Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Just go hire a few Majors

Babble on.

The Martinite Liberals want us to know they're [announcer voice on] doing something [announcer voice off] about the HR meat-grinder we call the CF right now.

"There is no question that the core commitment of an increase in the Forces to the tune of 5,000 will be upheld," said Scott Reid, a senior adviser in the Prime Minister's Office.

Yeah, Scott, but not any time soon. Kudos to the Times-Colonist for seeking out Col (ret.) Howie Marsh for a reality-check.

Defence analyst and retired colonel Howie Marsh said he believes it will take at least a decade before the Canadian Forces can boost its ranks by 5,000. That's because over the next six years it faces an exodus of experienced personnel who will reach early retirement, noted Marsh, a senior analyst with the pro-military lobby group, the Conference of Defence Associations.

In addition, the military's existing training is not capable of handling a large influx of new recruits, he said. Troops who should be instructing new soldiers are finding themselves shipped off to overseas missions, he added.

"I don't think much can happen before 2012," said Marsh. "A fully manned and equipped fourth brigade by 2020 is a realistic goal."

Not enough experienced personnel, combined with an increased operations tempo, means nobody to train Martin's promised new recruits. A fifteen year timeline means our people are going to be burning out for years to come.

You can't just hire a few infantry Majors with three tours of peacekeeping experience from the private sector. Or Chief Petty Officers familiar with the electronic intricacies of naval weapons systems. You have to grow them. That takes time.

There are no quick fixes to years of neglect of our Armed Forces. We should not allow the Liberals to insult our intelligence by suggesting otherwise.

Babble off.


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