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  #1  
Old 19 December 2000, 13:58
TonyM TonyM is offline
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Mission for LFR

After reading that swabbies post on the LFRR board about how the Naval Reserve has a defined role (armed harbour & coastal defense and surveillance) this clarifies the situation of the Army reserves. We have no mission, therefore no support, nor any reason for getting training, equipment or money. Hence the mess we're in. Something has to be done about this, other NATO countries reserves have defined roles. I see no reason we cannot. My question to you all is this:
What SPECIFIC role(s) do you feel the Army Reserve should take in Canada's (current)National Defense policy? For instance, can we take over low-threat peacekeeping missions like the Texas NG? Aid to the RCMP for drug smuggling? Become "marine infantry" for the Naval Reserve and assist them in their role?
When I get a good feel for what the members think, I intend on doing something.

[This message has been edited by TonyM (edited 12-19-2000).]
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  #2  
Old 19 December 2000, 18:33
Enfield Enfield is offline
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I'll take a stab at this...
I feel that the Reg Force Infantry should be more high-speed - we only have 3 regiments, somaking them all Airborne or Ranger or Commando qualified (maybe give one a Marine tasking, one an Airborne/Light Inf., one a Mech tasking) It's ridiculous to think that those 3 regiments can fight a World War type scenario, just aren't enough of them to be anything but an augmentee to a US or Brit division. So make them "elite", and give them the dangerous peacekeeping missions, non-combatant evacuation, and rapid-reaction missions.

In this context, I see the LFR as the general, war fighting, infantry. We should be larger than the Reg Force - by about 3 times (I believe this was stated in the LFRR board). Organize the LFR so that it is deployable - Regt's, Bge's, Division. We should operate with the Navy and Air Reserve (whatever the Cdn. Air Reserve actually does) more often, for example helping with harbour defence.
The LFR should exist primarily to fight in major conflicts. I think that Reg F infantry is too small, and costs to much to maintain this role adequatley while trying to keep up to speed with PK. For the same price the CF can get 3 times as many Reservists that, with work ups, can probably be just as effective as Regs. The full-time army should be used for the full-time duties the CF carries out - and war fighting is not one of these. And the ability to fight a modern (not 1960!) Total War is not a meagre tasking for the Reserves, and can entail all sorts of good training.

We should be a combat entity of our own, not simply a pool of manpower for the Reg's. We should be there to "assist" not "augement" the Reg's.
Along with this, I believe we should also be able to conduct the less-dangerous, troop-intensive PK missions (maybe Bosnia as it is now, Golan Heights, Cyprus, etc.) so that the Reg F manpower isn't over-stretched.

We should have battalions that are at least close to full strength (our current PR/recruiting sucks, I believe the potential for 300-500 man units exists). It would be nice if we Airborne tasked Coys in each Regt., if for nothing else as a goal for soldiers, but that's probably excessive. I don't think the need for more high-speed courses needs to be stated (I believe Cree Warrior a while back suggested having a commando course or something to sort out the squared away troops from the bags of sh**, and I support that idea)

I think that QL3 has to be augmented. The second summer of a Reservists career should be an "Advanced Infantry Course", which would include the MG and another QL4 (Recce? Comms?), tied in with more field training.

Well, that's my $.02 (and canadian cents at that). I apologize if I went off topic..

Enfield
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  #3  
Old 19 December 2000, 19:14
TonyM TonyM is offline
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Well, Enfield, in one fell swoop you've covered pretty much what's wrong and what we'd like to see happen. And I agree with most of it. However, I can't see the DOD ever giving us the role of primary war-fighting for the country. Not saying it's impossible, just highly unlikely in today's political climate. This is again indicative of the problem here, we seem to be in some sort of no-mans land of needing to be trained as reg force, yet not really requiring it because it's not our role. Something else the navy o said that makes complete sense

"The premise for the Navy is simple and it is a philosphy that I stress while responsible for training sailors. "The regular force, nor reserve force set the standard for going to sea; it is the sea itself that sets that standard. You are completely foolish to ever try and go to sea on a ship of any kind without knowing some sort of seamanship principles." In short, the militia mafias must be dismantled before any real change has a chance to improve things. From OOTW to total war, the standard for soldiering is set by the nature of conflict."

I take this to mean our command and/or the MND must stop thinking "we're only the Mo, so we can't do that", which is very much the attitude I have encountered. But until we have a real, honest-to-hooyah-god mission, all we can ever expect is, at best, to be treated like some retarded younger sibling. Why do we bother to train (I use that term loosely) for large-scale war when indeed it is no longer 'the nature of the conflict'? Your idea of Airborne is not all that bad. Instead of Canada cutting it's airborne force completely, why not give it to us? I'm sure a reserve airborne force would save money, yet for the role (light infantry, lightly equipped, taking and holding strategic targets until relieved by the reg force) is not that far from what we do. Wouldn't be a huge leap for the DND, the regs could pass off the equipment and provide training, most of the infrastructure and admin is in place. Certainly would solve a lot of the morale, retention and recruiting problems.
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  #4  
Old 19 December 2000, 19:42
FNG FNG is offline
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Good points Enfield, but I see some problems with that plan; which leads me into my little spiel.

To begin with, we have never been able to field a large enough fighting formation to take on a fullsized enemy without support from other nations. Even in World War II, we always worked in conjunction with the British Army, even though we had our own Corps and Division structures.
Although the idea of making Reg force Regt. Light Infantry along the lines of the Rangers is interesting... it may not be practical.

The CF lacks any form of maneuver capability other than on foot. We do not have enough aircraft to ferry a Para regiment to battle, let alone support sustained overseas combat operations. We do not have enough helicopters to ferry an Air assault regiment either. As for Marine tasking... we don't have any Amphibious vessels that can carry a Regiment. We only have two supply ships which may be able to carry out that task, but since they are the ONLY two, I doubt the Navy would risk letting us use them for fear of losing them (Remember Falklands), and thus strand our entire 12 ship frigate fleet out in the ocean.
In order for any major restructuring to occur within the Army that would enable us to have a rapid deployment and strike capability, other services would also have to invest in lot of new vehicles/aircraft/ and vessels. This would also require them to devote their mission to supporting the Army, which is about as likely as CADPAT combats showing up on my front steps tomorrow morning.

With that in mind, I would suggest that the focus be spent on the militia, rather than wishing the Regs would go with our changes as well. Afterall, this is LFResR, not LFRegR.

I envision having the militia's role as being two fold:

1) To become an entity solely to train Reg and Res members

2) To provide full sized units to be deployed for peacekeeping operations from volunteers across the the country.

---------------------------------------------
I suggested point one in consideration of the difficulties that we may encounter during mobilization.

By making it the mission of the Reserve to provide training cadres for all courses, Regular or Reserve, we can ensure that both Reg and Res. will train in the same curriculum, and have the same training standards. There will be no more of the 'Eryx is not taught to reservist' type courses. We are one Army, so we should be equally well trained.

The main purpose of this point is to provide the militia with a cadre of highly competent instructors, such that should mobilization occur, we would be able to handle the training of a large influx of civilians. Once these new recruit's training is complete, they can be sent to the Reg Force, where they will be deployed under a Reg Force soldier as their Sect/Pl/Coy commander. In essence, the Reg Force can be exploded such that a peacetime Reg. Platoon may become a Reg. Company during wartime.

---------------------------------------------

Point two is essentially what Enfield has stated. Take all the volunteers from all the reserve units, and send out a force to take over some peacekeeping missions from the Reg Force. This force should have a Res F. command element such that Res. F. commanders can gain some operational command experience as well.
To begin with, the Res. Unit should be posted to locations that are isolated from Reg Force units so that there won't be a feeling of 'I'm better than you, so listen to me' attitude. Later, as more Res. Rotos have gone through and the idea has proven itself; Res. Units can join up with Reg. Units in the same operational theatre, perhaps as part of the Rotation process... giving the Regs. a needed break.

--------------------------------------------
There are already some downsides to my suggestion. Firstly, it would require a lot more Reservists to take on Class B duty, especially for long courses such as QL3 or JLC.

Second, it would require the Reg Force to give up control over their training.

Third, any Reservist candidates who attend the trg would also have to conform to a full time training course instead of a weekend based course.

--------------------------------------------
These are my thoughts... see if it helps.
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  #5  
Old 19 December 2000, 19:52
TonyM TonyM is offline
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removed double post

[This message has been edited by TonyM (edited 12-19-2000).]
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  #6  
Old 19 December 2000, 20:02
Quimby Quimby is offline
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I think as long as the liberal government is in power nothing will change in the military. They seem to have a very anti- military agenda. The idea of the reserves taking on the low threat peace keeping missions is an excellent one. But our training standards would have to improve significantly, particularly in the QL2/QL3.

I love the idea of reserve units having an airborne tasking. An awesome recruiting tool. Which is one of the big problems right now. Recruiting is pitiful in this country. It shouldn't take 6 months or more for a new recruit to be sworn in. 6 weeks or less would be a much better number. Until we solve the recruiting problem none of this matters. Most of our regiments are barely companies and our companies are platoons. I see it as a vicious circle. Can't get more money and high speed training because of numbers and can't get numbers because of lack of high speed training or taskings.

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  #7  
Old 19 December 2000, 21:13
FNG FNG is offline
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I agree that recruiting is a major problem; but what sort of people should the Army be targeting?

Ideally, you want those who know what the Army is about, and craves for challenges. The ones who are already highspeed, and highly motivated. But where do you find these people? There aren't very many around...

Most others join because they want a summer job (Thus they won't parade very much), and those who join to get some confidence (which if you don't have in the first place, it makes passing QL2/3 all the more difficult).

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  #8  
Old 19 December 2000, 21:54
TonyM TonyM is offline
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I believe we've become our own worst enemy. We promote the reserves as "summer employment", not as a military experiance at all.
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  #9  
Old 19 December 2000, 23:11
FNG FNG is offline
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Before I joined up, I remember driving by the Armoury in Victoria, and seeing a sign which said: 'Now Hiring, summer and part time employment...'

It baffled my mind then why the Army would use the word 'Hiring', as if it were a regular summer job at Wendy's.

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  #10  
Old 20 December 2000, 00:04
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Snake Snake is offline
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An idea from someone who knows damn-all about the Militia/Regular relationship in the CF.
Instead of going the Light Fighter route, which isnt bad idea itself, Militia units could be made into Regional/Provincial Commando's. Using the original Afrikaaner meaning of the word Commando:
A Battalion sized force with organic CS/CSS units, comprised of Reservists, and capable of standard Infantry and limited Special Operations (Raids, Strikes, Sabotage, and Special Reconnaisance).

Add a few more weeks of training onto the Infantry courses you have now, dealing with the Special Ops portion of the tasking.
Teach em basic sapper work (bridges, powerlines, roads). Perhaps a condensed version of LRSLC for squad/section leaders.

Marksmanship, Marksmanship, Marksmanship.
The CF is heir to the riflemen whose accuracy awed the World and carved the British Empire. And -you- dont have the SA80 to blame....

lemme see if this works. It's a graphic TO/E right out of FM 100-63, Concerning the make-up of OPFOR Commando Batts.

http://www.adtdl.army.mil/cgi-bin/at...-63/Ch7.htm#s2

Scroll till you see the Commando section.

Just my $.02.

Snake
25th ID(L)
BTW, my old Unit(above) was toying with the idea of a Commando(read: Ranger) Company, organic to the Division. However, I Corps shook their bearded heads...


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  #11  
Old 20 December 2000, 12:35
TonyM TonyM is offline
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I like your idea Snake, but here in Canada anything that smacks of "special" or "elite" (or even Airborne or Commando)is the kiss of death and probably would result in banishment to CFB Alert (our version of the Siberian Salt Mines). The head-sheds, bless their cold little hearts, have begun a process of reserve restructuring and revitalization. This is not a bad thing, and indeed I'm quite happy about it, but they've made the basic mistake putting the horse before the carrige. The mandate of the LFRR (Land Force Reserve Restructuring) plan is to "fix" the force (new equipment, money,recruiting, retention etc) then try to find a suitable role for it. This of course is doomed to failure, and wouldn't fly anywhere outside of a heavily subsidised government business, where it would also fail, but over a longer period of time. Like the LFRR. They'll be Herc'ing in the cash trying to prop up all kinds of silly ideas, until a actual role is identified and agreed on. Even crack dealers realize you got to have a product before you try to sell it, or there's gonna be trouble. (OK, that was a cheap shot, but I couldn't resist).
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Old 20 December 2000, 13:00
Cree Warrior Cree Warrior is offline
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Over the last week me and a buddy figured out how the Army could save millions of dollars that are now wasted.
1) Purchase ammunition from US sources (we are now paying roughly 1.05 CDN a round for 5.56) anyone who does their own shooting knows this is insane.
2) Purchase US MRE's instead of IMP's
Cost difference alone; IMP is what close to 30.00CDN(?) EACH. A box of 12 MRE's is around 40.00US!!
I think the savings on doing the PWT's alone work out to 700,000CDN on ammo. You can's say either that Federal or Winchester makes low quality ammo.
If that money went into buying more ammo, we might end up being some damn good shooters.
I dont even want to guess what the saving is on rations.

Oh but wait the Canadian 5.56 ammo is made where...? Valcartier, Quebec...so I guess that wont happen.

Sua Sponte

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Old 20 December 2000, 14:50
TonyM TonyM is offline
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Yup, you got that right. Same-same with Apache helicopters and M1 tanks. We coulda had both but only if we can license build them here. Or ,I mean, in Ontario/Quebec (which is really Canada. Everything else is what I now call the Canadian Annex Territories). I'm starting to believe we need a Reserve Forces Association (like the Brits have) to be able to leverage some political power. I'm sure some politico would like to pander for 15,000 votes.

(I really need a spell checker on this board)

[This message has been edited by TonyM (edited 12-20-2000).]
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Old 20 December 2000, 19:18
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One complaint I overheard from a couple of Canadian Militia troopers from the (South?) Alberta Light Horse was that ya'll's commo gear is, well.....elderly? Now, -that- is a problem. Without decent C3, trouble is pretty much certain.

Now, a Reserve Forces Association is a capital idea. Put pressure on the poli's to support you guys. Lobby groups are great when they're on your side.

Also, do any of your outfits ever make it to NTC? I'd imagine they'd be welcome.
JRTC, as well.

Snake
25th ID(L)
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  #15  
Old 20 December 2000, 20:54
FNG FNG is offline
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Our Reg Force has made at least one visit to the NTC a few years ago. Elements of the PPCLI were part of the Red Force I believe.

Yeah, Comms definitely needs work. We have some better short range radios that are crypto capable now, but we still use the AN/PRC 77 sets a lot.
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  #16  
Old 20 December 2000, 22:00
Reverend B Reverend B is offline
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My question to you all is this:
What SPECIFIC role(s) do you feel the Army Reserve should take in Canada's (current) National Defence policy?

What specific roles should the Mo' play? Well, we forget perhaps that the majority of the Mo' is pogues, and just a small part is infantry. So...as infantry, there should be area-specific tasking. Coastal boys could focus on amphibious ops, interior units mountain ops, prairies mech., etc etc.
Specialisation in CS roles would be OK, but it would end up boring constantly digging pits for the 81's every exercise, if you where mortar tasked. (Personally, I want to be flame-thrower tasked, but I think THAT will not happen)
The tasking would have to be around the unit's individual size...for example, there is no frikkin point doing "battalion ex" at platoon strength, but if the unit has the size, increase the strength levels of tasking.
These taskings could still incorporate the offence/defence game, as well as bleeding them into our new focus, FIBUA.
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Old 21 December 2000, 00:54
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Hmm,
The Militia(Wow, different conotation from the American term..) should remain primarily Light(Motorized?), as Light forces are the most flexible if you -arent- fighting a set-piece Combined Arms War, which Canada hasnt the means to do at this time.
Which reminds me, What kind of Armor/Mech formations are in the Militia? I know there are a few with titles like Dragoons and Hussars. Tell me they are not
-Horse- Cavalry? Are Militia Regiments motorized at all? LAVIII's?

Snake
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  #18  
Old 21 December 2000, 03:13
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Am I to understand there's a problem with finding recruits? I was talking with a friend the other day and he told me there was a waiting list to get in? I have no idea where he heard this.
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  #19  
Old 21 December 2000, 03:54
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Snake Snake is offline
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BTW,
I got an aquaintance living in BC. He's ex-Guard (Alaska, 207th Infantry Group. Polar Warfare Specialists.). He is thinking about joining one of the neary Regiments. However, neither he nor I can find out if he's eligible. He only moved there about 18 months ago. How long before you can become a Landed Immigrant?

Snake
25th ID(L)
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  #20  
Old 21 December 2000, 05:40
Quimby Quimby is offline
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Big problem with recruiting here in Canada. We're a "company" that can barely turn out thirty guys. And that's on a good night. But what have we got to offer? I maintain that if it were not for immigration laws there would be no Canadian armed forces. I don't know to many infantry types who would stay here if they could go south, or to any other country for that matter. Alot of people join the CF because it's all that's available, not because we're offering high speed training or a chance to be part of something special. Maybe recruiting might improve if we had a Canadian Airborne Flamethrower Regiment.

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