Author Topic: Divining the right role, capabilities, structure, and Regimental System for Canada's Army Reserves  (Read 1134214 times)

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Offline Thucydides

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Another way of forcing the move to Tac Groups is the evolution of "task force" structures to deal with the confused securety environment of a "three block war" AKA "full spectrum ops". In LFCA we should start seeing some movement in 06 when the summer concentration changes to reflect "Full Spectrum Ops".

Although I have not seen any official direction, my guess is the composite LIB, AAR, FLG and Artillery formations we have been creating for training purposes will morph into one or two Task Force HQs, which may be Infantry heavy, but have elements of all the arms and services integral to its operation. Since we already stand up and train with the composite formations during the training year, raising a Task Force HQ and training with a composite Task Force during the training year is not a big change.
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Offline Tango2Bravo

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While I am getting a couple of echelons above my comfort level, I think that a good structure would have four or five Reseve Brigade Groups HQs across the country, each with four or five composite units in them.  The unit and bde HQs would be commanded by reservists but have a heavy infusion of Reg F staff to manage day to day operations.

We may find that the reserve voice in the army actually strengthens.  There would be twenty or so COs and four or five Comds.  They would actually have units and bdes under them.

One lower level question is whether to have combined arms "unit groups" or keep pure units.  There are advantages and disadvantages to both.

Cheers
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Offline TCBF

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So, we keep a 'social' structure - with all of it's advantages - as we have it now, but train and exercise in a quasi 'mobilization' structure: tac groupings - with all of it's advantages.  Yes?
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Offline Horse_Soldier

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Another way of forcing the move to Tac Groups is the evolution of "task force" structures to deal with the confused securety environment of a "three block war" AKA "full spectrum ops". In LFCA we should start seeing some movement in 06 when the summer concentration changes to reflect "Full Spectrum Ops".

Although I have not seen any official direction, my guess is the composite LIB, AAR, FLG and Artillery formations we have been creating for training purposes will morph into one or two Task Force HQs, which may be Infantry heavy, but have elements of all the arms and services integral to its operation. Since we already stand up and train with the composite formations during the training year, raising a Task Force HQ and training with a composite Task Force during the training year is not a big change.
LFQA milcon this summer is going to run on a TF basis, with each of 34 and 35 Bde forming an all arms TF (heavy on inf).  Should be interesting.
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Offline old medic

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The Tac Gping is a good idea, but I am unsure on amalgamation.  Perhaps we could Tac Gp similar to the 6 (eventually 4) CMRs in the First War.  I believe many reserve regts contributed to them.  Reform the CMRs - or whatever - as tactical groupings, and retain the current regts.  Did they not form the CIBG in Germany in the fifties like this?  A company each from many units?  I realize that we are looking at a platoon each from many units, but...

Is Sam Hughes laughing in his grave?

Tom

Tom, It was very short lived, but your thinking about 27 CIBG, the PANDA brigade for NATO.

I don't know if he's laughing, but it is amusing that M.D.10 (now 38 CBG) did have a Field Artillery HQ to direct it's then 7 artillery
units. Everything old is new again.

OM


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Offline Rifleman62

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It was only a matter of time, and the time is now. The Army Reserve needs transformation. We have far too many Reserve units that cannot be sustained. Too many Reserve units that cannot sustain leadership at all levels, especially at the MWO/CWO and Maj/LCol ranks. Unit sucession is difficult. Too many units with less than 75 effective personnel that have a CO, DCO, Adjt, RSM, Trg O, Orderly Room, Unit QM, etc. How many bayonets does that leave? Do we need all this unit infrastructure that we cannot sustain? Our Reserve units have not fought as a unit for over 60 years, and never will ( mobilization is dead, therefore the theory of why we need so many units is dead).In our CBG we have the following in a city of less than 115,000: a Nav Res stone frigrate; an Army Res Inf Bn and Svc Bn; a Coms Res Sqn; and a CFMG Fd Amb.The local area cannot sustain this many units, nor produce the senior leadership. We need to tacticaly group units, and in some cases all the P Res units in location. Why not a LCol or Cdr commanding all five of these units, with one OR, and a  Navy and Army Trg O's.  Sure cuts down on the infransture.  Sure sounds familiar.



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1.     The current Army Reserve Establishment (ARE) dates back to its implementation date of 1 Apr 00 and provides for 25,585 positions in the Human Resources Management System (HRMS). They were developed through a two-year consultative process and are based on the recommendations of the LFRR task forces, which were reviewed by the LFRR Structure Working Group and Command Consultative Working Group. It has received annual incremental changes through the Army Reserve Working Group (AResWG) and Army Reserve Advisory Group (AResAG) but has not been subject to a fundamental review since its inception.
   1.      Le TÉRAT actuel remonte à sa mise en Å“uvre du premier avril 2000 et fournissent 25,585 positions dans le Système de gestion des ressources humaines (SGRH).  Ces tableaux ont été développés suite à une consultation étendue sur deux ans, ainsi que sur les recommandations du comité d'étude de la RRFT, et ont été révisés par le groupe de travail sur la structure RRFT et le groupe de travail de consultation du Commandement.  Certains changements annuels ont été implantés à travers le groupe de travail de la Réserve de l'Armée (GT RésA) et le groupe consultatif de la Réserve de l'Armée (GC RésA), mais n'ont jamais subi une révision fondamentale depuis leur création.

2.     With the announcement of the Federal Budget 05 and the Defence Policy Statement we know that the intended strength of the Army Reserve for the foreseeable future is 18,500 soldiers. Of this number, 1,100 are allocated to the Medical Reserve (MedRes) and a further 100 are planned to be filled by the Communications Reserve (CommRes) to provide balanced support to a larger Army Reserve.
   2.     Avec l'annonce du budget fédéral 2005 et la déclaration sur la politique de la Défense nous savons que l'effectif envisagé dans le futur immédiat pour la Réserve de l'Armée est de 18,500 soldats.  De ce nombre, 1000 positions sont octroyées à la Réserve Médicale (RésMéd), et nous planifions d'octroyer 100 positions à la Réserve des communications (Rés Comms) afin qu'il nous fournisse un soutien proportionnel à la grandeur de la  Réserve de l'Armée.

3.     The Army Regeneration Plan, the Managed Readiness Plan, and CF Transformation are placing demands on the Army Reserve, the full extent of which is not yet known in sufficient detail.
   3.     Le plan de regénération de l'Armée, le plan de gestion des niveaux de préparation, et le plan de transformation des FC exercent des demandes sur la Réserve de l'Armée dont les détails restent à être précisés.

AIM
   BUT
4.     The aim of the ARE Review is to ensure that the Army Reserve establishment reflects the best mix of units and mission element types, and locations to force generate Reservists to fulfill the Army Reserve role.
   4.     Le but cette révision des TÉRATs est de s'assurer que les établissements de la Réserve de l'Armée reflètent le meilleur mélange d'unités, de type d'éléments de mission et d'emplacement afin de générer suffisamment de réservistes pour remplir le rôle de la Réserve de l'Armée.

METHODOLOGY
   MÉTHODOLOGIE
5.     The review will be conducted on two parallel tracks, the results of each being brought together to produce the revised ARE:
   5.     La révision prendra deux avenues parallèles.  Le résultat de chacune sera combiné à l'autre afin de produire des TÉRATs révisés.
a.   Track 1. An analysis of defence policy documents will provide a precise measure of the CF expectations of the ARE. All Army Reserve roles and tasks must be considered including:
   a.   Première avenue.  Une analyse des documents contenant la politique de la Défense fournira une mesure précise des attentes des FC envers les TÉRATs.  Toutes les tâches de la Réserve de l'Armée doivent être considérées, comprenant :

i.   framework for mobilization;   i.   cadre de la mobilisation;
ii.   connect with Canadians;   ii.   créer un lien avec les canadiens
iii.   expeditionary operations;   iii.   opérations expéditionnaires;
iv.   domestic operations;   iv.   opérations domestiques;
v.   institutional Army Reserve (to include HQs, training, administration, etc); and
   v.   la Réserve de l'Armée institutionnelle (comprenant les QG, l'instruction, l'administration, etc); et

b.   Track 2. An analysis of existing units and mission elements, along with an understanding of where Canadians are best prepared to support Army Reserve units, will help to determine where Army Reserve units and mission elements should best be located.
   b.   Deuxième avenue.  Une analyse des unités et éléments de mission existantes, avec la compréhension des emplacements ou les canadiens sont prêts à soutenir une unité de la Réserve de l'Armée, afin d'aider à déterminer les meilleurs endroits ou les éléments de mission et unités de la Réserve de l'Armée devraient être situées.

6.     With respect to Track 1, stakeholders will assist in ensuring that the task list is complete. With respect to Track 2, stakeholders will contribute to determining the criteria from which we can best understand the suitability of a location to sustain an Army Reserve unit/mission element. Criteria to be applied must be objective and verifiable by all concerned.
   6.     Dans le cadre de la première avenue, les parties intéressées sont sollicitées afin de s'assurer que les listes des tâches sont complètes.  Quant à la deuxième avenue, nous sollicitons la participation des parties intéressées afin de déterminer les critères par lesquels l'efficacité des sites à soutenir un élément de mission/unité de la Réserve de l'Armée sera jugé.  Les critères sélectionnés devront être objectifs et vérifiables par tous.

CONCLUSION
   CONCLUSION
7.     There is no need to reply to this message. This message will be followed, in Jul 05, with a draft directive detailing how the Review will be conducted. All stakeholders will have the opportunity to comment on the methodology and criteria of the Review. It is my intent to table a draft report of the completed ARE review at the 26 Nov 05 CCAG along with deduced recommendations for how to apply the remaining 1500 positions of unallocated LFRR growth (Ph 2c & 2d). The final report recommending the new ARE to CLS should be tabled at the Mar 06 CCAG. Once reviewed, we can expect that the revised ARE will be subjected to further periodic reviews at an interval (3-5 years?) as determined by CLS.
   7.     Aucun besoin de répondre à ce message, car ce message sera suivi, en juil 05, par une ébauche d'une directive déterminant comment la révision sera effectuée.  Toutes les parties intéressées auront l'occasion de commenter sur la méthodologie et les critères utilisés pour la révision.  C'est mon intention d'avoir une ébauche de la révision des TÉRATs complétée pour le GCC du 26 nov 05, ainsi que les recommandations déduites pour la détermination des 1500 positions de croissance RRFT (Ph 2c & 2d) non attribuées.  Le rapport final recommandant les nouveaux TÉRATs au CÉMAT devra être complété pour le GCC de mars 06.  Une fois examiné, nous pouvons anticiper que les TÉRATs révisés seront réviser périodiquement à un intervalle (3 à 5 ans) déterminé par le CÉMAT.

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Offline Michael Shannon

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The vast majority of good training militia soldiers get comes on Class B & C opportunities when the resources, personnel and time are available. Class A is usually a waste of time and drives away successful people who don't have time or the patience to be at the armoury two or three days a week. Since the CF has no intention of creating effective reserve units such as the US Army National Guard has we might as well face up to it and make it as good an individual force generator as possible.

The Plan

   There are no units as such. There is no Class A service. Individuals join the reserve and are assigned to a trade with available training slots. They undergo intensive training centrally. For example all officer training is "RESO", in this system you don't need a mess sec or CLO. Training "for the armoury floor" is dead.

   Everyone is assigned to a Reserve Centre. This HQ administers the member, conducts bounty training (see below) and sources training and employment opportunities. A centre has no part time rank structure. The staff report to area HQs. Area Battle Schools for junior officers and NCMs are held regularly for each trade. i.e The infantry would get together for three battle schools annually: Winter, Spring and Fall. The emphasis in all would be battle fitness, patrolling and weapons training for 2 weeks. Everyone must attend one battle school annually. Senior officers could attend two week long TEWT/CPXs annually. The centre maintains a web site to keep everyone updated.  Reserve soldiers apart from bounties are only paid Class C.

Promotions are based on qualification (on the same courses as regulars), time in rank, successful attendance at the last two bounty weekends, employment in current rank at four battle schools and recommendation by the OIC Reserve Centre. Operational tours in trade could be substituted for the battles schools. The rank structure would be very flat. Senior Officers would be rare.

  What happens during a domestic disaster and the reserve is called out? The same as happens now. Everyone gets together to see who has showed up and the senior man takes control and we try to get to the disaster in rented buses and pickups. The new name for this ad hoc system is called forming a "task force".

   The reserve is going nowhere if something drastic isn't done to raise the quality of training of it's members. Leadership training and physical standards must be the same as the regulars (which are already low).

     Worrying about footprint in the community, battle honours, the band and mess functions and who's going to command the "Regiment" that's actually 20 good troops, 10 befuddled recruits and 60 hangers on will only lead to more decay. Combine the ludicrous notion of maintaining the structure of 10 brigades with virtually no access to modern AFVs and the failure of being able to hold part timers to any fitness standard and it adds up to a joke.




   * Bounty training: each trained member of the reserve must report to a training area for 1 weekend in May and October annually. They go through a DAG, fire the PWT for rifle, LMG and pistol, TOETs on the other weapons, run the "new army fitness test" (see below) and have a first aid refresher. They are paid a bounty of $ 300 for the weekend and a bounty of $ 1000 for shooting marksman on the rifle and another $1000 for passing the fitness test and scoring in the top 25 percentile on the fitness test march. Tuition assistance is based on attendance at both bounty weekends and a battle school.

    * The New Army Fitness Test: 13 km carrying 35 Kgs of weapon and rucksack in 2 hours and 28 minutes. 100m firemans carry, 40 m sprint in fighting order with rifle in 12 seconds. Unassisted climb over a 2 m wall. This fitness test is designed to discourage the physically inactive from being in the army.


     

Offline old medic

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There is already 20 pages worth of debate on this issue here:


The Reserve Force Regimental System (Restructure & Merger)
http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,25713.0.html

Reserve Restructure Information on the Web
http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,14202.0.html

Reserve Restructure
http://forums.army.ca/forums/index.php/topic,21338.0.html

<This, and the above 2 posts merged in from another thread.>
« Last Edit: June 25, 2005, 17:32:43 by old medic »
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Offline pbi

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Old Medic: thanks for pointing that out.Alot of electrons have been spilled on this already.

Michael Shannon: I'm just wondering how current and intimate your knowledge of the Army Res is-you seem to have an unrelentingly negative impression. Your profile doesn't give us much indication as to what knowledge base you speak from. There are certainly a number of weaknesses in our Res, but I can hardly imagine that the "slash and burn" approach you advocate, such as was applied to the Militia in the 1960s, would achieve much. Change is required, but throwing out the baby with the bathwater has been too often the Canadian way.

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

Offline MCG

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Michael,
Your proposal seems (as I understand it) to eliminate the PRes (by rolling it into a Sup Res) and then establishing mandatory annual trg for the Sup Res.  Sup Res mbrs would belong to a regional HQ, attend an MLOC weekend twice a year, and attend summer courses.  Does that about sum-up your vision?

* Bounty training: each trained member of the reserve must report to a training area for 1 weekend in May and October annually. They go through a DAG, fire the PWT for rifle, LMG and pistol, TOETs on the other weapons, run the "new army fitness test" (see below) and have a first aid refresher. They are paid a bounty of $ 300 for the weekend and a bounty of $ 1000 for shooting marksman on the rifle and another $1000 for passing the fitness test and scoring in the top 25 percentile on the fitness test march. Tuition assistance is based on attendance at both bounty weekends and a battle school.
Where do you see reservists maintaining all the other essential soldier skills?  Would there still be weekend exercises?

Offline Michael Shannon

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     It's a bit beyond a Sup Res because it requires quite a bit from the individual. My proposal is that if the "unit" is simply an individual force generator then the reserve should be optimized for individual augmentation. We should reinforce success: operational tours, battle schools and courses and minimize the drag: non deployable personnel, unnecessary HQs and elements.

    I actually know quite a bit about the reserves and over many years have seen no real movement to reform. There is simply no will to organize the militia into cohesive units capable of carrying out independent missions. That requires the ability to involuntarily mobilize units. It requires access to first line vehicles and equipment. It requires a massive training outlay to catch up on years of neglect.

   After nearly 10 years of LFFR the unit I'm most familiar with has 50% fewer troops and trains less often and less intensively than it did before LFFR started. Things are getter worse not better despite the extra money spent.

   I suppose there is another future for the militia; creation of large units and assignment of home defense roles. Second responders to radiological attack or natural disasters etc. Sort of a part time fire department/ medical clinic/ grocery store. Who knows maybe a lot of people would like to part of a homeland defence force. 

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    I suppose there is another future for the militia; creation of large units and assignment of home defense roles. Second responders to radiological attack or natural disasters etc. Sort of a part time fire department/ medical clinic/ grocery store. Who knows maybe a lot of people would like to part of a homeland defence force.

Didn't they try that in the '50's with the end result being a huge flop, driving all the WWII/Korean War vets away?
"Overall it appears that much of the apparent complexity of modern war stems in practice from the self-imposed complexity of modern HQs" LCol J.P. Storr

Offline E.R. Campbell

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Didn't they try that in the '50's with the end result being a huge flop, driving all the WWII/Korean War vets away?

Ooooohmigawd!  National survival!  <makes signs to ward off evil eye, etc>
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Offline pbi

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Michael Shannon: The last part of your post tends more towards what I see as the best course of action: preservation of the unit construct, for all of the benefits that it provides(and there are many), while reducing unsustainable command structure as Rifleman has suggested. Rifleman is very familiar with this concept because in 38 CBG we have already tactically grouped our Arty units under one CO, and are in the process of doing the same for our Service battalions. While our plans specifically state that amalgamation is only a possible option and not a guaranteed outcome, I see it as the best COA in some cases. I have believed this (as did many of my Res peers) since I was a Militia soldier in Toronto back in the '70s and '80s. Amalgamation, if intelligently done, allows us to keep the same presence in our communities, to keep (or even increase) our level of capabiity and strength, and to provide more unity of leadership. Unit traditions and heritage need not be destroyed (see the UK TA approach to this-they amalgamate as often as they change their socks) It also allows us to be more selective as to who will occupy the positions of CO or RSM, as opposed to searching desperately for names to put in the unit succession list, or resorting to other measures that unfortunately tend to result in attrition as a result of poor leadership. Done in a stupid, callous or ill-informed way (as many Res people fear it would be) it would be destructive and disruptive.

Cheers
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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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THE STANDING COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL SECURITY AND DEFENCE

EVIDENCE

OTTAWA, Monday, June 6, 2005

This was posted today on the Committee's website. The Chief of Reserves and Cadets was giving evidence.

http://www.parl.gc.ca/38/1/parlbus/commbus/senate/Com-e/defe-e/42484-e.htm?Language=E&Parl=38&Ses=1&comm_id=76
Never Congratulate Yourself In Victory, Nor Blame Your Horses In Defeat - Old Cossack Expression

Offline Rifleman62

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This evidence also has considerable info on housing and PLD.
Never Congratulate Yourself In Victory, Nor Blame Your Horses In Defeat - Old Cossack Expression

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Offline E.R. Campbell

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This is from today's National Post.

http://www.canada.com/national/nationalpost/news/issuesideas/story.html?id=923b66b1-8549-4af7-ba69-a28b6246e336
Quote
What if it happened here?

Thomas S. Axworthy

National Post

Friday, October 14, 2005

Saturday's terrible earthquake in Pakistan once again demonstrated the massive destructive power of natural disasters. The same was true of Hurricane Katrina. In that case, the breakdown of law and order equally demonstrated the perniciousness of human nature.

Order -- the maintenance of rules to prevent anarchy -- is the starting point of civilization. Freedom is not free. It depends on human tolerance and responsibility, and when these collapse, as they did in New Orleans -- with lawless gangs looting and shooting at police -- the state must restore order before it can do anything else. Indeed, the city began to recover only once the National Guard and the regular U.S. military finally arrived.

George W. Bush belatedly recognized the role of the military in emergency preparedness by appointing an admiral to replace the disgraced head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency as federal co-ordinator in New Orleans. He also recently mused about the potential need for thousands of troops to quarantine regions of the United States that might be hit by Avian Flu.

What can Canada learn from Katrina and South Asia's earthquake? The lesson has to be that, although Bush and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf were slow to send in their armies, at least they had troops to deploy. Canada's reserves have almost no capacity to respond effectively to a national or continent-wide emergency like Avian flu. We need to invest in our reserves now before such a crisis is upon us.

The militia, consisting of part-time soldiers, were once the backbone of the Canadian military. In the 19th century, the militia fought against American regulars from 1812 to 1814, repelled Fenian invaders in mid-century, fought Louis Riel in 1885 and served as the organizational spine for the great manpower buildups of the First and Second World Wars.

But in the nuclear age, when a war might have been over in hours, the focus changed to well-trained regular forces able to deter aggression, not a potential mass mobilization base.

From being the centre of defence policy, our reserves became a sideshow. In 2000, the army established the Land Force Reserve Project, with a goal of 18,500 reservists by 2005. But, the recent Senate Report, Wounded: Canada's Military and the Legacy of Neglect, reported that by Sept. 1, 2005, the army reserve was only 13,053 strong. More people are leaving the army reserve than are being recruited.

Why is this happening? Approximately 40% of the total reserve force consists of students and another 40% have civilian jobs. The retention rate for students after graduation is poor, and employers do not give civilian reservists adequate time off to train, nor guarantee employment if a reservist is sent on a long mission overseas.

The Senate report also identifies a lack of equipment and training for the reserves. For large weekend exercises, two or three units sometimes fight to use the same equipment.

General Rick Hillier, the most dynamic Chief of the Defence Staff in years, is promising a transformation of the Canadian military. He should start with emergency preparedness and the role of the reserves.

In these regards, we might look to the U.K. The British Territorial army has made emergency preparedness and aid to civil authorities its core functions. We should do the same with the Canadian reserves. The reserves should be manned, trained and funded for homeland emergencies. There should be at least 50,000 in the reserves (and 90,000 in the regular forces), enough to provide boots on the ground in case of emergency.

In the ice storm crisis of 1998, for example, 4,000 reserves were called out in eastern Ontario and Quebec. But the Department of Defence had to rely on American C-17 transports to move them. In a continental Avian Flu crisis, the U.S. may not have transports to lend. We desperately need air and sea lift, and we need it now.

It is especially important that the reserves be trained in nuclear, biological and chemical defence. Containment of contaminants and rapid assistance to help first responders are vital roles.

Moreover, legislation should be passed, as in the United States, ensuring that reservists do not lose their jobs. Indeed, employers should encourage reserve activity, and give them extra benefits, not penalties.

As in the 19th century, we need a large part-time army of volunteers to be available to aid our civilians should disaster strike. Katrina shows that the danger is real. Avian flu may be just around the corner.

In Canada's international policy review, much was made of "the responsibility to protect." The first responsibility of the Martin government is to protect Canadians at home.

Thomas S. Axworthy is chairman of the Centre for the Study of Democracy at Queen's University. ( http://www.queensu.ca/csd/axbio.htm )

© National Post 2005

Yet another key Liberal policy wonk heard from.

I'm not sure that our reserves - as currently structured - could be made ready for emergency response tasks and it all smacks, faintly of national survival, remember that?  Back in the early '60s?  National survival might, I think, have been a worn dagger used to emasculate an effective reserve force; if so it was but one of many.

It seems to me, from afar, I hasten to point out, that our reserves are not organized, equipped or prepared à la the US National Guard.

Is Axworthy on to something or is this just a diversion from the main aim which ought to be to prepare a total force which can conduct a whole range of global missions, including emergency response at home?
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
Algernon Sidney in Discourses Concerning Government, (1698)
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Offline Bruce Monkhouse

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Well Edward, speaking for myself there would be no reason for me to go into the reserve unit here in Guelph the way things are now. This isn't a dig, but  I have to ask myself what exactly would, or could, I get out of being a gun number/ CP wog at 45 years old?...and really, what would they get out of me....deployment factor, zero....sleep in a bag in Meaford factor, zero, etc...
However if there were more "emergency" training as opposed to "war" training I would be more than happy to do it.The problem I forsee is it would take over the aim of the militia and we could become something useless to both sides.....

Am I close?
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Offline Craig B

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The problem I forsee is it would take over the aim of the militia and we could become something useless to both sides.....

Am I close?

On the button .

I was in on the icestorm and the Militia did pretty well for not having much equipment or " Emergency Training " . We mostly did cleanup work , removing downed trees and helping out civilian's where we could . We left the specialised work to the specialists ( Hydro crews dealt with the powerlines , etc ) .

As for the " potential need for thousands of troops to quarantine regions of the United States that might be hit by Avian Flu. " . Enforcing a quarantine zone ( with the emphasis on _force_ I'm sure ) will not be a  nice photo op, touchie feelie type of operation . ( " Gunner Bloggins , if anyone tries to leave the quarantine zone you will stop them by any means including the use of ....... "  I'll leave the last two words to your imagination's .)

Craig



Offline ParaMedTech

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I think that I'll just point out this article comes from Thomas Axeworthy, not his more infamous brother, Lloyd.

Thomas Axeworthy has had some insightful, and productive, critiques of the CF and our foreign policy over the years.

DF
Carter, hand me my thinking grenades.

Offline pbi

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My response to this is that you can only slice the Reserve cake so many ways. The reason for this is the key limitation of time. Under our system (or the UK Territorial System, or the USARNG system...) we only ask for a fraction of a citizen's time. If we start pushing that limit too much, we encounter attrition amongst those (usually older and more settled, with more responsibilities at home and at work) who simply cannot make the time. The USARNG has experienced this to a significant degree as a result of OIF/OEF: enough to cause some considerable worry in the US Army.

So, we only we have so much time to train a Reservist, right? OK; so, the next thing is that we have to decide just what it is we are going to train them to do. In our case (and in the TA and the ARNG, for the most part) this focus has historically been on warfighting. The only exception was a brief period in the late 50s and early 60's during which we tried to focus the Militia onto National Survival (post-strike recovery ops after the Big One). The Militia hated this re-roling and still recalls it in its cultural memory as the "Snakes and Ladders" period because of the training with ladders, rescue tools and block and tackle, etc. Combat training suffered, but that was considered to be OK, since at that time we had largely abandoned the idea that large land forces had much value on the nuclear battlefield.

Is it OK now? Haven't we seen in the last few years, in OEF/OIF, that modern combat operations are VERY people-intensive, and especially in lots of good quality infantry, combat engineers, and combat-capable CSS? If we want a Reserve that can contribute to those typoe of ops, we better train them to be ready.

If, on the other hand, we just want them as an adjunct to the civil emergency services (since Canada no longer has the Civil Defence volunteer organization of the old Cold War), well--maybe that's OK. Let's train them for that, if anyone would care to define just what it is we should teach them.   The only thing is, once you've used up most of their limited time teaching them to fill sandbags and set up food distribution centres, or handle a firehose or rig block and tackle, don't expect much military value out of them without A LOT of re-training, much more, I would submit, than the currently mandated 90-120 days of pre-deployment training.

If we want to raise a Civil Defence force, let's do that, and populate it with willing citizens who don't want to join the Reserve. Or, failing that, they can join their local Red Cross, St John's Amb, police auxiliary or volunteer fire dept (I have done the latter myself).

Using a combat trained force to help out in civil emergencies, as we do with the Army Reserve now, is one thing. In a way, we get to have our cake and eat it, too. Converting the Res to a CD  force might be a turn down a road that we cannot get back from in a hurrry.

Cheers.
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Offline Mark Antony

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pbi,  you are absolutely right.  If there were a formed civil defence force that was either volunteer or paid a small amount for training, I would bet that it might find many people willing to join.  A possibility is to amalgamate all other groups (St Johns Ambulance etc.) into one single national group that works together to common aims.  For those not willing to pick up a rifle, it would be a good opportunity to serve the public.

Reserves should be left in the warfighting role so if something does go bad at least there is a a backup (small as it is) that might make some sort of difference.

Offline shanks

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I cann not speak for the rest of the reserve world but my unit, the West Nova Scotia Regiment (Infantry by trade) are doing a lot of training under the umbralla of the 'three block war' concept. In case there are any that are not very familiar with this, it consists of three very different types of ops taking place in a small area (possibly even all three within one city block)
The three types of operations are: humanitarian aid, peacekeeping and warfighting.

The idea is that all three of these ops will take place in a very small area and likely performed by the same people as you advance.

With this in mind, I think that if we focus on more 'three block war' that we would be able to perform as a short term civil defense force without comprimising our war fighting cabability.

However, as was previously mentioned, we only have so much time available to train and the more things we train to do the less effective we will be. I don't know what the right answer but this is a point to keep in mind

Cheers

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"Three-Block War"?  What kinda concept is that?  Who comes up with this stuff?
"Overall it appears that much of the apparent complexity of modern war stems in practice from the self-imposed complexity of modern HQs" LCol J.P. Storr