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FORCE 2025: Informing the Army’s future structure

Blackadder1916

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I am not persuaded it is unfair.


Looking at the Skyshield crew (top) with two Gunners manning a control station that receives Radar and EO/IR inputs and can respond with 2x 35mm cannons and an array of missiles, or the NASAMs crew of 11 and their sensors, missiles and controls I am not convinced that the army can't do a lot more with the PYs it has. Particularly if they were arty PYs.

I'm not really sure what point you are trying to make comparing the number of pers photographed with the two systems. And do the individuals pictured accurately reflect the numbers needed to operate the equipment next to them?


Crew 7

Oerlikon_Skyshield_ground-based-short_range_air_defense_system_Rheinmetall_Germany_German_defense_industry_details_001.jpg


And those numbers don't take into account additional pers requirements if the system has to be manned 24/7. Most aggressors don't provide notification that they intend to attack the installation/locale that you are tasked to defend. You don't want to be at lunch or taking a shit when it hits the fan.
 

McG

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So not what Log, RCEME, Med, SIGs, ect do because reasons ?
Log, RCEME, and Sigs can all be posted between various units & sub-units in all the big army & navy bases. Yes, some occupations have to move more because they are more distributed in smaller numbers to support everywhere. But, I have known cooks, clerks, and maintainers to spend as long in one base as the regimental system & HPD allow to infantrymen and sailors.

In any case, one would be part of the problem if they were to argue that some occupations have to move more often of necessity therefor it is acceptable to introduce that churn and cost on all occupations even in absence of necessity.

The RCN is a bad example for your point. For RCN trades there are only two operational bases. And HPDs do not get assigned unless the person is part of the RCN. Those not wearing that cap badge do not get that protective blanket.
Yes, so it’s actually the perfect analogy to the Army’s regimental system, just less fragmented.

I'm not trying to to be flippant but what's the difference between and an RCR infanteer and a R22R infanteer ? Other than a cap badge and adolescent chest ponding of course.
To an outsider? Nothing. It is tribal branding. It is reinforced with custom, ritual, and career management structures. With few exceptions, the regimental system does not allow posting a member of one regiment into another (there are a few inter-regimental exchange officers, and it is possible to change regimental affiliation just as purple trades can seek to change environments, but this is rare).

You could question the legitimacy of the regimental system itself. Inter-unit mobility is not even its worst foible. But there are many other threads for that debate. As Infanteer already noted, when designing future force structures it is better to define the requirements in terms that are regiment agnostic.
 

Halifax Tar

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Log, RCEME, and Sigs can all be posted between various units & sub-units in all the big army & navy bases. Yes, some occupations have to move more because they are more distributed in smaller numbers to support everywhere. But, I have known cooks, clerks, and maintainers to spend as long in one base as the regimental system & HPD allow to infantrymen and sailors.

You're premise is built on the exceptions. It does happen but it's rare.

In any case, one would be part of the problem if they were to argue that some occupations have to move more often of necessity therefor it is acceptable to introduce that churn and cost on all occupations even in absence of necessity.

I actually agree. So let's fold the idea of needing sailors with army experience and vice versa and post soldiers to the army, sailors to the navy and aviators to hotels, like god intended.

Right now that doesn't happen as the rule. So let's see if could give every occupation that sweet sweet geographic stability. We might even save some cash in the process.

Yes, so it’s actually the perfect analogy to the Army’s regimental system, just less fragmented.


To an outsider? Nothing. It is tribal branding. It is reinforced with custom, ritual, and career management structures. With few exceptions, the regimental system does not allow posting a member of one regiment into another (there are a few inter-regimental exchange officers, and it is possible to change regimental affiliation just as purple trades can seek to change environments, but this is rare).

You could question the legitimacy of the regimental system itself. Inter-unit mobility is not even its worst foible. But there are many other threads for that debate. As Infanteer already noted, when designing future force structures it is better to define the requirements in terms that are regiment agnostic.

Your regimental systems sounds like empires with another name. Both of which are ok so long as they serve the country and the CAF above their own interests.
 

Kirkhill

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I decided to spare you the 24 torpedos and the 9m rescue RIB.

So whether or not we are talking 2 men on watch, or a group of 11 transporters and installers with a 24/7 watch of 2 or a CIC of 20 to 30 I don't see a Canadian Army equivalent in terms of manpower efficiency.

And, as far as I am aware, once a ship leaves dock she is operating in a 24/7 environment with all surveillance systems manned and all hands having to respond to the unusual and the exceptional from their own resources.

Fortunately their boss has a lot of resources other than manpower.
 

daftandbarmy

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Your regimental systems sounds like empires with another name. Both of which are ok so long as they serve the country and the CAF above their own interests.

Based on about 70% of the COs and Bde Comds I've seen in action, and/ or suffered under, over the past 20 years or so the main effort seems to be unconstrained/unaccountable ego self-gratification, cronyism and career progression at the expense of most other individuals and institutions.


Congratulations Ego GIF
 

Kirkhill

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I decided to spare you the 24 torpedos and the 9m rescue RIB.

So whether or not we are talking 2 men on watch, or a group of 11 transporters and installers with a 24/7 watch of 2 or a CIC of 20 to 30 I don't see a Canadian Army equivalent in terms of manpower efficiency.

And, as far as I am aware, once a ship leaves dock she is operating in a 24/7 environment with all surveillance systems manned and all hands having to respond to the unusual and the exceptional from their own resources.

Fortunately their boss has a lot of resources other than manpower.

Taking another look at what the CSC has on hand and converting the Guns into land based equivalents as I did with the missiles.

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In terms of range, weight of shot and range the Leonardo 5"/127mm is broadly equivalent to 4 Archer 155mm with ready ammunition.

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The 30 mm RWS are similar to the 35mm Milleniums used in conjunction with Rheinmetall's MANTIS system

MANTIS Air Defence System [1](modular, automatic and network capable targeting and interception system), formerly titled as NBS-C-RAM (Nächstbereichschutzsystem Counter Rocket, Artillery, and Mortar),

The NBS C-RAM system is supposed to detect, track and shoot down incoming projectiles before they can reach their target within very close range. The system itself is based on Oerlikon Contraves' Skyshield air defence gun system.

An NBS C-RAM system consists of six 35mm automatic guns (capable of firing 1,000 rounds per minute), a ground control unit and two sensor units. The entire system is fully automated. The guns fire programmable AHEAD ammunition, developed by Rheinmetall Weapons and Munitions - Switzerland (formerly Oerlikon Contraves Pyrotec). The ammunition carries a payload of 152 tungsten projectiles weighing 3.3g (51gr) each.

Originally, the German Army ordered a first batch of two systems in 2009, with two more following in 2013. All MANTIS systems have been transferred to the German Air Force, which is now responsible for all air defence tasks. The first two systems cost around €110.8 million, plus another €20 million for training and documentation purposes. In a follow-on contract, worth around €13.4 million, Rheinmetall will also deliver the corresponding ammunition to the German Army.[2]

The German Bundeswehr took over the first MANTIS system on January 1, 2011.[3]



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The 2nd Cavalry needs two more to match the CSC 50 Cal supply


But perhaps they could swap out those two for two of these

US Navy destroys target with drone swarm in message to China



They would go a long way to covering the "dead ground" and patrolling problems.

And all controlled from something like this

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By a "Lt Col" and some 200 or so under command. A Ship's Company.
 

Kirkhill

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So here's my suggestion for an experiment.

4 General Support Regiment.

Convert it into the 16th Canadian Surface Combatant. Plan on having it use the Combat Management System, the sensors and the missiles, and the guns (where possible) of the CSCs and containerize them to create a deployable firm base to support expeditionary operations. Just as if you were tying a CSC to the dock in an unstable country. Use that to establish the Brigade Maintenance Area.

And then, with that firm base in hand, work out what the rest of your expeditionary force looks like.

Your target is the same sensor capacity, the same offensive and defensive capacities, and the same number of PYs as a CSC frigate - 204 deployed. The remainder of the regiment's PYs can be retained with the regiment in Canada for continuing support of operations.
 

daftandbarmy

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So here's my suggestion for an experiment.

4 General Support Regiment.

Convert it into the 16th Canadian Surface Combatant. Plan on having it use the Combat Management System, the sensors and the missiles, and the guns (where possible) of the CSCs and containerize them to create a deployable firm base to support expeditionary operations. Just as if you were tying a CSC to the dock in an unstable country. Use that to establish the Brigade Maintenance Area.

And then, with that firm base in hand, work out what the rest of your expeditionary force looks like.

Your target is the same sensor capacity, the same offensive and defensive capacities, and the same number of PYs as a CSC frigate - 204 deployed. The remainder of the regiment's PYs can be retained with the regiment in Canada for continuing support of operations.

Or just develop an app so any soldier can deploy the weapon systems through their iPhone?
 

Rifleman62

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daftandbarmy

Based on about 70% of the COs and Bde Comds I've seen in action, and/ or suffered under, over the past 20 years or so the main effort seems to be unconstrained/unaccountable ego self-gratification, cronyism and career progression at the expense of most other individuals and institutions.
You forgot the Bde HQ Reg F COS who where the worst predators.
 

FJAG

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If I have your hypothesis right, and while interesting, Kirkhill, I think the general idea is impractical.

Army units are the way they are in large measure to cater to redundancy/protection and mobility.

The one thing about a ship is its inherently a mobile platform and if that mobility is destroyed in one blow, the system is completely out of action. Considering it is one amongst a few targets makes it highly vulnerable and reliant on its own (and its fleet's) self-defence measures. Another thing is that ships are generally not engaged in long actions. There are lengthy periods where the ship is capable of resting the bulk of its crew.

Army units are designed to disperse and have redundant command and control systems. They are generally staffed to be able to operate 24/7 (albeit in these tighter PY times that's fallen a bit by the wayside). More importantly the redundancy is designed to allow the system to keep operating via different nodes should one or more elements be lost to action. Mobility is critical. Systems need to move as individual elements when required and to do so rapidly. One doesn't have time to have a container truck come to pick up modules. And they are widely dispersed so that they don't all fall victim to one attack like a ship might.

Many of the weapon systems that you describe are essentially the same as between Navy and Army with simply a different chassis to make that mobility happen. While a ship may only need a dozen or so folks in the engine room to provide that mobility, and a dozen or two people to operate the weapon system because all are fixed to the same platform, Army units may need hundreds of drivers and operators to move and operate the individual components.

Ships have one combat centre because they need to because they are all prisoners on the same ship and because they can because intercommunication is easiest and their is no room nor advantage in dispersing throughout the ship (albeit that within a fleet or task force varying ships may have specialized roles). Army elements are widely dispersed because they need to be (see redundancy above) and because it is not necessary to group functions as centrally. For air defence, for example, to create a shield you need varying weapon systems from light to heavy covering from the most forward most vulnerable and exposed elements to hardened facilities in the rear. Field artillery covers a wide variety of functions from intimate close support in the forward area to general support across a wide area and deep into the enemies rear. Army formations from brigades which fight the close battle to divisions and corps which fight the deep battle and provide overall management each have different needs and needs for widely dispersed nodes. There is no FOO/JTAC in the Navy and doesn't need to be. There is no FSCC in the Navy nor does there need to be. On a ship everyone huddles around the CO and folks can communicate face to face if needed while in armies, their commanders and advisors are by necessity widely dispersed. Combat replenishment works entirely differently by necessity. Equipment maintenance works differently by necessity as do many other of the equivalent specialties found on a ship for which there is a similar army trade.

🍻
 

Kirkhill

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Perhaps a little less than that. At least for now.

What I am really suggesting is reverting to Henry VIII and his Board of Ordnance approach. Guns were the novel weapons in his day. And the navy was his lead force. He deployed his ordnance both on his ships and on land. Eventually the George's gave us The Arsenal at Woolwich.

I think this experiment has a real chance. I am going to guess that Lockmart is going to be building a dry land version of the CIC and Combat Management System in any case. Take gunners into the RCN for a while to observe and learn. Then take them and the RCN Weapons types and bring them ashore to develop the CSC system.

Then sort out the logistics of which missiles and guns to transfer to the shore and which ones to replace and which ones to add at some indefinite point in the future.

Perhaps we keep the ESSMs and the CAMMs and the NSMs and swap out the SM2s/6s for MLRS pods that can be truck, track or pallet mounted Tomahawk GLCMs might wait until we get a more offensive government.

We can keep the CRAM decoys, cannons and RWS. Might want to consider some Extra Long Range Cannon candidates.

We can keep the Helicopter and UAS ops management systems.

We might want to swap some of the sensors, for example the radar, for the RCA's MRR system.

All the time keeping the CIC and the Combat Management System intact and retaining the goal of manning a system 24/7 within the 204 PY envelope.


Once that is sorted then the gaps in arty coverage can be healed with the Field Regiments.

Once they are sorted then the patrol coverage and capabilities of the Cavalry can be defined.

Once that is sorted then the strike capabilities of the Infantry, their ability to close and destroy, can be defined.


But the key element is to start with the available, known, technology and use it to do as much as possible within the budget while using as few PYs as possible in the non-infantry roles.

Then you can retain those PYs for the infantry, both regs and reserves.

And training them will become much easier when they know what support they will have available to them.
 

Kirkhill

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FJAG you are mixing the Army's needs with the capabilities that a Frigate can deliver.

Everything you say is true. But I am positing that the Army buy one Frigate to define and defend a Brigade area of operations. And then ask itself what else it needs.

The things the "Frigate" can't do the rest of the army, and the artillery must do.

A firm base.

That is what is lacking in our discussions, our strategy and our policy. We wamble all over the place.

I am suggesting that we have a solid, real world example we can use to fix a point of origin and that we can then build on that. A cornerstone frigate if you like.
 

FJAG

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FJAG you are mixing the Army's needs with the capabilities that a Frigate can deliver.

Everything you say is true. But I am positing that the Army buy one Frigate to define and defend a Brigade area of operations. And then ask itself what else it needs.

The things the "Frigate" can't do the rest of the army, and the artillery must do.

A firm base.

That is what is lacking in our discussions, our strategy and our policy. We wamble all over the place.

I am suggesting that we have a solid, real world example we can use to fix a point of origin and that we can then build on that. A cornerstone frigate if you like.
We're a joint force. If we are ever in a position where one frigate/CSC could practically support a deployed field force and form a "firm base" then it's presence and replenishment requirements would be programmed into the op plan and it would be controlled by CJOC and the Joint Force commander. Same for the RCAF fighter elements. That's how it has worked and will work in numerous amphibious/littoral ops like the Falklands, Gulf 1 and many smaller ops.

I see nothing wrong with the idea of using a frigate in this role when practical (the Navy might have a different opinion) it's the idea of "the Army buy one Frigate" or even the concept of buying a frigate's worth of combat components to establish a hard defence point. The later because we are highly unlikely to go into a situation like that without our allies who would provide the defensive shield and much of the deep strike capability. We're hard pressed to afford the close support shield and strike capabilities as it stands.

🍻
 

KevinB

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We're a joint force. If we are ever in a position where one frigate/CSC could practically support a deployed field force and form a "firm base" then it's presence and replenishment requirements would be programmed into the op plan and it would be controlled by CJOC and the Joint Force commander. Same for the RCAF fighter elements. That's how it has worked and will work in numerous amphibious/littoral ops like the Falklands, Gulf 1 and many smaller ops.

I see nothing wrong with the idea of using a frigate in this role when practical (the Navy might have a different opinion) it's the idea of "the Army buy one Frigate" or even the concept of buying a frigate's worth of combat components to establish a hard defence point. The later because we are highly unlikely to go into a situation like that without our allies who would provide the defensive shield and much of the deep strike capability. We're hard pressed to afford the close support shield and strike capabilities as it stands.

🍻
Honestly - the biggest take away I got from Kirkhill's system - was it's a fantastic FOB defense system - or fixed HQ defensive system.

In Iraq a lot of the large bases had the CIWS Phallanx 20mm systems in ConEx boxes setup for not just Anti Air (Air being incoming in this instance) - but also local defense - not sure what occurred after the trial - but more did arrive - so I would assume it was performing at least adequately - it also allowed decrease manning of the perimeter towers - as the system had better sensors than the guards in the towers (I saw a NODLR in one tower I had throwback LETE visions from the late 80'/early 90's when I saw that).

I don't view it as a very practical system for the mobile Army - but it would be a decent system as part of a FARP, or to quickly support an airfield seizure (or impromptu dry lake bed landing strip). You could reduce your D&S needs in terms of PY's and give those positions a reasonable stand off to be more than just dark of night positions - and could be used to support forward dispersed operations (via back of Hercules or C-17) - you wouldn't need significant equipment to move them either - there are rapid collapsible "hoists" with off-road tires that could be moved to position by a Light vehicle (not a ATV - but more akin to a GMV).
 

Humphrey Bogart

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You know, just looking at that picture, and thinking about the AD AT discussion. I get that there is a cost to ammunition. I get that Air Defence is indeed a specialization that requires particular skills.

But here is where I find myself bumping up against a problem.

How do the navies of the world manage to deal with surface threats, subsurface threats, aerial threats, missiles, boats and smugglers with an array of multiple caliber guns, missiles, torpedoes and troops transported by jackstay, boat and helicopter from one single room surrounded by all the systems and accessed from comfy seats?

View attachment 66437

And yet the army needs separate capbadges and colonels to perform similar jobs.
I have been wanting to weigh in on this topic for the past few days but have not had the time.

Unfortunately Kirkhill, you are comparing Apples and Oranges. The way Ships fight and organize themselves is fundamentally different from the Army. There are a number of reasons for this:

Command, Charge & Control

Firstly, as it relates to Command and Control, the big difference between Naval Forces and Land Forces is that every single soldier on the ground is able to manoeuvre independently and has freedom of action, right down to the individual rifleman within a section. This is not the case at all in the Navy. The only one actually Manoeuvring the Ship in the Navy is the Officer of the Watch.

Likewise the concept of Control in the Navy is different from the Army. In the Navy all control is centralized in the hands of the Commanding Officer. Control deals with three different aspects:

  • Control of Ship's Movements
  • Control of Fighting Equipment and Sensors
  • Tactical Employment

The Commanding Officer has the ability to delegate control and this is done either verbally, through Captain's Standing Orders or Battle Orders (which are classified). An example of this would be Control of Tactical Employment of the Helicopter. Normally the CO retains Control of the Helicopter but may delegate Launch and Recovery IAW the Flying Program to the Operations Room Officer which means the ORO has the CO's permission to order the launch and recovery of the Helicopter as long as it is IAW the Flying Program.

The Commanding Officer retains Command at all times and ultimately is responsible for everything that happens. Command, unlike Control cannot be delegated.

A third concept that is unique to the Navy is Charge. Charge is "The responsibility vested in the Commanding Officer for the proper and safe movements and operation of the ship and her company". Charge can be delegated and the Officer of the Watch who is the CO's representative when they are not present holds Charge of the Ship. When an Officer holds Charge, they have authority over everybody on the Ship with the exception of the CO and the XO and are essentially there to ensure things are done properly and safely. The ORO may have been delegated Control but the Officer of the Watch still holds Charge and if there is a disagreement over something, it's their duty to inform the Commanding Officer.

Now where am I going with all of this?

Really it's to highlight how the Navy is fundamentally different from the Army in many respects when it comes to Command and Control.

There are really only three people on a Naval Vessel that actually fight the Ship:

The Commanding Officer
The Operations Room Officer; and
The Officer of the Watch.

Everyone else has a roll they have to play but it is ultimately to support those three individuals and the latter two ultimately support the Captain who is the final authority on all matters.

Employment of Sensors & Weapons

The second difference between the Land and Naval Environment is the Ship itself. For the most part, Warships are heavily automated. The complex software and combat management suites that manage the fighting equipment and sensors can actually, for the most part fight themselves. Humans are there for fact checking and decision making because the machines themselves are sometimes too good.

I won't describe in great deal how this works because a lot of this stuff can easily stray in to the realm of classified and need-to-know but essentially you could in theory set the combat systems to automatic and the Ship would fight itself without human input. The human input is there to make sure we don't do things like shoot down civilian aircraft, inadvertently launch missiles, etc.

In order to understand how an Ops Room works you need to really visualize it as if it's the inside of an MBT where all the operators are loaders, the SWC and ASWC are gunners and the ORO is the Crew Commander. The Ship is ONE Manoeuvre Element.

You can't organize a Land Force the same way because if you take for instance, a Mechanized Infantry Company with LAVs, already you can see how much more difficult Command and Control is with 15 IFVs, 100+ dismounts capable of acting independently, different weapons systems with decentralized control. ONE vs MANY.... CENTRALIZED vs DECENTRALIZED

Functional & Fighting Organization

Your understanding of how a Ship is organized and it's departments work is inaccurate. That's because a Ship has a Functional Organization and a Fighting Organization and depending on what they are doing will determine what organization people answer to and fall under.

The Fighting Organization consists of Specialized Teams that serve a combat/operational function and form for a specific reason.

The Functional Organization is administrative in nature and exists for routine administration and personnel management.

The Departments themselves, Operations, Engineering, Combat Systems, Deck, Logistics, are all part of the Functional Organization and members belong to these departments. When conducting evolutions and sailing though, members fall under the Fighting Organization which is governed by the Watch and Station Bill and is distinct from the Functional Organization.

A great example of this would be when the Ship is brought to Emergency Stations. I am a watchkeeper and normally fall under Operations (which is my functional organization) but if I am off-watch, I will go to my Section Base and belong to the Damage Control Organization at that point.

This distinction doesn't exist in the Army. The functional and fighting organizations are the same.

The point I'm trying to make is that Navies and Armies are different. The way they do things are different but there are very valid reasons for this.
 

Blackadder1916

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A firm base.

That is what is lacking in our discussions, our strategy and our policy. We wamble all over the place.

I am suggesting that we have a solid, real world example we can use to fix a point of origin and that we can then build on that. A cornerstone frigate if you like.

A real world example of what you suggest. A "firm base" that had state of the art weapons (and intercommunications) covering all approaches (by land and air) "defending" terrain that was adopted to minimize manpower requirements. Sounds like the Maginot Line. How did that work out for them?
 

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Excellent! Responses!

All telling me how I have got it wrong. :LOL: Good stuff.

Now. I agree the Canadian Forces are a Joint Force. Even if only nominally. It is that nominal caveat that prompted me to think along these lines in the first place. How could the Army and the Navy work together? What can the Navy do that the Army needs? Or at least could benefit from? The Navy has been making some significant steps in the Army's direction by ensuring it has a useful Long Range Gunfire Support capability and a useful Land Attack Missile capability. Capabilities that the Army can't seem to figure out for itself.

But, as has been pointed out before, in this Joint environment the RCN is reluctant to tie up one of its frigates against a potentially hostile dock. In fact I am reliably informed they would even be reluctant to chance their ships in the Baltics and the Black Sea. Areas where the Army might find itself operating and might welcome the weight of fire available. And I am not persuaded that we can rely on our allies to supply the necessary support if we get into trouble.

It has been suggested that my proposition makes an excellent fixed base. Great. That is exactly what I was looking for. I want to make the CAF into an independent force capable of deploying independently in support of Canada's domestic and international needs.

And being able to independently support Bermuda, or Montserrat, or Mauritius, or Rwanda is a start. Or even padding Singapore's defenses. Or adding to Perth's (North or South).


So here is my next question.

When was the last time a Halifax was anchored in Saint John to support an exercise in Gagetown? The docks are 20 to 25 km from the Nerepis Hills and the southern limits of Gagetown.

What happens if a Halifax, acting as a CSC analog, were parked in Saint John and used as a Brigade HQ and Maintenance Area? Could a Joint Command Team drive a Combat Team across Gagetown's ranges from the frigate? What could the Army do with the analogous fire support, and aerial support, available from and through the frigate? What could the Army do with the information the frigate could supply? What could the Army do with the Air Support the frigate could co-ordinate? What could the Army do with the Naval Boarding Parties and their 12m RHIBs on the St John River?

Once that series of experiments are complete then I would suggest that the Army could look differently at whether or not they need or want the capabilities the frigate offers for themselves.

And this has absolutely nothing to do with the Maneuvering Elements, the Brigades. It has everything to do with an expeditionary force, an independent foreign policy, home defence, a divisional support structure and Jointery.

And I fully acknowledge I don't know the inner workings of either the Arty or the Navy.

But, at the end of the day, the Navy delivers a whack of a lot of firepower on short notice from a mobile base manned with 204 people.

And I don't see the Army coming close to meeting that capability.

If I want to defend Halifax, Quebec, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Victoria, heck add in Prince Rupert, St John's and Iqaluit I would call on the Navy to park one of it frigates at the docks or in the roads. That would still leave me 3 to 6 spare frigates, 4 subs, 6 to 8 AOPVs and a dozen MCDVs for patrols.

What is the Army doing?
 
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