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Author Topic: PAFFO's, Pay Attention!!
Master Blaster
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posted 15 August 2021 23:11      Profile for Master Blaster   Email Master Blaster   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The winter ops in eastern Ontario and western Quebec, as well as the Manitoba floods appeared to go a long way towards an enlightenment of the relatively ignorant Canadian citizen regarding the capabilities of the CAF to mobilize and operate domestically in a time of crisis.

I would suggest to you that just such an opportunity has again arisen in the form of the 71 active forest fires currently raging in the province of Ontario (this plus the other 130 fires throughout Canada). There's nothing like the sooty faced young soldier fresh from the fire line with a toothy grin and look of relief on his face to get the public all fired up about the 'great work of the Reserve/Regular Army in our time of crisis'.

In approximately 2 days there will arrive approximately 500 well trained and motivated soldiers in Pet and the total plan consists of nothing more than an elaborate IBTS week of qualifications with a firepower demo thrown in for good measure. Seems like a hell of a labour pool of skilled bushmen to go to waste, Eh?

I've bounced this off a couple of 'staffers' and while the idea appears to have merit, it wasn't 'theirs' so it probably won't be considered seriously. If enough people think it has press value, training in adversity creates stronger bonds and everybody gets to fight the fires. We all win!

It's all been paid for...it's the same bureaus that control the funds...cut the toops loose on a mobilization of worth and watch the Press Corps come wading out in droves to cover the fires and 'our boys'.

I'm game...

Dileas Gu Brath



Posts: 61 | From: Ontario, Canada | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged
towhey
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posted 15 August 2021 23:35      Profile for towhey   Author's Homepage   Email towhey   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Interesting suggestion.

Ironically, in my last Army job, I was one of the guys that would be cringing at this suggestion right now. I was Staff Officer "No" for LFCA -- responsible for saying "no" to most people who asked for military assistance.

In my present life, I'm a consultant who helps clients get what they want by influencing the right people, the right way at the right time... yada yada. I'm a mix of PR/HR/Management consultant.

My thoughts:

Abandoning scheduled training to fight forest fires may create a short term tactical PR win. However, it may also create a long term strategic PR loss.

Additional, tactical issues also spring to mind. First of which is that our soldiers are not trained to fight fires. That, alone, may take the better part of a week -- and presto, even before they've had a chance to do anything productive on the fire line, we're pulling them out at ENDEX to leave the civilian firefighters holding the bag. An ugly photo op that is.

Or, we send them in as unskilled labour under the supervision of skilled firefighters. Might get them into the fray sooner, but do we really want to establish a "brand position" as "cheapest labour on the planet"??? That won't help us long term.

Far better, perhaps, to send them to Petawawa and concentrate on honing the expert skills that set them apart (and above?) firefighters: warfighting. This is still a "brand niche" that we own exclusively, even if we have tended to forget it.

Besides, fire fighting is a provincial responsibility and the provinces have ample resources to manage the situation.

A touch of PR Machiavelli: Forest fires generally tend to happen in (gasp *s*) forests. Far from the eyes of happy, thankful civilians. Floods, Ice Storms, Blizzards on the other hand tend to happen right in downtown mediaville. Far better PR bang for your buck than sending a bunch of guys into the woods, never to be seen again! *s*



Posts: 35 | From: toronto, on, canada | Registered: Jan 2001  |  IP: Logged
Gunner
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posted 16 August 2021 21:06      Profile for Gunner   Email Gunner   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Towhey, that's exactly the right answer. Emergency Preparedness is a provincial jurisdiction and the military does not want to be stuck with answering the call anytime a province is looking for labour. You forgot to mention that the CF responding to a disaster is a provision of service that requires full cost recovery from the province (albeit costs could be waved for dire humanitarian reasons). CF troops are not the cheapest option out there and they should alway remain the "force of last resort". Apparently, Master Blaster didn't read in the newspaper when the CF was "called out" by the Mayor of Toronto. Wake up Torontonians..Mel was an idiot then and is an idiot now!

[ 16 August 2001: Message edited by: Gunner ]


Posts: 150 | From: Army of the West | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged
towhey
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posted 17 August 2021 10:21      Profile for towhey   Author's Homepage   Email towhey   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Although I'm not the biggest Mel Lastman fan in the world, I do feel the need to defend him on this point.

As far as I know, he did not actually request military assistance during the "Great Snow". He explored the possibility and sent of a "warning order" which prompted LFCA to pre-deploy regular troops to Downsview on standby. In fact, the regulars weren't required -- with the exception of a few Bison that were used as ambulances.

Toronto area reserve units, however, did launch some of their troops onto the streets to help with snow clearing. But, if I understand correctly, this action was officially a "local initiative" under the CO's perview to respond to an immediate and urgent requirement -- no doubt with the full support of the LFCA. Still, I expect that the costs of this reserve support was probably borne out of Unit Class A budgets -- and not costed back to the City, nor picked up by higher HQ.

As far as cost recovery goes in general... you're absolutely right Gunner. CF troops are the most expensive un-trained firefighters you could possibly find!



Posts: 35 | From: toronto, on, canada | Registered: Jan 2001  |  IP: Logged
Gunner
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posted 17 August 2021 18:39      Profile for Gunner   Email Gunner   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
True the RCD did not get much farther than prepositioning. Reserve units need to be educated on their role with regards to domestic operations. Unfortunately, they are focused on the tactical picture (aiding fellow Canadians in a time of need) and the actual operational and strategic considerations. Still, was the funds the units used worth the PR they received? Probably, but what happens next time Mayor Mel or his replacement is faced with a problem and they wonder why the military are not so forthcoming with snow shovelers.
Posts: 150 | From: Army of the West | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged
Master Blaster
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posted 03 September 2021 21:09      Profile for Master Blaster   Email Master Blaster   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Gentlemen (if I'm permitted to use the term)

I appreciate your in-depth knowledge of the whys and wherefores of turning troops out without cost reparations/training/effective PR, et al and will take this information under advisement the next time I wish to point out what I thought was an obvious PAFFO dream come true (is there a smilie for being shot down in flames?).

I do however take some exception to your thoughts that the very few soldiers that actually showed up in Petawawa (I mean other than Brgade brass) were actually honing any skills at all (except getting up at Ostupid30 in the morning so that we couldn't set fire to the place). There were some very basic skill sets that were introduced and a decent mechanical range for C6 gunnery (damned difficult to see bullet splash at 400 meters without tracers,eh?) With the exception of an old WO past his prime having a heart attack during the assault boat races there wasn't much to write home Mom and Dad about.

Honing warcrafting skills...I don't think so.

Dileas Gu Brath



Posts: 61 | From: Ontario, Canada | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged
JRMACDONALD
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posted 04 September 2021 02:44      Profile for JRMACDONALD   Email JRMACDONALD   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
master blaster/gunner- bang on! i'm back in!
Posts: 142 | From: CALGARY,AB, CANADA | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged
towhey
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posted 04 September 2021 15:11      Profile for towhey   Author's Homepage   Email towhey   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
MasterBlaster: I didn't attend the exercise (I'm a lazy, greasy taxpayer these days) and can't comment on how relevant or irrelevant, useful or useless, the training was. So, I'll take your word for it!

That said, what this means to me is that the Army needs to do a better job spending the money I, as a taxpayer, gave it to build and maintain a warfighting capability. I did not give the Army any money to fight forest fires.... I gave all that money to the Province, and it seems to be doing OK (read: nothing I own has burned down yet *s*)

2e



Posts: 35 | From: toronto, on, canada | Registered: Jan 2001  |  IP: Logged
ender
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posted 07 September 2021 12:20      Profile for ender   Email ender   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The dumb part about CAC was that we couldn't do anything becuase 'the fire index was too high'. It's August, you'd think that brigade wouldn't count on having the 4 days of constant rain it takes to put the fire index down. So, no tracers, no explosives, no batt sim, no firepower demo.

Ah well, I got to do the jump tower and ride in a helecopter. (better than last year when we were 'partisans') The automatic C6 range was good though. It would have been more fun if we were tactical. That whole saluting and marching thing on CAC somewhat annoyed me.


Posts: 126 | From: toronto | Registered: Feb 2001  |  IP: Logged
Master Blaster
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posted 08 September 2021 00:34      Profile for Master Blaster   Email Master Blaster   Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
OK Ender...let's have a 'pointy end' debrief.

I was there and saw it from my aspect. I would like to hear it from you (in detail as to how it could be made better (there will be more guncamps but not in the next couple of years)).

Email me at home if you wish or spill it on the page (your call).

I want to assure you this is of professional interest to me and not a criticism of comments made by you previously. I appreciate you input and am interested in what you have to say.

Dileas Gu Brath



Posts: 61 | From: Ontario, Canada | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged
Bratok
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posted 08 September 2021 14:09      Profile for Bratok     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
IMHO 100 rnds per shooter on a machine-gun was not enough...even though I got to fire off a whole box (oh, wow) as I am MG qualified. Although, it is better than 0 rounds for somebody who never got to use the weapon before!

Jungle lanes: the QOR and the Tor Scot lanes were VERY different (even though I know that the tor scot one was supposed to be a famil before going to the QOR lane, so everybody would go through both. I ended up with the tor scot one)

The GD's...Some troops missed some good training due to that (i.e. rappelling and mock tower)

Now, the pairs live fire & movement was something really exciting, even though the FPO's were so safety concerned they took a lot of realism out of the job (i.e. do not crossfire on battlebuddy's target once u're close enough). The cliff rappel and the mock tower were two other highlights of the ex (for myself that is).

These are the points i can remember from the top of my head...I can probably dig out more if I think about it.


Posts: 12 | From: Toronto, ON | Registered: Jan 2001  |  IP: Logged

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