Commander speaks about Army Transformation
Commander Speaks About Army Transformation
Lieutentant-General Rick Hillier spoke about Army
Transformation during a press conference October 29.
Source: Department of National defence,Ottawa, Canada,
Thursday, October 30, 2003.
October 29, 2003 -- I'd like to talk to you about Army Transformation which I
believe is an exciting and fast-moving change that will touch every single
soldier in our land component. And it will allow Canada's Army, as part of a
Canadian Forces joint capability, working with the Navy and the Air Force, to
punch well above its weight no matter what missions we ask it to do.
This transformation will allow
us to implement the Army Vision and the Army Strategy resulting in an immensely
capable land force component of the Canadian Forces that will directly support
the Chief of Defence Staff's number one priority: joint operations with all
This transformed army will be
credible with friends and allies and will possess the capability required to be
overwhelmingly successful, as I said, no matter the mission to be accomplished,
whilst reducing risk to our soldiers as they conduct those operations.
A most important force driving
transformation is the changing nature of the threats to stability throughout the
world and to our soldiers while they are deployed on missions.
What used to be described as the
asymmetric threat, terrorism, suicide bombers, riots, explosive devices and
well-armed militias are today very real threats that our soldiers face as they
attempt to assist populations in failed states and in some parts of the
The so-called conventional
threat, that of an attack by another country using massed infantry and tanks on
land, against which our equipments were previously measured, has become
We believe that those attempting
to destabilize different parts of the world, stop us in the execution of our
missions or threaten us with lethal force during those missions will have to be
dealt with by new and more flexible capabilities than we have had for the
A mobile direct fire system
mounting the standard NATO 105-millimetre gun will give us a direct fire
capability in a system and on a platform which we can and will deploy.
Mobile Gun System (MGS)
The Leopard tank - which I love
after serving for many years on it and I keep a picture in my office to remind
folks that if I can change to the new reality, so can they - is a very capable
but less relevant platform for the kinds of missions that we now undertake.
The strong qualities of a
Leopard tank parked in Valcartier or Edmonton or elsewhere are useless to our
soldiers in Kabul, Eritrea, Bosnia or anywhere else that we deploy them and
where we require direct fire.
In some cases, we can't get it
there because the only aircraft that can fly in are the C-130s and it's too
heavy for that. In other places, it cannot manoeuvre and I give you the streets
of Kabul, those little tiny narrow alleyways as an example of that. On most
peace support operations, it would actually be destabilizing to deploy or employ
The mobile direct fire system
that we are talking about here today will give us the capability we can deploy
and which would fit well with our LAV III fleet, the armoured personnel carriers
that we have and the Coyote reconnaissance and surveillance fleets.
It is important to stress that a
mobile direct fire system is just one component of the weapons systems on
vehicles we are introducing in our plan over the next several years.
These war-winning systems are in
turn just one component of Army Transformation.
As the minister mentioned, we
are also investing in systems which will give our soldiers information
dominance, systems which will give them as completely as possible a picture, not
the thousand words, but a picture of the environment and both friendly and enemy
forces sometimes before the enemy even knows they are there.
These systems will allow us to
move information quickly from soldier to commander and commander back down to
soldier, reducing the time it takes to make the right decisions and ultimately
saving lives while being successful in what we have been asked to do.
We are also introducing radical
changes in the way we train, the way we generate our forces for missions, and
the way in which we manage our equipment - all which allow us to better manage
our resources while improving the way we prepare our soldiers for deployment.
We also intend to make much
greater use of the rich potential of soldiers who serve in the army reserves and
to ensure that they too have what they need to do the jobs that we ask them to
All of this is about soldiers
Our ability to act in our
transformed land force is built around the best weapons system that we have and
one that at the end of the day is not propelled by itself on tracks or on wheels
but one that moves on combat boots - our soldiers.
Our job is to set them up for
success because I remain convinced that the well-led, trained, equipped,
organized and motivated Canadian soldier will forever remain the most effective
high-tech weapons system in the world.
Canadians should be fiercely
proud of those great citizens who wear the CF uniforms. I certainly am.