Author Topic: Should the Canadian Coast Guard be armed?  (Read 82619 times)

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Offline mcnutt_p

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Should the Canadian Coast Guard be armed?
« on: July 12, 2005, 22:12:07 »
I was wondering, should the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) be armed as the US Coast Guard. Also should the Coast Guard fall under DND?

The definition of Guard is: to keep a protective watch over, as to shield or defend from harm or loss.

Arming the CCG would not only allow them to do there job better, but would also free up the Navy, for other duties.

What is you thoughts?
"We are not the Public Service of Canada. We are not just another department. We are the Canadian Forces and our job is to be able to kill people."
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Offline Fishbone Jones

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Re: Should the Canadian Coast Guard be armed?
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2005, 22:20:54 »
Sure, why not. And while we're buying guns for them, we should order enough to arm our Customs Officers at high profile border crossings, like Windsor.
Corruption in politics doesn't scare me.
What scares me is how comfortable people are doing nothing about it.

Offline mcnutt_p

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Re: Should the Canadian Coast Guard be armed?
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2005, 22:27:55 »
I was thinking more along the lines of .50 cals.
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Offline Fishbone Jones

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Re: Should the Canadian Coast Guard be armed?
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2005, 22:33:06 »
Me too!! ;)
Corruption in politics doesn't scare me.
What scares me is how comfortable people are doing nothing about it.

Offline PPCLI WO

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Re: Should the Canadian Coast Guard be armed?
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2005, 22:45:55 »
One of my buddies who left the army for the Coast Guard College in Sydney, NS was trained on the .50 cal.  I spoke with him a few weeks ago and he told me some of the Coast Guard vessels are still armed with .50's.

Offline Ex-Dragoon

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Re: Should the Canadian Coast Guard be armed?
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2005, 22:48:57 »
One of my buddies who left the army for the Coast Guard College in Sydney, NS was trained on the .50 cal.   I spoke with him a few weeks ago and he told me some of the Coast Guard vessels are still armed with .50's.

Those were the former Fishery Patrol Vessels that came under CCG control when DFO merged with the CCG a couple of years ago.

You will find there is a lot of resistance in the CCG to be militaeized along the lines of the USCG. Most of the CCG is more then happy to do SAR, Aid to Navigation and Icebreaking and leave the law enforcement and territorial protection to the navy.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2005, 22:57:55 by Ex-Dragoon »
I will leave your flesh on the mountains and fill the valleys with your carcasses. I will water the land with what flows from you, and the river beds shall be filled with your blood. When I snuff you out I will cover the heavens and all the stars will darken. Ezekiel 32:5-7
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Offline PPCLI WO

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Re: Should the Canadian Coast Guard be armed?
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2005, 00:18:06 »
Got it. I'll head to the box and feel shame.  :'(

Offline MCG

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Re: Should the Canadian Coast Guard be armed?
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2005, 00:53:29 »
should the Coast Guard fall under DND?
I'd rather see them in a department of national security with the RCMP and PSEPC.

You will find there is a lot of resistance in the CCG to be militarized along the lines of the USCG. Most of the CCG is more then happy to do SAR, Aid to Navigation and Icebreaking and leave the law enforcement and territorial protection to the navy.
Then maybe they should be called the sea scouts.  If the CCG is not responsible for law enforcement & sovereignty in Canadian waters, then we may as well be rid of it.  Ice breaking can be privatized, and navigation given to a not-for-profit company (as NavCanada does for air transportation).

Offline ParaMedTech

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Re: Should the Canadian Coast Guard be armed?
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2005, 01:14:29 »
uhmmm, McG, should we sell off SAR, too, or hand ALL of our offshore rescue missions to DND?

Just looking out the window at about 35,000 people who have to get here by ferry or air....but I'm glad they do Aids to Nav and SAR.  Icebreaking, well, it's been a bit of a cool month, but we'll cope, thanks.  8)

Much as the members don't like it, they SHOULD also be doing interdiction and patrol, too.  And rolling them into a unified public security agency wouldn't be a bad idea either.

DF

who finally got a transfer to the coast.
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Offline Ex-Dragoon

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Re: Should the Canadian Coast Guard be armed?
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2005, 05:10:53 »
Quote
Much as the members don't like it, they SHOULD also be doing interdiction and patrol, too.

They do...
I will leave your flesh on the mountains and fill the valleys with your carcasses. I will water the land with what flows from you, and the river beds shall be filled with your blood. When I snuff you out I will cover the heavens and all the stars will darken. Ezekiel 32:5-7
Tradition- Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid
Former RCN Sailor now Retired

Offline jmacleod

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Re: Should the Canadian Coast Guard be armed?
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2005, 06:37:40 »
Ex Dragoon is right. There will be resistance to arming CCG vessels. Transferring CCG to the control
of Fisheries and Oceans Canada was a major error, and greatly resented in the CCG, which continues
to this day. During 1984-87, plans were underway to "privatize" by contracting out these essential
services to the private sector. Canadian Helicopters Corporation CCH of the period actually prepared
a Proposal to take over all rotary wing operations on behalf of CCG, and the long established CCG
jetties and supporting infrastructure were to be sold off - a member of our family was the Director
CCG operating out of Dartmouth HRM for many years. The plan was terminated when a decision
was made to transfer Federal responsibility. The USCG is being significantly upgraded - go to CASR
DND 101 for the latest information, and I think USCG authorites would prefer CCG vessels and crews
to be armed - USCG ships are in and out of Atlantic Canada ports on a regular basis, and ships
crews are familier with each others responsibilities. Macleod

Offline Manimal

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Re: Should the Canadian Coast Guard be armed?
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2005, 07:08:52 »
OH MAN, you mean that they don't...... GOOD LORD.
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Offline Horse_Soldier

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Re: Should the Canadian Coast Guard be armed?
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2005, 08:22:24 »
Let's keep something in mind here.  The US Coast Guard is an armed service, with military discipline, training and organisation.  The CCG is part of the public service, i.e. unionized, civilian, administered under PS rules - notwithstanding the fact that they wear uniforms.  Huge difference.

And yes, the CCG's transfer to Fisheries and Oceans was, and still is a problem.  They are now a Special Operating Agency under the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, but it remains to be seen how this will help them improve the way they do business.  I personally don't think they should be in DFO - they should be in a Homeland Security Department of some sort, along with the Border Security Agency.  If nothing else, it would make my (and many others) life easier  ;D
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Offline mcnutt_p

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Re: Should the Canadian Coast Guard be armed?
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2005, 10:05:08 »
Let's keep something in mind here.   The US Coast Guard is an armed service, with military discipline, training and organisation.   The CCG is part of the public service, i.e. unionized, civilian, administered under PS rules - notwithstanding the fact that they wear uniforms.   Huge difference. ;D

Unionized, that is the problem. 

Also creating a Department of Homeland Security, would probably create lots of problems. Yes it would consolidateings such as the CCG, RCMP, CSIS, and Customs all under on command, but like I said earlier, there would be a problem with a union. AFIAK each department so far each have there own union, thus creating a union war with in government. Diisband the unions and then create the department.

McNutt
"We are not the Public Service of Canada. We are not just another department. We are the Canadian Forces and our job is to be able to kill people."
-General Rick Hillier, Canadian Army

Offline Horse_Soldier

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Re: Should the Canadian Coast Guard be armed?
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2005, 10:27:15 »
Unionized, that is the problem.  

Also creating a Department of Homeland Security, would probably create lots of problems. Yes it would consolidateings such as the CCG, RCMP, CSIS, and Customs all under on command, but like I said earlier, there would be a problem with a union. AFIAK each department so far each have there own union, thus creating a union war with in government. Diisband the unions and then create the department.

McNutt
Not quite.  Unions are organised along professional category lines, with departments having locals of the various unions.  Within my own directorate, half of my employees belong to the Professional Institute of the Public Service, while the rest belong to the Public Service Alliance of Canada.  Within DFO, pretty much every union is represented, including the Canadian Merchant Service Guild, which represents the Coast Guard's officers.  There is nothing that prevents the government from grouping the CCG, RCMP, CSIS and CBSA under one department, certainly not the union issue.  The government has continuously shuffled organisations from department to department over the years.  Just last year, the people responsible for waterways security within DFO were transferred to Transport Canada.  The Customs officers were part of CCRA until they were shuffled off to the CBSA.  While I have mixed feelings about unions in the public service, they are a fact of life.  But they have no influence on the organisation of government.  If the Liberals want to set up a Department of Homeland Security regrouping all the agencies (except defence, of course), it could do so tomorrow morning.  The fact that it hasn't happened that way may mean that either there are good reasons for not doing so (cost, efficiency, etc) or there are bureaucratic bunfights, or it's still being worked on but OPSEC prevents public discussion.  Take your pick.
The skill of the officer is the management of violence; his responsibility is the military security of his client, society.
-War, Morality and the Military Profession, M. Wakim, Ed.

Offline x-grunt

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Re: Should the Canadian Coast Guard be armed?
« Reply #15 on: July 13, 2005, 14:47:29 »
I've seen several posts in various threads that have asked the question about arming the Coast Guard. Frankly, I don't see the point. Why militarize a civilian organization? It's like arming lifeguards and forcing them to be police.

Other nations do not consider their CG to be military or even paramilitary establishments. Only the US and India,  AFAIK, have a military-like armed CG. Singapore uses the Police force to do CG tasks. The UK has two (?) CG establishments, HM Coast Guard and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. Neither are security forces. Same with Spain, but my abiilty to deciper spanish is limited so I may have missed something in my research. Australia and New Zealand have volunteer-run CG, strictly SAR. Sweden's CG does SAR and has some customs enforcement role. Etc.

With the exceptions above, nations I've looked at with a CG use it primarily for SAR and to maintain safe waterways. Catching bad guys is not a primary role.

My .02:  if this is needed, let's expand a service that is already involved in security work. I say the RCMP, or an expansion of Naval/Naval Reserve forces, or both. Why not form a combined CoastWatch service of RCMP and NavRes, since the NavRes operational tasking is coastal ops. Give the new R82 types a good role. Maybe there are better ideas, the point is arming the CCG is not needed or desireable.






Offline Ex-Dragoon

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Re: Should the Canadian Coast Guard be armed?
« Reply #16 on: July 13, 2005, 15:10:58 »
Quote
Other nations do not consider their CG to be military or even paramilitary establishments
They don't? The opposite is more true...most CG I have encountered  in my 11 years of going to sea,are armed and are considered at least paramilitary, especially in Europe.
I will leave your flesh on the mountains and fill the valleys with your carcasses. I will water the land with what flows from you, and the river beds shall be filled with your blood. When I snuff you out I will cover the heavens and all the stars will darken. Ezekiel 32:5-7
Tradition- Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid
Former RCN Sailor now Retired

Offline x-grunt

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Re: Should the Canadian Coast Guard be armed?
« Reply #17 on: July 13, 2005, 15:59:18 »
They don't? The opposite is more true...most CG I have encountered  in my 11 years of going to sea,are armed and are considered at least paramilitary, especially in Europe.

I do not in any way claim expert knowledge here, just internet research, a very short stint on the CCGS Daring, and a former friend in the RNLI. I gladly bow to your years of service.

The two European forces I looked at Spain and Sweden, may be the exceptions, then. My impression of them and the UK is that while they may be uniformed they are not really para-military or involved in security except perhaps in a supporting role (Sweden's is involved in customs work, as it apparently evolved out of their customs service). Like our CG - the CCG officers college is like a military-like college, uniforms, and drill and all. But they are a civy organization. Compare them to  Firefighters who have ranks, drill, uniforms, too.

I stick to my point though - IMO it would be easier and more effective to expand existing maritime security services then retool the CCG. Let them do SAR and other maritime safety work.

Offline Ex-Dragoon

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Re: Should the Canadian Coast Guard be armed?
« Reply #18 on: July 13, 2005, 18:26:36 »
The problem with letting them do maritime safety and SAR work only is sometimes they are the only platform in the area and it may take some time for armed assets to get there.
I will leave your flesh on the mountains and fill the valleys with your carcasses. I will water the land with what flows from you, and the river beds shall be filled with your blood. When I snuff you out I will cover the heavens and all the stars will darken. Ezekiel 32:5-7
Tradition- Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid
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Offline Acorn

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Re: Should the Canadian Coast Guard be armed?
« Reply #19 on: July 13, 2005, 20:16:56 »
They should be part of CBSA (maritime borders are still borders) and should have Law Enforcement powers and armament suitable for that role. They don't need to be militarized though, we have the Navy in the event the CCG needs support for something beyond their abilities, just as the Army has been called in to support Law Enforcement on land.

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Offline mcnutt_p

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Re: Should the Canadian Coast Guard be armed?
« Reply #20 on: July 14, 2005, 13:24:59 »
The problem with letting them do maritime safety and SAR work only is sometimes they are the only platform in the area and it may take some time for armed assets to get there.

Good point. If you have to what for armed assest to get there you don't know what will happen. For example you could pull along side a fishing trawler and some fisherman decides he does not like you looking at him and uncovers a surplus .50 sitting on the bow.

They don't need to be militarized though, we have the Navy in the event the CCG needs support for something beyond their abilities, just as the Army has been called in to support Law Enforcement on land.

Even if they would not become part of DND as the original question asked, they should still be militarized. People tend to think differently when they have a gun pointed at them.

My thoughts

McNutt
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Offline x-grunt

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Re: Should the Canadian Coast Guard be armed?
« Reply #21 on: July 14, 2005, 14:23:20 »
Good point. If you have to what for armed assest to get there you don't know what will happen. For example you could pull along side a fishing trawler and some fisherman decides he does not like you looking at him and uncovers a surplus .50 sitting on the bow.

And how often does this happen in real life? The Native fisheries get a bit riled up, I know, but then the RCMP has jurisdiction there and gets involved with that situation.

Quote
Even if they would not become part of DND as the original question asked, they should still be militarized. People tend to think differently when they have a gun pointed at them.

Militarizing is a major undertaking. Essentially you are starting a new service, on existing ships. New policies, training, staffing of a recruit center, recruiting itself, plus the legal hassles involved in negotiating with existing personnel and their unions who need to be retrained if they stay. The current CCG has NO military or paramilitary function. We have enough problems recruiting for the CF. Even the existing CCG has manpower issues, if I understand correctly. Transfer or acquire appropriate vessels for the RCMP or beef up the Navy and let them loose on this. Or, if the CCG must be used, keep them as is with the addition of a gun or two and a training course for selected members. Maybe have some CCG officers and selected crew take the NBP course. Or send along a non-CCG sub-unit to fill this role. Again, maybe a role for the RCMP or NavRes.

Quote
The problem with letting them do maritime safety and SAR work only is sometimes they are the only platform in the area and it may take some time for armed assets to get there.

I agree with you  Ex-Dragoon. So what are we expecting here that a CCG vessel will have to address? There in lies the important question that needs answering before the rest of the original question can be properly addressed. What is the mission an armed CCG is expected to perform, is it already being done by someone, and if not why are they the ones to do it?


Offline Buggy

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Re: Should the Canadian Coast Guard be armed?
« Reply #22 on: July 14, 2005, 16:14:44 »
Unionized, that is the problem.  

Also creating a Department of Homeland Security, would probably create lots of problems. Yes it would consolidateings such as the CCG, RCMP, CSIS, and Customs all under on command, but

Do you think this is a top to bottom issue?  Perhaps an interim measure such as increased inter agency co-op would be wise to ensure we have the proper capabilities first.  Concentrate in developing operators and co-operation first, and the command aspect second.  Resturcture of inadequate assets will only create further delay and unnecessary friction.

 :skull:

Offline mcnutt_p

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Re: Should the Canadian Coast Guard be armed?
« Reply #23 on: July 14, 2005, 16:27:20 »
Perhaps an interim measure such as increased inter agency co-op would be wise to ensure we have the proper capabilities first.   Concentrate in developing operators and co-operation first, and the command aspect second.   Resturcture of inadequate assets will only create further delay and unnecessary friction.

If you set up a command structure even if it is interm would allow the development of operaters through the use of the others agencies resources. For example the RCMP and CCG could train togther, for response teams, this could be reinforced by training staff from a NBP.

McNutt
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Offline Ex-Dragoon

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Re: Should the Canadian Coast Guard be armed?
« Reply #24 on: July 14, 2005, 19:12:36 »
Quote
If you set up a command structure even if it is interm would allow the development of operaters through the use of the others agencies resources. For example the RCMP and CCG could train togther, for response teams, this could be reinforced by training staff from a NBP

The RCMP already have some personnel trained in boarding ops as does some from the old DFO.
I will leave your flesh on the mountains and fill the valleys with your carcasses. I will water the land with what flows from you, and the river beds shall be filled with your blood. When I snuff you out I will cover the heavens and all the stars will darken. Ezekiel 32:5-7
Tradition- Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid
Former RCN Sailor now Retired