Author Topic: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN  (Read 10044 times)

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Offline Infanteer

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Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« on: March 17, 2020, 22:36:13 »
Interesting article over at CNR:

https://www.navalreview.ca/cnr-articles-01/

The author argues that the Senior Service has become, professionally, overly focused on acquisition and project management to deliver platforms, and that there is a distinct lack of intellectualism and sailors think about the art of war at sea in the RCN today.

He laments the loss of maritime-focused training at CFC, and points out that the Army and Air Force have picked up the slack in operational thought with their own schools and Warfare Centres, the Navy has stuck to tactical ship driving.  The CAF as a whole suffers from having a true centre for excellence in maritime operational thought.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2020, 20:41:51 by Infanteer »
"Overall it appears that much of the apparent complexity of modern war stems in practice from the self-imposed complexity of modern HQs" LCol J.P. Storr

Offline SeaKingTacco

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2020, 22:39:16 »
Canadian Forces Maritime Warfare Centre. Has existed in Halifax since time immemorial.

That said, I have to agree with you. When I first went to sea, eons ago, we actively discussed tactics in the Ops Room, the Wardroom and every place in between.

Lately, the focus seems to be more just the mechanics of driving the ship from point A to point B.

But, maybe I am just jaded.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2020, 22:42:52 by SeaKingTacco »

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2020, 00:17:37 »
Interesting article over at CNR:

https://www.navalreview.ca/cnr-articles-01/

The author argues that the Senior Service has become, professionally, overly focused on acquisition and project management to deliver platforms, and that there is a distinct lack of intellectualism and sailors think about the art of war at sea in the RCN today.

He laments the loss of maritime-focused training at CFC, and points out that the Army and Air Force have picked up the slack in operational thought with their own schools Warfare Centres, the Navy has stuck to tactical ship driving.  The CAF as a whole suffers from having a true centre for excellence in maritime operational thought.

Naval Top Gun. That would be cool... and with excellent table manners :)
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline Infanteer

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2020, 07:38:36 »
Canadian Forces Maritime Warfare Centre. Has existed in Halifax since time immemorial.

That said, I have to agree with you. When I first went to sea, eons ago, we actively discussed tactics in the Ops Room, the Wardroom and every place in between.

Lately, the focus seems to be more just the mechanics of driving the ship from point A to point B.

The author refers to the Warfare Centre, but argues that it is overly focused on naval tactics as opposed to naval operations.
"Overall it appears that much of the apparent complexity of modern war stems in practice from the self-imposed complexity of modern HQs" LCol J.P. Storr

Offline FSTO

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2020, 07:44:31 »
Canadian strategic thought? Don't make me laugh, our strategic thought is what our overlords (USA) tell us.

Our biggest issue is a total lack of direction from our political masters. I would wager my pension that if you asked any random Cabinet Minister (non-MND), MP, their staff, and every non-DND public service about the Canadian Armed Forces you'd more than likely get a confused look of "oh yea, they fight floods and peacekeep right?" rather than an "oh yes, there is the RCN that protects our coastlines, is part of the international force that ensures the freedom of the seas, and is an important arm of the diplomatic aims of Canada. The RCAF is an integral part of NORAD, and the Canadian Army that provides hard kinetic power to an enemy if so required by the government." 

The general public and media are even worse. They never give us a second thought unless there is a flood or forest fire.

So with an absence of clear direction from our political masters, we have this facade of a unified CAF going off in all directions trying to justify their own rice bowls.

I'm like Sea King TACCO, I'm just so jaded with the whole bloody mess.

Offline Lumber

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2020, 08:57:24 »
The author refers to the Warfare Centre, but argues that it is overly focused on naval tactics as opposed to naval operations.

But... But that's their raison d'etre! To develop, evaluate, and publish tactics!
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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2020, 09:29:10 »
Canadian Forces Maritime Warfare Centre. Has existed in Halifax since time immemorial.
Well..... since enshrined in the Naval Service Act (1910) anyway.

Of course, that Act contributed to the fall of Laurier's government;  probably never forgotten/forgiven by the Liberals, and why they're more predisposed to hate the military.

#TrivialGeek  ;)


Besides, there's nothing new to think about naval strategy -- read Corbett & Mahan, rehash Jutland... maybe watch "Hunt for Red October" (there's no need to watch "Midway," now that BONNIE is gone).   :worms:

Offline SeaKingTacco

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2020, 12:22:41 »
The author refers to the Warfare Centre, but argues that it is overly focused on naval tactics as opposed to naval operations.

Yes and no.

It is important to remember that, in Canada we have two distinct Navies- a NATO navy on the East Coast and a "USN" navy on the West Coast (and maybe soon to be a third, Arctic navy with the introduction of the AOPS, shortly).

We do almost nothing outside of those two contexts, therefore, our operational thought is largely drawn from those two organizations. Our tactics, on the other hand, are often Canadian derived because they deal with the employment of the specific equipment that we own.

I am actually at a loss to think of what Naval Operational Art Canada would have to create out whole clothe, since we have essentially made ourselves adjuncts of the USN and NATO. Not trying to be sarcastic- this just the way I see what is going on around me.


Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2020, 12:44:13 »
Yes and no.

It is important to remember that, in Canada we have two distinct Navies- a NATO navy on the East Coast and a "USN" navy on the West Coast (and maybe soon to be a third, Arctic navy with the introduction of the AOPS, shortly).

We do almost nothing outside of those two contexts, therefore, our operational thought is largely drawn from those two organizations. Our tactics, on the other hand, are often Canadian derived because they deal with the employment of the specific equipment that we own.

I am actually at a loss to think of what Naval Operational Art Canada would have to create out whole clothe, since we have essentially made ourselves adjuncts of the USN and NATO. Not trying to be sarcastic- this just the way I see what is going on around me.

If anything, our 'Naval Operational Art' would probably be something like:

'Combined operations - because we have been doing so much, with so little, for so long, with the world's longest coastline and other global commitments, that we're screw&d if we don't work as a team.'

Or something like that.... :)
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Offline FSTO

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #9 on: March 18, 2020, 12:48:05 »
Yes and no.

It is important to remember that, in Canada we have two distinct Navies- a NATO navy on the East Coast and a "USN" navy on the West Coast (and maybe soon to be a third, Arctic navy with the introduction of the AOPS, shortly).

We do almost nothing outside of those two contexts, therefore, our operational thought is largely drawn from those two organizations. Our tactics, on the other hand, are often Canadian derived because they deal with the employment of the specific equipment that we own.

I am actually at a loss to think of what Naval Operational Art Canada would have to create out whole clothe, since we have essentially made ourselves adjuncts of the USN and NATO. Not trying to be sarcastic- this just the way I see what is going on around me.

I continue to go down the rabbit hole that the lack of political direction has caused the whole CAF to flail about in its own environmental and especially coastal silos.

Offline NavyShooter

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #10 on: March 18, 2020, 17:08:39 »
Personal opinion, having sailed in harms way with the RCN for many years.  Right now, the most important aspect of Naval Operations is to get off the wall, get overseas, and show the flag.  A uniformed, armed presence.  One of the lowest levels of the force continuum. 

Higher level considerations are playing second fiddle to many of the background concerns - fleet manning, fleet maintenance, fleet replacement.

Just my opinions as a 'has been' sailor who now hangs his hat with an Army unit.

NS
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Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2020, 21:01:21 »
I am not convinced that there ever was a "Canadian Naval Strategic" outlook or even a golden period of such thought around the 1990's.

What we did have, as the result of the coincidence of the RCN 75th anniversary and arrival of the modern ships (the HALs) that finally let the Navy free itself of its ASW blinders, was a revival of interests in the broader tactical scope of naval warfare in all its aspects and discussions of the RCN's history (pushed as a result the 75th) and future place in the current naval paradigm of NATO and US navies. I would not necessarily call that naval strategy, or an interest therein.

Now, broadly speaking, there are only two naval strategies: Sea Control or Sea Denial. In Canada, both as a faithful ally of NATO and of the US and because it is clearly in our very own interest as a trading nation surrounded by the sea, we are by definition working under a Sea Control strategy.

I believe it  was Infanteer who recently brought up (in another thread) Hughes on Fleet Tactics. One interesting point made by Hughes was that naval power is seated, meaning governed, from land. It brings an interesting question: from a naval point of view, where does the distinction between tactics and strategy begin?

Classic case: Battle of the Atlantic. Obviously, the Allies were Sea Control strategists (freedom to use the seas) while the Axis powers were Sea Denial strategist (starve England by cutting maritime access). But does the overall battle, which involved control from shore of organization of convoys, arranging escorts, organizing and coordinating air patrols, then running a hunting campaign in the Bay of Biscay and bombing campaigns against U-Boat lairs, etc., qualify as "strategic" or still "tactical"?

I think two points quickly becomes obvious: First, at the "ship-at-sea" and TF/TG level at sea, everything is tactical - and it must be mastered. Second: It is hard to determine where the line lies between that tactical level and what becomes clearly considered as "strategic".

BTW, and I may make some enemies in my own service here  :nod:, It is my firm belief that, at the national level, national defence strategy is and should be the purview of the Army. Such determination then should dictate the naval and air requirements. To give a Canadian instance: If the Canadian Army had decided that there is an actual essential strategic requirement for Canada to have an amphibious capability, then the RCN would have been told to provide it and it would have.

So when I see Army people in these fora complaining that we have no such capability (and this is a pet peeve of mine  ;D), I can only think that it is because they, as the Canadian Army, have failed to make a case to our political masters for its necessity.       

Offline dapaterson

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2020, 21:12:34 »
So when I see Army people in these fora complaining that we have no such capability (and this is a pet peeve of mine  ;D), I can only think that it is because they, as the Canadian Army, have failed to make a case to our political masters for its necessity.     

*Cough* the demise of 450 in 1998 *cough*.
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Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2020, 22:00:13 »
My point exactly, Dapaterson: The Army failed to make the case to our political masters.

Not the first time, BTW. In 1971, the Navy offered to Hellyer to reorganize along a three TG structure, with one TG centred around a carrier (the Bonnie) and two more TG centred around Iwo Jima class amphibious vessels.

...

It was the army who said they didn't need it in the lead off to unification.


Offline LoboCanada

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2020, 09:09:24 »
If we're talking strategy and high-level objectives - is it not possible we've thought of many of the general possibilities and had strategies already in place for them? Only things that could change are capabilities of the actors in these scenarios - making it more about the capabilities of new XYZ platform changes. I.E planning for a hot war in Europe, supply lines, Carrier/Task Groups etc... Only things that might have changed have been the tools to carry these strategies out in the past 60 yrs.

On the flip-side, what about the lack of thought towards the threats close to home? Where are the strategies to compensate for shortcomings?
1. 1000% increase in calls for CF help in natural disasters, where are the strategies, playbooks, smart ideas to help gov't with this surge?
2. NATO doesn't seem to care about the Arctic above us, as NORAD does. Where are the strategies and planning for us and the US to protect ourselves, all alone with no European help.
3. Are there strategies in place/playbooks written for how we respond to something in the pacific?


To add, RCN finally gets Dads credit card for the weekend, how can you blame it for thinking about what it can do with it?


Offline Colin P

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2020, 11:29:10 »
I am not convinced that there ever was a "Canadian Naval Strategic" outlook or even a golden period of such thought around the 1990's.

What we did have, as the result of the coincidence of the RCN 75th anniversary and arrival of the modern ships (the HALs) that finally let the Navy free itself of its ASW blinders, was a revival of interests in the broader tactical scope of naval warfare in all its aspects and discussions of the RCN's history (pushed as a result the 75th) and future place in the current naval paradigm of NATO and US navies. I would not necessarily call that naval strategy, or an interest therein.

Now, broadly speaking, there are only two naval strategies: Sea Control or Sea Denial. In Canada, both as a faithful ally of NATO and of the US and because it is clearly in our very own interest as a trading nation surrounded by the sea, we are by definition working under a Sea Control strategy.

I believe it  was Infanteer who recently brought up (in another thread) Hughes on Fleet Tactics. One interesting point made by Hughes was that naval power is seated, meaning governed, from land. It brings an interesting question: from a naval point of view, where does the distinction between tactics and strategy begin?

Classic case: Battle of the Atlantic. Obviously, the Allies were Sea Control strategists (freedom to use the seas) while the Axis powers were Sea Denial strategist (starve England by cutting maritime access). But does the overall battle, which involved control from shore of organization of convoys, arranging escorts, organizing and coordinating air patrols, then running a hunting campaign in the Bay of Biscay and bombing campaigns against U-Boat lairs, etc., qualify as "strategic" or still "tactical"?

I think two points quickly becomes obvious: First, at the "ship-at-sea" and TF/TG level at sea, everything is tactical - and it must be mastered. Second: It is hard to determine where the line lies between that tactical level and what becomes clearly considered as "strategic".

BTW, and I may make some enemies in my own service here  :nod:, It is my firm belief that, at the national level, national defence strategy is and should be the purview of the Army. Such determination then should dictate the naval and air requirements. To give a Canadian instance: If the Canadian Army had decided that there is an actual essential strategic requirement for Canada to have an amphibious capability, then the RCN would have been told to provide it and it would have.

So when I see Army people in these fora complaining that we have no such capability (and this is a pet peeve of mine  ;D), I can only think that it is because they, as the Canadian Army, have failed to make a case to our political masters for its necessity.     

If a Russian corvette in the Black Sea can pound targets in Syria, is that tactical or strategic?

Offline Infanteer

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2020, 11:47:02 »
The act of "pounding" is always tactical.  Time, space, and force considerations play on the strategic calculus.
"Overall it appears that much of the apparent complexity of modern war stems in practice from the self-imposed complexity of modern HQs" LCol J.P. Storr

Offline Colin P

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2020, 13:57:19 »
However the ability of a modern ship to affect a much wider geographic area goes beyond the 'tactical". Back in the ASW only days, the ships were very tactical oriented. The Type 26/CSC will have the ability to have influence over a very large area, depending on her potentiel weapon load out. I wonder if the RCN has wrapped their heads around what that may mean?

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2020, 14:25:02 »
Shooting a missile at something 10 km away or 1000 km away is a tactical activity.  "Strategic" isn't defined by distance.

But you're point on the time and space related to naval operations is correct - a platform can have a tactical effect across a greater area of space in a compressed period of time.  Have we wrapped our heads around the consequences of this?  The author of the article in question would probably answer no....
"Overall it appears that much of the apparent complexity of modern war stems in practice from the self-imposed complexity of modern HQs" LCol J.P. Storr

Offline Colin P

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2020, 14:42:58 »
hmmm I guess I see tactical vs strategic in land battle terms, the location of a army in my mind is strategic, the battles fought by the companies are tactical. However if Canada sends a ship off the coast of Africa or Syria with 32 cells loaded with cruise missiles to enforce or pressure a another government or group to act in a particular way or not to act, then in my mind that is strategic as it extends the reach of the will of government and the ability to act, beyond our borders on another government/party. Even if the missiles are not fired, their presence has strategic implications. Going back to my Russian example, it showed the region that Russia can reach out and touch them, even if contained within the Black Sea, that will affect how regional players react. 

Offline Weinie

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2020, 16:08:52 »
Interesting discussion on tactical vs strategic. I have been working for some time with some naval colleagues who are grappling with this same issue, how does the Navy achieve strat effect, as part of a pan-domain force employment concept and within a full spectrum targeting construct. That may be the easier method to crack the nut, determining the effect you want to achieve and at what level, and does the RCN platform (or the other purveyors of action) then have the ability to create that effect. After running through the exercise a number of times, and if your assumptions about the likely reactions/outcomes/consequences are correct, you hopefully begin to get a sense of who can do what.

Problem is, much of the discussion is theoretical. Canadian military strategic effect internationally is determined, by and large, through coalition ops, and as a previous poster stated, we often get swept up in the strategy of the 800 lb. gorilla. Also, the target(s) of the effect has a vote.

The Strat Effects Mgmt Board is looking at a number of these challenges right now. It will take some time to figure out amongst all of the players. Though we have some strategic thinkers, we still have a bunch of folks for whom metal on metal is the preferred method.

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #21 on: March 19, 2020, 19:16:38 »
Is sending your AOR to support a coalition effort off the coast of Africa a tactical or strategic decision? The benefits you gain by doing so, may have nothing to do with the mission at hand. I see the C17 purchase as a Strategic decision as it allows us to spread our influences and alliances further and in a way that many of our allies can't. One reason why I bemoan the failure to secure the two built for Russia Mistals, I saw them as a way to leverage our influence with other nations by supporting a wide variety of missions with them, beyond what we have done since the loss of the CV's.

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #22 on: March 19, 2020, 19:21:02 »
Allocation of forces to a theatre is a strategic decision.  The AOR sailing in specific ways to avoid contact is a tactical one.
"Overall it appears that much of the apparent complexity of modern war stems in practice from the self-imposed complexity of modern HQs" LCol J.P. Storr

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2020, 19:52:43 »
I'm glad OGBD posted because I was scratching my head trying to untangle the strategic from the tactical in naval operations.  Compound this with the procurement or project management consideration from the original article to entangle the issue.

There is no doubt that Canada is making strategic decisions with the RCN.  The setup of the Shanghai Logistics Hub (or whatever its really called) similar to the Logistics Hub in Kuwait was done to allow for two things.  Improve relations with players in South East Asia and allow for CAF strategic reach (logistics) to improve in the area. 

OP PROJECTION is to build those relationships and work with allied navies in order to blunt Chinese influence.  Asterix being sent first to the Pacific and out the OP PROJECTION was a significant strategic move, helping to improve the strategic mobility of our allies there.  Also, the deployment of a submarine to Japan was part of this strategy.

OP REASSURANCE and the visit of HMCS Toronto to Ukraine twice was a government strategy to show we can operate in Russia's backyard.  That was more government and NATO-led than RCN lead but diplomacy is fully intertwined with naval strategy in many cases.

Now when one looks at the project management criticism though well-founded, it misses an important point.  A naval strategy is completely based on the platforms that one has available.  We cannot make strategic decisions without understanding the capability or effects that a ship can have.  AOR's improve strategic mobility and logistics enormously.  Frankly, they might be the difference between a true sea control strategy and a sea denial strategy.

Secondly, the CSC statement of requirements was built around the RCN having the effectors it needs in order to implement various strategies.  For example, if one is unable to tactically project power ashore through missiles or guns (as we are currently limited) then the strategic effects a task group can have off an enemy shore is limited.  Proper procurement and effective platforms change the calculus for the enemy and have strategic impacts. 

Problem is, much of the discussion is theoretical. Canadian military-strategic effect internationally is determined, by and large, through coalition ops, and as a previous poster stated, we often get swept up in the strategy of the 800 lb. gorilla.

Coalition operations have strategic effects IMHO.  Building those relationships in order to balance off the larger powers, its what middle (middling?) powers do.  That might not be a true naval strategy but it's a national strategy.

The TG concept is designed to allow Canada to operate without a coalition.  Four ships, an AOR, and a submarine are the dream.  But without the project managers, we don't have the equipment to even think about doing that, and thus sea control, sea denial and power projection are limited.

Offline Infanteer

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #24 on: March 19, 2020, 20:27:14 »
Problem is, much of the discussion is theoretical. Canadian military strategic effect internationally is determined, by and large, through coalition ops, and as a previous poster stated, we often get swept up in the strategy of the 800 lb. gorilla.

I don't think this is necessarily true - I hear it a lot, but I don't really feel this sentiment captures the essence of strategic decision making.

Some of the best models of strategy I've seen describe it as being composed of time, space, and force.  Strategic decision making is allocation of time, space, and force to achieve tactical effects for the purposes of war (policy).

While a predilection to fight through coalitions and alliances will often limit the space factor of strategy for Canada (we don't unilaterally determine where we will employ military force), Canadian decision makers have the ability to consider and adjust the factors of time and force.

Use the Second World War as an example.  Canada was able to exercise some degree of strategic choice.  It opted not to send forces to North Africa, it opted to dispatch forces to Italy (instead of, say, the Pacific), it took part in fabricating a system to defeat the U-Boat menace, etc, etc.  Once forces were committed, Canada did not have as much say in the iterative interplay of strategy and tactics, and didn't have much operational decision space - this was largely determined by the senior Allies (US and the UK) and by the alliance chain of command, dominated by the Combined Chiefs of Staff.  So, while we didn't have complete strategic freedom of action, we had some.

This still stands today: Canada possesses some strategic choice.  Where do we sail our frigates?  Where do we dedicate our fighters?  Where do our transports fly stuff to?  Where do we put Battle Groups?  Some of this strategic choice is already determined by pre-existing alliances such as contributions to a NATO standing fleet or to NORAD air defence requirements, but anything in excess of that provides for strategic choice.

This is partly what the pan-domain force employment concept you mention gets to - our military resources are finite, so it makes sense to put them in the places that make the most strategic sense for Canada.  There are also new force elements (for example, cyber forces) coming on-line that have completely different characteristics when it comes to time, space, and force.  When you transition a cyber resource from one target to another without physically moving anything, there is a new dynamic in strategy related to prioritizing these "high demand/low density" resources.  Does strategy say the priorities lay with countering a VEO like Daesh?  Is this adding to deterrence in Eastern Europe?  Is this working in the Pacific to maintain freedom of navigation?

Swinging this all the way back to the original topic, there is - in my opinion - certainly space for Canadian operational and strategic naval thought.  Where do we dedicate naval resources in terms of time, space, and force, and once dedicated, how are they best employed within that theatre?

 :2c:
« Last Edit: March 19, 2020, 20:30:17 by Infanteer »
"Overall it appears that much of the apparent complexity of modern war stems in practice from the self-imposed complexity of modern HQs" LCol J.P. Storr

Offline Weinie

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #25 on: March 19, 2020, 20:35:23 »
Underway,

Coalition operations have strategic effects IMHO.  Building those relationships in order to balance off the larger powers, its what middle (middling?) powers do.  That might not be a true naval strategy but it's a national strategy.

Couldn't agree more. My comment was leant more towards the fact that we have become moribund/comfortable in a coalition setting and less focused on true Canadian strategic interests. I have grown up with, deployed in support of, and am a big believer in RBIO, FON, and other international agreements, but feel that quite often repeating this boilerplate as the justification for supporting coalitions intellectually excuses us from discerning what truly are real/developing Canadian strategic interests. I also think that this issue has become of increasing significance, given the U.S.'s seeming abdication of some of it's post WWII role and projection of influence on the international stage, potentially leading to less Canadian coalition ops, and less strategic effect projection.

Canada has the ability to wield some clout, and more importantly, we have influence. If you follow Joseph Nye, you will be familiar with his "soft power" writings. There are many others that write on exerting influence, Chris Paul from Rand for example. I think it is time we had a much more serious discussion of what/how/where/who/why we (Canada) exert national power to achieve strategic effect.

Welcome your feedback. As you may have noticed, this is a particular interest of mine

“In the absence of orders, go find something and kill it.”
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Offline Weinie

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #26 on: March 19, 2020, 20:57:50 »
Infanteer,

Wasn't trying to hijack the thread, merely stating that my belief is that Naval Strategic effect has to spring from Canadian desired strategic effect, and that perhaps we haven't given that the scrutiny/gray matter that it deserves.

The Aussies have made some significant strides in this area (mind you with a significantly different strategic environment), notwithstanding we may want to look to them as a source of what Canada needs to be thinking about.

Cyber and info are two other realms that have vaulted to the forefront. I refer to my original statement that some folks think that metal on metal is the preferred option. We have a long way to go in our development. 
“In the absence of orders, go find something and kill it.”
– Field Marshal Erwin Rommel

Offline Infanteer

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #27 on: March 19, 2020, 20:59:53 »
You ain't hijacking the thread mate - you're keeping it going!
"Overall it appears that much of the apparent complexity of modern war stems in practice from the self-imposed complexity of modern HQs" LCol J.P. Storr

Offline Weinie

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #28 on: March 19, 2020, 21:13:05 »
Is that a good or a bad thing? I can talk most people's ear off on this, and welcome feedback til my eardrums bleed. Just don't want to limit true discussion on it from Navy folks, who are much better situated to talk platforms and capabilities. Should we start a new topic?
“In the absence of orders, go find something and kill it.”
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Offline Infanteer

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #29 on: March 19, 2020, 21:26:22 »
Nah, keep it here.  It's a welcome respite from all things COVID-19.

Killicks and midshipman - over to you.
"Overall it appears that much of the apparent complexity of modern war stems in practice from the self-imposed complexity of modern HQs" LCol J.P. Storr

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #30 on: March 19, 2020, 22:10:44 »
Nah, keep it here.  It's a welcome respite from all things COVID-19.

Killicks and midshipman - over to you.

OK, I'll bite... wtf is a 'Killick', and is the root word 'Kill' (which would be cool) :)
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #31 on: March 19, 2020, 22:14:39 »
OK, I'll bite... wtf is a 'Killick', and is the root word 'Kill' (which would be cool) :)

In modern parlance, it is a Leading Seaman.

Offline Weinie

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #32 on: March 19, 2020, 22:32:47 »

Killick = Leading Seaman. It is derived from a Gaelic word meaning "anchor", which was a heavy stone wrapped in tree branches. The nickname is derived from the fact that the Leading Seaman's rank badge was once a fouled anchor.

But your thought is way cooler D&B
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Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #33 on: March 19, 2020, 22:33:32 »
A "killick" is an anchor ran from the stern to permit stabilizing the ship and pulling the ship from hazardous positions by heaving in the killick. Heavily used when beaching the ship stem on, as for a landing operation.

It refers to Leading seamen since the rank, in the RN/RNZN/RAN and in the "old" RCN, was denoted by a single "fouled anchor" symbol.

End of arrogant lesson.  ;D

Offline FSTO

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #34 on: March 19, 2020, 22:38:30 »
A bit of a rant here, actually more than just a bit.

Another way that Naval Thought has declined is that the RCN seems to have decided what ever seagoing platform they can get their hands on will just have to do. No matter how useful it really is.

Eg. Why are we even considering extending the lives of the Victoria Class? Wouldn't it be much better to get a whole new sub, maybe in conjunction with our relatives the Aussies?
AOPS, do we really need 8 did we even need 4. Would some of that money be better spent on a true mine hunting/sweeping craft or a true OSPV.
I really hope that FELEX is the last time we do a midlife refit. If the design life of a warship is 25 years then for the safe of everything holy get rid of the bloody things at that time instead of opening up the poor girls and all the inherited issues that come with trying to squeeze 10 more years out of them.
JSS, the ******* child of ALSC where the Navy was led down the garden path by the Big Honking Ship General and Canada lost 10 years while we flailed about wondering what sort of AOR we were going to get.
After that kick in the gonades the RCN is now down to trying to save the silverware and seems to no longer have the fortitude, ability or maybe even the desire to go to the CDS/MND and tell them that in the absence of direction from Parliament, here is the Navy you'll need if you want to cause these and these effects.   

I've waivered over hitting post a couple of times but I thought, what the hell, when will I get back to my cubicle at Carling 10W?

Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #35 on: March 19, 2020, 22:51:49 »
I disagree with only one small point in your rant, FSTO: I want a mid-life refit on our warships.

But a real mid-life refit: When they hit about 15 years  of service, to get them properly upgraded for the last 9-10 years of their life. Then, they go into 10 years reserve alongside.

This way, we keep ships on hand for thirty five years each, while they are never more than about 20 years out of date (if you need to bring them up to date quickly). If you bring one new ship into the fleet every year, you then have 15 to 20 ships in service, never more than ten years "out of date", and another 15 to 20 in reserve for quick activation, never more than 20 years out of date.

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #36 on: March 19, 2020, 23:00:38 »
A bit of a rant here, actually more than just a bit.

Another way that Naval Thought has declined is that the RCN seems to have decided what ever seagoing platform they can get their hands on will just have to do. No matter how useful it really is.


So, like, the TAPV is only a recent Army version of what the Navy's been doing all along? Cool....  ;D
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline FSTO

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #37 on: March 20, 2020, 05:03:45 »
I disagree with only one small point in your rant, FSTO: I want a mid-life refit on our warships.

But a real mid-life refit: When they hit about 15 years  of service, to get them properly upgraded for the last 9-10 years of their life. Then, they go into 10 years reserve alongside.

This way, we keep ships on hand for thirty five years each, while they are never more than about 20 years out of date (if you need to bring them up to date quickly). If you bring one new ship into the fleet every year, you then have 15 to 20 ships in service, never more than ten years "out of date", and another 15 to 20 in reserve for quick activation, never more than 20 years out of date.
I agree.

Offline Eaglelord17

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #38 on: March 20, 2020, 06:05:58 »
What they need to do if they want to keep a truly effective Navy is pick a ship builder and have them produce 1-2 warships a year (I would prefer 2 myself but that would be greatly expanding our Navy size). Once one reaches the 12 year mark, it gets mothballed and placed as a Reserve for event of war. That way when war starts you have 24-48 real warships ready because the reality is with modern conflict you basically come to the table with what you have, good luck getting more quickly.

This also has the added benefits of allowing us to keep the ship builders in constant work, avoiding the expensive start up costs every time we want a new ship, and allowing us to continually upgrade the ships as they are being produced. Flaws corrected, newer technology added, etc. In the event of war its easier to expand a production line than start from scratch, especially if we already have the facilities, etc.

Use the other ship builder to build things like the AOPS or coast guard ships, or other government ship requirements, again building one or two at a time so its a constant flow keeping everything nice and stable. Long term it would also help keep costs down, but no one in government is really interested beyond the 4-8 year span.

Offline Infanteer

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #39 on: March 20, 2020, 07:34:21 »
There is some irony here, as you guys are talking about ship procurement, service life, and mid-life refits....
"Overall it appears that much of the apparent complexity of modern war stems in practice from the self-imposed complexity of modern HQs" LCol J.P. Storr

Offline FSTO

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #40 on: March 20, 2020, 07:54:56 »
There is some irony here, as you guys are talking about ship procurement, service life, and mid-life refits....

To be blunt sir, if we cannot get our collective stuff together on the nuts and bolts of having a Navy (ships, personnel, dockyards) then the idea of critical strategic planning is a bit of a waste of time isn't it? Or we could have a RCN Directorate of Creative Dreaming established for retired or about to be retired Admirals to muse about what could be created in the future.

About as useful as posting a Canadian Air Force General to the US Space Force Command. (sarcasm)

Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #41 on: March 20, 2020, 09:24:14 »
To be blunt sir, if we cannot get our collective stuff together on the nuts and bolts of having a Navy (ships, personnel, dockyards) then the idea of critical strategic planning is a bit of a waste of time isn't it? Or we could have a RCN Directorate of Creative Dreaming established for retired or about to be retired Admirals to muse about what could be created in the future.

About as useful as posting a Canadian Air Force General to the US Space Force Command. (sarcasm)

Well, we're not alone. If the Argies had invaded the Falklands a few months later they'd be speaking Spanish there right now. The British were about to decommission the Hermes, which subsequently became the flagship for OP CORPORATE.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS_Hermes_(R12)
« Last Edit: March 20, 2020, 09:27:30 by daftandbarmy »
"The most important qualification of a soldier is fortitude under fatigue and privation. Courage is only second; hardship, poverty and want are the best school for a soldier." Napoleon

Offline Infanteer

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #42 on: March 20, 2020, 09:32:05 »
To be blunt sir, if we cannot get our collective stuff together on the nuts and bolts of having a Navy (ships, personnel, dockyards) then the idea of critical strategic planning is a bit of a waste of time isn't it? Or we could have a RCN Directorate of Creative Dreaming established for retired or about to be retired Admirals to muse about what could be created in the future.

About as useful as posting a Canadian Air Force General to the US Space Force Command. (sarcasm)

There is a balance.  We will never have the perfect <insert Force here>, and we may very well be told tomorrow to go to war with the Navy we got.  I'm sure there was someone in the German Army in the 1920s saying it was a waste of time to consider their doctrine and approach to mobile warfare when all they had to train with was a manpower-capped Army, no planes, and cars mocked up as tanks.

Even if the government decided to equip the RCN with the Bluenose and a few old tug boats, we are still beholden as stewards of the profession to maintain critical thought, analysis, and wargaming of the next conflict.

...and in light of the declining costs of access to space, posting folks to the US Space Force is probably a smart move.
"Overall it appears that much of the apparent complexity of modern war stems in practice from the self-imposed complexity of modern HQs" LCol J.P. Storr

Offline Good2Golf

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #43 on: March 20, 2020, 14:15:41 »
*Cough* the demise of 450 in 1998 *cough*.

‘91, but yes, they forsook a force multiplier indeed,  so the Army can ‘out-paroch’ the Navy as well, which is why Naval thought, as others have noted, is not only the Navy’s challenge, but the CAF’s and the GoC’s for strategic relevance (Weinie’s post above specifically) as well.

While little says ‘in the game’ like: a) for great nations, plunking a CV(N) into a region for presence (and operations); or b) for lesser, but engaged nations, contributing a warship to an alliance task force, etc., national projection of power can come from other means as well; fighter/strike package to a coalition, land TF in support of regional stability (not just contributing to UN forces, but force packages to coalitions of force and influence).

Perhaps there is an opportunity for the RCN (and by association the CAF) to develop a compelling place for the Navy to achieve a place of assumed support of the Nation’s Values (Interests...shhhh ;) ), leveraged off the more economically-oriented NSPS?

:2c:

Regards
G2G
« Last Edit: March 20, 2020, 14:18:21 by Good2Golf »

Offline Navy_Pete

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #44 on: March 20, 2020, 14:42:40 »
There is some irony here, as you guys are talking about ship procurement, service life, and mid-life refits....

I'd argue that things like ship procurement, service life etc are all key parts of the actual strategic environment the RCN is operating in.  Making sure our current fleet remains capable and relevant and the new fleet shows up with the right strategic capabilities are just as important as actual strategic deployments and directly related.

For example, the RCN riding the frigates like rentals while ignoring the material state of the ships and the impact on it's service life would be a really bad strategic decision. Also ignoring operational requirements while going about the technical bits is also stupid. The choices made during acquisition directly affect future tactical options, so don't really see why they are treated as separate camps, and not two sides of the same coin.

Personally though find that a lot of MARS types grind on the engineers to consider the operational impacts, but are really blase about considering the technical impact when it doesn't immediately affect what you can do, and are happy to run it until it breaks in some cases. Also, the FELEX program was great at the sexy combat bits, or wifi but what really needs attention is boring stuff like the hotel services (hot water, sewage collection treatment etc), hull integrity and piping systems. Those have been the bane of the Engineers for years, and is the first thing that gets you piped to the skippers cabin or chirped in the Weirdroom. No one cares about tactics or strategy when the toilets are blocked and overflowing again or there is no water coming out of the taps, but that's just my  :2c:

Also jaded enough to think this sounds like someone planting the seeds for a possible future job leading this kind of transformation of the CFC,

Offline Good2Golf

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #45 on: March 20, 2020, 15:14:25 »
...Personally though find that a lot of MARS types grind on the engineers to consider the operational impacts, but are really blase about considering the technical impact when it doesn't immediately affect what you can do, and are happy to run it until it breaks in some cases. Also, the FELEX program was great at the sexy combat bits, or wifi but what really needs attention is boring stuff like the hotel services (hot water, sewage collection treatment etc), hull integrity and piping systems. Those have been the bane of the Engineers for years, and is the first thing that gets you piped to the skippers cabin or chirped in the Weirdroom. No one cares about tactics or strategy when the toilets are blocked and overflowing again or there is no water coming out of the taps, but that's just my  :2c:

Weren't some CPFs sailing operationally with 2 of 4 DGs, etc.?  I heard stories of ad hoc DG's being set up (welded?) to the superstructure of frigates to provide additional cap, while the other integral DGs were n/s. ???

Offline CBH99

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #46 on: March 20, 2020, 16:01:57 »
What they need to do if they want to keep a truly effective Navy is pick a ship builder and have them produce 1-2 warships a year (I would prefer 2 myself but that would be greatly expanding our Navy size). Once one reaches the 12 year mark, it gets mothballed and placed as a Reserve for event of war. That way when war starts you have 24-48 real warships ready because the reality is with modern conflict you basically come to the table with what you have, good luck getting more quickly.

This also has the added benefits of allowing us to keep the ship builders in constant work, avoiding the expensive start up costs every time we want a new ship, and allowing us to continually upgrade the ships as they are being produced. Flaws corrected, newer technology added, etc. In the event of war its easier to expand a production line than start from scratch, especially if we already have the facilities, etc.

Use the other ship builder to build things like the AOPS or coast guard ships, or other government ship requirements, again building one or two at a time so its a constant flow keeping everything nice and stable. Long term it would also help keep costs down, but no one in government is really interested beyond the 4-8 year span.


Hey now... don't come in here with these "good ideas" and "common sense" suggestions.  This is government.  We don't talk like that 'round here, y'all hear??   :o

Next thing, you're going to suggest possibly selling some of those 'decently new' yet mothballed ships to smaller countries, to help offset the cost of us procuring new ships or stabilizing the budget??


What if someone in Ottawa started thinking like that, and it's all your fault?  What next?  Suggesting WE could have been the ones selling our F-18's to an American PMC, and using the money to plug some budget holes in various projects?

 :facepalm:  How dare you sir... 
Fortune Favours the Bold...and the Smart.

Wouldn't it be nice to have some Boondock Saints kicking around?

Offline Underway

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #47 on: March 20, 2020, 16:50:33 »
There is some irony here, as you guys are talking about ship procurement, service life, and mid-life refits....

It's certainly not lost on me as this was the complaint of the original article.  Project management vs strategic thought.  But that might be the weakness of the original argument.  If we don't look at long term maintenance we lose strategic depth/numbers of the units we can actually deploy over the long term.  The effects one can deliver in the battlespace are limited by our equipment.  The navy "mans equipment" while the army "equips men" from the old saying.  Our individual combat unit is a project to be managed.  Not enough units limit space and as all good sailors know space equals time.

I would argue that the most recent and perhaps most significant strategic initiative that's come out of the RCN in recent years is convincing the government that we need a continuous build program, which has led to the NSS now NSPS.


Another way that Naval Thought has declined is that the RCN seems to have decided what ever seagoing platform they can get their hands on will just have to do. No matter how useful it really is.

Eg. Why are we even considering extending the lives of the Victoria Class? Wouldn't it be much better to get a whole new sub, maybe in conjunction with our relatives the Aussies?

If we don't extend the life of the subs we won't make it to when the Aussies are building theirs.  This is a matter of government direction.  For example as soon as Strong Secure Engaged came out and said that the government wants submarines the engineering side went to work with the life extension and there are people looking into new submarine purchases. But we had to wait until the Liberals gave us direction.  The CAF pushed hard just to keep the capability and convince the new Minister and thus the Cabinet that this was important.

AOPS, do we really need 8 did we even need 4. Would some of that money be better spent on a true mine hunting/sweeping craft or a true OSPV.

The RCN put up a fight against "armed icebreakers" and talked the government down to AOPS which were deemed much more useful in more places.  And this is the issue.  Strategic decisions on how the RCN is deployed and used come from the government.  Canada's interests geopolitically are what drive the RCN strategically.  IMHO there are a few failures: the RCN in not identifying the Arctic as a key geopolitical interest for Canada and already having a plan to deal with it ahead of time, the Government and public not being aware of our core interests as a nation (or at least not articulating them well).

I'm not going to get into the whole AOPS being really being about jobs jobs jobs...

After that kick in the gonades the RCN is now down to trying to save the silverware and seems to no longer have the fortitude, ability or maybe even the desire to go to the CDS/MND and tell them that in the absence of direction from Parliament, here is the Navy you'll need if you want to cause these and these effects.   

The RCN has done exactly that, since the painful last 10 years or so of being caught out with the AOR's, 280's etc...  If you only saw the work that went into the CSC requirements.  The project spent quite a bit of money examining future threats, future missions, and future strategic problems.  They used that to build the requirements. Trying to get ahead of the ship so to speak. As the project moves forward I'm sure it will cost to much for some of the stuff, and some requirements will magically disappear.  But that's a problem with the procurement system, not with the original requirements generally.

Offline FSTO

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #48 on: March 20, 2020, 18:31:35 »
I would argue that the most recent and perhaps most significant strategic initiative that's come out of the RCN in recent years is convincing the government that we need a continuous build program, which has led to the NSS now NSPS.
I got into a wee bit of trouble back in 08 when I mentioned to a reporter during an open house at my NRD that our Government should consider a continuous build instead of the boom and bust we have been doing. Now I'm not saying that someone in the government was listening but.......... ;D

If we don't extend the life of the subs we won't make it to when the Aussies are building theirs.  This is a matter of government direction.  For example as soon as Strong Secure Engaged came out and said that the government wants submarines the engineering side went to work with the life extension and there are people looking into new submarine purchases. But we had to wait until the Liberals gave us direction.  The CAF pushed hard just to keep the capability and convince the new Minister and thus the Cabinet that this was important.
Maybe the life extension should be limited to 2 subs? Just to keep core capability? I just feel that the sticker shock of 4 refits will kill the whole capability.

The RCN has done exactly that, since the painful last 10 years or so of being caught out with the AOR's, 280's etc...  If you only saw the work that went into the CSC requirements.  The project spent quite a bit of money examining future threats, future missions, and future strategic problems.  They used that to build the requirements. Trying to get ahead of the ship so to speak. As the project moves forward I'm sure it will cost to much for some of the stuff, and some requirements will magically disappear.  But that's a problem with the procurement system, not with the original requirements generally.
Good to hear. I was very glad when the decision was made to return to a larger calibre main gun, like the old saying "Better to have a big gun and not need it vice wishing you had a bigger gun" or something similar.

Offline Underway

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #49 on: March 20, 2020, 19:39:35 »
I got into a wee bit of trouble back in 08 when I mentioned to a reporter during an open house at my NRD that our Government should consider a continuous build instead of the boom and bust we have been doing. Now I'm not saying that someone in the government was listening but.......... ;D

I remember reading the Single Class Surface Combatant report in 2008.  Part of that report was given over to a continuous build and the advantages that would come from that.  There was quite a bit of "project management" in that argument. Ironically the Aussies were the one who originally articulated the idea which we mercilessly stole (with proper referencing of course  ;D)

Maybe the life extension should be limited to 2 subs? Just to keep core capability? I just feel that the sticker shock of 4 refits will kill the whole capability.
Good to hear. I was very glad when the decision was made to return to a larger calibre main gun, like the old saying "Better to have a big gun and not need it vice wishing you had a bigger gun" or something similar.

It might.  We are in the process of recapitalizing an entire surface navy and fighter force and that is extremely expensive.

As for the bigger gun comment, there is a reason strike length VLS is a core requirement for the CSC.  It allows for bigger guns for different missions, from Tomahawks, to LRSM to SM3's.  There are some serious strategic capabilities and options for your navy in that kind of hardware that we don't currently have.  Those are pan-element effectors.  Project management not important indeed!

Offline Weinie

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #50 on: March 20, 2020, 22:18:59 »
I remember reading the Single Class Surface Combatant report in 2008.  Part of that report was given over to a continuous build and the advantages that would come from that.  There was quite a bit of "project management" in that argument. Ironically the Aussies were the one who originally articulated the idea which we mercilessly stole (with proper referencing of course  ;D)

It might.  We are in the process of recapitalizing an entire surface navy and fighter force and that is extremely expensive.

As for the bigger gun comment, there is a reason strike length VLS is a core requirement for the CSC.  It allows for bigger guns for different missions, from Tomahawks, to LRSM to SM3's.  There are some serious strategic capabilities and options for your navy in that kind of hardware that we don't currently have.  Those are pan-element effectors.  Project management not important indeed!

Which is one way that the Navy (could) deliver strategic effect.
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Offline Lumber

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #51 on: March 20, 2020, 22:48:46 »
As the project moves forward I'm sure it will cost to much for some of the stuff, and some requirements will magically disappear.  But that's a problem with the procurement system, not with the original requirements generally.

But that is , IMO, part of the problem. When it comes to planning, you can both under-plan, AND over-plan. I think we over plan procurement. We spend way way too much time dotting the i's and crossing the t's in order to come up with the perfect list of exactly what Canada needs going further. That takes a lot of time and effort, and as a result, adds  years to our procurement process. The reality is, we will NEVER be able to afford enough platforms with enough capability to perfectly address any potential future requirements, and like you said, budget constraints will force the removal of whatever capability addresses the "least important" requirement. Further, future requirements will change as the world changes, our government changes, priorities change, etc.

I honestly believe that there is very little substantial difference between one modern warship and another. Everyone these days is using a warship between 4000 and 8000 tons. Every warship out there  has either a PESA or AESA radar, or both, a hull mounted sonar, a tower array, an ESM suite, a main gun, a VLS with both short and medium range anti-air missiles, quad-packed medium/long range anti-ship missiles, and a CIWS. The biggest difference between them is whether you want a platform focused on anti-air, anti-submarine, or general purpose. The point is, I bet you I could simply pick a class of ship from among a half-dozen or so ship classes that our NATO allies use, and THAT ship class would be capable of fulfilling 90% of the missions we would ever send it on without any modifications. Why go through the mountains of effort, money and time when I could simply say "just give us 15 FREMM class, 12 of the French type, and 3 of the Italian type"?
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Offline Dimsum

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #52 on: March 20, 2020, 23:06:29 »
But that is , IMO, part of the problem. When it comes to planning, you can both under-plan, AND over-plan. I think we over plan procurement. We spend way way too much time dotting the i's and crossing the t's in order to come up with the perfect list of exactly what Canada needs going further. That takes a lot of time and effort, and as a result, adds  years to our procurement process.

A lot of that is because we also need to convince PSPC, TB, and ISED of the capabilities required.  We can't just handwave it and say "we know what's best" because we don't control the money or the process.
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Offline daftandbarmy

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #53 on: March 21, 2020, 01:59:15 »
So, like, when are you Navy guys going to start talking about strategy and not the 'toys of the trade'? :)
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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #54 on: March 21, 2020, 11:42:58 »
Weren't some CPFs sailing operationally with 2 of 4 DGs, etc.?  I heard stories of ad hoc DG's being set up (welded?) to the superstructure of frigates to provide additional cap, while the other integral DGs were n/s. ???

I have more sea days than many NWOs and have never (as in not once) been to sea in a CPF with 4/4 DGs serviceable.

I was told by a few MSEOs that the particular DG selected by the project was done more for political  reasons than for technical reasons. It was the exact wrong size for the load demanded of it (ie no combination of DGs could run at an efficient RPM to meet the load, so they constantly coked up and then failed).

Offline Halifax Tar

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #55 on: March 21, 2020, 14:04:45 »
We are running with the new CATs on FRE and the Stokers (MARTECHs I know, but I am too old to change) love them. 
Lead me, follow me or get the hell out of my way

Offline Good2Golf

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #56 on: March 21, 2020, 14:09:00 »
We are running with the new CATs on FRE and the Stokers (MARTECHs I know, but I am too old to change) love them.
.

Hard to go wrong either with 3412s or KTA-38s

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #57 on: March 21, 2020, 14:28:47 »
We are running with the new CATs on FRE and the Stokers (MARTECHs I know, but I am too old to change) love them.
Don’t worry, like RMS clerks the powers that be I’ll realize the errors of their thinking and return to sanity.

Offline Underway

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #58 on: March 21, 2020, 14:34:37 »
So, like, when are you Navy guys going to start talking about strategy and not the 'toys of the trade'? :)
Triggered... lol

The entire point of my argument is that you can't remove toys from naval strategic thought. 

Military strategy deals with the planning and conduct of campaigns, the movement, and disposition of forces, and the deception of the enemy.  But it also deals with the employment of military capabilities through high level and long term planning, development and procurement.

As for force disposition, there are plenty of pages on threads about fleet mix and the disposition of those fleets to each coast given the geopolitical realities of Canada.  Ie: The east coast fleet is larger because of the St. Laurence Seaway and approaches essentially make Quebec City, Montreal, Toronto, Hamilton, Thunderbay, etc... oceanic ports for trade, not to mention Halifax proper.

As OGBD mentioned sea control is the largest overriding concern of the RCN.  Keeping the lanes open for trade and use sea control to project power where we want to influence events.  This requires a mix of some sea denial capability to guard the flanks so to speak (submarines), mobility enhancers (mine countermeasures/JSS/logistics hubs) to ensure our own mobility.  Then you have the power projection aspects with the Frigates/CSC etc...  There's my argument.  Here are the toys that do the jobs we need, to achieve the strategic effects we want.

Offline Colin P

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #59 on: March 21, 2020, 15:03:06 »
I think with the number of ships we have currently we are fantasizing about "Strategic effects". Now if you said "Contributing to Strategic effects as coalition" then it's more believable. I suspect we would struggle to keep one port on both coasts open against a determined enemy using subs and mines, much less escort a convoy beyond our territorial waters.

Offline Navy_Pete

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Re: Decline of Naval Thought in the RCN
« Reply #60 on: March 21, 2020, 16:39:05 »
I have more sea days than many NWOs and have never (as in not once) been to sea in a CPF with 4/4 DGs serviceable.

I was told by a few MSEOs that the particular DG selected by the project was done more for political  reasons than for technical reasons. It was the exact wrong size for the load demanded of it (ie no combination of DGs could run at an efficient RPM to meet the load, so they constantly coked up and then failed).

Not really; it was driven by some of the milspec requirements for how the whole PG&D system operated at full load during battle operations and resulted in the diesels being too big for normal operations.  Unfortunately we couldn't increase the gen capacity without replacing basically the whole backbone and main switchboards during the DG replacement project, but they are supposed to run better at lower loads, so hopefully there shouldn't be a requirement to decoke, and when we upgrade some of the other key items (like the chillers) that should also drive the standard load up a bit.

Hfx Tar, glad to hear they are good; that was a fun project to work on and think we would have done well with any of the bidders, but the CATs were solid engines, and it was a good team. It's an interesting ISSC model too with a combined FMF/SS/ Contractor split of the work, so will be interesting to see how it works out in real life.

Think I had 4 DGs running for about a while on deployment, and would have turned it over that way if we had got the right part (got a right handed turbo when we ordered a left handed turbo, but don't worry, it was verified to be the right part before they shipped it to us in Europe; thanks N37!). Was really weird to look at the ETOW console and see 4 green DGs, but was only possible due to a lot of hard work by the SS and bit of luck for having some diesel mechanics and really good ETs that were able to do 2nd line repairs while deployed. Think that was for about 3 months of my grand total of 18 months on a CPF, but my time on the 280s had similar luck with the generators.

Wrt the NSS and the CSC, there was a massive amount of high level staff work that went into the various white papers to get the strategic requirements for what the gov wants us to do as a Navy, so everytime project costs increase and TBS etc ask questions and look for cuts, we are able to point to specific items and explain why what we'd lose if they dropped off a capabilty or cut the budget. Also, having all the IRBs etc does slow stuff down and adds extra layers, but means that in the long run, the projects get a lot of support from MPs that otherwise don't care about the Navy, as they care about jobs in their constituencies.  I still think it's stupid, but recognize it's a necessary evil to not having the CSC cut down to a canoe with an RPG and an Android phone with satnav.