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FORCE 2025: Informing the Army’s future structure

KevinB

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I'm still in shock people think there is room for 2 Div in an Army that isn't a Div...
Shakespeare had it wrong, starting with the Lawyers isn't nearly as effective as HQ's ;)
 

GR66

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Gutsy move resurrecting that upstart newbie regiment The Canadian Guards but relegating much older and more illustrious reserve units (including all the highland ones) to the dustbin of the supplementary order of battle. 😉 That aside, some good ideas though.
I figured it would be safer than picking one existing Regiment over the others...there's no winning in cap badge wars! :p I'm agnostic on naming....each Battalion could have a different Regimental affiliation as long as I'm concerned.
I won't reargue the issue of symmetric v asymmetric brigades except to say I'm a diehard asymmetric brigade advocate.

I've long been a fan of a western division and an eastern division and getting rid of two of the existing ones.

It looks to me like all the brigade headquarters and their signals squadrons are Reg F which is a good idea to be able to generate sustainable deployed brigade headquarters. Each of the artillery and CSS brigades could use those and a service battalion as well - there should be enough reserve units and personnel around which those can be formed from. I like the use of hybrid service battalions so that there is a capability within the reserve brigade to provide proper supply and maintenance functions especially if one starts equipping those brigades seriously.
The layout I provided is just a rough sketch of general structure. As mentioned there would be enough "unassigned" Reserve Service Battalions to form together into Battalions for the CCSB and the Artillery Brigade.
Incidentally I'm vehemently opposed to established Class B positions. If a position merits full-time service it should be a Reg F PY. Class Bs are temporary jobs - or were meant to be. They are being dreadfully abused to create additional full-time positions on a permanent basis over and above the Reg F establishment. Besides, if you contract the 10 Res F brigades and 130 some odd units to four brigade headquarters and 20 - 25 some odd units, you'll have a slew of Reg F RSS to reallocate.

Not sure if the star above the brigade symbols is because you are suggesting they should become a one star command or not. Personally I think that they should remain a colonel's command. Adding a battalion does not merit a rank upgrade. On top of that, if the two divisions are not deployable entities and just force generation formations (which is how I see them) then I think that they do not merit a two star either. A BGen should be more than enough. Leave 1 Cdn Div with a two star because he may actually need to use both of them and is running a proper (more or less) divisional staff structure.
The star(s) above the Divisions/Brigades is just a carryover from the original Wikipedia force structure diagram that I copied from. I'm not proposing any changes to existing ranks.
I'll let tankers chime in on whether or not Petawawa is the best place for tanks. In my mind, most of Petawawa is impassable forest whose only value for tanks is as a ricochet trace. One way or the other the tank regiment should be on whatever base that also has two mech battalions and a cavalry regiment because that will give you the ability to train up combined arms battlegroups and a heavy brigade capability. I think that you really need Gagetown or Wainwright/Suffield for tanks and you probably don't want to put a tank regiment and two mech battalions into Gagetown with the schools there. So in that respect I'd put the tank regiment, a cavalry regiment and two mech battalions into Edmonton and move the two light battalions to Petawawa where they can be a bit chummier with the SOF folks. And yes; I'd call the two light battalions PPCLI because "light".
Again, I'm agnostic on where the specific equipment is located....the diagram provided is just a potential framework on which to base a final structure. There's been debate on this thread as to the best location for the tanks but if the West is determined by the tankers to be the best location then put them in the West along with the LAV battalions and put the Light battalions in Petawawa (or Valcartier/Gagetown if the Eastern Division is determined to be the best location).
Just another observation. You've allocated four mech battalions but we have gear for six. Any plan for those extra LAVs?
I see several options for the extra LAVs made available from the restructuring.
1) The non-tank Armoured Regiments could be converted to Cavalry Regiments with Recce/AT/LAV Infantry Squadrons/Companies....or combined arms Squadrons, etc.
2) LAV training companies could be set up for training Reservists from the Reserve Battalions affiliated with the Reg Force LAV Battalions to provide a source of trained augmentees.
3) Some of the LAV hulls no longer dedicated to the Mech Battalions could be used as conversion hulls for new variants (SHORAD for the AD Regiment and AT for the Cavalry Regiments, etc.)
4) A Battle Group worth of LAVs could be pre-positioned in Europe as part of an expanded NATO commitment. Deploying a Battle Group (or Brigade Group) to Europe by sea in response to any Russian incursions in Europe would likely be too little, too late to have any real impact on a limited seizure of territory (and I don't foresee any major invasion of NATO by Russia being in the cards). However, having the ability to rapidly fly over the troops to man a Mechanized Battle Group already in place (along with a Rapid Response Light Battalion) could have both a deterrent effect if Russian aggression looks imminent and also would be a very positive political signal to our NATO allies that we are taking our commitment to their defense seriously.
I have this thing for wanting to see BTLs dealt with. I like the term "depot battalion" but "Security Force Capacity Building" is more in vogue. They're obviously not identical but much of what a depot battalion does with recruit intake and BTL training of both regular and reserve personnel could fit into an SFCB's mandate if properly organized, geographically dispersed and augmented by reserve personnel during peak summer training periods. Your elimination of one Reg F infantry battalion (together with PY savings from the two divisional headquarters) should provide enough Reg F PYs to staff the cadre of two (an eastern and a western) hybrid SFCB battalions.
Agreed. Individual training could be centralized in Battalion/Brigade training depots so the Reserve units can focus on collective training.
One final note. I think the Prairies would be working flat out to fill the units you've assigned to them. On the other hand, I think Ontario has more to offer. It strikes me that the two reserve infantry brigades are roughly 5,500 each. The arty brigade strikes me as roughly 2,500 - 3,000 reservists if you add a sig sqn and service battalion. The CS brigade appears quite light on reservists. So even if you add in a BTL and SFCB capability, you still seem to be below authorized reserve strength for the Army and what the regions can generate. Personally I'd like to see more CSS/CS - a transport battalion with a HET and POL capability comes to mind; another GS engineer regiment (for that matter I would split 4 ESR into two hybrid ESRs (one in Gagetown and one in Ontario); a CBRN unit; provision for an MP battalion (I know - like field ambulances, not an army resource); maybe a special troops battalion that specialized in theatre level rear area support (financial, personal services, supply, legal etc - basically used to generate NSEs)

🍻
As mentioned previously, there are Reserve units that are not accounted for in the general proposed framework structure that could be used for various other necessary roles (Training Depots/Battalions, Transport Battalions, etc.). The "boundaries" between the Brigades/Divisions can/should be flexible to ensure that the required manning can be provided for the units required.

This is proposed as a general first step for the Force 2025-2030 timeframe and working with existing units/equipment (for the most part). Additional changes to the structure to make the Reserve Battalions/Brigades deployable when/if the legislative/administrative changes are made to Reserve service terms could follow (including equipment, etc.).
 

GR66

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I'm still in shock people think there is room for 2 Div in an Army that isn't a Div...
Shakespeare had it wrong, starting with the Lawyers isn't nearly as effective as HQ's ;)
Heck...Patton had an entire imaginary Army Group in the lead up to D-Day so just consider this as our uniquely Canadian maskirovka! :cool:
 

KevinB

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Heck...Patton had an entire imaginary Army Group in the lead up to D-Day so just consider this as our uniquely Canadian maskirovka! :cool:
Patton wasn't paying for the HQ...


I don't think ANY MECH/ARMOR should be in Edmonton - the transport to go anywhere is ridiculous.

Edmonton should be a Light Bde
Petawawa should be a Light Bde

Valcatraz isn't ideal either - but better than Pet or Ed.

So if you restructure the CF, anyway.

10 Reg Bn's and 5 20/80 Training/Sustainment Bn's.

1-2 PPCLI - Edmonton. 3 PPLCI becomes a Reserve 20/80
1-2 CDN Para - Petawawa 3 Can Para ditto
1-2 RCR - Gagetown 3 RCR ditto
1-2 Vandoo - Valcatraz. 3 R22eR ditto
1-2 Canadian Guard - Shilo. 3 CG ditto

PPCLI and Can Para Reg't are Light/Airborne/Airmobile. PPCLI getting Mountain Focus/Para Reg't gets Arctic

RCR Group is Heavy - Tank and Tracked IFV
R22eR and CG are LAV - wheeled Mechanized


Move ALL the Cbt Arms Schools to Suffield.


You kind of get 2 Div then.
 

MilEME09

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Patton wasn't paying for the HQ...


I don't think ANY MECH/ARMOR should be in Edmonton - the transport to go anywhere is ridiculous.

Edmonton should be a Light Bde
Petawawa should be a Light Bde

Valcatraz isn't ideal either - but better than Pet or Ed.

So if you restructure the CF, anyway.

10 Reg Bn's and 5 20/80 Training/Sustainment Bn's.

1-2 PPCLI - Edmonton. 3 PPLCI becomes a Reserve 20/80
1-2 CDN Para - Petawawa 3 Can Para ditto
1-2 RCR - Gagetown 3 RCR ditto
1-2 Vandoo - Valcatraz. 3 R22eR ditto
1-2 Canadian Guard - Shilo. 3 CG ditto

PPCLI and Can Para Reg't are Light/Airborne/Airmobile. PPCLI getting Mountain Focus/Para Reg't gets Arctic

RCR Group is Heavy - Tank and Tracked IFV
R22eR and CG are LAV - wheeled Mechanized


Move ALL the Cbt Arms Schools to Suffield.


You kind of get 2 Div then.
So you are going armour and mech heavy in gagetown but you will move the armour and infantry school from gagetown to Suffield? Sounds like a CAF decision alright
 

FJAG

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I'm still in shock people think there is room for 2 Div in an Army that isn't a Div...
Shakespeare had it wrong, starting with the Lawyers isn't nearly as effective as HQ's ;)
I'm actually not shocked at all.

There are enough folks in the army, reg and res, to add up to two divisions albeit there is only equipment for one division (less key capabilities as discussed throughout this forum)

The question really is are we optimized for their utilization? I think we'll all agree on the fact that we are not. That leaves the question what can we and what can't we change?

Practically speaking we can't change infrastructure much. Politically we need to be geographically dispersed and are pretty much confined to the bases and facilities there. Another major move, like Calgary to Edmonton (which was a political move in the first place - cough, PC, cough) or major infrastructure changes are highly unlikely. Similarly keeping reserve units geographically dispersed is an imperative.

What that can and should we do?

Basically streamline the structure based on needs and resources.

CJOC is not an army organization but constitutes an essential element for planning and conducting deployed operations domestically and internationally. It's a static headquarters and has 1 Cdn Div and CFJOSG under command with (the last time I looked) some 2,300 people which include just over 500 in the HQ, just over 100 each in 1 Cdn Div HQ and CFJOSG HQ and various domestic TF HQs while some 650 make up the CFJSR and the rest a variety of elements such as ammunition depots.

Whether the core HQ of the CJOC is too large or not is not a question I can answer never having served there. My gut tells me its not out of whack but I see no reason for a 1 Cdn Div HQ nor a CFJOSG HQ as their functions, as static elements could be served by having them as departments within CJOC HQ itself. Currently 1 Cdn Div HQ has an ability to deploy forward when given signals resources from the CFJSR but is that really practical?

Everyone and his dog has gone in for the force generator/force employer model of things which is where I see the issue. We used to have a brigade as both the generator of its components as well as the potential employing headquarters if mobilized. Our current operating concepts do not seriously contemplate a brigade as a deploying entity although a brigade headquarters (or elements thereof) is.

Currently we have four static regional div headquarters and 11 static and 3 deployable brigade headquarters as force generators and a CJOC headquarters (and its 1 Cdn Div HQ, CFJOSG, and six regional Task Force headquarters) as the force employers. There is some duplication as the regional task forces, for the most part (but not all), fall under the regional army divisions.

Long story short the key needs are 1) a joint static headquarters in Canada to plan and command operations and 2) sufficient formation deployable headquarters to efficiently a) generate forces for deployment and b) properly command deployed forces in theatre responsive to CJOC.

What we tend to forget in the US context is that the US doesn't generally have continually existing Joint Task Force headquarters; it takes existing formation headquarters (army, navy or air force) and tasks them a "joint" or "combined joint" task force whereby the necessary supporting joint assets are grafted onto the existing formation headquarters. Thus HQ 10 Mountain Division (a force generator) was used to form CJTF 76 in Afghanistan (a force employer) the same way that HQ 82 Airborne Division was sent to Afghanistan to form CJTF 82. We tend to do the same with brigade headquarters. HQ 2 CMBG was tasked to provide the bde hq for TF 5-08 as Task Force Kandahar. But the plan turns very weak when we contemplate anything over a bde.

Basically getting rid of 1 Cdn Div is a shell game as we still need the staff to fulfill the same functions, just within CJOC. I guess we would save ourselves a MGen (There's already 1 LGen, 2 MGen and a few BGens in CJOC). So if 1 Cdn Div's functions are subsumed in CJOC how do we deploy a Div HQ if we ever need one.

Simple, we reduce our four static div hqs to 2--one for western Canada and one for eastern Canada. We have over 40,000 personnel which is roughly the equivalent of two divisions. There are enough Reg F pers for roughly 3.5 brigades and enough reservists for 3 to 5 brigades (brigades vary in size from 2,500 to 5,000 depending on function) Therefore we only need 6 to 8 brigade headquarters in total.

Currently our Res F Bde HQs have minor force generating capabilities and no force employment requirements except in domestic ops. Basically they are marginal performers. Their utility would be increased if they had a higher Reg F component to them and were organized completely identical to Reg F Bde HQs. This should be possible by concentrating the current level of RSS staff at bde level for ten bde hqs into 3-5 brigade hqs, adding other Class A positions and concentrating the 10 some odd Res F signals regiments into three to five brigade signals squadrons (with additional personnel for higher formation use).

Similarly, if 130 plus reserve units get concentrated into some 25-30 units with their RSS staff equally concentrated, then it should be possible for a Res bde to generate an occasional battle group (augmented by RSS or other Reg F personnel for specific positions and trades).

If that were the case, Res F brigade headquarters and battle groups could become deployable (just as ARNG brigades are) and the Army could easily sustain the continuous deployment of one brigade headquarters and a battlegroup (or even two) indefinitely with a mixture of Reg F and Res F deployments.

The last issue is surging the force. An Army should routinely be able to surge a large portion of its force in a crisis. Whether it will or not is, of course an uncertainty, but the capability should be there and routinely validated through exercises.

With an Army of 40,000 plus we should be capable of surging a division of 15 to 20,000. We have most of the equipment for that already. The fact of the matter is that we cannot predict whether or not we might be required to do this at some point in time. Another fact is that it is our duty to be prepared to do it if that time should come. It is criminal negligence to not be prepared for extreme circumstances especially in light of the fact that the SSE recognizes clear threats that require deterrence of, and a capability to engage in full-spectrum operations with, a near peer. To say that we haven't needed to do it for thirty years and that the government doesn't require it is sheer sophistry and rationalization.

There are already more than enough staff amongst the four static divisional headquarters to easily create two deployable divisional headquarters which provide both the static day-to-day force generation role as well as a surge deployable hq as required. The key element missing is the equivalent of a divisional signals regiment which was subsumed into the CJSR. CJSR would need to be structured to be able to generate a single div sigs regt (augmented by designated reservists) which could take turns exercising with one or the other of the two div hqs and be prepared to deploy with one or the other as tasked.

Another element missing from the Army is a robust CS and CSS structure. The one CSS brigade Canada currently has, fills some vital functions but is inadequate as is witnessed by our inability to maintain much of our equipment and in particulalry the paucity of Res F equipment and that we are constantly having to rob bases, service battalions and even units when we deploy to form cobbled together NSEs which are barely able to sustain peacetime operations or low intensity conflicts. We need to seriously reorganize our CS and CSS systems. Of the 3 to 5 Res F brigades we could man with existing establishments, there is very little need to form more than three manoeuvre brigades and at least two should be CS or CSS. Together with a restructured CSSB, that would give Canada three such brigades which is still too low a ratio. In the US, the majority of brigades are CS and CSS. But even three such brigades (with a high Res F ratio) would provide Canada with a vastly more capable CS/CSS capability for day-to-day sustainable operations and also provide the support backbone required to surge a division.

The point here is that the Army, with its existing PYs and Res F authorized positions is capable of doing much more than it can and needs to reorganize to do it.

If we are capable of manning and deploying 6-8 brigades then two divisional headquarters are perfectly reasonable. I think that looking at the scope of what we have done in the past during Afghanistan (i.e. deploying just in battlegroups) and what is stated in the SSE is self limiting. The CF writes the SSE. The CF tells the government what it is capable of and the governments policy is built on that. It should be the other way around but in practical terms we haven't had a government in over 70 years that really understood defence. IMHO any defence force that tells a government that with over 20 billion a year and over a 120,000 employees that we can aim for nothing higher than a pair of battlegroups is misleading the government and setting extremely low goals for itself. Any military should be capable of surging a large force in extreme circumstances and in order to do so it must have the structure to do so relatively rapidly and exercise it routinely. We do not. We've built bureaucracies rather than combat capable headquarters. Sadly we do have the resources there; we just waste them.

🍻
 
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Fabius

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An actual option being discussed and or decided upon is whether the army creates a new additional Division HQ, to which will report all the CMBGs in their current configuration. This Div would be a high readiness Div...
So an actual option being discussed is add more HQ...
I just don’t get WTF we are thinking.
 

daftandbarmy

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An actual option being discussed and or decided upon is whether the army creates a new additional Division HQ, to which will report all the CMBGs in their current configuration. This Div would be a high readiness Div...
So an actual option being discussed is add more HQ...
I just don’t get WTF we are thinking.

Tom Cruise What GIF
 

FJAG

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An actual option being discussed and or decided upon is whether the army creates a new additional Division HQ, to which will report all the CMBGs in their current configuration. This Div would be a high readiness Div...
So an actual option being discussed is add more HQ...
I just don’t get WTF we are thinking.
Noooooooooo!

I've said this before and I'll say it again. We need a Minister of National Defence that has some fundamental understanding of the military, some balls and is prepared to ruthlessly kick ass and fire people willy-nilly.

I tend to reread Leslie's report on transformation almost yearly and every year I get more and more convinced that there should be an order in council that a) arbitrarily sets a limit on the number of full-time civilian and military personnel allowed to form NDHQ (roughly 50% of what's there now) and its internal budget and b) says to the civilian and military leadership: "that's what you've got - make it work". - Oh and forbid any Class B positions other than ones replacing vacant PY positions. Same for GOFOs - arbitrarily cut the number in half.

The problem is that whenever you have a headquarters looking for ways to trim numbers they never trim themselves. They will always, always, always find ways to justify their own numbers. (see Leslie)

:cautious:
 

Fabius

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Well at least it’s COA 3 so obviously a throw away but nonetheless it’s indicative of the lack of imagination (to be kind) that exists.

From what I am seeing the official planning for F2025 has three options on the table.

Option 1. Rerole three Bns into ISR Battalions. ISR Bn belong to the CMBGs.

Option 2. Asymmetrical Bdes. Heavy/Light/Mech from West to East.

Option 3. HR Division with extant CMBG structures reporting to it. All other static Divisions remain with only PRES Bdes.

All COAs feature some reg/res adjustments within the CCSB.

One thing I do like is the attempt to define readiness and tie it to equipment and manning levels. Right now though that’s very draft and will need some hard decisions to be made. It’s also odd that the heavy forces seem to be drifting towards higher readiness levels than the light forces.

Some formal decisions should be made this fall though...
 

FJAG

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Well at least it’s COA 3 so obviously a throw away but nonetheless it’s indicative of the lack of imagination (to be kind) that exists.

From what I am seeing the official planning for F2025 has three options on the table.

Option 1. Rerole three Bns into ISR Battalions. ISR Bn belong to the CMBGs.

Option 2. Asymmetrical Bdes. Heavy/Light/Mech from West to East.

Option 3. HR Division with extant CMBG structures reporting to it. All other static Divisions remain with only PRES Bdes.

All COAs feature some reg/res adjustments within the CCSB.

One thing I do like is the attempt to define readiness and tie it to equipment and manning levels. Right now though that’s very draft and will need some hard decisions to be made. It’s also odd that the heavy forces seem to be drifting towards higher readiness levels than the light forces.

Some formal decisions should be made this fall though...

Not so odd when you consider that our major sustained deployed effort at this time is leading and participating in a multinational combined arms battalion.

Incidentally, just to add a point to the divisional headquarters issue above. Denmark has two asymmetric brigades and five CS/CSS regiments, and one reserve light infantry regiment but provides the bulk of the divisional headquarters for NATOs Multi-national Division North in Latvia.
 

MilEME09

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An actual option being discussed and or decided upon is whether the army creates a new additional Division HQ, to which will report all the CMBGs in their current configuration. This Div would be a high readiness Div...
So an actual option being discussed is add more HQ...
I just don’t get WTF we are thinking.
yeah when I read that my first thought was why would we keep all the other Div HQ's to manage the reserves, and IS? why create a new div and not just move all reg force under 1 div? we do not need a 6th Canadian Division, it sounds like more empire building to me. If anything all reserve's should be managed by a single Div HQ, and all IS/CDSG's should be under a single command acting at the size of a independent brigade HQ. This would create 1 full time Div, one Reserve Div, and a institutional support brigade to manage all infrastructure, bases etc.... Talking with people I am getting a sense for which COA is being favored but we will have to wait a few months for the final call.

The funny part is that adding an HQ is supposed to save us PY's
 

daftandbarmy

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Not so odd when you consider that our major sustained deployed effort at this time is leading and participating in a multinational combined arms battalion.

Incidentally, just to add a point to the divisional headquarters issue above. Denmark has two asymmetric brigades and five CS/CSS regiments, and one reserve light infantry regiment but provides the bulk of the divisional headquarters for NATOs Multi-national Division North in Latvia.

... and they have conscription ... a.k.a. slave labour :)
 

KevinB

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What we tend to forget in the US context is that the US doesn't generally have continually existing Joint Task Force headquarters; it takes existing formation headquarters (army, navy or air force) and tasks them a "joint" or "combined joint" task force whereby the necessary supporting joint assets are grafted onto the existing formation headquarters. Thus HQ 10 Mountain Division (a force generator) was used to form CJTF 76 in Afghanistan (a force employer) the same way that HQ 82 Airborne Division was sent to Afghanistan to form CJTF 82. We tend to do the same with brigade headquarters. HQ 2 CMBG was tasked to provide the bde hq for TF 5-08 as Task Force Kandahar. But the plan turns very weak when we contemplate anything over a bde.
This what I really don't get - why isn't the US Model looked at -- it seems to follow that 1 CMBG HQ would do better running a deployed 1 CMBG rather than a set piece HQ that just takes their stuff?

The various US COM's exist but as Corps/higher formations - CENTCOM, AFRICOM, SOUTHCOM, etc - but DIv and Corps get assigned to them for operations.
I would suggest that unless the CF can field 2 Div fully deployed with troops, and equipment - that 1 Div HQ is sufficient - and CJOC suffices as the "Theatre" Command, in the event that the CF deploys an entire Div ( at that point - all the reserves will likely be mobilized and conscription returned - IMHO)
Basically getting rid of 1 Cdn Div is a shell game as we still need the staff to fulfill the same functions, just within CJOC. I guess we would save ourselves a MGen (There's already 1 LGen, 2 MGen and a few BGens in CJOC). So if 1 Cdn Div's functions are subsumed in CJOC how do we deploy a Div HQ if we ever need one.

Simple, we reduce our four static div hqs to 2--one for western Canada and one for eastern Canada. We have over 40,000 personnel which is roughly the equivalent of two divisions. There are enough Reg F pers for roughly 3.5 brigades and enough reservists for 3 to 5 brigades (brigades vary in size from 2,500 to 5,000 depending on function) Therefore we only need 6 to 8 brigade headquarters in total.
I still don't see the need for that many Bde HQ - as the CF can fully equip less than 3 Bde with actual modern war fighting equipment.
When every solider has proper PPE, Dual Tube NV's (at least for cat arms) and a modern MFAL - then larger equipment, then I would be worried about more HQ beyond the Reg Force Bde HQ's - I won't be holding my breathe for even the Reg Bde's to be fully kitted though...
Currently our Res F Bde HQs have minor force generating capabilities and no force employment requirements except in domestic ops. Basically they are marginal performers. Their utility would be increased if they had a higher Reg F component to them and were organized completely identical to Reg F Bde HQs. This should be possible by concentrating the current level of RSS staff at bde level for ten bde hqs into 3-5 brigade hqs, adding other Class A positions and concentrating the 10 some odd Res F signals regiments into three to five brigade signals squadrons (with additional personnel for higher formation use).

Similarly, if 130 plus reserve units get concentrated into some 25-30 units with their RSS staff equally concentrated, then it should be possible for a Res bde to generate an occasional battle group (augmented by RSS or other Reg F personnel for specific positions and trades).

If that were the case, Res F brigade headquarters and battle groups could become deployable (just as ARNG brigades are) and the Army could easily sustain the continuous deployment of one brigade headquarters and a battlegroup (or even two) indefinitely with a mixture of Reg F and Res F deployments.
You need an entire rework for the Reserves and equipping at the same level as the Reg force (which is still currently lacking) before that is a possibility.
The last issue is surging the force. An Army should routinely be able to surge a large portion of its force in a crisis. Whether it will or not is, of course an uncertainty, but the capability should be there and routinely validated through exercises.
110% agreed
With an Army of 40,000 plus we should be capable of surging a division of 15 to 20,000. We have most of the equipment for that already. The fact of the matter is that we cannot predict whether or not we might be required to do this at some point in time. Another fact is that it is our duty to be prepared to do it if that time should come. It is criminal negligence to not be prepared for extreme circumstances especially in light of the fact that the SSE recognizes clear threats that require deterrence of, and a capability to engage in full-spectrum operations with, a near peer. To say that we haven't needed to do it for thirty years and that the government doesn't require it is sheer sophistry and rationalization.
Would you be willing to define most ;)
There are already more than enough staff amongst the four static divisional headquarters to easily create two deployable divisional headquarters which provide both the static day-to-day force generation role as well as a surge deployable hq as required. The key element missing is the equivalent of a divisional signals regiment which was subsumed into the CJSR. CJSR would need to be structured to be able to generate a single div sigs regt (augmented by designated reservists) which could take turns exercising with one or the other of the two div hqs and be prepared to deploy with one or the other as tasked.
I'm still not sure why the static Div HQ exist - it just screams lack of focus on a Fighting Army to me - and thus is fat than can be butchered off to make room for more PY for the fighting forces.
Another element missing from the Army is a robust CS and CSS structure. The one CSS brigade Canada currently has, fills some vital functions but is inadequate as is witnessed by our inability to maintain much of our equipment and in particulalry the paucity of Res F equipment and that we are constantly having to rob bases, service battalions and even units when we deploy to form cobbled together NSEs which are barely able to sustain peacetime operations or low intensity conflicts. We need to seriously reorganize our CS and CSS systems. Of the 3 to 5 Res F brigades we could man with existing establishments, there is very little need to form more than three manoeuvre brigades and at least two should be CS or CSS. Together with a restructured CSSB, that would give Canada three such brigades which is still too low a ratio. In the US, the majority of brigades are CS and CSS. But even three such brigades (with a high Res F ratio) would provide Canada with a vastly more capable CS/CSS capability for day-to-day sustainable operations and also provide the support backbone required to surge a division.

The point here is that the Army, with its existing PYs and Res F authorized positions is capable of doing much more than it can and needs to reorganize to do it.
Ah yes the great Svn Bn breakup and base side support aspects -- I return to the fact that the Bde's and Div (inc HQ's) need to be fully deployable (and supported while deployable) - I would happily blood let Mech Inf BN's of GIB PY's to bring up maintenance levels - as reservists can be thrown in the back of a LAV fairly easily - again would need a restructure of the CF reserve policies -
If we are capable of manning and deploying 6-8 brigades then two divisional headquarters are perfectly reasonable. I think that looking at the scope of what we have done in the past during Afghanistan (i.e. deploying just in battlegroups) and what is stated in the SSE is self limiting. The CF writes the SSE. The CF tells the government what it is capable of and the governments policy is built on that. It should be the other way around but in practical terms we haven't had a government in over 70 years that really understood defence. IMHO any defence force that tells a government that with over 20 billion a year and over a 120,000 employees that we can aim for nothing higher than a pair of battlegroups is misleading the government and setting extremely low goals for itself. Any military should be capable of surging a large force in extreme circumstances and in order to do so it must have the structure to do so relatively rapidly and exercise it routinely. We do not. We've built bureaucracies rather than combat capable headquarters. Sadly we do have the resources there; we just waste them.

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To me the Canadian Taxpayer is getting sold a bill of goods from the CF - the rate of return on the money invest in the CF for the outcome is absolutely tragic (I'm not to keen on my own rate of return down here either - but that's a different story).

Given the size of the Canadian Army, it is fairly inexcusable that there is not a possibility to have 1 entire Div on high readiness - even with a Bde deployed.
 

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1631205811131.png

1631205964155.png

From the US CBO Primer conveniently provided by FJAG previously.

1,000,000 "Man" Army

50% in Reserves

15% in Full-Time Institutional Overhead
15% in Full-Time Support Units
20% in Full-Time Combat Units

And note that the "Combat Units", the Brigade Combat Teams, include Combat Service Support troops as well

Or, putting it another way, each "Combat" PY in a BCT requires 3 "Support" PYs in addition.

32 BCTs at 4000 each = 128,000 PYs
32 BCTs at 5000 each = 160,000 PYs

Out of the 1,000,000 PY Army.

So, following the US model and working with Canadian Army numbers

  • 23,000 members serve as full-time soldiers in the Regular Force
  • 19,000 are part-time, volunteer soldiers in the Reserve Force
    • including 5,300 Rangers who serve in sparsely settled northern, coastal and isolated areas of Canada
  • 3,300 civilian employees who support the Army
  • 63 Regular Force and 123 Reserve Force Units in 127 Communities
  • 185 Ranger Patrols in 414 Communities
23,000 + 19,000 + 3,300 = 45,000 PYs

20% of 45,000 = 9,000 Combat PYs (2 US BCT equivalents)

15% of 45,000 = 6,800 BCT PYs (1.5 US BCT equivalents)

Divide 1.5 by 3 CMBGs and you get about half a BCT for each CMBG - and that sounds about right.

Off hand I would say that we are doing a great job of following the US model. A model with which the US is dissatisfied and is constantly trying to improve.

And a model that is currently trying to manage an increasingly long range, dispersed, battlefield.
 

FJAG

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This what I really don't get - why isn't the US Model looked at -- it seems to follow that 1 CMBG HQ would do better running a deployed 1 CMBG rather than a set piece HQ that just takes their stuff?
That's what I think too. Unfortunately that was part of the general plug-and-play philosophy that came out of Future Force and the Army's transition. You can notice this with the TFK brigade headquarters deployments which operated on 9 month tours and the battle group deployments which ran on 6 month tours. There was always a partial out of sync with that with the Bde HQ commanding a battle group from its brigade for only part of the tour. In fact TFK 6-09 (Menard and 5 CMBG) led battlegroups from 1 PPCLI and 1 RCR. One can argue that an overlap assisted corporate memory from battle rotation to rotation but with 6 and 9 months cycles that only happened every second bde hq rotation. IMHO it was a sub optimal system. ARNG brigades on Op Phoenix, on the other hand) went with their entire brigades for the entire tour (albeit most battalions had augmentees from elsewhere in the Army)
The various US COM's exist but as Corps/higher formations - CENTCOM, AFRICOM, SOUTHCOM, etc - but DIv and Corps get assigned to them for operations.
Not quite accurate. US COMs are Unified Combatant Commands which have responsibility for all operations conducted within their geographic areas. They are the highest formation command elements (but can't be called corps). You are correct that they are assigned forces generated by others and when the operation is large enough could be a divisional or even a corps headquarters. For example V Corps has recently been reactivated at Fort Knox with a forward HQ in Poland to support EUCOM. In effect CJOC is Canada's unified combatant command for the conduct of operations anywhere in the world including within Canada.
I would suggest that unless the CF can field 2 Div fully deployed with troops, and equipment - that 1 Div HQ is sufficient - and CJOC suffices as the "Theatre" Command, in the event that the CF deploys an entire Div ( at that point - all the reserves will likely be mobilized and conscription returned - IMHO)
I tend to focus on two for three reasons. One, the number of soldiers and units is to large to be left willy nilly in a pool and require some command structure. Two, I tend to divide the force into two components with one component (the heavier one) focused on Europe while the second focuses on lighter, quicker reaction and OOTW type operations. Having separate overarching headquarters builds high level expertise and supervision of training etc at the brigade and below level. Three, while I believe that we don't have the ability to deploy more than one division, we should have two headquarters trained and prepared to deploy so that rotations can occur and a core will exist to form a second division if required. (consider it redundancy in the event of casualties if nothing else)
I still don't see the need for that many Bde HQ - as the CF can fully equip less than 3 Bde with actual modern war fighting equipment.
When every solider has proper PPE, Dual Tube NV's (at least for cat arms) and a modern MFAL - then larger equipment, then I would be worried about more HQ beyond the Reg Force Bde HQ's - I won't be holding my breathe for even the Reg Bde's to be fully kitted though...
Again that's based on numbers of people that we have. At 40,000 + and 2,500 to 5,000 per brigade (take away schools and headquarters outside the brigades and BTL/ATLs) you end up with roughly 6-8 brigades. If we keep with the idea of deploying a bde hq with a battlegroup sized TF to provide the higher level functions, then you should have enough trained bde hq staffs to equal the battlegroup rotations. And, like you, I believe the supervising headquarters and the battlegroup should be folks that know each other and have trained together.

More importantly, I look to the future and building an army to a doctrine that makes all units and formations combat capable with the necessary gear for their role. To start that process you first have to create the structure. That includes a proper supervising headquarters and the proper CSS structure to support it. During the building of the force, you can timeshare common equipment amongst Reg F units (who don't need it in the summer) and Res F units (who do need it in the summer) but eventually there needs to be an proper equipping.

There are dozens of reasons that I prefer an overall structure that blends Reg F and Res F units (such as a Reg F heavy brigade and a Res F heavy brigade in the same division) chief amongst which is common equipment so that sharing is possible and common doctrine to train to. The Reg F brigade is your go to guys for ops and the Res F guys are your lower cost augmentees, reinforcements and eventually (when fully equipped) your follow on expansion force.

Our system for leaving Reg F and Res F to muddle along on their own has been IMHO a disaster which ended up with the Afghan scenario where a deploying force needed six months of predeployment trg before becoming "ready". (You could probably recruit folks off the street and have them "ready" to fill the ranks in six months - and I think during Afghanistan many of the Reg F privates didn't have too much more time than that before deploying)
You need an entire rework for the Reserves and equipping at the same level as the Reg force (which is still currently lacking) before that is a possibility.
I agree 100% with that.
Would you be willing to define most ;)
There are, regretfully and unbelievably, far too many capability gaps with few solutions on the near horizon.
I'm still not sure why the static Div HQ exist - it just screams lack of focus on a Fighting Army to me - and thus is fat than can be butchered off to make room for more PY for the fighting forces.
We agree totally. IMHO, however, there is just enough equipment and personnel (both Reg F and Res F) to form those extra three to five Res F brigades into deployable and capable bde gp hqs (for that matter the current Reg F CCSB is also a static headquarters)

Where the real heavy equipment shortfall is seen is within the Res F units which have little or no capability to train beyond the basic individual level. This is where "twinning" Res F brigades/units with Reg F brigades/units for summer training would pay big dividends until an equipment procurement program is fashioned. This is where the Reg F oversight has sadly fallen down because more often than not its "lets find them something to do" and "lets get them a couple of TAPVs" and maybe all the honoraries will shut up. The reserves come as an inconvenient afterthought rather than as a key cost-saving component for the Army.
Ah yes the great Svn Bn breakup and base side support aspects -- I return to the fact that the Bde's and Div (inc HQ's) need to be fully deployable (and supported while deployable) - I would happily blood let Mech Inf BN's of GIB PY's to bring up maintenance levels - as reservists can be thrown in the back of a LAV fairly easily - again would need a restructure of the CF reserve policies -
We basically agree. There are two types of maintainers. The ones you need to fix stuff during peacetime who work as full-timers everyday which should primarily be in units and at service battalion maintenance companies augmented by static workshops for heavy duty stuff. But. You also need to be able to surge maintainers for operations when stuff gets broken faster and more seriously. That's why I think there is a role for part-time maintainers in the Res F whose job is solely to learn to do their job (just like gunners and infantry) so they can fill in as augmentees or as theatre level maintainers on deployments while unit and service battalion maintainers do their jobs within their units.

It ought to be dead simple to get these folks. Pay their tuition for community college light and heavy mechanic course during the winter, give them full summer employment in between courses to get their BMQ and additional trg leveraging what they learned at the CC to make them DP1 qualified on military gear and then require them to serve several years with a maintenance company as reservists as pay back for their tuition (we do this for lots of specialties including RMC). Even better, offer them a one year call-out once DP1 qualified, to work full-time at workshops fixing the backlog of broken stuff and gaining experience for their future civilian and military jobs. Think of how much shorter the DP1 training could be if they've had two years of being taught the basics of the trade at a CC while not being paid a salary and living at home with mom and dad.

Of course there's still the spare parts issue that needs fixing.
To me the Canadian Taxpayer is getting sold a bill of goods from the CF - the rate of return on the money invest in the CF for the outcome is absolutely tragic (I'm not to keen on my own rate of return down here either - but that's a different story).
My opinion exactly. $20+ billion per year and basically all the Army gets us is the equivalent of two deployed battlegroups. We could hire a mercenary force to provide that and save $5 billion per year even before we reduce the size of that obscenity of a National Defence Headquarters that populates Ottawa.
Given the size of the Canadian Army, it is fairly inexcusable that there is not a possibility to have 1 entire Div on high readiness - even with a Bde deployed.
I think our definition of "readiness" - especially "high readiness" is very much influenced by Ottawa's practice to risk aversion. I find it somewhat hypocritical that the Army has gone to such an extreme level of anal retentiveness with the states of training but at the same time has missed the mark totally at providing the troops with the equipment which they need to survive in a war. All of our governments' defence policy statements include a provision to be capable of high-intensity operations yet we do not have some very key equipment needed for that.

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KevinB

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I'm curious if anyone has the contractor breakdown for the US Army for support to the BCT's


View attachment 66390

View attachment 66391

From the US CBO Primer conveniently provided by FJAG previously.

1,000,000 "Man" Army

50% in Reserves

15% in Full-Time Institutional Overhead
15% in Full-Time Support Units
20% in Full-Time Combat Units

And note that the "Combat Units", the Brigade Combat Teams, include Combat Service Support troops as well

Or, putting it another way, each "Combat" PY in a BCT requires 3 "Support" PYs in addition.

32 BCTs at 4000 each = 128,000 PYs
32 BCTs at 5000 each = 160,000 PYs

Out of the 1,000,000 PY Army.

So, following the US model and working with Canadian Army numbers

  • 23,000 members serve as full-time soldiers in the Regular Force
  • 19,000 are part-time, volunteer soldiers in the Reserve Force
    • including 5,300 Rangers who serve in sparsely settled northern, coastal and isolated areas of Canada
  • 3,300 civilian employees who support the Army
  • 63 Regular Force and 123 Reserve Force Units in 127 Communities
  • 185 Ranger Patrols in 414 Communities
23,000 + 19,000 + 3,300 = 45,000 PYs

20% of 45,000 = 9,000 Combat PYs (2 US BCT equivalents)

15% of 45,000 = 6,800 BCT PYs (1.5 US BCT equivalents)

Divide 1.5 by 3 CMBGs and you get about half a BCT for each CMBG - and that sounds about right.

Off hand I would say that we are doing a great job of following the US model. A model with which the US is dissatisfied and is constantly trying to improve.

And a model that is currently trying to manage an increasingly long range, dispersed, battlefield.
I'm curious if there is also a contractor / BCT available.

My guess is there is at least .5 of a PY to 1 full PY missing in contractor support personnel.
You can't swing a dead cat and not hit contractors on a US Base.
 

FJAG

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View attachment 66390

View attachment 66391

From the US CBO Primer conveniently provided by FJAG previously.

1,000,000 "Man" Army

50% in Reserves

15% in Full-Time Institutional Overhead
15% in Full-Time Support Units
20% in Full-Time Combat Units

And note that the "Combat Units", the Brigade Combat Teams, include Combat Service Support troops as well

Or, putting it another way, each "Combat" PY in a BCT requires 3 "Support" PYs in addition.

32 BCTs at 4000 each = 128,000 PYs
32 BCTs at 5000 each = 160,000 PYs

Out of the 1,000,000 PY Army.

So, following the US model and working with Canadian Army numbers

  • 23,000 members serve as full-time soldiers in the Regular Force
  • 19,000 are part-time, volunteer soldiers in the Reserve Force
    • including 5,300 Rangers who serve in sparsely settled northern, coastal and isolated areas of Canada
  • 3,300 civilian employees who support the Army
  • 63 Regular Force and 123 Reserve Force Units in 127 Communities
  • 185 Ranger Patrols in 414 Communities
23,000 + 19,000 + 3,300 = 45,000 PYs

20% of 45,000 = 9,000 Combat PYs (2 US BCT equivalents)

15% of 45,000 = 6,800 BCT PYs (1.5 US BCT equivalents)

Divide 1.5 by 3 CMBGs and you get about half a BCT for each CMBG - and that sounds about right.

Off hand I would say that we are doing a great job of following the US model. A model with which the US is dissatisfied and is constantly trying to improve.

And a model that is currently trying to manage an increasingly long range, dispersed, battlefield.
I'm not sure how you can say "we are doing a great job of following the US model".

At 40,000 personnel (I'm leaving the Rangers out of this) roughly 35% should be in manoeuvre brigades (inclusive of their organic support personnel), 45% in support brigades and 20% in administrative overhead based on the US model.

Our three Reg F manoeuvre brigades are established at roughly 5,000 PYs which means 37.5% of the total Army is in Reg F manoeuvre brigades. I don't have accurate figures for the CCSB but I think it wouldn't be greater than 2,500 Reg F PYs. Which works out to roughly 6.5% as support troops. When you deal with the reserves, out of the 15-16,000 of them (I actually have issues with the Res F being 19,000 Including 5,000 Rangers but can't find accurate figures anywhere) The bulk are in the CBG's which, inclusive of their support elements) makes them manoeuvre brigades as well. Some--like the communications regiments, CIMIC, the MI regiment could be considered support--but they are a minority. My estimate would be that 80% or more of the Army Reserve would be considered "combat" and 20% or less would be "support" so lets say very roughly out of 16,000 reservists, 13,000 "combat" and 3,000 "support".

In total for the Army then we have 15,000 Reg F and 13,000 Res F (for 23,000 total) in "combat" brigades and 2,500 Reg F and 3,000 Res F (for a total of 5,500) in "support" brigades. which gives us roughly 57% in "combat" and 13% in "support" leaving 30% for overhead.

I don't want to put too much into that overhead number because overhead in a Canadian Forces context because of the mixing of green and purple trades and roles makes the figures somewhat apples and oranges. On the other hand the "combat" and "support" figures are very telling.

What I'm fixing on is this:

  • We have too high a "combat" to "support" ratio by far which means that we do not have the ability to support and sustain our full combat element. We can only sustain a fraction of it at any given time which completely negates our ability to surge a large force. The US Army has that capability by virtue of the high percentage of support brigades it keeps both within the Active Army as well as the Reserve component (both ARNG and USAR);
  • the 13,000 "combat" reservists that we do have are in Res CBGs which are unequipped and non deployable which means that we do not have the ability to grow the "combat" side of the force any greater than three brigades. The US Army, on the other hand, equips and collectively trains its reserve component which means that it can grow its Active army "combat" elements by 75% when mobilizing its reserve formation/units.
  • the 3,000 "support" reservists that we do have are with few exception (again the comms res being the good one) equipped or organized which means that we do not have the ability to grow the "support" side of the force any greater than the single CCSB that we currently have. The US Army on the other hand, equips and trains its ARNG and USAR reserve component which means that it can grow its "support" elements by 250% when mobilizing its reservists. That's huge.
Long story short, while we have enough folks to roughly man two divisions, we only have enough equipment and personnel to put together a ramshackle one at best and our lack of "support" elements (both combat support and combat service support) is so inadequate that we'd be hard pressed to support even a brigade over time.

We aren't even close to following the US model. - And that, is the problem.

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KevinB

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So is trading LAV for BlackHawks and Littlebirds with the Taliban off the table?
 

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FJAG:

Do you know the reason why there are no small car manufacturers? And why it is so difficult to start a mom and pop food business?

Because there is so much "non-productive" but "essential" work that has to be done. That work is covered by Overhead, by Administration, by Utilities, Bricks and Mortar, Consultants, Lawyers, Accountants, Tax Assessors ad infinitum.

A small military faces the same challenges, IMO. Especially one that aspires to do everything and is reluctant to make choices, that is reluctant to cut the suit to the suit the cloth.

If the intent is to cooperate with the Yanks then the inclination is to have a Canadian available to sit in every Yankee office. So we start filling from the top down. The alternative is to accept that we can't do everything we want, even if it is because our taxpayers are unaware and uncaring of the risks and costs around them, and do what we can.

And we can do a light force. We can't do a heavy force.

We're kidding ourselves that 80 refurbed, super-annuated Cold War relics is a solid foundation on which to build a heavy division. It is the basis on which to build a single armoured battle group and no more.

As to the arty, when does it become apparent that the world has moved on and it is time to replace 6 pdr rifled breech loaders with 18 pdr QF guns and 4.5" howitzers?

I'm not having a dig. But there is an awful lot of change in the air and we already missed a generation of changes (like not buying Light Guns when everyone else was or not buying MLRS and AD and Attack Helicopters when everyone else was). Our allies are moving on from the AirLand Battle and re-examining which of those legacy systems have legs and which ones need to be cut to free up cash for other systems that they think/believe/hope/feel will be more useful.

When are we going to roll the dice and take a chance? Because ultimately that is what this is all about. We can never know the future perfectly so we must always be prepared to chance it.

We debate interminably. We act so infrequently that movement seems imperceptible.
 
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