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Canadian Reserves to be Overhauled
The AFV ASSOCIATION was formed in 1964 to support the thoughts and research of all those interested in Armored Fighting Vehicles and related topics, such as AFV drawings. The emphasis has always been on sharing information and communicating with other members of similar interests; e.g. German armor, Japanese AFVs, or whatever.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:23 pm
Post subject: Canadian Reserves to be Overhauled

Picked this news item from another forum.

What does this mean for the allocation of armour for Canadian forces?

Are they going to save money by pooling all combat vehicles into one armoured regiment should they decide to "amalgamate" other sectors of Canada's military?

Canadian Reserves to be Overhauled

The Canadian Armed Forces are set to amalgamate some of the current 140 regiments into a smaller number of bigger units, CBC News has learned.
The changes would come into effect after Canada concludes its combat mission in Afghanistan in 2011.

"We are going to mess with the basic structure of the army reserve," Brig.-Gen. Gary O'Brien, the head of the army reserve, told CBC News in an interview. "It isn't about closing more locations or getting smaller — it's about getting more efficient."

Many of the army's reserve units have about 100 soldiers each, and those regiments are often too small to train for large operations, O'Brien said.
He also said it's hard to find qualified soldiers to lead units, and creating a smaller number of larger units is an attempt to address that problem.
Changes 'would be an upsetting manoeuvre'

But Lt.-Col. John Selkirk, executive director of Reserves 2000, an interest group that lobbies on behalf of reservists, said the plan could backfire.
"It certainly would be an upsetting manoeuvre for many, many units," Selkirk told CBC News. He said many units are institutions that bring soldiers and veterans together through shared identity, geography and history.

"If you start to tamper with that, then the very fabric that makes up our Canadian army could be torn," he said.

Selkirk says the proposed plan may cause an exodus of experienced troops from the army.

Canada's Armed Forces currently employs around 65,000 full time personnel, and there are an additional 24,000 reservists.
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:36 pm
Post subject: Re: Canadian Reserves to be Overhauled

I must admit, the Canadian reserve system is one of the more unusual ones I am aware of...

There are many Canadian reserve regiments that have 1 battalion that is itself composed of 1 line company... They are essentially cadre formations planned on the basis of anticipating WWIII - the only way all these formations would actually be filled out... Otherwise they cannot really fight/work as actual regimental formations on their own... And are not ever intended to do so...

IMO, as attested to in the above article, its the result of never making any hard decisions about amalgamating regiments. The Brits go through this process almost every decade - and yes, its quite painful and there are a lot of protests.

But the alternative is reducing force structure (which has happened in the Canadian reserves) without actually reducing the number of regiments. Which means lots more HQ/overhead than you really need...

And it also leads to odd things like there being many more Scottish regiments in the Canadian Army than in the British Army!

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 10:22 pm
Post subject: Re: Canadian Reserves to be Overhauled

As a product of the regimental system; it was just the thing to do for young men in my community to join, 'the regiment', I can add something to the conversation.

The militia system is an anachronism. But it hasn't been politically worth the trouble to thoroughly overhaul it. Most armouries and training areas have been paid for long long ago, and some are in fact now historic sites. Reserve units are conveniently cheap for the Regular Army to use as manning pools. The units are underresourced, improperly equipped and squeezed for money at every opportunity.

When the Regular Force converted to Centurions, the Reserves got M4A3E8 Shermans. When the Shermans were retired, the Reserves were reequipped with Jeeps and 3/4s. When the AVGPs were bought, each reserve unit got ONE and the balance held on Reg Force bases. That didn't last long either. When the Reserves were issued Bisons. The Regs found ways to haul them back. Now the Reserves have Mercedes G-Wagons for recce training.

That said, the units are community institutions. Whenever there have been natural disasters, who turns to first? The papers are proud to brag up, their Third Battalion of the Foreskin Fusiliers, not some distant unit of strangers.

Will the reforms work? I hope they will. Our defence needs have changed lately. There aren't enough regular troops to do everything to nation needs. I just hope the new iteration looks better than the National Survival units of the 1960's and the 10/90 units of the 1990's. Both failures, but part of the transformation process.
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