Skip to comments.Kit (Canadian Forces Gear)
Posted on 01/28/2006 4:33:36 PM PST by Cannoneer No. 4
Every time anything happens to Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan, everyone with a beef against the current federal government seems to feel the need to ratchet-jaw on about the poor, wretchedly equipped Canadian military. As someone whos been issued all the kit, and who has had access to the stuff other countries are using, I find this tendency extremely irritating.
Canada doesnt have a big navy. We dont have guided missile cruisers, (working) submarines, or aircraft carriers. Our air force is suffering from decades of neglect, and we are stretched mighty thin just sustaining our forces in Afghanistan with our brace of C-130s. We are mothballing our tanks. Its safe to say that as far as the big-ticket stuff goes, we pretty much suck.
But the soldier stuff, the vehicles and the clothing and the protection and (sorry, Gen Hillier) the gizmos now there, we have another story.
Ive posted before about the G-wagon. Im not going to link to it, just scroll down and youll see what I think about that particular item.
I havent posted about the LAV-III. I havent felt the need. That thing is simply the best armoured fighting vehicle in the world. Armour, protection (yes, there is a difference), armament, optics, navigation, suspension, every single subsystem is state-of-the-art. The Yanks have their own version - which differs only in the lack of a turret, as an American officer involved in evaluating the Canadian version told me, only because of a difference in deployment philosophy - and it has saved countless American lives in Iraq.
The Canadian C7 rifle has been adopted, over the American M16 rifle on which it is based (although it looks similar, it has been heavily modified for the CF), by a number of foreign militaries, among them the Netherlands, and reportedly the British SAS. We have just been issued with a still newer model, the C7A2, which has so many useful and innovative improvements that I despair of listing them without putting my civilian readers to sleep (Collapsible stock! Green furniture! Cruciform Weaver rails! Oh, alright ).
Our new camouflage pattern, CADPAT, was adapted by the USMC, then the US Army, and rumour has it that several other countries are looking at adopting their own versions.
New night vision equipment. New communications equipment (Brits are buying our stuff). New NBCD equipment. New boots. New packs. New (only just invented) artillery with precision-guided ammunition. New mine- and blast-resistant vehicles (Nyalas). New clothing. Grenade launchers. C9A2s. It goes on and on.
Is it perfect? Hell no. Combat uniforms, designed to be worn under fragmentation vests, that have chest pockets? And no arm pockets? WTF!? And seriously, mate, what genius came up with a modular tactical vest that doesnt allow the user to carry more than 4 magazines? After every other fighting force in the world, not to mention your own soldiers, has come to the conclusion that soldiers require up to 10 or more magazines in modern battle? By the way, great job in making grenade pouches that the grenades you give us dont fit into. Thats especially useful. I put my Garmin in one of mine. Maybe I can use another for an MP3 player. And dont even get me started about the absurd, almost criminally negligent administrative system under which we suffer. I really didnt enjoy not getting paid for over two months this fall.
But for the love of God, I think back to the Army I joined in 1987, and the 1950s pattern webbing and 1950s vintage equipment I was originally issued with. I think back to the vehicles we used to drive, the clothing we used to wear, and frankly the attitudes we used to have, and I dont even recognize us.
Gen Hillier is right. It isnt about the gizmos. Gizmos are just a manifestation of something thats been going on, largely unnoticed by the society we serve, for many years now. We have been changing. Not getting a shiny new paint job or plastic surgery. In very many ways, we are a fundamentally new, and different organization than we used to be. Still with problems, but baby steps, people, baby steps.
For all of those that pity the Canadian Forces: keep your pity.
You will shortly find that pity is entirely misplaced.
I had occasion to observe the Canadians on KAF. I ate breakfast with them most mornings and lunch with a different bunch most afternoons. They moved in across from my outfit and I parked my truck beside one of their G-Wagons or LAVIII's or Terranos. They are not poorly equipped. Their desert camo uniforms blend in to the dust and adobe walls even better than USMC desert cammies. Their body armor has shoulder pads and looks like Starship Troopers stuff. Their rifles are spotlessly clean, and no Canadian ever pointed his muzzle at me in the chow hall. These are good troops. I get tired of people busting on them who have neve seen them.
That trashed out barn is known as Big Hangar. I must have driven past it a thousand times. The aviation task force that preceded TF Storm, Diamondhead, used to use this building for Chinook maintenance.
" And seriously, mate, what genius came up with a modular tactical vest that doesnt allow the user to carry more than 4 magazines? "
Someone who is fashion conscious?
Probably the same guy who came up with the LBV I had!
Looked good, didn't work as well as hoped, held the bug repellant tubes well enough.
I was in the pistol belt and suspenders army. We carried our water in canteens. Christ had made buck sergeant by then.
At 100 yards the US DCU, USMC desert cammie and Canadian CADPAT AR are indistinguishable. All three patterns work extremely well in south east Afghanistan. IMHO the new ACU is inferior to those three in that environment.
There is a digital pattern for urban warfare, mostly gray, but I haven't seen any military wearing them.
We had what amounted to a Harris assault vest.
Problem is, it didn't work as they intended it.
(Though the advance party types knew ways of making it passable..)
We were told to ditch it when some dumb[beep]sses got heat stroke at Fort Drum one year.
I got my hands on the H suspenders, which were nice.
Got told to ditch them as the 'Y' suspenders were 'superior' in the eyes of the Captain.
(They weren't, especially for someone my small size.)
But we figured a way of fitting three magazines in our ammo pouches, plus a further four in the vest.
For which we got our heads ripped off.(???!!!!)
Supposedly the extra weight of four extra magazines would 'slow us down'.
(I'm convinced my last Captain was on the side of the simulated OpFor during AT. I swear.)
Thanks for the ping FRiend. It's always good to hear the POV from someone in the service.
I was there, and I was in the service, but not at the same time.
there was a time, when you could fit five twenty round mags in a canteencan cover... four covers 200 rounds. but then i haven't seen a 20round mag in 20years either.
We used all three of our issue canteens.
So the covers were in use.
The 2 quart canteen always was on our rucksack.
(No cover available for it. Drats.)
If Canada doesn't have working submarines, why do they keep claiming that the artic is their territory alone and no other nation's submarines are welcome via the northern passage? How ironic!
If and when the NorthWest Passage becomes navigable it will become a short cut from Asia to Europe and attract a lot of Chinese interest to the Canadian Arctic.
Probably the US Navy informs the Canadian Department of National Defense when they will be transiting Canadian waters, but that is all highly classified.
I know for a fact that the US informs the Canadians when a mission is underway. The Canadians remain aloof and pretend they have no idea... but, that isn't to say that "sometimes" no one knows where the US subs are, and for good reason. The Canadians have the same arrangement with the British and the French.
They are out of service now because of problems disclosed byt the fire aboard HMCS Chicoutimi during its voyage to Halifax from Scotland, but this is a temporary circumstance.
These vessels are quieter than the nukes and are more suitable for Canadian purposes than are the nukes (and I agree that the nukes are more suitable for US and UK purposes). The plan is to convert them to air independent propulsion (using a Canadian design) which will improve th.
BTW, a Spamisn trawler on illegally fishing with illegal nets on the Grand Banks got first-hand experience with the use of submarines for patrol purposes. He was observed and photographed and kept under observation until a surface vessel came up to make the arrest. The Spaniard was unaware that he was being observed until the surface vessel came over the horizon, at which point he cut his net. The submarine marked the location where the net was dropped and it was later recovered together with its illegal liner. It was taken to New York and hung on a derrick outside of the UN building for the world to see.
"The plan is to convert them to air independent propulsion (using a Canadian design) which will improve th.'
Should have read:
The plan is to convert them to air independent propulsion (using a Canadian design) which should improve their effectiveness for Arctic operations.
Air propulsion sounds very interesting. I'm a little familiar with US nukes, cause husband served on two of them. Thank you for the info about the twraler, we'll look it up and read further.
BTW, are you still running a Zim pinglist? Can I be added, please?
I have added you to my Zim ping list.
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