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FORCE 2025: Informing the Army’s future structure

Kirkhill

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Without a Regular Force Maintainer Platoon/Troop etc any significant equipment will not be able to be maintained IMHO at the Res level.

However if the local armories have simulators - pooled equipment with Reg Force maintenance staff can keep the equipment going - and be available for collect training on Weekends/Summers - and the simulators can keep the Res force up to speed during the other times.

I agree on the need for reg force maintainers. I was alluding to pooling the Bisons and Bv206s so as to make them easier to maintain and keep ready. Both the Bison and the Bv206, known in the US as the USMC's LAV-Logistics and the US Army's Small Unit Support Vehicle, are support and logistics vehicles.
 

FJAG

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I'm with you on the end goal we should be working toward, but I believe that there are simply too many obstacles to making this work in the Force 2025-2030 time frame. Changes to legislation, infrastructure, doctrine, procurement, training, culture, etc. all take time and I believe if you try to do all of these things at once and too quickly you risk breaking the system altogether. Some may say this isn't a bad thing...the system is broken already...but you could lose what Government support there still is if it turns into even more of a shyte-show than it already is.
Most of the NDA changes are very minor as much of the Act already provides the necessary mechanisms. The biggest issue is removing things such as s 294 Failure to attend parade and 295 Neglecting Personal Equipment from Offence Triable by a Civil Court and putting them into s 60 so that they are subject to the Code of Service Discipline. Everything else is pretty much regulatory changes in the QR&O which do not require the legislature. The most significant legislation required is employment protection legislation with teeth.
Again, this makes total logical sense for the end result, but...
1) we still need to maintain a useable force while all of the structural/organizational/legislative/material changes are being made.
Absolutely
2) The proposed "Heavy" Reg Force component is (as many have pointed out) is really a Medium force.
Agreed but that doesn't make it useless, just less useful as a motor rifle regiment/brigade is.
Our government has been (and will almost certainly continue to be) casualty adverse, so I see a LAV-based force continue to be the preferred type of deployment of non-CANSOF forces going forward.
Agreed again and enough LAV medium forces should be available for day-to-day peacetime use.
Once the required organizational changes have been made to make the Reserves a deployable entity and we finally get around to purchasing actual Heavy force equipment, then one of the Light Reserve Brigades could take on that equipment to become your "break glass in case of fire" Heavy force...while the Reg Force LAV Brigade would now be your ongoing Medium force for OOTW deployments.
I think this ought to proceed as concurrent activity (We gunners are big on concurrent activity - its like our second motto - right after double check all data). Organize and train the force on existing equipment so that once true heavy equipment becomes available (if ever) then you only need to convert onto the equipment and not the doctrine.
I would embed the cultural changes by integrating the Reg Force and Reserves even in the absence of heavy equipment. I'll try and sketch out a rough idea for a possible structure when I have more time but I'm envisioning a Reg Force LAV Brigade and two hybrid Reg Force/Reserve Light Brigades. The Reserves wouldn't be left on their own as a separate entity from the Reg Force. In fact, in the short term it's likely that the most development and new equipment might go to the Light forces.
I'll wait to see your structure - I might dabble with my own.
All the LAV Brigade really needs to become an effective Medium-weight force really is maybe a turreted mortar vehicle and some Remote Weapons Stations with ATGMs and SAMs. On the Light end of the spectrum there are lots of opportunities for the development of new doctrine, TTPs and equipment...all of which are better suited to the current support capabilities of the Reserves. Once the new equipment (real IFVs, new tanks, etc.?) start to come online in a decade+ the Reserve Brigade(s) will have already had a chance to work out the new structures and get the required support systems in place to be able to start taking on the Heavy role.

I envy your optimism regarding timelines but find it difficult to believe them. It might take a swimming pool full of Kool-Aid to convince me but I hope you are right and I'm wrong.
I did a three year Class B callout in Ottawa running an IT project for JAG - I couldn't believe the lethargy that permeates every aspect of the place. Individually all the folks I worked with were good folks but the system as a whole .... It's a process driven hellhole and the genesis of many of the processes are lost in the mists of time but they have become inviolate. You only have to read Leslie's Transformation Report to get an understanding of what's wrong. I'm afraid the way that things are means that your and everyone else's appreciation of timelines is probably much more accurate than mine. On the other hand that system needs to change too. The Army's last transformation took twenty years. Armies whose thought processes and ability to react are that sluggish will die in the droves on the battlefield - if they ever get to it.
Again, I don't think we're really too far apart on the end state, but just on what we consider as realistic timelines and some of the specific intermediate steps required.

:salute:
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FJAG

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Coincidentally, that was my experience when I participated in staff training as well.

Nothing like watching a LCol painstakingly read a slide word for word and all that's going through your mind is "I wonder what he's getting paid per word today", and "He'd soooo fail Gold Star".

Needless to say, I 'got busy' and couldn't attend after that :)
You obviously never attended one of my exhilarating "The Law of Armed Conflict for Commanding Officers" lectures.

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dapaterson

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Putting 294 under part III Div 2 would do nothing, as s60(c) would prevent action.

And 295 can be eliminated, as it could fit under extant authorities in Div 2.
 

Brad Sallows

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Based on a three week exercise that's 48.5 training days per year.

The assumptions are too rosy. A two-week ex is reasonable.

A 2.5-day weekend is : Fri night (at best 5 hours of it), everyone shows up at armoury, loads kit and parades vehicles, and moves to training area, arriving sometime very late Fri/very early Sat. Depending on distance, ex probably ends by 12:00 Sun. Realistically, 1.5 days worth of training time and "1.0" days of prep, move, move, clean-up.

A concentration is: 1 or 2 days at the start to move everyone into camp and shake out who is going to be working with whom, and 1 or 2 days at the end for wrap-up activities (dumping jerrycans into haphazard piles in the middle of fields, going through canvas to ensure the most worn-out shit is turned back in, emptying EIS into dufflebags so that it can be converted to POMV use, parking vehicles where they can't be found so that someone must write those "where is 90125?" messages, etc). Out of 16 days, get 14 max and probably only 12.

9 weekends (being realistic about Dec) plus the 2 weeks is, roughly, 27 days of training.

I suspect retention would improve with at most 6 range/field exercises, and remaining days expended as single Saturdays (two in a month with no range/field ex) - give people back more of their Fri evenings and Sundays. And there is less time wastage.
 

KevinB

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The assumptions are too rosy. A two-week ex is reasonable.

A 2.5-day weekend is : Fri night (at best 5 hours of it), everyone shows up at armoury, loads kit and parades vehicles, and moves to training area, arriving sometime very late Fri/very early Sat. Depending on distance, ex probably ends by 12:00 Sun. Realistically, 1.5 days worth of training time and "1.0" days of prep, move, move, clean-up.
Ideally they show up and get on a bus - the kit is ready for them to be signed for at the Trg area - and ideally one of the members of the section is a regular who can have ensure vehicle etc is GTG.
A concentration is: 1 or 2 days at the start to move everyone into camp and shake out who is going to be working with whom, and 1 or 2 days at the end for wrap-up activities (dumping jerrycans into haphazard piles in the middle of fields, going through canvas to ensure the most worn-out shit is turned back in, emptying EIS into dufflebags so that it can be converted to POMV use, parking vehicles where they can't be found so that someone must write those "where is 90125?" messages, etc). Out of 16 days, get 14 max and probably only 12.
Again the benefit of a true total force entity - is the loss of the downtime at the start -- now that doesn't get rid of all the end Ex stuff - but does make it a lot easier.
9 weekends (being realistic about Dec) plus the 2 weeks is, roughly, 27 days of training.

I suspect retention would improve with at most 6 range/field exercises, and remaining days expended as single Saturdays (two in a month with no range/field ex) - give people back more of their Fri evenings and Sundays. And there is less time wastage.
Student rentention is higher generally with more activities (based on my experience in the Mo 35 years ago - maybe not as valid today) - as they can have fun and make money - the drop off occurs when folks get alder and have families and other jobs.
 

daftandbarmy

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Ideally they show up and get on a bus - the kit is ready for them to be signed for at the Trg area - and ideally one of the members of the section is a regular who can have ensure vehicle etc is GTG.

Again the benefit of a true total force entity - is the loss of the downtime at the start -- now that doesn't get rid of all the end Ex stuff - but does make it a lot easier.

Student rentention is higher generally with more activities (based on my experience in the Mo 35 years ago - maybe not as valid today) - as they can have fun and make money - the drop off occurs when folks get alder and have families and other jobs.

The other part of retention, for people who've been in longer than 10 years or so, is properly organized and delivered Pro D.

About once annually someone runs a half day TEWT, that could have been delivered in 1983, as an excuse to get Officers/ SNCOs paid to attend/ cover their costs for an annual mess dinner, which is the highest priority of course. Given the complexities of leading in the CAF these days, I'm guessing that 'How to defend against the 6 MRR' is not the only thing that might qualify as Pro D.

Also, for weekend exercises and other concentrations, I don't know how many times we have been told 'If you're not a part of the PTA (e.g., 17 year old riflemen), don't turn up'.

Over time, your experienced people do as ordered: they don't turn up; sometimes forever :)
 
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FJAG

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Putting 294 under part III Div 2 would do nothing, as s60(c) would prevent action.

And 295 can be eliminated, as it could fit under extant authorities in Div 2.
The way that it is worded yes, but NDA s33(2) and the QR&O 9.04 have provisions that authorizes an order to attend training. If s 60(c) of the NDA was amended to add a subparagraph that states that a reservist is subject to the CSD at all times that he is ordered to attend training then the reservist would be subject to the CSD regardless of where he is. S 60(c) already provides for being subject to the CSD regardless of where the reservist is such as in uniform, or when placed on active service so a time that they are ordered to attend training is not a stretch.

I would actually be a bit more limiting and replace the provisions QR&O 9.04(2) with a provision for an annual obligatory training cycle at a set amount annually (in my mind a 2.5 day weekend per month starting in and 2 to 3 week period in the summer during the period Sep1 to Aug 31 annually) with the exact dates to be published in routine orders no later than 30 days prior to the commencement of the training cycle.

That type of a system firmly sets the annual training cycle and prevents arbitrary abuse of the ability to order training.

The current QR&O 9.04(2) is mostly gutless. We shouldn't have regulations that are meaningless but replace them with ones that have meaning.

We need to similarly firm up s 295 or, if as you think Part 2 is adequate, then eliminate it.

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FJAG

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Ideally they show up and get on a bus - the kit is ready for them to be signed for at the Trg area - and ideally one of the members of the section is a regular who can have ensure vehicle etc is GTG.

Again the benefit of a true total force entity - is the loss of the downtime at the start -- now that doesn't get rid of all the end Ex stuff - but does make it a lot easier.

Student rentention is higher generally with more activities (based on my experience in the Mo 35 years ago - maybe not as valid today) - as they can have fun and make money - the drop off occurs when folks get alder and have families and other jobs.
That's a bingo.

In 2 RCHA we used to do exactly that. Ontario artillery units drove by bus to Petawawa on Friday evening where late in the evening they were met a a battery of kit laid out on the parade square each vehicle supervised by a Reg F DS. The reserve detachments signed for their kit and before midnight deployed to their first gun position and grabbed a night's sleep. The Reg F DS stayed with them and supervised the training. Rounds were down range at first light. Late Sunday afternoon the battery would return parade square, clean the guns and vehicles and sign the gear over. They'd board the busses for a ride home that got them back to their armouries before midnight.

It can be done. We did it for years. Today, 2 RCHA still takes the lead in developing their affiliated reservists.

It's not just changing the organization that matters. Its changing the culture.

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daftandbarmy

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It can be done. We did it for years. Today, 2 RCHA still takes the lead in developing their affiliated reservists.

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Spectacular.

In over 30 years of service with the CAF reserves, I have never seen that kind of Reg F support ever provided to any reserve unit of which I've been a member.

Just sayin'...
 

KevinB

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Spectacular.

In over 30 years of service with the CAF reserves, I have never seen that kind of Reg F support ever provided to any reserve unit of which I've been a member.

Just sayin'...
When I was in 30 RCA - we often got tasked to supply spots to 2 RCHA - it worked quite well at the lower ranks IMHO.
For Res ex's - we would run an advance party - so everything was in Pet and engines running when the bus party arrived.
The advantage we had was Ottawa was a short hop to Pet, so we brought all our gear, unlike some of the other Res Arty in Ontario

We would stage most gear the Wed night - the Friday advance party would finish the prep and mover to Pet and either get to the ranges and wait - or if working with 2RCHA directly - meet at their lines.

I went to RV 92 with 2RCHA - and was in the Div Arty CP when the guns went home - as well as went on Ex with D and E Bty and F (then Troop) Battery, as well as went to Cyprus with E Bty.

I think 2 RCHA was an anomaly for the most part - I never saw the same relationship occur when tasked to W Bty in Gagetown or in my time in the Patricia's with any of the Res units. In 1 VP in Calgary we did 1 summer tasking to support Militia Training in Dundurin - but we just acted as Recce for the enemy force - and I couldn't tell you what we actually helped the Reserve units with - other than sneaking through their lines and cutting comms wire and stealing their SOI's out of their CP (and stealing a lot of their food at night).
 

daftandbarmy

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When I was in 30 RCA - we often got tasked to supply spots to 2 RCHA - it worked quite well at the lower ranks IMHO.
For Res ex's - we would run an advance party - so everything was in Pet and engines running when the bus party arrived.
The advantage we had was Ottawa was a short hop to Pet, so we brought all our gear, unlike some of the other Res Arty in Ontario

We would stage most gear the Wed night - the Friday advance party would finish the prep and mover to Pet and either get to the ranges and wait - or if working with 2RCHA directly - meet at their lines.

I went to RV 92 with 2RCHA - and was in the Div Arty CP when the guns went home - as well as went on Ex with D and E Bty and F (then Troop) Battery, as well as went to Cyprus with E Bty.

I think 2 RCHA was an anomaly for the most part - I never saw the same relationship occur when tasked to W Bty in Gagetown or in my time in the Patricia's with any of the Res units. In 1 VP in Calgary we did 1 summer tasking to support Militia Training in Dundurin - but we just acted as Recce for the enemy force - and I couldn't tell you what we actually helped the Reserve units with - other than sneaking through their lines and cutting comms wire and stealing their SOI's out of their CP (and stealing a lot of their food at night).


My weekend exercise experiences were usually along the lines of 'don't let the door hit your ass on the way out. I'll be watching the hockey game' :)
 

MilEME09

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Would they be paid to do this? It is not very fair to expect them to do this at home on their own time without being paid (I know the majority already do this, and it is not right).
How about this, half days pay to do online training prior to the training night/weekend. With the forces using ECN now, you can put PowerPoint online for people to do from home, along with videos, etc... use that as gateway training so in person time is better spent soldiering.
 

Kirkhill

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How about this, half days pay to do online training prior to the training night/weekend. With the forces using ECN now, you can put PowerPoint online for people to do from home, along with videos, etc... use that as gateway training so in person time is better spent soldiering.

Maybe get a bit more adventurous? Single person, multi-person shooter games incorporating the Laws of Armed Conflict? A civilized version of Grand Theft Auto?

Driving games? Incorporating Voice Procedures in Multi-Shooter games?

Anime instruction manuals?
 

Brad Sallows

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It can be done.

Depends. Location matters, a lot. Greater Vancouver is what - 3rd largest metro area in Canada? Nearest artillery impact areas I know of are in WA state (Ft Lewis, YFC). Also any ranges other than a basic 600m range and a grenade range. Strictly speaking it's possible to get to Ft Lewis by "midnight" - barely - if the bus is rolling by 20:00.

And the Vancouver Island units have an additional complication - BC Ferries. No late afternoon Sun departure times for them if they want to get home at a reasonable hour. And people with jobs, and perhaps students, expect to have time to be adequately rested for whatever they have to do on Mon.

Get timings wrong, and the drive through Seattle/Tacoma can be ... long.

I suppose either some units could be re-roled, or a new base large enough for requirements should be established within 3 hr drive of Seaforth Armoury.
 

dapaterson

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Tasks must match geography... For both Reg and Res.

Weekend exercises can be fun with Reg F units. When the 2Lt duty officer reports on Monday morning that the Res unit brought out their Honorary Colonel, and that the retired LGen, former Army Commander, had a great time, the email chains are wonderful to read.
 

MilEME09

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Maybe get a bit more adventurous? Single person, multi-person shooter games incorporating the Laws of Armed Conflict? A civilized version of Grand Theft Auto?

Driving games? Incorporating Voice Procedures in Multi-Shooter games?

Anime instruction manuals?
VBS is that you? So is DND going to pay for those computers for ever reservist? That system has many draw backs. Great in concept but I can't use a video game to fix an engine, or quickly transfer a load at a DP.
 

OldSolduer

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When I was in 30 RCA - we often got tasked to supply spots to 2 RCHA - it worked quite well at the lower ranks IMHO.
For Res ex's - we would run an advance party - so everything was in Pet and engines running when the bus party arrived.
The advantage we had was Ottawa was a short hop to Pet, so we brought all our gear, unlike some of the other Res Arty in Ontario

We would stage most gear the Wed night - the Friday advance party would finish the prep and mover to Pet and either get to the ranges and wait - or if working with 2RCHA directly - meet at their lines.

I went to RV 92 with 2RCHA - and was in the Div Arty CP when the guns went home - as well as went on Ex with D and E Bty and F (then Troop) Battery, as well as went to Cyprus with E Bty.

I think 2 RCHA was an anomaly for the most part - I never saw the same relationship occur when tasked to W Bty in Gagetown or in my time in the Patricia's with any of the Res units. In 1 VP in Calgary we did 1 summer tasking to support Militia Training in Dundurin - but we just acted as Recce for the enemy force - and I couldn't tell you what we actually helped the Reserve units with - other than sneaking through their lines and cutting comms wire and stealing their SOI's out of their CP (and stealing a lot of their food at night).
In 1992 2VP deployed to Wainwright to support Ex Western Challenge 92 - a reservist concentration. I think IMO it was a success, as many of those reservists came to us in early 1993 and stuck with us til about October 1993.
 

FJAG

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I think 2 RCHA was an anomaly for the most part - I never saw the same relationship occur when tasked to W Bty in Gagetown or in my time in the Patricia's with any of the Res units. In 1 VP in Calgary we did 1 summer tasking to support Militia Training in Dundurin - but we just acted as Recce for the enemy force - and I couldn't tell you what we actually helped the Reserve units with - other than sneaking through their lines and cutting comms wire and stealing their SOI's out of their CP (and stealing a lot of their food at night).
I think it was as well. I was with 2 RCHA 72 to 76 and with 3 RCHA 70-72 and 78 to 81 ( as well I was RSSO with 26th Fd next door in Brandon 76 to 78). 3 RCHA never supported its regional reserve regiments the way 2 RCHA did with the exception of frequently providing safety officers. I can't speak for 5 RALC.

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FJAG

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Depends. Location matters, a lot. Greater Vancouver is what - 3rd largest metro area in Canada? Nearest artillery impact areas I know of are in WA state (Ft Lewis, YFC). Also any ranges other than a basic 600m range and a grenade range. Strictly speaking it's possible to get to Ft Lewis by "midnight" - barely - if the bus is rolling by 20:00.

And the Vancouver Island units have an additional complication - BC Ferries. No late afternoon Sun departure times for them if they want to get home at a reasonable hour. And people with jobs, and perhaps students, expect to have time to be adequately rested for whatever they have to do on Mon.

Get timings wrong, and the drive through Seattle/Tacoma can be ... long.

I suppose either some units could be re-roled, or a new base large enough for requirements should be established within 3 hr drive of Seaforth Armoury.
I know this would never sell here but ...

When I went on a visit to the Italian 1st Mtn Arty Regt they went up into the Alps and had an uninhabited area there that they used as an impact area while shooting from farmers' fields or off mountain ridges that they'd mule hauled the guns up to. It was not a real full-time range. They just used it for their annual exercise.

I've done two tours on Op Palaci with AvconDet in Rogers Pass in BC and fired hundreds of rounds up into the mountains there (and the odd one over the mountain - easy to do when your shooting at the tip of a ridgeline in a blinding snowstorm at night - you know its gone over cause you only hear this really faint krump 😁.

So what say 5 BC and 15 Fd become mountain gunners. Maybe have the LG 1s change coasts. There's a lot of skill needed for that. You just need to find a nearby uninhabited mountain valley that isn't full of endangered species that the Feds still have a vested interest in.

The other choice is to turn into STA.

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