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Assault Pioneers & Assault Troopers (engineer light of the Inf & Armd)

Infanteer

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Chris Pook said:
Lets assume that the airlift is limited and by the time the Battalion and its kit is loaded there is only room for one large vehicle to be air-landed.  Which would you rather?

A forklift.

I still remember receiving the first of 23 chalks in the Arctic, only to realize that planes don't carry their own MHE (should they?).  We sat there looking at our stuff as we went and sourced a local forklift from the CO-OP, which we had to baby for if we put it out of commission, the community we were basing out of would be in the hurt locker.
 

daftandbarmy

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Infanteer said:
A forklift.

I still remember receiving the first of 23 chalks in the Arctic, only to realize that planes don't carry their own MHE (should they?).  We sat there looking at our stuff as we went and sourced a local forklift from the CO-OP, which we had to baby for if we put it out of commission, the community we were basing out of would be in the hurt locker.

Awesome  :rofl:
 

Kirkhill

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Infanteer said:
A forklift.

I still remember receiving the first of 23 chalks in the Arctic, only to realize that planes don't carry their own MHE (should they?).  We sat there looking at our stuff as we went and sourced a local forklift from the CO-OP, which we had to baby for if we put it out of commission, the community we were basing out of would be in the hurt locker.

So, like this?

kubota_400r_articulated_loaderbackhoe_4x4_forklift_1_lgw.jpg


Or like this?

bd8f38a3e07cdc9420adf6e7d78a6145--case-excavator-tractor-parts.jpg


With this?

bucket-forks2.jpg


And the PTO comes in handy for all sorts of other stuff.
 

Loch Sloy!

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So.... does Canada have a doctrine for Light Forces? 

There is an ongoing Light Forces Initiative that is being taken quite seriously at a high level. The planning I've seen is robust and well thought out.

If the regular force cannot figure out a way to effectively use the 3rd battalions then could easily be lost. Same goes for the reserves; we need to produce deploy-able assets for the army rather than just partly trained augmentees. Otherwise the reserves are likely be completely re-organized (in a way most of us in the reserves won't like) to reflect our actual output.

Tasking the reserves with mission critical outputs is not a recruiting and retention tool, it is a serious effort to increase the army's agility and effectiveness. A great deal of staff effort and increasing amounts of money are supporting this, it's a real thing. If the funding and higher command support continue I think it's doable despite the challenges.

There is considerable enthusiasm in my neck of the woods for the task we have been assigned, and we are definitely on our way to being able to deliver.

 

daftandbarmy

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Loch Sloy! said:
There is an ongoing Light Forces Initiative that is being taken quite seriously at a high level. The planning I've seen is robust and well thought out.

If the regular force cannot figure out a way to effectively use the 3rd battalions then could easily be lost. Same goes for the reserves; we need to produce deploy-able assets for the army rather than just partly trained augmentees. Otherwise the reserves are likely be completely re-organized (in a way most of us in the reserves won't like) to reflect our actual output.

Tasking the reserves with mission critical outputs is not a recruiting and retention tool, it is a serious effort to increase the army's agility and effectiveness. A great deal of staff effort and increasing amounts of money are supporting this, it's a real thing. If the funding and higher command support continue I think it's doable despite the challenges.

There is considerable enthusiasm in my neck of the woods for the task we have been assigned, and we are definitely on our way to being able to deliver.

Please package up some of that enthusiasm and send it out our way :)
 

dangerboy

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Oldgateboatdriver said:
I thought the Princess Pat were already light infantry.  ???

The PPCLI are called Light Infantry in there name because the founder thought it sounded good. The First and Second Battalions are Mechanized and the Third Battalion is considered to be Light.
 

daftandbarmy

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dangerboy said:
The PPCLI are called Light Infantry in there name because the founder thought it sounded good. The First and Second Battalions are Mechanized and the Third Battalion is considered to be Light.

If we have three light battalions, it might make sense to have them rotate through three 'element' taskings, like Mountain, Maritime and Airborne.
 

Loch Sloy!

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Please package up some of that enthusiasm and send it out our way :)

I'll trade you for 10k rounds of 81mm... THAT would be handy out this way. ;)

If we have three light battalions, it might make sense to have them rotate through three 'element' taskings, like Mountain, Maritime and Airborne.

I thought the companies within each 3rd battalion already do this more or less. (Probably less)
 

daftandbarmy

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Loch Sloy! said:
I'll trade you for 10k rounds of 81mm... THAT would be handy out this way. ;)

I thought the companies within each 3rd battalion already do this more or less. (Probably less)

Kind of.... but you can only do so much with a Rifle Coy. If you have a full Battalion/ BG operating as Marines, or whatever, for 3-5 years then you can exercise your full range of support elements, and push the boundaries of the doctrine to the limits while building a real internal to the CAF experience base in that discipline.
 

MJP

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daftandbarmy said:
If we have three light battalions, it might make sense to have them rotate through three 'element' taskings, like Mountain, Maritime and Airborne.

Or better give each Bn a tasking and get away from the trying to have symmetrical Bns/Bdes arcoss the CA.  Heck we could even pool all three together and create a light Bde...

Loch Sloy! said:
There is an ongoing Light Forces Initiative that is being taken quite seriously at a high level. The planning I've seen is robust and well thought out.

If the regular force cannot figure out a way to effectively use the 3rd battalions then could easily be lost. Same goes for the reserves; we need to produce deploy-able assets for the army rather than just partly trained augmentees. Otherwise the reserves are likely be completely re-organized (in a way most of us in the reserves won't like) to reflect our actual output.

Tasking the reserves with mission critical outputs is not a recruiting and retention tool, it is a serious effort to increase the army's agility and effectiveness. A great deal of staff effort and increasing amounts of money are supporting this, it's a real thing. If the funding and higher command support continue I think it's doable despite the challenges.

There is considerable enthusiasm in my neck of the woods for the task we have been assigned, and we are definitely on our way to being able to deliver.

I have considerably more faith that the light force initiative will work out than the Res tasks.  Given some of the high requirements to maintain some of those skills sets, get people qual'd and have them avail when req, I would be surprised if they do well on all fronts.  I certainly hope they do but not holding my breath.

 

daftandbarmy

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MJP said:
I have considerably more faith that the light force initiative will work out than the Res tasks.  Given some of the high requirements to maintain some of those skills sets, get people qual'd and have them avail when req, I would be surprised if they do well on all fronts.  I certainly hope they do but not holding my breath.

This. Sadly.  :nod:
 

Jarnhamar

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Considering we only have 3 "jump" companies that are in different geographical areas, and considering our current manning issues,  is keeping a (static line) Airborne capability in the regular army still a useful endeavour?

Could we rebrand light infantry battalions as some kind of mobility/environmental force?
Mountian ops, urban ops, recce, force protection companies?
 

Infanteer

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Jarnhamar said:
Considering we only have 3 "jump" companies that are in different geographical areas, and considering our current manning issues,  is keeping a (static line) Airborne capability in the regular army still a useful endeavour?

The Aussies have said no and relegated para insert to their SOF.  Proponents point to Op SERVAL, and the French insertions into Mali.

If we're learning anything from reinstating our Combat Support Platoons, its that once you take something away, it's real tough to get back.  That should bear on the the discussion of airborne insertion.

Could we rebrand light infantry battalions as some kind of mobility/environmental force?
Mountian ops, urban ops, recce, force protection companies?

Urban ops is something any force should do - if Fallujah taught us anything, its that mech/armoured forces have a critical role in the urban environment.  Recce is a pan-Infantry function.  Same with force pro.

Mountain operations is a feasible concept.

What one really has to do is link roles and functions to an environmental and national force employment concept.
 

daftandbarmy

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Jarnhamar said:
Considering we only have 3 "jump" companies that are in different geographical areas, and considering our current manning issues,  is keeping a (static line) Airborne capability in the regular army still a useful endeavour?

Could we rebrand light infantry battalions as some kind of mobility/environmental force?
Mountian ops, urban ops, recce, force protection companies?

I'm no expert, but it seems a reasonable way to maintain a capability at relatively low effort and cost.... while we decide what we really want to be when we grow up :)

Coincidentally with the title of this thread, amongst the first 'paratroopers' used in battle were the German Assault Engineers dropped by glider and parachute onto the Belgian forts at the start of the Battle for France in 1940.

Is there a future role for this kind of capability? We don't really know until we need it, of course, like, you know, the NBCW capability thing (which hasn't really been used extensively by us since WW1).
 

Jarnhamar

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Infanteer said:
The Aussies have said no and relegated para insert to their SOF.  Proponents point to Op SERVAL, and the French insertions into Mali.

I'm trying to find into about the Airborne component of that op. Was it a massed static line drop?
If yes was using an Airborne insertion like that a huge advantage?

I understand about the problems with losing a capability and trying to bring it back but a company minus of light Airborne forces, without reading about that op, doesn't seem like a huge advantage to me still. Especially in Canada where I think to deploy a jump company the battalion with need to drag over troops and NCOs from other companies. Not to mention our chutes are pretty brutal for taking our own guys out (see Mattawa massacre).

If we do keep an Airborne capability I think we need new chutes.

Urban ops is something any force should do - if Fallujah taught us anything, its that mech/armoured forces have a critical role in the urban environment.  Recce is a pan-Infantry function.  Same with force pro.

Mountain operations is a feasible concept.

For sure everyone should be able to do urban ops but unless it's a training cycles priority it's easy for skill fade to kick in. What I was picting was a specialist company that can deploy in support of other units deploying from company down to section level to act as urban ops instructors/advisors/experts at the smaller sizes and mission specific force at Pl and coy.

If 1ppcli is deploying to a company or two to Africa then they would bring a platoon of dedicated urban ops guys.

The same theory for a recce coy, mountain coy, FP platoon.

I guess what I'm trying to say is I don't see light infantry battalions fighting as a battalion in a traditional battlefield role anymore.

3rd battalion dug in a defensive? I've seen how that ends a bunch of times  ;D

Have them act as force multipliers and support other deployed units.

 

Kirkhill

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daftandbarmy said:
....

Coincidentally with the title of this thread, amongst the first 'paratroopers' used in battle were the German Assault Engineers dropped by glider and parachute onto the Belgian forts at the start of the Battle for France in 1940.

....

German Assault Engineer at Eben Emael with 3 kg satchel charge or a Javelin Precision Guided Munition with an 8.4 kg warhead 

Eben Emael Standoff distance - as far as you could run before detonation.  Javelin standoff distance 4.75 km.

I was going to describe both munitions as SMART/Intelligent but thought better of it.

And while we're at it - if we went up to something like the Spike NLOS you would be looking at a +-10 kg warhead delivered to >25 km with precision comparable to the surviving Assault Engineers at Eben Emael.

I find it interesting that both the Engineers and the Gunners evolved from the Ordnance branch and the Air Force evolved from the Gunners.  Presumably the Gunners got fed up running up to castle gates with large packages of explosive compounds and lighting blue touch papers.  The Air Force adopted slightly different tactics: larger satchels, more of them, less care in the delivery, run faster.  They seem to be figuring out how to deliver to the right address these days.

There are many uses for sappers and pioneers but are they best employed in drops on defended ground when breaches can be created more effectively with everything from M72s and CG84s all the way up to ATACMs and MOABs?

 
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