Friday, October 06, 2006

Meanwhile back at the "big honking ship"/A Canadian Marine Corps?

An exercise--to further move along the argument?
The military will launch an experiment next month with a borrowed American warship that can put troops ashore at hot spots around the world.

The USS Gunston Hall [sleek], a 186-metre amphibious assault ship, will pull into Halifax early next month. About 150 Canadian soldiers from CFB Valcartier, along with their light armoured vehicles and G-wagons, will board the vessel and start training to storm beaches in landing craft, much like troops did in the Second World War...

One of the amphibious assault ships would cost about $1 billion, said Eric Lerhe, a retired commodore living in Dartmouth.

"And buying one is crazy," said Mr. Lerhe, a research fellow with Dalhousie University’s Centre for Foreign Policy Studies.

"Because it’s in refit, all of a sudden you have no national capability. That doesn’t wash. It’s two or nothing."

Many countries, including Holland, Spain, Japan, Germany [?] and Italy, are building amphibious assault ships, Mr. Lerhe said.

"Every major developed nation is building them except Canada," he said.

There is a range of amphibious ships available, he said.

"The high end is full assault, a la U.S. Marine Corps; you’re breaking down the doors to go in," Mr. Lerhe said...

"Most of the Europeans are going in the middle ground," Mr. Lerhe said.
More on the agenda of the CDS :
...General Hillier has affectionately styled a "Big Honking Ship" – an expeditionary support ship capable of carrying up to a battalion-sized formation of 500- 1000 troops and their vehicles and fighting stores – the key point being that it is distinct from the already defined Joint Support Ship (JSS) replacement for the Navy's aging replenishment ships...
On amphibious ships: the Dutch have a nifty example but there are several other possible sources (France, UK, US, Spain and Italy).

I think the only logical conclusion, given that the Army will be the main military implement of Canadian foreign policy for the forseeable future, and given that military threats to our homeland are small, is to transform the CF, in most respects, to a smaller version of the US Marine Corps. I suspect Gen. Hillier may have a similar view, though he dare not say it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok kids . . hum a few bars with me.

"From the halls of

10:24 p.m., October 06, 2006  
Blogger Kevin Creighton said...

Considering how the Marine's concept of a "Three-block war" fits nicely with the missions in Bosnia, Haiti and Afghanistan, maybe it's time to look to them as a model for the Canadian Armed Forces of this millenium...

12:02 a.m., October 07, 2006  
Blogger fm said...

It's really not that revolutionary for Canadian forces in my opinion. The Australian Army has been doing this since its very inception (think of Gallipoli) and still does to this day (East Timor and the Solomons), and our two armies had very similar ORBATs and a similar heritage. Opposed landings are a big deal and only the US and the UK really have the capability for that, but something less is relatively easy.

I don't suppose it's any coincidence that Australia is also ordering two new 25,000 tonne LPHs to replace smaller Newport class LPAs (ex-LST). I have long suspected that our two military outfits are talking a lot more.

2:14 a.m., October 07, 2006  
Blogger Unknown said...

I have not seen much news/discussion on the "big honking ship" lately. Has it been dropped?

1:22 p.m., October 21, 2007  
Blogger Mark, Ottawa said...

Wayne: 'The "Big Honking Ship" is a a few years off.'


1:39 p.m., October 21, 2007  

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