Mid-Career Army Officer Profile picture
🇨🇦 Army Officer. Carl Gustav enthusiast. Mostly jokes but some thoughts about doctrine, leadership, culture, & tech. All views my own, especially the jokes.
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Feb 26 25 tweets 10 min read
Recently Canadian journalists have started referring to the 155mm M107 HE projectile produced in Canada as a 'training round.' While the M107 design is dated, it is still very lethal. A🧵on why we have training rounds, M107 vs M795, and the Canadian Munitions Supply Program... Image The 'training round' comment seems to have come out of what I suspect was a leaked briefing note out of DND discussing modernizing Canadian artillery production. It is true though that the Canadian Army has designated the M107 as our training round.
Oct 5, 2023 25 tweets 10 min read
Despite having troops deployed to NATO's Eastern Flank, the Canadian Army has no ability to defend against this transformational threat. The Army knows this well & wants to close the gap and even has money, but it will still take years to achieve. A🧵on the nature of risks.... There are many rubrics for assessing military risk. I spent some time in CANSOF where the risk model was "Threat to Mission" & "Threat to Force." The idea was to identify specific risks & mitigations that impacted both the ability to achieve a mission and the actual operators.
Jul 9, 2023 25 tweets 10 min read
Military leaders spend a lot of time talking about vehicle serviceability. What does it take to keep an Army's vehicles ready and available for training and operations - and why is it too late to set readiness targets once you've already purchased a vehicle fleet? A🧵... Vehicle serviceability is a measure of what portion of a unit's fleet is available for use. Vehicles can either be fully servicable, outstanding but usable with known faults or delayed inspections, or unservicable due to major faults or critical inspections that need to occur.
Jun 6, 2023 25 tweets 10 min read
No - Canadian soldiers are not buying their own helmets because of a shortage of helmets - but there are legitimate concerns from soldiers about aging kit compared to more functional modern options. What does this tell us about land procurement issues? A🧵... Let's deal with the easy part. The CAF's standard helmet since '15 is the NP Aerospace CM735. It protects against NIJ Level 3A handgun rounds & weighs 25% less than the previous helmet, but has a terrible suspension system, awkward NVG mount, and doesn't play nice with headsets. ImageImage
Mar 21, 2023 21 tweets 9 min read
Exciting news for those interested in Canadian Army equipment: the Request for Information for the Urgent Operational Requirement Air Defence system has been released! Now, what is an RFI vs an RFP, and what does the RFI tell us about the capability the CAF is procuring? A 🧵... First things first - if you want to know what your government or other public sector entities are buying, the Government of Canada maintains an online portal at canadabuys.canada.ca that allows business (and the public) to review tendering opportunities for goods and services.
Feb 22, 2023 24 tweets 10 min read
As the West looks to reorient & rearm for major combat operations following decades focused on COIN, this article raises some important considerations about precision weapons vs precision systems, as well as considerations on the importance of the high-low mix in weapons. A🧵... The war in Ukraine has understandably thrust modern precision weapons like the NLAW, Javelin, and HIMARS into the spotlight. Countries are moving quickly to replenish stockpiles of donated equipment or acquire new capabilities for themselves.

Feb 14, 2023 25 tweets 10 min read
It's been a wild ride for the Roshel Senator - first dismissed as "not fit for the front line" when Canada donated 8 back in May '22, now with hundreds in service or en route to Ukraine. It's main attribute is simplicity, a trait that more military equipment should have. A🧵... The Senator is a protected mobility vehicle designed to protect soldiers from hazards short of direct fire from tanks & AFVs, as well as close calls from artillery. It begins its life as a standard F-550 chassis, and then has a custom armoured body added & suspension upgrades.
Nov 6, 2022 24 tweets 10 min read
Time for some niche #canmiltwitter content, and because @TimDotChoi asked:

Why the TAPV is not the M117, why we ended up with the TAPV, a bit of what goes into thinking about donating defence materials, and some armoured vehicle sustainment.

A meandering Saturday night 🧵... First off - what's up with the M117 Commando? Unlike in 🇨🇦, US Military Police perform significant security tasks like convoy protection, which demanded a niche vehicle - something to fill the gap between unarmored HMMWVs and front line APCs/IFCs like the M113 or Bradley.
Jul 25, 2022 25 tweets 10 min read
The Ram series was a 🇨🇦 war-time innovation. Desperate for APCs, Army mechanics converted surplus self-propelled artillery and tanks into well-protected troop carriers.

But this kind of innovation would never be allowed to happen today.

A 🧵on opportunity costs in the CA... For as long as I've been in the CA, we've suffered from a centralized system where project and equipment managers at HQ dictate how eqpt is/is not to be used, and innovation is stifled to allow those same project offices to control future capabilities as decade plus projects.
May 19, 2022 27 tweets 10 min read
Do you keep seeing the terms 'pan-domain' and 'multi-domain' thrown around in defence discussions and not have any idea at all what they mean?

Well, you certainly aren't alone. Let's see how much we can clearer, or how much more confusing, we can make them in 26 tweets. A 🧵... First off - what is a domain? It's a specific environment in which operations can be conducted. Once upon a time things were simple. The Navy fought in the maritime domain. The Army found in the land domain. The Air Force was just people jumping off cliffs with homemade wings.
Mar 23, 2022 25 tweets 11 min read
With all this talk about 2%, two things concern me:

1. Injecting money without a defence policy review, strategic objectives, or force employment concept.

2. How many people seem to think the '94 White Paper was something unique.

A thrilling 🧵tour of post-WW2 defence policy! A few ground rules. Defence Policy Statement / Defence Policy / White Paper all mean the same thing. A good one should formally articulate the demands imposed on the CAF in the context of national strategy - but ambition varies, as do governments, individual leaders, & context.
Mar 15, 2022 20 tweets 8 min read
Can new technologies force a complete re-think of our doctrine and structures, or can we always accommodate incremental advances in our current way of operating & thinking?

A 🧵about the history of the TB2 and a rant about refusing to see ourselves from our enemy's perspective. Big hand, small map: the US invented the precision-reconnaissance strike complex as a means to counter Soviet mass in the Cold War. AirLand battle was proven effective in Op Desert Storm, and the West has been all in ever since, fighting against an array of 'near-peer' enemies.
Mar 9, 2022 22 tweets 9 min read
It's hard to throw money quickly at defence and expect a good outcome in the medium to long term, but then again, you never want to waste a crisis...

With the caveat that any new investment in the CAF should come with a revised defence policy, a 🧵 on some thoughts on options... First off, I fundamentally believe that the form of a military force needs to follow its function, and that any attempt to jam in individual capabilities without proper integration of their holistic role in the force just causes a cascade of shenanigans, so be warned...
Mar 4, 2022 16 tweets 6 min read
A thesis:

1. The RCN/RCAF are platform dependent, and their major cbt systems have become obsolete due to our institutional, cultural, and political discomfort with large defence procurements; but,

2. The Army is not fit for purpose due to a failure of vision.

Sigh, a 🧵... I've talked a lot about knowing what the purpose of an Army is as the fundamental precondition for designing an effective one. I'll concede that point for now - the flavor of the day is understandably the NATO/Russia context - so lets consider the relevant facts:
Feb 17, 2022 29 tweets 8 min read
There have been a lot of calls across the internet over the past few weeks to "call in the army" to deal with the Ottawa occupation.

I have feelings.

A 🧵on the conceptual roles of the military vs police in a democracy, and a personal story. The use of the CAF for domestic response has become so ubiquitous that I worry that some of the conceptual foundations of our profession have been obscured. Yes, the CAF is tremendously useful for DOMOPs, but that utility is a side effect of its primary purpose.
Feb 7, 2022 22 tweets 8 min read
Russia is on course to have 150,000+ soldiers surrounding Ukraine in the next few weeks. Canada is sending non-lethal aid. Is there something more we could do?

A🧵on training missions, military aid, the Russian way of war, and conflating capacity with capability. Personally, I feel Russia is going to attack Ukraine, in some form. I find it hard to believe that a build up of this magnitude and cost is just for posturing, and I can't see Putin winning any valuable concessions for his effort through diplomatic means - coerced or not.
Dec 20, 2021 15 tweets 6 min read
20+ years of fighting the GWOT has deeply broken our ability to picture what conventional peer-conflict would look like.

This week we saw how many trolls cling to a SOF-inspired idea of war as a hyper-masculine physical contest, but what would it really look like? 🧵 First off, you need to forget the last 30+ years of Western military technological dominance. The exclusive franchise on precision strike technology, especially, is long gone. All that time we wasted in the desert? Russia and China were making leaps and bounds.
Dec 6, 2021 26 tweets 9 min read
Lots of new attention to a problem that is rooted in Cold War history. NORAD is making a pitch for urgency and $$$ as we think about the unwritten check in Canada's defence policy - modernizing it.

But are hypersonics a game changer?

Hot take...the answer is, sometimes?

A 🧵 Let's talk history. The architecture for NORAD was built over the 1950s when the threat was Soviet bombers sneaking over the Arctic. Through the 60s and 70s it evolved into space-based surveillance of ICBM launches. But lets not kid ourselves here about what the mission was...
Nov 29, 2021 19 tweets 6 min read
The longer I'm in the military, the more I'm starting to realize that the line between Western military planning and magical thinking is razor thin. In the CAF context - you may have heard that we have some problems to solve - but can we, if we keep using the same methods?

🧵 First off, I think the CAF generates world class tactical and op linear planners. If you need to get from one clearly defined state to another, say an invasion, a handful of CA Capts can get you there in exquisite detail. But things go off the rails quickly with nebulous problems
Nov 22, 2021 24 tweets 6 min read
As a post command & staff college guy who unexpectedly finds himself scheduling job interviews this week, I have some thoughts on retention, so way too long of a 🧵digging into the current state of the CAF, beyond the headlines and sound bites, and some suggestions... For the record, I think the media and subsequent comments regarding the A/CDS' statements in October were unfair, especially on soldier forums. The Gen has seen the detailed numbers and knows the chronic & acute problems, but I digress, let's start at the start:
Nov 15, 2021 20 tweets 5 min read
Inspired by @CharlotteDuLan's 🧵 on the CAF Clothe the Soldier Project, I offer a 🧵on the CTS Rucksack - and how it represents a complicated AND complex system seeking perfection - something that should be avoided in all military plans and procurements, let alone a backpack.... Image The Canadian Army starts transitioning from olive drab to CADPAT in 1997, and as part of the project starts to slowly modernize as much individual soldier kit and equipment as it can afford to. The current rucksack was the 1982 pattern - one size disappoints all.