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Author Topic: What Should the Army's Structure Be?
Yard Ape
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posted 05 April 2021 11:02      Profile for Yard Ape   Email Yard Ape   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What does everybody here think the structure of the Army should be? How many Bde's should we have? What should their composition be? What should become of the tank regiments? Should we maintain the Light Bn's? How many rifle Coy's should there be per Bn? Should we maintain an airmobile capability, and in what form?

Many of the treads deal with different aspects of this, but i'd like to bring them all together. The future of the army should not be decided peice meal, but it often seems that is the way it is done. We bought the LAV III for the Inf, but don't yet know the role that the Armour will be playing in 10 years!

Yard Ape

Posts: 155 | From: Northern Ontario | Registered: Feb 2001  |  IP: Logged
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posted 05 April 2021 21:28      Profile for Gunner   Email Gunner   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yard Ape, a better question is what should the role of the Canadian army be? If you accept the 93 White Paper's role for the army being general purpose combat capable forces, the army must structure as such. If the 93 White Paper role is no longer valid in the 21st century perhaps a better topic for discussion should be "What is the future role for Canada's Army?" Once the role is debated and accepted you can begin to structure according. Canada's army (reg and reserve) remains stuck in a cold war structure...some would argue a WWII structure that we have not evolved out of.

Any comments?

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posted 06 April 2021 00:46      Profile for McG   Email McG   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Excellent point Gunner. It is very much like picking a tool. If you pick the tool first, you limit the jobs you can do. If you decide what jobs you want to do, you know what tools you need. In this case the roll is the job, and the army is the tool.

Due to the unpredictability of the future, it is impossible to predict what specific tasks the army may be faced with. For this reason alone, I would argue that the multipurpose force must still be the roll of our armed forces. The world today is in need of many more peacekeepers than are availabe. Several large aid to civlil power operations have demonstrated the need for an adaptable organization to come the populations aid when tragedy and the unpredictable strike. And, you never now when, who, or if you will be fighting, nor can you know the intensity. By the time any of these factors become predictable, it is already too late to develope a new force to accomodate them. That force must be in existance aleady.



Posts: 152 | From: London | Registered: Jan 2001  |  IP: Logged

posted 14 April 2021 00:44           Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I would like to point out that the last paper was in 1994 not 1993 (it was made in 1993, but published in 1994). I am not being a smart ass, just calrifying the actual year.

The 1994 Defence White paper retains many admirable qualties that a relevant for today and the future, but in my opinion a new white paper should be written to guide the changes that the CF should undergo. The key element of any new paper, should maintain the CF's "multi-purpose combat capable" element. As to what level of multi-purpose and combat-capable force should the CF maintain is the most important question.

The CF should no longer try to do everything as we currently are. I believe the CF should focus on several niche capabilities for combat operations. General conventional war (ie. WWII) is highly unlikely to occur, not that it may never occur, but the prospect in the near future is basically nil, and unlikely at best in the long term. Limited conventional wars and low intensity conflicts are highly likely to occur and in fact there are many occurring right now. Canada should seek to provide a capability to provide special niche capabilities for any type of coalition force operation/war that might occur. The financial realities of the Canadian military will never allow the CF to train properly for a general conventional war or nuclear war. Those two categories require enormous resources and indeed only the United States is likely to be able to financially fight a general conventional war. This is not a defeatist attitude, but a realistic attitude that seeks to enhance the CF, by not giving in to thetypical Canadian "we can fight in any manner, regardless of equipment limitations if we just train and/or fight hard enough and we will not suffer negative consequences" attitude.

Canada should provide a medium armoured wheeled force and forego heavy armoured forces that can not be adequately equipped or trained without a massive Canadian culture shift toward the military. I propose that the regular and reserve army be organised into eight combat brigade groups of two types. First the regualr army would field three Combat Mechanized Brigade Groups (CMBG) of approxmately 4000 soldiers utilizing the LAV III as its baseline and sole amroured vehicle with a number of supporting wheeled vehicles. Each of these brigades would be statiioned entirely at CFB Edmonton, BFC St. Hubert, and CTC Gagetown. The second type of brigade would be the Combat Light Brigade Group (CLBG) of approximatley 3000 soldiers. The regular army CLBG, stationed at CFB Petawawa, would be entirely air mobile and all tactical helicopter assets would be stationed at CFB Petawawa with the exception of the training squadron which would be stationed at Gagetown. The reserves would have four CLBGs one for LFWA, LFCA, LFQA, and LFAA. This would entail a dramatic reorganization of the militia system and a reduction in a number of regiments, particularlyin the infantry. All people who are die hard regiment proponents relax only a relatively small number of regiments would be cut. Each CLBG would have three infantry battalions of around 500+ troops divided into three companies, a combat support company, a headquarters company, and a battalion headquarters. Each infantry company would be a reserve regiment located at one or more locations in close proximity to each other, such as the GGFG and Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa. In addition each company would also have one of the combat support company's three platoons co-located with the infantry company (it's company headquarters would be co-located with one of its platoons). The CLBGs would also have a brigade recce squadron mounted on HUMVEEs or similar with the .50 Cals and C-6s. The Brigade would have an artillery and combat engineer regimet (battalions), each with three companies and a headquarters company and a regiment headquarters. Also the CLBG would have a service battalion, an intellegence company, an air defence battery, and a brigade headquarters, which would be staffed by regular army personel and located at the same base as the regular army units. Regt. COs and RSMs would become
Majors and MWOs. But would operationnaly be only OCs (OICs) and CSMs. This is a basic structure of the army that I advocate, because it focuses on quality of soldiers rather than upping paper numbers and on simplifying LFC structure and reducing overhead costs.

I do have a number of specific points that I have mentioned briefly that I would like to clarify. I have said that the regular CLBG should be air mobile by helicopter and not a parachut unit, although it may maintain parachute recce platoons, for a specific reason. Para operations are effective only when able to properly support them, the CF does not and will not acquire the necessary capabilities to support an effective para operation (dropping a brigade would entail the entire CF Herc fleet and would require more to provde supplies and support). In addtion, helicopters are a battlefield necessity now whereas the mass para formation is not. As such, improving the tactical helicopter capability is far more effective. The location of all tactical helicopters at CFB Petawawa is ideal, because in the event of a national emergency the helicopters are able to Herc deploy or self-deploy to almlost anywhere in Canada in less than a day, more than acceptable. In international deployments scenarios again the the Hercs from Trento are close by. This enables the brigade to train effecitively.

The Leopard C-2s will be retained in three small training units (most will go into storage) at each of the regular army bases to provide the CF with a tank force to train against and in to retain tank knowlegde to a limited extent.

I am sure that I have left out lots of questions unanswered, but if you would like to know more of my thoughts or have questions please reply and I will do my best to respond to your questions or comments.

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the patriot
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posted 14 April 2021 12:33      Profile for the patriot   Author's Homepage   Email the patriot   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
To put it quaintly in a nutshell, things would be a lot better if the defence dollars would go towards the training of our soldiers instead of funding all those nice CBG HQ's that suck the training dollars out of the system. The troops at the bottom of the ladder never see those dollars benefit them in any way or form. The current form of the military suits the country just fine. As for the comment "we're still stuck in a WW II format that we still have not evolved from". Now who is guilty for that?! If all the overweight, alcoholic, Sergeants and Warrants (and Officers) would step out of the way. Things might be a little more efficient. Leaving it on the back of the Americans to cover our asses in a conventional war is completely rediculous and tells me that the public would happily just lay on their backs and be conquered by an opposing force.

-the patriot-

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Yard Ape
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posted 27 April 2021 10:00      Profile for Yard Ape   Email Yard Ape   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Okay, now here's how I see things should be:

The primary element in the army should be three CMBG's located in Edmonton, Pet, and Valcartie. The CMBG's would be identical, and evolved from the current 20 CMBG model. The tank Regiments would be replaced with Cavalry regiments consisting of a Recce Sqn (no longer independant), and AT Sqn, and a Heavy Recce Sqn. The Inf Bn's would be expanded to include a DF Sup Coy, and an AD Pl. Artillery regiments would loose a Bty of guns but gain two Btys of HIMARS. CSS would be altered as needed to accomodate the new structure. All elements of the CMBG's would be full mechanised in LAV III or other suitable vehicles.

In addition to the CMBG's there would be two independant Battle Groups. An Airmobile Battle Group based on a light Inf Bn with Artillery, Engineer, and Cavalry support. The Cavalry would be in the form of LUVW's for recce and AT roles. This BG would be located in Shilo and have an attack helicopter Sqn and logistical helicoters to transport the entire BG.

A Heavy BG would be responsible for maintaining the doctrine and skills required for Canadians to employ heavy armour. The BG would be based on a 20 CMBG Tank Regiment with two rifle Coys, a Combat Sup Coy, Artillery, and Engineers attached. The BG would be based out of Gagetown, and one of its secondary roles would be to provide a heavy enemy force for the CMBG's to Train against.

The reserve CBG's would be maintian, however all elite roles (parachute taskings etc) would be stopped. Regiments would be structured as Coy and not Bn (unless said Regiment were capable of sustaining multilple Coys at a health strength). Each Regiment would also be tasked with a role of an Combat Sup Coy Pl. Reaserve "Tank" regiments would be equiped with the same vehicle employed by the DF Sup Coy's and The Cougars would be refitted with LAV25 turrets for the reserve Recce Regiments. Each ATC would maintain a Bn's worth of AFV for the reserves to train with. These vehicles would consist of Cougars, Grizzlys and Bissons (which would be replaced entirely by the LAV III for the Reg force).

For the Armchair Generals, I have below a list of topics from which either myself, or others have made the arguments which form the basis of my above vision.

Canada should adopt the LAV III as its sole armoured vehicle
Recce Doctrine
What should the role of reserves be?
TOWED OR SELF PROPELLED - What does Canada still require?
M-109 replacement...
Air Defence
Should the CF retain MBTs?
Resurrect the Airborne Regiment?

The visions only problem, is money. Maybe one day.

Yard Ape

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posted 21 June 2021 11:53      Profile for McG   Email McG   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Some very adventurous ideas here. Would any of them see the CERs raised to three field Sqns and an armoured Sqn (as laid out by doctrine) or would they be left the understrenghted two field Sqns and an armoured Tp status-quo?


Posts: 152 | From: London | Registered: Jan 2001  |  IP: Logged
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posted 21 June 2021 15:42      Profile for Infanteer        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I recently read LtCol. Douglas MacGregor's "Breaking the Phalanx." Although it is oriented to force restructure in the United States Army, it has a lot of good ideas that could be applied in Canada.
In the book he argues for breaking down the U.S. Army Division into smaller "Combat Groups" with combined arms battalions. This has the two-fold advantage of:
A) Taking the battlefield down to a smaller level of command, a phenomenon that has been steadily occuring since the 18th century (Napoleonic Corps to World War I Divisions to World War II "Kampfegruppen")
B) Allowing more flexibility to react to situations around the world. The next enemy the NATO countries face will probably not be as inept as the Iraqis and will not allow the massive 3 month buildup to occur, thus mobility and deployability are key (This could also be the case with Rwanda.).
In Canada, we are already moving towards something like this, with are British-inherited combined arms Brigade Groups. Kick Brigade Group command back up to Brigadier (where it should be). Reinforce the Armoured Regiments to 3 squadrons each. Split a brigade group into three battle groups consisting of perhaps an Infantry battalion, an Armoured squadron, and an Arty Battery. Give this command to a Colonel. Maybe we could give each brigade group a different tasking along the lines what MacGregor's presents.
1st CMBG could become Canada's airmobile Brigade Group. Essentially a light infantry Brigade, it would be given its own arty and helo's for rapid deployment capibilities, yet adequete firepower to hold the field.
2nd CMBG would be Canada's combat Brigade Group. With three squadrons of Leopard MBT's, this Brigade would possess alot of firepower and would be used to present heavy and decisive force projection wherever it was deployed.
5th CMBG would become the assault/strike group. It's squadrons would be equipped with LAVs and Coyotes, giving it the ability to provide adequete firepower to hold its own, yet be light and mobile enough to be where it was needed quickly (peacekeeping etc.).
This is just a neat little idea I got while reading the book. Although it is used in an American context, there is no reason why we can't use a few good ideas from them. Any thoughts?

[ 21 June 2001: Message edited by: Infanteer ]

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Peggy Parry-Bran
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posted 29 June 2021 00:17      Profile for Peggy Parry-Bran   Email Peggy Parry-Bran   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
While you are doing all this planning and restructuring do you think you could locate some of those soldiers on this side of the Rockies (that's the western side). Granted the Navy (such as it is) resides in Victoria but they aren't going to be of much help to us in the event of a disaster and it's one heck of a long way to Edmonton. Vancouver Island has been left virtually defenceless with the exception of the Reserve units who are having a terrible time getting anyone through the recruiting process. Ottawa seems to have forgotten us. Pencil us into that plan please.
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posted 29 June 2021 13:44      Profile for Gunner   Email Gunner   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Peggy Parry-Bran stated: Granted the Navy (such as it is) resides in Victoria but they aren't going to be of much help to us in the event of a disaster
and it's one heck of a long way to Edmonton.

There are lots of military units within British Columbia: MARPAC, 39 CBG, Comox, ASU Chilliwack, CFAD Rocky Point, etc,etc. Disasters are a provincial responsiblity and if the disaster warrants a response by the CF then you will receive military units in accordance with the disaster. We are part of a NATION, not just a province, BC needs to learn this as much as Quebec does. We help one another.

Peggy Parry-Bran stated: Vancouver Island has been left virtually defenceless with the exception of the Reserve units who are having a terrible
time getting anyone through the recruiting process.

Vancouver Island defenceless .... Against Whom? Who are we defenceless against? Recruiting is a problem throughout Canada Regular and Reserve.

Ottawa seems to have forgotten us. Pencil us into that
plan please.

That is your perception and it is not reality.


Posts: 150 | From: Army of the West | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged
Andrew Brunton
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posted 02 July 2021 21:20      Profile for Andrew Brunton     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Peggy Parry-Bran mentioned that having centralized forces would leave certain parts
of the country defenceless (namely BC) having them spread out is maybe not the best
thing either. Canada is an enormous land mass. To spread enough troops out across
the entire country to make an acceptable defence strength everywhere would thin
defences. There simply aren't enough soldiers. And when was the last time Canada
fought a defensive war? Not in this century. However we have mobilized our forces
many times for action on foreign soil. A task made simpler when our forces are centralized
in a few locations and task forces can be easily formed from the resources and soldiers
already available and onsite.

Posts: 8 | From: Calgary, Alberta | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Andrew Brunton
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posted 02 July 2021 21:23      Profile for Andrew Brunton     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
oops. I hit the back button on my browser, but it went back to posting the same thing.
To avoid having the same message twice I wrote my apologies.

[ 02 July 2001: Message edited by: Andrew Brunton ]

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posted 20 July 2021 11:40      Profile for mortarman     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hi to everyone out there,

This is my first post on the war diary but I just had to throw my two cents worth into this topic. I agree with what alot of you guys are saying about our organization but I have a few ideas I'd like to add/amend. Here is my proposal for the organization of the Army:

Firstly, the Army would be divided into categories based on each unit's level of readiness and reg/res mix. 'Category A' would be units that are maintained at or near 100% regforce strength, 'Cat B' are any from 30/70 to 60/40 reg/res mix and 'Cat C' are almost 100% reservists. So Based on this the 'Cat A' units/formations in the army will be as follows:

6 Mechanized Infantry Battalions (67 LAV III each)
2 Armoured Regiments (43 Leo C2 each (3 Sqns of 14), 21 Coyote)
2 Medium Arty Regts (18 M109A4+ each)
2 Cbt Engr Regts (MTVL/MTVE/M113A3)

'Cat B' units:

3 Brigade Group HQ and Sigs Sqns
3 Light Infantry Battalions (BV-206/Motorized)
1 Armoured Cav Regt (29 Coyote DFSV, 16 Coyote)
1 Light Arty Regt (18 LG1 MkII)
1 Cbt Engr Regt (Light)
1 Recce Regt (Armd Sch) (14 Leo C2, 22 Coyote)
1 GS Arty Regt (Arty Sch) (6 M109A4+, 6 LG1 MkII, 6 C3)
1 Engr Sp Regt (MTVL/MTVE/M113A3)
1 AD Regt (24 ADATS)
3 AD Btys (WLAV-VSHORAD/Javelin S15)
3 CS Svc Bns
3 GS Svc Bns
3 Fd Amb

'Cat C':

9 Brigade Group HQ and Sigs Sqn
24 'Mech' Inf Bns (Regts) (LAV III)
12 'Light' Inf Bns (Regts) (3 with para capability)
9 Armd Regts (Cougar)
9 Recce Regts (LUVW)
9 Arty Regts (C3)
3 GS Arty Regts (C3)
9 Fd Engr Regts/Sqns
9 CS Svc Bns
9 GS Svc Bns

OK I know that's probably too much info, but I'll explain it all now. The equipment hldings are listed to show that it is possible to go to this organization now, with what we have. The Cat A units as listed will pretty much correspond to the regforce units we have now. There would be two mech brigades: 1 CMBG in Edmonton/Shilo and 5 GBMC in Valcartier/Gagetown. Some of the units from Val would have to move to Gagetwon as the former is too small for a mech bde. As you can see, the Armd Regts of these brigades will hold the majority of the Leos.
The Cat B units would mostly comprise a Light Brigade based in Petawawa with (essentially) a small Coyote DFSV regt. Also there would be some "Army" units in Gagetown to support the schools and act as a basis for trg/mobilization. The GS Arty would basically be W Bty+, The Recce Regt would be 8CH and would possess all the vehs used by the Armd Sch. Same thing goes for 4 ESR and 4 AD Regt. None of these units would be manned to full strength but would require augmentation from similar Cat C units (ie the Cat C GS Arty units would augment the GS Arty Regt in Gagetown)
The 'Cat C' units (mostly militia) would be organized into 6 'Mech' and 3 'Light' Brigade Groups. Each would have 4 inf units, a recce regt, an armd regt etc. There would also be some army-level units not assigned to Bdes. The role of these units is to provide formed sub-units to "round-out" the cat a and b units. Each Bde would be twinned with a Cat A Battle Group and would provide augmentees for that Battle Group during trg/operations. For example: 3 PPLCI BG in Petawawa goes on tour as a light BG. 39 CBG in BC (the LFWA light bde) would provide the augmentees for the entire BG (inf coy, armd, arty augmentees etc.)
Equipment - I've listed the equipment so that you can get an idea that this is possible, but I must qualify two things. Firstly: the equipment for the Cat C units would only be sufficient for trg at the sub-sub unit level. Basically there are sufficient LAVs for approx 4 per unit; there are enough Cougars for 8 per unit and enough C3s for 6 per unit (lucky gunners). This equipment should be held centrally at Brigade Training and Support Centers similar (but smaller) to the MTSCs. MTSC was a good idea but it only benefits those units within 8 hrs driving time. Secondly: As new equipment is brought on-line (ie ACV, MIFS) there should be sufficient quantities so that the Cat C units can train on the same equipment as the Cat A & B units. This would greatly ease augmentation and training.
OK I've said too much. I could write a book on all the ideas I have! If you have any questions please feel free to email me! I have lots more info and could answer some of the questions my ideas have no doubt created. Cheers!

Dulce et Decorum est Pro Patria Mori

Posts: 1 | From: CFB Petawawa | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged

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