, focus on Section and platoon level training during the "school year" and then have a kick *** coy+ FTX in the summer concentration period. Fall arrives, re-start, hopefully some have moved up one on the totem pole.

For infantry, keep it basic. Focus on good solid soldiering skills and you can still pull off some high speed stuff with minimal training/rehearsals

Skills that are vital
-Small arms handling (know the drills cold for every company weapon)
-basic comms
-CRBN and combat ish first aid (not boring refresher crap that most troops practically sleep through)
-NAV (many soldiers suck at it and don't do enough instead they get to know their local bases and training areas)
-PW drills, casualty evacuation, resupply, vehicle searches, person searches, etc
-Section Hasty attacks
-Platoon hasty and deliberate attacks (day and night)
-platoon defensive occupations and withdrawals
-Urban ops (breaching, room clearing, building searches, etc)
-Keep winter warfare skills going

ALL of the above mentioned skills can easily gobble up all the training time September through June. It may not be sexy for some senior officers but at the end, the most important asset is there, a well trained and prepared infantry soldier

Nah brah, that is too well thought out and makes sense.  We will carry on down a path that has failed before because....well Canadian Army of course!
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Offline Haggis

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But even that one capability would consume all of our training time to keep up the courses, skills and training required, and the infrastructure/ kit demands would be daunting.

A few years ago my unit, located in an area known as "Smuggler's Alley"  was tasked to train and equip a boat platoon to provide non-engineer marine mobility to the Territorial Battalion Group.  The plan was to do dry shore based training from September to November then on-water training from December to March and then contribute our developed capability to a TBG exercise. Our "training area" was generally frozen solid from December to March and overrun with cigarette boats and freighter traffic the rest of the time.  I'm sure those boat operators would have been less than thrilled to find the Army playing in their pool.

Thankfully the equipment, training and tasking never actually made it to the Armouy floor.
Train like your life depends on it.  Some day, it may.

Offline Colin P

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Unfortunately a lot of truth in that self divestment (I'm doubtful you'll give into the dark side of the force though Dave)

South Korea still has about 1500 105mm M101A1 in reserve, they are also adapting a number of them to be truck mounted, so lower half of the guns might be available as well. http://www.defenseworld.net/news/19711/South_Korea_To_Begin_Mass_Production_Of_Upgraded_105mm_Howitzer_In_2018
« Last Edit: June 08, 2018, 08:24:56 by Mike Bobbitt »

Offline FJAG

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South Korea still has about 1500 105mm M101A1 in reserve, they are also adapting a number of them to be truck mounted, so lower half of the guns might be available as well. http://www.defenseworld.net/news/19711/South_Korea_To_Begin_Mass_Production_Of_Upgraded_105mm_Howitzer_In_2018

It's not that there aren't reasonably priced guns available. That's never been the problem.

The problem is that the Reg F arty leadership has never taken its head out of it's butt to properly treat the reserve side of the branch seriously. It's always been an inconvenience as can be seen from the fact that some 50 years ago we took the diversity and capability out of the reserve artillery (locating, field, medium, even self propelled) and made them a vanilla brand of 105mm C1 towed which really had no war role at all. We've had a half century of basically the same gun (upgunned slightly to C3 and we now how well that worked out) with minor tweaks for gun tractors, radios and fire direction computers. The 105's are a dead end training aid and nothing more.

The fact is our leadership has never properly advocated or explored ways to improve the arty reserve capability. We should be thoroughly ashamed of ourselves.

 [cheers]
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Offline Eye In The Sky

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

or the shortage of NCDs in Halifax recently (in the past 13 months) - a Navy base.

or the basic inability for aircrew to get flight suits for over a year and not until, the last I heard, Nov of this year for a contract to be awarded.  direction given out at morning brief lately;  people with really thread bare, torn, worn etc flight suits they can't get exchanged are to take pictures, that the Sqn's are to send to the Air Div.  One of my B Cats was recently unable to get an issued flying knife "because there aren't any".  Our orders state "shall fly with ISSUED flying knife".  I could go on...but, flight suits are part of our ALSE (Aviation Life Support Equipment) and one of the mandated dual-layers we are required to fly in.  The day I have thread-bare uniforms, I'll be letting my CofC know I am unable to fly because of insufficient equipment.

Or the numerous attempts for the Cdn Army to get....combat (worthy) boots.  When there are numerous companies who make completely suitable and serviceable boots;  Danner, Matterhorn, Magnum, Bates....but the GoC makes us reinvent the wheel to produce a wheel that doesn't roll true.

And....http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/sajjan-dnd-equipment-funds-1.4683606

Feels like 20 years ago...next will be stories of the Reserves saying "bang! bang!" in training when they can't even get blanks. 
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Sometimes the reason is you're stupid and make bad decisions.

Offline Remius

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Or the current shortage and recall of rucksacks...
Optio

Offline Eye In The Sky

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One area where we COULD focus, and where it makes sense IMHO, is the CBRN stuff. It's a skill and capability that we don't really maintain effectively throughout the CF, I don't think, and it's a good match with the potential needs of municipalities.

But even that one capability would consume all of our training time to keep up the courses, skills and training required, and the infrastructure/ kit demands would be daunting.

CRT - Chemical Recce Teams, NBC Survey tasks...etc.  Back in the day when I was PRes Armd Recce in the early 90s, NBC/CRT tasks were part of the handful of tasks the Armd Recce Sqns trained in.  We also trained 2 nights a week and 2 weekends a month back then, and NBC Sur/CRTs were a secondary task.  It was part of my 6B years ago as well, everyone had to pass a NBC/CRT trace as either the Tp Ldr or Tp WO.  We trained on the kit, the TTPs, etc on the Recce Crewman course, QL3, 6A.

Definitely a doable task, and one proven in the past the PRes units could maintain a skillset in.  Not sure if the Reserve zipperheads are still playing in that sandbox these days.
« Last Edit: June 07, 2018, 21:49:37 by Eye In The Sky »
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Sometimes the reason is you're stupid and make bad decisions.

Offline daftandbarmy

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CRT - Chemical Recce Teams, NBC Survey tasks...etc.  Back in the day when I was PRes Armd Recce in the early 90s, NBC/CRT tasks were part of the handful of tasks the Armd Recce Sqns trained in.  We also trained 2 nights a week and 2 weekends a month back then, and NBC Sur/CRTs were a secondary task.  It was part of my 6B years ago as well, everyone had to pass a NBC/CRT trace as either the Tp Ldr or Tp WO.  We trained on the kit, the TTPs, etc on the Recce Crewman course, QL3, 6A.

Definitely a doable task, and one proven in the past the PRes units could maintain a skillset in.  Not sure if the Reserve zipperheads are still playing in that sandbox these days.

And, although I have no idea if this is a good fit, aren't the TAPVs potentially suitable as NBC recce vehicles? I assume they can be 'over pressured'?
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Offline dubble

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Feels like 20 years ago...next will be stories of the Reserves saying "bang! bang!" in training when they can't even get blanks.

Just throwing this out there, but that exact situation happened to me on my DP1 - Infantry but a few years ago.

Offline Colin P

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It's not that there aren't reasonably priced guns available. That's never been the problem.

The problem is that the Reg F arty leadership has never taken its head out of it's butt to properly treat the reserve side of the branch seriously. It's always been an inconvenience as can be seen from the fact that some 50 years ago we took the diversity and capability out of the reserve artillery (locating, field, medium, even self propelled) and made them a vanilla brand of 105mm C1 towed which really had no war role at all. We've had a half century of basically the same gun (upgunned slightly to C3 and we now how well that worked out) with minor tweaks for gun tractors, radios and fire direction computers. The 105's are a dead end training aid and nothing more.

The fact is our leadership has never properly advocated or explored ways to improve the arty reserve capability. We should be thoroughly ashamed of ourselves.

 [cheers]

A 105mm with the same sights as a M777 and basically the same fire control systems as the reg force, then you can work them into the existing batteries. have some travelling 155 with teams to familiarize Reserve arty troops with the M777, in regards to setup and loading drills. A shrunken M777 in 105mm would be a good training gun. The C1-C3 has been a good gun for the reserves as it has been incredibly robust.
As I recall when we became a Ops task battery, we ended up with 2 CP's each with a Milpac computer and lasers for our OP teams. the only thing we lacked was encrypted comms, myself and one other guy were Nestor qualified.

Offline mariomike

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I was an MSE Op in a Service Battalion.  Transportation Company did the mandatory NBCW training. Perhaps not as much as some units. It was not something we specialized in.

One area where we COULD focus, and where it makes sense IMHO, is the CBRN stuff. It's a skill and capability that we don't really maintain effectively throughout the CF, I don't think, and it's a good match with the potential needs of municipalities.

But even that one capability would consume all of our training time to keep up the courses, skills and training required, and the infrastructure/ kit demands would be daunting.

I could have taken the voluntary Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear training with the city, but for the $425.00 annual premium ( back then ), it was not something I was particularly interested in.

Especially after what a friend who had been sent to Three Mile Island as an observer told me.

Class A training is one thing, but how enthusiastic would the average reservist be about voluntarily responding to a real-life CBRN call downtown?

If it was that serious, reservists who were members of the emergency services would likely already be there.


 
« Last Edit: June 08, 2018, 16:42:18 by mariomike »

Offline FJAG

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A 105mm with the same sights as a M777 and basically the same fire control systems as the reg force, then you can work them into the existing batteries. have some travelling 155 with teams to familiarize Reserve arty troops with the M777, in regards to setup and loading drills. A shrunken M777 in 105mm would be a good training gun. The C1-C3 has been a good gun for the reserves as it has been incredibly robust.
As I recall when we became a Ops task battery, we ended up with 2 CP's each with a Milpac computer and lasers for our OP teams. the only thing we lacked was encrypted comms, myself and one other guy were Nestor qualified.

As I said the C3 is a training aid and we'll never take it to war.

I'm strongly of the view that reservists should have a weapon system that they can go to war with. Simplest example is that Canada needs (or at the very least should have) a multiple rocket launcher system. In the US there are 3 Active Duty FA Brigades and 8 National Guard FA Brigades equipped with HIMARS. A perfect solution--several brigades for immediate deployment and a lot more for follow up deployment. You don't need them every day but when you do need them you'll want people trained on them and ready to go. They're a perfect reserve role as they do not require a complex infrastructure -- just firing units, logistic support and basic maintenance.

Strangely enough, the US Army also entrusts M777 and M109A6 Paladin self propelled battalions to the National Guard and deploys them when needed.

I'm sure someone will bring up the issue that all these things are resource heavy. And they are. But here's the big point. What's the use of paying any money for a reserve force that's without the equipment and skills to go to war without lengthy training and equipment procurement cycles. Effectively we have a Reg F arty establishment that can't be grown (but maybe partially augmented and nothing more). Our reservists are a wasted resource (but they get to wear Divisional patches - just brilliant)

 :brickwall:
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Actually, training on the C3 or LG1, IMO, is not the main issue, it is at least a start on the basics
Reg F units have taken upon themselves to build on this baseline. For example 2 RCHA has shipped some of their M777 to armouries across Ont so P Res units can get trained on at least the basics, and confirmation live fire happens in Petawawa, using some of that Regt's ammo allotment

The training of STA Dets, on the other hand, hasn't really progressed too far, yet.

The main problem with this latest idea is that available training days are maxed out as they are, there's no room to jam anything else in there.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2018, 02:20:56 by Petard »

Offline Eye In The Sky

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And, although I have no idea if this is a good fit, aren't the TAPVs potentially suitable as NBC recce vehicles? I assume they can be 'over pressured'?

Not sure actually.  Not having worked an AFV with an overpressure system, I'd guess that they have a air filtering system as well.  Some  of the heavy metal types might know, the Leo 1 had a overpressure/BNC system IIRC (I remember hearing some of the Germany guys talking about how the NBC fan was a decent 24 cooler).

If so, they could be good for the mounted aspect;  I wouldn't waste something like that on a dismounted team task (probably a Capt Obvious statement).
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Online MilEME09

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The fact they are asking what is essentially a deployable sub unit, but not changing any other rules and regulations means this is not going to work well at all, while it is great to say we will deploy a gun det or a CSS combined platoon from the PRes, how many bodies can actually commit? there are way to many questions in my opinion about how this process might work, and frankly most of them don't have answer's or good ones at that. You'll ask for a platoon and get maybe a section at best for an EX, and even less for deployment I will guess. Then there is the question of integration with Reg F elements and what that would look like. Pretty sure when a section+/- shows up when a Company commander is expecting an extra platoon thing will go sideways against the reserves.
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Offline Rifleman62

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Pretty sure when a section+/- shows up when a Company commander is expecting an extra platoon thing will go sideways against the reserves.

Inform the Coy Comd that the remainder are LOB's. :nod:
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Offline Eye In The Sky

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Thinking about the other side of the coin, how often have people complained 'the reserves have no role or goal from the Army etc';  now, they are doing it (not perfectly, but perhaps a step in the direction of improvement...too early to tell IMO) and people are throwing the baby out with the bathwater already.

Any chance at all this is an improvement from the status quo?  And if it is, what comes of this can be improved more, and so on as the next few years go on?
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Offline FJAG

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This brings me back to my prime reserve force hobby horse. Our problem is that we have a volunteer-once regular force and a volunteer-twice reserve force.

The Regs volunteer once to enrol and after that are subject to orders postings etc as the CF requires. The Res, on the other hand volunteer twice: once to enrol and thereafter volunteer every time they deploy, go on exercise or even show up on a parade night. That is a fundamental flaw.

Our system could be (and should be) refined to have at it's heart a volunteer-once reserve. Once enrolled training and deployments should be mandatory and enforceable. Without that reservists will always be viewed as marginally useful when it comes to operational roles. Harjit! Come see me. Have coffee. We'll talk.  ;D

 :cheers:
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Offline Eye In The Sky

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Curious - how would your version of the Res accommodate (or would it accommodate) things like university exams, *family member sick*, civie job schedule conflict, etc?  Would you stick to the current system for NES?
Everything happens for a reason.

Sometimes the reason is you're stupid and make bad decisions.