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Does a merger make sense?

lenaitch

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I would argue that the integration of the armed forces that occurred during the mid '60s accomplished that and that unification wasn't really needed and went too far (just a vanity project of Hellyer IMO). Going back to an integrated tri-service isn't likely to happen, as it probably would've been done by now.
From what I've read in these forums, DND HQ is bloated and over staffed. Splitting DND into 2 departments may not require more admin personnel. If we had a Ministry of Defence, with a Dept. of National Security (with Army, AF, SOF, etc. and a Dept. of Maritime Security, with Navy, Coast Guard, and other sea assets), might not require setting up another admin system (just splitting up the bloated one we have and using it more efficiently).
I realize that this idea isn't at all likely to happen, but I've never been a fan of unification, went too far IMO. DND might as well be changed to the Dept. of International Commitments, as that 's basically it's function, NOT defending Canada. As pack ice melts and the Arctic opens up more, there will be more interest from China and Russia in the Arctic and we will need a more robust navy to defend our territory there. Maybe a separate navy might not be the answer, but I don't see the unified armed forces as being effective in defending the Arctic (more focus is on international commitment fulfillment than defending our territory). Something needs to change IMO.

Is the issue that unification was a bad idea or an idea done badly? Although I'm not familiar with their individual structures, a number of nations have a singular defence structure. Bureaucracy is an organism. Each individual 'client base' may be smaller, but when you create two of something from one of something, you have to replicate functions. How would the RCAF fit into such a split, particularly in relation to its multiple NATO/NORAD/SAR roles? Would it be in the new Department of National Security? International Commitments?

The Ontario government went to a shared services IT model many years ago. It took several years for the service delivery bugs to work out, and many individual ministries and departments with specialized IT needs (sortware, hardware, security, etc.) still had to maintain their own services, but now negotiate or deal with shared services who manage the backbone.
 

FM07

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Lots to learn on my end, but the replies paint a good picture of different obstacles and some similarities between the two organizations. Dimsum is correct, I certainly don't have a great knowledge of our Coast Guard. , more than anything, I had the arctic in mind and the prospect of the RCN acquiring some icebreaking capability ( even if it is robbing Peter to pay Paul) .I know the AOP's will have some limited capability in this respect. It is clear, however, that is only 1 small part of the Coast Guards mandate.

I dug up an ancient article from 2008 from Naval Review : https://www.navalreview.ca/2008/01/the-merits-of-merging-the-coast-guard-and-the-navy/

It has some interesting points, I for one didn't know the Norwegians use this model (not that this would necessarily work for Canada) and I don't know if the administrative side of things are as easy as the second paragraph makes it out to be though.
 

CBH99

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Some of the challenges have been mentioned previously, but the 2 main 'obstacles' - and this is put simply, the issues can be/are more complex:

- The CCG has a completely different culture than the Navy, as can be guessed by the legal framework of their duties, and what they spend most of their time doing.

- And unlike the USCG, policing is not one of their functions - although they may assist law enforcement & have law enforcement officers onboard.


A lot of folks would assume that our Coast Guard could, you know, guard our coast. You aren't alone in having that misperception. Even having a minor weapons capability such as a C6 or .50 optionally mounted, and the mandate to enforce certain laws, would go a long way.

You are right, we do have the longest coastline in the world. And, one of the world's smallest populations, hence a pretty small military. If the government were wise about using resources efficiently (they aren't, just to be clear) - utilizing the CCG to help protect/enforce sovereignty in addition to the RCN would allow more resources to be used towards that, fairly easily.


Times are changing though, and given some basic leadership & guidance from the right people, the CCG would evolve into something slightly more similar to the USCG in certain respects.

While the USCG is far more armed & aggressive (in a good way) towards some of the policing missions it undertakes, it also has a need to be. Especially in their southern waters.


With the arctic melting, and both Russian & Chinese governments showing more and more interest in the region - perhaps arming & slightly re-mandating the CCG will be a prudent thing to do over the next decade or so.
 

daftandbarmy

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Reorganization never really addresses the issues that 'unification' efforts are meant to resolve.

Good leadership of nimble organizations, that can quickly team up and collaborate with others to address emergent threats etc, are always more effective.

Unless your key measure of success is 'amount of dollars paid to consultants' :)

A surrealistic mega-analysis of redisorganization theories​


Abstract​

Background We are sick and tired of being redisorganized.

Objective To systematically review the empirical evidence for organizational theories and repeated reorganizations.

Methods We did not find anything worth reading, other than Dilbert, so we fantasized. Unfortunately, our fantasies may well resemble many people's realities. We are sorry about this, but it is not our fault.

Results We discovered many reasons for repeated reorganizations, the most common being ‘no good reason’. We estimated that trillions of dollars are being spent on strategic and organizational planning activities each year, thus providing lots of good reasons for hundreds of thousands of people, including us, to get into the business. New leaders who are intoxicated with the prospect of change further fuel perpetual cycles of redisorganization. We identified eight indicators of successful redisorganizations, including large consultancy fees paid to friends and relatives.

Conclusions We propose the establishment of ethics committees to review all future redisorganization proposals in order to put a stop to uncontrolled, unplanned experimentation inflicted on providers and users of the health services.

 

Navy_Pete

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The RCN does not follow TC/IMO certification, making it very difficult if not impossible for RCN pers to be employed in the civilian equivalent of whatever position they hold in the Navy. Granting civilian certs for RCN quals/experience would probably have to be the first step taken if a merger was entertained, as I cannot see TC waiving this requirement for their vessels.
The RCN, like every other military, is exempt from IMO requirements, and I think literally in the first few pages of the Canada Shipping Act from falling under TC. We do have a pretty robust equivalent safety program, and aside from the warships, the rest of the fleet is built to some kind of class society rules (thus fully SOLAS compliant). We're also required by our own policy to meet/exceed the same level of safety, environmental protection and other areas unless it's not possible for legitimate operational reasons (and you'd better have a really good one and document it).

Even in the case of a merger, TC has zero authority over any kind of RCN vessel, so there is really no question about them waiving anything. Nothing stopping us from voluntarily adopting some civilian certs/training, but in most cases it doesn't make sense, as there is a big delta across the board in extra things we do, and entire trades/departments that don't exist at all in TC world.

I don't think a merger makes sense; fundamentally we're around to break other people's ships and protect our own. Sure, we can do SAR and other stuff, but that's really a bit of a side show to our main purpose. I admire the CCG and what they do, but aside from both of us sailing in ships, pretty limited overlap, and really different operational approach. We need more training/overhead support than they do in some ways, and they need to do a lot of things we don't.

Think stuff like the NSS makes sense, as there isn't much difference between building non-combatants and the CCG ships (the science ships in particular were pretty complicated), and we can probably learn a bit from each other, but no good reason to try and blend the two organizations wholesale, and lots of good reasons to keep them separate.
 

Pelorus

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The RCN, like every other military, is exempt from IMO requirements, and I think literally in the first few pages of the Canada Shipping Act from falling under TC. We do have a pretty robust equivalent safety program, and aside from the warships, the rest of the fleet is built to some kind of class society rules (thus fully SOLAS compliant). We're also required by our own policy to meet/exceed the same level of safety, environmental protection and other areas unless it's not possible for legitimate operational reasons (and you'd better have a really good one and document it).

Even in the case of a merger, TC has zero authority over any kind of RCN vessel, so there is really no question about them waiving anything. Nothing stopping us from voluntarily adopting some civilian certs/training, but in most cases it doesn't make sense, as there is a big delta across the board in extra things we do, and entire trades/departments that don't exist at all in TC world.

Absolutely agree with what you've said.

Assuming that I understood the original poster correctly, their idea would be for the RCN and CCG to merge into a single entity (Dept of, Water? Coasts?) with a common HR pool of mariners between them who could be posted between combatants and non-combatants throughout their careers. I'm not convinced that the GoC would be on board with the majority of its federally-operated vessels to be crewed by mariners without any sort of TC/IMO certification.
 

Navy_Pete

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Absolutely agree with what you've said.

Assuming that I understood the original poster correctly, their idea would be for the RCN and CCG to merge into a single entity (Dept of, Water? Coasts?) with a common HR pool of mariners between them who could be posted between combatants and non-combatants throughout their careers. I'm not convinced that the GoC would be on board with the majority of its federally-operated vessels to be crewed by mariners without any sort of TC/IMO certification.

Yeah, I assumed that CCG vessels would stay as civilian mariners in that case, so it would really just lead to a step increase in bureaucracy, as they don't need the same kind of operational oversight we do for global operations, and we don't need another layer of safety oversight that they would have under TC. If you keep separate quals, oversight etc. you haven't actually gained anything really, and I can't think of any advantage to having both orgs under a single big giant head.

Always enjoy talking with the CCG folks though, usually a lot of the same kind of complaints, just different flavours of the same nonsense. If nothing else, their offices in Ottawa are at really prime locations, so (pre Covid) it was easy to find a nice patio on a sunny day to pick each others brains.

Lot of Navy folks have jumped over to the CCG side in the projects as well, so that's opened up a lot of conversations just by knowing people. I hope the CCG will get some kind of functional equivalent to the SSE that will help them get long term sustained funding to fix the rust out. The broad plan is there; it's the kind of detailed project costing and tying back to specific operational goals that's really helpful when TB and others come to make cuts. It really helps when you can start cutting out entire projects and point to what specifically you lose during those conversations.

I really like how they run their ship projects, but I think we have more institutional experience at navigating (har har puny) the bureaucracy related to those dollar values, so think that was one good bit of cross pollination in the NSS side of things. Probably completely unintentional, but may as well take advantage of it.

Was pretty funny to have a TC inspector try and come onboard a warship and inspect it though; don't think they were used to being politely told no. Don't usually enjoy digging into the refs, but being able to send the the military exclusion from the CSA (sorry, it was on page 5, not the first few) when he tried to get shirty after that was pretty fun.
 

lenaitch

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I can support the CCG taking on a constabulary role, meaning enforcing Canadian law in Canadian waters, rather than just being the chauffeurs, but it would require the requisite law enforcement internal structure and oversight. As a comparator, a police services entire mandate and structure is geared to law enforcement and public safety. I have worked with several Ontario ministries that have 'enforcement' of their assigned legislation as a small part of its overall mandate, and found that the corporate interest, support for the personnel, training, equipment, etc. is often not there. It is often viewed as a necessary evil that is lumped in with some other department that probably didn't want it in the first place. Of particular concern is the stasis that is embedded in their structure that prevents enforcement personnel from exercising their discretion and authority without bureaucratic approval.
 

quadrapiper

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If there's a need for more on-water enforcement, why not just boost the RCMP's maritime capabilities, or use the KINGSTONs for that, instead of chasing drug-runners down south?
 

YZT580

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If there's a need for more on-water enforcement, why not just boost the RCMP's maritime capabilities, or use the KINGSTONs for that, instead of chasing drug-runners down south?
far cheaper to assign a cabin on each coast guard off-shore vessel to the RCMP and staff it with two constables. You don't need an entire crew for enforcement just one with the authority to speak those words: You are under arrest.
 

daftandbarmy

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far cheaper to assign a cabin on each coast guard off-shore vessel to the RCMP and staff it with two constables. You don't need an entire crew for enforcement just one with the authority to speak those words: You are under arrest.
Backed up by a 'big stick' at the end of a radio, of course ;)
 

lenaitch

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far cheaper to assign a cabin on each coast guard off-shore vessel to the RCMP and staff it with two constables. You don't need an entire crew for enforcement just one with the authority to speak those words: You are under arrest.

Talk about undirected use of police resources. I imagine the constables would be thrilled riding around on an ice-breaker busting out ferry lanes around Newfoundland.
 

YZT580

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better than sitting behind a billboard nabbing 10 over drivers for 8 hours or busting up family feuds. Probably don't need them for inshore vessels but there have been a few times when fishery patrols could have used them on site rather than waiting for them to be airlifted out
 

Colin Parkinson

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I can support the CCG taking on a constabulary role, meaning enforcing Canadian law in Canadian waters, rather than just being the chauffeurs, but it would require the requisite law enforcement internal structure and oversight. As a comparator, a police services entire mandate and structure is geared to law enforcement and public safety. I have worked with several Ontario ministries that have 'enforcement' of their assigned legislation as a small part of its overall mandate, and found that the corporate interest, support for the personnel, training, equipment, etc. is often not there. It is often viewed as a necessary evil that is lumped in with some other department that probably didn't want it in the first place. Of particular concern is the stasis that is embedded in their structure that prevents enforcement personnel from exercising their discretion and authority without bureaucratic approval.
Well said, you could arm the CCG to the teeth, but you would have to rip out several of the senior captains and almost all of the senior management to change the culture enough to get them to open fire when needed. Hell I remember when we started the Rescue Specialist program, one senior captain said; "I am not allowing a bunch of deck apes to touch a pregnant woman"
 

CBH99

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Talk about undirected use of police resources. I imagine the constables would be thrilled riding around on an ice-breaker busting out ferry lanes around Newfoundland.
I was on a CCG ship a few years ago for a tour (No idea which one tbh, sorry) -- and the ice cream was solid :giggle:(y) Like YZT said, there are worst postings...
 

lenaitch

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better than sitting behind a billboard nabbing 10 over drivers for 8 hours or busting up family feuds. Probably don't need them for inshore vessels but there have been a few times when fishery patrols could have used them on site rather than waiting for them to be airlifted out
In the prairies I thought it was the 'surveillance bush'.

One advantage of using the police is their enforcement capability is almost universal. Regulatory enforcement personnel are typically limited to the legislation that empowers them. In your DFO example, it must have been they encountered something outside of their scope; i.e. drugs or something. In Ontario, a conservation officer has all sorts of authority, but has to call the police if they find a hunter/fisher with liquor (I'm told it happens :rolleyes:).
Well said, you could arm the CCG to the teeth, but you would have to rip out several of the senior captains and almost all of the senior management to change the culture enough to get them to open fire when needed. Hell I remember when we started the Rescue Specialist program, one senior captain said; "I am not allowing a bunch of deck apes to touch a pregnant woman"
Ya, the idea of enforcement seems fine, until things get testy, like people run, fight back, shoot back, etc. then a non-enforcement/public safety organizational culture often fails. I suppose we could either return the RCMP to a long-legged, blue water marine division, or turn all or part of the CCG into some kind of marine police.
 

torg003

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I was kinda thinking the same thing. The Coast Guard could be a maritime constabulary that has full law enforcement powers (on the water). You could roll all the other enforcement duties (such as fisheries and shipping enforcement) into this one organisation. The other duties that CCG does now (icebreaking, SAR, shipping safety, etc.) would be done by a separate entity, Marine Services Canada. In reality it would actually be the CCG being renamed MSC, and the new law enforcement agency being called CCG. If this agency is created with members from the RCMP Maritime Division forming the core group, maybe it would become the RCCG .
 

Colin Parkinson

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Meanwhile the CCGS Bartlett (1969 is doing her last buoys before being retired (again) to be replaced by the "newer" Grenfill (built 1984)
138791220_10158832175627597_5247901357676433520_n.jpg
 
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