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CAF international bases, staging areas, and fighting formations

Colin Parkinson

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A combined exercise with Poland, flying some of our tanks and LAV's across and deploying there might make for some interesting looks on the world stage. It's not the first time Poles and Canadians worked together either. It might also embarrass NATO into action, because if Canada can step up to the plate, why can't they?
 

Transporter

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RADOPSIGOPACISSOP said:
Likely these OS Hubs will all be situated inside of existing US or coalition bases. This covers the need for force protection, utility services and access to air or sea ports.

If you want to see where they could or will go, check out major US bases in these areas. We will most likely piggyback off them. No doubt they will open on an as-needed basis during medium to large operations and remain open following the end of the operation on a minimal caretaker status. This way the cost of setting up the base can be rolled into the operational budgets that are often specially assigned outside of the general DND budget.

Not necessarily. In fact, the first proof-of-concept Hub which was initially established at a USAF base in Germany, has since been moved to the commercial airport at Koln-Bonn for various reasons.
 

Gramps

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Transporter said:
Not necessarily. In fact, the first proof-of-concept Hub which was initially established at a USAF base in Germany, has since been moved to the commercial airport at Koln-Bonn for various reasons.
With a greatly reduced airflow when compared to that of Spangdahlem when it was up and running at full tempo of course.
 

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Gramps said:
With a greatly reduced airflow when compared to that of Spangdahlem when it was up and running at full tempo of course.

Decision to move had nothing to do with "airflow" or "tempo" so not sure I follow your point... unless you're just simply adding commentary.
 

Gramps

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Transporter said:
Decision to move had nothing to do with "airflow" or "tempo" so not sure I follow your point... unless you're just simply adding commentary.
Just adding, in Spangdahlem (for six months anyway due to the closure of Camp Mirage) we had a full MAMS team, an ALCE, and loads of work too but also a bit of a different purpose when compared to the OS Hub in Koln-Bonn. Prior to that, Spangdahlem was manned in a similar way that Koln is now.
 

Transporter

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Gramps said:
Just adding, in Spangdahlem (for six months anyway due to the closure of Camp Mirage) we had a full MAMS team, an ALCE, and loads of work too but also a bit of a different purpose when compared to the OS Hub in Koln-Bonn. Prior to that, Spangdahlem was manned in a similar way that Koln is now.

Now I'm trackin'.
 

prairefire

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Mods please move as required.

Just hypothetically with the recent comments of the military commander of NATO about the need to permanently station troops in Eastern Europe; combined with the sudden European strategic need for Canadian Oil (see the National Post online) is there are a geopolitical, strategic or other reason for the Canadian Government to reestablish 4 CMBG somewhere in Poland or perhaps Romania?

DO we have the military assets and will any government expend the political capital to do so?

Knowing that the limited size of a new 4 CMBG  would be either a Commanders Operational Reserve or a first contact tripwire brigade.

Somehow the world seems to have come full circle to the Cold War NATO scenario several hundred kilometers to the east.............
 

Tibbson

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I dont believe there is the political will and that unless there is a major shift in thinking future governments will be content to take a wait and see approach to spending, doing so only as required and at the last moment.
 

MilEME09

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Schindler's Lift said:
I dont believe there is the political will and that unless there is a major shift in thinking future governments will be content to take a wait and see approach to spending, doing so only as required and at the last moment.

Another Issue would be that NATO members (and not Russia since it pulled out) still adhere to the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe, signed near the end of the cold war.

The CFE Treaty sets equal ceilings for each bloc (NATO and the Warsaw Treaty), from the Atlantic to the Urals, on key armaments essential for conducting surprise attacks and initiating large-scale offensive operations. Collectively, the treaty participants have agreed that neither side may have more than

    20,000 tanks;
    20,000 artillery pieces;
    30,000 armoured combat vehicles (ACVs);
    6,800 combat aircraft; and
    2,000 attack helicopters.

To further limit the readiness of armed forces, the treaty sets equal ceilings on equipment that may be with active units. Other ground equipment must be in designated permanent storage sites. The limits for equipment each side may have in active units are

    16,500 tanks;
    17,000 artillery pieces; and
    27,300 armoured combat vehicles (ACVs);

The treaty further limits the proportion of armaments that can be held by any one country in Europe to about one-third of the total for all countries in Europe - the "sufficiency" rule. These limits are

    13,300 tanks;
    13,700 artillery pieces;
    20,000 armoured combat vehicles (ACVs);
    5,150 combat aircraft; and
    1,500 attack helicopters.

All sea-based Naval forces are excluded from CFE Treaty accountability.


These limits apply to NATO as a whole including the absorbed warsaw pact countries, meaning until NATO kills the treaty the question becomes, after we count everything up how much can Canada legally move into Europe while keeping NATO on the moral high ground?
 

pbi

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Schindler's Lift said:
I dont believe there is the political will and that unless there is a major shift in thinking future governments will be content to take a wait and see approach to spending, doing so only as required and at the last moment.

Interesting line of thought. How would this balance, I wonder, against the current (or at least, recently current...) belief that our focus for engagement (political, economic, military) should really be on the Pacific? Is the Ukrainine situation a blip, or is it a return to the status quo of 30 years ago?

 

Kirkhill

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pbi said:
Interesting line of thought. How would this balance, I wonder, against the current (or at least, recently current...) belief that our focus for engagement (political, economic, military) should really be on the Pacific? Is the Ukrainine situation a blip, or is it a return to the status quo of 30 years ago?

Do we have the luxury of "focusing"?  Perhaps we need to maintain 360 Situational Awareness and then develop a force capability that is light on its feet and reactive.  Not one that is entrenched and tied down.

CAST/ACE Mobile and not CMBG.
 

George Wallace

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Kirkhill said:
CAST/ACE Mobile and not CMBG.

One advantage of CMBG is that it is self-sustainable for longer periods when deployed.  CAST/ACE requires more and longer tail to keep it supplied, as it carries much less to keep in Field.

Both would be "Throw away", but the CMBG would have more integral logistic support and capabilities to fight for longer durations without resupply.
 

Kirkhill

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George Wallace said:
One advantage of CMBG is that it is sustainable for longer periods when deployed.  CAST/ACE requires more and longer tail to keep it supplied, as it carries much less to keep in Field.

Both would be "Throw away", but the CMBG would have more integral logistic support and capabilities to fight for longer durations without resupply.

Agreed on all points.  But how long could a CMBG sustain a fight, even with integral logistics?  The piece of the puzzle we never quite got right was being able to sustain either commitment once we started burning through the beans, bullets and bandages and the bodies started coming back.

That tail is a cost I think we will have to absorb no matter which mission we decide to orient around - assuming that we are serious and not just making gestures.

I believe though that that tail is also the most domestically useful portion of the DND budget (for a variety of political, economic and actually useful reasons).  It is also the portion of the operations that are capable of being managed by Civilians, Militia, NavRes, AirRes and Public Private Partnerships.  It doesn't have to eat up the available uniformed manpower.
 

George Wallace

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The CAST/ACE is basically a BG with only a couple of days supplies to fight with.

A CMBG is a Bde Plus, with more firepower and a Svc Bn to keep them in a fight for over a week.






If either one is overrun in 'day one', those are moot points.  :-\
 

McG

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MilEME09 said:
These limits apply to NATO as a whole including the absorbed warsaw pact countries, meaning until NATO kills the treaty the question becomes, after we count everything up how much can Canada legally move into Europe while keeping NATO on the moral high ground?
So, you are saying we should put an amphibious brigade on Russia's back door, with the US forces in Alaska?
 

MilEME09

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Perhaps if we were serious we would have both a CMBG and a CAST like element as a rapid reaction force to quickly get reinforcements to the hot spot. Do we have the personal for this? definitely not but it is strategic goals that guide policy towards a end result.

So, you are saying we should put an amphibious brigade on Russia's back door, with the US forces in Alaska?
Not exactly, though that would be an option, I am more just pointing out we could be at a numbers disadvantage with Russia pulled out, and NATO seems to want to hold onto this treaty
 

pbi

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George Wallace said:
One advantage of CMBG is that it is self-sustainable for longer periods when deployed.  CAST/ACE requires more and longer tail to keep it supplied, as it carries much less to keep in Field.

Both would be "Throw away", but the CMBG would have more integral logistic support and capabilities to fight for longer durations without resupply.

I did AMF(L)/NATo Composite Force deployments a couple of times. The Battalion Group was more sustainable than a simple battalion because it had an NSE that was roughly equivalent in size to a second Admin Company: like having a mini-Svc Bn under command. But, even with that, the AMF(L) Bn Gp wasn't going to last very long in a knock-down, drag-out fight with the Soviets.

The  CAST Bde only deployed once, IIRC, on BRAVE LION. One of the lessons learned was that while we might have been able to drag it to Norway, sustaining it was a totally different story. I think it was from that the nasty nickname "Hong Kong Brigade" arose.  We could probably ship a CMBG to Europe again, and maybe even base it there, but we'd still be faced with how to sustain it once the Svc Bn burnt off its maintenance load. Canada just doesn't have the logistics capacity to sustain mechanized formations in high-intensity combat over such long LOC/SLOC. And saying that "the Americans would do it for us" sort of ignores the serious problems they had themselves  in the Gulf in trying to get everything there in a hurry.
 

Happy Guy

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Sustaining a deployed CMBG requires strategic and operational level logistics / medical / administrative / ADP framework with units and skilled manpower.  A Svc Bn can only support the CMBG but who supports the Svc Bn?  A Joint Task Force Support Group (JTFSG) is required but this would require a significantly high level of national effort in order to get this done.  In this scenario we are talking about a long line of communication, Allies, who face the same constraints as we, so they may not be able to logistically support us with supplies and the need to coordinate contract support with all participating nations.  Back home we would need time to arrange contracts to build up sufficient stocks, ensure an assured source of supply, transport it over there, delivery it to the Svc Bn or forward deployed air field and protect the line of communications.
 

Kirkhill

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Happy Guy said:
Sustaining a deployed CMBG requires strategic and operational level logistics / medical / administrative / ADP framework with units and skilled manpower.  A Svc Bn can only support the CMBG but who supports the Svc Bn?  A Joint Task Force Support Group (JTFSG) is required but this would require a significantly high level of national effort in order to get this done.  In this scenario we are talking about a long line of communication, Allies, who face the same constraints as we, so they may not be able to logistically support us with supplies and the need to coordinate contract support with all participating nations.  Back home we would need time to arrange contracts to build up sufficient stocks, ensure an assured source of supply, transport it over there, delivery it to the Svc Bn or forward deployed air field and protect the line of communications.

Happy Guy - have you just described Canada's role in WW2?

Long line of communication - check
Allies constrained - check
Logistic support unavailable - check
(I'll skip contracts - CD Howe will appear)
Stocks to be built and renewed - check
We assure supply - check
We transport it - check
We protect the LoC - check.

If the rest of the world is within range of the guns its factories are non-productive.  Somebody has to "pass the ammunition". 

And somebody has to supply the transport ships and aircraft as well as the escorts. 

How much of that has to be military, how much civvy, how much reg and how much reservist?

We're not talking of revisiting the same scale as WW2 but we are certainly talking the same scope of supply.
 

Old Sweat

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And then there was Operation Broadsword, which really was a staff exercise to study the deployment of 4 CMBG to the Gulf in 1990-1991. The whole thing turned into a contest to see who could think up the most worst case scenarios in order to get the whole thing cancelled. At one stage the casualty estimate for the force was something like 13000 in 30 days combat. I wrote on the estimate something like this was ludicrous - the planners had a brigade suffering more casualties that we suffered at Passchendaele or in Normandy.
 
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