A Canadian Rangers reset would help Armed Forces keep pace with a changing North

Nilgiri

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I agree with the author 100%, it is high time Canada trains and equips its Rangers to same level as CA reserves.

They do such thankless work in the Arctic without complaint and successive govts have promised many things to them but always let them down.

They are mostly native inuits (Eskimos in the older parlance), so supporting them better will also help their communities and promote their welfare...and also give stronger sense of loyalty to Canadian nation and its defence as they will be invested into the further training and aptitude of it (they already work closely with CA forces so they are no stranger to the idea of sound tactical training for offense and defense)

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Across southern Canada, there are numerous Army Reserve regiments, Naval Reserve divisions, and Royal Canadian Air Force units with part-time and full-time reservists trained and ready to serve in wartime. Then there are the Canadian Rangers, the vaunted mainstay of this country's determination to ensure our sovereignty over the resource-rich and increasingly disputed regions of Canada's North.

For more than a decade this sub-component of the reserves has been promoted by governments and the Forces as a symbol of Canada's commitment to stand on guard in the Arctic. The Army's FAQ page on the Rangers says: "They are part-time reservists who are responsible for protecting Canada's sovereignty as well as defending her coastal interests ... Canadian Rangers provide a military presence in support of Canada's sovereignty."

Conveniently absent from the public affairs flimflam is that the Rangers are the only element of the Canadian Armed Forces which cannot be sent directly into any form of combat. Quite appropriate, as they receive almost no actual military training.

(more at link)
 

Nilgiri

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A very well put together response from the other side of the argument:

 

Madokafc

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I am had read the article, they provide their own equipment themselves to be reimbursed , and their main armaments is mostly Lee Enfield provided since 1947. And i don't know the progress of C19 supposedly to replace them, but Lee Enfield is too damn old and wear and tear condition must taking the toll of their availability and service condition.

We are talking about reserve unit, specialized Scout of a Western Nation , one of the most richest among all. But to let such situation to persist is not common....
 

Nilgiri

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I am had read the article, they provide their own equipment themselves to be reimbursed , and their main armaments is mostly Lee Enfield provided since 1947. And i don't know the progress of C19 supposedly to replace them, but Lee Enfield is too damn old and wear and tear condition must taking the toll of their availability and service condition.

We are talking about reserve unit, specialized Scout of a Western Nation , one of the most richest among all. But to let such situation to persist is not common....

It has to do with peculiar situation and context of Canada (w.r.t all other Western nations), it is very unique.

Basically, there is a big north south divide of great relevance (for security + defense etc)

South of this, you find the Canadian provinces with 99% of economy and population (35 million or so people). Provinces have the major political power too.

North of this are the 3 (used to be 2 till one was split) Canadian territories. Combined, their population (120k) does not even make a typical city suburb population in a province. Their political power is also similarly miniscule.

But their (territory) land+water is immense...basically 40% of Canada....when you combine with northern part of the provinces bordering them, its basically 50-50 land split between 99-1 population.

This in cold war situation meant this area is the largest potential battlezone between US/Can and USSR...given these are on either side of this large area when you sweep arc over the arctic etc.

Thus past the NORAD infra set up to handle that (jointly with US)....Canada also went for basically this militia option (rangers) to have a presence in the arctic region, without having to deploy official military (which could be purposed for other relevant duties).

After all they already can (given they are inuit):

- live off the land well
- do a lot with govt subsidy support
- act as intermediary/handlers for food, training and development logistics for their isolated communities
- early warning eyes and ears if soviet ground infiltration + espionage (this was real fear given soviets have inuits too) given the vast open ocean and land for it...

Thus it was not really a conventional combat role, rather its network of hunters/fishers etc with extra training and purpose past that with the security/presence role in mind. Conventional combat role was more delineated for the military itself.

Thus really enfield rifle make sense (in that original role), you can shoot a polar bear, walrus, elk, seal or similar for food....and it is highly reliable rifle (in winter condition + sustained trekking/skiing etc) given simple bolt action. In fact owning lee enfield myself, the action is remarkably simple robust design even for a bolt action. Very easy to get fast at it too, though of course modern AR etc is far more convenient.

Now there is the debate to expand their role into higher security capability in more conventional way. Not only would the (ageing but still working fine with proper maintenance) rifles obviously need replacing ....but they will need to be trained up substantially as well to at least basic norms for military.

Some foreign confusion sometimes originates because "Rangers" is often used for more elite groups in other militaries...but it is very different group here in Canada. Its like a border militia over vast area....mostly relic of cold war, and being debated to be repurposed more mainstream military role now.

@anmdt @UkroTurk @Cabatli_53 @T-123456 @Test7 @Webslave @VCheng @Saiyan0321 @xenon5434 @Vergennes @Dante80 @Joe Shearer @Paro et al.
 

VCheng

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After all they already can (given they are inuit):

- live off the land well
- do a lot with govt subsidy support
- act as intermediary/handlers for food, training and development logistics for their isolated communities
- early warning eyes and ears if soviet ground infiltration + espionage (this was real fear given soviets have inuits too) given the vast open ocean and land for it...

Your post reminds me of thrillers by Alistair Maclean and Louis L'Amour back in my youth.
 

Nilgiri

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Your post reminds me of thrillers by Alistair Maclean and Louis L'Amour back in my youth.

Heh Alistair Maclean is one of my mom's favourites of all time. Wasn't much of a reader (of such) till I got a bit older, but as a kid movies based on his works like Where Eagles Dare, Guns of Navarone etc.. were a staple in regular weekend watching heh. My mom would avidly point out differences in the movie with the book...

I suppose that all has indeed influenced how I go about explaining some of these matters.... you spotted well.
 

VCheng

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Heh Alistair Maclean is one of my mom's favourites of all time. Wasn't much of a reader (of such) till I got a bit older, but as a kid movies based on his works like Where Eagles Dare, Guns of Navarone etc.. were a staple in regular weekend watching heh. My mom would avidly point out differences in the movie with the book...

I suppose that all has indeed influenced how I go about explaining some of these matters.... you spotted well.

Somewhat on topic is this storyline:

 

Nilgiri

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The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have a fascinating component called the Canadian Rangers that may be unique among the world's militaries. Rangers are soldiers, but they don't look like it: they wear red sweatshirts, carry hunting rifles instead of assault rifles, and often drive civilian vehicles (which they provide themselves).

It's not unusual in military history for armies to dress specialized light infantry units like hunters. But Rangers are not the Jaegers or Zouaves of the nineteenth century — indeed, they're not really infantry at all.

Operating out of isolated communities on the West Coast and in the North, Ranger patrols are comparatively tiny, with as few as eight members each. Units adapts their culture to the local community. They elect their sergeants, and are largely exempt from both the physical and training-time requirements of other elements of the CAF reserve.

These are not combat troops, equipped for battle; they're something far more interesting. The Rangers are a way for distinct and diverse peoples to participate in the defence of their own land, on their own terms, and provide the wider nation with the benefit of their unique skills.

They have also, unfortunately, recently become controversial.

(More at link)
 
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