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Army Reserve Restructuring

Blackadder1916

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Where to start?

FJAG said:
My previous position was that they should be established the same way as a regular force battalion with a complete headquarters coy/bty/sqn. (Remember that my basic premise is that we should have far fewer reserve brigades and units but that all of our current reservists should be organized into full sized, fully equipped and deployable units and formations)

Since then, I've become more tilted towards restructuring ourselves along the line of US Brigade Support Battalions (BSB) and their Forward Support Companies (FSC). Basically, in a US Brigade Combat Team (BCT), none of the manoeuvre, artillery or engineer battalions have what we would call a headquarters company. The BSB has a transport company, a supply company, a maintenance company, a medical company and one FSC for each inf, armor, arty or engr battalion in the BCT. Each FSC is configured specifically for the type of battalion it supports and is generally always assigned to the same battalion. Within the National Guard, the specific FSCs would be located in the same armory or very close to the battalion HQ that it supports.

If reality didn't poke its ugly nose in, my first thought would be that a reserve formation/unit should be organized the same as a regular formation/unit.  This being Canada, however, there would be significant differences/challenges in manning and equipment but to mangle the first principle of war "selection and maintenance of the aim" shouldn't the aim be to "train as you would fight" (another prime guiding axiom).  If a reserve formation/unit would have to be reorganized if placed on active service (to mirror a reg one that it may replace or partner with in a div/bde) then how is that different than the status quo.  If we are looking at FSCs to assume the 1st line support functions of reserve arms units then why would the same not apply to reg units?

A possible disadvantage is that the FSC Coy Comd is generally a Log/RCEME officer rather than an inf/arty/armoured/engr officer as would be for a HQ Coy/bty/sqn. Is that really a disadvantage though?

If there was howling (and backstepping) about mortars to the guns and pioneers to the engineers, would there not be a similar reaction to losing control of A and B echelons?

Final question: should the Fd Ambulance come under command of the Service Bn (like in a BSB) and, more importantly, should the medical platoons/sections be part of the Fd Amb and forward deployed/attached with their respective bns/regts as per the FSC (i.e. the forward deployed med platoon would be a sub/sub unit of the FSC?

Have at it.

Not just no, but f***  no!  Obviously, this is a much closer personal issue to me.  Of course, current (and future) logisticians are undoubtedly much smarter than those I worked with in decades long past and they will a much better grasp of the principles of providing health support with all its nuances and idiosyncrasies. (that's sarcasm for those who missed it)  However on the rare occasions when we tried to incorporate a 2nd line medical element (e.g. an Evac Pl when that was in the Fd Amb org - I'm drawing on experience in 4CMBG ) with a log organization, like an FLG , it didn't work well.

That's not to say I agreed with the establishment of a separate HS organization that included all medical units and pers but nobody asked my opinion back then.  I would have much preferred maintaining medical elements integral to units.  And while you seem to have assumed 1st line medical support in US Army arms units are, like supply and maintenance functions, provided by a FSC that's not the case - or at least not doctrinally.  As example, there is still a medical platoon in the HHC of an infantry bn.  See https://armypubs.army.mil/epubs/DR_pubs/DR_a/pdf/web/ARN6672_ATP%203-21x20%20FINAL%20WEB.pdf  go to page 28.

And so we don't continue to trip over "lines" and "echelons" and "roles" (the current correct doctrine term) when describing HSS an interesting read is this precis at http://armyapp.forces.gc.ca/SOH/SOH_Content/CACSC-PUB-HSS%20(2015).docx

MilEME09 said:
Given that the CO of a service battalion is in charge of rear area security in our doctrine, having medics, and MP's for example attached to us makes sense, they once were as well until about the 1960's as i recall.

While Reserve medical coys/pls may have been incorporated into Militia Svc Bns at one time for ease of administration, fd ambs (or other 2nd/3rd line medical functions) have never been doctrinally included in logistics units.
 

MilEME09

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FJAG said:
I agree with you. Until Reserve units are "fixed" and equipped and capable of getting collective training, there is little reason to embed full-time RCEME personnel at either the unit or service battalion (and incidentally the parts supply system fixed.

:cheers:

Agreed, honestly it is hard to justify my own trade in the PRes because of how the system is set up. The way we handle spare parts now makes it difficult to have local stock piles of common parts because many are one for one exchange. At the service battalion I have gotten resistance to supporting other units because of all the silly reasons, it would take away from the number of people coming on our own units exercises. Few unit's actually request support from us, usually it is the armoured recce guy's and they love it when we go support them (nothing makes you feel more appreciated then a Squadron commander telling you to go warm up in a tent when it's -40 because you just fixed half his machine guns to keep his range going).

At unit lines conflicting training priorities means time on turning wrenches is limited, even more limited because of a lack of work space, tools, and spare parts, to compound this the system really works against us. Reg force tech's generally do not trust their PRes counterparts because we lack experience, however the system really doesn't give us the opportunity to get that experience often, on top of that, where in the reg force there are time cards, and means to track work of a tech to a project. No such thing is in the PRes so we have no way to say "I have X hours of experience on piece of kit Y"

If we change the Reserve system though the reg force system will need to change as well to match. Taking out the CSS portions of an admin coy and giving it to the service battalion would make those organizations larger as a whole I believe, not to mention your service battalion would balloon into 6+ companies. You would likely see a split into General and close support battalions, CS acting as the 1st line to the units, and General support working as second line.
 

FJAG

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Blackadder1916 said:
Where to start?

If reality didn't poke its ugly nose in, my first thought would be that a reserve formation/unit should be organized the same as a regular formation/unit.  This being Canada, however, there would be significant differences/challenges in manning and equipment but to mangle the first principle of war "selection and maintenance of the aim" shouldn't the aim be to "train as you would fight" (another prime guiding axiom).  If a reserve formation/unit would have to be reorganized if placed on active service (to mirror a reg one that it may replace or partner with in a div/bde) then how is that different than the status quo.  If we are looking at FSCs to assume the 1st line support functions of reserve arms units then why would the same not apply to reg units?

That's my bad in the way that I introduced the topic. When Infanteer and I were first on opposite sides of this topic we were discussing a reorganized reserve organization. I agree with you entirely. Whatever organizational structure we take for the Reserve brigade should be the same for the regular ones and vice versa (although I see a difference between light, mechanized and armoured brigades based on function). They should be complete mirrors with eventual identical TO&Es.

Blackadder1916 said:
If there was howling (and backstepping) about mortars to the guns and pioneers to the engineers, would there not be a similar reaction to losing control of A and B echelons?

The whole problem is that there is howling about just about everything. The Forces are a very much against radical change. The only real question for me is do the pros outweigh the cons. One con I didn't mention above is that while US battalions generally hover around the 400 to 600 pers mark, a BSB runs between 800 to 1,200 depending on the type of BCT involved (There are about 4-500 in the core of the battalion with the rest distributed forward. That's about the same number of support personnel in total for one of our brigades except that we spread them out as to who owns them. I'm just wondering if centralizing all these folks within the BSB chain of command increases sustainment communication and efficiency within the brigade.

Blackadder1916 said:
Not just no, but f***  no!  Obviously, this is a much closer personal issue to me.  Of course, current (and future) logisticians are undoubtedly much smarter than those I worked with in decades long past and they will a much better grasp of the principles of providing health support with all its nuances and idiosyncrasies. (that's sarcasm for those who missed it)  However on the rare occasions when we tried to incorporate a 2nd line medical element (e.g. an Evac Pl when that was in the Fd Amb org - I'm drawing on experience in 4CMBG ) with a log organization, like an FLG , it didn't work well.

That's not to say I agreed with the establishment of a separate HS organization that included all medical units and pers but nobody asked my opinion back then.  I would have much preferred maintaining medical elements integral to units.  And while you seem to have assumed 1st line medical support in US Army arms units are, like supply and maintenance functions, provided by a FSC that's not the case - or at least not doctrinally.  As example, there is still a medical platoon in the HHC of an infantry bn.  See https://armypubs.army.mil/epubs/DR_pubs/DR_a/pdf/web/ARN6672_ATP%203-21x20%20FINAL%20WEB.pdf  go to page 28.

Re the US structure you're absolutely right. If you look here https://www.cbo.gov/sites/default/files/114th-congress-2015-2016/reports/51535-fsprimerbreakoutchapter2.pdf you'll see a medical company within the BSB; no medical capacity within the FSCs; and medical elements within most supported battalions (usually within the HQ Coy). I was suggesting moving the goal posts a little further. Again, my suggestion is based on grouping technical expertise within a specific type of unit and then decentralizing the resources to supported units within one integrated sub unit.

Re the FLG, I too would have a hard time seeing splitting off a portion of the Field Ambulance to an FLG. It's not really structured for that.

In short the Fd Amb is deployed within the BAA in any event. If we have medical platoons within an infantry battalion why not a field ambulance as part of the service battalion. We should be able to separate the functional aspects of the job from line organizations. (For example the OC Fd Amb could be the medical advisor to the bde commander and have a technical reporting line to the next senior medical headquarters). Honestly I see little difference from the other elements within the Svc Bn as logistics and maintenance are also very different technical disciplines. It merely gives a small entity a bigger umbrella to hang out under.

Blackadder1916 said:
And so we don't continue to trip over "lines" and "echelons" and "roles" (the current correct doctrine term) when describing HSS an interesting read is this precis at http://armyapp.forces.gc.ca/SOH/SOH_Content/CACSC-PUB-HSS%20(2015).

The whole "lines" thing seems to be in a state of flux. Back in the 70s and 80s I thought we had it down so that even we gunners could understand it.

Blackadder1916 said:
While Reserve medical coys/pls may have been incorporated into Militia Svc Bns at one time for ease of administration, fd ambs (or other 2nd/3rd line medical functions) have never been doctrinally included in logistics units.

I don't see the functional difference between a medical company or a field ambulance. In effect they provide transport for casualties and have a higher level of intermediate treatment capability then available at the battalion aid station/collection point etc. What we're really talking about is an entity that receives casualties within the brigade, treats minor ones and sends more significant ones outside of the brigade for more extensive treatment. Is there any? Ease of administration (and perhaps heightened efficiency) is all I'm thinking about.

If you think the med company in a BSB is troubling, you should look at the issue of the BCT's Millitary Intelligence company, its Signals company, it's anti-armour company (SBCT only) and it's UAV platoon all being inserted in the Brigade Engineer Battalion. Yowza!

:cheers:
 

Oldgateboatdriver

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To a large extent, FJAG has put his finger on the primary reason why Reserve restructuring is a difficult, if not impossible, problem to resolve.

FJAG said:
The whole problem is that there is howling about just about everything. The Forces are a very much against radical change.

There is an entrenchment of historical regiments and units that resist their "disappearance and absorption" into a different organization with the last breath of the last old foggy that is a member of the regimental "Regie" (or Mafia,if Vandoo). This is even more so in the militia regimental system that has long ago lost its purpose of connecting with local populations.

I'll always remember when, in the late 90's, the equipment, simulators and other class room requirements associated with manning the MCDV's and the Harbour Defence Org clearly exceeded the capacity for upgrading the unit at HMCS DONNACONA (which was old, decrepit, maxed out on power availability and a fire trap). We started the process to get a new, modern building with BFC Montreal.

One night, at the beginning of the process, we got a visit form the Base Commander, the Base Admin O. and the BCEO. They squarely asked us if, after they would have spent five years on the project or more and they were about to put shovel to dirt, they would get interference from our Regie to "save the historical home" and blah! blah! blah!

They were quite surprised (and happy) when we responded that "We were Navy, not Army, and that s ship was a crest, a motto to live by and a ship's company. That when the hull is getting old and beaten up, we just move to a new one and send the old one to the breakers."

Apparently, we were one of  BFC Montreal's fastest project from beginning to actual delivery of a new unit (6 years) as a result.

Anyhow. Until that regimental mafia mentality is defeated, I don't believe the militia can be saved and transformed into a useful Army component - which doesn't prevent some militia personnel from being useful in augmentation.
 

FJAG

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This is why I've adamantly not been a fan of Reserves 2000 which was formed to halt amalgamations and has traditionally fought for a cap badge retention and significant expansion of the reserve numbers instead. I note more recently their objectives have changed to "fund, train, equip and expand."

IMHO we have enough positions (as I said above, for five full-strength brigades) which is as many as I think Canada could make use of at this time and nearly doubles the Army's combat strength. The objective should be "fund, reorganize, train and equip". Expansion could be a further downstream goal if the first four objectives are achieved and the situation merits expanding the force.

In the words of LGen Leslie in the Transformation Report of 2011:

... and it became apparent that the tendency was to argue for the preservation of the status quo within any one particular organization, which is perfectly natural. Though grimly amusing, these interactions proved that consensus has not and will probably never be achieved on any significant change as we are large and complicated, and the different organizations that make up the whole do different things, each of which is believed to be very important by those who are in them

In respect of the Report and in words of David Bercuson:

"Militaries are inherently conservative bureaucracies and they don't like change,” ... Bercuson said such cuts will need a strong minister, who isn't afraid to “stand on the necks” of officials and force staffing cuts through.
...
“Historically speaking, this kind of significant change I think this report is calling for, if that's not driven by the civilian sector, it’s just not going to happen,” Bercuson said. “To introduce a sweeping program of reform, as opposed to one or two changes, you need a very, very, very highly placed political figure to take ownership of it.” 

:cheers:
 

daftandbarmy

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Oldgateboatdriver said:
Anyhow. Until that regimental mafia mentality is defeated, I don't believe the militia can be saved and transformed into a useful Army component - which doesn't prevent some militia personnel from being useful in augmentation.

On the other hand, this strong identity and sense of purpose might also be leveraged to grow the Reserves.

However, it's probably a growth model that looks more like 'here's an embedded OMLT' approach versus the current 'here's an email telling you what to do without any resources' approach.
 

MilEME09

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Let's be honest here, it isn't just the Reserves who are protecting their empires and do not want change. We are likely about to get hit by serious budget constraints, and if we want to survive and be useful and relevant, then empires must fall, we do not need 5 divisions, Ontario doesn't need two reserve brigades, they can become one. We need a minister with balls to break down the establishment and reform our forces to a more effective force.
 

daftandbarmy

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MilEME09 said:
Let's be honest here, it isn't just the Reserves who are protecting their empires and do not want change. We are likely about to get hit by serious budget constraints, and if we want to survive and be useful and relevant, then empires must fall, we do not need 5 divisions, Ontario doesn't need two reserve brigades, they can become one. We need a minister with balls to break down the establishment and reform our forces to a more effective force.

And, I'm sure, now that we have a Defense Minister who is a former Reservist, that will definitely happen  :sarcasm:
 

MilEME09

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daftandbarmy said:
And, I'm sure, now that we have a Defense Minister who is a former Reservist, that will definitely happen  :sarcasm:

I doubt it will ever happen
 

FJAG

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MilEME09 said:
Let's be honest here, it isn't just the Reserves who are protecting their empires and do not want change. We are likely about to get hit by serious budget constraints, and if we want to survive and be useful and relevant, then empires must fall, we do not need 5 divisions, Ontario doesn't need two reserve brigades, they can become one. We need a minister with balls to break down the establishment and reform our forces to a more effective force.

When I started this look at the Army Reserve last year, I worked through not only what type of structure would be useful for Canada's Army but what the Reserves could generate. There are several unknowns such as how paid ceilings limits and attrition leaves us from year to year, but I think I got a fairly decent handle on what could be done. In short, this is what I found:

It took all three of 38, 39 and 41 Bdes (plus their local MP, Int and Health Services pers) to fill the staffing for one full armoured brigade group plus a depot training battalion;

Ontario could generate two brigades, one a full armoured brigade the other a smaller sustainment brigade plus two depot battalions and two additional reinforcement infantry battalions (one heavy and one light);

Quebec could generate an artillery brigade plus a depot battalion and two additional light infantry reinforcement battalions and one light reinforcement reconnaissance regiment; and

The Maritimes (together with the Canadian Combat Support Brigade) could generate one manoeuvre enhancement brigade plus a depot battalion and two light reinforcement infantry battalions (albeit that 21 EW Regt and CA Int Regt are mostly in Ontario)

(You should note that the "reinforcement" battalions are designed to provide augmentation for other regular or reserve formations and units or combat replacements - while one could argue these could have formed another light brigade (by the time that you convert several of those battalions to engineers and service support units, I thought a pool of battalions that could provide rear area security, domestic defence and augmentation/reinforcement/replacement functions would be more useful and they could easily fit into the 5 existing brigades for administration)

Anyway, the point is Ontario can generate the numbers to form two brigades (out of a population base of some 14 million); Quebec a brigade and a bit (out of a population base of near 8.5 million) and the Maritimes a brigade (out of a population base of 2.3 million). The West is particularly weak being barely able to form a brigade (out of a population base of close to 11.9 million)

I sometimes wonder where people get the idea that we can expand to 30,000 without seriously changing the concept of how we do business. Without equipment and a stable training system and a number of other changes I don't see how we can be attractive enough to attract the numbers needed and subsequently retain them.

:cheers:
 

MilEME09

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FJAG said:
When I started this look at the Army Reserve last year, I worked through not only what type of structure would be useful for Canada's Army but what the Reserves could generate. There are several unknowns such as how paid ceilings limits and attrition leaves us from year to year, but I think I got a fairly decent handle on what could be done. In short, this is what I found:

It took all three of 38, 39 and 41 Bdes (plus their local MP, Int and Health Services pers) to fill the staffing for one full armoured brigade group plus a depot training battalion;

Ontario could generate two brigades, one a full armoured brigade the other a smaller sustainment brigade plus two depot battalions and two additional reinforcement infantry battalions (one heavy and one light);

Quebec could generate an artillery brigade plus a depot battalion and two additional light infantry reinforcement battalions and one light reinforcement reconnaissance regiment; and

The Maritimes (together with the Canadian Combat Support Brigade) could generate one manoeuvre enhancement brigade plus a depot battalion and two light reinforcement infantry battalions (albeit that 21 EW Regt and CA Int Regt are mostly in Ontario)

(You should note that the "reinforcement" battalions are designed to provide augmentation for other regular or reserve formations and units or combat replacements - while one could argue these could have formed another light brigade (by the time that you convert several of those battalions to engineers and service support units, I thought a pool of battalions that could provide rear area security, domestic defence and augmentation/reinforcement/replacement functions would be more useful and they could easily fit into the 5 existing brigades for administration)

Anyway, the point is Ontario can generate the numbers to form two brigades (out of a population base of some 14 million); Quebec a brigade and a bit (out of a population base of near 8.5 million) and the Maritimes a brigade (out of a population base of 2.3 million). The West is particularly weak being barely able to form a brigade (out of a population base of close to 11.9 million)

I sometimes wonder where people get the idea that we can expand to 30,000 without seriously changing the concept of how we do business. Without equipment and a stable training system and a number of other changes I don't see how we can be attractive enough to attract the numbers needed and subsequently retain them.

:cheers:

The one problem, and I use the the word problem loosely, is Geography, the west and the Arctic is massive. So creating one Armoured Brigade from 3 division's PRes units would likely fail unless significant logistical support was created including moving Armouries closer to rail heads, and investing more in our heavy transport capabilities. As an example years ago I was on EX with the South Dakota National Guard and their BSB, all their vehicles came up on flatbed tractor trailers, that they had (none of it was contracted). This included two FAR's, multiple transport trucks, Contact Trucks (their version of a MRT) and other vehicles. Our units couldn't do a move like that, heck I do not think our reg force has the transportation fleet to do that either unless we massed everything in one area.

One Idea I have had in the past is to create Mini bases in larger cities that can house multiple reserve units. These CFRB's would contain all vehicles in one compound, maintenance facilities, clothing stores, SAT range, potentially even an indoor 100m or 200m range. Be close to a rail head or invest in building one right on the base to the nearest main line. You then move all the unit's within said city to the base, and remove all other armouries from the equation. Historic armouries could be retained and converted into regimental museums, would many resist this kind of a change? heck yes but from a cost perspective it may be better then having multiple units spread out over and across say all of Toronto for example, if they were all in one place you would save time and money.
 

FJAG

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I've been thinking unoccupied shopping centres and manufacturing plants as long as we don't turn it into a Carling Campus project.

;D
 

Kilted

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MilEME09 said:
Let's be honest here, it isn't just the Reserves who are protecting their empires and do not want change. We are likely about to get hit by serious budget constraints, and if we want to survive and be useful and relevant, then empires must fall, we do not need 5 divisions, Ontario doesn't need two reserve brigades, they can become one. We need a minister with balls to break down the establishment and reform our forces to a more effective force.

Ontario has three reserve brigades and part of 38 CBG, which is part of 3 Div. They are already significantly spaced out, for some things it would actually be easier if we had more. You have to think about how large Ontario is. There is already significant distance between some units and their brigade HQ. Which makes a number of things difficult, kit exchange, medicals, etc. While I am aware that some of the things are Divisional level, but even when they are close to you they are only open during normal business hours when most people are working.

We cannot expect the reserve brigades to have the same format as reg force brigades. Canada is too big.  We need the number of brigades we have. Some of them are already spread across multiple Provinces.
 

daftandbarmy

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Kilted said:
Ontario has three reserve brigades and part of 38 CBG, which is part of 3 Div. They are already significantly spaced out, for some things it would actually be easier if we had more. You have to think about how large Ontario is. There is already significant distance between some units and their brigade HQ. Which makes a number of things difficult, kit exchange, medicals, etc. While I am aware that some of the things are Divisional level, but even when they are close to you they are only open during normal business hours when most people are working.

We cannot expect the reserve brigades to have the same format as reg force brigades. Canada is too big.  We need the number of brigades we have. Some of them are already spread across multiple Provinces.

Technically, we don't need troops based in every city/town/hamlet. We need the ability to project troops to every part of Canada, for Domops and other reasons, which is a very different thing. No ivilian actually cares who is in those big, quaint, brick buildings dotted across the country in the 19 teens, and they stopped being a meaningful part of municipal life sometime around the 1960s I would guess.

The argument that we need to maintain a broad, physically present militia footprint across Canada is an industrial age concept based on the obsolete concept of rapid mobilization through providing a crenelated tower encrusted edifice to accept thousands of willing recruits, in long lines, to be sent to the front. We can be present, virtually & social media wise, in a much more effective fashion but probably lack the innovative technology, policy, manning and leadership/ thought processes to enable this effectively.

A good example of the challenges we face in this regard is reflected in an organization that still centers it's key pay & HR management processes around physically signing a paper pay sheet, and zedding off the unfilled rows with a ruler.

 

MilEME09

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I didn't include thunder bay as Ontario because 38 CBG is mainly in the prairies. 32 and 33CBG are all in Ontario. If 38 can command units across 2.5 province's, then we should be able to merge 32 and 33 no problem. Along with about half of its units, The GTA doesn't need 6 Infantry units all sitting at company strength, reduce 4 to null strength, rebadge every one into the remaining two. Now you have two regiments with 3 full companies and a HQ. Same for other units, distance is not a problem if you are willing to find solutions.

Of course people won't want to loose their regiment but it happens, just ask 2 RCR, they were the Black watch until rebadged in the 50s.
 

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MilEME09 said:
I didn't include thunder bay as Ontario because 38 CBG is mainly in the prairies. 32 and 33CBG are all in Ontario. If 38 can command units across 2.5 province's, then we should be able to merge 32 and 33 no problem. Along with about half of its units, The GTA doesn't need 6 Infantry units all sitting at company strength, reduce 4 to null strength, rebadge every one into the remaining two. Now you have two regiments with 3 full companies and a HQ. Same for other units, distance is not a problem if you are willing to find solutions.

Of course people won't want to loose their regiment but it happens, just ask 2 RCR, they were the Black watch until rebadged in the 50s.

You're completely forgetting 31 CBG. One of the major reasons for having locations spread across the Province is recruiting. You start cutting locations we are going to see a decrease in recruiting as large areas of the Province would no longer have a presence. Sure, you'll find some people willing to drive  two or three hours once a week, we already have that in some cases. The reality of the situation is that the reserves is now more than a one night a week, one weekend a month commitment. You add in extra tasks units are given, public affairs, add in Battle School commitments (some units contribute more than others), exercises with the reg force, which seems to happen three or four times a year at least. Over all it's not uncommon for a number of troops to have 10 to 15 Class A days a month. Some people live of Class A September to January and then off Class B with Battle School the rest of the year. We would end up losing many of these people if they had to commute 4 to 6 hours every single day.
 

MilEME09

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Kilted said:
You're completely forgetting 31 CBG. One of the major reasons for having locations spread across the Province is recruiting. You start cutting locations we are going to see a decrease in recruiting as large areas of the Province would no longer have a presence. Sure, you'll find some people willing to drive  two or three hours once a week, we already have that in some cases. The reality of the situation is that the reserves is now more than a one night a week, one weekend a month commitment. You add in extra tasks units are given, public affairs, add in Battle School commitments (some units contribute more than others), exercises with the reg force, which seems to happen three or four times a year at least. Over all it's not uncommon for a number of troops to have 10 to 15 Class A days a month. Some people live of Class A September to January and then off Class B with Battle School the rest of the year. We would end up losing many of these people if they had to commute 4 to 6 hours every single day.

I am not saying we cut locations, just HQ's, amalgamating the remaining into 1 brigade for both Ontario and Quebec. Unit's get merged as well, you'll have spread out platoons and companies, but one higher headquarters.
 

FJAG

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Kilted said:
Ontario has three reserve brigades and part of 38 CBG, which is part of 3 Div. They are already significantly spaced out, for some things it would actually be easier if we had more. You have to think about how large Ontario is. There is already significant distance between some units and their brigade HQ. Which makes a number of things difficult, kit exchange, medicals, etc. While I am aware that some of the things are Divisional level, but even when they are close to you they are only open during normal business hours when most people are working.

We cannot expect the reserve brigades to have the same format as reg force brigades. Canada is too big.  We need the number of brigades we have. Some of them are already spread across multiple Provinces.

The problem is our structure and systems and not the distances. The US National Guard has similar issues. Look at the 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team (a heavy armor brigade). Its headquarters, one combined arms battalion, its artillery battalion and engineer battalion are spread all across Idaho, another combined arms battalion comes from Oregon, its third combined arms battalion comes from Montana. Its Brigade Support Battalion is centered in Oregon but has FSCs spread throughout Oregon and spread across all four states to support each of the other battalions. Their situation is even more complicated than ours because each states National Guard contingent has a separate state line of command and the brigade is only linked through its secondary federal role. It's format and equipment is identical to an Active Duty Armored BCT.

Here are a couple of photos of them training:

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us-army-capt-allan-whitehead-commander-of-company-c-2nd-battalion-116th-cavalry-brigade-combat-team-briefs-the-plan-for-his-teams-training-exercise-during-saber-guardian-2016-at-the-romanian-land-forces-combat-training-center-in-cincu-romania-july-30-saber-guardian-2016-is-a-multinational-military-exercise-involving-approximately-2800-military-personnel-from-ten-nations-including-armenia-azerbaijan-bulgaria-canada-georgia-moldova-poland-romania-ukraine-and-the-us-the-objectives-of-this-exercise-are-to-build-multinational-regional-and-joint-partnership-capacity-by-enhancin-P3WA1N.jpg


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Just because you don't parade in the same armoury doesn't mean that you can't create, train, administer, and deploy as a formation. This brigade has deployed to Iraq twice AS A BRIGADE on operational tours.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/116th_Cavalry_Brigade_Combat_Team

The problems we have are entirely of our own making and not because of our regional layout.

:cheers:
 

daftandbarmy

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Kilted said:
You're completely forgetting 31 CBG. One of the major reasons for having locations spread across the Province is recruiting. You start cutting locations we are going to see a decrease in recruiting as large areas of the Province would no longer have a presence.

In the future, maybe we only have reserve units in major urban centers, where it's easier to recruit larger numbers of people....

Struggling to keep numbers up in all the 'Forts, Ports and Rivers' is a huge waste of scarce resources.
 

FJAG

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daftandbarmy said:
Technically, we don't need troops based in every city/town/hamlet. We need the ability to project troops to every part of Canada, for Domops and other reasons, which is a very different thing. No ivilian actually cares who is in those big, quaint, brick buildings dotted across the country in the 19 teens, and they stopped being a meaningful part of municipal life sometime around the 1960s I would guess.

The argument that we need to maintain a broad, physically present militia footprint across Canada is an industrial age concept based on the obsolete concept of rapid mobilization through providing a crenelated tower encrusted edifice to accept thousands of willing recruits, in long lines, to be sent to the front. We can be present, virtually & social media wise, in a much more effective fashion but probably lack the innovative technology, policy, manning and leadership/ thought processes to enable this effectively.

A good example of the challenges we face in this regard is reflected in an organization that still centers it's key pay & HR management processes around physically signing a paper pay sheet, and zedding off the unfilled rows with a ruler.

I tend to mostly agree with you that our footprint comes out of an era that is no longer valid. I'm of the view, however, that there is some value in keeping a wide footprint not because we need it for recruiting but because we should want to make military service available for everyone (especially in rural areas) as much as possible.

The National Guard and Army Reserve has many, many of its units dispersed throughout each state in smaller company size armouries on the edges of small towns and cities in industrial parks where there is room for their equipment. Larger armories or reserve centres do exist in larger urban areas but even there dispersion is still in play. For example the 1st Bn, 124th Infantry has its headquarters in Miami together with one company but its other two rifle companies, its weapons company and its FSC are spread in individual company sized armories along a hundred mile stretch of the southwest Florida coast. In total the FLNG has some 12,000 personnel in 128 units/subunits in 55 (mostly company sized) facilities across a state of some 21 million people.

In my ideal world, all individual training is done at the Brigade Depots (with local satellite companies and platoons) and the units only do collective training at the rate of ten 2.5 day weekends per year and a three week ex in August all of which are mandatory. That means out-of-towners would only need to drive in to the armory a limited number of times in the year and the unit/subunit would pay mileage and provide sleeping and ablution facilities to allow them to overnight. A small town armory could probably mange a 150 km catchment radius.

I like the smaller suburban armouries over the large central ones as they provide room for equipment (and lets face it most old big city armouries have close to zero room for that) and, in the long run are probably easier to maintain than the old hulks (London turned its old armoury into a lovely hotel-the sale of prime downtown realty would probably fund the construction of new smaller facilities)

:cheers:
 
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