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Engineering Regiment Breakdown

SprCForr

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McG said:
...To break-up the regiment would not be sustainable...  

I agree with the above. We need the higher functions that a Regt provides. This current Btl Gp fixation is being driven by manning levels and eqpt problems. It maximizes our limited dollars. I feel that (this is a stretch here but stay with me) if the government provided the adequate eqpt and manning levels and money that we all have been barking about for years, we would be back to viable, usable, sustainable and deployable Brigade Groups. That means a Regt.

If manning went back to say 85,000 with an adequate replacement and procurment policy to make it sustainable would we leave Btl Gps behind?
 

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Nice idea Jeff, and I'd love to see it too.  An entire Mech Brigade on Operational taskings would make it easier for our troops to hold their heads up.  30 years Trudeau's legacy have done uck fall for troop morale....I can say this stuff now, my callback time is expired!! LOL

Chimo, Kat
 

Mountie

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Thanks for the comments McG.

I still question why a full regiment is needed in each CMBG.   The CMBG I proposed is a medium brigade, not a heavy mechanized brigade by the way.   The US Army Stryker Brigade Combat Team (medium brigade) has a small 118-man engineer company with three small mobility platoons of three squads and a mobility support platoon.   I would agree that this is a little small.   A US Armoured Cavalry Regiment which is a heavy brigade-sized unit only has a 220-man engineer company organized similar to my proposal.   A US Marine Division has a combat engineer battalion with four engineer companies and an engineer support company.   The heavy earthmoving and digging equipment, as well as the ROWPUs are kept in the engineer support regiment of the service support group.

The 1st UK Armoured Division has a close support engineer regiment supporting each of its heavy armoured brigades.   However, each of the three armoured engineer squadrons has only a single field troop, an armoured troop and a support troop.   That is only three field troops in the whole brigade.   The division also has a general support engineer regiment.   The 3rd UK Mechanized Division, which will be converted to a medium division with the introduction of the Future Rapid Effects System (possibly to be the LAV-IV) somewhere around 2010, has a close support engineer regiment in support of its mechanized brigades.   It has one field engineer squadron with three field troops and a support troop, and an armoured engineer squadron with two armoured troops and a field troop.   This is only four field troops per brigade.   The extra troop is due to the fact that British mechanized brigades have four battle groups as opposed to the three battle groups in its armoured brigades.   Either way, this amounts to one field troop in support of each battle group.  

You say the CERs are getting 69 additional troops.   However, the CERs are several hundred troops understrength from what I hear.   On this post it has been said that 1 CER is down to under 400 troops.   I read a few years ago, on the DND official website, that the CERs were down to 357 troops with only two field squadrons and a support squadron.   An additional 69 troops don't magically bring them to full strength.   The future CER organization that MedCorps talks about on this post, calls for 722 troops in three field squadrons each with two field troops and a support troop with Leopard AEVs, AVLBs and new Dozer tanks, and a support squadron.   Where are all these troops going to come from?   Plus, the Leopards and the M113A3s or MTVLs are not capable of keeping up with the LAV-IIIs and increase the maintenance and logistics burden.   Plus it calls for 4 MPEVs in each of the four squadrons, but DND only purchased 28 of them.

The future CER organization mentioned by MedCorps has the same two ROWPUs as I did.   I don't see why this isn't enough.

I agree that a soft-skinned assault bridge layer is vulnerable.   But if it is good enough for the US Stryker Brigades I would think it would do for a CMBG.   When was the last time an AVLB was actually deployed and used while under fire.   If you really want an AVLB, there is a 10x10 version of the LAV-III that carries an assault bridge, but that is much more expensive than a HLVW-based bridge.

I would propose an engineer support regiment with one Reg Force squadron and two Militia squadrons in the support group of each JTF (HQ, CMBG, Air Expeditionary Wing & Support Group).   The Reg Force squadron would be a composite squadron with a large vertical construction troop and a large horizontal construction troop.   The Miliitia squadrons would be pure squadrons, one horizontal and one vertical.   This is similar to the US Navy Construction Battalions.   On peace support operations the engineer support squadron would provide camp construction prior to the deployment of the battle group and then part or all of the squadron could operate as part of the National Support Element repairing and building roads, hospitals, schools, ect. for the civilian community.   This would leave the battle group's field engineer troop for combat engineering (mobility, counter-mobility and EOD) in support of the battle group.    

If you are going to consider the armoured/armoured reconnaissance regiments as a fourth battle group in each CMBG, then I would add a fourth field engineer troop to the Combat Engineer Squadron.

   
 

McG

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Mountie said:
The US Army Stryker Brigade Combat Team (medium brigade) has a small 118-man engineer company with three small mobility platoons of three squads and a mobility support platoon.   I would agree that this is a little small.   A US Armoured Cavalry Regiment which is a heavy brigade-sized unit only has a 220-man engineer company organized similar to my proposal.
That is nice.   However, we do not employ our forces in the same fashion as the US does (most noticeably, we do not deploy on the scale that the US does) and our brigades are not structured like US brigades.   Therefore, it would not make sense to adopt a US orbat just because it is good enough for them.   One of the things that the US Engr doctrine is predicated on is the availability of Div & higher Engr assets from deployable Engr organisations.

Mountie said:
The 1st UK Armoured Division has a close support engineer regiment supporting each of its heavy armoured brigades.   However, each of the three armoured engineer squadrons has only a single field troop, an armoured troop and a support troop.   That is only three field troops in the whole brigade.   The division also has a general support engineer regiment.   The 3rd UK Mechanized Division, ... has a close support engineer regiment in support of its mechanized brigades.   It has one field engineer squadron with three field troops and a support troop, and an armoured engineer squadron with two armoured troops and a field troop.   This is only four field troops per brigade.   The extra troop is due to the fact that British mechanized brigades have four battle groups as opposed to the three battle groups in its armoured brigades.   Either way, this amounts to one field troop in support of each battle group.  
One Fd Tp per BG is the number I have been arguing for in this thread.   Our Army sees four BGs in each Bde and our CERs must be able to support this.

Mountie said:
If you are going to consider the armoured/armoured reconnaissance regiments as a fourth battle group in each CMBG, then I would add a fourth field engineer troop to the Combat Engineer Squadron.    
It is not I that consider the armd as the fourth BG.   It is the Canadian Army that has decided this, and we have deployed BGs based on Armd Regts.

Mountie said:
The future CER organization mentioned by MedCorps has the same two ROWPUs as I did.   I don't see why this isn't enough.    ...    The future CER organization that MedCorps talks about on this post, calls for 722 troops in three field squadrons each with two field troops and a support troop with Leopard AEVs, AVLBs and new Dozer tanks, and a support squadron.   Where are all these troops going to come from?  
That was not a future model.   It was a model for training officers at staff college and much like the older 20 CER models, it is un realistic.   Two ROWPU is enough for a brigade.   However, each deployment will need a two to three man det to run the water point.   This means that the ROWPU section would need to be 8 â “ 12 men in order to support up to four BG deployments.

Mountie said:
You say the CERs are getting 69 additional troops.   However, the CERs are several hundred troops under strength from what I hear.   On this post it has been said that 1 CER is down to under 400 troops.   I read a few years ago, on the DND official website, that the CERs were down to 357 troops with only two field squadrons and a support squadron.   An additional 69 troops don't magically bring them to full strength.    
You have heard very wrong.   Yes, the CERs are undermanned.   However, as I have pointed out in other threads, this under manning is mostly due to not having enough established positions and has less to do with established positions going vacant. 1 CER is 362 pers strong and it is only established for 385 pers.   The reason the CERs are so small is because they are at about the size that the Army has capped them at.   The CERs have never been authorized to stand-up more than   â Å“only two field squadrons and a support squadronâ ?.

Your scepticism on being able to grow seems to stem from the belief that we are bleeding troops so fast that we've been forced to shut down sub-units.   That is not the case and the additional sub units never existed.   So, where could 1 & 5 CER get 69 more pers each?   Well, some might come from 2 CER which will see its authorised strength cut by 20.   The rest will come from the CFRCs.

 

Mountie

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Could comments again.

With regards to the US SBCT, I agree that they are not the same as a CMBG.  My proposal for the CES was pulled out of a whole new brigade structure I was playing with.  I proposed turning our CMBGs into a medium brigade, somewhat similar to a SBCT, but not the same.  I proposed three medium infantry battalions in place of the current mechanized and light battalions.  Each medium battalion would be basically organized like a light battalion but with LAV-III APCs (not turrets, PWS only) and capable of operating as a traditional light battalion when required.  I agree they get support from Division or Corps whenever needed.  But that is why I had a Total Force engineer support regiment (with a RegFor squadron) supporting each brigade.  That is the same as their Div or Corps support.

If you agree that one field troop per battle group is enough, then why do you need a whole regiment?  That is my whole point.  Four field troops and a support troop can operate under a squadron headquarters.  They usually are attached independently to battle group headquarters anyway.  My purpose here was to eliminate the large tail to make room for more teeth.  By reducing to a squadron with four large field troops and a support troop, you can eliminate much of the administrative squadron.  You don't need a UMS, each troop will be supported by the battle group UMS, the support troop can depend on the field amubance BMS.  You don't need a whole logistics troop or a whole maintenance troop.  These can be reduced to sections.  And most importantly you don't need a regimental headquarters and the two extra squadron headquarters.  That's a lot of officers and senior NCOs that can be eliminated.  What does all this reduced tail mean?  More combat engineer positions and more money for better equipment.  And transfer some of the positions to the new engineer support squadrons.  Three new large engineer support squadrons rather than the smalll 4 ESR.

As it was said in another post on Engineers, ("Engineers and manoeuvre untis" or something like that) there is no need to create a squadron just to have a Sqd HQ at the battle group level.  A troop headquarters will do the job. 


All I meant by the fourth battle group, was that with the conversion of two of the regiments to reconnaissance, would they be used as battle groups that often?  I guess they would be, so add a fourth troop.  Again I was basing the orbat on my proposed medium brigade.  I was basing it on three medium battalions forming battle groups and the recce regiment with two squadrons deploying those squadrons either in support of a battle group when needed or independently, not as a battle group.

With regards to the water supply section, I was a little surprised that two would support the whole brigade as well.  But that's what I read.  Thanks for clearing that up.

1 CER being down to 362 troops and authorized at 385 is pretty close to what I said about them being down to 357.  I believe it was 2 CER that I had read about though.  Probably about 6 years ago.  I'm not sure. 
 

McG

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Mountie said:
If you agree that one field troop per battle group is enough, then why do you need a whole regiment? That is my whole point. Four field troops and a support troop can operate under a squadron headquarters. They usually are attached independently to battle group headquarters anyway. ....

As it was said in another post on Engineers, ("Engineers and manoeuvre untis" or something like that) there is no need to create a squadron just to have a Sqd HQ at the battle group level. A troop headquarters will do the job.
A squadron is required to support a BG overseas (with on e Fd Tp and one Sp Tp).  If you would like to join that other thread, we can debate that particular issue.  However, you will note that there currently is no consensus in that thread.

Additionally, you cannot reduce the Sp Sqn to a Tp.  The one element you might be able to remove is the construction troop.  However, if you read the consensus of the engineers in this thread, the other Sp Tps are not sustainable if split up.  All of the other Sp Tps provide some degree of Cbt Sp or close Sp.  Assault Mobility Troop is all Cbt Sp.  Resources provides MCM & IEDD (both Cbt Sp).  Hy Eqpt is split in its close support and general support roles, but would not be sustainable below the Tp level.

Mountie said:
1 CER being down to 362 troops and authorized at 385 is pretty close to what I said about them being down to 357. I believe it was 2 CER that I had read about though. Probably about 6 years ago. I'm not sure.
While your numbers are close, it is not accurate to say that the regiments are â Å“downâ ? to these sizes.  The regiments are capped here.  If the cap were higher, the regiments would be larger.  Your earlier suggestion about an inability to grow is unfounded.
 

McG

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pbi said:
...    under the control of the JFHQ (or something.....) would be one larger and more capable Engineer Unit, focused on GS tasks but perhaps with the ability to provide DS to cbt ops. That, plus a traning establishment, would represent the Regular Component. Heavier engineer assets, or assets unlkely to be called up except for prolonged or general conflicts, would be in the Reserve.
We already have 1 ESU as part of the CFJOG, and the Army has 4 ESR.   Between the two, they hold all of the equipment and capabilities that could not be sustained if spread across the CERs.   They also hold our theatre activation/tear-down capabilities and are available for other surge tasks.   You could ask why we need two national level engineer units (especially when one is in Moncton and the other is in Gagetown).   I would not complain too loudly if someone decided to combine the two into a single Joint Engineer Regiment, but I've never heard the arguments for or against this either.

Some of our larger equipment (like MFB/MR) already looks like it may be moving to the new reserve Engr Sp Sqn.   As it is, much of this equipment has already been removed from the regiments and given to area engineer equipment troops (EETs).   These EETs belong to the LF areas and sp reg and reserve training.  

pbi said:
I guess I see the Sappers much like EME is now: existing both integrally and separately. I imagine an integral element inside the Close Combat Unit, with a capability range approximating that of a Field Sqn now, but perhaps with a more robust Equipment Troop, and certainly with MCM and IED/RCIED/EOD capabilities.
It generally sounds good.   One fd tp and a sp tp.   However, as a permanent structure, the sp tp would prove inadequate and/or unsustainable.   It would also require expanding the corps many times lager that we are already looking at.

pbi said:
I do not foresee us engaging in the massive and complex Div and Corps Engineer plans so beloved of WWII-legacy thinking, and for which (IMHO) we have preserved the idea of separate Engr C2 and a range of specalized Engr units and fmns.
The idea may be there, but the actual units and formations do not exist.   In fact, the Engr transformation plan moves us even farther from that scale of operations.   The CER would be permanently structured with a fd sqn (of one fd tp and a sp tp) for each manoeuvre bn.   Formal affiliations would be established (affiliations exist now but it is one fd sqn for two manoeuvre units) and the fd sqn would regularly train with its affiliated manoeuvre unit.

Why could we have four Fd Sqns of ond fd tp and one sp tp in a CER but not be able to support the same number of identical fd sqns split into each of the manoeuvre units?   Because the manoeuvre units would each require a composite support tp.   This has two problems:

1) Every mission has a uniquely organized sp tp.   Some missions have seen sp tps that were primarily Hy Eqpt, others have been primarily EOD, and others have had significant representation from all the sp functions.

2) Many of the components of a sp tp require a full troop or section for force generation (things like a section of Hy Eqpt Ops or a section of Asslt Mob Ops would each require a troop as a base for force generation).   The fall out of this is that in order to do its own force generation a BG would need almost the same sized engr sp element as a bde.

It only takes 3 qualified guys to support a ROWPU det for a BG deployment.   To sustain that capability for force generation, one section is required.   Should each BG have one such section (resulting in 4 per Bde) or should one section exist within a CER and be capable of meeting all the Bde requirements?   We currently have ROWPU deployed on ATHENA and it was also deployed on APOLLO.

MCM is an Engr Cbt SP function.   Again, one section is enough to Sp a Bde and one section is the minimum size for force generation, but we would require three sections if this element were generated at the BG level.   MCM is the major element of the Sp Tp currently in Afghanistan.

Hy Eqpt must exist as a Tp for force generation.   Hy Eqpt was the most prominent part of the Sp Tp in the Bosnia deployments and often fills a Cbt Sp function.   One troop could meet the needs of the Bde, but each BG would require a full Tp to sustain the capability at that level.

 
L

lacharite.mr

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Well, reading the questions and responses has certainly peaked my interest and caused me to also respond.  Most..and I say most answers to a grunts questions about a CER breakdown are correct, but let me add my two cents worth.  CERs are going through a change to reflect the isometric threat and new ways of fighting the battles of the 21st century.  In 1 CER for example, the Support Sqn is being disbanded and three Fd Sqns will now be initiated.  I believe this has already occured.  This move is in line to better support 3 separate manouver units..the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Battalion, PPCLI.  The Hy eqpt is still in the regt but contained in sub units.  The new MPEV (multi purpose Engr Veh) will augment at the tp level.  Changes are still coming to include more Sapper posns in the Regt.  Should happen next yr.
To answer the grunts questions regarding orbat / breakdown, we are broken down into Sqns not coys but similar in size.  We have troops vice platoons and again similar in size.  We will be getting out of the armour business however, the new CMTC (Cdn Manouver Trg Centre) in Wainwright holds all engr armour (badger & beaver) for blue force and OPFOR trg Ex's.  Therefore, 1 CER being the closest goegraphically will now assume the SME role from Gagetown and conduct respective crses.
 

Sapper6

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Stand-by Gents,

With Army Transformation on its way, the Reg F CERs as we know them will be changing.   Talk now is to mix up all the Sqns with various Tps.   For example, 11 Fd Sqn of 1 CER could be re-organized in garrison with one Fd Tp and one Armd Tp.   Other Sqns would "divvy" up the remaining Tps (Hy Eqpt Tp, Ress Tp and Const Tp).

Finally, it looks like the Engr Regts will stand to gain ~100 to 175 more troops after the Army goes firm on the re-allocation of 3000 positions.

All Good Stuff!

Chimo!
 

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CWO Lacharite:

Do you know if the Fd Tps in 1 CER have lost there Tp Storeman and Ammo/MT Reps? 2 CER has pushed those positions to the SQMS's so that we are on par with the Inf Coy's we support. It seems to be working ok. Easier for the Tp's actually. If we need something we just ask and we get. Puts more strain on the SQ shop though.
 

McG

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The Fd Sqns have recently started pulling those pers into the SHQ.  However, this decision is being taken in the squadrons themselves and it is not officially a unit policy.  The Engr transformation plan still has these pers in the Fd Tps.
 

McG

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Mountie in the thread "Combat Support Regiment' said:
MCG,

To allow the battle groups to keep their own engineer squadrons but not lose the capabilities you are talking about what do you think of grouping the traditional engineer support squadron into a Combat Support Regiment under brigade control and leaving the field squadrons in the battle groups.
I think I would encourage a structure similar to the transformation structure described in this thread.   Additionally, I would include a Sapper Pl in each manoeuvre unit.   Permanent affiliations would be established between a field squadron and one of the manoeuvre units and its Sapper Pl.

It is a bit of a compromise solution, but it allows one of the Fd Tps to gain a greater intimate familiarity with the BG it will be a part of.   At the same time, the other Fd Tp would have greater experience working with the engr cbt sp assets.   This also gives the CER more flexibility to respond to a surge in demand for a particular skill set.   It has happened where a demand for a particular capability has exceeded the capacity of a specialised troop or section to provide.   But all the skills can be found in the Fd Tps from guys that have been rotated out.
 

SprCForr

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We sort of did that earlier with Fd Tp affiliations to  Bn/Regts. In 1 CER 1 Tp was with 1 VP, 2 Tp with 3 VP, and 3 Tp(M113) was with 2 VP or LDSH. I'm not sure how it went in the old 4 CER days. Anywho, the idea was followed as much as possible, and it did provide for a level of familiarity. I could see this being much more effective when an attached Sapper Tp is involved.

<sigh>...I wish I was still in. :(
 

McG

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Under the new structure, 1 Tp and 11 Fd Sqn will affiliate with 1 VP, 2 Tp and 12 Fd Sqn will affiliate with 2 VP, 3 Tp and 13 Fd Sqn will affiliate with 3 VP, and 4 Tp and 14 Fd Sqn will affiliate with the LdSH.  I think we need one more Fd Tp in each affiliation, but it could be part of the Fd Sqn or a Spr Pl in the manoeuvre unit.
 

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Just a note, 3 Commando Brigade, the maneuver formation of the Royal Marines, will be enlarging its contingent of Royal Engineers from a Commando Squadron to a Commando Regiment under the British Army restructuring plans.

It appears that our military engineering structure for our formations has been validated - McG, you may take a bow.....
 

McG

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The ratio of a full engr unit to support a bde sized formation is also seen in Col Douglas Macgregor's proposal for Light Reconnaissance Strike Groups (roughly equivalent to the SBCT or our medium Bdes).
 

McG

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MCG said:
half our troops are manned for 3 sect and half are manned for four.  Expect the way of the future to be three sections for force generation (read while in Canada) and a fourth section to be provided by the reserves for operations (don't blame me if you don't like that sound, but it is the official concept).
The vision for transformation has adjusted now that the government has committed to an additional 5,000 troops.  The Engr Transformation will now likely see the fourth fd sect permanently established and manned by Reg Force for force generation.
 

McG

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The first big step happened Yesterday.   1 CER did the transformation to four fd sqns of a fd tp and sp tp each.

 

McG

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I've heard 5 RGC has taken some steps toward transformation, including designating one fd sqn as light.  Does anyone have any information on how this is going for them?
 
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