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Better roles for the CH-149

LoboCanada

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Back to the subject, I'm sure there's some internal thought as to what happens in 10 yrs when the Cyclone is matured and discussions need to be made regarding a refit or new fleet altogether. Im sure the cost of refitting an orphan fleet won't be worth the effort, and the muddled procurement process for the fleet would give any future gov't an excuse to blame it on the many gov'ts that touched this file. The last CSC will be in the water in 2040s, so there will be a capability bottleneck with them being too old to work on a shiny new ship.

Is there a platform that can take a Cyclones existing systems and refit them onto? Strip them of the ASW equipment and use them as a medium-lift utility platform, Use them for SAR? Give the ASW parts to a Romeo? Use the Cyclones as a commando helicopter force for a pipe-dream LHD?
 

Colin Parkinson

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To be fair my experience is a bit dated, there might be different shifts going on. Most of the management is either not boat people or were big ship people and keeping enough big ships going to meet the needs of the icebreaking, buoy tending, science and Fisheries programs is what consumes them. When I was in SAR, it was always considered a secondary task by the big ships crew and officers, one that took them away from their fairly tight schedule. The crews were diligent in doing SAR when tasked, but very not in their mindset. The SAR cutters and Lifeboat stations saw maintaining navigation aids and other requests as secondary to their primary role of SAR. I would say the SAR assets were more willing to expand their roles, than the navaids people. Getting the bigger hovercraft also changed things as it can lift the smaller buoys and it does more nav aid work than when I was on the smaller SRN6's, where we could only change lights, bulbs and batteries.
In the 90's CCG management tried very hard to shut down Kitslano and Sea Island Hovercraft bases despite them being the two busiest SAR bases in Canada. It was very much a battle of funding and operational requirement creep. I was waist deep in the dive team fiasco where the senior management of the day lied to the Minister, who got caught out publicly in that lie by a well informed press. That same Minister was shocked that Rescue Specialists in the CCG were not paid extra for their extra work and risks, I made an extra $700 a year before taxes for being a diver doing capsized vessel entry. He started the process to get us compensated for that work.
Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of awesome people in the CCG and if given a clear mandate and funding, would get on with it, but they always be fighting the senior management to make sure standards are not whittled away to save money.

To the subject, CCG did operate one Sikorsky that was fitted with a lifting winch, an initiative also driven by the operational level who prior had to beg the Alaskan CG to send one of their helo's down to save Canadians and often could not.
 

LoboCanada

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CCG is probably suffering from a driven-in mindset from decades of scraping by with what they had just to do the job. If they had some slack in enough pers and vessels, things would be different.

Would have been smarter to have a larger fleet of CH-149s from the get-go doing ASW and Utility jobs. Would've been great during Afg in conjunction with Chinooks, lightened the load from the Griffon fleet too.
 

Loachman

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I can't see the Griffon's load having been lightened in Afghanistan as it was used for escort and CCA etcetera.
 

Colin Parkinson

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CCG is probably suffering from a driven-in mindset from decades of scraping by with what they had just to do the job. If they had some slack in enough pers and vessels, things would be different.

Would have been smarter to have a larger fleet of CH-149s from the get-go doing ASW and Utility jobs. Would've been great during Afg in conjunction with Chinooks, lightened the load from the Griffon fleet too.
Technically all the CCG aircraft and crew belong to Transport Canada, what can be done is that TC is given funds to purchase a few more helicopters, painting them gray and provide support to the AOP's/AOR's for domestic ops and humanitarian ops. That would allow the Cyclones to focus on primary tasks like ASW.
 
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